Backstage director nominated for Denver Post Ovation Awards | SummitDaily.com

Backstage director nominated for Denver Post Ovation Awards

LESLIE BREFELDsummit daily news

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc

Backstage Theatre artistic director Chris Willard has been nominated for three 2005 Denver Post Ovation Awards. The nominations include Theater Person of the Year, Best Year by a Director – citing the Alliance Stage’s “The Syringa Tree,” Country Dinner Playhouse’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” Arvada’s Center’s “Narnia” and “Mother Whimsy” – and Best Sound for the Alliance Stage’s “The Syringa Tree.”Also, “The Syringa Tree” – under Willard’s direction – was nominated for Best Drama. He also directed “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which was nominated for Best Musical and Best Ensemble.

Willard also bears kudos for the nomination of the children’s theatre production, “Tribal Tales of Africa,” which he wrote, and was originally going to direct but didn’t because of his new job in Breckenridge. Willard took over at the helm of the Backstage Theatre at the end of August in 2005.The director, who says he’s been involved in theatre his whole life said, “It’s nice to be recognized. It’s nice to see the work you did over the year be recognized.”The Rocky Mountain News recently named Willard’s “The Syringa Tree” one of the best plays of the year.

“I was pretty active last year,” Willard said. “I also wrote a few shows and had them produced as well.”The Post reviewed 140 plays in Colorado in 2005, according to the newspaper. The Denver Center Theatre Company and national touring productions are considered within their own categories.

Winners will be announced in the Jan. 1 edition of the Denver Post.Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13622, or at lbrefeld@summitdaily.com.