Honors galore at the history-making Jeff Norton Theater Awards

Keith Arsenault, Erin Coalson, T. Hampton Dohrman, Steve Fisher, John Fleming, Andrea Graham, Kathy Greenberg, Crystal Haralambou, Karla Hartley, Gavin Hawk, Bob Devin Jones, Mark Leib, Paul McColgan, Richard Miller, Michael Murphy, Jan E. Ray, Christopher Rutherford, Bill Sharpe, David Warner, and T. Scott Wooten.


Award categories are: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Best Set Design, and three special awards. The nominees represent audience favorite performances over the past season in Tampa Bay theater, and awards were presented for each theater.

The winners in the order presented are:

American Stage's Mystery of Irma Vep took away a handful of Jeff Nortons.
  • American Stage's Mystery of Irma Vep took away a handful of Jeff Nortons.


Adrin Puente, The Mystery Of Irma Vep
Award for Best Costume Design, American Stage

Jennifer Cunningham, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Costume Design, Gorilla Theatre

Katrina Stevenson, Einstein’s Dreams
Award for Best Costume Design, Jobsite Theater

Mike and Kathy Buck, God Of Isaac
Award for Best Costume Design, Stageworks Theatre

Brian Webb Russell, Barefoot In The Park
Award for Best Supporting Actor, American Stage

Glenn Gover won supporting honors for Gorillas Shipwrecked!
  • Glenn Gover won supporting honors for Gorilla's Shipwrecked!


Glenn Gover, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Supporting Actor, Gorilla Theatre

Spencer Meyers, The Taming Of The Shrew
Award for Best Supporting Actor, Jobsite Theater

Slake Counts, A Lesson Before Dying
Award for Best Supporting Actor, Stageworks Theatre

T. Scott Wooten, Opus
Award for Best Sound Design, American Stage

Lynne Locher, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Sound Design, Gorilla Theatre

David Jenkins, The Odd Couple
Award for Best Sound Design, Jobsite Theater

Joseph P. Oshry, The Mystery Of Irma Vep
Award for Best Lighting Design, American Stage

<i>Einstein’s Dreams</i>' Katrina Stevenson earned honors for costume design, and Brian Smallheer won lighting for the Jobsite Theater production.
  • Einstein’s Dreams' Katrina Stevenson earned honors for costume design, and Brian Smallheer won lighting for the Jobsite Theater production.


Megan Byrne, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Lighting Design, Gorilla Theatre

Award for Best Lighting Design, Jobsite Theater

Jonelle Meyer, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Supporting Actress, Gorilla Theatre


Summer Bohnankamp, The Odd Couple
Award for Best Supporting Actress, Jobsite Theater

Gloria Bailey, A Lesson Before Dying
Award for Best Supporting Actress, Stageworks Theatre

Jeffrey Dean, The Mystery Of Irma Vep
Award for Best Set Design, American Stage

Jake Kavanagh, Sweet Storm
Award for Best Set Design, Gorilla Theatre

Brian Smallheer, Mindgame
Award for Best Set Design, Jobsite Theater

T. Williams, A Lesson Before Dying
Award for Best Set Design, Stageworks Theatre


Todd Olson, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Award for Best Director, American Stage

Fanni Green took Jobsites best actress award for Yellowman.
  • Fanni Green took Jobsite's best actress award for Yellowman.


Bridget Bean, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Director, Gorilla Theatre

Karla Hartley, Yellowman
Award for Best Director, Jobsite Theater

Karla Hartley, MOMologues
Award for Best Director, Stageworks Theatre

Special Award from Gorilla Theatre
Jerid Fox and Joel Gennari

Special Award from Jobsite Theater
Greta Man

Special Award from Stageworks Theatre
Andrea Graham

Richard B. Watson, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Award for Best Actor, American Stage

Christopher Swan, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Award for Best Actor, Gorilla Theatre

Paul Potenza, The Odd Couple
Award for Best Actor, Jobsite Theater

Joshua Goff, A Lesson Before Dying
Award for Best Actor, Stageworks Theatre


Heather Krueger, right, won Stageworks Best Actress Award  for her performance in As Bees In Honey Drown.
  • Brian Becker
  • Heather Krueger, right, won Stageworks' Best Actress Award for her performance in As Bees In Honey Drown.


Christine Decker, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
Award for Best Actress, American Stage

Caroline Jett, The Lion in Winter
Award for Best Actress, Gorilla Theatre

Fanni Green, Yellowman
Award for Best Actress, Jobsite Theater

Heather Krueger, As Bees In Honey Drown
Award for Best Actress, Stageworks Theatre

click to enlarge Jobsite's Kari Goetz and David Jenkins present the Jobsite Honorary Award to Greta Man. - Amy Elizabeth Gray
Amy Elizabeth Gray
Jobsite's Kari Goetz and David Jenkins present the Jobsite Honorary Award to Greta Man.
  • Amy Elizabeth Gray
  • Jobsite's Kari Goetz and David Jenkins present the Jobsite Honorary Award to Greta Man.

Other cities have them.

Now Tampa Bay has its own big professional theater awards gala.

Actors and other theater professionals gathered at the Palladium Monday night for the first-ever Jeff Norton Theater Awards.

The event was hosted by four theaters: American Stage, Gorilla Theatre, Jobsite Theater and Stageworks Theatre. Awards were given for each theater by each theater, voted by ballot by audience members.

The event on Aug. 22 elicited a spirit of camaraderie and fond remembrance to celebrate dearly departed theater community members and excellence in local theater.

ABC Action News anchor Brendan McLaughlin emceed with co-host Jen Holloway. Packy Boukis and John Paul Boukis of Only You consulting managed the event.

Though a good many theater professionals in the outer circle of the awards were supportive, the event had its detractors. Some friends of the late Jeff Norton felt that the awards didn't celebrate the memory of spirit of the event's namesake the way it should have by not reaching out to smaller theaters, venues where the beloved actor performed himself. These opinions were expressed on the Jeff Norton memorial Facebook page.

  • Slake Counts (pictured here with Dexter Lewis, left) earned Stageworks' supporting actor honor forA Lesson Before Dying.

Another viewpoint is that the directors of the big four were contending with the challenges of limited time and resources and just doing their best to get the event off the ground, a point made during CL's recent interview with Bridget Bean, managing director of Gorilla. "We're just not that sophisticated," she repeated in self-deprecating fashion.

Awards were being given in 10 categories by 20 presenters from the local theater community:

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