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Mark Creter, artistic director of Tennessee Tech University’s Backdoor Playhouse, was named best director at the recent 9th Annual Knoxville Area Theatre Coalition Awards ceremony.

And the production for which he captured the honor — "Much Ado About Nothing" for the Tennessee Stage Company’s 12th Annual East Tennessee Shakespeare in the Park — also netted three additional awards, including one for best play.
Lead actors Susanna Devereux and Michael Golebieski rounded out the honors by taking home respective awards for best actress in a play and best actor in a play.

"The nominations (for each category) are compiled by members of the coalition, and a ballot is run in the Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper," Creter said. "This year, there were approximately 900 voters participating."
Other nominees for the category of best director included Bruce Spies for the Clarence Brown Theatre production of "ART," Jenny Ballard for the Actor’s Co-op production of "Charlotte’s Web," Terry Silver-Alford for the Oak Ridge Community Playhouse production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and Brenda Sparks for the Cumberland County Playhouse production of "The Foreigner."

The Clarence Brown Theatre and Oak Ridge Community Theatre productions were also in the running for best play. Other competitors in that category were the Sevier County Theatre Guild’s production of "Lend Me a Tenor" and Actor’s Co-op production of "On the Verge."

The ceremony, held at the Bijou Theatre Center in downtown Knoxville, provided Creter’s fourth win in nine years.

In 1995, he acted in "The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged," which won best play. In 1998, he won best actor in a play for his portrayal of Antony in Shakespeare’s "Antony and Cleopatra." And in 1999, he directed a production of "Hamlet" that won best play.

He has been involved with the Tennessee Stage Company since it was founded in 1989.