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Six companies never before nominated for St. Louis Theater Circle Awards are in contention for 2017 honors — awards that honor outstanding work at professional St. Louis theaters.

The awards, now presented by the Post-Dispatch, are given by the St. Louis Theater Circle, an organization of critics who write about theater here. (I am one of the founding members.)

The critics have nominated 27 different companies for these awards, all for work staged in 2016. The six newcomers are ACT INC, Equally Represented Arts, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, Variety Children’s Theatre, Winter Opera St. Louis and the YoungLiars.

For the first time, two new categories honor work in opera, which previously was grouped with musicals.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis received the most nominations of any troupe, 24. St. Louis Shakespeare received 12, with 11 nominations each going to Max & Louie Productions, the Muny, Stages St. Louis and Stray Dog Theatre, and 10 to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.

Actor Will Bonfiglio broke the record for individual nominations in a single season. This year, he’s up for four awards: outstanding actor in a comedy, as well as for outstanding work as supporting actor in a comedy, supporting actor in a drama and supporting actor in a musical.

Twelve artists received two nominations each; in all, nominations went to 119 artists.

First presented in 2013, the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards will be handed out March 20 at Chaminade’s Skip Viragh Center for the Arts. The event is open to the public but will not be televised this year, as it was in the past. Tickets just for the awards program are $15; tickets for food and drink are also available. For information, visit brownpapertickets.com.

The 2017 nominees:

Comedy

Outstanding actress in a comedy

Nancy Anderson, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Cara Barresi, “As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Lindsay Gingrich, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” Stray Dog Theatre

Elizabeth Van Pelt, “boom,” R-S Theatrics

Maggie Wininger, “Educating Rita,” West End Players Guild

Buyer & Cellar

Will Bonfiglio in Stray Dog Theatre's production of "Buyer & Cellar."  Photo by John Lamb

Outstanding actor in a comedy

Will Bonfiglio, “Buyer & Cellar,” Stray Dog Theatre

Joe Hanrahan, “Thom Pain (based on nothing),” Midnight Company

Tom Kopp, “Educating Rita,” West End Players Guild

Andrew Kuhlman, “boom,” R-S Theatrics

Zac O’Keefe, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” ACT INC

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy

Katie Donnelly, “As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Rachel Hanks, “As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Shannon Nara, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” Stray Dog Theatre

Nancy Nigh, “boom,” R-S Theatrics

Margeau Steinau, “The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy

Will Bonfiglio, “As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Isaiah DiLorenzo, “The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Evan Fornachon, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” ACT INC

Stephen Pilkington, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Shane Signorino, “The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

the dispute

In The YoungLiars production of "The Dispute," Carise (Julie Layton, left) warns Egle (Maggie Conroy) of the risks of love. It's nominated for outstanding production of a comedy. Photo by Valerie Goldston

Outstanding ensemble in a comedy

“As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

“The Dispute: A Spectacle for Lovers and Fighters,” the YoungLiars

“The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

“Remember Me,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Outstanding director of a comedy

Gary F. Bell, “Buyer & Cellar,” Stray Dog Theatre

Rick Dildine, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Chuck Harper, “The Dispute: A Spectacle for Lovers and Fighters,” the YoungLiars

Donna Northcott, “The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Ellie Schwetye, “As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

The Heir Apparent

In "The Heir Apparent," a 2016 St. Louis Shakespeare production at the Ivory Theatre, the valet Crispin (Isaiah DiLorenzo, seated), disguised as wealthy old Geronte, basks in the attention of "his" maid (Britteny Henry), "his" nephew (Scott McDonald) and "his" lawyer (Anthony Winninger, in a mortar board). It's nominated for outstanding production of a comedy at the St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards, to be presented March 20 at Chaminade's Skip Viragh Center. Photo by John Lamb    

Outstanding production of a comedy

“As You Like It,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

“Buyer & Cellar,” Stray Dog Theatre

“The Dispute: A Spectacle for Lovers and Fighters,” the YoungLiars

“The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Drama

Outstanding actress in a drama

Lavonne Byers, “Golda’s Balcony,” New Jewish Theatre

Michelle Hand, “Macbeth,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Linda Kennedy, “The Glass Menagerie,” Upstream Theater

Dael Orlandersmith, “Until the Flood,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Rachel Tibbetts, “Cuddles,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

'Disgraced'

Amir (John Pasha) and his wife, Emily (Leigh Williams), struggle over issues of identity in "Disgraced" at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. It's nominated for outstanding production of a drama. Photo by Peter Wochniak

Outstanding actor in a drama

Charlie Barron, “Richard III,” St. Louis Shakespeare

J. Samuel Davis, “Driving Miss Daisy,” New Jewish Theatre

John Pasha, “Disgraced,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Michael James Reed, “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard,” Blue Roses Stage Collective

Kevin Rolston Jr., “Twisted Melodies,” the Black Rep

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama

Kirsten De Broux, “Kindertransport,” Mustard Seed Theatre

Sydney Frasure, “The Glass Menagerie,” Upstream Theater

Anita Jackson, “The St. Louis Rooming House Plays,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Alicia Revé Like, “Miss Julie, Clarissa and John,” the Black Rep

Kristin Rion, “Arcadia,” West End Players Guild

'Old Wicked Songs'

Professor Mashkan (Jerry Vogel, seated) gives singing lessons to an arrogant American pianist, Stephen (Will Bonfiglio), in New Jewish Theatre production of "Old Wicked Songs." Photo by Eric Woolsey

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama

Will Bonfiglio, “Old Wicked Songs,” New Jewish Theatre

Jason Contini, “The Glass Menagerie,” Upstream Theater

Leo Ramsey, “American Buffalo,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

B. Weller, “Ivanov,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Eric Dean White, “Driving Miss Daisy,” New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding ensemble in a drama

“Arcadia,” West End Players Guild

“Manifest/Destiny,” West End Players Guild

“Miss Julie, Clarissa and John,” the Black Rep

“The St. Louis Rooming House Plays,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

“Trash Macbeth,” Equally Represented Arts

Outstanding director of a drama

Lucy Cashion, “Trash Macbeth,” Equally Represented Arts

John Contini, “American Buffalo,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Joe Hanrahan, “Cuddles,” Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Tim Ocel, “Old Wicked Songs,” New Jewish Theatre

Wayne Salomon, “Three Tall Women,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

American Buffalo

As Donny (Peter Mayer, right) gets bad news on the phone, Bobby (Leo Ramsey, left) and Teach (William Roth) try to find out what's happening. David Mamet's "American Buffalo" plays at the St. Louis Actors' Studio. It's nominated for outstanding production of a drama. Photo by John Lamb.

Outstanding production of a drama

“American Buffalo,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

“Disgraced,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

“The Glass Menagerie,” Upstream Theater

“Old Wicked Songs,” New Jewish Theatre

“Trash Macbeth,” Equally Represented Arts

Musicals

'42nd Street' at the Muny

Billy Lawlor (Jay Armstrong Johnson)performs "I Only Have Eyes For You" in "42nd Street" at the Muny. It's nominated for outstanding production of a musical. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Outstanding actress in a musical

Shanara Gabrielle, “Yentl,” New Jewish Theatre

Debby Lennon, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Sarah Porter, “Tell Me on a Sunday,” New Line Theatre

Jonalyn Saxer, “42nd Street,” the Muny

Emily Skinner, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding actor in a musical

Michael Baird, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Stray Dog Theatre

Zachary Allen Farmer, “Atomic,” New Line Theatre

Corey Fraine, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” Stray Dog Theatre

Adam Heller, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

David Schmittou, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

The Drowsy Chaperone

In 2016, Corinne Melançon played the title character and David Schmittou played her most devoted fan in "The Drowsy Chaperone" at Stages St. Louis. Photo by Peter Wochniak, ProPhotostl.com

Outstanding supporting actress in a musical

Taylor Louderman, “Aida,” the Muny

Laurie McConnell, “Company,” Insight Theatre Company

Corinne Melançon, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

Anna Skidis Vargas, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Stray Dog Theatre

Donna Weinsting, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Outstanding supporting actor in a musical

Will Bonfiglio, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Zachary Allen Farmer, “Celebration,” New Line Theatre

Edward Juvier, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

Terry Meddows, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Luke Steingruby, “Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show,” Stray Dog Theatre

"Follies"

Showgirls of the past perform in "Follies" at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. It's nominated for outstanding production of a musical. Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr. 

Outstanding ensemble in a musical

“42nd Street,” the Muny

“The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

“Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

“Grey Gardens,” Max & Louis Productions

“Sister Act,” Stages St. Louis

Outstanding musical director

Sue Goldford, “American Idiot,” New Line Theatre

Brad Haak, “Fiddler on the Roof,” the Muny

Brad Haak, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Neil Richardson, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louis Productions

Ben Whiteley, “42nd Street,” the Muny

Outstanding choreographer

Stephen Bourneuf, “Sister Act,” Stages St. Louis

Denis Jones, “42nd Street,” the Muny

Dana Lewis, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

Ralph Perkins, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Lara Teeter, “Disney’s Beauty & the Beast,” Variety Children’s Theatre

Outstanding director of a musical

Justin Been, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” Stray Dog Theatre

Michael Hamilton, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

Denis Jones, “42nd Street,” the Muny

Annamaria Pileggi, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Rob Ruggiero, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Georama

In "Georama," 19th-century artist John Banvard travels (PJ Griffith) down the Mississippi, sketching the landscape as he goes. It's nominated for outstanding production of a musical. Photo by Peter Wochniak 

Outstanding production of a musical

“42nd Street,” the Muny

“The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

“Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

“Georama,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

“Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Outstanding new play (comedy, drama or musical)

Nancy Bell, “Remember Me,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

West Hyler, Matt Schatz and Jack Herrick, “Georama,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Dael Orlandersmith, “Until the Flood,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Tammy Ryan, “Molly’s Hammer,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Maya Arad Yasur, “Suspended,” Upstream Theatre

Opera

'Doubt'

Elise Quagliata (left) as Sister James and Christine Brewer (right) as Sister Aloysius in Union Avenue Opera's production of Douglas J. Cuomo's "Doubt" at Union Avenue Opera. (Photo by John Lamb)

Outstanding achievement in opera

Christine Brewer, “Doubt,” Union Avenue Opera

Andriana Chuchman, “Shalimar the Clown,” Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Stephen Lord, “Macbeth,” Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Neil Nelson, “Tosca,” Union Avenue Opera

Melody Wilson, “Doubt,” Union Avenue Opera

Outstanding production of an opera

“Ariadne on Naxos,” Opera Theatre of St. Louis

“Doubt,” Union Avenue Opera

“Macbeth,” Opera Theatre of St. Louis

“The Merry Widow,” Winter Opera St. Louis

“Shalimar the Clown,” Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Design — comedy and drama

The Rep productions featuring Joneal Joplin

St. Louis actor Joneal Joplin, left, in The Rep production of "A Christmas Carol." ( 2016) Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Outstanding lighting design

Rob Denton, “A Christmas Carol,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Patrick Huber, “Ivanov,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Kathy Perkins, “Miss Julie, Clarissa and John,” the Black Rep

Nathan Schroeder, “Macbeth,” St. Louis Shakespeare

John Wylie, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Outstanding sound design

Ted Drury, “Macbeth,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Tom Mardikes, “Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Rick Sims, “Twisted Melodies,” the Black Rep

Rusty Wandall, “A Christmas Carol,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Rusty Wandall, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Trash Macbeth

In ERA's "Trash Macbeth," Lady Macbeth (Rachel Tibbets) and Macbeth (Mitch Eagles), wearing robes made of old newspaper, take the throne as Macduff (Carl Overly Jr., at left) looks on. It's been nominated for outstanding production of a drama. Photo by Wilson Webel  

Outstanding costume design

Dorothy Marshall Englis, “A Christmas Carol,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Dorothy Marshall Englis, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Jennifer “JC” Krajicek, “Macbeth,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Meredith LaBounty, “Trash Macbeth,” Equally Represented Arts

Michelle Friedman Siler, “The Heir Apparent,” St. Louis Shakespeare

Outstanding set design

Kristin Cassidy, “Burrow,” the YoungLiars

Kristin Cassidy, Wilson Webel and Lucy Cashion, “Trash Macbeth,” Equally Represented Arts

Cristie Johnston, “American Buffalo,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Robert Mark Morgan, “A Christmas Carol,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Peter and Margery Spack, “Golda’s Balcony,” New Jewish Theatre

Design — musicals

Grey Gardens

In "Grey Gardens" at Max & Louie, Big Edie Beale (Debby Lennon, left) and her daughter, Little Edie (Madeline Purches) relax with a song and dance as their in-house pianist (Terry Meddows) plays. Photo by Dan Donovan

Outstanding lighting design

Rob Denton, “42nd Street,” the Muny

Tyler Duenow, “Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show,” Stray Dog Theatre

John Lasiter, “Follies,” “Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Sean M. Savoie, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

Michael Sullivan, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Outstanding costume design

Amy Clark, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Jennifer “JC” Krajicek, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Andrea Lauer, “42nd Street,” the Muny

Brad Musgrove, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Stages St. Louis

Margaret E. Weedon, “Georama,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding set design

Luke Cantarella, “Follies,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Dunsi Dai, “Grey Gardens,” Max & Louie Productions

Robert Mark Morgan, “The Wizard of Oz,” the Muny

Scott C. Neale, “Georama,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Peter and Margery Spack, “Yentl,” New Jewish Theatre