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The Color Purple was this year's most celebrated production at the Suzi Bass Awards. (Photo by Casey Gardner)

News: “The Color Purple,” “Angels In America” from Actor’s Express big winners in Suzi Bass Awards

Actor’s Express took home the biggest prizes at Monday night’s 14th-annual Suzi Bass Awards for local theater at the Conant Performing Arts Center. The company received 11 Suzis, including Outstanding Musical for its production of The Color Purple and Outstanding Play for Angels in America

The organization also gave Lifetime Achievement Awards to Liz Lee, producer at the Center for the Puppetry Arts, and Rosemary Newcott, the long-time Alliance Theatre director and the company’s artistic director of theatre for youth.

The Color Purple was the evening’s big winner. Actor’s Express took home awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Direction of a Musical (David Kote) and Music Direction (Amanda Wansa Morgan). Latrice Pace received the award for Lead Female Actor in a Musical, and Kayce Grogan-Wallace was named Outstanding Female Supporting Actor. The production also received an award for Sound Design (Angela Bryant).

In addition, the Actor’s Express production of Angels in America also received Suzis for Outstanding Direction (Freddie Ashley and Martin Wilkins) and Outstanding Acting Ensemble.

The Suzi Bass Awards were founded in 2003 by Gene-Gabriel Moore and other industry professionals to celebrate Atlanta theater. Jon Carr received the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award for Black Nerd at Dad’s Garage. 

Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay received the award for Outstanding Scenic Design for Citizens Market at Horizon Theatre. Their win was hardly a surprise — the sisters received five of the six nominations in that category for their work at various theaters.

Carolyn Cook received a Suzi for her work in Citizens Market. (Photo courtesy Horizon Theatre)

This year’s winners also include the following:

Outstanding World Premiere: Sheltered at Alliance Theatre

Outstanding Female Lead Actor in a Play: Diany Rodriguez for Abigail/1702 at Aurora Theatre

Outstanding Male Lead Actor in a Play: Lee Osorio for The Life and Death of Richard the Second at Atlanta Shakespeare Company

Outstanding Supporting Female Actor in a Play: Carolyn Cook for Citizens Market at Horizon Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Male Actor in a Play: Enoch King for The Christians at Actor’s Express

Outstanding Male Lead Actor in a Musical: Haden Rider for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora Theatre and Theatrical Outfit

Outstanding Male Supporting Actor in a Musical: Robert Wayne for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

Outstanding Acting Ensemble in a Musical: the cast of Always . . . Patsy Cline at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Outstanding Choreography: Cindy Mora Reiser for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

A full list of the awardees and the nominees are available on the Suzi Bass website.