We’re very happy to announce that, after many years of nominations (always the bridegroom) we won our first local theater award in a rousing ceremony last night at the Kennedy Center’s concert hall in front of 2000 folks. The Mayor’s Arts Awards are sponsored by the great DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities which has been a strong supporter of the arts at the Washington DCJCC over the years. In this, their 23rd annual Awards ceremony, Theater J was nominated in the category of “Excellence in an Artistic Discipline” and the other finalists included the Washington Ballet’s Septime Webre, CityDance Ensemble, Studio Theatre, the Cathedral Choral Society and Dr. Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey and the Rock. As had been the custom at other events at the Kennedy Center, we were happy to be included but not planning on making any speeches. So we were delighted, thrilled, taken aback, and absolutely breathless in bounding up to the stage to make a 60 second thank you. Our award was immediately followed by the presentation of a 7 minutes scene from our production of THE PRICE with Robert Prosky receiving a rousing ovation after being called “a living legend” by the wonderful Emcee, Jim Vance, 40 years on the job as anchor of the local NBC news broadcast. The first half hour of the Awards ceremony amounted to an extended commercial for Theater J, as the the excellent house band, headed up by Glenn Pearson, a longtime DC institution himself, also got a shout out since our production of DAVID IN SHADOW AND LIGHT, our upcoming world premiere musical, will feature Glenn’s son, the rising star Matt Pearson, as our young King David.
We’ve received a beautifullly engraved glass obelisk award and we’ll soon be figuring out where we can display it at the J, where it’s safe under glass. We want to thank everyone at the Center who worked so hard on making our nomination possible, Julie and Mark and Catherine in Development and Delia as well for making sure the Prosky’s had their PRICE chair on stage at the Kennedy Center to anchor the wonderful scene.
It was a great night, with great performances from The Jewels, CityDance, the amazing harmonicist Frederic Yonnet and the DC poet Laureate, Dolores Kendrick, as well as a rousing opening featuring hundreds of chorale members from the Congressional Chorus, WPAS Children of the Gospel, the Heritage Signautre Chorales and even the Zemer Chai Jewish Community Chorus, all under the direction of Stanley J. Thurston. An amazing show.
We were very happy to be included. Happy to be embraced by the judges. Very happy to be making art in this great city of DC where we feel very much at home. So yes: a good night for our theater.