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Northern Light Opera Company wins awards

Oxcar winners gather for a group photo after the Feb. 28 ceremony. Representing Northern Light Opera Company were Libby Sorenson, Jake Jager, Katie Jager, Faith Kern, Lorri Jager, Bob Light, Holly Nelson, Melanie Hanson, Paul Dove and Pat Dove. (Submitted photo)

 Hollywood stars – like Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson – walked the red carpet Sunday for golden statuettes, but regional thespians also received honors: the Oxcars.  The fourth annual Oxcars awards ceremony, held Feb. 28 at Suzy and Hondo’s Dance Studio in Bemidji, celebrated theatre within the Region 2 Arts Council.  Awards were given for acting, directing, set design and costumes.  An Oxcars committee attended live theatrical performances from November to November. Using criteria developed by the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight for Theatre, committee members then selected award nominations.  The Northern Light Opera Company garnered six Oxcars for their 2015 production of “West Side Story.”  Best Musical Director went to Paul Dove, with Best Youth Director going to Lisa Dove. Karen Palmen won for Best Choreography.  For her role as “Anita,” Libby Sorenson won Best Supporting Actress.  Gabriella Harding, as “Maria,” and Hawken Paul, as “Tony,” won Best Up and Coming Youth.  The entire “West Side Story” cast won in a newly created category: Best Ensemble.

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