Thursday, May 13, 2010

Unified Local Theater Awards?

Rick Pender, Theatre Editor/Critic at CityBeat, has written a blog post discussing the concept of a unified Theatre awards program. The two groups to be unified would be CityBeat's Theatre CEA's and the Enquirer supported Acclaim Awards.

Each of the two programs are very different and use very different philosophies. The CEA's are a more traditional awards program where the categories and rules are better defined and understood by all. The Acclaims are determined by a small group of "Acclaimers" who see the various shows during the season. The rules and categories seem to change with the tides.

I think the CEA's work great. They are fair, and except for the public voting popularity contest that plagues all of CityBeat's awards, it awards the most deserving shows and individuals.

The Acclaims don't work as fairly. It largely falls on the whims of a few people, often just one. The Acclaims add too much personal taste for a show and far too often overlooks great work because those seeing a show don't like the type of play they are seeing, ignoring or penalizing the actors or directors or stage crew for the choice of the producers to put on that particular play.

All of that being said, both are fun events. I myself like having two. I like the competition. I think the more awards the better. We have the Oscars (CEA's) and we have the Golden Globes (Acclaim), and I think that works. Both could use some refining, but I would want to keep both going.

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