At 2019 Stoney Awards, the win­ner is local theater

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT - By JANE BELLMYER [email protected]­cil­

— The fu­ture looks bright for local theater ac­cord­ing to Bran­don Gorin, one of the army of peo­ple pas­sion­ate about such things, who spoke Satur­day night on the state of the theater at Mil­burn Stone Theatre’s 2019 Stoney Awards.

“These awards shows are al­ways a mixed bless­ing,” Gorin told those at­tend­ing the award show at Ce­cil Col­lege. “There’s so much joy for peo­ple get­ting their awards, but I think ev­ery­one should get some­thing.”

But awards were handed out to var­i­ous mem­bers of the MST com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing Oracle, a black Labrador re­triever and re­tired see­ing eye dog.

“They warn you about work­ing with chil­dren and an­i­mals,” said An­drew Mitchell, artis­tic di­rec­tor of the theater pro­gram based at the col­lege in Bay View.

Oracle won the first Stoney Award for his por­trayal of Sandy the dog in MST’s pro­duc­tion of “Annie.”

While the awards were not given in fa­mil­iar cat­e­gories, ac­tors, tech­ni­cal, and other sup­port staff were cel­e­brated for their con­tri­bu­tion to the 2018 sea­son, which of­fered such pro­duc­tions as “Gen­tle­men Pre­fer Blondes,” “Je­sus Christ Su­per­star,” “Hed­wig and The An­gry Inch,” “Heathers,” “Peter and The Star­catcher” and “Garfield, The Mu­si­cal With Cat­ti­tude.”

“It seemed like a noth­ing show to do noth­ing with,” said Gorin, di­rec­tor of the Garfield show. “But it was so weird. This show walked to the front door and stood in ev­ery­one’s liv­ing room.”

In be­tween each award, the au­di­ence was treated to per­for­mances from


many of the shows in­clud­ing Natalie Bord­ley’s “I Love What I’m Do­ing” from “Gen­tle­men Pre­fer Blondes” and “King Herod’s Song” from “Je­sus Christ Su­per­star” per­formed by Bob Gatchel.

Dwight and Diane Hair were hon­ored with the Sup­port Your Local Theater Award, and cited for their long­stand­ing sup­port of Mil­burn Stone in­clud­ing sea­son tick­ets ev­ery year.

The Life­time Achieve­ment Award was given to Eileen Law Ste­wart, known for her ef­forts to im­part wisdom to the theater com­mu­nity, Mitchell said.

“She has a long legacy with Mil­burn Stone Theatre: 13-plus years,” he noted, ad­ding that she of­ten of­fers sparkling words of wisdom like, “Kiss my ... (butt).”

While the au­di­ence erupted in laugh­ter, Ste­wart came for­ward and ac­cepted the award, re­peat­ing her sig­na­ture line. How­ever, she also told her au­di­ence she ap­pre­ci­ated their ac­cep­tance.

“When I walked home,” she said.

Mitchell urged ev­ery­one to come back April 27 when the 29th sea­son would be un­veiled.

Mean­while, Mitchell called on the com­mu­nity to as­sist pro­mo­tion of the theater’s up­com­ing pro­duc­tion of “The Cu­ri­ous In­ci­dent of the Dog in the Night-Time” through word of mouth and so­cial me­dia. The Tony Award-win­ning play, with a run of MST shows in Fe­bru­ary, comes with pro­mo­tional stip­u­la­tions that limit ad­ver­tis­ing, he ex­plained. in here

Ifelt at


Since a de­ci­sion could not be made on which mem­ber of the Bord­ley fam­ily to give a 2019 Stoney Award, the com­mit­tee de­cided to award all four: Natalie, Kelly, Emily and Shelly.


Devon John­son hap­pily ac­cepts her Stoney Award from An­drew Mitchell, artis­tic di­rec­tor at Mil­burn Stone Theatre.

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