Move over, Oscars. Actors in the four 2013 Champaign Urbana Theatre Company productions will receive Ginny Awards during “The Red Carpet Affair” tonight at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign. Here’s more:
1. Yes, there will be an actual red carpet for the nominees to walk. Teens who were in the CUTC show "Urinetown" will act as paparazzi and operate cameras rigged to flash but not take pictures. It's too late to make dinner reservations but people without them may show up around 8 and pay $20 for the program.
2. The Ginnys feature 10 categories for performance awards such as best actor, best actress and best comedic moment. People from each show are nominees. Only people attending The Red Carpet Affair will cast paper-ballot votes during the event. Behind-the-scenes volunteers will receive awards too.
3. Dave Kuhl will emcee. And Centennial High '98 alum Dustin Hamilton, now acting professionally in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, will talk about his experiences with CUTC. "One of the main lessons I learned was the support everyone brought to each and every show I did there," he said Thursday.
4. Jon Dessen, owner of Illini Studio and a former CUTC board member, will provide a Crystal Entertainment photo booth, free of charge. The retro way of taking selfies results in strips of four black-and-white or color photos of each subject, or subjects, inside the box.
5. The Ginny Awards are named after the Virginia Theatre, where CUTC became the theater company in-residence soon after it formed in 1991 to help save the vintage theater in Champaign. Now unable to pay rental and other fees at the downtown landmark, CUTC mounts its shows at the smaller Parkland Theatre.