Thu | Apr 26, 2018

'Queen Esther', 'Heist' lead 2018 Actor Boy noms

Published:Thursday | March 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Deon Silvera
Performers, singers, dancers, actors and actresses in Father HoLung’s production, ‘Queen Esther’.
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It's spring time, and thespians know what that means. Technicians, engineers, prop-masters and the players they support will gather to uncover which performers and ensembles tickled fancies and pulled at the heartstrings of Jamaican audiences in 2017. It's awards season, and the Actor Boy Awards are back.

On Monday, March 26, The Jamaica Pegasus hotel will once again be home to the gala awards event, honouring the contribution of members of the local theatre community. A total of 19 theatrical productions have been recognised on the nominations list this year. The nominations for the Actor Boy Awards 2018 contain a number of familiar names like Father Richard HoLung, Patrick Brown, Trevor Nairne, and Deon Silvera; but it also has an impressive showing of the next generation of players.

Leading the nominations are Father Richard Ho-Lung and Friends' Queen Esther with 16 nominations, and first-time theatrical director Maya Wilkinson raked in a total of 11 for her commercial debut, Heist! The grandiose performance of Queen Esther boasted a cast of seventy singers, actors and dancers, while Heist, also written and directed by Wilkinson, took on their audience with a cast of 15 men. Following on the leader board with an impressive 10 nominations is Patrick Brown's Right Girl, Wrong Address. Also nominated for six Actor Boy Awards is Brown's well-received comedy, Matey Chronicles.

 

Aspirations

 

Akeem Mignott, who aspires to one day collect a Tony Award or a Golden Globe, has achieved a nomination for Best Actor in a Lead Role for Right Girl, Wrong Address. He is not the only young blood in contention for the coveted prize, but is accompanied by Desmond Dennis (Heist), and Stephen-Rhae Johnson (Queen Esther). The other nominees for Best Actor are Daniel Dailey (Queen Esther), Earle Brown (Pressure Drop) and Ricky Rowe (4 Bulla & A Patty).

Deon Silvera and Shantol Jackson (Country Wedding), Sharee McDonald-Russell (Right Girl, Wrong Address), Terri Lee Taylor (Queen Esther), Barbara McCalla (Meanwhile, Nextdoor) and Rosemarie Murray (Slice of Life) are the nominees for Best Actress in a Lead.

For the last theatre season (productions that had their first performance between January 1, 2017, and December 30, 2017), the six judges for the Actor Boy Awards were Cecile Clayton (chief adjudicator), Janilee Abrikian, Joan Belfon, Andrew Brodber, Michael Bucknor and Amba Chevannes. To be considered for nomination, a play must have been seen by at least three of the judges.

As a pre-sold-only event, principle organiser of the event, Michael Daley, expressed his hope that interested patrons would purchase their tickets as soon as possible. Tickets are available at a cost of $2,500 through the following ticket ambassadors, including Daley: Martin Thame, Maurice Bryan, Suzanne Beadle, Franz Hall and Nicholas Amore.

Cocktails for the awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.