2020 Dora Awards - Virtual Edition
- Celebrating Excellence in Toronto Theatre, Dance and Opera -
THE DORA GOES TO . . .
Soulpepper Theatre Company’s The Brothers Size Leads General Theatre Division with 5 Doras including Outstanding Production
Young People’s Theatre’s The Mush Hole Fronts Theatre for Young Audiences Division with 5 Doras including Outstanding Production
Canadian Opera Company’s Rusalka Heads Opera Division with 4 Doras including Outstanding Production
Coal Mine Theatre’s Marjorie Prime Caps Independent Theatre Division with 3 Doras including Outstanding Production
The Musical Stage Company & Obsidian Theatre’s Caroline, or Change and Crow’s Theatre & Eclipse Theatre Company’s Ghost Quartet Tie Top Spot in Musical Theatre Division with 2 Doras each (Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role & Featured Role to former, Outstanding Direction & Achievement in Design to latter)
Rock Bottom Movement’s hollow mountain and The National Ballet of Canada’s Angels’ Atlas Tie Lead in Dance Division with 2 Doras each (Outstanding Production & Ensemble to former, Outstanding Original Choreography & Achievement in Design to latter)
Toronto, June 29, 2020 - The 41st Dora Mavor Moore Awards for a shortened 2019-2020 season were handed out in a star-studded virtual ceremony in Toronto on the evening of Monday, June 29, streamed on the Dora Awards’ YouTube channel for the very first time. A total of 46 Dora Awards plus the Silver Ticket Award and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award, in honour of the late and beloved NOW Magazine senior theatre writer, were given out.
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards, produced and presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), celebrate excellence in Toronto theatre, dance and opera. Even though the 2019-2020 season had to be curtailed due to restrictions in place because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto stages still saw 135 producing companies present 160 eligible productions, representing 85% of productions registered for the Dora Awards.
The 2020 Dora Awards - Virtual Edition show was written by the multi-talented Emmy, Gemini and Dora-nominated Diane Flacks while acclaimed theatre director, actor and writer Ed Roy took the helm as director. Fittingly, the theme for the 2020 Doras was perseverance in the face of isolation - presented with wit and compassion.
The ceremony saw the multi-talented, multi-award-winning Rick Mercer (formerly of CBC-TV’s Rick Mercer Report)kick off the show in irreverent high style with one of his legendary “rants.” The “Five Stages of Isolation” (based on the Five Stages of Grief) were cheekily outlined by playwright Michael Healey, recent Native Earth Performing Arts Resident Artist Chris Mejaki, actor Elley Ray, theatre creator Sunny Drake, and Canadian Screen Icon Award winner Cathy Jones (of CBC-TV’s legendary This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame) as they each depicted one of the “five stages”: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. “Pandemic Pop-Ups” appeared throughout featuring theatrical luminaries such as Damien Atkins, Beau Dixon, Virgilia Griffith, Seana McKenna, Morro & Jasp (Amy Lee and Heather Marie Annis), Tony Nappo, Carly Street and others.
Mayor John Tory gave greetings on behalf of the city at the top of the show. Among the VIP presenters were Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, stars of the multi-award-winning television show Kim’s Convenience; Human Cargo Artistic Director Christopher Morris (Dora Award for The Runner); four-time Dora Award-winning set and costume designer Gillian Gallow; dancer/choreographer Kevin Ormsby, Artistic Director of acclaimed Afro-contemporary KasheDance; Ravi Jain, multi-award-winning Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre; Aurora Browne, one of the stars of award-winning comedy series Baroness von Sketch Show; and actor, writer and comedian Kris Siddiqi, co-creator/star of CBC Gem’s Bit Playas.
Juno and Gemini Award winner Jully Black, Canada’s Queen of R&B Soul, entertained with one of her own powerful songs - Running - in the last half of show. (Ms Black, earlier in the show had won the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role in the Musical Theatre Division for her performance in the Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre’s Caroline, or Change.)
Given the current pandemic and to show solidarity with the movement confronting racist violence and social injustice, audiences were encouraged to donate to the AFC (formerly the Actors Fund of Canada at AFChelps.ca/Doras) which provides compassionate support and a lifeline for Canada's entertainment industry, and to Black Lives Matter-Toronto (at blacklivesmatter.ca), part of a global network actively working to dismantle all forms of anti-black racism, and to support black healing.
And the Recipients of the 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Awards Are:
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION RECIPIENTS:
The recipients of Outstanding Production in each of the divisions are as follows:
General Theatre: The Brothers Size - Soulpepper Theatre Company
Musical Theatre: Piaf/Dietrich - David Mirvish
Independent Theatre: Marjorie Prime - Coal Mine Theatre
Opera: Rusalka - Canadian Opera Company
Dance: hollow mountain - Rock Bottom Movement
Theatre for Young Audiences: The Mush Hole - Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presented by Young People’s Theatre
Touring Production: Us/Them - BRONKS and Richard Jordan Productions with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Big in Belgium presented by Mirvish Productions
The tallies of the top three shows are as follows:
The Brothers Size (Soulpepper Theatre Company)in theGeneral Theatre Division and The Mush Hole (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presented byYoung People’s Theatre) in the Theatre for Young Audiences Division tie for top spot for the season, earning 5 Doras a piece:
The Brothers Size (General Theatre Division):
Outstanding Production to Soulpepper Theatre Company,
Outstanding Direction to Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu,
Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role to Daren A. Herbert,
Outstanding Costume Design to Rachel Forbes,
Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to the team of Kobena Aquaa-Harrison, Waleed Abdulhamid, Jasmyn Fyffe and Thomas Ryder Payne.
The Mush Hole (Theatre for Young Audiences Division):
Outstanding Production to Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presented by Young People's Theatre,
Outstanding New Play to Santee Smith,
Outstanding Direction to Santee Smith,
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble to Jonathan Fisher, Raelyn Metcalfe, Santee Smith, Montana Summers and Julianne Blackbird,
Outstanding Achievement in Design (Projection): Ryan Webber and Shane Powless.
Rusalka (Canadian Opera Company) tallies in next with 4 Dora Awards in the Opera Division:
Outstanding Production to Canadian Opera Company,
Outstanding Direction to David McVicar,
Outstanding Musical Direction to Johannes Debus,
Outstanding Achievement in Design (Lighting) to David Finn.
Marjorie Prime (Coal Mine Theatre) in the Independent Theatre Division takes third spot with 3 Dora Awards:
Outstanding Production to Coal Mine Theatre,
Outstanding Direction to Stewart Arnott,
Outstanding Lighting Design to Nick Blais
FULL DIVISION DETAILS:
Following are the details by division:
GENERAL THEATRE DIVISION:
Soulpepper Theatre Company leads in the General Theatre Division with 6 Dora Awards: 5 for The Brothers Size as outlined above and 1 to Ken MacKenzie for Outstanding Scenic/Projection Design for Almighty Voice and His Wife.
Tarragon Theatre’s Buffoon takes home 2:toAnosh Irani for Outstanding New Play and toAnand Rajaram for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role.
The Groundling Theatre Company and Crow's Theatre production of Julius Caesar sees Lorenzo Savoini earn Outstanding Lighting Design.
A special gift was also awarded in the General Theatre Division. For the sixth year in a row, the Pat and Tony Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts provided a prize of $1,000 each to the recipients of Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role.
MUSICAL THEATRE DIVISION:
In the Musical Theatre Division, Caroline, or Change (produced by The Musical Stage Company & Obsidian Theatre) and Ghost Quartet (producedby Crow's Theatre and Eclipse Theatre Company) tie for the lead with 2 Doras each.
For Caroline, or Change, Jully Black earns Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role and Vanessa Sears wins Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role.
Ghost Quartet seesOutstanding Direction to Marie Farsi and Outstanding Achievement in Design for Lighting Design to Patrick Lavender.
Piaf/Dietrich nabs Outstanding Production for presenter David MirvishwhileOutstanding New Musical goes to Landon Doak and Matthew Finian for Life in a Box (Bad Hats Theatre) and Outstanding Original Choreography goes to Julie Tomaino for The Adventures of Pinocchio (Young People’s Theatre).
Eclipse Theatre Company’s Sunday in the Park with George sees Adam Sakiyama tapped for Outstanding Musical Direction (bringing Eclipse Theatre’s total to 3 Doras to lead the division overall).
Rusalka, presented by the Canadian Opera Canada, leads the Opera Division with 4 wins as outlined above.
Librettist Yvette Nolan and composer Dean Burry take home the Dora for Outstanding New Opera forShanawdithit (co-commissioned and co-produced by Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon) while another Tapestry production, Jacqueline, sees Marnie Breckenridge receive the Dora for Outstanding Performance by an Individual.
Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit (co-produced by Soundstreams, Signal Theatre and the Sámi National Theatre Beaivvás) sees Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble go to Nicole Joy-Fraser, Karen Weigold, Vania Chan, Deantha Edmunds, Jennifer Taverner, Rebecca Cuddy, Bó Bárdos, Michelle Lafferty, Jonathan MacArthur, Mitchell Pady, Evan Korbut, Bryan Martin and Neil Aronoff.
INDEPENDENT THEATRE DIVISION:
In theIndependent Theatre Division, Marjorie Prime,produced by Coal Mine Theatre, nets 3 Dora Awards as noted above.Coal Mine tallies in with 1 more award for Between Riverside and Crazy to Alexander Thomas for Outstanding Performance by an Individual to total 4 awards, leading the division overall.
Casimir and Caroline from The Howland Company sees 2 Doras: one for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble to Alex Crowther, Hallie Seline, Cameron Laurie, Caroline Toal, Michael Ayres, James Graham, Kimwun Perehinec, Shruti Kothari, Veronica Hortiguela and Michael Chiem; and one for Outstanding Costume Design to Ken MacKenzie.
Keith Barker earns Outstanding New Play for his This Is How We Got Here, a Native Earth Performing Arts production.
Further awards in this division go to Melissa Joakim for Outstanding Scenic Design for Prophecy Fog (co-produced by The Theatre Centre and Paper Canoe Projects in association with Nightswimming Theatre), and to Adrian Shepherd-Gawinski for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition for timeshare performance’sBox 4901.
In the Dance Division, Rock Bottom Movement’s hollow mountain andthe National Ballet of Canada’s Angels’ Atlas (part of its triple bill Angels’ Atlas with Chroma & Marguerite and Armand) tie for the lead in the Dance Division with 2 Dora Awards each.
hollow mountain sees Doras for Outstanding Production andOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble to Samantha Grist, Natasha Poon Woo, Drew Berry, Brayden Cairns and Sydney Herauf.
Angels’ Atlas earns Outstanding Original Choreography to Crystal Pite and Outstanding Achievement in Design for Scenic Design to Jay Gower Taylor.
Outstanding Performance by an Individual goes to Josh Martin for Leftovers (from princess productions’ dance: made in canada/fait au canada - Mrozewski Series).
Outstanding Original Sound Composition goes to Eliot Britton and Rick Sacks for AF, presented by Red Sky Performance.
THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES DIVISION:
In the Theatre for Young Audience’s Division, The Mush Hole (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presented by Young People’s Theatre) leads the division with 5 awards as noted above.
Additionally, Young People’s Theatre (YPT) sees 1 more Dora for You and I to Malindi Ayienga for Outstanding Performance by an Individual. Adding its win in the Musical Theatre Division for Outstanding Original Choreography to Julie Tomaino for The Adventures of Pinocchio as noted above, YPT’s total is 7 Dora Awards, giving it the leading position overall this season.
Outstanding Touring Production went to Us/Them (BRONKS and Richard Jordan Productions with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Big in Belgium presented by Mirvish Productions).
SILVER TICKET AWARD:
The Silver Ticket Award is bestowed upon an individual who has excelled in their career while also nurturing the development of Canadian theatre. It entitles the recipient to a lifetime of theatre tickets to any TAPA member company production. It was presented to the master theatrical tailor and cutter Martin Schlichting, who has spent 45 years in the pursuit of quality tailoring and costuming in the performing arts.
JON KAPLAN AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD:
TAPA’s Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production, co-sponsored by NOW Magazine was also presented. The public was invited to vote online from a list of Outstanding Production nominees in all divisions, or choose their own favourite. Presented with a commemorative plaque, the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award winner is Pass Over, produced by Obsidian Theatre Company.
FULL RECIPIENT LIST:
See the accompanying complete list of recipients. The full list is also available online at tapa.ca .
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The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA).. For more information visit www.tapa.ca.