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Vigilante,  Best professional production. Photo by David Cooper

Photo: Maria Vartanova

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 communityOther 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

For further information, contact:

Alvina Ruprecht

and    Iris Winston