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ArlingtonNewsCommunity-theater honors to be back for 2023

Community-theater honors to be back for 2023

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Consider it another sign of normalcy returning to a live-with-COVID world.
The Washington Area Theatre Community Honors, or WATCH Awards, which as the name implies salutes the best in local community theater, will be back with an in-person awards program in 2023 after three years away.

“The awards ceremony will be held at the Birchmere on Sunday, March 19,” said TJ Lukacsina, chair of the WATCH board of directors.

Since its inception more than two decades ago, the non-profit WATCH program has sent trained adjudicators to test the mettle of theatrical productions, with awards being presented each year both to performers and for technical, musical and overall achievement.

First presented in 2000, the WATCH Awards were last bestowed in the spring of 2020 (for productions adjudicated during the 2019 calendar year), but only after the in-person festivities had been canceled and the presentation moved, as so many things were, to an online format.


That year, 101 productions (40 musicals and 61 plays) from 28 participating theater troupes across the Washington region were eligible for awards.
Silver Spring Stage and Reston Community Players led the pack that year with 25 nominations each.

Adjudicating for the 2020 and 2021 calendar year was scrapped, as it was not until the fall of 2021 or later that most participating theater troupes returned to in-person shows. Some did present works online or in other creative ways during the interregnum, but they were not judged.

Nominations from the 2022 season will be announced at the Birchmere in Alexandria on Jan. 15. For information, see the Website at www.washingtontheater.org.

The WATCH Awards are the local-community-theater equivalent to the Helen Hayes Awards (professional troupes in the Washington region) and the Tony Awards (Broadway productions).

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