Thingamajig earns one top award and 28 top-five finishes in ‘best theater of the decade’ statewide contest

Photo courtesy Thingamajig Theatre Company

By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company

Thingamajig Theatre Company won the top award for best youth theater camp for its Whatchamawhozits Children’s Summer Camp in the 2020 statewide contest sponsored by BroadwayWorld Denver to honor “the best in theater in the past decade” in Colorado. 

Pagosa’s local professional theater received a record 59 nominations in the contest, almost double those for any other theater in the state. When all the votes were counted, Thingamajig’s actors, directors and designers and its Friends organization had earned top-five finishes in 28 categories, significantly more than any other theater in Colorado. Some categories had as many as 33 competing entries.

Reaction from the Moores 

“In a strange way, these awards showed we are a victim of our own success because our people and productions received so many nominations that we split our vote in many categories,” said Tim Moore, producing artistic director and co-founder of the theater with his wife, Laura, executive director. “But, overall, we feel really good about the results. We’re very proud that so many of our actors, directors and designers were recognized by theater fans across the state for their outstanding work over the past decade. And, of course, we are thrilled that the efforts of our Friends of the Theatre organization were acknowledged. As well, the number of top-five finishes is especially impressive.”

Other Thingamajig results

In addition to the first-place win, here are the Thingamajig people and productions garnering top-five finishes in this statewide competition:

Theater company of the decade: Thingamajig (third).

Ensemble cast of the decade: “Jekyll & Hyde” (third) and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (fifth). 

Production of the play of the decade: “Proof” (third) and “Red” (fifth).“ 

Production of the musical of the decade: “Jekyll & Hyde” (third) and “Hairspray” (fifth). 

Director of the play of the decade: Tim Moore for “Grounded” (fourth) and Dennis Elkins for “A Christmas Carol” (fifth). 

Director of the musical of the decade: Melissa Firlit for “Jekyll & Hyde” (second) and Elkins for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (fourth). 

Original script of the decade: Elkins for his one-man show “box.” (second).

Costume design of the decade: Nanette Cheffers for “White Christmas” (second), Elly Hunt for “Men on Boats” (third) and Taylor Marrs for “Damn Yankees” (fifth).

Set design of the decade: Laura Moore for “Tarzan” (second) and “Men on Boats” (fourth). 

Lighting design of the decade: Laine Wong for “Jekyll & Hyde” (third), 

Sound design of the decade: Tim Moore for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (third) and Hannah Shutt for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (fourth). 

Top arts supporter of the decade: Friends of Thingamajig Theatre (second), Thingamajig Theatre Company (fourth) and Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts (fifth).

Best fundraising supporter of the decade: Friends of Thingamajig Theatre (second).

Best theater staff of the decade: Thingamajig (second).

Arts educator of the decade: Tim Moore (second), Whatchamawhozits Summer Camp (fourth) and Elkins (fifth).

COVID cancels
Christmas plans

These very visible accolades come at a welcome time for Thingamajig fans. They have been disappointed not only because COVID restrictions required our theater — like theaters around the world — to go dark on March 15, but also because two special holiday treats planned by the Moores had to be canceled.

“We had arranged for a small Christmas cast to come to Pagosa in mid-December to bring a little Thingamajig joy to our donors with COVID-safe caroling outside their homes,” explained Laura Moore. “We also had planned a special musical evening of merriment for our Friends of the Theatre with an outdoor concert at the amphitheater on the downtown Riverwalk. 

“Sadly, the Level Red COVID restrictions here in Pagosa made these events impossible to stage in a responsible way. Also, the travel and quarantine schedules that it would have taken to pull this off just wouldn’t allow enough safety before our actors returned to their home bubbles in time for Christmas.

“Tim and I will continue to keep dreaming and scheming to find creative ways to bring live theater back to our community in our uber personal Thingamajig way. But for now our best option has to be patience.”

More about the awards

Thingamajig competes in the impressive Denver regional professional theater market, which also includes Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Creede Repertory Theatre, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Arvada Center, Cherry Creek Theatre, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts, The Source, Boulder Dinner Theater and many more. 

This year’s nominations honor productions which opened in Colorado between 2011 and Sept. 30, 2020. Regional productions, touring shows and other shows were included in the statewide awards categories. This means that the caliber of the competition is extremely high. 

BroadwayWorld is the largest theater site on the Internet, covering Broadway in New York, the West End in London and other key artistic locations worldwide. This year’s awards attracted a record number of nominations in more than 100 cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. 

“In a time when theater across the globe is facing unprecedented obstacles, we wanted to take the time to celebrate past achievements while looking forward to the productions of the future,” BroadwayWorld said in a statement.

Looking to the future

“Reviewing these impressive results, let’s revisit and celebrate all the good times we have had together at Thingamajig over the past decade,” Tim Moore said. “We all look forward to next summer when we expect that our lights will be on again.”

Thingamajig is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional theater in residence at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. The company was co-founded in April 2011 by the Moores, both of whom won individual BroadwayWorld awards for their work in 2017 and have received multiple nominations every year.