Thingamajig Theatre honored with major nominations from Henry Awards

Photo courtesy Jeff Laydon
Thingamajig Theatre Company’s summer 2019 production of “Jekyll and Hyde” received three major nominations from the Denver-based Henry Awards for outstanding production of a musical as well as best director, Melissa Firlit, and best actor, Perry Davis Harper. These prestigious nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by a panel of more than 100 statewide peer professionals, academics/educators and other theater lovers. “Jekyll and Hyde” was part of Thingamajig’s successful Broadway in the Mountains 2019 summer musicals season at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company

Thingamajig Theatre Company’s summer 2019 production of “Jekyll and Hyde” received three major nominations from the Denver-based Henry Awards, known informally among actors as Colorado’s Tony Awards.

The prestigious nominations honored Melissa Firlit for best direction of a musical, Perry Davis Harper for best actor in a musical, and Thingamajig Theatre Company plus Firlit and music director Boni McIntyre for outstanding production of a musical. Nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by a panel of more than 100 statewide peer professionals, academics/educators and other theater lovers.

“Jekyll and Hyde” is a horror thriller musical loosely based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella. It was part of Thingamajig’s highly successful Broadway in the Mountains 2019 summer musicals season that also included “Ring of Fire,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Alice in Wonderland.” 

Nominees’ reactions 

“We are incredibly honored to have Thingamajig’s production of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ nominated for these three Henry Awards,” said Tim Moore, producing artistic director and co-founder of the theater with his wife, Laura Moore, both extraordinary actors and directors in their own right. “Director Melissa Firlit has inspired so many performers over the years. I’m not the least bit surprised both she and Perry Davis Harper were recognized for their work on this production. I’m particularly proud to see ‘Jekyll’ recognized as one of the five best musical performances in Colorado in 2019. The work that music director Boni McIntyre has done with our musicals is second to none, and the whole company of artists — from the lighting designer to the on-stage ensemble — created a piece of art Pagosa will not soon forget.” 

Said Firlit: “It feels really great to have our work acknowledged on a larger scale. I am extremely proud of that show — it was an incredible collaboration for all involved, cast and creatives.” 

In addition to “Jekyll and Hyde,” Firlit has directed 16 productions at Thingamajig over the years, from serious drama like “Red” and “Proof” to musicals like “Aida” and “West Side Story.” She also serves as the artistic director of the Thingamajig Playwrights Festival.

Said Harper: “I am humbled by this nomination. ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was one of the most exciting and rewarding shows I have ever been a part of.” 

Harper became a local favorite when he first came to Pagosa in 2014 to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables.” Since then, he has performed in a variety of roles in six more Thingamajig productions including “A Very Perry Christmas” and “Grand Night for Singing” over the holidays last December.

Henry Awards
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Established in 2006, the annual Henry Awards showcase outstanding achievements among members of the Colorado Theatre Guild, the largest not-for-profit theater organization in the U.S. Nominations are announced each June, and winners of the distinguished awards normally are honored at a gala event in Denver a month later. Because of the coronavirus, however, this year’s celebration will be virtual, taking place online on July 26.

Thingamajig competes in Tier 1 of the Henry rankings against prominent theaters with stellar reputations in Colorado. They include Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Creede Repertory Theatre, Arvada Center, Cherry Creek Theatre, Vintage Theatre and more. 

Normally, the Henry Awards season runs from June 1 through May 31 of the following year. Because of the shortened theater season due to COVID-19, this year the awards season closed on March 31. In the 2018-2019 season, judges saw 206 shows in Colorado. Because of the shortened season, judges saw only 157 shows for 2019-2020. About 40 shows were either canceled or postponed across the state because of the coronavirus.

More about Thingamajig

Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round. The theater closed in March because of stay-at-home directives relating to the coronavirus pandemic just as it was about to begin its 10th season. 

Thingamajig’s mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth, many of whom are recipients of scholarships, with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.

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This story was posted on June 12, 2020.