They are not nearly as well-known as the Tony Awards, but for two local theater companies, the Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards are just as special.
The Old Alabama Road Company and the Rosewater Theatre have been nominated for 20 awards for their respective productions of "The Boys Next Door" and "Chicago."
"We are very proud," said Linda Heard, director of the Cumming Playhouse, where both shows were performed. "We knew when we saw the shows that they were excellent. But being new in the theater business, we didn't know how they would compete with other shows in the Atlanta area."
Heard said Old Alabama Road Company Director Jim Dailey told her to "look for some strong performances to hit the stage again this year."
The company will return to the playhouse in August with the comedy "A Company of Wayward Saints," and again in October with "John, HIS Story," a modernized story of Jesus Christ, as told in the Gospel according to John.
Rosewater's next Cumming Playhouse performance is "Crimes of the Heart," which begins September.
Lisa Riley, managing director of the Rosewater Theatre, said she was thrilled the show received 13 nominations, but is almost as excited to attend the awards ceremony Sept. 14.
"It's going to be a huge event. It's going to be a red carpet affair," she said. "It's like a mini Tony Awards."
With nominations for leading actor and actress in a musical, minor supporting actress and actor in a musical, costume design and choreography, Riley said there are many possibilities.
If she could choose just one award, however, she said she most hopes to claim overall performance of a musical.
"It was a group effort and everyone who was involved in the show can feel proud," she said. "We would love to win that one."
Heard said recognition of the nominations will help the playhouse draw from beyond the county limits.
"In comparison of all the shows in the Atlanta area, we feel this helps us have a greater reputation in the theater community," she said.
"It will attract shows to the playhouse, and overall it will make us able to continue to offer higher quality and better shows."