My Theatre

01 January 2017

The 2016 MyTheatre Award Nominees: Toronto

By // Theatre (Toronto)

kelly-bedard-designIt’s been an incredible year for Toronto theatre. We started out with one of the strongest Januarys in recent memory (3 of our eventual Outstanding Production nominees all played simultaneously that month) then rollicked through the spring towards an overwhelmingly popular Fringe (with an emotional goodbye to the iconic Honest Ed’s tent) and arguably the best SummerWorks ever. The Shaw Festival bid farewell to their groundbreaking artistic director of 14 years Jackie Maxwell and welcomed in a world renowned Brit while Mirvish and the National Ballet debuted major works by Canadian creators poised to make their mark internationally (Come From Away is headed to Broadway in a matter of weeks). Dependable indie producer Unit 102 fell victim to the Toronto real estate market and lost its namesake space but found a way to mount their season premiere anyway. The COC ruled the fall with a sublime double bill that gave way to an epic November that played host to more than 40 opening nights. The Second City got political and Bad Dog improvisers tested dramatic waters, both to brilliant effect. Outside the March showed us the future with a production you had to attend at least four times to even start to see the full picture. And now we’re here, nearly 300 productions later, about to start all over again. But, before we do, let’s celebrate the achievements of 2016.

Who Qualifies?
Any production one of our Toronto writers saw between January 1st and December 31st was considered for nomination, unless it was a remount of something we’d already seen (ie: Soulpepper’s Christmas Carol). If the remount has a new cast member, however, that cast member is eligible even if the production as a whole isn’t.

How Do the Divisions Work?
After last year’s success, we decided to bring back the three-division breakdown that allows for more nominees and a more even playing field. We’ve designated each company as either “large”, “medium” or “small” based loosely on budget, audience size and number of shows produced per year. It’s an inexact science but we’ve tried to be as fair as possible.

Who Picks the Winners?
Our Editors and Staff Writers all get a say but we use your votes for tie breakers and to choose a Fan Favourite so be sure to share your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #MyTheatreAwards or shoot us an email toronto@myentertainmentworld.ca.

When Are the Winners Announced?
Winners will be announced at the annual MyTheatre Award Party on April 10, 2017. 
Our cocktail party will feature the music of our signature band Hand-Picked Favourites and plenty of delicious food.
Then the awards presentation (short and sweet, we promise) hosted by genius sketch duo The Templeton Philharmonic (last year’s Outstanding Sketch Performance winners!)
And we’ll end the night the only way a celebration should end- with a dance party!
More details and official invites to come (so make sure we have your contact info if you’re a nominee).
A full list of the winners will be published on the site the following day.

DON’T FORGET: The Anonymous Award for Outstanding Stage Management
A good stage manager’s work is difficult to appreciate from the audience; we can’t see how tight a ship they run in rehearsal or how many fires they put out along the way. So last year we decided to create this award and turn it over to the people who do see those things- other theatre artists.

If you worked with an incredible stage manager in Toronto (or at Stratford or Shaw) during the 2016 season, we want to hear about them. Send an email to editors@myentertainmentworld.ca with the subject line “SM Nomination: NOMINEE’s NAME” and describe in 100 words why you think they deserve to win (*Please only submit one nomination and respect the word limit). Make sure to include the production details and the nominee’s email address. The winner will be announced with the rest of the awards at the party on April 10, so make sure your nominee shows up!

Nominee Interview Series
If you’re nominated this year (including ensemble and production categories), e
mail editors@myentertainmentworld.ca to sign up for our annual Q&A series. 

Also be sure to check out our nominations for the MyTV Awards, MyCinema Awards and MyTheatre Awards in London and New York.

One Last Thing: especially in technical categories, we are limited by program credits which are often incomplete, misleading or full of typos. If you find an error, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Without further ado, this year’s nominees are…

Outstanding Sketch/Improv Performance
Come What Mayhem (The Second City)
Everything Else Is Sold Out (Dame Judy Dench/Toronto Fringe Festival)
La Grande Jatte (Bad Dog Theatre Company)
Peter vs. Chris (Peter N’ Chris/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Songbuster- an improvised musical (Songbuster Inc./Toronto Fringe Festival)
True Blue (Bad Dog Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ballet Performance
The Ensemble of Cacti (The National Ballet of Canada)
The Ensemble of The Dreamers Ever Leave You (The National Ballet of Canada/Art Gallery of Ontario)
Evan McKie in Onegin (The National Ballet of Canada)
Dylan Tedaldi in Le Petit Prince (The National Ballet of Canada)
Harrison James in Le Petit Prince (The National Ballet of Canada)
Elena Lobsanova in La Sylphide (The National Ballet of Canada)

Outstanding Opera Performance
Jane Archibald in Ariodante (Canadian Opera Company)
Rachel Kelly in The Devil Inside (Tapestry Opera)
Ben McAteer in The Devil Inside (Tapestry Opera)
Erin Wall in The Marriage of Figaro (Canadian Opera Company)
Sondra Radvanovsky in Norma (Canadian Opera Company)
Christine Goerke in Siegfried (Canadian Opera Company)

Outstanding Solo Performance
Thomas McKechnie in 4 ½ (ig)noble truths (zeitpunktheatre/SummerWorks Performance Festival)
Adam Lazarus in Daughter (QuipTake/Pandemic Theatre/SummerWorks Performance Festival)
Yvonne Ng in In Search of the Holy Chop Suey (tiger princess dance projects/DanceWorks)
James Smith in Lessons in Temperament (TuneSmith Productions/SummerWorks Performance Festival)
Anusree Roy in Pyaasa (Theatre Passe Muraille)
Daniel MacIvor in Who Killed Spalding Gray (reWork Productions/Canadian Stage)

Outstanding New Work (Medium/Large)
acquiesce by David Yee (Factory Theatre)
The Archivist by Shaista Latif (The RISER Project/The Theatre Centre)
Come From Away by Irene Sankoff & David Hein (Junkyard Dog Productions/Kiss the Cod LP/Mirvish Productions)
The Public Servant by Jennifer Brewin, Haley McGee, Sarah McVie & Amy Rutherford (Common Boots Theatre/Nightwood Theatre)
This is the Point by Tony Diamanti, Dan Watson, Christina Serra, Karin Randoja & Liz MacDougall (Ahuri Theatre/The Theatre Centre)
Venus’ Daughter by Meghan Swaby (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding New Work (Small)
Bright Lights by Kat Sandler (Theatre Brouhaha/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Cam Baby by Jessica Moss (Theatre Mischief/Toronto Fringe Festival)
How We Are by Polly Phokeev, co-developed with Mikaela Davies (Mikaela Davies and Polly Phokeev Productions)
Mockingbird by Rob Kempson (timeshare/Next Stage Theatre Festival)
On Top by Daniel Karasik (The On Top Collective)
Slip by Mikaela Dyke, Paloma Nuñez, Daniel Pagett, Alex Paxton-Beesley, Alec Toller & Anders Yates (Circlesnake Productions)

Outstanding Ensemble (Large)
The Aeneid (Stratford Festival)
Breath of Kings (Stratford Festival)
Come From Away (Junkyard Dog Productions/Kiss the Cod LP/Mirvish Productions)
Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Incident at Vichy (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Our Town (Shaw Festival)

Outstanding Ensemble (Medium)
Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Breathing Corpses (Coal Mine Theatre)
Chasse-Galerie (Kabin/Storefront Arts Initiative/Soulpepper)
Mustard (Tarragon Theatre)
Pomona (ARC)
TomorrowLoveTM (Outside the March Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble (Small)
Bright Lights (Theatre Brouhaha/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Dog Sees God (Echo Productions)
Mockingbird (timeshare/Next Stage Theatre Festival)
Of Mice and Men (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Peter Pan (Bad Hats Theatre)
The Queen’s Conjuror (Circlesnake Productions)

Outstanding Actor (Large)
Tom Rooney in Breath of Kings (Stratford Festival)
Dion Johnstone in Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Frank Cox-O’Connell in Hamlet (Canadian Stage)
Gregory Prest in It’s a Wonderful Life (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
André Sills in “Master Harold”… and the Boys (Obsidian Theatre/Shaw Festival)
Patrick McManus in The Realistic Joneses (Tarragon Theatre)

Outstanding Actor (Medium)
Jesse Aaron Dwyre in Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Eli Ham in Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Matthew Edison in Killer Joe (Coal Mine Theatre)
Anand Rajaram in Mustard (Tarragon Theatre)
Geoffrey Armour in The Taming of the Shrew (Driftwood Theatre)
Gavin Crawford in The Terrible Parents (The Cabaret Company)

Outstanding Actor (Small)
Joshua Browne in Byhalia, Mississippi (Cue6 Productions)
Prince Amponsah in Changeling: A Grand Guignol for Murderous Times (Desiderata Theatre Co.)
James Wallis in Hamlet (Shakespeare Bash’d)
Adam Cunningham in My Child (The Haus of Casati Collective)
Brandon Thomas in Of Mice and Men (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Omie Syphu in Red Light Winter (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)**

Outstanding Actress (Large)*
Raquel Duffy in The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Katherine Gauthier in A Doll’s House (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Jennifer Dzialoszynski in Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Shaw Festival)
Nicole Underhay in Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Shaw Festival)
Brenda Robins in Noises Off (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Susan Coyne in The Realistic Joneses (Tarragon Theatre)
Moya O’Connell in Uncle Vanya (Shaw Festival)

Outstanding Actress (Medium)
Andrea Creighton in The Angry Brigade (Elevated State)
Zoe Sweet in Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Anna Chatterton in Gertrude & Alice (Buddies in Bad Times/Independent Aunties)
Vivien Endicott-Douglas in Killer Joe (Coal Mine Theatre)
Pamela Mala Sinha in Refuge (Nightwood Theatre)
Meghan Swaby in Venus’ Daughter (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding Actress (Small)
Claire Armstrong in Byhalia, Mississippi (Cue6 Productions)
Lauren Horejda in Changeling: A Grand Guignol for Murderous Times (Desiderata Theatre Co.)
Virgilia Griffith in How We Are (Mikaela Davies and Polly Phokeev Productions)
Kat Letwin in Late Night (Theatre Brouhaha/ZoomerLive)
Chloé Sullivan in Red Light Winter (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Alex Paxton-Beesley in Slip (Circlesnake Productions)

Outstanding Supporting Actor (Large)
Michael Blake in All My Sons (Stratford Festival)
Tim Campbell in All My Sons (Stratford Festival)
Qasim Khan in All’s Well That Ends Well (Canadian Stage)
James Daly in Master Harold”… and the Boys (Obsidian Theatre/Shaw Festival)
Oliver Dennis in Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Saamer Usmani in Shakespeare in Love (Stratford Festival)

Outstanding Supporting Actor (Medium)
Richard Sheridan Willis in Breathing Corpses (Coal Mine Theatre)
Timothy Ng in Comfort (Red Snow Collective)
Andy Trithardt in Dalton & Company (Cart/Horse Theatre)
Mac Fyfe in The Great War (Video Cabaret/Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Paul Dunn in TomorrowLoveTM (Outside the March Theatre Company)
Kaleb Alexander in Venus’ Daughter (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actor (Small)
Benjamin Blais in Contempt (safeword)
Jesse Nerenberg in Hamlet (Shakespeare Bash’d)
Michael Musi in Late Night (Theatre Brouhaha/ZoomerLive)
Will King in Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Seven Siblings Theatre)
Dylan Trowbridge in Taking Care of Baby (The Caretakers Collective/Storefront Arts Initiative/Midnight Snack/Bad New Days Performing Arts)
Jordin Hall in Titus Andronicus (Seven Siblings Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actress (Large)
Rachel Jones in All’s Well that Ends Well (Canadian Stage)
Trish Lindström in As You Like It (Stratford Festival)
Seana McKenna in As You Like It (Stratford Festival)
Lisa Berry in Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Marla McLean in Uncle Vanya (Shaw Festival)
Nancy Palk in You Will Remember Me (Studio 180 Theatre/Tarragon Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actress (Medium)
Phoebe Hu in Comfort (Red Snow Collective)
Julia Course in Dalton & Company (Cart/Horse Theatre)
Sarah Dodd in Mustard (Tarragon Theatre)
Amy Rutherford in The Public Servant (Common Boots Theatre/Nightwood Theatre)
Katherine Cullen in TomorrowLoveTM (Outside the March Theatre Company)
Akosua Amo-Adem in Venus’ Daughter (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actress (Small)
Christine Horne in Cam Baby (Theatre Mischief/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Sheri Anne Godda in Dog Sees God (Echo Productions)
Jennifer Dzialoszynski in Hamlet (Shakespeare Bash’d)
Sarah Naomi Campbell in Paradise Comics (Filament Incubator)
Meghan Greeley in Richard III (Wolf Manor Theatre Collective)
Ewa Wolniczek in Trompe-La-Mort, or Goriot in the 21st Century (Live Lobster Theatre/SummerWorks Performance Festival)

Outstanding Performance in a Musical (Large)
Jenn Colella in Come From Away (Junkyard Dog Productions/Kiss the Cod LP/Mirvish Productions)
Matthew Hydzik in If/Then (National Tour/Mirvish Productions)
Yanna McIntosh in A Little Night Music (Stratford Festival)
Dan Chameroy in Matilda (Mirvish Productions)
AJ Bridel in Sleeping Beauty (Ross Petty Productions)
Marcus Nance in Sweeney Todd (Shaw Festival)

Outstanding Performance in a Musical (Medium)
Shaina Silver-Baird in Chasse-Galerie (Kabin/Storefront Arts Initiative/Soulpepper)
Jonathan Gould in Chelsea Hotel (The Firehall Arts Centre/Theatre 20/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Hailey Gillis in Manhattan Concert Cycle (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Patricia Cano in The (Post) Mistress (Pleiades Theatre/Théâtre Français de Toronto)
Jacob MacInnis in Seussical (Young People’s Theatre)
Jonathan Tan in Seussical (Young People’s Theatre)

Outstanding Performance in a Musical (Small)
Nickeshia Garrick in Echoes (Chaos & Light/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Saphire Demitro in Into the Woods (Hart House Theatre)
Hugh Ritchie in Into the Woods (Hart House Theatre)
Jacquie Martin in The Life (Call It a Day Productions)
Graham Conway in Peter Pan (Bad Hats Theatre)
Scott Garland in Three Men in a Boat (Pea Green Theatre Group/Next Stage Theatre Festival)

Outstanding Lighting & Sound Design (Large)
Kimberly Purtell & Debashis Sinha for Breath of Kings (Stratford Festival)
Thomas Visser for Cacti (The National Ballet of Canada)
Sébastien Bausseron/Alice Dussart & Robin Mignot/Régis Estreich for Germinal (L’Amicale de Production/Harbourfront World Stage)
Michael Walton & Thomas Ryder Payne for Macbeth (Stratford Festival)
Duane Schuler for Norma (Canadian Opera Company)
Kimberly Purtell & Verne Good for You Will Remember Me (Tarragon Theatre)

Outstanding Lighting & Sound Design (Medium)
Shaista Latif, Andre Du Toit & Pip Bradford for The Archivist (The RISER Project/The Theatre Centre)
Patrick Lavender & Nick Storring for Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Trevor Schwellnus & Thomas Ryder Payne for The Death of the King (Modern Times Stage Company/The Theatre Centre)
Jennifer Goodman & Lyon Smith for Elle (Theatre Passe Muraille)
Andrew Dollar & Jake Blackwood for The Great War (Video Cabaret/Soulpepper Theatre Company)
André du Toit & Michael Rinaldi for Quiver (Nightwood Theatre)

Outstanding Lighting & Sound Design (Small)
Kristina McNamee, Slater Manzo & Jim Stewart for The Best Plan for Living Happily (Birdtown & Swanville/Questionmark-Exclamation Theatre)
Patrick Lavender & Christopher Stanton for Extremophiles (Architect Theatre/Golden Age/SummerWorks Performance Festival)
Jennifer Lennon & Steven Lafond for A Good Death (Cool Megs Productions/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Sam Sholdice for Late Night (Theatre Brouhaha/ZoomerLive)
Steve Vargo for Old Times (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)

Outstanding Set & Costume Design (Large)*
Shannon Lea Doyle for The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Anahita Dehbonehie & Yannik Larivee for Breath of Kings (Stratford Festival)
Lorenzo Savoini & Victoria Wallace for A Doll’s House (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Lorenzo Savoini for It’s a Wonderful Life (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Douglas Paraschuk & Dana Osborne for The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (Stratford Festival)
David Korins & Jessica Jahn for Norma (Canadian Opera Company)
Ken MacDonald & William Schmuck for Our Town (Shaw Festival)

Outstanding Set & Costume Design (Medium)
Karyn McCallum for Agency (Yell Rebel Theatre)
Marshall McMahen & Barbara Clayden for Chelsea Hotel (The Firehall Arts Centre/Theatre 20/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Trevor Schwellnus & Ming Wong for Gertrude & Alice (Buddies in Bad Times/Independent Aunties)
Nick Blais & Jackie Chau for Pomona (ARC)
Anna Treusch for The Public Servant (Common Boots Theatre/Nightwood Theatre)
Joe Pagnan for Venus’ Daughter (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding Set & Costume Design (Small)
Claire Hill & Julia Matias for Changeling: A Grand Guignol for Murderous Times (Desiderata Theatre Co.)
Roselie Williamson, Megan Fraser & Valentina Vatskovskaya for Dead End (Theatre Lab)
Adam Belanger & Lindsay Dagger Junkin for Of Mice and Men (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Pascal Labillois for Red Light Winter (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Anahita Dehbonehie for The Unbelievers (Lace Productions/SummerWorks Performance Festival)

Outstanding Direction (Large)
Keira Loughran for The Aeneid (Stratford Festival)
Martha Henry for All My Sons (Stratford Festival)
Ted Witzel for All’s Well That Ends Well (Canadian Stage)
Christopher Ashley for Come From Away (Junkyard Dog Productions/Kiss the Cod LP/Mirvish Productions)
Weyni Mengesha for Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Frank Cox-O’Connell for The Just (Soulpepper Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction (Medium)
Matthew Thomas Walker for Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
William Yong for Comfort (Red Snow Collective)
Jennifer Brewin for The Public Servant (Common Boots Theatre/Nightwood Theatre)
Mitchell Cushman for TomorrowLoveTM (Outside the March Theatre Company)
Aaron Willis for The Unending (Convergence Theatre)
Philip Akin for Venus’ Daughter (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding Direction (Small)
Michael Reinhart for 4 ½ (ig)noble truths (zeitpunktheatre/SummerWorks Performance Festival)
Daniel Pagett for Hangman (Scapegoat Collective/Storefront Arts Initiative)
Rachel Cairns for Kill Your Parents in Viking, Alberta (Blood Pact Theatre/Storefront Arts Initiative)
Jeannette Lambermont-Morey for My Child (The Haus of Casati Collective)
Anne van Leeuwen for Red Light Winter (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Alec Toller for Wasteland (Sex T-Rex/Toronto Fringe Festival)

Outstanding Production (Large)
All My Sons (Stratford Festival)
Breath of Kings (Stratford Festival)
Come from Away (Junkyard Dog Productions/Kiss the Cod LP/Mirvish Productions)
Cuisine & Confessions (7 Fingers/Mirvish Productions)
Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
Uncle Vanya (Shaw Festival)

Outstanding Production (Medium)
Brave New World (Kabin/Litmus Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
Chasse-Galerie (Kabin/Storefront Arts Initiative/Soulpepper)
Counting Sheep (Lemon Bucket Orkestra)
Mustard (Tarragon Theatre)
TomorrowLoveTM (Outside the March Theatre Company)
Venus’ Daughter (Obsidian Theatre)

Outstanding Production (Small)
Bright Lights (Theatre Brouhaha/Toronto Fringe Festival)
Byhalia, Mississippi (Cue6 Productions)
My Child (The Haus of Casati Collective)
Of Mice and Men (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Red Light Winter (Unit 102 Actor’s Company)
Slip (Circlesnake Productions)

*A seventh nomination spot has been added in two categories to accommodate a clerical error. For more information please contact editors@myentertainmentworld.ca.

**as Omar Hady

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