And the Cloris Award nominees are . . .

Ankeny Community Theatre performed a number from “Kiss Me, Kate” at the Cloris Awards Ceremony in 2019, the last time the event took place at Hoyt Sherman Place. Photo: Eric Salmon.

The 2023 Cloris Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Hoyt Sherman Place will celebrate 39 productions from nine Central Iowa companies: Ankeny Community Theatre, Carousel Theatre of Indianola, Class Act Productions, the Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre, Iowa Stage Theatre Company, Pyramid Theatre Company, Tallgrass Theatre Company and Urbandale Community Theatre.

Affectionately known as the Clorises, the awards were founded in 2015 and named for the late Oscar-winning actress Cloris Leachman, who grew up in Des Moines and made her stage debut at the Playhouse. The awards are sponsored by Leachman Lumber.

In addition to this year’s slate of nominees in 18 categories — Best Musical, Best Choreography, Best Lighting Design — several individuals and organizations will be singled out for special recognition. Those kudos go to pianist Francine Griffith, “Kinky Boots” drag consultant Nicholas Amundson, Ankeny Community Theatre’s collaboration with playwright Tommy Lee Johnston, Pyramid Theatre Company’s work with playwright Beaufield Berry, the Des Moines Playhouse’s Penguin Project, and Tallgrass Theater Company’s Sarah Frank and Jack Balcombe Dream Project.

And the 2023 nominees are . . .

Best Musical

  • “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Urbandale Community Theatre
  • “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Pippin,” Tallgrass Theatre Company

Best Play

  • “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • “God of Carnage,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • “Native Gardens,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company

Best Production for Youth & Family

  • “Annie Jr.,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “How I Became a Pirate,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Matilda Jr.,” Class Act Productions
  • “Singin’ in the Rain Jr.,” Class Act Productions
  • “Sister Act Jr.,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre

Best Performance in a Lead Role in a Musical

  • Samantha Aaron as Ursula, “The Little Mermaid,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola
  • Giovanni Bahena as Nathan Detroit, “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Faith Brooks as Ella, “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Elise Cameron as Ariel, “The Little Mermaid,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola
  • Blake Clyde as the Leading Player, “Pippin,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Courtney Kayser as Amalia Balash, “She Loves Me,” Ankeny Community Theatre
  • Travis Ness as Lola/Simon, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Keelin Reilly as Seymour Krelborn, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Gavin Runles as Charlie Price, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Morgan Wolfe as Audrey, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse

Best Performance in a Lead Role in a Play

  • Rae Fehring as Wiletta, “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Gabriela Fuentes as Tania Del Valle, “Native Gardens,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Brooke Guinn as Tess, “Marjorie Prime,” Ankeny Community Theatre
  • Michael Harris as Will, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Jacob Hayworth as Arthur de Bourgh, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Daron Richardson as Doaker, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Maggie Schmitt as Lady Olivia, “Twelfth Night,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Aaron Smith as Wining Boy, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse & Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Jocelyn Smith as Mary Bennet, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Davida Williams as Cynthia, “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company

Best Performance in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Samantha Aaron as Charlotte, “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Dani Boal as Catherine, “Pippin,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Faith Brooks as Faith, “Godspell,” Ankeny Community Theatre
  • Faith Brooks as Crystal, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Laura Breyen as Nicola, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Emily Coffey as Scuttle, “The Little Mermaid,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola
  • Julie Larson as Marie, “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Dean Messerly as Arvide Abernathy, “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Greg Millar as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Charlie Reese as Orin Scrivello, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse

Best Performance in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Clifton Antoine as Avery, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse & Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Giovanni Bahena as Eddie, “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Alison Buechler as Sandra/Florence Collymoore, “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong,” Ankeny Community Theatre
  • Tom Geraty as Stan, “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Jennifer Hughes as Pauline, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • John Earl Robinson as Jacob Marley and others, “A Christmas Carol,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Donna Scarfe as Millie, “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Maggie Schmitt as Anna, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Aaron Smith as Brucie, “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Co.
  • Dane Van Brocklin as Arnie, “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong,” Ankeny Community Theatre

Jeanne Hopson Rising Stars

  • Ben Clark as Joey, “Sister Act Jr.,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre
  • Vivian Rosalie Coleman as Harriet, “Harriet the Spy,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Emily Ellingson as River, “A Very Merry Tallgrass Holiday,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Aurora Grooters as Miss Honey, “Matilda Jr.,” Class Act Productions
  • Jackson Hamilton as Flounder, “The Little Mermaid,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola
  • Lil Klein as Deloris Van Cartier, “Sister Act Jr.,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre
  • Emily Kolsrud as Matilda, “Matilda Jr.,” Class Act Productions
  • Addisyn Marvin as Cinderella, “Cinderella,” Class Act Productions
  • McKenna O’Meara as Miss Hannigan, “Annie Jr.,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Larryah Travis as Maretha, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company

Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Musical

  • “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Matilda Jr.,” Class Act Productions
  • “Pippin,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • “Sister Act Jr.,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre

Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Play

  • “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • “God of Carnage,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • “Steel Magnolias,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola
  • “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company

Best Performance by a Youth Ensemble

  • “Annie Jr.,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “The Comedy of Errors,” Class Act Productions
  • “Harriet the Spy,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • “Matilda Jr.,” Class Act Productions
  • “Sister Act Jr.,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre
  • “The Wolves,” Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre

Best Direction

  • Ken-Matt Martin, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Matthew McIver, “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Jennifer Nostrala, “God of Carnage,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Alex Wendel, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Davida Williams, “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Adam Yankowy, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse

Best Music Direction

  • Theo Bartemes, “Pippin,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Brenton Brown, “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Brenton Brown, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Tina Haase Findlay, “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Carl Johnson and Jack Pearson, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Urbandale Community Theatre
  • Tristan Miedema, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse

Best Choreography

  • Charissa Hamel, “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong,” Ankeny Community Theatre
  • Megan Helmers, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Megan Helmers, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Taylor Millar, “How I Became a Pirate,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Michael Tomlinson, “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Michael Tomlinson, “Guys and Dolls,” Des Moines Playhouse

Best Scenic Design

  • Nicholas Amundson, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Nicholas Amundson, “Native Gardens,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Corrin Brush and Frank Sposeto III, “The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong,” Ankeny Community Theatre
  • Sydney Lynne, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Brian Seckfort, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Addie Thompson, “Steel Magnolias,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola

Best Costume & Makeup Design

  • Cheryl Clark and Heidie Swihart, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” Tallgrass Theatre Company
  • Susanna Douthit, “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Angela Lampe, “Cinderella,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Angela Lampe, “Kinky Boots,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • Angela Lampe, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Alex Lindsley, “The Little Mermaid,” Carousel Theatre of Indianola

Best Lighting Design

  • Jackson Newhouse, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Amanda Pichler, “Native Gardens,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • John Pomeroy, “In the Upper Room,” Pyramid Theatre Company
  • John Pomeroy, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Dakota Sommer, “Sweat,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Sam Stephen, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Des Moines Playhouse

Best Sound Design

  • Joseph Cave, “Native Gardens,” Des Moines Playhouse
  • G Clausen, “The Piano Lesson,” Des Moines Playhouse and Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Brian Dodson, “Go, Dog! Go!” Des Moines Playhouse
  • G. Thomas Furgerson, “In the Upper Room,” Pyramid Theatre Company
  • Brandon Kair, “A Bright New Boise,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company
  • Brandon Kair, “Trouble in Mind,” Iowa Stage Theatre Company

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