May 25 2011 12:00 AM

Here are the contenders for this year’s Pulsar Awards, honoring the best in local theater

Erin Buitendorp, Mary Cusack, Tom and Kathy Helma, Paul Wozniak and Ute Von Der Heyden are six of Lansing’s busiest people. Month after month, they haunt local theaters, seeing all the best and all the rest, then compiling their verdicts on ballots that are used to calculate the nominees for City Pulse’s annual Pulsar Awards.

In order to qualify for a Pulsar, a show must be seen and rated by at least three of the six judges. More than 40 productions — from Stormfield Theatre, Starlight Dinner Theatre, Lansing Civic Players Guild, Peppermint Creek Theatre Co., Riverwalk Theatre, Williamston Theatre, Icarus Falling and the theater departments of Lansing Community College and Michigan State University — qualified for this year’s race, which covered May 2010 through April 2011 or, for those fluent in local theater, everything from Icarus Falling’s “The Late Henry Moss” through Riverwalk’s “Vincent in Brixton.”

Some of this year’s nominees are past winners; others are first-time nominees. There are five nominees in most categories, but in some cases where there were enough qualifiers (such as ensemble cast of a musical or original script), the field was reduced to three or four entries.

Find out who’ll take home the Pulsars when City Pulse holds its annual awards ceremony June 13, at Connxtions Comedy Club. The hosts for the evening will be Bob Hoffman and Dana Brazil from the Wharton Center. Tickets to the party — which starts at 5:30 p.m. — are $21 and the reservation deadline is June 10. Call (517) 374-4242, or visit (select June 13 on the events calendar to purchase).

And now, without further adieu - may we have a drum roll, please?

Andy Callis, “Endgame” (LCC)
Deb Keller, “Reasons to Be Pretty” (PC)
Lynn Lammers, “Distracted” (PC)
John Lepard,  “While We Were Bowling” (WT)
Suzi Regan, “Blue Door” (WT)

Chad Badgero, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
Chad DeKatch, “Hairspray” (RW)
Jane Falion, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
Rob Roznowski, “Evil Dead: The Musical” (MSU)
Tom Woldt, “Five Course Love” (WT)

"Blue Door" (WT)
"Distracted" (PC)
"Oedipus" (WT)
"Reasons to Be Pretty" (PC)
"While We Were Bowling" (WT)

"Caroline, or Change" (PC/RW)
"Hairspray" (RW)
"The Light in the Piazza" (RW)
"Ordinary Days" (PC)
"Smoke on the Mountain" (LCC)

 “Almost, Maine” (RW)
 “The American Clock” (MSU)
 “Among Friends” (ST)

 “Five Course Love” (WT)
 “Ordinary Days” (PC)
 “Smoke on the Mountain” (LCC)

Lead actor in a play
 Brian DeVries, “Distracted” (PC)
 Michael Hays, “Endgame” (LCC)
 JC Kibbey, “Reasons to Be Pretty” (PC)
 John Manfredi, “Oedipus” (WT)
 Sineh Wurie, “Looking Over the President’s Shoulder” (RW)

Lead actor in a musical
 Chad DeKatch, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Andrew Faber, “Evil Dead: The Musical” (MSU)
 DJ Shafer, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
 Tony Sump, “Hairspray” (RW)

Lead actress in a play
 Sandra Birch, “Oedipus” (WT)
 Carmen Decker, “Kimberly Akimbo” (ST)
 Abby Murphy, “Distracted” (PC)
 Suzi Regan, “While We Were Bowling” (WT)
 Kelly Studnicki, “While We Were Bowling” (WT)

Lead actress in a musical
 Tigi Habtemariam, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
 Ari Helgesen, “Hairspray” (RW)
 Paige Lucas, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Kelly Studnicki, “Evil Dead: The Musical” (MSU)

Supporting actor in a play
 Jesse Deardorff-Green, “Reasons to Be Pretty” (PC)
 Tommy Gomez, “Kimberly Akimbo” (ST)
 Jonas Greenberg, “Endgame” (LCC)
 Cosmo Greene, “Kimberly Akimbo” (ST)
 Andrew Harvey, “As You Like It” (MSU)

Supporting actor in a musical
 Doak Bloss, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Ben English, “Hairspray” (RW)
 Dale Edward Powell, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Prince Jerrell Spann, “Hairspray” (RW)

Supporting actress in a play
 Angela Dill, “Distracted” (PC)
 Erin Hoffman, “Distracted” (PC)
 Leslie Hull, “As You Like It” (MSU)
 Kellie Stonebrook, “Distracted” (PC)
 Mary Wardell, “Reasons to Be Pretty” (PC)

Supporting actress in a musical
 Taryn Bigelow, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
 Betsy Bledsoe, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Laura Davis Stebbins, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Amanda Whitehead, “Hairspray” (PC)

Featured actor in a play
 Joseph Dickson, “The Browning Version” (RW)
 Jack Dowd, “A View From the Bridge” (LCC)
 Edward O’Ryan, “While We Were Bowling” (WT)
 Chris Robinson, “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” (MSU)

Featured actor in a musical
 Zurich Dawson, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
 Chad DeKatch, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
 Tyler VanCamp, “Evil Dead: The Musical” (MSU)

Featured actress in a play
 Heather Lenartson-Kluge, “The Browning Version” (RW)
 Michelle Meredith, “Kimberly Akimbo” (ST)
 Winifred Olds, “A Murder is Announced” (SD)
 Jenn Shafer, “Blithe Spirit” (MSU)

Featured actress in a musical
 Tigi Habtemariam, “Hairspray” (RW)
 Leslie Hull, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)
 Sia Lewis, “Caroline, or Change” (PC/RW)

Annie Martin and Suzi Regan, “Home: Voices from Families of the Midwest” (WT)
 Rob Roznowski, “Happy Holy Days” (MSU)
 Sandra Seaton, “Music History” (MSU)
 Kristine Thatcher, “Among Friends” (ST)

Musical director
 Jeff English, “Five Course Love” (WT)
 James Geer, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Edric Haleen, “Ordinary Days” (PC)
 Derek Smith, “Smoke on the Mountain” (LCC)
 John Dale Smith, “Hairspray” (RW)

 Michael Cleland, “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” (MSU)
 Sebastian Gerstner, “Evil Dead: The Musical” (MSU)
 Andrea Miller, “As You Like It” (MSU)
 Roberta Otten, “The Light in the Piazza” (RW)
 Karyn Perry, “Hairspray” (RW)

 Michael Beyer, “Pentecost” (LCC)
 Tim Fox, “Almost, Maine” (RW)
 Peter Martino, “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot” (MSU)
 Donald Robert Fox, “Blue Door” (WT)
 Dana White, “Oedipus” (WT)

 Joe Dickson, “Almost, Maine” (RW)
 Chris Ordiway, “Ordinary Days” (PC)
 Matt Ottinger, “The Farnsworth Invention” (RW)
 Christy Pierce, “Pentecost” (LCC)
 Matt Reynolds, “As You Like It” (MSU)

Set design
 Bartley H. Bauer, “Pentecost” (LCC)
 Kirk Domer, “While We Were Bowling” (WT)
 Jane Falion and Tim Fox, “The Farnsworth Invention” (RW)
 Renee Surprenant, “Happy Holy Days” (MSU)
 Daniel C. Walker, “Oedipus” (WT)

 Linda Burke, “Pentecost” (LCC)
 Diane Erley and Althea Phillips, “A Murder is Announced” (SD)
 G. Max Maxim, “The Grapes of Wrath” (MSU)
 Mary Murphy and Roger Nowland, “The Farnsworth Invention” (RW)
 Michelle Raymond, “Blue Door” (WT)

 Eric Chatfield, “The Farnsworth Invention” (RW)
 Holly Iler, “Oedipus” (WT)
 Karen Kangas-Preston, “The Drunken City” (MSU)
 Jodi Ozimek, “As You Like It” (MSU)
 April Townsend, “The American Clock” (MSU)