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2nd Annual OC Theatre Guild award winners get their rewards

Updated: Apr 19, 2023


'Next to Normal' at the Chance wins Outstanding Production of a Musical (Photo by Francis Gacad)

April 17, 2023 – Costa Mesa, California – Live theater was celebrated again on Monday night during the second OC Theatre Guild Awards ceremony at the Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which was again nearly filled to the rafters with artists from all over the county.

Awards were given for 18 categories this year (two more than last year), with again four gender-neutral acting categories honoring two recipients each for a grand total of 22 OCTG Awards handed out during the evening.


Broken down by theater company, Chance Theater took home fourteen awards (Cry It Out, Next To Normal, American Idiot), Costa Mesa Playhouse took home three awards (The Whale), Maverick Theater took home two awards (Clue and King Kong), The Wayward Artist took home two awards (The Toxic Avenger) and Laguna Playhouse took home one award (Kim’s Convenience).

Yong Kim accepting the Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play for his performance in Laguna Playhouse's "Kim's Convenience" (Photo by Francis Gacad)

The ceremony was directed again this year by Michael Serna and hosted by Brooke Aston Harper, with Kim Le as Musical Director and pianist for the show. The evening included musical numbers from the nominated musicals American Idiot (Chance Theater), The Marvelous Wonderettes (American Coast Theater Company), Little Women (Chance Theater), Next To Normal (Chance Theater) and The Toxic Avenger (The Wayward Artist). Projection design was by Kristin Campbell. Production stage manager was Wade Williamson.


Presenters and speakers for the evening were made up of OCTG board members, last year’s award recipients and new theatre companies to the guild including Jennifer Walquist and Mark Coyan, Madelyn Vaazquez Heywood, Celestina Hudson, Maddi Deckard, Victoria Serra, Lex Leigh, Kelsi Blackwell, Bob Chesney, Katie Chidester and Kristin Campbell, Steve Endicott, Nathan Baesel, Ron Hastings, Ella Wyatt, Marya Mazor, Lizzy McCabe, Laura Lejuwaan and Jim Katapodis, Michael Lopez and Amanda DeMaio.

2023 OCTG Theatre Awards Gala Host, Brooke Aston Harper (Photo by Daniel Meyers)

The OC Theatre Guild was founded in 2015 and officially organized in 2019 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 to serve Orange County’s vital artistic community with a mission to nurture, support and promote live theatre in greater Orange County. That stated goal is supported by the long-held beliefs of the guild’s founders and leaders that theatre and the performing arts are an essential part of what creates a healthy, passionate, and multicultural society that enriches communities while providing opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment. Through the last several years, the guild has made a commitment to answer the question “What can we do together that we cannot do on our own?

Oanh Nguyen, Chance Theater's Artistic Director, accepts the award for Outstanding Production of a Play on behalf of 'Cry It Out' (Photo by Francis Gacad)

2023 OC Theatre Guild award recipients are:

Outstanding Production of a Play

Cry It Out, Chance Theater

Outstanding Production of a Musical

Next To Normal, Chance Theater


Outstanding Direction of a Play

Elina De Santos, Cry It Out, Chance Theater

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

James Michael McHale, American Idiot, Chance Theater

Outstanding Ensemble of a Play

The Whale, Costa Mesa Playhouse

The cast of Costa Mesa Playhouse's "The Whale" accepts the award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play (Photo by Francis Gacad)

Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical

American Idiot, Chance Theater

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play (two recipients)

Amanda Zarr, Cry It Out, Chance Theater

Yong Kim, Kim’s Convenience, Laguna Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical (two recipients)

Jocelyn A. Brown, Next To Normal, Chance Theater

Natalie Giannosa, The Toxic Avenger, The Wayward Artist

The cast of Chance Theater's "Green Day's American Idiot" celebrating their Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical recognition. (Photo by Francis Gacad)

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play (two recipients)

Mia Anderson, The Whale, Costa Mesa Playhouse

Jack Whitaker, The Whale, Costa Mesa Playhouse


Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical (two recipients)

Dagmar Marshall-Michelson, American Idiot, Chance Theater

Ron Hastings, Next To Normal, Chance Theater


Outstanding Choreography

Miguel Cardenas, American Idiot, Chance Theater


Outstanding Music Direction

Stephen Hulsey, The Toxic Avenger, The Wayward Artist

Stephen Hulsey (left) accepts the award for Outstanding Music Direction for 'The Toxic Avenger' at The Wayward Artist (Photo by Francis Gacad)

Outstanding Scenic Design

Brian Newell, Jon Gaw, Alex Conway, Clue, Maverick Theater

Outstanding Costume Design

Adriana Lambarri, Cry It Out, Chance Theater

Outstanding Lighting Design

Matt Schleicher, Next To Normal, Chance Theater

Outstanding Sound Design

Hunter Moody, American Idiot, Chance Theater

Outstanding Projection Design

Nick Santiago, American Idiot, Chance Theater


Outstanding Visual Effects

Brian Newell, King Kong, Maverick Theater

Attendees await the start of the 2023 OCTG Theatre Awards at the Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts (Photo by Daniel Meyers)

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