Monday night saw the Atlanta theatre community gather to celebrate another grand year of professional storytelling with the Suzi Bass Awards. Touted as Atlanta’s Tony Awards, the 15th annual ceremony took place at Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center. Encore was on the scene with spies everywhere to capture moments both on and off-stage.

Minutes before showtime, the backstage scene looks about as you might imagine: dancers rehearsing their opening number segment, hosts running lines, a presenter carrying her high heels in order to only put those torture chambers on her feet when absolutely necessary. The stage manager makes a few “5 minutes!” calls, the third of which she promises is the last. The whole atmosphere carries a palpable excitement.

And then it begins.

The audience erupts in applause as hosts Julie Skryzpek and Justin Walker take the stage. The clever opening number champions this one night of the year that the entire Atlanta theatre community gets to be “In the Same Room,” using lyrics laced with inside jokes and jabs. As awards are presented throughout the evening, audience members murmur variations on, “I wish I had seen that show!” “Oh he definitely deserved that!” “Did you see that show? It was brilliant!” Mutual support characterizes the room full of theatre professionals nominated against each other.

Click here to see the full list of Suzi winners and nominees!

The evening featured performances from the Best Musical nominees, including “Who Needs Love?” from Ever After, “Awesome” from Ride the Cyclone, “Charity” from Daddy Long Legs, “Your Daddy’s Son” from Ragtime, and “Give me a Fella” from Men with Money. Best Play nominees also performed, with scenes from K2, An Octoroon, The Book of Will, Goodnight, Tyler, and The Royale.

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About Sally Henry

A writer with a passion for building relationships and telling people's stories, Sally Henry is a freelance arts and entertainment journalist. She has had the privilege of interviewing both local theatre professionals and multi-award-winning celebrities including Carol Burnett, Matthew Morrison, and Taylor Hicks. With theatre journalism experience since 2011, her work has been featured on BroadwayWorld.com, the Huffington Post, and the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival.

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