Local theatres earn 56 Elly nominations

Sutter Street Theatre in top six of recipients
By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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Four local live theatre companies have reason to celebrate this week following the announcement of the 2016-17 Elly nominations by the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance (SARTA) Sunday afternoon.  This year, organizations in Folsom and El Dorado Hills alone garnered 56 overall nominations.

Just after their recent 10th anniversary season, Folsom’s Sutter Street Theatre has good reason to continue celebrating. The community theater located in Folsom’s Historic District topped the local list with 35 nominations for their work over the past year. All of the nominations were for all youth productions.

“We truly appreciate SARTA’s recognition of our artistic achievement as well as the great actors and tech crew that make this possible,” said Mike Jimena, Sutter Street Theatre managing director, who was among the many nominees. “Most importantly, we salute our audiences whose enthusiastic attendance allows us to do what we do.”

Sutter Street Theatre was among 420 Elly nominees for the 2016-17 season. The nominees were announced at an informal nomination reception on Sunday, August 13, at Pioneer Church in midtown Sacramento. More than 100 actors, directors, technicians and producers were on hand to listen excitedly for their names to be called. 

Overall, 244 shows were submitted by 77 different theatre companies. Fifty-seven theatre companies and 114 productions received nominations. For the fourth consecutive year, Sutter Street Theatre was among six community theatre groups in the Sacramento region receiving the most nominations, coming in second to the Roseville Arts Academy.

Sutter Street Theatre was nominated in numerous categories including choreography, costume, lighting, set and sound design, direction, leading and supporting roles, script and overall production.

“I am very pleased and humbled by the support and recognition given to our shows by the SARTA judges. Thank you to all involved with the shows and our great audiences,” said Allen Schmeltz, artistic associate director. Schmeltz was among the nominees, along with Jimena, for his direction of The Hobbit and A Suessified Christmas Carol among others. “We look forward to continuing to bring quality theatre to the Folsom and Greater Sacramento Area.”

In addition to Sutter Street Theatre, Folsom High School was nominated for eight Elly awards this year. The youth drama department was recognized for direction, lighting and sound design, musical direction and production.

Oak Ridge High School, in El Dorado Hills, received 11 nominations. The long-time drama program was nominated for choreography, costume design, direction, leading roles, set and sound design.

The Falcon’s Eye Theater received two nominations. The Folsom Lake College-based theatre was nominated for set design and costume design.

The Elly Awards are named after the late Eleanor McClatchy, a devoted patron of the arts and former publisher of the Sacramento Bee. For more than 35 years, the Elly Awards celebrate excellence and the outstanding achievements of community theaters and artists in the Greater Sacramento Area. In recent years, they have grown from a local Sacramento tradition to now include theaters within a 70-mile radius.

In honor of the 35th annual Elly Awards, SARTA will be hosting two ceremonies this September. The Youth Elly Award ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 10 at Cosumnes Oaks High School Performing Arts Center in Elk Grove. Tickets for the Youth Elly Awards are now on sale at

The Adult Elly Award ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 24 at The Center at 2300, 2300 Sierra Blvd in Sacramento. Adult Elly tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 5 at This year’s theme for the 35th annual Elly Awards is A Black and White Ball and formal attire is recommended.

For more information and a complete listing of nominees, go to or call 916-443-8229.