2014 Norton Awards


This was the official website for the 2014 Norton Awards.
Content is from the site's 2014 archived pages and other sources.
The current website for the Norton Awards can be found at: www.elliotnortonawards.com

32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards
Recognizing Excellence in Greater Boston Theater
Monday May 19, 2014 at 7PM
The Wheelock Family Theatre
200 The Riverway, Boston
Post Party 
The Wolf Room Campus Center
150 The Riverway




About Us


The Elliot Norton Awards are named for the eminent Boston theater critic Elliot Norton, who remained an active supporter of the drama, both locally and nationally, until his death in 2003 at the age of 100. For 48 years Mr. Norton was a drama critic for Boston newspapers; concurrently, from 1958 to 1982, he was moderator of Elliot Norton Reviews on WGBH television.

The Boston Theater Critics Association, which presents the Elliot Norton Awards, has been a vital participant in the remarkable growth of the Boston theater community at a time in our nation’s history when it seems that the arts have an even greater struggle to survive.

The awards began as the Norton Medal, first bestowed in 1983. The awards now include a lifetime achievement award the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence and more than a dozen other awards are presented annually to outstanding productions, performers, directors and designers.

The Elliot Norton Awards ceremony also features a guest of honor. That distinguished list has thus far included Edward Albee, Brian Dennehy, Julie Harris, Sir Ian McKellen, Al Pacino, Lynn Redgrave, Chita Rivera, Jason Robards, Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams, Tommy Tune, August Wilson,  ,and many other theater artists who have enriched the cultural life of our region. The event has become a memorable evening, treasured for its atmosphere of camaraderie. Awardees and attendees alike come away suffused with excitement for the future of Boston theater.


The Elliot Norton Award

During his lengthy career, Mr. Norton reviewed more than 6,000 productions here, in New York, in other American cities, and abroad. In 1971, he received a special Tony Award from the League of American Theatres and Producers.

He held honorary degrees from ten colleges and universities and various honors including the George Jean Nathan Award for Drama Criticism, the George Foster Peabody Award for Elliot Norton Reviews, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Award, the Yankee Quill Award, and the New England Theatre Conference’s annual award “for outstanding creative achievement in the American theater.”

He was vice-chairman of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, as well as founding president of the New England Theatre Conference, to whose College of Fellows he was named in 1981. He remained a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a life member of The Players. He served five times as a Pulitzer Prize Play Juror and fifteen as a Tony Award nominator. He was the author of Broadway Down East (1978), a history of theater in Boston. On November 21, 1988, in New York, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

In July 2003, he died at the age of 100.

- Caldwell Titcomb


2014 Elliot Norton Award Prize for Sustained Excellence Paul Daigneault

PAUL DAIGNEAULT,  the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of SpeakEasy Stage Company,  vision and leadership have made SpeakEasy Stage one of the most successful and respected professional theaters in New England, with a strong reputation for producing regional premieres of contemporary plays and musicals, and an even stronger commitment to developing the talents and careers of local theatre artists.  Paul has directed more than half of his company’s roughly one hundred productions over its past 23 seasons.  His SpeakEasy directing highlights include works as diverse as:  The Color PurpleIn the HeightsNext to NormalNineBody AwarenessThe Great American Trailer Park Musical; [title of show]The Savannah DisputationJerry Springer – The OperaCaroline, or ChangeA Man of No ImportanceTake Me Out; and Company. He has received two Elliot Norton Awards for Direction: the first in 2003, for his work on both Stephen Sondheims Passion and Bat Boy: The Musical, the latter of which still holds the record as SpeakEasy’s longest running show, and then again in 2008, for his work on three productions: Parade, Some Men, and  Zanna Don’t!. In 2007, Paul was honored with the Boston College Arts Council’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, and in  2011, became  the first BC alumnus to serve as the Rev. J. Donald Monan S.J. Professor in Theater Arts. In 2008, SpeakEasy Stage was the first company to receive Stage Source’s Theater Hero Award, a distinction given annually to “an exceptional member of the Greater Boston Theatre Community who has demonstrated a history of service and commitment to the community through leadership, support, inspiration, innovation, and promotion of the art of theatre, throughout the region.” Paul is currently on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory where he teaches Directing and Musical Theatre and has helmed productions of Merrily We Roll AlongRentSunday in the Park with GeorgeCity of Angels, and Grand Hotel. Outside the theatre, he serves on the boards of the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center and the ICU Patient & Family Advisory Council at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Paul resides in Brookline, MA with his husband, the Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, and their son Ardani Mello-Daigneault. 



Monday May 19, 2014 at Wheelock Family Theatre
Ceremony Will Be Interpreted In ASL

BOSTON, MA. April 1, 2014 The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) is pleased to announce Academy Award-winner and international star of stage, television and film OLYMPIA DUKAKIS will receive the 2014 Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award on Monday, May 19 (7PM) at The Wheelock Family Theatre.  The ceremony highlights will feature nominated musical performances, The Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, and other surprises.  Tickets are $30, and available through the WFT box office, 617-879-3200. Use “Norton2014” code to receive $10 off  through April 30, 2014). Reflecting the theater community’s commitment to diversity and accessibility, and Wheelock Family Theatre leadership in inclusive theatre, interpreters Christopher Robinson and Sho Ndukwe will provide live ASL interpretation of the ceremony for the first time.

According to Joyce Kulhawik, President of the BTCA, Ive been in love with Olympia Dukakis since MOONSTRUCK—her range and repertoire from film, and television is remarkable, and her commitment and passion for the stage remains as vibrant as ever—I cannot wait to have this local “Olympian” actress receive her Nortie to put on the shelf next to her Oscar, Obie and Golden Globe!”

A Lowell, Massachusetts native and graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College, Dukakis gained widespread acclaim for her Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning performance as Rose Casterini, the astute and sharp-tongued mother to Cher’s Loretta Casterini, in the beloved and timeless movie MOONSTRUCK, winning the Golden Globe that year for the same role. Her theater, film, and television work has received numerous acclaims and award nominations, as well as earning Dukakis an Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award, and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.

She has appeared in signature roles in more than 60 feature and short films, including Cloudburst, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Steel Magnolias, Dad, Look Who’s Talking I, II & III, Mighty Aphrodite, Jeffrey, and Away From Her.  Her more than 40 television credits include Bored to Death (most recent), Last of the Blond Bombshells (Judi Dench), Sinatra (Golden Globe Nominee), Joan of Arc (Emmy Nominee), Tales of the City, More Tales of the City (Emmy Nominee), and Further Tales of the City.  Her New York theatre credits include Who’s Who in Hell, Social Security, Rose (Drama Desk Award Nominee) and The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, and Dukakis has performed in more than 130 productions Off-Broadway and regionally at theaters including A.C.T., Shakespeare in the Park, Shakespeare & Co., and Williamstown Summer Theatre Festival, where she also served as Associate Director.  She was most recently seen at Shakespeare & Co. last year in the title role of Mother Courage and Her Children, and will appear at New Repertory Theatre in Spring 2015 in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.

A daughter of Greek immigrants, and a cousin of former Gov. Michael Dukakis, Dukakis says she gained a love of theater from her father, who performed theater in Lowell, and her mother, who played the piano.  In addition to acting, she was a founding member and Producing Artistic Director of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, NJ for 19 years. Locally, she was a founding member of both the Actor’s Company and Boston’s Charles Playhouse.  She taught acting at NYU (graduate school) for fourteen years and teaches master classes for colleges and universities across the country. She has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Greek America Foundation and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor and received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Her autobiography, Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress, was published in 2003.

The Elliot Norton Awards are named in honor of the distinguished Boston theater critic Elliot Norton, who for many years served on the selection committee and who remained an engaged supporter of the drama, both locally and nationally, until his death in 2003 at the age of 100. For 48 years Mr. Norton was a drama critic for Boston newspapers; concurrently, from 1958 until his retirement in 1982, he was moderator of Elliot Norton Reviews on WGBH television.

The Boston Theater Critics Association, presenters of the Elliot Norton Awards, includes Don Aucoin, Jared Bowen, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Nick Dussault, Iris Fanger, Joyce Kulhawik, Robert Nesti, Kilian Melloy, and Ed Siegel. Together with the thriving local theater community, they strive to carry on Mr. Norton’s proud legacy.





32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards

Regional Reviews by Sarah Chantal Parro
Boston Theater Critics Association

There are many words that can describe Boston—historical, innovative, creative, political—but one word seems to capture our city best: spirit. As evidenced by the 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards on May 19th, presented at the Wheelock Family Theatre by the Boston Theater Critics Association, Boston's theatre community is just as vibrant and spirit filled as any other aspect of the city. Founded in honor of Elliot Norton, whose notable career included forty-eight years as a Boston theatre critic, the awards honor outstanding productions, performers, directors and designers.

The ceremony was punctuated by musical numbers from nominated productions, and the performers displayed outstanding choreography, sharp humor, and just wonderfully fun energy. The numbers included "Not For the Life of Me" from Stoneham Theatre's Thoroughly Modern Millie and "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Wheelock Family Theatre's Hairspray. Mayor Martin Walsh remarked on his desire for the Boston arts community to continue thriving, saying he hopes that one day Boston will be listed among cities like New York and Los Angeles as a great arts capital of the nation. Former Governor Michael Dukakis also spoke about the childhood and family life he shared with his cousin, Academy Award-winner and theatre veteran Olympia Dukakis, also reflecting on her incredible performance career. Ms. Dukakis was awarded the Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award. SpeakEasy Stage Company's Paul Daigneault accepted the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence.

It became clear over the course of the evening that this was not just a room full of artists and professionals. It was a room full of colleagues, friends, and family members who love, cheer for, and support each other. They say show business can be cutthroat, but it seems like there are certainly far worse places to be a working artist than Boston.

Award recipients are listed below. For more information, including a complete list of nominees, visit nortonawardsboston.com.

Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award: Olympia Dukakis

Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence: Paul Daigneault

Outstanding Visiting Production: Mies Julie, Baxter Theatre Centre; presented by ArtsEmerson

Outstanding Production by a Large Resident Theater: All the Way, American Repertory Theater

Outstanding Production by a Midsize Theater: Tribes, SpeakEasy Stage Company

Outstanding Production by a Small Theater: The Flick, Company One; co-presented by Suffolk University

Outstanding Production by a Fringe Theater: Punk Rock, Zeitgeist Stage Company

Outstanding Design, Large Theater: The Heart of Robin Hood, American Repertory Theater. Set design by Börkur Jónsson, Costumes by Emma Ryott, Lighting by Björn Helgason, Sound by Jonathan Deans.

Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small, or Fringe Theater: The Flick, Company One; co-presented by Suffolk University. Scenic design by Cristina Todesco, Lighting by Jen Rock, Costumes by Amanda Maciel Antunes, Sound by Edward Young, Props Master Anita Shriver.

Outstanding Musical Production by a Large Theater: The Jungle Book, Huntington Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical Production by a Midsize, Small, or Fringe Company: Hairspray, Wheelock Family Theatre

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor: Francis Jue, Miss Saigon, North Shore Music Theatre

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress: Aimee Doherty, On the Town (Lyric Stage Company of Boston) and Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre)

Outstanding New Script: Windowmen by Steven Barkhimer, Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Outstanding Director, Large Theater: Gisli Örn Gardarsson, The Heart of Robin Hood, American Repertory Theater

Outstanding Director, Midsize Theater: Ilyse Robbins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Stoneham Theatre

Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater: David J. Miller, Punk Rock and The Normal Heart, Zeitgeist Stage Company

Outstanding Actor, Large Theater, awarded in honor of Jeremy Geidt: Bryan Cranston, All the Way, American Repertory Theater

Outstanding Actress, Large Theater, awarded in honor of Julie Harris: Andrea Syglowski, Venus in Fur, Huntington Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater: Jeremiah Kissel, Imagining Madoff, New Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater: Erica Spyres, Tribes, SpeakEasy Stage Company

Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater: Alex Pollock, This Is Our Youth (Gloucester Stage Company), Windowmen (Boston Playwrights' Theatre), and The Flick (Company One; co-presented by Suffolk University)

Outstanding Actress, Small or Fringe Theater: Maureen Adduci, The Normal Heart, Zeitgeist Stage Company

Outstanding Ensemble, Large Theater, awarded in honor of Nicholas Martin: The Seagull, Huntington Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble, Midsize, Small, or Fringe Theater: Hairspray, Wheelock Family Theatre

- Sarah Chantal Parro