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Civic Theatre bestows honors on performers

Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 11, 2020

The annual Anthony Awards are presented by the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre to honor the best performances of their previous season. But this year, it was a virtual affair, live streaming on YouTube for the community to share. 

It was a stellar season for the Civic, and there were many worthy performances to consider. Among those recognized were, in the category of Excellence in Technical Theatre, Jim and JoAnn Espich and Quentin C. Jenkins. 

The George H. Koegel Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Beth Fisher who has volunteered for 67 productions in 31 years.

Although its season was abbreviated and its final two performances canceled, the Civic still managed to create excitement with productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweeney Todd, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda

With the buzz it created last fall, it was no surprise when the Anthony Awards included numerous nominations for Sweeney Todd

The list of recipients reflects the scope and accomplishment of that production.

Those performers who received Anthony Awards for the 2019-20 season included Rachel Jones from Matilda and Eric Smead from Sweeney Todd as Outstanding Dancers in a Musical. For Outstanding Juvenile Performance, Merritt Lloyd and Alivia Wheeler were honored for their shared role of Matilda. For Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Musical, the recipients of the Anthony were Heather Closson and A.J. Lorenzini, both for Sweeney Todd

Outstanding Supporting Performances in a Musical were Todd Frymier for Matilda and Melissa Shaw for Sweeney Todd. Frymier again won as Outstanding Lead Performance for Sweeney Todd, and his Sweeney costar Amy Ross also won in the same category.

Congratulations to the Civic Theatre on their 92nd season and their upcoming 2020-21 season which opens in July with Legally Blonde.

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