CEAs and Acclaims to Combine Forces

Local theater award programs present united front for 2010-11 season

Aug 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Sunday evening’s 14th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) for theater, held at Know Theatre, will also be the final CEA theater presentation. The program, begun in 1997, will combine forces for the coming theater season with the Acclaim Awards, established in 2004 and supported by The Cincinnati Enquirer. Organizers of both programs have made this move to strengthen recognition of Cincinnati’s excellent theater scene.

The Enquirer’s theater critic Jackie Demaline and I (CityBeat’s critic) will be personally involved in the expanded program, serving on judging panels and as members of the Acclaims executive committee. (The next Acclaim Awards is May 23, 2011.)

Demaline says, “Both the Acclaims and Cincinnati Entertainment Awards have been committed to recognizing so many things that are outstanding about Cincinnati theater — the artists, the educators, the professionals, the amateurs — and to reaching out to the entire regional community to become a part of it. By sharing an evening of celebration … the Acclaims are hoping to ensure a credible and sustainable program for the future that will help keep Cincinnati theater in the spotlight locally, regionally and even nationally.”

CityBeat Editor John Fox comments, “The CEAs were established in 1997 using a panel of critics and public voting to heighten awareness of Cincinnati’s exceptional theater scene. CityBeat is proud to have presented this program for 14 years, but the time is right to come together with the Acclaims for a strong, coherent program that will benefit the entire theater community.”

The CEAs originally combined recognition of local theater and music but were split into separate programs in 2005. The local music CEAs will continue; its 2010 ceremony is scheduled for late November.

The Acclaims will add an element modeled on the CEAs’ long-standing public voting process, the “Cincinnati Theater Awards” (CTAs). This will invite public input for favorite performers and productions by community and university theater. The nominations will offer choices for favorite actor, favorite actress, favorite musical and favorite play. Two additional, open-ended categories will seek public input for a favorite play and musical from any theater.

The Acclaims are staffed by a substantial volunteer base of theater practitioners who are well positioned to make informed choices regarding the best aspects of local productions. Acclaims recommendations announced during the theater season will become nominations for awards at the conclusion of the season. Winners in various categories recognizing performers, technical aspects and overall productions will be decided by the panelists and announced at the May event.

CONTACT RICK PENDER: [email protected]