Two win ‘Actors Guild Idol’

PARKERSBURG — Two winners were named in the first “Actors Guild Idol” singing competition on May 19.

On the night of the performances, it was announced to the crowd at the Actors Guild theater that Dennis Craig had won among the 10 finalists.

The winner was determined by four judges (about 60 percent) and fundraising in the form of ticket sales on behalf of the singers (40 percent).

The day after the contest Actors Guild officials discovered that finalist Hanah Dawkins had a higher score than Craig, said Natalie Bradley, of the Actors Guild fundraising committee.

“We checked and there was a miscalculation,” Bradley said this week.

“To make it right,” the Actors Guild officials decided to name both Craig and Dawkins the grand prize winners, Bradley said.

Both finalists are “good with” the decision, Bradley said.

Dawkins and Craig will each receive a grand prize of $2,000, a featured solo show at the 2018 Parkersburg Homecoming in August and a four-hour studio recording session from Sweetsong Productions.

According to the Actors Guild website: “On any given Sunday, Hanah can be found leading hymns and directing the chancel and handbell choirs at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. In 2009, she received a BA in music from West Virginia Wesleyan where she studied voice and was active in the Concert Chorale, Concentus Vocum, and opera program.”

The Actors Guild website carried the following information about Craig, 42, of Parkersburg: “He is a veteran of the stage here in Parkersburg, most recently performing as Joey in Sister Act here at the Actors Guild, as well as the role of Jean Valjean in the MOVP production Les Miserables in 2015. Dennis also was the winner of the 2017 Ohio Valley Idol.”

Each finalist sang a country song, an Elton John song and a song that had significance to the singer, as selected by the singers.

The other finalists were Mara Capati, Logan Dudley, Kiara Hughes, Sydney Lewis, Josh Martin, Athena Root, Hector Velez and Sabrina Wittekind.

The amount of money raised at the singing competition for the Actors Guild of Parkersburg was unavailable Friday.

Besides the advance ticket sales, audience members could buy tickets and vote for their favorite singers at two intermissions during last Saturday’s show.

About 150 people attended the show and about 75 VIP tickets were sold for a pre-show meet-and-greet with the 10 finalists at the Parkersburg Brewing Company, said Bradley.

“It was a close competition,” Bradley said. “There were wonderful performances and fantastic talent,” she said.

Actors Guild officials were pleased with the results of the first-year fundraiser and are looking forward to trying it again, Bradley said.

The Guild wants to see more participants next year.

The first round of the competition in March had participants singing a cappella. During the second round in mid-April, the 15 contestants sang a full song with backup music. And this number was reduced to 10 for the finals.

This new Actors Guild fundraiser replaced “A Night of Dancing With the Stars,” which was presented for several years.