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