The American Repertory Theater and ArtsEmerson are positioned for big wins May 23 when the Boston Theater Critics Association holds the 29th annual Elliot Norton Awards at the Paramount.
Those two companies garnered 12 and 10 nominations respectively for a list of productions that include “The Merchant of Venice,” “Johnny Baseball,” “The Blue Flower,” and “Petrushka.” Three other companies - Broadway Across America, the Huntington Theatre Company and Lyric Stage Company - earned six nominations each.
Diane Paulus, Will Pomerantz and Darko Tresnjak will vie for the outstanding director award for a large theater, with David R. Gammons, Spiro Veloudos and Courtney O’Connor and Paul Daigneault competing for the same prize in the medium-sized theater category. Among the best actor candidates are Stacy Fischer, Molly Schreiber, Will Lyman, and Estelle Parsons.
Theaters given nominations in the small/fringe categories include Publick Theatre Boston, Tir Na Theatre, Company One, Whistler in the Dark, Zeitgeist Stage Company and The Gold Dust Orphans.
Scott Edmiston (above), the director of the Office of the Arts at Brandeis University, will receive the Norton prize for sustained excellence and the Wheelock Family Theatre will receive a special citation in honor of its 30th anniversary.
In the past, the Norton Awards has been attended by, among others, Julie Harris, Elaine Stritch, Irene Worth, and Al Pacino. The committee is waiting to hear back from potential celebrity attendees, according to spokesperson Joanne Barrett.
The Norton Awards, named after the longtime Boston theater critic, are selected by a committee that includes former Boston Phoenix critic Carolyn Clay, WGBH arts reporter Jared Bowen, Boston Globe critic Don Aucoin and longtime Boston arts television reporter Joyce Kulhawik.
For a full list of nominations, go to: www.nortonawardsboston.com