New Jewish Theatre has winning night at Kevin Kline Awards

Michelle Hand and Robert Thibaut in the NJT production of ‘The Immigrant.’ The play won four Kevin Kline Awards.


The New Jewish Theatre took home six awards at the 7th annual Kevin Kline Awards ceremony Monday night, bested only by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, which received seven top prizes.

Topping the NJT list was Outstanding Production of a Play for last season’s “Awake and Sing!” The play tied with the Rep’s production of “Red.” In addition, “Awake and Sing!” also received the award for Outstanding Set Design, tying with two other Rep plays, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” and “Red.” 

“The Immigrant,” a play about a Russian-Jewish banana peddler in a small Texas town, was the most honored production of the year, winning four awards. It had received eight nominations, also more than any other nominated production.  The play took three of the four top acting honors with awards going to Bob Thibaut for Outstanding Lead Actor, and Gary Wayne Barker and Peggy Billo for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress.  The entire cast was honored with an Outstanding Ensemble Award, tying for that award with the Rep’s “Circle Mirror Transformation.” 

“When I looked at who we were competing against in each category I knew winning would be a challenge,” said Kathleen Sitzer, artistic director of NJT. “I was thrilled with the outcome. These awards are a validation of the fact that NJT attracts some of the best talent in the St. Louis area.”

Named for the actor who grew up in St. Louis, the Kevin Kline Awards recognize excellence in professional theater locally.  The New Jewish Theatre is a culturally specific theater whose mission is to explore the Jewish experience through the medium of theater. NJT had been nominated for 14 awards this year. Since the awards began in 2006, NJT has received a total of 12 awards and 45 nominations.