Winners of the 2016 Mark Time Awards Announced,
KC Paseo Students Standout at HearNow Audio Festivals
Otherworld Media Executive Director Receives Corwin Award for Life Time Achievement
KANSAS CITY, MO – June 9-12, 2016– The 20th Annual Mark Time Awards for excellence in genre audio theatre were presented June 9, 2016 at the HearNow Audio Festival in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Mark Time Awards are a collaborative legacy project of the four-man comedy group The Firesign Theater and internationally renowned arts and educational production company Otherworld Media. They share a mission to promote the audio arts to a new generation of writers and producers, while rewarding audio theater producers currently striving for excellence in the medium. Firesign celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2016, while Otherworld Media’s Executive Director Judith Walcutt has received the Norman Corwin Award Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring her 35 years as a writer, producer, and director in audio arts and education. The two forces––Firesign and Otherworld–– remain committed to promoting the sound arts across generations and genres.
Firesign’s David Ossman hosted the Awards and a number of winners were able to attend and accept their recognition in person. The first winner of the evening, Renee Pringle of National Public Radio and a guiding hand in many award-winning independent productions was presented with the Bradshaw for Service to the Field, honoring her for “Artistry in Engineering.” The Bradshaw is named in memoriam for the famous character played by Firesign’s Peter Bergman, acknowledged founder of the Firesign Theatre, who passed away in 2012. The prize honors those in the sound-driven media who have made a difference in the art form.
The Ogle Award, named for Charles Ogle, the first portrayer of Frankenstein’s Monster on screen, is given in two categories, Horror and Fantasy. The Gold Ogle for Horror went to “The Masque of the Red Death,” produced and directed by William Dufris, who accepted in person. The Silver Ogle was won by “To The Manor Borne by Robots, Episode 5,” written, produced and directed by John Eder.
Winning the Silver Ogle for Fantasy was “The Springheel Saga: The Secret of Springheel’d Jack,” from London’s Wireless Theatre Ltd., producers Jack Bowman, Mariele Runacre Temple and Robert Valentine.
The Mark Time Award for Science Fiction, named for one of Ossman’s Firesign characters, was won by Jonathan Mitchell of New York City, who was also named Producer of the Year for a trio of short pieces, “Visible,” “The Last Job,” and “Santa For President.” He appeared via Skype. In addition, Tom Ligon, in the role of Santa, won the Betty Jo for Best Actor. The Betty Jo honors Firesign’s Phil Proctor, man of many voices.
The Silver Mark Time went to the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company for “The War of the Worlds: The Untold Story,” produced by David Benedict.
Additional Finalists were John Holland for “The Cure,” Marty Durlin and KZMU, Moab, Utah for “Downtown Abbey, Episode 3: Denial in So Many Forms,” and Pete Lutz and Pulp-Pourri Theater for “The DNA Pit.”
The Nick Danger Prize honors Firesign’s Phil Austin in memoriam and his immortal character, known for his “third eye.” It is awarded for the best in mystery and noir detective genres. The judges withheld the Gold and Silver awards this year, since no entrant met the necessary production values and criteria. There was a single Finalist, “Brass – A Steampunk Adventure Serial” from Battleground Productions, Seattle, written and directed by John Longenbaugh, sound design and production by Nick Abercrombie.
New Award for Audio Comedy Launched
Ossman announced a new prize for Audio Comedy, called The Bozo Knows, open for entries in 2017. Information on entries and the Mark Time Awards history, previous prize-winners, Grandmasters, and Hall of Fame can be found at www.marktimeawards.org.
The Awards Ceremony was held as part of an Otherworld Cabaret, which featured high school students from the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts where the Mark Time SoundPlay audio workshop is in its second year of production classes and activities. Youth participants presented four short original audio plays which were written, performed, and sound designed by them, as part of the Mark Time Awards performance. Members of the 2016 Mark Time Academy included Carissa Stevens, Mel Jones, Kaden Vladimir, Travon Wainwright, Mahryn Barron, Trail White, Ethan Anissy, Marcus Robertson, and Kahlil Odums.
Young audio artists of the Paseo SoundPlay Workshop will be seen again as part of the Future Stages Festival at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, June 26th at 3 p.m. on the outdoor stage.
The Mark Time Awards and SoundPlay Workshops are made possible by a grant from the Leo Gilbert Wetherill Foundation with additional support from the Board of Directors of Otherworld Media.
360-331-2813 land 253-740-1862 cell
Winners will be announced at the Mark Time Awards, June 9th, 2016, 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. hosted by David Ossman in the Grand Ballroom of the KC Plaza Holiday Inn, at the HearNow Audio Arts Festival, in Kansas City, Missouri, June 9th to the 12th. For more information about the festival go to http://www.hearnowfestival.org/
Finalists are currently being reviewed by our distinguished panel of judges. Winners will be played back as part of the HearNow Festival, Friday, 3 p.m. at the Plaza Cinemark Movie Theatre.
FOR THE OGLE:
Jon Holland / The Theater in Your Mind (Ponder, Texas)
“To The Manor Borne By Robots Episode 5 – Who’ll Stop Lorraine”
John Eder (Los Angeles)
“The Springheel Saga: The Secret of Springheel’d Jack”
Jack Bowman / Wireless Theatre (London)
“Santa For President”
Jonathan Mitchell / The Truth (NY NY)
“The Masque of the Red Death”
William Dufris /Pocket Universe Productions (Portland, Maine)
FOR THE MARK TIME:
“Visible” and “The Last Job”
Jonathan Mitchell / The Truth (NY NY)
“Downtown Abbey, Episode 3, Denial In So Many Forms”
Marty Durlin / KZMU (Moab UT)
“The War of the Worlds: The Untold Story”
Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
FOR THE NICK DANGER PRIZE:
“BRASS: A Steampunk Adventure Serial, Pts. 1 and 2”
John Longenbaugh / Battleground Productions (Seattle)
“PULP-POURRI THEATRE: The D. N. A. Pit”
Pete Lutz / The Narada Radio Company
2015 Mark Time Awards Presented
At Hear/Now Festivals
KANSAS CITY, MO–June 12, 2015–The Mark Times Awards given annually to the best audio theatre in the Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, and Mystery genres were announced tonight at The Heartland Theater in Kansas City. The ceremony was held as part of the National Audio Theatre Festivals’ HEAR/Now gathering, now in its third year in the Kansas City.
The presenting organization of the awards, Otherworld Media, with funding from the Leo Gilbert Wetherill Foundation has moved the ceremony from Minneapolis, where it had been held for seventeen years at CON-vergence, the long-established science fiction convention, to Kansas City as part of the HEAR/Now Festival for the Audio Arts and where it is launching a national education initiative in the audio arts.
Ceremony host, David Ossman, founding member of the Firesign Theatre and whose original character “Mark Time” gave the awards their name, reminded the audience that the awards are intended to honor the art form of which the Firesign Theatre is a key proponent. All sorts of genres, satires, pop culture, and works of the surreal imagination lend themselves to the art and craft of the audio medium, he said, and were the basis of the Firesign’s unique production style and humor. The Mark Time Awards, Ossman stated, are a way to honor that legacy.
Paseo Academy Receives First Runyon Youth Award
Demonstrating their commitment to training and educational youth outreach on behalf of the medium, the presentation of the Mark Time Awards was preceded by performances with members of the Mark Time/SoundPlay production workshops conducted at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City, by Otherworld Media producer Judith Walcutt in cooperation with Paseo faculty David Luby and Chris Odam, with additional technical and material support from the Wetherill Foundation.
Three short plays, a noir mystery “Stunning Blonde” by Etham Anissey, a horror piece, “The Affliction” by Carissa Stevens, and the Sci-Fi inspired “Death Battle Three” by Isabela Coleman and Zhyesia Jameson, were done live, with live Foley and sound design. Three solo voice pieces with sound elements, “Enigma” by Mushelle White, “Whispers” by Jordan Stewart, and “Gates of Heaven” by Byron Hyde, along with Eishenae Goldsby’s “We’re Doomed,” in which all voices and effects had been accomplished with smart phone apps, filled out the half-hour program.
The students from Paseo included Ethan Anissey, Isabella Coleman, Eishenae Goldsby, Byron Hyde, Zayesia Jameson, Ellia Johnson, Marcus Robertson, Keylisha Nelson, Khalil Odums, Miguel Ornelas, Elena Parker, Carissa Stevens, Jordan Stewart, Trayvon Wainwright, Mushelle White, and Ignacio Zollar.
The student production unit was awarded the first Runyon Award for Youth Audio Production for their work. The trophy was accepted by the students and their Paseo mentor, David Luby.
Mark Time Award Winners
Following the live performance, host David Ossman announced the winners of the Mark Time Awards, in all categories.
The Gold Mark Time went to “The Futurologist,” produced by Eliza Smith and Leon Morimoto, Snap Judgment Productions, Oakland, California.
The Silver Mark Time was awarded to producer Dieter Zimmermann, Protophonic Productions, Cape Town, South Africa.
Finalist certificates went to “Voyager Found,” produced by Jonathan Mitchell of New York and “To The Manor Borne by Robots,” produced by John Eder of Los Angeles.
The Gold Ogle for Horror was taken by Jonathan Mitchell for “Sylvia’s Blood,” and the Silver by “Clones In The Closet,” produced by Jon Holland for The Theater In Your Mind. Holland was in Kansas City to accept the award.
In the Fantasy category, the Gold Ogle was awarded to “Alba Salix, Royal Physician,” produced for Forgery League in Toronto, Canada by Eli McIlveen, who was also present at the ceremony.
Ogle Award Winners
Two additional Ogle Finalists included “A Prophets Guide,” produced by Matthew Boudreau, Aural Stage Studios, Buffalo, New York, and “A Journey With Strange Bedfellows,” produced by Forest Rose and Final Rune Productions of Monument, Colorado. The executive producer, Jan C. Jones was present to accept the award.
Nick Danger Prize Winners
The first Nick Danger Prizes, so named for the well-known Firesign character made famous by Phil Austin, were awarded in a very close contest. The Gold went to “The Audio Adventures of Big Dan Frater, Volume 1,” produced by Larry Blamire, Brian Howe and Alison Martin. Brian Howe acceptd the Prize by telephone. The Silver Nick Danger for “Blues For Johnny Raven,” produced for the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company by David Benedict, who also was in the theatre for the Awards.
Betty Jo Award
The Betty Jo Award for Outstanding Performance by an Individual went to Seth Lind for his performance as Spark in “Naughty or Nice,” and the Betty Jo for Ensemble Performance was taken by Chet Siegel and Peter McNerney for their work in Jonathan Mitchell’s “Voyager Found.” The Betty Jo honors Firesign’s Phil Proctor, creator of many characters male and female, including Nick Danger’s girlfriend, also known as “Nancy.”
The last Award, another new addition for 2015, honoring Firesign Theatre’s founder Peter Bergman, is the Bradshaw, named after Peter’s signature character “Lt. Bradshaw” in the Nick Danger series. The Bradshaw is awarded for Service To The Field. Stage, radio and television actor Gary Sandy presented the Bradshaw to Foley Artist Tony Brewer, honoring him as “SFX Master of the Universe.”
Judith Walcutt, Executive Producer of the Mark Time Awards and Executive Director of Otherworld Media, had a final prize to give – the Mark Timekeeper – to Sue Zizza, the executive producer of HEAR/Now, the Audio Fiction & Arts Festival which included the Mark Time Awards in its weekend schedule. The Timekeeper – a wall-sized wall-clock with Mark Time’s image as drawn by renowned illustrator William Stout – honored Sue’s long-time administration of the National Audio Theatre Festivals.
See all the Mark Time Awards winners on this site.
New Audio Production Awards Established
to Honor The Firesign Theater’s Comedy
and Satire Legacy
FREELAND, WA – January 23, 2015 – The most prominent awards worldwide for original radio drama – The Mark Time Awards – are adding four new awards to honor the historic contribution of The Firesign Theater to radio and audio production. The new awards and the long-established Mark Time Award for the year’s best science fiction production and the Ogle Award for fantasy/horror will be presented during the 2015 HEAR Now Festival in Kansas City, Missouri June 12th.
“With these four new awards, we are celebrating a renewed interest in audio arts, which are thriving in the first decades of the 21st century in part because of the huge popularity of streaming and digital media,” said Judith Walcutt, Chief Executive Officer of Otherworld Media, which recently was selected to administer the Mark Time Awards. For the past 30 years, Otherworld Media has produced award-winning audio plays, radio broadcasts, and educational programming.
The new Mark Time Awards honoring The Firesign Theater are:
The Nick Danger Prize for the best audio production in the mystery/detective fiction category, which is named after Firesign’s famous satire of radio detectives of the 1950s. The original “Nick,” Phil Austin, and his wife Oona will be part of the judging team.
The Bradshaw, an award named after the late Peter Bergman’s cop character in the Nick Danger episodes, will be given for “service to the field” and chosen by the MTA’s advisory board.
The Betty Jo (But Everyone Knew Her as Nancy) prize honors the multi-gender vocal skills of Phil Proctor and will be awarded for best performances. Proctor and his wife, actress Melinda Peterson, will be among the judges for this award.
The Runyon, an award named for a beloved character created by Norman Corwin, the grand patriarch of radio theatre who died in 2011 at the age of 101. The Runyon will be given to producers younger than 18.
Audio Curriculum Pilot Launches This Spring
To support its commitment to inter-generational education, the Mark Time Awards is establishing an audio drama training program for young people and life-long learners to continue to foster new actors and new producers and to attract new audiences to audio theater. With development funding from the Leo Wetherill Foundation of Colorado Springs, Colorado, training classes will be offered this spring in Kansas City, Missouri under the direction of Otherworld Media’s Judith Walcutt. These classes will pilot the curriculum of a new, national education initiative in the audio arts.
“For audio arts to continue its momentum, it is important to provide tools and a creative platform for new generations to discover and practice the art form of theatre — and movies –– for the mind,” Walcutt said.
Mark Time Awards Competition for 2015
Entries for the Mark Time Awards for original audio theatre will be accepted from January 20th to March 20th, 2015. Submissions are limited to multi-cast productions completed by the March deadline. Judging will be based on originality of writing and adaptation, as well as overall production quality including performances, effects, music, and final mix. Guidelines and entry forms are available at www.marktimeawards.org. Awards will be announced on May 1, 2015 and presented at the HEAR Now Festival.
Now in its third year, the HEAR Now Festival focuses on the audio arts and industry, bringing together a consortium of audio producers and industry professionals from around the country. The 2015 festival runs from June 11 to June 14.
The Firesign Theater – “The Beatles of Comedy”
The Firesign Theatre comedy troupe performed for more than 40 years, producing dozens of albums, including three nominated for a Grammy for best comedy album. The troupe began performing on the radio in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s, and later was heard on National Public Radio, XM Satellite Radio, and the BBC. They toured nationally performing a live show that mixed new work from their Millennial Trilogy with their classics, such as Nick Danger, until the death of founding partner Peter Bergman in 2012.
The Firesign Theatre is known for unique, surreal and original satiric comedy, which changed the way people listened to and understood media — and the world –– around them, whether on radio, TV, or Internet. The Firesign Theater has been recognized with top awards at the New York International Radio Festivals for their ground-breaking show Fools in Space for XM. They were accorded the rare honor of having their 1970’s album Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers admitted to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. This honor is given to recordings considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” and their album is one of only a handful of recordings that are comedy-based.
The award presentation from the Library of Congress called the Firesign Theatre “The Beatles of Comedy.” Entertainment Weekly dubbed them “one of the greatest comedy acts of all time.”
Mark Time Awards Recognized Worldwide
The Mark Time Awards were established 17 years ago as part of the opening ceremony at CONvergence, a major event for science fiction fans held annually in Minneapolis. Supported by the fan base and administered by audio writer-producer Jerry Stearns, with a regular live “radio” performance co-written with Brian Price, the Mark Time Awards achieved international success, with prizes awarded to producers from Ireland, Belgium, England, Canada, South Africa and the U.S. With Stearns’ retirement, the awards have found a new home with Otherworld Media and a new presentation venue with the HEAR Now Festival.
Judges Chosen to Evaluate Mark Time Entries
In addition to the three surviving Firesign partners – David Ossman, Phil Proctor and Phil Austin and their spouses, judges for the 2015 Mark Time Awards include Jerry Stearns, Brian Price and William Stout. Other judges and new members of the MTA’s advisory board include:
• Actor and director Candace Barrett Birk of Minneapolis
• Mort Castle, noted horror author and writing teacher at Columbia College, in Chicago
• Actor and producer Richard Fish of Audio Cinema Entertainment in Bloomington, Indiana
• Audio writer and producer Fred Greenhalgh of FinalRune Productions in Maine
• Writer and producer Tom Lopez of ZBS Foundation in New York
• Producer Ben Manilla of San Francisco and U.C. Berkeley
• On-line learning specialist Kris Markman of Harvard University
• Multimedia Technologist Skip Pizzi associated with NPR, Microsoft, and the National Association of Broadcasters
• Radio host Gretchen Steiner of Portland, Oregon
• Leo G. Wetherill, Jr., Executive Director, Leo Gilbert Wetherill Foundation
The Mark Time Award images, including the new Ogle image named after the first film actor to play Frankenstein’s Monster, Charles Ogle, have been designed by William Stout, long associated with the Firesign Theatre as album cover artist and illustrator.
Notices of Mark Time events will be posted at www.firesigntheatre.com and on Facebook on various pages devoted to The Firesign Theatre and its followers and fans of the audio arts. An archive of live Mark Time Radio Shows performed at CONvergence is available from www.greatnorthernaudio.com.
News about the HEAR Now Festival, June 11-15 in Kansas City MO, is here www.hearnowfestival.org.
Judith Walcutt, CEO, Otherworld Media
360-331- 2813 / email@example.com