Actor Boy Des weeps for first award
This year's treatment of the Actor Boy Awards was meant to show appreciation for those players behind the scenes. Moments during the programme were taken to thank propmasters, wardrobe misters and mistresses, the stage managers and stage hands who often go unseen, or sometimes spotted clad in black, shrouded by darkened theatre halls, quietly scurrying through the wings.
There was even a moment with the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts Tech Team, who took the stage to humorously demonstrate the importance of timing, lighting and playing the right sound at the right time.
Nevertheless, it was Desmond Dennis, who stole the show.
Winner for Best Actor in a Lead Role, Dennis came away from the illustrious evening, squeezing back tears of joy, and of sorrow.
"This is my first nomination in the category, but it's my third nomination overall since I started commercial theatre. I lost two years before," Dennis told The Gleaner.
Through a wavering acceptance speech, the young thespian issued his thanks and explained that the exuberant display of emotion was triggered by the passing of his mother.
"This year is particularly special for me because my mommy passed and she only saw me play twice, and she didn't get to see this production. So it's for her. Everything I do is for her. I'm happy I won, just so I know that she's happy," he said.
Dennis played one of the lead roles in Maya Wilkinson's commercial debut comedy, Heist. It was one of three awards for the play, out of 11 nominations.
The Actor Boy Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role, was offered to Deon Silvera, for her role in DMH Production's Country Wedding, and 'Moon on a Rainbow Shawl'.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role, went to Nadean Rawlins, for her role in the University Player's 'Telling Tales', and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, went to veteran player, Glen 'Titus' Campbell, for his role in 'Right Girl, Wrong Address'.
In his acceptance speech, Campbell offered some advice to his dramatist colleagues; that an Actor Boy Award, is not the finish line.
"As Mr Campbell has said earlier, this is just the beginning. And it's a personal thing; it's a rule I go by myself. You never get there, you're never there. People like Viola Davis, Meryl Streep - they tell you they're not there and they're still growing. I believe that," Dennis told The Gleaner.
The 28th Actor Boy Awards were hosted by social media personality, Dutty Berry and TVJ's Daytime Live hostess, Neisha-Yen Jones.
Heist took home the Actor Boy Awards for Best Sound Effect and Best Special Effects. Father Ho Lung and Friends' Queen Esther, was awarded Best Costume Designer, Best Choreographer and Best Musical. Craig McNally walked away with the Actor Boy Award for Best Lighting Designer in his production Telling Tales, which was also awarded Best Revue, while JMTC's'The Wiz, won for Best Children's Theatre.
David Tulloch's Jamaica Sweeter was awarded Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and Patrick Browne's Matey Chronicles won Best Comedy and Best New Jamaican Play. The Edna Manley School of Drama's production of Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, was the big winner of the evening, with awards for Best Set Designer, Best Drama, Best Ensemble and Best Director.