Photo: Maria Vartanova Best Community production: Other Desert Cities
On November 14, about 200 members of the Theatre community of the nation’s capital gathered in the Salon of the National Arts Centre for the nineteenth annual theatre awards presented by the Capital Critics Circle, for plays presented in English in the National capital region. As Nathan Medd, managing director of the National Arts Centre English theatre stated, this is the only event in the city which brings together members of community, professional and student theatre groups who rarely mingle but who have equally strong traditions in Ottawa.
The professional awards take into account not only work produced in the region but also performances originating from elsewhere in Canada, which makes the competition much more difficult but no doubt extremly rewarding for local winners . The categories in each group include best production, best director, best performance by a man and best performance by a woman. There are several awards for technical excellence which inlcude lighting, set design, music, costumes according to the nature of that year ‘s productions.
The results this year are as follows.
For best production professional: Vigilante , an exhilarating Rock Opera based on the Donnelly saga, written composed and directed by Jonathan Christenson. ” Mythology trumps history” write Jamie Portman. It was produced by Catalyst Theatre (Edmonton) in Association with the National Arts Centre English Theatre. ,
Best production community: Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Geoff Gruson, produced by the Ottawa Little Theatre
Best director professional: Esther Jun for her direction of The Last Wife, “Playwright Kate Hennig imagines the intimate conversations that may have occurred in the most private moments between Katherine Parr and her husband, King Henry VIII”.(Kate Fournier). “… this production of Kate Hennig’s mesmerizing play, The Last Wife, is definitely one for the memory books (Jamie Portman). A coproduction of GCTC and Victoria Belfry Theatre, presented at the Great Canadian Theatre Company
Photo Emily Cooper
The Last Wife
Best director community: Sarah Hearn for her direction of Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein, a production of TotoToo Theatre
Best actor professional:Oliver Becker for his performance as King Henry in The Last Wife
Best actor community: Taylor Morris for his performance as Robert in Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camelotti, translated by Beverley Cross (1982) and Francis Evans (2007), directed by Shaun Toohey, Ottawa Little Theatre
Photo: DBP Photographics
Best actress professional: Jan Alexandra Smith for her outstanding performance as Johannah the avenging mother in Vigilante
Best actress community: Venetia Lawless for her performance as Brooke in Other Desert Cities
Photo: Emily Cooper
Children of God, Urban Ink in collaboration with Raven theatre and the NAC English theatre.
Best designer professional: Marshall McMahen for the production design of Children of God
Priscilla Queen of the Desert ¨Photo: Maria Vartanova for Toto Too Theatre
Best designer community: Lu-Anne Connell for her costumes for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a Toto Too production.
Tartan technical award professional:
Roger Schultz for the set design of I’ll Be Back Before Midnight by Peter Colley, directed by Laurel Smith, Classic Theatre Festival.
Tartan technical award community
Graham Price for the set and lighting for The Three Musketeers by Ken Ludwig, directed by Stavros Sakiadis, Ottawa Little Theatre
Best new play: this year instead of giving an award to a student production , we gave the award to a new play created in Ottawa: The result was Finishing the Suit by Lawrence Aronovitch (playwrite) , directed by Joel Beddows. Beddows was the former artistic director of the théâtre la Catapulte at the Nouvelle scène. He is currently the artistic director of the Théâtre français de Toronto.
The Audrey Ashley Award, given for a body of work, goes to Ted Chartrand for making TotoToo Theatre a force on the Ottawa arts scene.
The members of the selection committee for the 2016-2017 season English theatre awards were: Barbara Gray, Patrick Langston, Jim Murchison, Jamie Portman, Alvina Ruprecht, Maja Stefanovska, Rajka Stefanovska and Iris Winston. The CCC is affiliated with the Canadian Theatre Critics Association and the International Association of Theatre Critics.
The 2017 CCC awards were sponsored by Barbara Crook Greenberg, Alan Dean Photography, Nicholas Wojtas Photography, Coyle Publishing, the Cube Gallery, Executive Fitness Leaders and Tartan Homes. The NAC generously hosted the 2016-2017 awards.
Also writing for us are Jane Baldwin from Boston, and various colleagues in the Francophone world who are constantly in contact with us. The CCC has created its own website where the reviews of all the productions we see are posted for the general public. Please look for www.capitalcriticscircle.com
For further information, contact:
Alvina Ruprecht firstname.lastname@example.org
and Iris Winston Iris.email@example.com