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Bay Area actors, theaters vie for honors

December 18, 2018

Brian Treybig isn’t running for office, but he would like your vote.

The Kemah thespian is a leading contender in the “best actor in a play” category in fan voting for the 2018 Broadway World Houston Awards. He was nominated for his performance as abrasive TV star Max Prince in Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” at Clear Creek Community Theatre last February through March.

The BWW Houston honor would cap off a year of growth for Treybig, who recently signed with Page Parkes Management, a talent and modeling agency in Houston. Along with his stage and film work, which recently included portraying Sherlock Holmes for the second time at CCCT, Treybig was promoted from tour guide to publicity director for Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston.

“I feel like I am definitely moving in the right direction professionally and with CCCT,” said the 1995 graduate of Clear Creek High School.

At midpoint in the voting, which ends Dec. 31, Treybig was listed third in popularity among 41 nominees in his category.

“I already feel very honored,” he said. “I keep texting friends and family and spreading the word on social media.”

Bay Area theaters in contention

Treybig is one of a number of Bay Area actors, directors and designers whose work at area theaters has been nominated this year in practically every category of voting in the BWW Houston Awards. They include Matt Leighton of League City, who is nominated for best supporting actor in a play as insult artist Milt Fields in “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” at CCCT.

Other CCCT productions that were nominated include “Shout! The Mod Musical” and “Macbeth.” Individual nominees are: Jana Smith, Kathleen Richardson, Stephanie Hendrickson, Robert Leslie Meek, Phyllis Harris, Angela Reader, Emily Reader and Julia Cinningham.

Productions nominated from Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson include “Young Frankenstein,” “The 39 Steps,” “Sleuth” and “Funny Money.” Individual nominees include: Brandon Greer, Edward Waddell, Christopher Lowe, Elle Anders, Whitney Wyatt, Andrea Richards, Bonnie Reichel, Stephanie Hendrickson, Lynn Sivley, Amber Fabian, David Green, Edward Maas, Jason Barron, Brandon Allen and Abby Gough.

Both CCCT and BAHP were nominated for most-improved theater.

Upstage Arts in Webster received nominations for “Avenue Q,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Carrie: The Musical.” Individual nominees include: Keith Hermann, Tabitha Van Buren, Heather Garsen, Heather Green, Amber Deschamps-Jones, Whitney Wyatt and Andrea Richards.

Shirley Idzakovich was nominated for best costume design for her work on “James and the Giant Peach” at Bay Area Arts Conservatory in League City.

How voting works

In October, fans at BroadwayWorld.com submitted more than 2,000 nominations for the Houston-area awards, said senior editor Katricia Lang.

Anyone who got even a single nomination was included on the final ballot, when voting was opened on Nov. 30.

“We don’t mess with the nominations,” said Lang. “We trust that people are attracted to great art, and we know that thousands and thousands of people will be voting on the winners. Every year, we get more and more people voting.”

Robert Diamond, who founded BWW.com, said “there are many awards bestowed by critics and industry professionals, and I wanted to have one that was all about the audience and the fans.”

“The awards bring smaller, mid-size theaters into view,” added Lang. “It’s also a way for the audience to say, ‘Hey! We want to see more of this theater company.’ Sometimes, the audience knows more than the critic.”

Winners will be announced in January. For the first time since the local awards began in 2014, winners will receive a certificate in honor of their recognition by fans.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at donmaines@att.net