Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

CCC theatre awards for 2014-15.

Reviewed by on    Capital Critics Circle Awards  

Capital Critics Circle announces sixteenth annual theatre awards and adds Tartan award for technical excellence

OTTAWA, November 23, 2015 – The Capital Critics Circle today announced the winners of the sixteenth annual theatre awards for plays presented in English in the National Capital Region during the 2014-2015 season. The winners are:

Best professional production:

Stuff Happens by David Hare, directed by David Ferry, National Arts Centre English Theatre.

Best community theatre production:

Avenue Q, book by Jeff Whitty, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Mark, directed by Michael Gareau, musical direction by John McGovern, choreography by Alison Szkwarek, Toto Too Theatre.

(Continue reading » )

From the Montreal fringe. Intersecting plots and immersive storytelling in “Displaced” by Ground Cover Theatre

Reviewed by on    Capital Critics Circle Awards, Montreal Fringe 2015  

Photo: Ground Cover Theatre

Photo: Ground Cover Theatre

Three women from three seperate histories–different countries and eras entirely–intersect in Ground Cover Theater’s Displaced. Each has reached a moment where leaving their homes for the greener pastures of Canada has become essential to their survival. And though their stories are independent from one another, here, they have been woven together in a story that portrays the trials faced by lone women who arrive to Canada as refugees.

Mary (Katie Moore) flees the Irish Famine in the 1840s, Sofia (Anna Mazurik) arrives from Germany in the 1940s after her Jewish husband dies in a camp, and Dara (Emma Laishram) must leave Afghanistan to avoid persecution after refusing an arranged marriage. And though their stories are disparate, playwrights Natasha Martina and Sue Mythen use overlayed monologues and corporeal sequences to indicate a shared theme amongst the three women. Each leaves terrible tragedy behind, and struggles in a new life as a persecuted outsider. (Continue reading » )

The Importance of Being Earnest: The audience is repeatedly beaten with slapstick humour.

Reviewed by on    Capital Critics Circle Awards, Professional Theatre  

Photo: Andree Lanthier

Photo: Andree Lanthier

Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, is a biting satire of Victorian artifice. You wouldn’t think a play criticizing a society where appearance trumps substance, so close to our own image-obsessed society, would require too much tweaking. What makes this play so funny, other than Wilde’s mastery of language, is precisely that it works within the social conventions of late Victorian London. The play works best when the characters let their actions speak for themselves, without added trappings. I talk a lot about directors’ seeming lack of faith in their audience’s ability to get and be amused by a more subtle type of comedy. It often feels like there’s a fear that, unless we’re repeatedly beaten with slapstick-type humour (with side-winks, just in case we forget to laugh), we will fall asleep in our seats. Ted Dykstra’s version of The Importance of Being Earnest falls into this category, as he inserts needless physicality and self-reflexiveness in the presentation. This denies the play its gravitas by reducing it to something trivial and renders the production forgettable.

The Importance of Being Earnest is a story about two friends, Algernon (Alex McCooeye) and his friend Jack (Christopher Morris) who, having little else to do in their privileged lives, make up imaginary friends and relations in order to get away from real-life ones, who they can’t stand. The characters in this version of The Importance of Being Earnest roll their eyes, throw muffins at each other, and, most inappropriate of all, hide under the skirts of their beloveds in the presence of the latter’s (very proper) mother. They leap over settees and foot stools in a way that would have undoubtedly gotten them thrown into Bedlam in a second.  (Continue reading » )

Paul Rainville wins Audrey Ashley award (2013-14)! Ottawa U. gets Student theatre award!

Reviewed by on    Arts News, Capital Critics Circle Awards  

Capital Critics Circle Announces Fourteenth Annual Theatre Awards

J. P. Kelley wins best production: Princess Ivona takes the Student theatre production.
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OTTAWA, December 2, 2013 – The Capital Critics Circle today announced the winners of the fourteenth annual theatre awards for plays presented in English in the National Capital Region during the 2012-2013 season. The winners are:

Best professional production:

SevenThirty Productions’ November by David Mamet, directed by John P. Kelly.

Best community theatre production:

The Ottawa Little Theatre production of Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, directed by Tom Taylor.

Best student production:

The first winner of this new category is Princess Ivona by Witold Gombrowicz, directed by Ekaterina Shestakova, University of Ottawa, Directing program. (Continue reading » )

Capital Critics Circle Announces Nominations for 2012-13 and Adds Student Award Category

Reviewed by on    Capital Critics Circle Awards  

OTTAWA, October 23, 2013 – The Capital Critics Circle today announced the nominees for the fourteenth annual English-language theatre awards for plays presented in the National Capital Region during the 2012-2013 season. The Circle has expanded this year’s list to include an award for the best student production.

The nominees are:

(Continue reading » )

The Capital Critics Circle Announces the Nominations for the 2011-2012 Theatre Awards. Two New Awards Have been Added.

Reviewed by on    Arts News, Capital Critics Circle Awards  

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The Capital Critics Circle today announced the nominees for the thirteenth annual English-language theatre awards for plays presented in the National Capital Region during the 2011-2012 season. The Circle has expanded this year’s list to include more acting awards.

(Continue reading » )

Capital critics circle awards for 2010-2011

Reviewed by on    Capital Critics Circle Awards  

OTTAWA, November 28, 2011 – The Capital Critics Circle today announced the winners of the twelfth annual theatre awards for plays presented in English in the National Capital Region during the 2010-2011 season. The winners are:

Best professional production: The Third Wall Theatre production of Blackbird by David Harrower, directed by Mary Ellis.

(Continue reading » )

CCC Awards 2009-2010

Reviewed by on    Capital Critics Circle Awards  

Capital Critics Circle Announces Eleventh Annual Theatre Awards
John Koensgen wins the Audrey Ashley award
for outstanding contribution to the theatre…

OTTAWA, November 15, 2010 – The Capital Critics Circle today announced the winners of the eleventh annual theatre awards for plays presented in English in the National Capital Region during the 2009-2010 season. The winners are:

Best professional production:

A Christmas Carol, directed and adapted by Peter Hinton from the book by Charles Dickens; a production of the National Arts Centre English Theatre.

(Continue reading » )