News Column

Hamilton actor wins top theater award

June 26, 2014

By Vivienne Machi, Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio



June 26--HAMILTON -- Daniel Britt was once a graphic designer; somewhere after age 40, the acting bug took hold and never let go.

Now, the 65-year-old actor has been awarded best lead actor in a play by the League of Cincinnati Theatres for his portrayal of Tom in Mad Anthony Theatre Company's performance of "Light Sensitive," by Jim Geoghan last October.

"It certainly feels good to be recognized," Britt said.

Britt, who just recently moved to Cincinnati after living for over 30 years in Hamilton, said that while an actor plays for many companies and theaters, he considers Mad Anthony, housed in the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., to be his home.

"Every actor has a place they love to come back to again and again, and that's Mad Anthony," he said.

Britt brought "Light Sensitive" to director Henry Cepluch about three years ago for consideration.

"It's a real audience-pleaser," he said. "When I first read the play, I thought it was actually kind of a sweet play. Then you work on it and realize how much tragedy is in each of (the characters') lives."

Britt's character is a cab driver who was previously blinded in an accident; his best friend, played by Burt McCollom, keeps tabs on him but is about to move to Vermont to follow a woman, and Tom reluctantly receives help from a volunteer reader, played by Bekka Eaton Reardon.

"I like playing a range of emotions, and characters that are rich in different qualities," Britt said. "That's the learning curve for the actor."

Though he got his acting start in community theater, Britt has film experience as well, and played in the 2013 feature film "Revelation Trail," directed by John P. Gibson/

Cepluch, who started Mad Anthony in 1999 and directed Britt in the theatre company's first show, Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party," noted that Britt won the award in the first year Mad Anthony joined the League of Cincinnati Theatres.

"I want to say there were over 80 plays viewed by the judges, and here's Dan running away with the best actor award," he said.

"(Britt) is a wonder to work with," Cepluch continued. "He takes it all very seriously, and knows how to create a character."

Britt was one of two recipients for the best actor in a play award at the awards party on June 20; the second award going to Brent Vimtrup of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for his portrayal of John Proctor in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." Mad Anthony's Reardon and Burt McCollom were also nominated, for lead actress and featured actor, respectively, as was lighting designer Denny Thomas. Honorable Mentions went to Mary Slocum for set design and Henry Cepluch for directing.

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(c)2014 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)

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Source: Hamilton Journal News (OH)


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