Interlochen Shakespeare Festival recognized in Encore Michigan’s 2022 Wilde Awards

Interlochen alumni Sydney James Harcourt, Arezu Tavakoli, and Mishka Yarovoy earned top prizes for their roles in the Festival’s award-winning productions of “Othello” and “Sanctuary City.”

Othello 2022 Othello

Sydney James Harcourt as "Othello."

Arezu Tavakoli as “G” in Sanctuary City.

Arezu Tavakoli as “G” in the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival’s production of Sanctuary City.

Mishka Yarovoy as “B” in Sanctuary City.

Mishka Yarovoy as “B” in Sanctuary City.

The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Othello and Sanctuary City received top prizes in the 2022 Wilde Awards. Several Arts Camp and Arts Academy alumni and guests were also among the honorees in the prestigious statewide awards program.

The Wilde Awards are presented annually by Encore Michigan, Michigan’s leading theatre news outlet. Winners were selected by Encore Michigan reviewers, who attended more than 80 productions during the qualifying season. In response to feedback from theatre companies and theatre artists across the state, the 2022 Wilde Awards recognized the “best of the best” in each award category rather than selecting one winner.

Othello was selected as a Best of the Bard winner. Encore Michigan reviewer Marin Heinritz hailed the production as, “not only terrifically relevant today, but well worth seeing for its sheer artistic excellence…. Every actor on stage gives a top-notch performance.”

Sanctuary City earned an award for Best Play. Heinritz’s review of the play praised the production as “a wonderfully bold and relevant choice…. it’s what Mishka Yarovoy as B and Arezu Tavakoli as G do and say, how they move and breathe and create rhythm with language that drive this story straight into our hearts.”

Several members of the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival cast received individual recognitions. Interlochen Arts Academy alumnus and current Interlochen Trustee Sydney James Harcourt (AS 94, 97; IAA 94-97) earned a Best Performance of the Bard award for his portrayal of the titular character in Othello. Recent Arts Academy graduates Mishka Yarovoy (IAA 17-19) and Arezu Tavakoli (IAC 18-20, IAA 19-21) received Best Lead Actor in a Play and Best Lead Actress in a Play awards, respectively, for their roles in Sanctuary City.

Fellow alumna Olivia Goosman (IAC 14, IAA 19-22) was also honored in the Wilde Awards, earning the Terry Heck Rising Star Award for her performance in Ruthless! The Musical at the Wilde Theatre as well as past performances at Encore Musical Theatre and the Purple Rose Theatre.

The Detroit Opera Theatre’s production of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X was selected as one of the Best Opera winners. The production starred Interlochen Arts Camp alumnus Davóne Tines (IAC 04) as “Malcolm X” and featured alumnus Bernard Holcomb (IAA 00-02, IAC St 05, IAA St 01-02) as "Ensemble/Postman" and current Interlochen Arts Academy voice faculty member Jennifer Cresswell as “Social Worker/Reporter 1.” Interlochen alumnus Kazem Abdullah (IAC 91-93, 95-97; IAA 96-97) conducted the performance.

Detroit-based theatre artist Emilio Rodriguez, who will be in residence at Interlochen Arts Academy this spring, received awards for Best Play and Best New Script for his play God Kinda Looks Like Tupac. During his residency, Rodriguez will direct his original adaptation of “The Frog Prince,” Sun in Ya Hands. The production will run March 10-12 in Phoenix Theatre.

The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival engages northwest Michigan audiences through professional theatre that celebrates the Shakespearean imagination. Since its founding in 2008, the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival and its performers have received several Wilde Awards, including the 2018 Best of the Bard award for King Lear.