Joe Dowling, the Guthrie Theater’s recently retired artistic director, was honored at the 2015 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award, the celebration of Twin Cities theater.
Critically-acclaimed actor Mikell Sapp received the Emerging Artist Award.
Dowling was the artistic director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis for 20 years. Sapp performed with Pillsbury House Theatre (“Broke-ology,” “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet”), Penumbra Theatre (“The Ballad of Emmett Till,” “Spunk”), Freshwater Theatre (Ivey Award-winning “The Beacon from Belle Isle”) and Mixed Blood Theatre (“P**** Valley”) and is a member of Blackout, an African-American improv troupe based in the Twin Cities.
The 11th annual Ivey Awards attracted a sold out audience to the show designed to recognize and showcase the work of professional theater companies and artists over the past year. Based on evaluations completed by the more than 150 volunteer theater evaluators who saw more than 1,000 performances created by 78 professional theaters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area from September 2014 through August 2015, three productions and eight individuals/ensembles were also recognized with 2015 Iveys.
Productions recognized were “Gabriel” (Walking Shadow Theatre Company) – Overall Excellence, “Nothing is Something” (Open Eye Figure Theatre) – Overall Excellence, and “Crime and Punishment” (Live Action Set) – Production Design. Individual recognitions were given to Brian Sostek and Megan McClellan – choreographers and playwrights of “Trick Boxing” (Park Square Theatre), Peter Rothstein – director, “Romeo & Juliet” (Ten Thousand Things Theater Company), Claudia Wilkens and Barbara Kingsley – actors in “Gertrude Stein and A Companion” (Jungle Theater),Mathew LeFebvre – costume designer for “The Mystery of Irma Vep” (Jungle Theater) and
“A Christmas Carol 2014” (Guthrie Theater), Shá Cage – actor for “Grounded” (Frank Theatre), Joko Sutrisno – music director for “Prince Rama’s Journey” (Green T Productions) and Steve Tyler – music director for “The Pirates of Penzance” (Ordway Center for the Performing Arts). The ensemble cast of “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet” (Pillsbury House Theatre) was also awarded.
The Iveys are unique among awards events in the country in that they are open to the public and that there are no nominees, set number of awards or pre-determined award categories, with the exception of the Lifetime Achievement and the Emerging Artist Awards. The artists and organizations receiving special recognition are selected from evaluations completed by the general public and the volunteer theater evaluators. Each participating theater receives a vote to determine the Lifetime Achievement and Emerging Artist Awards.