The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre celebrated its ninth anniversary Oct. 27.
The ceremony, held in the Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center, is the only program in Philadelphia that increases awareness of the theatre scene to the city residents. It also recognizes and honors local artists for their excellence and innovation in the arts.
“I am continually amazed by the richness and diversity of Greater Philadelphia theatre community,” said James Haskins, new Executive Director of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.
“Individually, each organization demonstrates a unique aesthetic, while collectively, our theatre companies work with a talented pool of individual artists to create a first-class theatre community unlike any other in the nation.”
The Barrymore Awards, named after one of the most recognizable theatrical families in America, was established in 1996 by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.
John Drew, the first of the Barrymore clan to appear as a major star on the stage, founded the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia.
It was the most famous stock company of his time. Throughout the years the Barrymores have remained notable faces in theatre and film.
Today, the Barrymore name is survived by Charlie’s favorite angel, Drew Barrymore.
Each year, over 100 productions enacted by Philadelphia professional theatres are reviewed by the Barrymore nominating committees.
At the annual event, 25 awards are presented for excellence in acting, design, choreography, music, education, community service and lifetime achievement.
18 of the 27 theatres were nominated at least once, with four of these receiving ten or more nominations.
The leaders include Prince Music Theater with 22 nominations, The Wilma Theatre with 21 nominations, Arden Theatre Company with 15 nominations and the Philadelphia Theatre Company with 10 nominations.
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