The Ovation Awards are presented annually by Theatre LA, a service organization for Los Angeles theaters. This year, nearly 350 productions were eligible for consideration.
Any production from a producer or company that belongs to Theatre LA is eligible but must pay a $45 registration fee on top of the membership dues of between $295 and $1,800 a year (depending on a company's annual gross) or $225 for a three-month membership (used by temporary producers).
This year's voting pool totaled 188; each voter was required to attend at least 25 registered shows -- including at least 20 in sub-100-seat theaters -- and rate components of the production on a 0.1-10.0 scale. Each contender's overall score is the mean score from everyone who voted on it, so shows that attract more than the minimum number of eight voters do not necessarily have an advantage. The use of the mean instead of the average is designed to help prevent a conspiracy of a few friends or enemies of a contender from skewing the results by uniformly voting very high or very low scores.
World premiere play: Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, "The Exonerated."
World premiere musical: Jillian Armenante and Alice Dodd, "Laura Comstock's Bag-Punching Dog."
Play, larger theaters: "The Laramie Project," Colony Theatre.
Play, smaller theaters: "After The Fall," Fountain Theatre.
Musical, larger theaters: "Crazy for You," Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities.
Musical, smaller theaters: "Big River," Deaf West Theatre.
Touring production: "The Full Monty."
Director, play: Deborah LaVine, "Napoli Milionaria"; Nick DeGruccio, "The Laramie Project"; Stephen Sachs, "After The Fall."
Director, musical: Jeff Calhoun, "Big River."
Lead actor, play: Joe Mellis, "Coyote on a Fence"; Morlan Higgins, "After the Fall"; Sam Anderson, "Napoli Milionaria."
Lead actress, play: Jeanne Sakata, "Red"; Suanne Spoke, "Napoli Milionaria"; Tracy Middendorf, "After the Fall."
Lead actor, musical: David Engel, "Crazy for You"; Michael A. Shepperd, "Steel: John Henry and the Shaker"; R. Christofer Sands, "Pinafore!"
Lead actress, musical: Julie Dixon Jackson, Misty Cotton, "Side Show."
Featured actor, play: Al Mancini, "Time of Your Life."
Featured actress, play: Carol Kane, "He Hunts."
Featured actor, musical: Rod Keller, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."
Featured actress, musical: Jodi Long, "Flower Drum Song."
Solo performance: Ann Randolph, "Squeeze Box."
Ensemble performance: Casts of "Swing!," "The Laramie Project."
Choreographer: Jeff Calhoun, "Big River."
Musical direction: Steven Landau, "Big River."
Set design, larger theaters: Don Llewellyn, " 'Master Harold' ... and the Boys"; Douglas Schmidt, "Into The Woods"; John Lee Beatty, "My Old Lady."
Set design, smaller theaters: Desma Murphy, "Napoli Milionaria"; Joel Stoffer, "Coyote on a Fence"; Ray Klausen, "Big River."
Lighting design, larger theaters: Tad Shannon, "Do Jump!"
Lighting design, smaller theaters: Jerry Browning, "Steel: John Henry and the Shaker"; Michael Gilliam, "Big River"; Robert Fromer, "Street Stories."
Costume design, larger theaters: A. Jeffrey Schoenberg, "Side Show"; Gregg Barnes, "Flower Drum Song."
Costume design, smaller theaters: Marci Hill, "Napoli Milionaria."
Sound design, larger theaters: Jon Gottlieb and Philip G. Allen, "Flower Drum Song."
Sound design, smaller theaters: Bob Blackburn, "Street Stories"; Dave Marling, "Napoli Milionaria."
Community Outreach Award: Joan Boyett.
James A. Doolittle Award for leadership in theater: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Career achievement: Carole Cook and Tom Troupe.