2018 is promising to be another stellar year of important work for ion theatre and its artists. We’re still glowing from the recent San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards ceremony where ion artists were honored for their distinguished work on local stages in 2017.
Earning top honors for the evening was ion’s sold-out smash production of THE BALLAD OF EMMETT TILL by Ifa Bayeza. Named San Diego’s Outstanding Dramatic Production of 2017, the show also earned OUTSTANDING DIRECTION honors for ion Founder/Executive Artistic Director Claudio Raygoza and company member Yolanda Marie Franklin. The company of EMMETT TILL earned recognition as the year’s OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE and lead actor Cortez L. Johnson was named male ACTOR OF THE YEAR. Nominated for multiple awards, ion’s immersive production of CABARET also earned Cashae Monya an OUTSTANDING FEATURED PERFORMANCE award for her portrayal of Sally Bowles, and Scotty Atienza was bestowed the OUTSTANDING YOUNG ARTIST, SANDRA ELLIS TROY Scholarship for his turn as one of the two actors cast as the enigmatic Emcee. Also nominated for her OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION on CABARET was ion alum Morgan Carberry, while ion’s Claudio Raygoza was also given an OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL nod for his work on the Kander & Ebb classic in addition to being a nominee for his solo acting work in Eric Bogosian’s SEX, DRUGS, ROCK & ROLL.
In other exciting news, ion Actor Academy alum Jennifer Paredes was named female actor of the year for 2017 – she was nominated for OUTSTANDING LEAD PERFORMANCE for her work in ion’s 2016 production of LYDIA. To date, every year that the ACTOR OF THE YEAR award has been presented in San Diego since 2011, at least one of the actors honored (if not both) has been an ion company member, actor in an ion production that year or an alum of ion’s Actor Academy. Not a bad track record for one of San Diego’s smallest and newest companies!
Congrats again to the entire galaxy of artists who grace San Diego stages large and small all year every year and who help to make our local scene a jewel in the theatrical crown on a national level.