The 2017 True West Awards are coming. Here's a look back.

True West Awards Billie McBride

The True West Awards return Dec. 1 as both a celebration and a history of Colorado theatre for 17 years running.  

The ever-evolving True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001, are the longest-running continuously administered awards program in Colorado theater. In 2014, the annual awards were re-conceived to celebrate the local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements for the year over 30 days, without categories or nominations.

The awards are curated by DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore with solicited input from the Colorado theatre community. This year, additional suggestions were accepted for consideration through mid-November.

The 2017 honorees will be unveiled on the DCPA NewsCenter daily starting Dec. 1. A different recipient will be singled out each day for 30 days. In the meantime, here are links to stories honoring all winners from the past three years (click on any link to read more):

2013 True West Award winners

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

Colorado Theatre Person of the Year winners:

  • Shelly _Bordas_Death_circle2016 Billie McBride, actor and director
  • 2015 Donald R. Seawell, Denver Center founder
  • 2014 Steve Wilson, Phamaly Theatre Director and Artistic Director
  • 2013 Shelly Bordas, Actor, teacher, director and inspirerer (pictured right)
  • 2012 No award given
  • 2011: Maurice LaMee, Creede Repertory Theatre artistic director
  • 2010: Anthony Garcia, Su Teatro artistic director
  • 2009: Kathleen M. Brady, Denver Center Theatre Company actor
  • 2008: Wendy Ishii, Bas Bleu Theatre co-founder and actor
  • 2007: Ed Baierlein, Germinal Stage-Denver founder, actor, director
  • 2006: Bonnie Metzgar, Curious Theatre Company associate artistic director
  • 2005: Chip Walton, Curious Theatre Company artistic director
  • 2004: Michael R. Duran, Actor/set designer/director/playwright
  • 2003: Nagle Jackson, Denver Center Theatre Company director/playwright
  • 2002: Chris Tabb, Actor and director

2001-11: List of all Denver Post Ovation Award winners

All-time leaders in Ovation/True West Awards received since 2001:

  • 140-sugar-debreceniNick Sugar 8
  • Brian Freeland 7
  • Karen Slack 6
  • John Arp 5
  • Ed Baierlein 5
  • Sam Gregory 5*
  • Erin Rollman 5
  • Steve Wilson 5
  • Gene Gillette 4
  • Wendy Ishii 4
  • Megan Van De Hey 4
  • Chip Walton 4
  • Sharon Kay White 4
  • Steven J. Deidel 3
  • Michael R. Duran 3
  • William Hahn 3
  • Billie McBride 3
  • Emma Messenger 3
  • Erik Sandvold 3
  • Christopher L. Sheley 3

*For 11 years, the Denver Post Ovation Awards included a separate list of “Best of the Denver Center” winners. Gregory’s five wins here represent only those Ovation/True West Awards he won for other Colorado theatre companies (Paragon, Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company). Otherwise, his total would be eight.

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