It’s time to announce the winners of our 2023 Critics’ Pick Awards!
Click the links below to read our reviews of the winning work.
Congratulations to all of the nominees on a spectacular year of theatre.
Without further ado, the 2023 Critics’ Pick Award Winners for Toronto Theatre:
Outstanding New Work
The Master Plan by Michael Healey (Crow’s Theatre)
Outstanding Performance (Leading)
Sean Arbuckle in Casey & Diana (Stratford Festival)
Outstanding Performance (Supporting)
Augusta “Gus” Monet aka Coyote Ugly in Doctor Faustus (Apothecary Theatre/Dandelion Theatre)
Outstanding Performance (Musical)
Greg Solomon in Parade (Wavestage Theatre Company)
Outstanding Performance (Solo)
Karl Ang in Monster (Factory Theatre)
Outstanding Performance (Ensemble)
The Amen Corner (Shaw Festival)
Daniel Brooks for The Seagull (Soulpepper)
The Shadow of a Doubt (Shaw Festival)
Gillian Gallow (set/costumes), Bonnie Beecher (lighting), Haui (live video)
Appropriate (Coal Mine Theatre)
The Ensemble of Frankenstein(esque) (Silent Protagonist Theatre)
The Anonymous Award for Outstanding Stage Management
This award is nominated by members of the theatre community who worked directly with stage management. Here is what Jessica’s nominator had to say:
“Jessica Severin acted as Stage Manager for the world premiere of Chris, Mrs. – A New Holiday Musical, produced in December, 2023 by Boldly Productions at the Winter Garden Theatre. A big new show in a big historic theatre, with a cast of 21 artists including kids, live music, and many technical elements (including snow!). It is always an honour to work with Jes, and to watch her work on this particular show, leading the team on stage and off with admirable strength and kindness, what a wonder”.
Company of the Year
Here For Now
Our big project of 2023 was to visit theatre companies across Ontario that we’d never visited before. We made lots of great discoveries on those trips but none as exciting as Here For Now, Stratford’s indie theatre company. We saw three very different productions staged with sensitivity and skill by the small company in their intimate tented venue and all three stood out as some of the best theatre of the year. With smart programming and fantastic on-stage and behind-the-scenes talent, Here For Now is not a company we plan to overlook ever again.
Performer of the Year
Marcus Nance (Stratford Festival, Crows Theatre & Musical Stage Company)
One of Canada’s greatest musical theatre talents, Marcus Nance broke new ground in 2023 with a beautiful and silent performance as the Creature in Morris Panych’s Frankenstein Revived. He also appeared in a rare Shakespeare production as part of the cast of the festival’s disco-era adaptation of Richard II. He then finished out 2023 with the dual role of Andrey/Old Bolkonsky in Crow’s Theatre/Musical Stage Company’s sublime production of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (which we sadly did not catch in time for nominations). A career year for one of the most reliable performers around.
Antoni Cimolino (Artistic Director of The Stratford Festival)
We wrote thousands of words about the 2023 Stratford Festival season, which we considered the very best of Cimolino’s tenure. We’ve always thought of the general director turned artistic director as a cautious, conservative programmer but he seemed to summon something for the 2023 season that we’ve never seen from him before and definitely want to see more of. The season was ambitious, thoughtful, and brazen when Cimolino absolutely could have gotten away with less. In return, he had to deal with walkouts and complaints from patrons who didn’t want to be challenged. On behalf of patrons everywhere who relish theatre that challenges its audience, we want to make sure that Antoni Cimolino knows we appreciate the hits he willingly took this year in order to clear space for artists to make their best art.