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Emerson Alumni, Faculty Take Top Theater Awards

MJ Halberstadt '10 won an Eliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script for his play, The Launch Prize. 

Actress Jennifer Coolidge ’85 was one of several Emerson College alumni and faculty, and ArtsEmerson productions, to come away with Elliot Norton Awards honoring the best of Boston theater on May 23.

Coolidge, who is known for her comedic roles in the films Legally Blonde and Best in Show, won Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater, for her work in Saving Kitty (Nora Theatre Company).

MJ Halberstadt ’10, who is also Emerson’s senior assistant director of undergraduate admission, won Outstanding New Script for his play, The Launch Prize, produced by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston. The Launch Prize also was nominated for an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production by a Fringe Theater.

Rachel Padula Shufelt ’98 was part of the team that won Outstanding Design, Large Theater, for American Repertory Theater’s Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Padula Shufelt did wigs and makeup for the production.

Affiliated faculty Janie Howland did scenic design for Wheelock Family Theatre’s Mary Poppins, which won Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small, or Fringe Theater.

McCaela Donovan, MA ’08, won Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress, Large Theater, for her role in A Little Night Music, staged by Huntington Theatre Company.

In addition, Wade McCollum won Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor, Large Theater, for his role in ArtsEmerson’s Ernest Shackleton Loves Me.

Company One Theatre’s An Octoroon took home awards for Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater (Brandon Green), and Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater (Summer L. Williams). ArtsEmerson presented An Octoroon in January of this year.

Emerson was well represented in Elliot Norton Award nominations this year, as well.

In addition to Halberstadt’s The Launch Prize, affiliated faculty Jonathan Mastro, who did the sound design for Come Back, Little Sheba (Huntington Theatre Company), shared the nomination for Outstanding Design, Large Theater.

Rafael Jaen, MA ’02, was the costume designer for Company One Theatre’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, which was nominated for Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater. SpeakEasy Stage Company’s appropriate, which was nominated in the same category, featured costumes designed by Tyler Kinney ’11 and sound by affiliated faculty member Arshan Gailus.

Needles & Opium (Robert Lepage and Ex Machina, presented by ArtsEmerson) was nominated for Outstanding Visiting Production, and Tangela Large was nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance for her work in ArtsEmerson’s Mr. Joy.

IRNE Awards

In April, Gailus won an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award for Sound Design in the Small Stage category for his work on appropriate.

ArtsEmerson received an IRNE Award for Best Visiting Play – Large for Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, and Large won an IRNE for Solo Performance for ArtsEmerson’s Mr. Joy.

See a complete list of Emerson IRNE nominations.

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