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Dezart Performs Wins Unprecedented 11 Desert Stars Awards: The most ever for the Palm Springs Company

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Dezart Performs Wins Unprecedented 11 Desert Stars Awards:
The most ever for the Palm Springs Company

Honors Given Out at 31st Annual Desert Theatre League Gala on Sunday, October 14 included “Best Production” Awards in both Comedy and Drama

Dezart Performs Opens 11th Season on November 9 with “Church & State”

15 October 2018 – Palm Springs, CA: In baseball, it might be called a home run. In politics, it would be wave. Whatever analogy is used, it was an unprecedented evening for the acclaimed Dezart Performs. The Palm Springs ensemble took home 11 “Desert Stars Awards” at last night’s 31st annual Desert Theatre League Gala held in Palm Desert, having been nominated for 23 awards in 19 categories.  The tally was a record for the company and included “Best Production” honors in both comedy and drama and also two awards for the group’s founding artistic director, Michael Shaw: one for acting, and one for directing.

“Wow – what an evening,” enthused Shaw. “Obviously, we were thrilled at our awards, and so proud of the talent on-stage, backstage and front of house that led to them.”

Shaw, noted, however, that amidst the celebration there was an air of melancholy as Scott Smith, who won best director accolades for Rabbit Hole, passed away unexpectedly this past March 1, just six weeks after the show closed.

“Everyone was there last night except Scott, our director and my dear friend,” Shaw noted. “And, while we certainly felt his loss, it was good to be there together supporting each other and to lift Scott up.”

Dezart Performs will open its 11th season with “a serious comedy, honest to God,” Church & State, November 9 – 18, at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club / 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs). Directed by Shaw, the play by Jason Odell Williams chronicles the reelection bid for a Republican U.S. senator and his surprising revelation on “the Twitter” that calls into question his office, his marriage and his sense of morality.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

Sponsors of Dezart Performs’ 2018/2019 Season include The Riviera Palm Springs, Desert Care Network, Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge, Acqua at the River, TRIO Restaurant and the Desert Sun.

Below is the complete list of wins for Dezart Performs.

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama — Phylicia Mason for “Rabbit Hole”
  • Outstanding Sound Design (professional) — Clark Dugger for “Rabbit Hole”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama — Jonathan Hatsios for “Rabbit Hole”
    (a tie with Bob Harrison in “The Bad Seed” at Palm Canyon Theatre )
  • The Ron Hamm Award for Outstanding Hair & Makeup Design (professional) — James Geier & Timothy McIntosh for “The Legend of Georgia McBride”
  • Outstanding Director Comedy (professional) — Michael Shaw for “The Legend of Georgia McBride”
  • The Michael Cruickshank Award for Outstanding Director Drama — Scott Smith for “Rabbit Hole”
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a comedy — Theresa Jewett for “Motherhood Out Loud”
    (a tie with Melanie Blue for “Fifth of July” by Desert Rose Productions, Inc.)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama (professional) — Yo Younger for “Rabbit Hole”
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (professional) — Michael Shaw, “Rabbit Hole”
    (a tie with Sean Smith for “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” from Coachella Valley Repertory)
  • Outstanding Production Comedy — “The Legend of Georgia McBride”
  • Outstanding Production Drama — “Rabbit Hole”

The Dezart Performs team gathers at the Desert Theatre League “Desert Stars” Awards Gala on October 14, 2018
Back row (L-R): Clark Dugger, Timothy McIntosh, Leanna Rodgers, Melanie Blue, Michael Shaw, Suzanne Gomez, Gailya Brown, Deborah Harmon, Yo Younger.
Front row (L-R:) Cicely Gargaro, Disereé Clarke, Theresa Jewett