The 2018-2019 nominations are out for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and on this year’s leader board, small companies vie with big.

Arden Theatre Company’s Gem of the Ocean is the production with the most nominations, with 11. Norristown-based Theatre Horizon’s dynamic small-space rethinking of The Color Purple is next, with 10.

Arden’s production of the musical Once and the Wilma Theater’s production of James Ijames’ Kill Move Paradise earned eight nominations apiece. The Azuka Theatre’s Boycott Esther got seven, as did the ensemble-driven, abortion-themed musical The Appointment by Lightning Rod Special. Inis Nua Theatre Company’s The Monster in the Hall, Passage Theatre Company’s Morir Sonyando, and Arden’s Indecent earned six nominations apiece.

Among the actors nominated for best performance in a play are former Barrymore winners Akeem Davis (in Arden’s Gem of the Ocean) and Jered McLenigan (in the Wilma’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play). New hopefuls nominated in this category include Jennifer Kidwell (in Pig Iron Theatre Company’s A Hard Time) and Chuja Seo (in Salt Pepper Ketchup, which played at InterAct Theatre Company and at Passage, in Trenton.)

Musical actors tabbed include Sarah Gliko (in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s The Bridges of Madison County), Claris Park (Monster in the Hall), and Jessica M. Johnson (The Color Purple).

The nominations were released Monday evening by Theatre Philadelphia, which administers the Barrymores, now celebrating their 25th anniversary. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony Oct. 14 at the Bok building in South Philadelphia. (Tickets and details at theatrephiladelphia.org.)

This year’s nominations recognize more women and a wider diversity of ethnicities and genders than ever, reflecting an intensive effort by Theatre Philadelphia to expand and diversify its corps of 76 nominators and 12 judges and to render its acting awards gender-neutral. (That means that two winners are selected from each acting category, regardless of gender.) Black directors led eight of the nominated productions. The judges liked both classics and new things, with 15 new works nominated.

“It’s really interesting to see the judges spreading around the recognition," said Leigh Goldenberg, executive director of Theatre Philadelphia. “It’s great to see the smaller companies coming so much to the fore.”

This year’s nominees for the coveted F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist are Jaylene Clark Owens, J Hernandez, Dan O’Neil, Gabriela Sanchez, and Maria Shaplin. The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Ed Shockley, playwright, professor, and founding member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

There’s a new award for Outstanding Outdoor Theater Production. Nominations will come out Oct. 1, once the outdoor season has finished.

Full list of 2019 Barrymore Nominees

Outstanding Overall Production of a Play

  • Boycott Esther (Azuka Theatre)
  • Indecent (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Gem of the Ocean (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Kill Move Paradise (The Wilma Theater)
  • Morir Sonyando (Passage Theatre Company)
  • The Great Leap (InterAct Theatre Company)
  • xoxo moongirl (Almanac Dance Circus Theatre)

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

  • Once (Arden Theatre Company)
  • The Appointment (Lightning Rod Special)
  • The Bridges of Madison County (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • The Color Purple (Theatre Horizon)

Outstanding Direction of a Play

  • C. Ryanne Domingues (Morir Sonyando, Passage Theatre Company)
  • Jerrell L. Henderson (UNTITLED, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • James Ijames (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Maura Krause (Boycott Esther, Azuka Theatre)
  • Kathryn MacMillan (The Complete Works of Jane Austen, Abridged, Tiny Dynamite)
  • Kittson O’Neill (Moby Dick, Hedgerow Theatre)
  • Rebecca Wright (Indecent, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

  • Claire Moyer (The Monster in the Hall, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Terrence J. Nolen (Once, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Amina Robinson (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Eva Steinmetz (The Appointment, Lightning Rod Special)

Award for Outstanding Leading Performance in a Play

  • Zuhairah (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Brandi Burgess (Cry It Out, Simpatico Theatre)
  • Akeem Davis (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Keith Illidge (UNTITLED, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Justin Jain (The Great Leap, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • McKenna Kerrigan (Hapgood, Lantern Theater Company)
  • Jennifer Kidwell (A Hard Time, Pig Iron Theatre Company)
  • Jered McLenigan (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, The Wilma Theater)
  • Geneviève Perrier (Betrayal, Lantern Theater Company)
  • Brandon Pierce (Kill Move Paradise, The Wilma Theater)
  • Chuja Seo (Salt Pepper Ketchup, InterAct Theatre Company & Passage Theatre Company)
  • Lindsay Smiling (How To Catch Creation, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Leah Walton (Indecent, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Ruby Wolf (Box Clever, Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Performance in a Musical

  • Katherine Fried (Once, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Hanna Gaffney (Oliver!, Quintessence Theatre Group)
  • Sarah Gliko (The Bridges of Madison County, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Tessa Grady (42nd Street, Bucks County Playhouse)
  • Jessica M. Johnson (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Claris Park (The Monster in the Hall, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Sav Souza (Basic Witches, Hager Productions)
  • Robert Zelaya (Evita, The Resident Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play

  • Rachel Brodeur (Box Clever, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Walter DeShields (Sweat, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Alexandra Espinoza (Boycott Esther, Azuka Theatre)
  • Adam Hammet (Measure for Measure, Lantern Theater Company)
  • Danielle Leneé (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Anthony Martinez-Briggs (Kill Move Paradise, The Wilma Theater)
  • Susan Mckey (The Christians, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
  • Claris Park (Among the Dead, Theatre Exile)
  • Lawrence Pressman (Awake and Sing!, Quintessence Theatre Group)
  • Bianca Sanchez (Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Jahzeer Terrell (Three Sisters, Two, EgoPo Classic Theater)
  • Johanna Tolentino (Morir Sonyando, Passage Theatre Company)
  • Rob Tucker (This is the Week That Is, 1812 Productions)
  • Brian Anthony Wilson (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical

  • Miche Braden (Nina Simone: Four Women, People’s Light)
  • Newton Buchanan (Honk! The Musical, Delaware Theatre Company)
  • Rachel Camp (The Bridges of Madison County, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Charlie DelMarcelle (Once, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Eleni Delopoulos (The Monster in the Hall, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Ebony Pullum (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Brett Ashley Robinson (The Appointment, Lightning Rod Special)
  • Terran Scott (Minors, Lantern Theater Company)

Outstanding Choreography / Movement

  • Nicole Burgio and Ben Grinberg (xoxo moongirl, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre)
  • Sanchel Brown (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Zachary Chiero (Fly Eagles Fly, Tribe of Fools)
  • Jeremy Dumont (42nd Street, Bucks County Playhouse)
  • Eli Lynn (Tis Pity She’s A Whore, The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective)
  • Steve Pacek (Once, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Annie Wilson (Indecent, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Scenic Design

  • D’Vaughn Agu (Nina Simone: Four Women, People’s Light)
  • Melpomene Katakalos (The Great Leap, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Paul E Kuhn (All My Sons, Curio Theatre Company)
  • Marie Laster (UNTITLED, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Colin Mcllvaine (Among the Dead, Theatre Exile)
  • Matt Saunders (Kill Move Paradise, The Wilma Theater)
  • Thom Weaver (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Costume Design

  • Natalia de la Torre (Three Sisters Two, EgoPo Classic Theater)
  • Elizabeth Ennis (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Meghan E. Healey (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, The Wilma Theater)
  • Jillian Keys (Treasure Island, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Levonne Lindsay (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Mark Mariani (The Bridges of Madison County, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Rosemarie McKelvey (Cinderella: A Musical Panto, People’s Light)

Award for Outstanding Lighting Design

  • Isabella Byrd (Such Things As Vampires, People’s Light)
  • Alyssandra Docherty (Completeness, Theatre Exile)
  • Alyssandra Docherty (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Oona Curley (Nina Simone: Four Women, People’s Light)
  • Maria Shaplin (Indecent, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Thom Weaver (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Thom Weaver (Kill Move Paradise, The Wilma Theater)

Outstanding Media Design

  • Christopher Ash (Sweat, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Jorge Cousineau (74 Seconds...To Judgment, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Jorge Cousineau (Boycott Esther, Azuka Theatre)
  • Lyell Hints (The Great Leap, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Sadah “Espii” Proctor, Carlos Del Castillo Aceves (Morir Sonyando, Passage Theatre Company)

Award for Outstanding Sound Design

  • Elizabeth Atkinson (Once, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Christopher Colucci (The Heir Apparent, Lantern Theater Company)
  • Melissa Dunphy (Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Justin Ellington (Kill Move Paradise, The Wilma Theater)
  • Daniel Ison (Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Daniel Ison (UNTITLED, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Shannon Zura (Boycott Esther, Azuka Theatre)

Outstanding Original Music

  • Alex Bechtel (The Appointment, Lightning Rod Special)
  • Zak Berkman & Jessie Fisher (Such Things As Vampires, People’s Light)
  • Melissa Dunphy (Among the Dead, Theatre Exile)
  • Larry Fowler (Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, InterAct Theatre Company)
  • Jamison Foreman (The Monster in the Hall, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Robi Hager (Basic Witches, Hager Productions)
  • Mel Hsu (xoxo moongirl, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre)

Outstanding Music Direction

  • Jamison Foreman (The Monster in the Hall, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Amanda Morton (The Bridges of Madison County, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Amanda Morton (The Color Purple, Theatre Horizon)
  • Jason Neri (Ragtime, Eagle Theatre)
  • Ryan Touhey (Once, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play

  • A Hard Time, (Pig Iron Theatre Company)
  • Awake and Sing! (Quintessence Theatre Group)
  • Box Clever (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
  • Gem of the Ocean (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Indecent (Arden Theatre Company)
  • Kill Move Paradise (The Wilma Theater)
  • Treasure Island (Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical

  • Once (Arden Theatre Company)
  • The Appointment (Lightning Rod Special)
  • The Color Purple (Theatre Horizon)
  • The Monster in the Hall (Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play/Musical

  • Kash Goins (74 Seconds...To Judgment, Arden Theatre Company)
  • Jess Conda, Jenn Kidwell, Mel Krodman (A Hard Time, Pig Iron Theatre Company)
  • Emily Acker (Boycott Esther, Azuka Theatre)
  • Christina Anderson (How To Catch Creation, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
  • Erlina Ortiz (Morir Sonyando, Passage Theatre Company)
  • Josh Wilder (Salt Pepper Ketchup, InterAct Theatre Company & Passage Theatre Company)
  • Alice Yorke with Eva Steinmetz, Alex Bechtel, Scott R Sheppard, and the ensemble / Music and Lyrics - Alex Bechtel (The Appointment, Lightning Rod Special)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ed Shockley

F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist

  • Jaylene Clark Owens
  • J Hernandez
  • Dan O'Neil
  • Gabriela Sanchez
  • Maria Shaplin

Brown Martin Philadelphia Award

  • Boycott Esther (Azuka Theatre)
  • Kill Move Paradise (The Wilma Theater)
  • Morir Sonyando (Passage Theatre Company)
  • The Appointment (Lightning Rod Special)
  • The Color Purple (Theatre Horizon)

June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company

  • Applied Mechanics
  • Curio Theatre Company
  • Lightning Rod Special
  • Simpatico Theatre
  • Tiny Dynamite

Victory Foundation Award for Outstanding Theatre Education Program ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships

  • Lantern Theater Company
  • People’s Light
  • Theatre Horizon
  • Yes! And...Collaborative Arts