The Abbey Theater of Dublin, Short North Stage and a professor from Otterbein University were among those honored during the 21st Theater Celebration Night.
The Central Ohio Theater Roundtable, a nonprofit organization representing more than 30 area troopers, sponsored Sunday’s pandemic-delayed annual meeting at Shadowbox Live.
The Roundtable awarded Abbey Theater its highest Harold Award for its Virtual Theater Project, which, directed by Joe Bishara, produced 28 online productions in 2020-21, including nine world premieres for one-person shows and eight regional premieres with young artists.
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The Roundtable, which returned to its annual awards program for the first time since 2020, replaced its previous annual competitive “Bests” awards with a focus on excellence in five areas.
The Theater Education mention went to Andrew Protopapas, CATCO’s interim director of education, who led the company’s efforts to continue educational offerings during the pandemic by converting summer camps and in-school residencies into virtual Zoom programs.
The Emerging Leaders Citation went to Shane Davis and the Worthington Community Theater for creating a more outlandish “After Dark” series.
The Innovation award went to Community Family Players for a new “Carol” adaptation for the recently renovated Victorian-era Woodward Opera House in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
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The roundtable also presented the Greater Columbus Arts Council with its collaboration award and a scholarship to Zuri Clarno, a STEM student.
The Central Ohio Theater Critics Circle, meanwhile, presented its 27th annual awards, recognizing efforts to expand the possibilities of theater or promote theater’s higher values.
Short North Stage, helmed by Artistic Director Edward Carignan, received an award for his “tenacity, resourcefulness and graceful transition to diverse streaming and hybrid formats” during the peak years of the pandemic while working with veteran Broadway and off-Broadway talent collaborated to produce new works and extended area premieres of New York hits.
The Circle’s Roy Bowen Lifetime Achievement Award went to Rob Johnson, who retired in 2021 after 34 years as Otterbein Professor, for four decades of consistent artistic practice as a stage/lighting designer and mentoring new generations of theater artists.