Faculty, alumni, and former students of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department have been honored with nominations for 2017 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Non-Equity Theatre — aka the Jeff Awards — which were announced April 24, 2017. The Non-Equity Jeff Awards, the top prize in Chicago’s lively non-Equity theatre scene, celebrate excellence in Chicago theatres not under a union contract. This year’s Non-Equity Jeffs recognize productions that opened between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.
Kendra Thulin, a faculty member in the Theatre Department’s Acting program, was nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role/Play for her performance in the U.S. premiere of British playwright Simon Stephens’ drama Wastwater at Steep Theatre Company. Thulin, a Steep ensemble member, previously won a 2010 Jeff Award for her lead performance in Steep’s production of Simon Stephens’ Harper Regan.
Alumnus Ryan Bourque ’09, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Acting program, was nominated for his Fight Choreography for Prowess, presented by Jackalope Theatre Company, an ensemble founded and led by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumni. Bourque has won two previous Jeff Awards for Fight Choreography — in 2013 for The Hypocrites’ Coriolanus and in 2015 for The Hypocrites’ All Our Tragic.
Director-choreographer Jon Martinez, a former student in the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre, was nominated for his Choreography for Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, presented by Pride Films and Plays.
In addition, two students in the Theatre Department’s BFA Program in Musical Theatre Performance, Darren Patin and Tyler Symonè, were in the cast of the Refuge Theatre Project’s rock musical High Fidelity, which was nominated for a Jeff Award for Ensemble.
Columbia College Chicago faculty and alumni were also in the casts and/or creative/production teams for many productions honored with nominations in other categories, including Kokandy Productions’ The Wiz and BoHo Theatre’s Urinetown as well as Refuge Theatre Project’s High Fidelity, all three of which were nominated in the Production/Musical category. And Lifeline Theatre’s musical version of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, featuring a score composed by Columbia College Chicago Music Department staff accompanist George Howe, was nominated for New Adaptation.