News in Cortland NY

Cortland Repertory Theatre Nominated for SALT Awards

Cortland Repertory Theatre has received nominations from their 2009 summer season in the recently announced Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Awards. Hosted by the Syracuse New Times, the SALT Awards recognize outstanding achievement in Central New York theatre productions over the past year. This is the sixth year that the awards have included separate categories for summer theatres, which besides CRT also includes the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca and the Merry Go Round Playhouse in Auburn. This year, CRT and Hangar each received five nominations and Merry Go Round received three.

In the category of Best Production of the Summer Season, CRT’s two regional premieres “Unnecessary Farce” and “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde” both received nods. “Farce” was written by Syracuse native Paul Slade Smith, and was directed by CRT’s Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson. “Gross Indecency” was directed by Bill Kincaid, who also directed a previous nominee from CRT, 2008’s “A Few Good Men”. “I’m thrilled with these nominations” Thompson says. “The farce was a great show to work on with an amazing cast, not to mention the fact that it’s the highest attended non-musical in CRT’s 38 year history. We took a huge risk with ‘Gross Indecency’ as a theatrical drama in our summer season, and Bill, the cast and the design team raised the theatre to new heights with this production.” Other nominees in this category include Hangar’s “Rent” and “Dirty Blonde” as well as Merry Go Round’s “A Chorus Line”.

For Best Actor of the Summer Season, CRT received three of the four mentions: Brian Runbeck who portrayed Oscar Wilde in “Gross Indecency”, Dominick Varney as the devil-in-disguise Mr. Applegate in “Damn Yankees” and Dustin Charles as the love-struck cop Eric Sheridan in “Unnecessary Farce”. “It’s terrific to see these three guys receive nominations” Thompson says. “They’ve all popular actors at CRT having done a total of 13 shows between them over the years. In fact, all three of them were in the comedy ‘How The Other Half Loves’ in 2007. I know that they are all honored to be nominated, and happy for their friends and fellow nominees as well.” The other nominee in this category is Kevin Carolan from Hangar’s “Dirty Blonde”.

While CRT did not receive any nominations in the Best Actress category, the theatre still has a connection to one nominee. Catherine Stephani, an Ithaca College graduate who is nominated for her performance in Hangar’s production of “Rent” was a CRT performing intern in the 2007 Season, playing Hodel in “Fiddler on the Roof”. Other nominees this year are Julia Cardia from “No, No, Nanette” and Elizabeth Earley for “A Chorus Line” both at Merry Go Round, and Broadway actress Emily Skinner from “Dirty Blonde” at Hangar.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Palace Theater in Syracuse on Sunday, April 25. For more information and to see the entire list of nominees, visit

Cortland Repertory Theatre

Nominee Dominick Varney as Mr. Applegate (left) with Peter Carrier in a scene from CRT’s “Damn Yankees.”

Cortland Repertory Theatre

(l to r) Eric Oleson, Dale Young, Joel Pellini and Nominee Brian Runbeck as Oscar Wilde in a scene from “Gross Indecency.”

Cortland Repertory Theatre

Nominee Dustin Charles (left) with Crystal Rona Peterson, Mark Bader, Morgan Reis and Joshua Murphy in a scene from “Unnecessary Farce.”