Hope Summer Repertory Theatre received 2 awards and 12 nominations in the 2014 Wilde Awards presented by EncoreMichigan.com this past month.

HSRT’s 2013 production of “Romeo and Juliet” tied for “Best of the Bard,” while Darnell Benjamin won “Best Performance—the Bard” for his role as Mercutio.  Other productions nominated included “All Shook Up” and “Hot Mikado” for Best Musical.

Although HSRT has been previously honored with 7 nominations and 1 award, this dramatic increase represents a critical milestone for the company.  “We are being recognized by the greater community beyond just Holland and locally, but all over the state,” said managing director Rich Perez, who is an assistant professor of theatre at Hope.  “It says a lot about the work we’re doing.”

According to Perez, the increased recognition can “only be a good thing” for HSRT and the Holland community.  “If we have a higher profile, that’s going to draw more talent and bring further recognition, which can transform into more people in the seats and more talented people coming to work with us.  It broadens the experience for our own community here.”

Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, which began in 1972, is a professional company which produces six productions each summer on the Hope campus.  Its mission is to produce plays and educational programs of the highest possible professional standards that address the needs of and enhance the quality of life for the West Michigan community.  More information is available online at hope.edu/hsrt.