"Water By the Spoonful"

A scene from the Hartford Stage production of Quiara Alegria Hudes' "Water by the Spoonful" (June 5, 2012)

The Connecticut Critics Circle named Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning  “Water by the Spoonful” the best play of the 2011-12 season.

 The production, which was commissioned, developed and had a world premiere production at Hartford Stage, also received awards for its director, Davis McCallum and its ensemble cast. 

 This year the organization revamped its awards process which honors the best work in the state’s theater season which began June 1 and ended in mid May. Instead of competing nominations by its membership, a nominating committee consisting of critics who saw works from throughout the state in theaters large and small, decided on the recipients for excellence.

The awards ceremony will be held June 24 at 2 p.m. at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford. The evenbt is free and open to the publc.

 Two musicals were also recognized for best-of-season honors: Westport Country Playhouse’s production of “Into the Woods" and Goodspeed Opera House’s “Show Boat.”

 Besides, McCallum, directing awards went to: Rob Ruggiero (“Show Boat”), Mark Lamos (“Into the Woods”), Sam Gold (Yale Repertory Theatre’s “The Realistic Joneses”) and Christopher Bayes (Yale Rep’s “ A Doctor in Spite of Himself”). Noah Racey was also recognized for his choreography for “Show Boat.”

 In the categories of acting, there were three productions worthy of best ensemble awards. Besides “Water By the Spoonful,” awards went to the actors in “The Realistic Jones” and “Into the Woods.”

 Individual actors recognized for excellence are: Steven Epp (“A Doctor in Spite of Himself”), Brenda Thomas (“Sty of the Blind Pig” at Hartford’s TheaterWorks); Annalee Jefferies (“Suddenly Last Summer” at the Westport Country Playhouse);Erick Lochtefeld (“February House” at Long Wharf Theatre); Jacqueline Petroccia (“Always Patsy Cline” at the Ivoryton Playhouse); Sarah Uriarte Berry (“Show Boat”).

 Also: Stanley Bahorek and Ken Barnett, (“February House”), Dana Steingold (“Into the Woods”); Sam Tsoutsouvas (“The Crucible” at Hartford Stage); John Horton, (“The Circle” at Westport Country Playhouse); Kirsten Wyatt (“Mame” at Goodspeed Opera House); Claire Brownell (“Boeing Boeing” at Hartford Stage).

 Receiving awards for debut: Ben Cole (“The Tempest” at Hartford Stage); Carey Cannata (“Over the Tavern” at Seven Angels Theatre).

 In design: Alexander Dodge, was cited for his work in three outstanding set designs: “The Tempest,” “Bell Book and Candle” (a co-production with Long Wharf Theatre and Hartford Stage) and “The Circle;" Fabio Toblini, for his costuming in two shows, “Bell, Book and Candle” and “The Tempest;” John Lasiter for his lighting of the musical “City of Angels “ (Goodspeed Opera House); John Gromada for his sound design for “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” (Westport Country Playhouse).

 A special award for excellence is given to the world premiere of Mike Reiss’s “I’m Connecticut” at Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

 Receiving the Tom Killen Award is Jacqueline Hubbard, executive director of the Ivoryton Playhouse.