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Francis Wilson Playhouse, St. Petersburg City Theatre big winners in STAR Awards

LARGO — Francis Wilson Playhouse of Clearwater was the big winner at the annual STAR Awards, formerly known as the Lary Awards, taking home nine statues during ceremonies at the Largo Cultural Center last week. Following closely behind was St. Petersburg City Theatre with eight.

The STAR Awards recognize top performers in 26 categories in local community theater. Community theater groups from throughout the bay area nominate their favorites, then the winners are selected by subscribers of the Theatre Grapevine, a magazine that has been publishing community theater news in the Tampa Bay area for 33 years.

This year, all of the winners were associated with theaters in Pinellas County.

The Lloyd Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award went to Sam McClelland, a longtime playwright and actor in the Tampa Bay area, as well as the current chair of the Dorothy Ellison Society board of governors for Francis Wilson Playhouse in Clearwater.

Ray Kenney received the Editor's Award for his service to community theater. Kenney, a former manager of Francis Wilson Playhouse, is known throughout the region as an actor and director.

Other winners

Favorite Dramatic Production: To Kill a Mockingbird, Francis Wilson Playhouse.

Favorite Comedy Production: Barefoot in the Park, Francis Wilson Playhouse.

Favorite Musical Production: Chicago, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Actor Drama: Jim Wicker, To Kill a Mockingbird, Francis Wilson Playhouse.

Favorite Actress Drama: Natalie Sullivan, To Kill a Mockingbird, Francis Wilson Playhouse; and Ashlie Mohney, Hedda Gabler, West Coast Players in Clearwater.

Favorite Actor Comedy: Terry Farley, Barefoot in the Park, Francis Wilson Playhouse; and Ron Rotondo, Play It Again, Sam, Island Community Theatre, Gulfport.

Favorite Actress Comedy: Margee Murray, Barefoot in the Park, Francis Wilson Playhouse; and Olga Kruse, Noises Off, Gulfport Community Players.

Favorite Actor Musical: Terry Farley, Big River, Eight O'Clock Theatre in Largo.

Favorite Actress Musical: Margee Murray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Eight O'Clock Theatre.

Favorite Supporting Actor – Drama: James Cordero, To Kill a Mockingbird, Francis Wilson Playhouse; and Stephen Bell, Hound of the Baskervilles, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Supporting Actress Drama: Olga Kruse, Hound of the Baskervilles, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Supporting Actor Comedy: Norm Nash, Noises Off, Gulfport Community Players.

Favorite Supporting Actress Comedy: Marquel Rasmussen, Cactus Flower, Island Community Theatre in Gulfport.

Favorite Supporting Actor Musical: Jay Morgan, Chicago, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Supporting Actress Musical: Stephanie Fox, The Drowsy Chaperone, Eight O'Clock Theatre; and Latoya McCormick, Chicago, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Young Actor: Lucas Pasquler, To Kill a Mockingbird, Francis Wilson Playhouse.

Favorite Young Actress: Emma VanDyke, The Music Man, City Players, Inc., Clearwater.

Favorite Lighting Design: Frank Hale, Hound of the Baskervilles, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Director of a Comedy: Rand Smith, Barefoot in the Park, Francis Wilson Playhouse.

Favorite Director of a Drama: Nonie White, To Kill a Mockingbird, Francis Wilson Playhouse.

Favorite Director of a Musical: James Grenelle, Chicago, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Set Design: Tom Hansen, Big River, Eight O'Clock Theatre.

Favorite Costume Design: Kathy Sutton, The Music Man, City Players Inc.

Favorite Choreographer: Domenic Bisesti, The Music Man, City Players Inc.

Favorite Choral/Orchestra Director: Bill Cusick, Chicago, St. Petersburg City Theatre.

Favorite Backstage Person: Betsy Byrd, City Players Inc.

Piper Castillo can be reached at pcastillo@sptimes.com.

Francis Wilson Playhouse, St. Petersburg City Theatre big winners in STAR Awards 10/01/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2011 5:31am]

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