The Circle Unbroken

 In Culture, Feature

Twelve STL theater critics band together to present The Louie Awards, recognizing excellence in local theater.


WHEN THE PROFESSIONAL THEATRE COUNCIL of St. Louis announced the decision to suspend its annual Kevin Kline Awards, the St. Louis thespian community lamented the loss of the only real recognition of achievement in local theater. It wasn’t long before the St. Louis Theater Circle stepped forward to fill the void. Consisting of 12 of St. Louis’ top theater critics, the newly formed circle will present annual Louie Awards, based on categories similar to the Tonys—like best director, best actor and other recognitions of the people whose skills and talent are essential to a successful production.

The idea of forming such a group was first raised by Ladue News critic Mark Bretz several years ago, but the cancellation of the Kline Awards added a sense of urgency. Bretz says it’s important to recognize the artistic achievements of actors and technicians. Andrea Torrence, who reviews shows on her popular blog, St. Louis Theatre Snob, adds that “people need to know there is a lot of great theater in this town,” and awards create awareness of the 30+ smaller theaters in St. Louis besides “the big guns.” The nominees for the inaugural 2012 Louie awards will be announced mid-January, with the awards presented at a party in the spring.



The Circle Unbroken


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