Actor Boy Awards set for May 9

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Actor Boy Awards set for May 9

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@Jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 03, 2020

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The Actor Boy Awards, which recognises excellence in local theatre, will be handed out this Saturday, May 9.

The event, which has been postponed due to restrictions imposed to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, will be staged utilising Zoom, the online conferencing application which has become extremely popular in wake of COVID-19.

The ceremony will also be streamed on the Actor Boy Awards' Facebook page.

According to Maurice Bryan, producer of the annual awards, plans to have the event broadcast on local television had to be shelved in favour of the virtual ceremony given the complexities of the COVID-19 situation in the country and regulations regarding movement and gatherings.

“It has been difficult with television. Like all organisations, they were wary of too many people coming into studios, and we could readily understand, so we decided to play it safe and just go with Zoom, which is the thing to do nowadays. It also offers us a lot more flexibility and the ability to go at a pace which suits us better.”

He shared that the local theatre community has warmed up to the idea of a virtual show and are looking forward to Saturday's production.

“The good thing about this pandemic and the resulting lockdown is that we have a captive audience. So some people who were never able to attend the event over the years due to different reasons will now have an opportunity. We are working with a great video editor to ensure that everything looks professional and we make the best use of the technology. People are fine with this format. It allows so many more to join in on the event as only a limited number would have been able to join us in studio. So far there have been no negative comments and most are applauding the fact that we can still go ahead with the Actor Boy Awards despite all that is taking place around us,” said Bryan.

This year's event will be dedicated to those members of the theatre community who died during the past year. The list is headed by stage and screen doyenne Lois Kelly Miller; choreographer and designer Barry Moncrieffe; actor and teacher Carl Samuels, who was killed on the grounds of the Vauxhall High School; and New York-based broadcaster Gil Bailey.

Re'Ashored, the epic musical drama mounted by Quilt Performing Arts Company, has snagged the lion's share of nominations for this year's awards with a total of 15.

The comedy Straight Jacket, produced by Jambiz International, also came away with quite a few nominations; a total of 11. Father Richard Ho Lung and Friends' production Isaiah received nine nods. Dahlia Harris's Case of the Ex received eight nominations. Shango: Tales of the Orishas by the School of Drama at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts has seven nominations; and Ananda Alert is nominated in six categories. A Midsummer Night's Dream, 56 East Avenue, Windscream Posse, and Common Sense all have four nominations apiece. Behind the Pulpit, Once a Man Twice a Wife, Seville and the Bone Tribunal, Force Ripe, and Annie have received three nominations.

Up for two Actor Boy Awards are Jesus Christ Superstar and Feminine Justice, while F ace the Truth, It Stops Here, A Child's Cry and No Good Deed all received a lone nod from the awards' panel of adjudicators.


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