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ArtsEmerson Takes Two Elliot Norton Awards

man in tuxedo, hat points
Bill Irwin in On Beckett.

Two ArtsEmerson presentations from the past year were honored by the Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) with Elliot Norton Awards for visiting shows this week.

On Beckett, a production by Octopus Theatricals, won Outstanding Visiting Play, and Travis Alabanza won Outstanding Visiting Performance in a Play for Burgerz, a solo show Alabanza also wrote.

In addition, The Orchard, produced by the New York-based Cherry Orchard Festival and staged at the Robert J. Orchard Stage last November, won Outstanding Visiting Design.

In On Beckett, which ran in October 2022, renowned actor and clown Bill Irwin explores his relationship to Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. While in town, Irwin also visited Emerson Performing Arts classes to share his knowledge of theatre and clown art.

Trans actor in blue dress, hair in topknot, stands behind table on which rests a hamburger
Travis Alabanza in Burgerz. Photo/Dorothea Tuch

Travis Alabanza, one of the United Kingdom’s most prominent trans voices, performed Burgerz in April 2022. The show hinges on Alabanza’s obsession with hamburgers, which arose after someone in a transphobic rage threw one at them during a performance.

While the BTCA announced visiting production awards on April 5, homegrown productions will have to wait until Monday, May 8, at the Huntington Theatre, to learn who won in the remaining categories.

Among the nominees:

Kai Bohlman ’22, was nominated for Outstanding Sound Design (Midsize or Small Theater), for their work on The Chinese Lady, produced by Central Square Theater, in partnership with CHUANG Stage.

John Minigan, Performing Arts student supervisor, was nominated for Outstanding New Script for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, performed by the Greater Boston Stage Company.

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