And the winners of this year’s Ivey Awards are…

Tonight is what Twin Cities theater professionals lovingly refer to as “theater prom.” It’s the night when everybody gets to dress up in their finest and celebrate the outstanding performances of the past year.

The Ivey Awards recognize both individuals at the top of their game and shows that captured audiences’ hearts. Here are this year’s winners.


Rick Shiomi

Photo by Lia Chang

Lifetime Achievement Award: Rick Shiomi, Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts

Rick Shiomi is credited with not only founding Mu Performing Arts, but also training a whole generation of Asian American performers and writing plays that tell their stories. Shiomi has announced that he plans to step down from his role as Artistic Director next fall.


Isabel Nelson in The Ballad of the Pale Fisherman

Photo by Avye Alexandres

Emerging Artist: Isabel Nelson

Over the past three years Isabel Nelson has made a name for herself co-creating and starring in hit Fringe Festival shows such as Ash Land, Red Resurrected and The Ballad of the Pale Fisherman. A graduate of Minneapolis South High and Macalester College, Nelson went on to study theater at the Lecoq-based London International School for Performing Arts.


The cast of Spring Awakening

Photo by Michal Daniel


Overall Excellence: The Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Walking Shadow Theatre Company

Overall Excellence: Spring Awakening, Theatre Latte Da

Emotional Impact: Ballad of the Pale Fisherman

Inventive Reinterpretation: Julius Caesar, Theatre Unbound


Namir Smallwood and Hugh Kennedy in ‘Buzzer’

Photo by Michal Daniel

Individual Recognition

Tracie Bennett, Acting, End of the Rainbow (Guthrie Theater)

Hugh Kennedy, Acting, Buzzer (Pillsbury House Theatre)

Jody Briskey, Acting, Beyond the Rainbow: Garland at Carnegie Hall (History Theatre)

Barry Browning, Lighting Design, Dial M for Murder (Jungle Theater)

Miriam Monasch, Directing, Our Class (Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company)

Joe Vass, Musical Direction, The Soul of Gershwin: The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer (Park Square Theatre)

Congratulations to the winners!

The Ivey Awards are based on evaluations completed by the more than 150 volunteer theater evaluators who saw more than 1,000 performances in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area from September 2011 through August 2012.

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