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COMMUNITY THEATER Group will honor area's top performers



Published: Sat, June 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Actors and others will be honored at a community wide awards banquet.

YOUNGSTOWN -- The second annual Marquee Awards for outstanding work in community theater will be presented Aug. 20 at the Saxon Club on Meridian Road.

The awards are the brainchild of J.E. Ballantyne Jr., whose J & amp;B Production Arts Services will produce the ceremony.

At first, Ballantyne set up an awards program based on the Youngstown Playhouse when that organization's Arthur awards failed to materialize. But later, when the Playhouse resumes the Arthurs, Ballantyne broached the subject of setting up a Tony Awards-style judging.

This year, each theater in the area will be eligible for awards.

"Much of what we have done with rules, regulations and policies governing these awards, are based on the Tony Awards policies and procedures," said Ballantyne. To that end, the Youngstown Area Community Theatre Awards organization was set up.

Ballantyne said the committee felt it was important that the Marquees have an integrity that the theater community could trust. He stressed that this is not a popularity contest but rather a ceremony to honor the "best" in each category each year.

Voting for the Marquees, both in the nomination process as well as in the final voting process is based on a six point rating system for each production and each credited individual working on that production. At awards time the nominations committee, via secret ballot, votes a large list of potential nominees down to a nomination list of five per category.

The voting

This list is used to vote for winners in each category by the group's administrative and nominations committees, members of the Youngstown Area Community Theatre Alliance, and the critics at The Vindicator, a co-sponsor of the awards.

Hosts for the Marquee Awards this year will be Susan DeLeo and Glenn Stevens of WFMJ-TV 21 news. DeLeo was seen recently at the Youngstown Playhouse as part of Arts Alive II. The Playhouse fund raiser depicted classic works of art which then came to life via local actors and celebrities. Stevens is seen often on area stages and most recently portrayed Commandant Franz Ziereis in the new drama, "Block 5."

Plans are for the evening to get underway at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour with dinner at 7 p.m. and the awards ceremony beginning at 8. Tickets for the dinner and the ceremony are $20 per person or a table of eight for $120. There will also be a cash bar. Dress is semi-formal.

Reservations may be made by calling Joyce Jones at (330) 788-4389.




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