The Santa Barbara Independent honored Westmont theater arts professors John Blondell and Mitchell Thomas and student Chris Wagstaffe, giving them Independent Theater Awards May 21 at the Santa Barbara Club. It is the 20th year the Independent has honored the best in Santa Barbara theater.
Blondell, who recently returned to Santa Barbara after directing Shakespeare’s “Henry VI, Part 3” at the Globe Theatre in London, earned two directing awards for “Peer Gynt” and “Henry VI, Part 3,” which he directed in Santa Barbara prior to the London shows. Over the past six years, Blondell has won Indys for directing “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (2011),” “Our Town (2010),” “Queen C (2008)” and “King Richard II (2006).”
Thomas racked up two more Indys this year for his acting roles in “Peer Gynt” and “Creditors.” He earned Indys in 2010 for directing “The Bald Soprano” and an acting award in 2006 for “King Richard II.”
Wagstaffe, an incoming junior, won for his performance in “Peer Gynt” as the youngest Gynt.