Story and photo by Pat Munson Special to the Mirror Santa Monica High School students and their alumni partners in the Santa Monica Civic Light Opera (SMCLO) were nominated for eight NAACP Theater Awards, and won two Monday night at the 15th annual ceremonies held at Los Angeles’ famed Vision Theatre in Leimert Park. Members of the cast and crew of last summer’s Samohi/SMCLO production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” were nominated in eight categories, including outstanding production, direction, ensemble, playwright, set, costumes, lighting and sound. The two awards were for best set design and best lighting design. “We are just very excited for being nominated and recognized for what we do. This is an honor for all of us,” said Joe Cincotti, SMCLO Director of Business Affairs, at the ceremonies. Nominated Samohi/SMCLO cast and crew members were in good company as other nominated theater companies included Geffen Playhouse, the Theatre at Boston Court, Troika Entertainment and the Mark Taper Forum/Center Theatre Group. Honored with the 2005 Spirit Award Monday night was Della Reese, who did not attend the ceremony due to a leg injury. Laurence Fishbourne received the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. “The Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP founded the Theatre Awards as a means of commitment to the promotion of theatre in Southern California, providing acknowledgement and honor to those pioneers who laid the foundation, to those trailblazers who continue to recreate and invigorate theatre and those performers who bring theatre to life,” according to the organization’s press statement. According to a spokesman, SMCLO, a sponsored activity of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, “serves as the educational partner to the school’s Theatre Arts Program, enhancing the student experience through mentoring by alumni and theatre professionals and developing productions for the Humanities Center and Barnum Hall stages.”
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