tma

Arts For Life’s 2021 Theatre Mask Awards, honoring excellence in community theatre productions of plays during 2020, will be pre-recorded and premiere as a virtual ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, on AFL’s YouTube Channel.

Act Two Theatre’s production of the farce “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” leads this year’s Theatre Mask Awards nominations with nine. Alton Little Theater, with its two productions of “Inherit the Wind” and “The Miracle Worker,” earned 12 nominations in total — six for each. Two classic comedies by Clayton Community Theatre, “The Philadelphia Story,” and Monroe Actors Stage Company, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” both received eight nominations apiece.

Normally, 11 community theater companies participate in the TMAs, with awards in 18 categories, but last year’s shutdown forced show cancellations.

“The TMAs were able to do eight shows last year and so the show must go on. Several categories were combined to allow for more nominees,” said AFL President Mary McCreight.

Tim Naegelin, co-chair of the TMA Steering Committee, explained the reasoning behind 2021’s awards ceremony.

“2020 was a difficult year. Most theatre was cancelled after March, but the TMA Steering Committee and the AFL Board of Directors believed the Theatre Recognition Guild had reviewed enough shows to make a successful TMA event. With only eight shows eligible, some categories have been combined so that we do not lose the integrity of our awards and nominations. To that end, there will not be a division of drama and comedy categories for this year,” Naegelin said.

TMA Eligible Shows

For this year’s TMA awards, Act Two Theater in St. Peters garnered nine nominations for production, actress, supporting actor and actress, director, costume design and lighting design, and as the only nominee for Best Ensemble, has won that award already.

Act Two, with 43 nominations since 2016, swept the 2017 TMAs, with “Drop Dead” winning Best Comedy and “The Boys Next Door” winning Best Drama.

Over the years, Clayton Community Theatre has received 113 nominations, sweeping last year’s TMAs with “A Soldier’s Play” and “Biloxi Blues” as winners in drama and comedy.

The group has eight nominations for production, director, actress, supporting actress (2), lighting, costume and set designs.

MASC staged "The Solid Gold Cadillac" in February 2020 and has received eight nominations for director, actor, actress, supporting actor and actress, costume, set and lighting designs.

The Alton Little Theater has a total of 12 nominations, with six for “Inherit the Wind” — production, director, actor, supporting actor and set design — and six for “The Miracle Worker” — production, director, actress (2), costumes and set design.

Looking Glass Playhouse received four nominations for production, actor, supporting actor and set design for “It’s Only a Play."

The 2020 TMA nominations include:

BEST PRODUCTION

“Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theater

“It’s Only a Play,” Looking Glass Theatre

“The Miracle Worker,” Alton Little Theater

“The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theatre

“Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR

Lee Cox, “Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theater

Kevin Frakes, “The Miracle Worker,” Alton Little Theater

Paul James, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theatre

Heather Sartin, “The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theatre

Rebecca Zimmermann, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

BEST ACTOR

Howard S Bell, “Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theater

Shea Maples, “Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theater

Steve Shininger, “It’s Only a Play,” Looking Glass Playhouse

David Zimmerman, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

BEST ACTRESS

Kelsey McCroskey, “The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theater

Marisa Puller, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theatre

Emily Schneider, “The Miracle Worker,” Alton Little Theater

Maria Wilken, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

Kya Wonders, “The Miracle Worker,” Alton Little Theater

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Dossett, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

Brad Kinzel, “It’s Only a Play,” Looking Glass Playhouse

Brant McCance, “Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theater

Todd Micali, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theater

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Linda Daly, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theatre

Jenifer Elias, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

Monica Lee, “The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theater

Trish Nelke, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?”, Act Two Theatre

Caitlin Souers, “The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theater

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Lee Cox, “Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theatre

Jean Heckmann, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theatre

Julie Smailys, “The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theatre

Rebecca Zimmerman, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Nathan Schroeder, “The Philadelphia Story,” Clayton Community Theatre

Todd Wilken, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

BEST SET DESIGN

Andrew Cary, Zac Cary and Heather Sartin, “The Philadelphia Story, Clayton

Community Theatre

Kevin Frakes, “The Miracle Worker,” Alton Little Theater

Kevin Frakes, “Inherit the Wind,” Alton Little Theater

Chris Resimius, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?” Act Two Theatre

Brad Sanker, “It’s Only a Play,” Looking Glass Playhouse

Todd Wilken, “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” Monroe Actors Stage Company

BEST ENSEMBLE

Act Two Theatre, “Who’s in Bed with the Butler?”

To see a complete list of the nominees and awards history, visit

www.artsforlife.org