The Bay Area Critics Circle Award nominations are in and Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company, now celebrating its 20th season, garnered 33 nods for the company's 2011 productions, the most of any company in its theater tier in the Bay Area. Top honors included nominations in the Drama category with recognition going to A DELICATE BALANCE, METAMORPHOSIS, THE ECCENTRICITES OF A NIGHTINGALE, and THE SOLDIER'S TALE. Aurora Artistic Director Tom Ross received two nominations for direction, as well as a co-directing nomination with Muriel Maffre. The 33 nominations are a record number for Aurora, the most nominations received during the company's 20 seasons.
Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning brutal comedy of manners A DELICATE BALANCE, the company's 20th anniversary season opener, and David Farr and Gísli Örn Gardarsson's adaptation of Franz Kafka's METAMORPHOSIS, tied for the most nominations for the company with 10 nominations for each respective production. A DELICATE BALANCE received nods for Costume Design for Callie Floor, Lighting Design for Kurt Landisman, Set Design for Richard Olmstead, Ensemble Performance, Featured Female Performance for Carrie Paff, Featured Male Performance for Charles Dean, Principal Female Performance for both Jamie Jones and Kimberly King, and Principal Male Performance for Ken Grantham, in addition to a nod for Tom Ross for direction.
Aurora's first professional American production of METAMORPHOSIS received nominations for Costume Design for Christine Cook, Set Design for Nina Ball, Sound Design for Matthew Stines, Ensemble Performance, Entire Production, Featured Female Performance for Madeline H.D. Brown, Featured Male Performance for PatRick Jones, Original Script for David Farr and Gísli Örn Gardarsson, and Principal Male Performance for Alexander Crowther, in addition to a nod for Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson for his direction of the production.
Aurora's production of Tennessee Williams' rarely-performed drama THE ECCENTRICITES OF A NIGHTINGALE received nine nominations, including Costume Design for Laura Hazlett, Lighting Design for Jim Cave, Sound Design for Ted Crimy, Ensemble Performance, Entire Production, Featured Female Performance for Marcia Pizzo, Featured Male Performance for Charles Dean, Principle Female Performance for Beth Wilmurt, and a nod for Tom Ross for direction.
Rounding out the nominations is THE SOLDIER'S TALE, Aurora's one-of-a-kind collaboration between Artistic Director Tom Ross and former San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Muriel Maffre, which received four nominations. The re-imagined version of Igor Stravinsky's 1918 musical work garnered Specialties nods for avant garde chamber music collective Earplay, under the musical direction of Mary Chun, and Choreography for Muriel Maffre. THE SOLDIER'S TALE also received nods for Entire Production and for the co-direction of Ross and Maffre.
Aurora Theatre Company continues its 20th anniversary season with the Bay Area Premiere of Annie Baker's BODY AWARENESS, playing now through March 11. Aurora Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the company in April to helm Margret Schaefer's Aurora-commissioned World Premiere translation of Arthur Schnitzler's fin-de-siècle gem ANATOL. The 20th anniversary season concludes in June with Aurora Theatre Company's World Premiere play commission SALOMANIA, written and directed by Mark Jackson.