‘The SantaLand Diaries’ earns three regional theater awards

Tupelo Community Theatre Off Broadway earned awards for its production of “The SantaLand Diaries” on Saturday at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Mobile, Ala. Pictured are Tupelo Community Theatre executive director and “SantaLand” director Tom Booth, front row left, and Todd Barnett, who starred as Crumpet the Elf. Back row from left are members of the production’s stage crew, Mallory Davidson, Bronwyn Teague, Meredith Martin and Suzanne Oakley. (Courtesy photo)

Tupelo Community Theatre Off Broadway earned awards for its production of “The SantaLand Diaries” on Saturday at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Mobile, Ala. Pictured are Tupelo Community Theatre executive director and “SantaLand” director Tom Booth, front row left, and Todd Barnett, who starred as Crumpet the Elf. Back row from left are members of the production’s stage crew, Mallory Davidson, Bronwyn Teague, Meredith Martin and Suzanne Oakley. (Courtesy photo)

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

TUPELO – TCT Off Broadway took its production of “The SantaLand Diaries” on the road for competition at the Southeastern Theatre Conference and came away with three top awards.

“We were one of two winners of the SETC Community Theatre Festival Winner 2014,” said Tom Booth, production director and executive director of the theater company. “Todd Barnett also won for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, and we won for Outstanding Achievement in Costumes.”

SETC represents the 10-state Southern region, Booth said, so they always select two co-winners. The winner along with TCT is Wetumpka Theatre of Alabama for “The Fantasticks.”

“The SantaLand Diaries,” written by David Sedaris, is a one-man play depicting the time the writer worked as an elf in Macy’s SantaLand. Todd Barnett stars as Crumpet the Elf in the first play produced by Tupelo Community Theatre’s new side company, TCT Off Broadway.

The play won Best Production and Set awards at the Mississippi Theatre Association Festival in January, which sent it to represent Mississippi along with a Gulfport theater company at the regional competition. Barnett also won Best Actor at the state festival for his performance.

“This is the first time we’ve won since 2004,” Booth said. “We were runner-up last year. This is our third year in a row to represent Mississippi at SETC. We’ve been six times since 2001, which was our first year. There’s a lot of tremendous talent in North Mississippi, and we’re really a regional theater, pulling people from all over North Mississippi.”

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com

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Sheena Barnett contributed to this story.