Competing against regional productions, touring shows and more – in a field of more than 100 participating cities across the country – Spokane Falls Community College’s Spartan Theatre and Bigfoot Drama Club productions won in every category possible at the 2021 Broadway World regional drama awards, the largest theater audience awards in the country.
“Usually, we take awards kind of with a grain of salt, right?” SFCC drama adviser Ashley DeMoville said Friday afternoon. The cast and crew aren’t dedicating their time to each production for awards, DeMoville said. They’re motivated by the process itself – by the community, the interaction and the growth. But this year, instead of getting input and praise from their audiences over the course of each production, in a way, all of the applause came at once.
Their 2021 spring production, “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure,” won five awards, including best musical, and their 2020 fall production, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus,” won best play. For a full list of awards, visit broadwayworld.com and search “2021 Seattle Awards.”
“One of the things about theater is that we get an immediate response. And it’s not about the applause, right? It’s about the sighs and the tears and the laughter during the show,” DeMoville said. “We are fueled by that response, that connection with the audience.”
One of the biggest losses over the past year, she said, therefore, was having to face production after production without “the community-building experience of performing in front of a live audience.”
“So knowing that our community is still with us, still crying with us and laughing with us and pulling for us from the own safety of their own houses – that means a lot,” she said.
In a news release this morning, DeMoville said, “Our success this year as we won in every category is a testament to the fact that we kept creating theater when so many other groups had to stop. We created new genres in virtual theater as we went and maintained our commitment to providing high-quality learning opportunities for our students.
“I am so proud of all the amazing work our faculty, staff and students have done over the past year and am grateful to our community for the continued support.”
Based in New York City, Broadway World is the largest theater news site on the internet. Covering Broadway and the West End, among others, the site serves more than 4.5 million monthly visitors.