Chesley Awards

Woodland Opera House cordially invites you to the
30th Annual Chesley Awards

We Celebrate With Those Who Took Home Chesley (And Other) Awards! See the full list below.

Leading Actress in a Musical:
Ernestine Balisi (Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street)

Leading Actor in a Musical:
James Morgan (Shrek in Shrek, The Musical)

Supporting Actress in a Musical:
Lenore Sebastian (Maggie Jones in 42nd Street)

Supporting Actor in a Musical:
Barret Shepherd (Mabel in Annabelle Broom, The Unhappy Witch)

Leading Actor in a Play:
Brant Randolph (Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird)

Supporting Actress in a Play:
Deborah Hammond (Calpurnia in To Kill A Mockingbird)

Supporting Actor in a Play:
Jason Hammond (Bob Ewell in To Kill A Mockingbird)

Youth Performer:
Iris Hershaw (Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird)

Featured Performance in a Musical:
Hayley Harrison (Anytime Annie in 42nd Street)

Featured Performance in a Play:
Spencer Alexander (Boo Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird)

Best Ensemble: 42nd Street

Favorite Production: 42nd Street

Nadine Salonites Board of Trustees Award:
Roger & Judy Kohlmeier and Kevin & Lorie Haarberg

Lou Anderson Tech Crew Award:
Chris & Betsy Taloff

Hershey Award of Excellence in Youth Theatre:
Ellieza Barth

Theatre College Scholarship Award:
Erin Bruni, James Hayakawa, and Jordan Hayakawa



Gene A. Chesley (1935-1981) was a highly regarded scenic designer, theatre historian and teacher. Chesley taught in the Dramatic Art Department at the University of California, Davis, from 1963 until his death at the age of 46 in 1981.  As a UCD faculty member, Chesley began an eleven-year project to identify and document extant historic theatres,  opera houses and performance halls in all fifty states.  He became a renowned authority on American theatres built between 1800 and 1914, and a strong advocate for the renovation and preservation of theatres.

Gene Chesley’s interest in documenting America’s historic theatres began in 1964 when he noticed a dilapidated local opera house.  “When I first came to the Davis campus, I lived in Woodland for six months.  I realized that the Woodland Opera House was there and the scenery was there too.  Later on, some colleagues and myself made an effort to save the scenery and create some interest.” The Woodland Opera House renovation inspired Chesley’s search for other old theatres in California and then nationwide.

 The Historic Woodland Opera House is located at
340 2nd St. Corners of 2nd and Main