Full List of Winners Announced For the 40th Annual Dora Awards - Soulpepper Theatre, Canadian Opera Company, and More!
The 40th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards for the 2018-2019 season were handed out in a star-studded celebratory ceremony in Toronto on the evening of Tuesday, June 25 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, hosted by the multi-talented, multi-award-winning Rick Miller, well-known for his widely acclaimed one-man shows that include MacHomer, BOOM and Bigger Than Jesus (Dora Award for Outstanding Performance, 2006).
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are produced and presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) and celebrate excellence in Toronto theatre, dance and opera. For the 2018-2019 season, which ran May 2018 to May 2019, 108 producing companies registered 219 eligible productions. All performance categories for the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Awards are gender-inclusive; all former binary male and female designations were replaced in favour of gender-inclusive "Outstanding Performance" awards. A total of 49 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.
Outstanding Production Recipients:
The recipients of Outstanding Production in each of the divisions are as follows:
General Theatre: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play - Obsidian Theatre in association with Nightwood Theatre;
Musical Theatre: Next to Normal - The Musical Stage Company presented by David Mirvish;
Independent Theatre: The Runner - Human Cargo with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille;
Opera: Eugene Onegin - Canadian Opera Company;
Dance: Blood Tides - DanceWorks / Kaha:wi Dance Theatre;
Theatre for Young Audiences: New Owner - Harbourfront's Junior Festival presents The Last Great Hunt;
Touring Production: Grand Finale - a Hofesh Shechter Company production presented by Canadian Stage (which was bestowed at the 2019 Dora Nominees Toast, a reception honouring all the nominees on June 10).
The tallies of the top three Dora Award earners by presenting company are as follows:
- Soulpepper Theatre is the top scorer for the season, earning 8 Doras over two divisions:
4 for Rose in the Musical Theatre Division (including Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Direction) and
4 Outstanding Design Awards in the General Theatre Division: 3 for The Royale and 1 for Orlando.
- Canadian Opera Company tallies in next with 7 Dora Awards in the Opera Division over 3 shows:
5 for Eugene Onegin (including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction);
1 for Hadrian (Outstanding New Opera) and
1 for Otello (Outstanding Performance of an Individual).
- The Runner, produced by Human Cargo with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille, rides in third with 3 Dora Awards (Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Direction) in the Independent Theatre Division. Coal Mine Theatre also earns 3 awards in that division but for 3 different productions including Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble going to The Wonder Pageant, and two design awards for two other productions.
Full Division Details:
General Theatre Division:
As mentioned above, Soulpepper Theatre takes all 4 Outstanding Design Awards in the General Theatre Division: 3 for The Royale - Ken MacKenzie for scenic design, Michelle Ramsay for lighting and Thomas Ryder Payne for sound design/composition - and 1 for Orlando to Gillian Gallow for costume design.
Obsidian Theatre takes home 2 Doras for School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (presented in association with Nightwood Theatre): Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction to Nina Lee Aquino.
Tarragon Theatre also takes home 2: to Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman for Outstanding New Play for her Guarded Girls and to Virgilia Griffith for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role in Harlem Duet.
The Howland Company and Crow's Theatre production of The Wolves sees Amaka Umeh earn Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role.
A special gift was also awarded in the General Theatre Division. For the fifth year in a row, the Pat and Tony Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts provided a prize, giving $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, Rose, produced by Soulpepper Theatre, leads with 4 Doras: Outstanding New Musical to writer Sarah Wilson and writer/composer Mike Ross, Outstanding Direction to Gregory Prest, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role to Peter Fernandes and Outstanding Scenic/Projection Design to Lorenzo Savoini (scenic design).
Young People's Theatre wins 2 awards: Outstanding Original Choreography to Kerry Gage for Mary Poppins and Outstanding Costume Design to Anna Treusch for Under The Stairs.
Eclipse Theatre Company's Kiss of the Spider Woman earns Chris Barillaro Outstanding Musical Direction while Japhy Weideman earns Outstanding Lighting Design for Dear Evan Hansen, produced by Stacey Mindich and David Mirvish.
The Canadian Opera Canada leads the Opera Division with 7 wins over 3 different shows:
5 for Eugene Onegin - Outstanding Production, Robert Carsen for Outstanding Direction, Michael Levine for both Outstanding Scenic Design and Costume Design, and Christine Binder for Outstanding Lighting Design;
1 for Otello - Outstanding Performance of an Individual to Gerald Finley.
Against the Grain Theatre's Kopernikus takes home 2 Dora Awards: Outstanding Musical Direction for Topher Mokrzewski and Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble to Anne-Marie MacIntosh, Jonelle Sills, Krisztina Szabó, Bruno Roy, Dion Mazerolle, Alain Coulombe, Anisa Tejpar, William Yong, Brad Cherwin, Marc Blouin, Peter Stoll, Carly Gordon, Michael Fedyshyn, Paul Tarussov and Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh.
Independent Theatre Division:
In the Independent Theatre Division, The Runner, produced by Human Cargo with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille, leads with 3 Dora Awards: Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play to Christopher Morris and Outstanding Direction to Daniel Brooks.
Coal Mine Theatre tallies in with 3 awards for 3 different productions: The Wonder Pageant earns Ron Pederson, Kayla Lorette, Matt Baram, Jan Carauna, Paloma Nunez, Waylen Miki and Kris Siddiqi Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble while Hand to God sees Anahita Dehbonehie win for Scenic Design. Patrick Lavender takes home Outstanding Lighting Design for The Nether, co-produced by Coal Mine Theatre and Studio 180 Theatre.
Outstanding Performance of an Individual goes to Augusto Bitter for CHICHO, presented by Pencil Kit Productions and Theatre Passe Muraille with support from Aluna Theatre.
Further awards in this division go to Melanie McNeill for Outstanding Costume Design for Eldritch Theatre's Space Opera Zero! and Ben McCarthy for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition for PARADIGM productions' The Scavenger's Daughter.
In the Dance Division, Blood Tides (from DanceWorks / Kaha:wi Dance Theatre) and Trace (from Red Sky Performance in association with Canadian Stage) each earn 2 Doras.
Blood Tides sees Doras for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble for Santee Smith, Julianne Blackbird, Jahra Wasasala and Marina Acevedo. Tracesees Doras to Jera Wolfe for Outstanding Original Choreography and to Eliot Britton for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition.
Andrea Nann earns Outstanding Performance of an Individual for A Crazy Kind of Hope from Dreamwalker Dance Company's All of Our Dreaming program. Étienne Boucher earns Outstanding Lighting Design for the National Ballet of Canada's Frame by Frame.
Theatre For Young Audiences Division:
In the Theatre for Young Audience's Division, Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers, presented by b current performing arts, and Les Zinspirés: L'âge de raison, presented by Théâtre français de Toronto, tie the division with 2 Doras each.
Both Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance of an Individual goes to Makambe K Simamba for Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers.
Outstanding Direction goes to Chanda Gibson for Les Zinspirés: L'âge de raison which also sees Nick Digaetano, Ziad Ek, Bianca Heuvelmans, Sheila Ingabire-Isaro and Eudes La Roche-Francoeur win for Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble.
As noted earlier, New Owner nabs Outstanding Production (Harbourfront's Junior Festival presents The Last Great Hunt). Wrapping up the awards in this division, Outstanding Achievement in Design (Scenic) goes to Anahita Dehbonehie for The Little Prince: Reimagined from Puzzle Piece (joining Michael Levine and Makambe K Simamba in winning two awards over the course of the night).
It was announced that the Outstanding Touring Production went to Grand Finale, a Hofesh Shechter Company production presented by Canadian Stage. As noted above, this award was previously given out on June 10 at the 2019 Dora Nominees Toast, a reception honouring all the Dora nominees.
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 highly acclaimed and esteemed Peggy Baker, an artist of great talent who is acclaimed as one of the most outstanding and influential dancers and choreographers of her generation.
Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award:
TAPA's Jon Kaplan 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 choose their own favourite. Presented with a commemorative plaque, the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award received a record number of votes and the winner is the musical Next to Normal (produced by The Musical Stage Company, presented by David Mirvish).
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). In addition to the Doras, other programs and services provided by TAPA include: Toronto's Official Theatre Guide, whatsontonight.ca; hipTIX (offering $5 tickets to students between the ages of 14 and 29); citySPECIAL (outreach program for newcomers and communities at risk); the Commercial Theatre Development Fund and the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program - TRIP. For more information visit www.tapa.ca.