Since my post of the nominees yesterday, I've received a lot of questions, some highly rhetorical, some just wanting more information. Here are a couple answers, more will come later, others will have to remain unanswered:
All nominees, presenters and critics will need to buy tickets to attend the awards events. We kept the ticket price low so that this hopefully does not inhibit anyone from coming. We realize that it's a little weird to require people to pay for entry into an event where they've been nominated for an award. But it's the only way we can make it work, both administratively and financially. No one is lining their pockets with the prodigious sums that will be collected: Any and all profits from the event will be donated to the Theatre Artist's Fund.
Most people can purchase tickets online (there's a link on the Theatre IV site) but nominees need to call the Theatre IV box office directly. Some seating has been reserved to allow nominees easier access to the stage should they need to accept an award. Nominees are also encouraged to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be kept apprised of any nominee-specific (mostly logistical) news that might be pertinent down the road.
The Critics Circle selected nominees and winners for the awards in a collaborative process involving all 6 members. Those who are preparing to rail against me personally – or who have already done so – can cool their jets. Just like other theater lovers, I am disappointed that some of my favorites are not included among the nominees and bewildered about some of the ones who are included. But I have a “defending the First Amendment”-like assertion about the nominee list: I may not agree with everything on it, but I staunchly defend the process – and the people who slogged through it – that resulted in the final list.
Is the selection process perfect? Of course not. Are worthy candidates overlooked? Very likely. But in some categories, there were 10 or 12 worthy contenders. Consider this: I know for a fact that there is at least one person out there who thinks the entire Best Actor nominee list should be Scott Wichmann (Richard III), Scott Wichmann (This Wonderful Life), and Scott Wichmann (Fully Committed). Given the breadth and depth of choices, and the wide variety of tastes and opinions among us critics, I am both proud of the final list and moderately amazed that we were able to come up with one at all.
This event was organized last year by advocates of theater who believe it will assist in raising the profile of live theater in Richmond. We really believe that by doing our small part in drawing more attention to this often-overlooked arts discipline, all boats will rise, as it were. Recognizing some people and productions because of our perception of their excellence is not meant to diminish the hard work and exceptional talent of the scores of worthy theater artists who are not on this list. Whether you are listed among the nominees or not, I strongly encourage you to please come to the event on October 18th. It really is a party for everyone. And, if last year was any indication, it should be a blast.