In Transit star Moya Angela is a 2017 Ovation Award winner.
In Transit star Moya Angela is a 2017 Ovation Award winner for her performance in Dreamgirls.
(© David Gordon)

The 27th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards were held on Tuesday, January 17, hosted by Alexandra Billings (Transparent) at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Los Angeles, California. Thirty-five awards were presented to 19 different Southern California theater companies. The biggest winners of the night were Celebration Theatre, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Unbound Productions, and Sierra Madre Playhouse. The Los Angeles LGBT Center received the Best Season Award for its productions of Fool for Love, HAM: A Musical Memoir, and Hit the Wall.

Other companies recognized for their productions included the Falcon Theatre, The Broad Stage, The Echo Theater Company, Geffen Playhouse, Orgasmico Theatre Company (Shakespeare's Night Out), The Road Theatre Company, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, Heart and Flame Productions, Pasadena Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre Company, and 24th Street Theatre.

Ovation Honors, which recognize outstanding achievement in areas that are not among the standard list of nomination categories, were awarded to Gregory Nabours (Music Composition for a Play, The Sparrow at Coeurage Theatre Company); Edgar Landa (Fight Choreography, Son of Semele Ensemble's That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play); and Greg Ballora, Sean Cawelti, Christine Papalexis, Jack Pullman, and Brian White (Puppet Design, Woody Boy Long Fish at Bootleg Theater).

Center Theatre Group additionally presented the 2017 Sherwood Award for innovative and adventurous artists to Pablo Santiago. The award is endowed by the Sherwood family and is accompanied by $10,000 to further Santiago's artistic work.

Read below for the complete list of winners and nominees. Winners are identified with an asterisk.

Best Season
*Los Angeles LGBT Center
Celebration Theatre
Geffen Playhouse

Best Production of a Play (Large Theatre)
Endgame (Center Theatre Group)
The Complete History of America (abridged) (Falcon Theatre)
Barcelona (Geffen Playhouse)
*Guards at the Taj (Geffen Playhouse)
Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (The Getty Villa & The Theatre @ Boston Court)

Best Production of a Play (Intimate Theatre)
Ameryka (Critical Mass Performance Group)
Space (Crooked Arrow Productions)
My Mañana Comes (Fountain Theatre)
Hit the Wall (Los Angeles LGBT Center)
Honky (Rogue Machine)
Church & State (Skylight Theatre Company)
*Dry Land (The Echo Theater Company)

Best Production of a Musical (Intimate Theatre)
*The Boy From Oz (Celebration Theatre)
We Are The Tigers: A New Musical (Heart and Flame Productions)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Sierra Madre Playhouse)

Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre)
American Idiot (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
First Date (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
*HAM: A Musical Memoir (Los Angeles LGBT Center)

Lyrics/Composition for an Original Musical
*Rebekah Allen (We Are the Tigers: A New Musical, Heart and Flame Productions)
Deborah Wicks-La Puma & Mo Willems (Elephant & Piggie‘s: "We Are In A Play!", MainStreet Theatre Company)
Michael Shaw Fisher (Shakespeare‘s Last Night Out, Orgasmico Theatre Company)

Direction of a Musical
*Michael A. Shepperd (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Oanh Nguyen (A Chorus Line, Chance Theater)
Brian Kite (American Idiot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Nick DeGruccio (First Date, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Billy Porter & Ken Sawyer (HAM: A Musical Memoir, Los Angeles LGBT Center)

Playwriting for an Original Play
Nancy Keystone (Ameryka, Critical Mass Performance Group)
Stefan Marks (Space, Crooked Arrow Productions)
Julie Myatt (John Is a Father, The Road Theatre Company)
Jason Williams (Church & State, Skylight Theatre Company)
Erik Patterson (One of the Nice Ones, The Echo Theater Company)
*Luis Alfaro (Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, The Getty Villa & The Theatre @ Boston Court)
Jason Wells (The Engine of Our Ruin, The Victory Theatre Center)

Direction of a Play
Alan Mandell (Endgame, Center Theatre Group) Joseph Calarco (The Sparrow, Coeurage Theatre Company)
Jerry Kernion (The Complete History of America (abridged), Falcon Theatre)
Trip Cullman (Barcelona, Geffen Playhouse)
Giovanna Sardelli (Guards at the Taj, Geffen Playhouse)
*Ken Sawyer (Hit the Wall, Los Angeles LGBT Center)
Katharine Farmer (See Rock City, Rubicon Theatre Company)

Best Presented Production
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Center Theatre Group)
*1984 (The Broad Stage)
Jane Austen Unscripted (The Broad Stage)

Acting Ensemble of a Play
Endgame (Center Theatre Group)
Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (Center Theatre Group)
Ameryka (Critical Mass Performance Group)
*The Complete History of America (abridged) (Falcon Theatre)
My Mañana Comes (Fountain Theatre)
Hit the Wall (Los Angeles LGBT Center)
FLY (Pasadena Playhouse)

Acting Ensemble of a Musical
*The Boy From Oz (Celebration Theatre)
American Idiot (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Dreamgirls (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Empire (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
First Date (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
I Only Have Eyes For You (The Al Dubin Musical/Corky Hale)
Recorded In Hollywood (Theatre Planners)

Choreography
Annie Yee (The Golden Dragon, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
*Janet Roston (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Tasheena Medina (The Sparrow, Coeurage Theatre Company)
Dana Solimando (American Idiot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
John Farmanesh-Bocca (Tempest Redux, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble & New American Theatre)

Music Direction
Bryan Blaskie (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Patrick Sulken (We Are The Tigers: A New Musical, Heart and Flame Productions)
David O (American Idiot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
*Todd Schroeder (HAM: A Musical Memoir, Los Angeles LGBT Center)
Gerald Sternbach (I Only Have Eyes For You, The Al Dubin Musical/Corky Hale)

Book For an Original Musical
Robert Hull and Caroline Sherman (Empire, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Mo Willems (Elephant & Piggie‘s: "We Are In A Play!", MainStreet Theatre Company)
*Michael Shaw Fisher (Shakespeare‘s Last Night Out, Orgasmico Theatre Company)

Lead Actor in a Musical
Andrew Bongiorno as Peter Allen (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Jon Jon Briones as Georges (La Cage Aux Folles, East West Players)
David LaMarr as James Thunder Early (Dreamgirls, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Marc Ginsburg as Aaron (First Date, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
*Sam Harris as Multiple Characters (HAM: A Musical Memoir, Los Angeles LGBT Center)

Lead Actress in a Musical
Rachel York as "Little" Edie Beale/Edith (Grey Gardens, Center Theatre Group)
*Moya Angela as Effie (Dreamgirls, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Brittney Johnson as Lorell Robinson (Dreamgirls, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Erica Lustig as Casey (First Date, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Alison Luff as Charlie Jane (Breaking Through, Pasadena Playhouse)

Lead Actor in a Play
Barry McGovern as Clov (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Sterling K. Brown as Hero/Ulysses (Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Center Theatre Group)
Stefan Marks as Kurt Finge (Space, Crooked Arrow Productions)
Ramiz Monsef as Babur (Guards at the Taj, Geffen Playhouse)
*Sam Anderson as John (John Is a Father, The Road Theatre Company)
Erik Odom as Raleigh (See Rock City, Rubicon Theatre Company)
Rob Nagle as Charlie Whitmore (Church & State, Skylight Theatre Company)

Lead Actress in a Play
Betty Gilpin as Irene (Barcelona, Geffen Playhouse)
*Lily Nicksay as May (See Rock City, Rubicon Theatre Company)
Angelle Brooks as Ruth Younger (A Raisin in the Sun, Ruskin Group Theatre Co)
Starletta DuPois as Mama Lena Younger (A Raisin in the Sun, Ruskin Group Theatre Co)
Kate Morgan Chadwick as Holly, (Bed, The Echo Theater Company)
Connor Kelly-Eiding as Ester (Dry Land, The Echo Theater Company)
Danielle Truitt as Camae (The Mountaintop, The Matrix Theatre Company)

Lighting Design (Intimate Theatre)
Karyn Lawrence (Colony Collapse, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
*Elizabeth Harper (The Golden Dragon, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
Matthew Denman (Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre)
Tim Swiss (Dream Boy, Celebration Theatre)
Elizabeth Harper (Ameryka, Critical Mass Performance Group)
Matt Richter (Hit the Wall, Los Angeles LGBT Center)
Katelan Braymer (The Hairy Ape, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble)

Lighting Design (Large Theatre)
Jared Sayeg (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Japhy Weideman (Barcelona, Geffen Playhouse)
Lap Chi Chu (Guards at the Taj, Geffen Playhouse)
Daniel Ionazzi (Outside Mullingar, Geffen Playhouse)
Steven Young (American Idiot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Mike Billings (See Rock City, Rubicon Theatre Company)
*KC Wilkerson (Wicked Lit 2015, Unbound Productions)

Scenic Design (Intimate Theatre)
Sara Ryung Clement (Seven Spots on the Sun, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
Stephen Gifford (Dream Boy, Celebration Theatre)
John Iacovelli (Kingdom of Earth, Dance On Productions in assoc. with Linda Toliver and Gary Guidinger)
John Iacovelli (The Money Fi$h, Cox Productions)
Pete Hickok (Rio Hondo, Theatre of Note)
Michael Navarro (My Mañana Comes, Fountain Theatre)
*John Vertrees & Erin Walley (Death Trap, Sierra Madre Playhouse)

Scenic Design (Large Theatre)
John Iacovelli (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Mark Wendland (Barcelona, Geffen Playhouse)
Derek McLane (Big Sky, Geffen Playhouse)
Tom Buderwitz (Guards at the Taj, Geffen Playhouse)
*Tom Buderwitz (Casa Valentina, Pasadena Playhouse)
Mike Billings (See Rock City, Rubicon Theatre Company)
Jeff Cowie (The City of Conversation, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)

Featured Actor in a Musical
Ryan Driscoll as Cain/Japheth (Children of Eden, Cabrillo Music Theatre)
Leigh Wakeford as Man #2 (First Date, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Justin Wilcox as Man #1 (First Date, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
*Stanton Morales as Barfee (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sierra Madre Playhouse)
Elijah Rock as Cab Calloway (I Only Have Eyes For You)
Wilkie Ferguson III as Jesse Belvin (Recorded In Hollywood, Theatre Planners)
Matt Magnusson as Huggy Boy (Recorded In Hollywood, Theatre Planners)

Featured Actor in a Play
*Michael A. Shepperd as Actor 4 (Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre)
James Greene as Nagg (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Michael McKean as Colonel (Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Center Theatre Group)
Larry Powell as Homer (Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Center Theatre Group)
Ray Ford as Gene Jefferson (Ameryka, Critical Mass Performance Group)
Robert Gossett as Oz (Watching O.J., Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA)
Matthew Hancock as Carson (Hit the Wall, Los Angeles LGBT Center)

Featured Actress in a Musical
Natalia Vivino as Yonah (Children of Eden, Cabrillo Music Theatre)
Kelly Lester as Marion Woolnough (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
*Bess Motta as Judy Garland (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Jessica Pennington as Liza Minnelli (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Betty Buckley as Edith Bouvier Beale (Grey Gardens, Center Theatre Group)
Michele Spears as Ensemble (Sondheim UnScripted, Impro Theatre)
Cristina Gerla as Olive (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sierra Madre Playhouse)

Featured Actress in a Play
*Paula Christensen as Nicky (Colony Collapse, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
Charlotte Rae as Nell (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris as Penny (Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Center Theatre Group)
Patrena Murray as Fourth/Odyssey Dog (Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Center Theatre Group)
Robin Pearson Rose as Aoife (Outside Mullingar, Geffen Playhouse)
Sharon Sharth as Mrs. Gill (See Rock City, Rubicon Theatre Company)
Vivis as Tita (Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, The Getty Villa & The Theatre @ Boston Court)

Sound Design (Intimate Theatre)
John Nobori (Colony Collapse, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
*John Nobori (The Golden Dragon, The Theatre @ Boston Court)
Joseph Calarco (The Sparrow, Coeurage Theatre Company)
Randy Tico (Ameryka, Critical Mass Performance Group)
Christopher Moscatiello (The Hairy Ape, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble)
David Marling (Birder, The Road Theatre Company)
Matt Richter (A Gulag Mouse, Sacred Fools Theater Company)

Costume Design (Intimate Theatre)
Kerry Hennessy & Lori Meeker (Wood Boy Dog Fish, Bootleg Theater & Rogue Artists Ensemble)
Allison Dillard (Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre)
*Michael Mullen (The Boy From Oz, Celebration Theatre)
Lena Sands & Sarah Brown (Ameryka, Critical Mass Performance Group)
Halei Parker (The Hairy Ape, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble)
Candice Cain (The Glass Menagerie, Sierra Madre Playhouse)
A. Jeffrey Schoenberg (Cloud 9, The Antaeus Company)

Sound Design (Large Theatre)
Cricket Myers (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Vincent Olivieri (Barcelona, Geffen Playhouse)
Vincent Olivieri (Guards at the Taj, Geffen Playhouse)
Philip Allen (Empire, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Cricket Myers (I Only Have Eyes For You) Bruno Louchouarn (Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, The Getty Villa & The Theatre @ Boston Court)
*Drew Dalzell & Noelle Hoffman (Wicked Lit 2015, Unbound Productions)

Costume Design (Large Theatre)
Maggie Morgan (Endgame, Center Theatre Group)
Ann Closs-Farley (Women Laughing Alone With Salad, Center Theatre Group)
Denitsa Bliznakova (Guards at the Taj, Geffen Playhouse)
Jessica Ford (These Paper Bullets! A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare‘s Much Ado About Nothing, Geffen Playhouse)
Kate Bergh (Casa Valentina, Pasadena Playhouse)
*Christine Cover Ferro (Wicked Lit 2015, Unbound Productions)
Vicki Conrad (The Imaginary Invalid, Will Geer‘s Theatricum Botanicum)

Video/Projection Design
*Matthew Hill (Man Covets Bird, 24th Street Theatre)
Dallas Nicholas (Wood Boy Dog Fish, Bootleg Theater & Rogue Artists Ensemble)
Stephen Epstein & Ron Wood (Space, Crooked Arrow Productions)
Jonathan Infante (American Idiot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
David Gallo & Brad Peterson (Empire, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)
Adam Flemming (Wicked Lit 2015, Unbound Productions)
Hana Kim (The City of Conversation, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)