Players By The Sea Theatre 2017 Pelican Awards

The Pelican Awards, which is Players by the Sea Theatre’s version of the Tony Awards, is one of the most awaited local theatre events of the year. This year’s festivities, honoring the contributions of actors, musicians, technical staff, and volunteers during the 2016-17 season, were staged on August 27, 2017 and played to a packed house.

The Dual Critics have covered a number of past ceremonies and have found them always exciting. We noticed a couple of changes this year. While the awards remained a free event, the theatre did require e-mail RSVP confirmations from those who planned to attend. This was a wise move, which helped the organizers plan for the large crowd. And it’s something to keep in mind for next year, if you want to ensure a seat will be available.

The event always features food, glorious food, which in the past has usually been served after the trophies have been presented. This year, food was available as the audience gathered in the lobby and art gallery and enjoyed a buffet with treats that included fried chicken, great mac and cheese, and luscious fruits.

Peter Jackson and Linzy Lauren were Masters of Ceremony, who introduced each of presenters and provided original humor during the evening.

The show included great music. The cast of “Smokey Joe’s Café,” which opens in September and is the theatre’s first show of the upcoming season, performed a rousing number at the beginning. The band “De’Vue” with David Medina and Anthony Sardina played during the second half of the ceremony. To close out the evening, the cast from “American Idiot,” the summer musical, filled the stage with the same energy and enthusiasm they displayed during the well-received production.

During the evening, Kris Jackson, Special Events Coordinator and Dave Gowan, President of the Board of Directors, previewed coming events foremost of which is The Curtain Call Annual Gala in October.

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY – Eugene Lindsey, Jr.- Fences
BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY – Shauntel Robinson- Fences
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL – Rodney Holmes- American Idiot
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL – Isabella Martinez- American Idiot
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL – Jocelyn Geronimo- Into the Woods
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL – Brandon Hines- American Idiot
BEST  SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY – Leslie Richart- Madame Bonaparte
BEST PLAY – Fences
BEST MUSICAL – American Idiot
BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Amy Hancock- Into the Woods
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN – Daniel Dungan- American Idiot
BEST SET DESIGN – Jay Deen- Fences
TPAS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – Mitzi Ferguson Stephens
BEST STAGE MANAGER – Cynthia Riegler- City of Angels
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY – Jocelyn Geronimo- American Idiot
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION – Anthony Felton- American Idiot
BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY – Jereme Raickett- Fences
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL – Jocelyn Geronimo- American Idiot
BEST SOUND DESIGN – Jereme Nix, Cory Hawkins, Kyle Piety, and Paige McMullen- Sentences
BEST BAND OF THE YEAR – American Idiot – Greg Hersey, Sean Tillis, David Ott, Chelsea Chacon, and Assata Davis.

We are looking forward to the 2017-2018 season. For information about upcoming productions, visit or the theatre’s Facebook page.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.