The 31st Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards for the 2009/2010 season were handed out in a star-studded ceremony on the evening of Monday, June 28 at Toronto's in the Bluma Appel Theatre of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, hosted by the celebrated CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi.
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are produced and presented on behalf of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) and celebrate excellence in Toronto theatre, dance and opera. The 225 Dora-eligible shows opened between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. A total of 35 Dora Awards plus the Silver Ticket Award, the Pauline McGibbon Award and the Audience Choice Award were given out.
OVERALL WINNERS: Overall, Luminato, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Tarragon Theatre and Theatrefront in association with the Young Centre tied for top spot with four Dora Mavor Moore Awards each.
Luminato's were spread over the General Theatre Production (1), Musical Theatre (1) and Dance divisions (2) while Soulpepper and Tarragon tied in the General Theatre Production Division and Theatrefront led in the Independent Theatre Production Division.
Following closely with 3 wins each were DVxT Theatre (Independent Theatre Division) and the Canadian Opera Company (2 in General Theatre and 1 in Opera).
Following are highlights from each division:
GENERAL THEATRE PRODUCTION DIVISION: In the General Theatre Production Division, both Soulpepper Theatre Company and Tarragon Theatre led the field
with four Dora Mavor Moore Awards each.
Soulpepper won three for Parfumerie - Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction of a Play / Musical for Morris Panych, and Outstanding Original Costume Design for Ken MacDonald - while Diego Matamoros earned Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role for Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf.
Tarragon Theatre won two each for Courageous and If We Were Birds. Courageous: Michael Healey for Outstanding New Play; Maurice Dean Wint for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role/Ensemble. If We Were Birds: Tara Rosling for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role; Thomas Ryder Payne for Outstanding Original Sound Design/Composition.
Healey also received a gift of $5,000 from the Bluma Appel Community Trust, the fifth year in a row this prize has been donated in Appel's name to the winner of Outstanding New Play in this division.
Outstanding Touring Production went to Lipsynch (Luminato presents Ex Machina) while Andrea Lundy won Outstanding Original Lighting Design for Necessary Angel's Hamlet (presented by Harbourfront Centre's World Stage), the first of two Dora Awards for her this season - and the only person to win more than one this time out.
The Canadian Opera Company (COC) saw Johannes Debus win Outstanding Musical Direction for The Flying Dutchman while Opera Atelier's The Marriage of Figaro saw Martha Mann nab Outstanding Original Costume Design. Outstanding Original Choreography went to Jonathon Feng Han, Alyssa Xiaoli Wang, Chen Jiao, and Wen Qiqi for Monkey King (a production of Sight, Sound & Action).
INDEPENDENT THEATRE PRODUCTION DIVISION: Continuing the tradition of Bluma's Indies, the winners in the Independent Theatre Production Division all receive a $1,000 cheque from the Bluma Appel Community Trust in addition to Dora Awards. In this division, Theatrefront in association with the Young Centre for the Performing Arts led the way with four Dora Awards for its The Mill: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Original Set Design for Gillian Gallow, Outstanding Original Costume Design for Dana Osborne and Outstanding Original Lighting Design for Andrea Lundy (her second for this year).
DVxT Theatre's The Turn of the Screw followed closely with three Doras: Outstanding Direction for Vikki Anderson, and both principal acting awards - Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role for Clinton Walker and by a Female for Christine Horne.
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard won for Outstanding New Play or New Musical for Gas Girls (New Harlem Productions) while Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role / Ensemble went to the Ensemble of Spent (produced by Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Why Not Theatre and Theatre Run). David Atkinson won Outstanding Original Sound Design / Composition for Keystone Theatre's The Belle of Winnipeg.
DANCE DIVISION: In the Dance Division, this time (Factory Theatre presents an adelheid production) led: Heidi Strauss won Outstanding Original Choreography and Brendan Wyatt, Outstanding Performance. Outstanding Production went to Shoot the Moon/Wings of Wax/The Second Person (Luminato presents Nederlands Dans Theater). Outstanding Original Sound Design/Composition went to Richard Sacks in collaboration with Red Sky musicians: Tuvshinjargal Damdinjav, Bat-Orshikh Bazarvaani, Batmend Baasankhuu, Eddy Robinson, Theo McGregor for Tono (Luminato presents Red Sky Performance in association with Harbourfront Centre).
THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES DIVISION: For the two awards in the Theatre for Young Audiences Division: Outstanding Production went to In This World (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People presents Youtheatre) while Natasha Greenblatt earned Outstanding Performance for Get Yourself Home Skyler James (Roseneath Theatre).
MUSICAL THEATRE DIVISION: In this new division, the four awards went to: R Murray Schafer for Outstanding New Musical / Opera for The Children's Crusade (Luminato in association with Soundstreams Canada); BirdLand Theatre and Talk is Free Theatre for Outstanding Production for Assassins; Jeff Lillico for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role for The Light in the Piazza (Acting Up Stage Company) and Louise Pitre for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role for The Toxic Avenger Musical (Dancap Productions Inc.).
OPERA DIVISION: In the Opera Division, both Dora Awards went to the Canadian Opera Company: Outstanding Production for The Nightingale and Other Short Fables (Canadian Opera Company /Festival d'Aix-en-Provence/Ope?ra national de Lyon in collaboration with Ex Machina) and Outstanding Performance to Julie Makerov for The Flying Dutchman.
OTHER AWARDS: The Pauline McGibbon, Silver Ticket and Audience Choice Awards were also handed out. Production craftsperson Lokki Ma was presented with the 2010 Pauline McGibbon Award. The $7,000 cash prize and medal designed by Dora de Pe?dery-Hunt is awarded on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the Ontario Arts Council in a three-year cycle to a designer, director and theatre craftsperson.
The Silver Ticket Award is bestowed upon an individual who has excelled in their career while also nurturing the development of Canadian theatre. It was presented to one of the country's major contributors to Canada's theatrical landscape: Obsidian Theatre Artistic Director Philip Akin who has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities and guidance for emerging black artists.
TAPA's Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production, co-sponsored by NOW Magazine and Yonge-Dundas Square, was also handed out. The public was invited to vote online from a list of Outstanding Production nominees in all divisions; or input their own favourite. Presented with a commemorative plaque, the Audience Choice Award winner is Mirvish Productions' Rock of Ages.
For more information on the Dora Awards visit www.tapa.ca