My Theatre

17 February 2013

The 2012 Award Nominee Interview Series

By // Theatre

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Today we kick off our 2012 Award Nominee Interview Series. This year we have close to 60 interviews with nominees for our My TVMy Cinema and My Theatre Awards. Here’s the list of some of the Q&As you’ll be seeing on the site in the next few weeks leading up to the announcement of our 2012 Award Winners. NOTE: This list will be updated as the series progresses, so keep checking back.

Fran Kranz
(My Cinema- Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, The Cabin in the Woods

Joss Whedon’s go-to guy for casual genius characters like Dollhouse‘s futuristic tech whiz Topher and The Cabin in the Woods‘ stoner philosopher Marty. A Yale grad who is crazy smart, smartly funny, uber talented and- as you’ll all learn when Much Ado About Nothing hits wide release in June- a pretty dreamy romantic lead.

Scoot McNairy
(My Cinema- Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, Killing Them Softly)

One of the year’s most intriguing breakout stars whose beautifully conflicted turn as trapped “houseguest” Joe Stafford in the astoundingly good Argo is only overshadowed by his even more compelling performance opposite Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly.

Dan Gheesling
(My TV- Best Male Reality Star/Moment of the Year, Big Brother)

Our 2008 My TV Award winner for “Best Reality Star” returned to the show that made him famous for a second turn in the house and exceeded his already-impressive reputation as one of the best competitors in all of reality TV when he staged his own “funeral”, flipped the house, and strategized his way easily into the finale and the record books.

Jamar Rogers
(My TV- Best Male Reality Star, The Voice

One of the most inspirational TV personalities of the year, Jamar overcame addiction and joined Team CeeLo, becoming a rare openly HIV-positive role model in the music industry. Over the course of The Voice‘s second season, his strong performances and daring arrangements made Jamar an artistic standout while his relentlessly positive attitude and indomitable charm made him a fan favourite. His controversial elimination just before the Top 4 finals is credited with the rule change that now allows multiple finalists from the same team. 

Katie Martin
(My TV- Best Female Reality Star, Breaking Pointe)

The adorable star of one of the coolest new TV ventures of the year, a CW reality show about the inside politics and interpersonal dramas of professional ballet dancers at Ballet West in Salt Lake City. When her contract wasn’t renewed, viewers watched as the eternally optimistic Katie faced finding a job in another company and leaving her boyfriend and best friend behind at Ballet West.

Antonio Cupo
(My TV- Best Actor in a Mini-Series, Bomb Girls)

The lone leading man on Global’s breakout miniseries-turned-fullseries about Canadian women in the second world war, Cupo’s Marco represents the thousands of men unfairly labelled cowards when their country refused their enlistment on account of their cultural background.

Ali Liebert
(My TV- Best Actress in a Mini-Series, Bomb Girls)

The breakout character of the aforementioned Global miniseries-turned-fullseries is Liebert’s tough and witty Betty- reluctant Victory Munitions poster girl, champion of the oppressed, and victim of the series’ most poignant heartbreak.

Kaitlyn Jenkins
(My TV- Best Young Actor, Bunheads)

We’re obsessed with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s affable ABC Family hit about a small-town ballet school run by Emily Gilmore and Millie (the Thoroughly Modern one). We’re particularly obsessed with the feisty foursome of teenage ballerinas who’ve become very much the heart of the show and some of the most relatably honest young characters on TV. Kaitlyn Jenkins plays Boo, an early standout for her sweet disposition, comedic chops, and earnest struggle to be taken seriously as a ballerina.

Jeff Probst
(My TV- Best Reality Host, Survivor)

He doesn’t just read voiceovers and introduce contestants, this guy is the representative of sanity on an island full of castaways. He expertly navigates debate at tribal council without the aid of camp footage- reading the room to provoke the most interesting and controversial responses from contestants- and delivers the best play-by-play challenge commentary on TV. Not only does he have the hardest job in reality TV, but he does it better than anyone else and has for over a decade.

Rob McClure
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Musical, Chaplin)

The lauded (and now Tony nominated!) star of the original Broadway musical about the life and work of Charlie Chaplin, heralded for his uncanny and heartfelt portrayal of one of the greatest icons in all of cinematic history.

Ben Sanders
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Play, French Without Tears)

The MVP of The Shaw Festival’s 2012 season whose performance as the enigmatic Alan in French Without Tears remains one of the most memorable we’ve ever seen at the festival.

Mike Shara
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Play, The Matchmaker)

A long-time My Theatre-favourite, the Stratford charmer and master comedian whose turn as Cornelius Hackl thoroughly stole The Matchmaker from the likes of some of the country’s biggest names.

John Beale
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Play, The Best Brothers)

The Nova Scotia native who brought immeasurable humanity to the role of Kyle in the world-premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s tribute to brotherly love and dog ownership.

Kyle Blair
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Musical, The Pirates of Penzance)

Last year’s winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical and an MVP of the 2012 Stratford season, Blair held down leading roles in both the dance-heavy 42nd Street and classic operetta The Pirates of Penzance to great comedic, dramatic and- most brilliantly- musical effect.

Amy Wallis
(My Theatre- Best Actress in a Musical, The Pirates of Penzance)

The delightful star of two big Stratford Festival musicals of 2012, Amy Wallis turned in memorable performances as both Sally Brown (Charlie’s precocious sister) and Mabel, the feisty soprano of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

Jennifer Rider-Shaw
(My Theatre- Best Actress in a Musical, 42nd Street)

The Triple Sensation vet who rose from the chorus to star as Broadway hopeful Peggy Sawyer in The Stratford Festival’s tap-tastic ode to rising from the chorus and making it big.

Oliver Dennis
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actor in a Play, High Life)

A 50+ play veteran of the Soulpepper stage who has become a beloved fixture in the best of Toronto theatre. Also known to Slings &  Arrows fans as the lovable understudy Jerry, Dennis gave another standout performance as a deathly ill addict in the black comedy High Life.

Laura Condlln
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Play, The Matchmaker)

One of the most dynamic actresses in Canadian theatre has been making headlines for CanStage this off-season as the heartbreaking lead in 4.48 Psychosis. In her years at Stratford, she delivered lots of chronically underrated performances, earning a 2011 My Theatre Award nomination as Best Actress in The Merry Wives of Windsor before her standout 2012 season in both The Matchmaker and Elektra.

Bethany Jillard
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Play, Henry V)

Nominated for a second time in this category, the adorable Jillard (who was named one of our Performers of the Year last year) was the best thing about Stratford’s flagship 2012 production of Henry V, delivering a funny and tough performance almost entirely in French as Princess Catherine. One of our favourite actresses at the festival, Jillard was also an endearing Hero in the troubled Much Ado and is sure to be a standout Desdemona this coming season.

Kyle Golemba
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, 42nd Street)

A consistent standout of the Stratford musical ensemble, a 2010 Performer of the Year, and one of the best tap dancers in the country, in his biggest role yet.

Presilah Nunez
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, In the Heights)

My favourite production that the sadly departed Dancap Productions ever brought to town was In the Heights. Its standout performer was Presilah Nunez who brought her powerhouse voice and endless empathy to the role of Vanessa.

Gord Rand
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Regional Production, The 2oth of November)

The enigmatic performer behind one of the most affecting pieces of theatre in 2012. Playing an unhinged man about to shoot up his old highschool, Rand managed a mesmerizingly naturalistic and adaptable performance in a setting so intimate that he challenged every audience member face to face and dared us to stop him.

Cameron Gosselin
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Regional Production, The Pillowman)

The star of Flat Earth’s memorable Pillowman, Gosselin’s chilling turn as Katurian anchored one of the year’s best productions.

Eli Ham
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Regional Production, Macbeth)

The incomparable star of Humber River Shakespeare’s first foray into tragedy, a morally complex and endlessly dynamic Scottish King.

Graham Fleming
(My Theatre- Best Actor in a Regional Production, Rent/Best Ensemble, The Laramie Project)

The golden-voiced Roger from The LOT’s take on the beloved bohemian musical, nominated for a second 2012 My Theatre Award as part of the ensemble of Encore Entertainment’s profound Laramie Project.

Bianca Heuvelmans
(My Theatre- Best Actress in a Regional Production, [title of show])

The dynamic powerhouse whose sweet performance as Heidi was the heart of Blank Slate’s premiere production of the ultimate meta-musical.

Caitlyn Conley
(My Theatre- Best Actress in a Regional Production, True Believers)

One of Boston’s most promising young performers whose standout turns in both Wandaleria and True Believers landed her on My Theatre’s must-watch list.

Scarlett Redmond
(My Theatre- Best Actress in a Regional Production- Some Explicit Polaroids)

The magnetic actress who elevated The Brown Box Theatre Project’s first Boston production- the daring Some Explicit Polaroids- to make it a stellar premiere.

Amelia Sargisson
(My Theatre- Best Actress in a Regional Production- My Name is Rachel Corrie)

The astounding solo performer behind Hart House’s affecting true story taken from the diary of an American girl who died trying to change the world.

Joshua Browne
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actor in a Regional Production, Romeo & Juliet)

One of the most intriguing Mercutios in recent memory, blending regality and rebellion to particularly memorable effect. His followup- a nuanced turn in fellow nominee Mumbi Tindyebwa’s Nightmare Dream at Campbell House- showed the range that will make Browne a force in Toronto theatre.

David Patrick Flemming
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actor in a Regional Production/Best Ensemble, Two Gents)

The scene-stealer who took on multiple roles to uproarious laughter in Shakespeare in the Ruff’s inventive take on The Two Gentlemen of Verona in Withrow Park.

Michael Underhill
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actor in a Regional Production, Polaroid Stories)

The highlight of one of the best productions in Boston all year, our reviewer said “Few actors could make me fall in love and despise and pity and love again the man who is Narcissus” but Underhill did.

Jackie English
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Regional Production, Alice in Blunderland)

The inventive and silly saviour of Red Sandcastle Theatre’s troubled winter pantomime.

Leah Holder
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Regional Production, The Campbell House Story)

A rising star of the Toronto indie scene whose fierce and indelible performance was the highlight of the standout Single Thread show.

Mindy Perlmutter
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Regional Production, Fiddler on the Roof)

As Glinda the Good Witch from Wicked, the affable and sweet-voiced Perlmutter was the highlight of Encore Entertainment’s My Theatre Award-nominated showcase Songs in the Key of Stephen. But it was her professional-calibre turn in their community theatre production of Fiddler that garnered her a Best Supporting Actress nomination for the emotionally demanding role of Hodel.

Juliet Bowler
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Regional Production, The Pillowman)

The master of timing whose understated and terrifying turn in this Sarah Gazdowicz-directed piece helped to make it one of the best in Boston all year.

Ianthe Marini
(My Theatre- Best Supporting Actress in a Regional Production, West Side Story)

Turtle Lane Playhouse’s standout Anita who brought intelligence, empathy and palpable passion to one of musical theatre’s greatest roles.

Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu
(My Theatre- Best Director for a Regional Production, My Name is Rachel Corrie)

The driving force behind Hart House’s outstanding production (which is also nominated for Best Designer and Best Actress) telling the true story of a girl with designs on changing the world from one of its most dangerous places, the Gaza Strip.

Brendan McMurtry-Howlett 
(My Theatre- Best Director for a Regional Production, Two Gents)

Artistic Director of the newly relaunched Shakespeare in the Ruff and the director of their inaugural production- a standout adaptation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which received three 2012 My Theatre Awards including Best Director for McMurtry-Howlett, Best Ensemble and Best Production.

Mariuxi Zambrano
(My Theatre- Best Designer for a Regional Production, My Name is Rachel Corrie)

The clever and thoughtful designer who gave Hart House’s Rachel Corrie a practical yet metaphorically rife platform from which to tell her story.

Jay Pooley
(My Theatre- Best Designer for a Regional Production, The Loyalists)

The architect-designer behind one of the most complicated theatrical undertakings of the year- constructing an entire 19th century town in Victoria Memorial Park for Single Thread Productions’ site-specific, audience-inclusive depiction of The Battle of York.

James Wallis
(My Theatre- Best Fringe/SummerWorks Performance, The Taming of the Shrew)

The passionate founder of Shakespeare Bash’d, and the engaging and inventive star of their Taming of the Shrew– our favourite Fringe show of the year.

Andy Trithardt
(My Theatre- Best Fringe/SummerWorks Performance, Big Plans)

A standout of Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival two years running, Andy Trithardt first caught our attention as the charming Arbiter in Michael Atlin‘s 2011 chess play Zugzwang then flipped that image on its head as a well-mannered cannibal in the 2012 festival’s terrifying black comedy Big Plans. He followed that up with a great turn in Kat Sandler‘s awesomely nuanced new play Delicacy.

Uncalled For
(My Theatre- Best Fringe/SummerWorks Performance, Hypnogogic Logic)

One of Canada’s greatest sketch comedy troupes whose mindblowingly inventive Fringe/Next Stage Festival tour through the semi-unconscious dream state made for one of the most memorable theatrical experiences possibly ever.

Ewa Wolniczek
(My Theatre- Best Fringe/SummerWorks Performance, The Frenzy of Queen Maeve)
The brilliant lead of The SummerWorks Festival’s Irish romance whose perfect accent and soulful character portrait carried the show.

Chris Tsujiuchi
(My Theatre- Best Cabaret,  A Very Christerical Christmas Cabaret)

The prolific and exuberant performer, music director and composer whose bi-annual “Christerical Cabaret” series brings down the house at Buddies in Bad Times every June and December.

Joel Gomez
(My Theatre- Best Student Actor, Rent)

The highlight of Theatre Sheridan’s Rent, lending the iconic role of Mark new details and a uniquely beautiful voice.

Michael Spiroff
(My Theatre- Best Student Actor, Curtains)

The sweet-voiced standout of No Strings Theatre’s 2012 production whose rendition of “I Miss the Music” (the best number in Curtains by far) captured the audience’s hearts.

Siobhan O’Malley
(My Theatre- Best Student Actress, As You Like It)

In the oft-overlooked but crucial role of Celia, O’Malley was in a class of her own amidst The UC Follies with her bright and charming Shakespeare-in-the-Park performance.

Kat Sandler
(My Theatre- Best New Work/Best Designer for a Regional Production, Delicacy)

One of Toronto’s fastest-rising writing talents who’s so good that her TWO My Theatre Award nominations are for her second-most-famous work of the year, after Fringe’s Best New Play-winner Help Yourself.

Jessica Moss
(My Theatre- Best New Work, Modern Love)

A longtime My Theatre favourite, previous Best Supporting Actress nominee and two-time Performer of the Year, Moss’ foray into the self-written one-woman show at the Next Stage Festival was an unforgettable piece of honest storytelling.

Thom Dunn
(My Theatre- Best New Work, True Believers)

The creator of one of the year’s cleverest, funniest and most character-driven new plays, Vagabond Theater Group’s ode to the Comic Con.

Karen Knox
(My Theatre- Best Regional Production, The Loyalists)

The creator/writer/director (with Jonathan Langley) of the aforementioned massive undertaking, creating the immersive world of Best Production nominee The Loyalists.

The Polaroid Stories Team
(Best Ensemble, Polaroid Stories)

One of Boston’s most ambitious projects of 2012 was a collaboration between three of its most prominent indie companies. We spoke to the Artistic Directors who made the twice-nominated production happen: Joey C Pelletier (Heart & Dagger Productions), Danielle Leeber Lucas (Boston Actors Theater), and Mikey DiLoreto (Happy Medium Theatre).

Ellen Kestenberg 
(My Theatre- Best Showcase, Songs in the Key of Stephen)

The musical director behind Encore Entertainment’s stirring ode to the two great Stephens of musical theatre: Sondheim and Schwartz.

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