two-river-theater-extAmong the candidates for ‘best professional theater’ is the Two River Theater.

Several mainstays of Red Bank’s celebrated arts venues and entertainment scene, including two whose future ties to town are uncertain, are up for the Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Awards for 2009.

The Two River Theater CompanyCount Basie Theater and the Borough of Red Bank are all nominated. So is the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, which may not happen at its usual spot in Marine Park this June due to major construction there.

Also on the ballot is the capricious Red Bank International Film Festival, which went on hiatus for 2008 and popped up again last May, shrunken and no longer actually in Red Bank.

But those whose box offices still buzz within the borough borders are imploring anyone with a mouse and internet connection to support their local arts scene as it competes against the state’s other nominees.

Sean Murphy, marketing manager for Two River Theater, is particularly stoked for the theater to receive its first nomination in the annual awards contest.

“It’s totally for bragging rights, but it’s also something really good to stand on,” he said. “We thought we’d just kind of go crazy with this and try to get people to vote.”

Here’s who’s up for what:

Two River Theater Company – Best professional theater

Count Basie Theatre (two nominations) – Best performing arts center and best place for kids to take arts classes

Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival – Best music festival

Red Bank International Film Festival – Best film fest

Red Bank – Best downtown arts district

Go here to cast a vote. Voting ends January 19 and results should be out about a week later.

Discover New Jersey is an effort by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and other cultural service organizations to boost awareness of and participation in the arts.