This press release was sent to me by Anne Ulseth, PR for the Illusion theater, and several others. We have developed a relationship as I am invited to view and review productions at numerous theatres throughout the metro. Thank you, Anne! You’re dong a fine job. It’s fun to see some of the actors and theatres that I’ve visited received awards for their outstanding work in the performing arts. To read my reviews, visit my website, Play off the Page
. Go. Create. Inspire!
Illusion Theater’s Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris receive
2014 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award;
Tyler Michaels recognized as Emerging Artist
Three productions and seven individuals/ensembles also honored
at September 22 celebration
(MINNEAPOLIS; September 23, 2014) — For the first time in the Iveys’ 10-year history, two people will share the Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris, co-producing directors of Illusion Theater, were honored at the celebration of Twin Cities theater on September 22 at the Historic State Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. Versatile actor-singer-dancer-improviser Tyler Michaels received the Emerging Artist Award.
The 10th Anniversary Ivey Awards attracted a sold out audience to the show designed to recognize and showcase the work of professional metro-wide theater companies and artists over the past year.
Based on evaluations completed by the more than 150 volunteer theater evaluators who saw more than 1,000 performances created by 66 professional theaters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area from September 2013 through August 2014, three productions and seven individuals/ensembles were also recognized with 2014 Iveys:
MICHAEL ROBINS (Lifetime Achievement Award) founded Illusion Theater in 1974. Over the past 40 years, he has guided several hundred plays to production. Robins directs the inimitable Miss Richfield 1981 in her annual holiday show at the Illusion, has directed Allison Moore’s adaptation of Willa Cather’s My Antonia, several of Jeffrey Hatcher’s plays, Caryl Churchill’s A Number, James Still’s Iron Kisses, The Velvet Rut and I Love to Eat, and Bill W. & Dr. Bob by Stephen Bergman & Janet Surrey, among others. He directed Illusion’s searing production of The Laramie Project and the Midwest premiere of the Kirsten Childs’ groundbreaking musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Along with Bonnie Morris, Robins was one of the team members who created Illusion’s Peer Education/Prevention program in 1977, starting with the original groundbreaking work on child sexual abuse prevention, the award-winning play and video Touch, a collaboration with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
BONNIE MORRIS (Lifetime Achievement Award) has been a part of Illusion Theater’s remarkable 40-year history as an actor, writer, educator and producer. Morris is passionate about new work and new artists. She co-authored all of Illusion’s educational plays, including Touch, For Our Daughters, Like Waters Rolling Down, No Laughing Matter, Clear the Air, and Ready Set Action.
Together, Robins and Morris have programmed innovative work since the company’s inception in 1974, from Orlando, Orlando at the Walker Art Center to works by Spaulding Gray, Ping Chong and Karen Finley. Well-regarded new work showcases include the annual Fresh Ink series, which marks 28 years in 2015, and Lights Up!, which soon will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
In its 40 years, Illusion Theater has commissioned or developed more than 350 original mainstage plays that have been seen by more than one million people and have been staged by more than 40 theaters across the US, including major regional theaters such as the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Goodman Theater in Chicago and Manhattan Theater Club. Illusion productions have received Ivey Awards, two plays have been made into motion pictures (Miss Evers’ Boys and The Velocity of Gary), and 10 have been published. One was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize (Miss Evers’ Boys) and two plays have been finalists for the American Critics Association Best New Play (Autistic License and Sez She).
TYLER MICHAELS (Emerging Artist Award) was born and raised in Bloomington, Minn., and graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) with a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Acting, Directing, and Musical Theater. While studying at MSUM, he competed for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Irene Ryan acting scholarship. Upon receiving the scholarship, Tyler traveled to the Kennedy Center to claim the Mark Twain Comedic Performance Award as well as a scholarship to study at Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre.
Since moving back to the Twin Cities in January 2011, Michaels has worked with the Guthrie Theater, Flying Foot Forum, Theatre Latté Da, Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, 7th House Theater Collective, Actors Theater of Minnesota, Circa Productions, NUTS ltd, Newton Theater, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, HUGE Theater, Got It Made Productions, Studio206 and Bloomington Civic Theatre. He is also part of Bearded Men Improv
, a long-form experimental improv troupe, performing at HUGE Improv Theater as well as all over the country during various comedy festivals and tours.
About the Iveys
The Iveys are unique among awards events in the country in that they are open to the public and that there are no nominees, set number of awards or pre-determined award categories, with the exception of the Lifetime Achievement and the Emerging Artist Awards. The artists and organizations receiving special recognition are selected from evaluations completed by the general public and the volunteer theater evaluators. Each participating theater receives a vote to determine the Lifetime Achievement and Emerging Artist Awards.
The 10th Anniversary Ivey Awards are presented with the generous support of Carousel Motor Group, BMW of Minnetonka, Porsche of Minneapolis, Porsche of St. Paul, Mercedes Benz of Maplewood, Audi Minneapolis, Audi St. Paul, Target, Best Buy, IATSE, Actors’ Equity Association, Trinchero Family Estates Winery, McKnight Foundation, J.P. Morgan, Dorsey Whitney, Robins Kaplan, martinpatrick3, Spyglass Creative, Risdall Marketing Agency, City Pages, The Hotel Ivy, Solera Restaurant, Summit Brewing Company, Cities 97, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, MINQ, Clear Channel Outdoor, Palisades Asset Management Company, Thomson Reuters, Disciplined Growth Investors, Western Bank, My Sister, Inc., and UBS.