Virtual Show To Honor Local Theaters

The 2020 Cloris Awards, which honor the work of Greater Des Moines’ theater companies, will be held virtually this year. Photo: Cloris Awards.

Even though most local theater companies are quiet these days, the sixth annual Cloris Awards ceremony will take place online at 7 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 30.

The virtual ceremony, hosted by local entertainer Madison Ray, will honor the creative work of a dozen theater companies during the 2019-2020 theater season, including Des Moines Community Playhouse, Iowa Stage Theatre, Pyramid Theatre and Tallgrass Theatre, among others.

Most years, the individual award winners are chosen by a panel of volunteer judges. But this year, the companies have chosen to forgo the traditional awards—for acting, directing and so forth—and instead honor one another with do-it-yourself awards of their choosing. The companies that staged shows before the pandemic suggested this alternative format as a way to recognize and support the companies that were unable to stage any productions during the past season.

The Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theatre Arts Awards were created to celebrate outstanding contributions—both onstage and behind the scenes—to locally produced theater in Greater Des Moines. Affectionately known as “the Clorises,” the awards are named for the Oscar-winning Des Moines native Cloris Leachman.

The event will be streamed live on YouTube and the Cloris Awards’ Facebook page.

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