Banshee scores best direction award for 'The Crucible'
And with four nominations still pending, the awards season isn't even over yet.
Kathleen M. Darcy, Mark Colson and Matt Foyer in the Theatre Banshee production of 'The Crucible.' (Photo by Byron Turk , Theatre Banshee / March 24, 2012)
Banshee co-founder Sean Branney picked up an award in best direction for the company's staging of Arthur Miller's “The Crucible,” already honored recently in the same category with a Back Stage Garland Award. The critically acclaimed production, which recreates the Salem witch trials as a scathing indictment of McCarthy-era persecution, also won a McCullough Award for Best Revival.
“We stay away from viewing previous productions of the show,” Branney said of the Banshee's approach to familiar source material without falling into the trap of remaking what's been done before. It's obviously a successful game plan, winning the company the McCullough Award for its 2008 revival of John Steinbeck's “Of Mice and Men.”
On Monday, Banshee rounded out its trifecta of LADCC honors with an award to actress Casey Kramer for her featured performance in “Dolly West's Kitchen.” In the play, Kramer appeared as the wildly confrontational matriarch of the fictitious West family. Her win is all the more impressive given that her character dies at the end of the first act.
Branney is currently directing Banshee's “The Merchant of Venice,” which runs March 24-May 13.
As the awards season comes to a close, it will be interesting to see how Banshee fares on April 2 at the L.A. Weekly Theater Awards with four nominations — two each for “The Crucible” and last season's “The Walworth Farce.”