By Alissa Smith
- Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
- Man of La Mancha won five well-deserved awards after a successful Spring run.
Colorado Springs performance companies made quite a show at the Henry Awards Monday night, the most anticipated theater awards in Colorado. Not that anyone needs the reminder, but this recognition of our community affirms that local lovers of the stage don’t have to make that grueling I-25 drive to enjoy quality productions from theaters large and small. In addition to a slew of nominations (including three for nonprofit Springs Ensemble Theatre), Colorado Springs took home some impressive awards.
Out of 12 nominations, TheatreWorks, UCCS’ professional theater company, won “Outstanding Production of a Play” for The Game of Love and Chance. This was the final play directed by the late Murray Ross, a beloved member of our theater and wider artistic community who passed away earlier this year.
Even with stiff competition, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center stole the show, winning five out of the 11 categories for which it was nominated. Of note, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts also took home five awards, which tied the two organizations at the top of the heap.
The Fine Arts Center took home awards in the following categories, all for its spring production of Man of La Mancha:
Outstanding Sound Design: Ben Heston
Outstanding Lighting Design: Holly Anne Rawls
Outstanding Scenic Design: Christopher L. Sheley
Outstanding Lead Actor In a Musical: Stephen Day
Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Scott Levy
Considering the Henry Awards encapsulate theater companies and organizations across the state, including artistic hubs like Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder, the fact that our own community showed up in such a massive way says a great deal about the quality of work they provide.
Here’s what Scott Levy, Director of Performing Arts at the FAC, had to say:
While all of our productions are worth this kind of recognition, the true ensemble nature of Man of La Mancha, from the exemplary acting company to the musicians in the orchestra to my design collaborators and all of the technicians and other staff, this was a true labor of love. Many of us involved in the production can point to an experience with this piece in our formative years that have helped guide our careers…mine was sitting with my grandmother when I was four years old, playing songs from La Mancha with her on her piano.
I’m so proud of our entire team. To have received so many awards last night is a testament to the work the company has made throughout the last three decades! Sharing the top number of awards given last night with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts proves that the theatre scene in Colorado Springs is just as robust ad excellent as in Colorado’s capital city.