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Emersonians Applauded for Theater Work with IRNE Nominations

Marty Rea kisses Aisling O'sullivan from behind in a scene from Beauty Queen of Leenane

Marty Rea and Aisling O'Sullivan in last year's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, presented by ArtsEmerson and nominated for four IRNE Awards, including Best Visiting Actor for Rea and Best Visiting Actress for O'Sullivan. 

More than a dozen Emerson faculty members and alumni, and three ArtsEmerson shows, were this week nominated for a total of 20 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards, which honor the best of small, large, midsize, and fringe theater in the region.

The 22nd Annual IRNE Awards will be presented Monday, April 23, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The ArtsEmerson-presented show with the most nominations was Druid Theatre Company’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which is up for Best Visiting Actress (Marie Mullen and Aisling O’Sullivan), Best Visiting Actor (Marty Rea), and Best Visiting Play. Also nominated for Best Visiting Play was The 7 Fingers’ Reversible.

And Thaddeus Phillips was nominated for Best Solo Performance for his role in 17 Border Crossings. All ArtsEmerson nominations were in the Large Stage category.

Affiliated faculty member Rachel Bertone leads the Emerson pack in nominations with four: Best Choreography (Large Stage) and Best Director (Musical, Large) for Reagle Music Theatre’s Showboat, Best Director (Musical, Midsize) for Wheelock Family Theatre’s In the Heights, and Best Choreography (Small Stage) for Moonbox Productions’ Barnum.

Associate Professor Craig Mathers, affiliated faculty members Paula Plum, Matthew Stern, and Marianna Bassham, and accompanist Dan Rodriguez each came away with two nominations. In some categories, they’re up for the same award.

Stern and Rodriguez are vying for Best Music Director, Large and Small Stage. Stern is nominated for Huntington Theatre Company’s Merrily We Roll Along (Large) and SpeakEasy Stage’s The Bridges of Madison County (Small). Rodriguez is in the running for Showboat (Large) and In the Heights (Small).

Also nominated in the Best Music Director, Small Stage category is senior term faculty member Jon Goldberg, for Wheelock Family Theatre’s Billy Elliott.

Plum and Bassham are each up for Best Actress (Play, Midsize): Plum for Lyric Stage’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And Bassham for SpeakEasy’s Hand to God. Plum also is nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Play, Large Stage) for Huntington Theatre Company’s Tartuffe, and Bassham for Best Supporting Actress (Play, Midsize) for Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s Julius Caesar.

Mathers was tapped for Best Supporting Actor (Play, Midsize) for SpeakEasy Stage’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and was part of the Small Stage Ensemble (with alumna Gigi Watson ’14) nominated for the same play.

Affiliated faculty member Paul Daigneault directed Curious Incident, which earned him a nomination for Best Director (Play, Midsize). Daigneault is producing director of SpeakEasy, which received a total of 24 nominations.

Likewise, affiliated faculty member Spiro Veloudos ’74 is producing director of Lyric Stage, with its 15 nominations, and scored one for himself for Best Director (Musical, Small Stage) for Camelot.

Other Emersonians nominated include:

Affiliated faculty Brynna Bloomfield, Best Set Design (Small Stage) for Greater Boston Stage Company’s She Loves Me.

Alumna Aina Adler ’13, Best Supporting Actress (Play, Fringe) for Take Your Pick Productions’ The Little Dog Laughed. Affiliated faculty member Nancy Finn is nominated in the same category for Flat Earth Theatre’s A Bright Room Called Day.

Alumnus Sam Terry ’16, Best Actor (Play, Fringe) for Zeitgeist Stage’s Desire.

Alumnus Sam Simahk ’10, Best Actor (Musical, Small) for She Loves Me.

Alumnus and lighting supervisor for ArtsEmerson Ari Herzig '08, Best Projection Design (Small Stage) for The Bridges of Madison County. 

The IRNE Awards were founded in 1995 and are selected by a panel of theater critics from newspapers and trade journals across the region.

Note: This story has been edited to include Herzig. 










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