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2019-2020 Helen and Morris Zoren World Theater Awards — The Nominees

Ready for some confusion?

      While reviewing diaries and rankings for the 2021-2022 Helen and Morris Zoren World Theater Awards, it dawned on me the pandemic intervened, imposed a long intermission on theatergoing, and led to me not conferring the 2019-2020 Helen and Morris Zoren World Theater Awards, which cover 106 productions seen between May 2019 and March 2020, when the McCarter Theatre Company production of “Sleuth” became the last show I would see for more than a year on March 13.

      Since I usually arrive and do most things in alphabetical order based on my last name, I see no reason not to present these accolades belatedly.

      The confusion comes from two directions. The first is the 2019-2022 honors will be conferred at the same time the 2021-2022 Helen and Morris World Theater Awards are being presented. To complicate further — How my famous OCD allows for this level of chaos I’ll never know; am I cured? — several of the nominees, and eventual recipients, have been cited on 2019 and 2020 Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Awards lists. The pandemic did not interrupt the conferring of that accolade.

      As I write, I envision an enlightened audience, so I trust in every reader to figure this muddle out.

      Meanwhile, I’m having fun reliving the interrupted season, which I notice is heavier than usual on productions emanating from the Delaware Valley.

      Also, I’m skipping the usual procedure of listing Qualifiers before announcing nominees. (You can’t imagine how time-consuming arranging the Qualifier list is. Once in a season is enough!)

       At best, more actors, directors, and producers will know their work was not only seen but appreciated and lauded.

       Recipients of the 2019-2020 Helen and Morris Zoren World Theater Awards, named for my late parents, will be announced at the same time as the 2021-2022 honors. As usual, a list of the top contenders will appear at that time. (The pandemic precludes a 2020-2021 award.)

       For now, the nominees for the 2019-2020 HELEN AND MORRIS ZOREN WORLD THEATER AWARDS.

       They are:

BEST PRODUCTION

THE CHILDREN by Lucy Kirkwood, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.

HAMILTON by Lin-Manuel Miranda, National Tour, Forrest Theater, Philadelphia

MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN by David Catlin after Mary Shelley, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J. from Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago

NIXON IN CHINA by John Adams and Alice Goodman, Princeton Festival, Princeton, N.J.

RAGTIME by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Steven Flaherty, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia

BEST DIRECTOR

DAVID CATLIN, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J.

THOMAS KAIL, Hamilton, National Tour, Forrest Theater, Philadelphia

STEVEN LaCOSSE, Nixon in China, Princeton Festival, Princeton, N.J.

TERRENCE J. NOLEN, Ragtime, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia

JOHN TARTAGLIA, Mamma Mia, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, Pa.

BEST ACTOR

SETH ANDERSON, Nixon in China, Princeton Festival, Princeton, N.J

WALTER BRIGGS, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J.

NATHANIEL STAMPLEY, Paul Robeson, Crossroads Theatre, New Brunswick, N.J.

TOM TETI, The Outgoing Tide, Montgomery Theater, Souderton, Pa.

JOHN TUFTS, Sleuth, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J.

BEST ACTRESS

TINA BROCK, Come Back Little Sheba, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, Philadelphia

NATALIE CARTER, Dot, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.

CORDELIA DEWDNEY, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J.

MARY McDONNELL, Gloria: A Life, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J.

MARCIA SAUNDERS, The Children, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa. and The Outgoing Tide, Montgomery Theater, Souderton, Pa.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

LUKE BRADT, Young Frankenstein, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia

ERIC CARTER, Sunset Baby, Azuka Theatre, Philadelphia

KEITH D. GALLAGHER, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, N.J.

JOSEPH LANGHAM, The Playboy of the Western World, Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia

PAUL OAKLEY STOVALL, Hamilton, National Tour, Forrest Theater, Philadelphia

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

TERESA CASTILLO, Nixon in China, Princeton Festival. Princeton, N.J.

HANNAH CRUZ, Hamilton, National Tour, Forrest Theater, Philadelphia

DANIELA MACK, Semele, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia

RENIKA WILLIAMS, Mud Row, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.

ZUHAIRAH, Dot, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.

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