Two Lackawanna County theater groups among winners of the 2017 Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance Awards


For Abington Journal



Actors Circle members attend the 2017 NEPTA Annual Awards Dinner April 8 at Silver Birches Resort in Hawley, from left, Carol Davis, Cathy Rist Strauch, Eric Lutz, Ceclia Pugh, Casey Thomas, April Holgate, Louis Bisignani, Patricia Purcell and Betsy Seaforth. Awards received by the theater group include Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Betsy Seaforth in ‘The Big Meal’; Best Youth Actress (12 and under), Lucy Rothfuss in ‘The Children’s Hour’; Best Director of a Comedy, Casey Thomas, for’ The Big Meal’ and Best Overall Show, ‘The Big Meal.’


Submitted photos

From left, Bob Balitiski presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to his wife, Paige Balitski, during the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance’s (NEPTA) 2017 Annual Awards Dinner April 8 at Silver Birches Resort in Hawley.


Submitted photos


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    HAWLEY — Two Lackawanna County theater groups were among the winners honored at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance’s (NEPTA) 20th Annual Awards Dinner, held Saturday, April 8 at Silver Birches Resort.

    Celebrating their nominations in several categories, were members of various regional theatrical organizations, including the Pennsylvania Theatrical Pennsylvania Alliance (PTPA), The Little Theatre of Wilkes Barre and Music Box Theatre, all from Luzerne County; The Worthington Players at Shawnee and Theatrical Gems, both from Monroe County; Actors Circle and Diva Productions, both of Lackawanna County; The Lakeside Players, of Pike and Wayne Counties, and Tamaqua Area Community Theatre and Majestic Players, of Schuylkill County.

    The categories mirrored those of the Tony Awards.

    Representing Scranton theater group Actors Circle at the event were: Patricia Purcell, president and nominee for Best Director of a Drama for “The Children’s Hour”; Louis Bisignani, founder and nominee for Best Set Design for ‘The Children’s Hour”; Linda C. Griffiths, vice president; Cathy Rist Strauch, secretary and producer of Overall Best Show award winner “The Big Meal”; April Holgate, nominee for Best Actress in a Comedy for “The House of Blue Leaves”; Eric Lutz, nominee for Best Actor in “The Big Meal”; Cecelia Pugh, nominee for Best Child Actress in “The Big Meal”; Carol Davis; Joseph Strauch and Casey Thomas, winner of Best Director award for a comedy in “The Big Meal.”

    Betsy Seaforth won two best supporting actress awards, one for a comedy in Actors Cirle’s “The Big Meal” and the other for a drama in Diva Productions’ “The Judas Sheep.”

    Thomas was also nominated for his directing in Diva Productions’ comedy “The Wonders of the World.”

    Also for DIVA Productions, Chris Eibach won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy in “Wonder of the World,” and “The Judas Sheep” by Jeff Boam was awarded Best Original Production.

    Paige Balitiski, of Diva Productions received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Her husband, Bob Balitiski, presented the award to her, following a slide show presentation highlighting Paige’s theatrical career, which he produced for the event.

    More information about the NEPTA award ceremony can be found on the the Northeast Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance Facebook page.

    Award recipients, according to theatrical groups are as follows.

    Actors Circle:

    Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Betsy Seaforth in “The Big Meal”

    Best Youth Actress (12 and under): Lucy Rothfuss in “The Children’s Hour”

    Best Director of a Comedy: Casey Thomas for “The Big Meal”

    Best Overall Show: “The Big Meal”

    DIVA Productions:

    Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Chris Eibach in “Wonder of the World”

    Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Betsy Seaforth in “The Judas Sheep”

    Best Original Production: “The Judas Sheep” by Jeff Boam

    Lifetime Achievement Award: Paige Balitski

    Music Box:

    Best Supporting Actor in a Musical: Ben Steltz in “The Full Monty” and Steve Bartolomei in Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre’s “Young Frankenstein”

    Best Lead Actor in a Comedy: John Beppler in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)”

    Best Lead Actress in a Musical: Megan Horwatt in “Guys and Dolls”

    Best Set Design: Michael Gallagher for “Guys and Dolls”

    Best Costume Design: KD Love for “La Cage Aux Folles”

    Little Theatre of Wilkes Barre:

    Best Supporting Actor in a Musical: Steve Bartolomei in “Young Frankenstein” and Ben Steltz in the Music Box’s “The Full Monty”

    Best Supporting Actress in a Musical: Deirdre Lynch in “Young Frankenstein”

    Best Lead Actor in a Musical: Kevin Costley in “La Cage Aux Folles” and Benjamin Cohen in Theatrical Gems’ “The Music Man”

    Best Lead Actor in a Drama: Scott Colin in “Hamlet”

    Best Lead Actress in a Drama: Mandy Pennington in “Angels in America Part 1”

    Best Sound Design: John Dawe for “Rock of Ages”

    Best Lighting Design: Jon Vojtko for “Angels in America Part 1”

    Best Drama: “Angels in America Part 1”

    Pennsylvania Theatrical Pennsylvania Alliance (PTPA):

    Best Teen Actor (13-18): Kelly Krieger in “Heathers The Musical”

    Best Teen Actress (13-18): Angleina Umbriac in “Heathers The Musical”

    Best Director of a Musical: Adam Randis for “Assassins”

    Best Family Show: “It’s A Wonderful Life”

    Theatrical Gems:

    Best Lead Actor in a Musical: Benjamin Cohen (Harold Hill) in “The Music Man” and Kevin Costley in the Little Theatre of Wilks-Barre’s “La Cage Aux Folles”

    Best Musical Director: Cody Schuch for “The Music Man”

    Best Choreographer: Joseph Ambrosia for “The Music Man”

    Best Musical: The Music Man

    Best One-Act: “Blind Date” by Sarah McCarroll

    Worthington Players at Shawnee:

    Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Marty Courtney in “The Diary of Anne Frank”

    Best Lead Actress in a Comedy: Juliet Dunham in “There’s a Burglar in My Bed”

    Best Youth Actor (12 and under): Bobby McClosky in “Seussical Jr.”

    Best Director of a Drama: Patrick Bresnyan for “The Diary of Anne Frank”

    Best Comedy: “There’s a Burglar in my Bed”

    Best Youth Show: “Seussical Jr.”

    Actors Circle members attend the 2017 NEPTA Annual Awards Dinner April 8 at Silver Birches Resort in Hawley, from left, Carol Davis, Cathy Rist Strauch, Eric Lutz, Ceclia Pugh, Casey Thomas, April Holgate, Louis Bisignani, Patricia Purcell and Betsy Seaforth. Awards received by the theater group include Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Betsy Seaforth in ‘The Big Meal’; Best Youth Actress (12 and under), Lucy Rothfuss in ‘The Children’s Hour’; Best Director of a Comedy, Casey Thomas, for’ The Big Meal’ and Best Overall Show, ‘The Big Meal.’
    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_ABJ-NEPTA-1.jpgActors Circle members attend the 2017 NEPTA Annual Awards Dinner April 8 at Silver Birches Resort in Hawley, from left, Carol Davis, Cathy Rist Strauch, Eric Lutz, Ceclia Pugh, Casey Thomas, April Holgate, Louis Bisignani, Patricia Purcell and Betsy Seaforth. Awards received by the theater group include Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Betsy Seaforth in ‘The Big Meal’; Best Youth Actress (12 and under), Lucy Rothfuss in ‘The Children’s Hour’; Best Director of a Comedy, Casey Thomas, for’ The Big Meal’ and Best Overall Show, ‘The Big Meal.’ Submitted photos

    From left, Bob Balitiski presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to his wife, Paige Balitski, during the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance’s (NEPTA) 2017 Annual Awards Dinner April 8 at Silver Birches Resort in Hawley.
    http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_ABJ-NEPTA-2.jpgFrom left, Bob Balitiski presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to his wife, Paige Balitski, during the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance’s (NEPTA) 2017 Annual Awards Dinner April 8 at Silver Birches Resort in Hawley. Submitted photos

    For Abington Journal

    Information provided by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance.

    Information provided by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance.

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