Steves Awards

It was not until “The Steves Awards” that I actually set foot in Steinbach Theatre and discovered a brand of small-scale shows–ones that have the most flair of all Phillips Academy theatrical productions. With scripts in hand, some of the school’s favorite actors put on a small, 30-minute awards show consisting of hilarious skits and awards in the form of gold-painted Ken dolls. The skits were performed in a clumsy and obviously disorganized manner. Eric Sirakian ’10, nominee for Best Stage Kiss, said “[The Steves] is really just a fun way to recognize some really cool performances that went on during the year.” The awards were primarily a medley of parodies of theatre shows, independent projects (IP’s) and even Theatre Department faculty. Opening with a parody of Molly Shoemaker’s ’08 IP “Closer,” new Producers for the 2008-2009 school year Eli Grober ’09 and Mike Kaluzny ’09 acted out a conversation on Instant Messanger where Kaluzny pretended to be Jean Fang ’09, next year’s third Producer. Kaluzny feigned Fang’s interest in Grober, eventually asking him to show up in Steinbach at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday (the time and place of The Steves) in all black clothing. When Grober showed up, he drew attention to the fact that he was wearing black, and the real Fang had no idea what he was talking about. Grober, his hopes for a bit of backstage canoodling dashed, was explicably embarrassed. This skit was perfectly awkward, and led into the nominees for “Best Stage Kiss.” Clearly Fang did not know what she was missing out on, as Grober won the award for his kiss with Ellie Shepley ’08 in Fall Term’s performance of “Urinetown.” After this, many small skits and awards continued, including Thor Shannon’s ’09 win for “Best Big Part” in Urinetown, and Hector Cintron ’08 and Nico Hargreaves-Heald’s ’08 win for “Best Crude Humor” in Closer. Next, the cast of “The Steves” put on a disjointed and confusing skit to introduce Best Technical Glitch, won by the Drama Lab “Monologue Madness’” table-collapsing catastrophe. The award for Most Dedicated Technician later went to Katy Svec ’10 and Corey Simpson ’08. Then, while Fang attempted to present the award for “Best Rookie Director,” ultimately received by Scott Dzialo ’09, her co-stars continuously interjected bowdlerized versions of what she intended to say, clearly poking fun at the Theatre Department for the censorship of Spring Term’s “Jungal Book” performance. Some awards that followed were “Best Director,” won by Michaeljit Sandhu ’09, “Best Use of Theatrical Space,” won by Evan DelGaudio ’08, “Best Comedic Performance,” which, unsurprisingly, went to Lucas McMahon ’08 for his role as Bottom in Winter Term’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” and “Best Dramatic Performance,” which went to Anabel Bacon ’09 for her performance in McMahon’s IP, “A Taste of Honey.” Following another skit in which a divided cast decided to settle their differences with a “Crump Battle,” poking fun again at “Jungal Book,” “Best Musical Performance” was given to Carrie St. Louis ’08 and “Best Rookie Performance” to Charlie Walters ’10. Then, in response to the “Crump Battle” skit, a “Faculty Meeting” was held regarding the incident. Tempers flared as the group tried to come to a consensus on the perfect day for auditions, all while under the control of the leader of the meeting, Erin, played by Lucas McMahon ’08. Though I did not understand all of the references made during the meeting, aimed primarily towards regular theatrical students, it was still hilarious. Rachel Zappala ’10 said, “I think “The Steves” were very well done, especially the last skit involving all of the different theatre and dance teachers. However, I think that if a person in the audience hadn’t seen all of this year’s theatre productions or was not extremely into the theatre and dance department, they would probably have been confused by a great deal of the humor.” After this last skit, which merged seamlessly into the only faculty-presented award, Bruce Bacon, Chairman of the Department of Theatre and Dance, began to speak about the Halowell Award. This year’s award, presented annually to one student, was Bacon’s last, as Erin Strong will be taking over as Chairwoman next year. This last Steve, awarded to a deserving McMahon, concluded the ceremony–until next year.