Mann takes top honors at theater

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 13, 2008

NATCHEZ — Community theater actress Lynn Mann took home lots of kudos after the Natchez Little Theatre’s 2008 Stan Dean Ovation Awards ceremony Saturday night.

During the ceremony, Mann was awarded best actress in a play for her performance as Penelope Mayweather in “Southern Exposure,” best supporting actress in a play for her role in “Steel Magnolias” and was also awarded the lifetime achievement award.

The award ceremony — which featured performances from this year’s season and preview performances for next year’s season — was the official wrap-up of the theatre’s 60th season, which featured eight productions.

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“All of our volunteers who have worked with us this year have helped make this season a success,” Natchez Little Theatre Executive Director Layne Taylor said.

More than 22,000 people saw productions at the Little Theatre this year, Board of Directors President Darryl Grennell said.

“We are one busy theater,” he said.

At the end of the evening, “Steel Magnolias” was awarded best show, but two other productions, “Native Son” and “The Sound of Music,” both took five awards awards.

“Native Son” garnered the best director award for Taylor and the best actor in a play for Grennell for his portrayal of Bigger Thomas.

The best debut by an actress award went to Carolyn S. Myles for her performance in “Native Son,” and cast member Royal Hill Jr. was awarded best cameo by an actor in a play, while Janey Dixey was awarded best cameo by an actress for “Native Son.”

Darlene McCune was awarded best actress in a musical for “The Sound of Music,” while Giovanna Little was co-recipient of the best supporting actress in a musical award for the same production.

Taylor was also awarded best supporting actor in a musical for “The Sound of Music.”

Chris Cavette was awarded best debut by an actor for “The Sound of Music,” and Courtney Taylor garnered a best cameo by an actress in a musical from the production.

Best supporting actor in a play went to Tommy Jackson for the role of General Mackenzie in “Ten Little Indians.”

The best musical award went to “Grease,” for which Tommy Jackson and Jodie Wright took home the best director award and Stacy Parker was awarded best actor in a musical.

Marylee Williams was the other recipient of best actress in a musical for her performance in “Grease.”

Landon Henry was awarded the best cameo by an actor in a musical for “Into the Woods.”

Rudy Timm took home the best youth actor for his work in “Into the Woods,” and Gabrielle Richardson was awarded best youth actress for “The Sound of Music.”

The Dawn Taylor scholarship youth volunteer recognition went to Nicole Ballard.

The theater’s 61st season begins July 31 when “Once on this Island” opens.