Court Theatre’s Charles Newell, Doug Peck honored with Jeff Awards for 'Porgy and Bess'

Court Theatre earned two honors on Nov. 7 at the Joseph Jefferson Awards for its acclaimed musical Porgy and Bess. Artistic Director Charles Newell won the Best Director of a Musical Award, while renowned music director and longtime Court collaborator Doug Peck won for Best Music Direction.

Newell and Peck last collaborated on the smash-hit musical Caroline, or Change at Court Theatre in 2008, which also garnered Newell and Peck honors for best director and best music director, respectively.

“I’m incredibly proud that the hard work of Charles Newell, Doug Peck and the University of Chicago was recognized by the Jeff Committee,” said Stephen J. Albert, executive director of Court Theatre. “I also want to thank Associate Professor Travis Jackson and Court’s Resident Dramaturg Drew Dir for helping to make Porgy and Bess one of the most successful productions in our history.”

Court Theatre’s 56th season received 12 of the 175 nominations for Chicago Equity theatrical productions, including nominations in the Best Actress in a Principal Role and Best Musical categories, among others. Court’s production of Porgy and Bess alone received five nominations. Court Theatre’s exceptional work was recognized in seven of the 13 categories for which it was eligible.

The Jeff Awards, now in their 43rd year, sent judges to the opening nights of 130 Equity productions offered by 52 producing organizations. From these openings, 100 productions were "Jeff Recommended," which made them eligible for award nominations. All five of Court’s 2010-11 season productions were “Jeff Recommended.”

Adapted from news release by Cathy Taylor Public Relations, Inc.

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Porgy and Bess
Charles Newell Doug Peck

Court Theatre’s production of Porgy and Bess, which had received five Jeff Award nominations, won top honors in two musical categories on Nov. 7 — best director and best musical direction.

Photo by Michael Brosilow

Charles Newell (left) and Doug Peck both earned Jeff Awards for Court Theatre's 2008 production of Caroline, or Change.

Courtesy of Court Theatre

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