And the Winner Is …
Is it worth your while to invest $20 plus a couple of hours of your time in community theater?
That evaluation is made each year by Washington Area Theatre Community Honors. Three dozen local companies make up WATCH, which reaches beyond the District into suburban and rural Maryland and Virginia. Last year, WATCH members evaluated 127 plays to recognize excellence in 38 categories. In each category, typically five nominees were chosen.
Bowie Community Theater earned nine of those nominations — their most ever — and Colonial Players three.
And the winner is … Bowie Community Theater, rewarded with three awards for two plays.
That means, says company president John Nunemaker, “that the hard work and dedication of these individuals has paid off in recognition for the talent that they are.”
Sandra Cox True won Outstanding Lead Actress for her portrayal of Grace in Grace and Glorie, produced in October.
photo by John Nunemaker
Sandra Cox True, left, was named Outstanding Lead Actress for her role as dying Grace in Grace and Glorie.
Sordid Lives, produced in January, earned two awards: Bernadette Arvidson for Outstanding Featured Actress, her Juanita, and Scott Beadle for Outstanding Makeup Design for his character Earl ‘Brother Boy’ Ingram. Beadle was also nominated for outstanding actor for Brother Boy.
“My character is an institutionalized Tammy Wynette-obsessed transvestite,” says Beadle, of Odenton, who by day is director of training for Crofton’s DavCo Restaurant Inc., which owns and operates all local Wendy’s.
By day and night, Beadle has put his undergraduate degree in theater to good use. “Any time you’re up in front of a group of people, it requires a lot of the same skills,” he says.
Stage makeup is not a course he uses so often. His impersonation of Brother Boy began with a rubber skullcap and continued to a blonde wig.
“I also taped my eyebrows up for an arched look, shadowed my cheeks, and wore false eyelashes,” Beadle says. His biggest challenge, however, was “getting used to doing things with long red fingernails.” He attached his extended nails for every production.
His award, he says, is “quite an honor, because WATCH judges looked at makeup in every one of 127 shows.
“We all volunteer our time and do it because we love it. To get an award voted on by your peers is validation that you did well in something you love doing.”
Awards and nominations for the 2011 season set a high mark for Bowie Community Theatre’s 2012 season, which opens Friday, March 16, with the play Art. Yasmina Reza’s 1994 drama uses a white-on-white abstract painting to evoke and analyze tension in a friendship.
“The characters represent your own friends, so you project right into it,” Nunemaker says.
“Now it’s a matter of working harder and going for more,” he adds. We’re a very small company and we hope this recognition will bring in more volunteers who love theater.”
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