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Back Stage Garland Awards

The Back Stage Garland Awards — also referred to simply as the Garland Awards, and known as the Back Stage West Garland Awards from 1998 to 2008 — were bestowed by the entertainment-industry newspaper Backstage, honoring excellence in Southern California theatre.[1][2] The awards recognize many different types of contributors to theatre, including actors, directors, producers, prop makers, set designers, costume designers, and choreographers.[1][3]

Back Stage Garland Awards
Awarded forExcellence in Southern California theatre.
LocationLos Angeles, California
Country United States
Presented byBackstage
First awarded1998
Last awarded2009
Website[permanent dead link]


Selection processEdit

Award winners are selected through a process voted on by theatre critics in the industry.[1] Each Garland winner has appeared on at least three critics' "Best of" lists for the previous year.[1] Critics are each allowed to name "up to five nominees for each category except performance, up to 10 nominees for performance in a musical production and up to 10 in straight productions."[1] Each winner is presented with a "Garland statuette" in the year following their recognized production.[1]


The first awards were presented on January 12, 1998, with eighty individuals recognized, and the next year's ceremony recognized one hundred and fifty people.[4][5] The first ceremony was held at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles, California, and awards in the following two years were presented in a ceremony at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, Los Angeles, California.[4][5][6] Two hundred and seventy stage artists and theatre supporters attended the first annual awards.[7] Awards categories in the first year included production, performance, ensemble cast, sound design, costume, lighting design, set design, musical score, and choreography.[4] Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, California was recognized with a special award for "continued excellence."[4] Presenters at the first annual awards included Daniel Henning, artistic director for the Blank Theatre Company, and actor Noah Wyle, who had just joined Blank Theatre Company as artistic producer.[4] David Schwimmer spoke on behalf of the Chicago, Illinois-based company he co-founded, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and accepted awards for their production of Arabian Nights.[4] Ian McKellen was also honored at the ceremony for his one-man show, A Knight Out in Los Angeles.[4] The first annual Garland Awards were dedicated to actor Charles Hallahan, a member of the Matrix Theatre Company who died in 1997.[4]

Though the first year's awards focused mainly on the production of Ragtime, the second annual awards, held on January 25, 1999, focused on many different contributors in the industry.[3][5] Actress Carol Burnett was the first honoree and presenter at the second annual awards.[5] Prizes in the second year were awarded for production, performance, writing, musical score, choreography, direction, and design.[3] The comedy-drama Elephant Sighs won the Garland Award for best new play of 1998.[8] The third annual awards ceremony in 2000 ran for two and a half hours, and one hundred and ten individuals were recognized.[6] Well-known songs were played at the awards ceremony in a sing-along fashion, including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and pieces from West Side Story and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.[6]

Heroes star David Anders was among an ensemble cast of The Diary of Anne Frank honored with a Garland Award for its 2001 production.[9][10] The ninth annual awards ceremony was held at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles on March 26, 2007.[11] Over 175 guests attended the event, which honored 2006 productions and theatre contributors including Salome Jens, who won a performance award for Leipzig, and actor-singer Camille Saviola for her role in Zorba.[11] Music director Gerald Sternbach, honored for his direction of Zorba, stated his appreciation of the Garland Awards: "What's wonderful about the Garlands is it's unpretentious. At other things there is a lot of tension, but really, this isn't a ceremony, it's a party. It's a supportive environment where everyone gets to hang."[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Margolies, Dany (March 7, 200). "L.A.'s Garland Awards 2007 Announced". Backstage. Nielsen Business Media. pp. (Stage News). Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Staff (January 28, 2002). "'Flower Drum,' 'Horses' top Garland theater nods". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media.
  3. ^ a b c Manus, Willard (January 25, 1999). "Back Stage West Schedules 2nd Annual Garland Awards For Jan. 25". Playbill News. Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Painter, Jamie (January 15, 1998). "Garlands Toast — Best in the West". Back Stage West. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  5. ^ a b c d Proudfit, Scott (January 28, 1999). "Garlands Sweeter Second Time Around". Back Stage West. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  6. ^ a b c Proudfit, Scott (February 3, 2000). "Three's a Charm for Back Stage West Garlands". Back Stage West. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  7. ^ Manus, Willard (January 21, 1998). "Garland Awards Inaugurated in L.A." Playbill News. Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on 2004-12-27. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  8. ^ Journal staff (April 30, 2006). "Children's Theatre to Present Rainbow Fish". Winston-Salem Journal. pp. Page F5.
  9. ^ Stafford, Nikki; Robyn Burnett (2004). Uncovering Alias: An Unofficial Guide. ECW Press. pp. Page 150. ISBN 1-55022-653-3.
  10. ^ Dienstag, Jesse (February 8, 2001). "The Diary of Anne Frank". BackStage. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  11. ^ a b c Spindle, Les; Lauren Horwitch (March 27, 2007). "L.A.'s Best Mingle at Garland Awards". Backstage. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2007-11-30.

External linksEdit