tonight at 6 p.m.

2020 Pulsar Awards go digital via Zoom

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City Pulse Pulsar Awards

Monday, June 29, 6 p.m.

Click here for Zoom meeting link. Password: 137408

The Pulsar ceremony on June 29 at 6 p.m. will reflect the ongoing need to social distance. Instead of the usual dinner gathering, presentations will be done via Zoom.  Recipients have the opportunity to respond to winner announcements of 25 categories that reflect on and off stage excellence. The public is welcome to watch.

For the first time in 16 years, instead of handing out trophies, special certificates will be mailed to the winners.

The host for the live-streamed ceremony will be Jamie Paisley, the director of programming for WKAR Radio. He started in radio hosting a Broadway program in central New York State for five years. For eight years — before joining WKAR in 2015 — Paisley was the Musical Director of Los Angeles’ classical station.

He began reporting on the arts community when he joined WKAR. “I took it as a great opportunity to explore theatre spaces, and the resourceful individuals that throw everything, hearts included, into these productions,” Paisley said.

As a vocalist, Paisley doesn’t see much delineation between classical music and theater. “It’s about doing whatever is needed to coax the audience to emote, to feel something more acutely, deeper,” he said. “Nothing’s better than that feeling.”

Coordinating the Zoom presentation will be Paul Wozniak. Up to 300 people will be able to join the live presentation, but if you can’t watch it live a recorded version will be available on LansingCityPulse.com

Despite an abbreviated season, the 2019-2020 Pulsar contenders included 30 plays. All theater companies considered were unable to complete their rosters.

The Curtainless Theatre was able to finish its run of “Julius Caesar” online. Williamston Theatre’s “These Mortal Hosts” was also included because the play was offered as a virtual pay-per-view.

Because of the coronavirus shut down in March, Starlight Dinner Theatre’s “A Lion in Winter” and Riverwalk Theatre’s “A Hotel on Marvin Gardens” had to close before the required three judges had a chance to score them.

From a pool of ten judges, ballots with 0-to-10 scores were submitted for plays before area theater went dark. Those with the highest numbers received nominations. Children’s theater was not included.

The “Best Musical Ensemble” award was omitted this year because only one play was completed in that category.

Although theater companies often save a blockbuster for the end of their season, the list includes many epic productions. Michigan State University Department of Theatre, Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts, Riverwalk Theatre, Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. and Williamston Theatre all offered lavish shows before the stay-at-home order was initiated.

And, now, your Pulsar nominees: 

Best Play:

“Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

“Apples in Winter” – Ixion Theatre Ensemble

“900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

“These Mortal Hosts” – Williamston Theatre

“The Safe House” – Williamston Theatre

Best Musical:

“Into the Woods” – MSU Department of Theatre

“Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

“Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

“Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

“The Great American Trailer Park Musical” – Over the Ledge Theatre Co.

Best Director (Play):

Brian Farnham, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

Diane Cooke, “A Piece of My Heart” - Riverwalk Theatre

Tony Caselli, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Paige Conway, “These Mortal Hosts” - Williamston Theatre

Casaundra Freeman, “The Safe House”

Best Director (Musical):

Garrett Bradley, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Brian Farnham, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” - Over the Ledge Theatre Co.

Chad Swan-Badgero, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Deric McNish, “Into the Woods” – Michigan State University Department of Theatre

Meghan Eldred-Woolsey, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

Best Musical Direction

Carl Knipe, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

John Dale Smith, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

Angie Schwab, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” – Over the Ledge Theatre Co.

Seth Burk, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Dave Wendelberger, “Into the Woods” – MSU Department of Theatre

Best Choreographer:

Karyn Perry, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Erica Duffield, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Amanda Tollstam, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre – Riverwalk Theatre Co.

Brian Farnham, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” – Over the Ledge Theatre Co.

Alisa Hauser, “Into the Woods” – MSU Department of Theatre

Best Properties Design:

Brandon Barker, “Frankenstein” – MSU Department of Theatre

Michael Windnagle, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Michele Raymond, “The Safe House” and “A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show” – Williamston Theatre

Brian Farnham, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

 Best Scenic Design:

Joseph Dickson, Mary Jon, Jeff Miller, Miranda Hartmann, Brian Farnham, Adam Carlson, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” – Over the Ledge Theatre Co.

Michael Gault, “Frankenstein” – MSU Department of Theatre

Dirk Rennick and Dan Wenzlick, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Bartley H. Bauer, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Best Sound:

Jason Painter Price, “900 Miles to International Falls” and “Frankenstein” – Williamston Theatre and MSU Department of Theatre

Deb Keller, “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

John Lepard, “A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show” – Williamston Theatre

Best Lighting Design:

Ted Daniel, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

Nick Frederick, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Rachel Lauren, “Frankenstein” – MSU Department of Theatre

Robert Fernholz, “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

Reid G. Johnson, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Best Costume Design:

Ketura Le’Audrey, “Frankenstein” – MSU Department of Theatre

Chelle Peterson, “Belle Moral” and “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

Lisa Bradley, Alissa Britten, Mistie Jordan, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Camara Lewis, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Best Hair/Makeup Design:

Lori Bailey-Smith and Laura Croff, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

Erica Duffield, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Chantel Booker, “Frankenstein” – MSU Department of Theatre

Gloria Vivalda, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Best Original Script:

Annie Martin, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Kristine Thatcher, “The Safe House,” – Williamston Theatre

Eric Coble, “These Mortal Hosts – Williamston Theatre 

Best Specialization:

Andy Callis (Dialect Coach) - “Belle Moral” – LCC Department of Theatre

Deb Keller and Ashray Dravidian (Projection Design) – “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

Matt Ottinger (Video/Projection) – “A Piece of my Heart” – Riverwalk Theatre

Alison Dobbins (Projectionist) – “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Best Lead Actor (Play):

Caleb Tracy, “Belle Moral” – LCC Department of Theatre

Aral Gribble, “A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show” – Williamston Theatre

Mark Colson, “These Mortal Hosts” – Williamston Theatre

Ndegwa McCloud, “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

Best Lead Actress (Play):

Paige Tufford, “Apples in Winter” – Ixion Theatre Ensemble

Karen Sheridan, “The Safe House” – Williamston Theatre

Janet Colson, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

Cassaundra Freeman, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Miah Nash, “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

Best Supporting Actor (Play):

Jesse Frawley, “Unnecessary Farce” – Riverwalk Theatre

Julian Van Dyke, “Sweat” – Riverwalk Theatre

Ben Holzhausen, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

Connor Kelley, “Sweat” – Riverwalk Theatre

Jon Kent, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Best Supporting Actress (Play):

Darah Donaher, “Frankenstein” and “900 Miles to International Falls” – MSU Department of Theatre and Williamston Theatre

Heather Mahoney, “900 Miles to International Falls” – Williamston Theatre

Dani Cochrane, “The Safe House” – Williamston Theatre

Sabrina Dahlgren, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre

Best Featured Actor (Play):

Edward Heldt, “Sweat” – Riverwalk Theatre

Bob Purosky, “Boy Gets Girl” – Riverwalk Theatre 

Best Featured Actress (Play):

Ny’kieria Blocker, “Sunset Baby” – LCC Department of Theatre

Madeline Nash, “Sweat” – Riverwalk Theatre

Best Lead Actor (Musical): 

Adam Woolsey, “Cabaret” and “Pippin” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts and Riverwalk Theatre

Matthew Bill, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Sam Sommer, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Best Lead Actress (Musical):

 Megan Mitchell, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Rachel Cupples, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

Amanda DeKatch, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Naomi Blansit, “Into the Woods” – MSU Department of Theatre

Best Supporting Actor (Musical):

 Robert Mueller, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

Bill Henson, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Ben Cassidy, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Best Supporting Actress (Musical):

Anna Owens, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Sarah Hayner, “Pippin” - Riverwalk Theatre

Maeyson Menzel, “Into the Woods” – MSU Department of Theatre

Sally Hecksel, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Best Featured Actor (Musical):

 Kevin Mazur, “Into the Woods” – MSU Department of Theatre

Michael Windnagle, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Best Featured Actress (Musical):

Oralya Garza, “Pippin” – Riverwalk Theatre

Judy Evans, “Bright Star” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Alissa Britten, “Cabaret” - Owosso’s Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts

Best Ensemble (Play):

Rick Dethlefsen, Gini Larson, Leigh Christopher, Sally Hecksel, Barbara Stauffer and Joe Clark, “The Humans” – Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

Kelly Jo Garland, Caila Conklin, Anasti Her, Jessa Bye, Brie Roper, Ann Glenn Carlson and Tyler Frease, “A Piece of My Heart” – Riverwalk Theatre

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