Live theater returned at local community theater companies last year, and Arts For Life will honor those efforts at this year’s Theatre Mask Awards on Saturday, April 9.

Three dramas and two comedies are vying for Outstanding Production at this year’s TMAs: the George S. Kaufman-Moss Hart comedy classic “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” by Kirkwood Theatre Guild in Kirkwood, Mo., which led all St. Louis area – metro-east Illinois community theater groups with 13 nominations; Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” by Act Two Theatre in St. Peters, Mo.; which has 11 nominations; the Tony-winning play “The Desperate Hours” by The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves, which has five; Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” by O’Fallon Theatre Works in O’Fallon, Mo., which has seven; and August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” by Clayton Community Theatre, which has eight..

Monroe Actors Stage Company in Waterloo, Ill., has nine nominations for Lillian Helman’s drama “Watch on the Rhine.” Other productions that received nominations include “Lend Me a Tenor” by Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon, Ill., and “6 Rms Riv Vu” by the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves.

The Man Who Came to Dinner at Kirkwood.has 13 nominations.

Let’s celebrate the return and resilience of community theater dramas and comedies in the bi-state region. And you get a tasty brunch too! To purchase tickets, here is the link:

“Blithe Spirit” at Act Two Theatre has 11 nominations. Photo by Lori Biehl.

Arts For Life is returning to live and in-person awards ceremonies this spring, and tickets are now available for both the Theater Mask Awards on April 9 and Best Performance Awards on June 12.

This year’s eighth annual TMAs will take place starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, at The Christy of St. Louis, 5856 Christy Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63116.

Talia Wright as Amy March in OTW’s “Little Women”

Cocktail attire is suggested. Seating will be eight per table, and seating assignments will be available at the entrance.

A brunch buffet featuring eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, hash browns, fruit salad and pasta con broccoli will be served. A cash bar will be available. TMA tickets are $28. Tickets will NOT be available for purchase at the event.

This year’s master of ceremonies for the TMAs will be Mark Lull, a nine-time AFL nominee, who won Best Performance by a Comedic Actor as Uncle Fester in Alfresco Productions’ “The Addams Family” in 2015.

The complete list of nominations can be found at:

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” at Clayton Community Theatre.

Through the nonprofit organization AFL, the TMAs have honored drama and comedy plays since 2015 while the BPAs have honored musical theater in community and youth productions since AFL’s founding in 1999.

Because of the public health crisis, AFL held its BPAs and TMAs ceremonies virtually in 2020, while BPAs were not held in 2021, but TMAs were virtually, and in a smaller capacity. This year’s BPAs include nominees from the shortened 2020 and 2021 theater seasons.

“Live and in person!” AFL President Mary McCreight exclaimed. “So happy to see the enthusiasm among theater groups for recognizing excellence among their peers and cheering each other on. It was a tough year to get out there, rehearse, and be among crowds. But through their diligence and willpower, the magic happened. Let’s celebrate!”

For more information, visit the website at

“Watch on the Rhine” at MASC has nine nominations, including best ensemble.
The Desperate Hours at the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves.
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