Suzi Bass Awards 2008

Posted on November 11, 2008

The Suzi Bass Awards were held last night at the Egyptian Ballroom at the Fox Theatre. It was a beautiful event and a wonderful celebration of Atlanta theatre.

I'm particularly proud of LaLa Cochran, of our current production of The New Century. She took home the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for her bravura turn in The Little Dog Laughed at Theatre in the Square.

AE Associate Artist Kat Conley won the Outstanding Scenic Design Award for her work on Eurydice at the Alliance Theatre/Georgia Shakespeare.

Natasha Drena, who knocked out audiences in last season's The Last Five Years received the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance as Annie Oakley in the Aurora Theatre's production of Annie Get Your Gun.

I'm also super excited about Bethany Ann Lind's win for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for The Last Schwartz, which I directed at Jewish Theatre of the South.

Of course, congratulations go out to all nominees and winners. But more important than the outcomes in the competitive categories was the general celebration of where we are as a theatre community. The diversity and sheer quantity of work happening in our community is really astounding. And the Suzi Bass Awards ceremony is an annual chance to celebrate that.

The event was full of emotion. The tribute to Carol Mitchell-leon, recipient of the Spirit of Suzi Award, was intensely moving. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house as Jen Harper and Dorothy Bell paid tribute to Carol's talent, spirit and humanity. Of course, to have met Carol is to be inspired by her. And while her health prevented her from being physically present at the ceremony, her spirit was all over the room.

Another emotional high point of the evening was the tribute to Suzi Bass Awards founder Gene-Gabriel Moore, who passed away in July. A photo montage showed Gene-Gabriel at all stages of his life, from a boyhood photo taken in Cabbagetown, through his years as a journalist in the 1970s, to more recent photos of him during what would be his final act as a fixture in the Atlanta theatre community.

I am proud every day to be a member of the Atlanta theatre community. But last night's beautiful event that celebrated the best and the brightest of our city's theatre community was a moment to savor.