The WATCH AWARDS Nominees React!-Part 1 by Joel Markowitz

How did thy feel when their names were announced as a WATCH AWARD nominee?

A Father and a Son Are Nominated

L to R: Beth Harrison, Jimmy Gertzog , Chip Gertzog, PPF President, Janet Bartelmay, and Lisa Church at the 2012 Washington Area Community Theatre Honors Awards. Photo by Chip Gertzog.
L to R: Beth Harrison, Jimmy Gertzog, Chip Gertzog, PPF President, Janet Bartelmay, and Lisa Church at the 2012 Washington Area Community Theatre Honors Awards. Photo by Chip Gertzog.

Outstanding Special Effects
Chip Gertzog and Jimmy Gertzog
Chip Gertzog & Jimmy GertzogLittle Shop of Horrors – Providence Players of Fairfax.

From Chip: “It is always wonderful to get a nod from the WATCH Judges for something you love doing as much as I do. Being nominated for work done for two terrific PPF productions is great but the nomination for the special effects in Little Shop of Horrors is particularly rewarding because that was a collaboration with my son Jimmy. We work together often on Providence Players productions. We each have been fortunate to garner a WATCH nomination here and there, but it is truly wonderful to be able to share the recognition of a WATCH nomination together!

From Jimmy: “It feels fantastic to be recognized for your hard work, especially on a special effects project where I had the honor of working with such a fantastic production team and cast. Sharing the nomination with a partner in crime is definitely the best part of the whole experience – especially when that partner is your Dad. We’ve worked on so many shows together it seems only natural to be nominated together. I only wish we could spread this honor around to the entire team, as it really is a joint effort through and through to raise such a technically challenging theatrical production.”


Two Sisters Nominated for the Same Show

(L to R) Anya and Rikki.
(L to R) Anya and Rikki.

Richelle Rikki Lacewell
 Outstanding Cameo in a Musical 
Rikki Howie as “The Washing Machine” – Caroline, or Change – Elden Street 

“You know you have to have someone’s back when you can have fun like this on an everyday basis. So to be the Washer in Caroline, or Change behind my sister meant that I had to have her back and I did. To be in a role where you see a person grow as an actress and then embody the character so much you see them grow as a person was very moving for me. She cried. I cried. She laughed. I laughed. I could see where being the washer the sounding board for her inner thoughts paralleled our lives as sisters. I’m so proud to be a part of her onstage experience and learn so much from it.”


Anya Randall Nebel
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Anya Randall Nebel as “Caroline – Caroline, or Change – Elden Street Players.

“Words can not express what I’m feeling at this moment,  First of all, I share my nomination with such a fierce bunch of people a girl has ever had the pleasure of working with.  My hat’s off to them!  Without that cast, there would be no Caroline.
I’ve been doing this thing called, Showbiz for a long time and it gets no better than this. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven, I was tested, challenged and mentored day after day last year. Tested by my peers onstage, tested by the staff, tested by my own best friend and sister Richelle Lacewell, we shared the stage in Chicago, but nothing gets better when you are made to tell the story and bear your soul as she and I got to do in this one. J, Michael DHaviland,  inspires me daily, and Brenda D Parker gives me spirituality thru acting. To share the stage with my child, made me melt.

To be recognized is a honor beyond measure. To be thanked by countless audience members, was an honor which means…. I did my job.Thanks Grandma!”


Wes Bedsworth

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Wes Bedsworth – 1776 – Colonial Players of Annapolis.

“I was sitting in my living room working on a computer networking project for Colonial Players with one of our other tech consultants on Sunday evening when he reminded me that WATCH award nominations were being announced that evening. We pulled up the live webcast and started watching the event. I was very excited to hear a few names I knew from Colonial Players, but when I heard my name for sound for our production of 1776, I was elated. Having been the Producer, Sound Designer, and Show Technician for that show last March (I couldn’t say no, obviously), it was absolutely incredible to be recognized by my peers for the endless hours of work we put into the sound and music for that production.

On top of that, my girlfriend Kaelynn Miller (our Treasurer) was also nominated for two awards, one for her role as Martha Jefferson in 1776 and another for her costume design for Shipwrecked! After watching her not sleep, skip work, stay up all night, and occasionally (maybe even frequently) cry for two weeks trying to put together roughly 100 costumes for Shipwrecked! by opening night, I was very happy to see that she received peer recognition for her efforts. She puts a lot of time into keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes for Colonial Players, from paying our bills to painting sets and floors, as well as sharing her on stage talent with us. I’m biased, but I’m incredibly proud of her.

Beyond those nominations, it’s very rewarding to be a part of an organization which received the most nominations this year, at 25. We worked very hard and had a lot of fun last year, and the WATCH recognition serves as a reminder of that.

Annie Bradley Ermlick
Outstanding featured actress in a musical
Annie Ermlick as “Vicki Nickols” – The Full Monty – Little Theatre of Alexandria.

“Thank you to everyone who have flooded me with your wonderful support and for your kind congrats on my WATCH nomination and the DC Metro Theatre Arts recognition for 9 to 5..……I’m honored to be among such a fine group of talented actresses…..thank WATCH judges and the program and thank you Joel with DC Metro Theatre Arts.

This year  I’ve been blessed to be part of many amazing productions— Damn Yankees at MCP, Caught in the Netat LTA, Picasso at the Lapin Agile at VTC, The Full Monty at LTA.  Each show holds many amazing experiences and have blessed me with new challenges and fun times as well as making new friendships and being able to be part of a story that touches and changes audiences members and brings quality theatre to our community.

With THE FULL MONTY–I must say that I had a fabulous time in Frank Shutts production of The Full Monty..I will have memories of this show forever and cherish my time at LTA, the role and working with such great people…….I want to thank especially Chris,Frank and Ivan thank you for casting me and for your fabulous work..

I loved working with everyone the cast and crew, production team, especially loved working for Frank, our MD Chris Tomasino and our choreographer Ivan Davila, and of course my Harold Jack Stein….congrats to all your outstanding work, to Keith J. Miller, and Malcolm Lee, to all the other nominees and thank you to LTA, the producers Carolyn Rogge Winters, and Rachel Fischer Alberts, the costumers, designers etc… was one of those shows I will never forget….made awesome friends and loved Frank’s spin on Vicki as Sophia Vergera…….Also, thank you to all those who support the arts and who came to see the production……

I look forward to making new friends, to having fun with the opening of La Cage next week and to playing Inga in Young Frankenstein–which will reunite two Full Monty folks-Cara Giambrone O’Donnelland James Hotsko……..for me being part of community theatre is about the challenge or roles, having fun, investing everything I have into exploring a character and bringing her to life and being part of a story that I hope affects and touches our audiences. Without theatre and my theatre friends and other friends and family.”


Chad Fornwalt


Outstanding lead actor in a play
  • Chad W. Fornwalt as “Katurian” – The Pillowman– Silver Spring Stage

“It was a nice surprise to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for Katurian in The Pillowman. However, I was most excited that the show was nominated for Best Play. Everyone involved in the show deserves a nomination, and Silver Spring Stage should get a special award for taking a chance on the show. It was an honor to be a part of the show, and it is something that will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to Craig Mummey and Amy Sullivan for taking a risk on a guy who had never done a straight play, and casting four principals that they had never worked with. It was an honor and a blessing to share the stage with a brilliant cast and to work with a production team, crew, and an organization that will always have my utmost respect.”


Jane Wingard:


Outstanding Set Design in a Musical
Jane B. Wingard – Camelot – 2nd Star Productions.
Jane B. Wingard – Little Shop of Horrors – 2nd Star Productions.

Outstanding Set Painting in a Musical
Jane B. Wingard – Camelot – 2nd Star Productions.
Jane B. Wingard – Little Shop of Horrors – 2nd Star Productions.

Outstanding Set Decoration and Set Dressing in a Musical
    • Jane B. Wingard et al – Camelot – 2nd Star Productions.

“Naturally, I am thrilled over the WATCH nominations for me and all of
2nd Star. It is gratifying to have your work recognized. That having
been said and from a personal point of view, there are three points I
would like to make. One is that it doesn’t come easy. There are many, many hours of work behind 2nd Star sets. From the beginning we have made a polished and as close to a “Broadway” set as possible a goal for our shows. As a painter, I prefer the traditional sets over technical or minimal styles and being retired, I have the time to do it, so nominations or not, I love what I do. It IS nice to be recognized, however. Secondly, I would like to applaud  all the actors, costumers, designers, etc. who strive to make the productions the best they can be, nominated or not. You are amazing. Lastly, judging the Arts in any form is subjective. Though we all recognize certain standards, the bottom line is the viewer runs the piece through a set of filters unique to the viewer and responds accordingly. It is an honor to be nominated, but there are many who deserve to be told how good they are. Bravo to all who embrace this quest.”

Pam Woodward

Pam Woodward.
Pam Woodward.

Outstanding lead actress in a play
Pamela Woodward as “Poopay” – Communicating Doors – Colonial Players of Annapolis.

“I had been in ‘theater retirement’ for about four years prior to be cast in Communicating Doors, so to go from that to being nominated for an Outstanding Actress award is almost impossible to wrap my mind around. I was just excited to have the opportunity to pretend to speak in an accent in front of a captive audience again; this is truly a gift on top of a gift.”



Tom Flatt

Director Tom Flatt. Photo courtesy of Vienna Theatre Company.
Director Tom Flatt. Photo courtesy of Vienna Theatre Company.

“I wasn’t personally nominated, but all three of the shows – Avenue Q at Dominion Stage, Caroline or Change at Elden Street Players, and Rumors at McLean Community Players – I was in last year received multiple nominations, and two are up for best musical. These were all ensemble shows and every person who was part of them knew they were something special at the time and that every single person’s contributions made the show “sing.” It’s exciting to see so many WATCH judges felt the same way we did, but even more exciting to know I’ll get to celebrate with all these friends again!”


Patrick Graham

The cast of 'Avenue Q' at Dominion Stage: ith Dave Moretti, Mark Shaffstall, Jeremy Austin, Nathan Tatro, Patrick Graham, Evangeline Angelica, Kevin Kevo DeMine, Helen Bard-Sobola, Christopher Guy Thorn, Marianne Meyers, Devon Ross, Heather Friedman, Amy Baska, Amanda Cane, Jennifer Rubio, Jonathan Fair, Katy Chmura, Lindsey McClenathan, Tom Flatt, Chris Rios, DonMike H. Mendoza and Sam Nystrom. Photo by Jarrett Baker |
The cast of ‘Avenue Q’ at Dominion Stage: ith Dave Moretti, Mark Shaffstall, Jeremy Austin, Nathan Tatro, Patrick Graham, Evangeline Angelica, Kevin Kevo DeMine, Helen Bard-Sobola, Christopher Guy Thorn, Marianne Meyers, Devon Ross, Heather Friedman, Amy Baska, Amanda Cane, Jennifer Rubio, Jonathan Fair, Katy Chmura, Lindsey McClenathan, Tom Flatt, Chris Rios, DonMike H. Mendoza and Sam Nystrom. Photo by Jarrett Baker |

On Avenue Q at Dominion Stage being nominated for ‘Outstanding Musical”:

“Hello Joel, I played Rod in Dominion Stages’ “Avenue Q” last January and wanted to give a short blurb about my reaction to our Watch nominations.

“It was so amazing to hear that Avenue Q at Dominion Stage was nominated for “Best Musical” as well as the majority of technical awards, because it really reflects the ensemble nature of the show itself, as well as the hard effort of the entire production staff/crew! Everyone in this show worked long hours to figure how to change their craft; be it acting, lights, the set, and even choreography to adapt to the puppets and their challenges. We all had to work together very closely to make these changes work and it thrills me that we all are being recognized for it.”

Here are the 14th WATCH AWARDS nominations.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.


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