Toronto Theatre Celebrated at the 2018 Dora Awards! Winners Announced!

By: Jun. 25, 2018

Toronto Theatre Celebrated at the 2018 Dora Awards! Winners Announced!

The 39th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards for the 2017-2018 season were handed out in a star-studded ceremony in Toronto on the evening of Monday, June 25 at the Winter Garden Theatre of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, hosted by acclaimed actor Astrid Van Wieren, currently starring on Broadway in the award-winning Canadian musical Come From Away.

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 2017-2018 season, 106 producing companies registered 193 eligible productions. A total of 48 Dora Awards plus the Pauline McGibbon Award, 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.

The tallies of the three top Dora Award earners by presenting company are as follows:- Canadian Stage earns 9 over two divisions: 6 as one of the co-producers for Life After in Musical Theatre and 3 as a co-producer on The Overcoat - a musical tailoring in Opera.- The Musical Stage Company scores 7 in Musical Theatre: 6 as a co-producer for Life After and 1 for its Fun Home.- Outside the March and Company Theatre each notch 6 in the General Theatre Division for their co-production of Jerusalem.- Young Street Theatricals ties for third spot with 6 as one of the co-producers on Life After as well.

Following are the details by division:


Jerusalem, an Outside the March and Company Theatre production, in association with Starvox Entertainment, leads the pack in the General Theatre Division, taking home 6 Dora Awards: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Mitchell Cushman, Outstanding Performance - Male for Kim Coates, Outstanding Performance - Ensemble, Outstanding Scenic Design for Nick Blais and Outstanding Lighting Design for André du Toit.

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools, a Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille co-production is the runner up in the General Theatre Division and earns 2 Doras: Outstanding New Play to Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to Evalyn Parry and Cris Derksen.

Michaela Washburn earns Outstanding Performance - Female for Confederation & Riel, presented by VideoCabaret in association with Soulpepper Theatre Company. And Ken MacKenzie nabs Outstanding Costume Design for Soulpepper's Animal Farm.

Special gifts were also awarded in the General Theatre Division. The Bluma Appel Community Trust continued its gift of a $5,000 prize for the 12th year in a row to the winning playwright of Outstanding New Play. And, for the fourth year in a row, the Pat and Tony Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts provided a prize of $1,000 each to the recipients of Outstanding Performance - Female and Outstanding Performance - Male.


In Musical Theatre, Life After, co-produced by The Musical Stage Company, Canadian Stage and Yonge Street Theatricals, leads with 6 Doras: Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Musical/Opera to Britta Johnson, Outstanding Direction to Robert McQueen, Outstanding Performance - Female to Tracy Michailidis, Outstanding Performance - Ensemble and Outstanding Musical Direction to Lynne Shankel and Reza Jacobs.

Bringing The Musical Stage Company total to 7, Fun Home, a Musical Stage Company production presented by David Mirvish, earns a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance - Male for Evan Buliung.


In Opera, Orphée?, presented by Against the Grain Theatre in association with Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity and Opera Columbus, leads the pack, taking home 5 Dora Awards: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance - Female to Marcy Richardson, Outstanding Performance - Ensemble, Outstanding Costume Design to Zane Pihlström and Outstanding Choreography to Austin Mccormick.
The Overcoat - a musical tailoring, a Canadian Stage co-production with Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera, scores next with 3 Doras: Geoffrey Sirett (Outstanding Performance - Male), Ken MacDonald (Outstanding Scenic Design) and Alan Brodie (Outstanding Lighting Design).


In the Dance Division, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's De La Raíz (From the Root) leads with 3 Doras: Outstanding Performance - Male to Juan Ogalla, Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to Caroline Planté and Benjamin Barrile and Outstanding Lighting Design to Sharon DiGenova.

Additionally in the Dance Division, Until the Lions (Luminato presents an Akram Khan Company production) notches Outstanding Production, Hanna Kiel earns Outstanding Original Choreography for Chasing the Path (DanceWorks/Human Body Expression), Peggy Baker taps Outstanding Performance - Female for unmoored (Map by Years) (Peggy Baker Dance Projects), and the Ensemble of FLOOR'D nabs Outstanding Performance - Ensemble (Holla Jazz).


Celebrating its 12th anniversary, Bluma's Indies bestows each of the winners in the Independent Theatre Division with a $1,000 cheque from the Bluma Appel Community Trust.

In the Independent Theatre Division, Bears (Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre in association with Native Earth Performing Arts and The Theatre Centre) and pool (no water) (produced by Cue6 Theatre) tie for the lead with 2 Dora Awards each: Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Play to Matthew MacKenzie for the former, and Outstanding Performance - Ensemble and Outstanding Direction to Jill Harper and Patricia Allison for the latter.
As well, The Coal Mine Theatre's The Aliens lands Outstanding Performance - Male to Max Haynes, while Adedo Collective and The Watah Theatre's Addicted earns Outstanding Performance - Female to Raven Dauda.

The design awards in this division go to: Michael Gianfrancesco for Outstanding Scenic Design (for Theatre PANIK's strangers, babies), Lauren Gillis and Alaine Hutton for Outstanding Costume Design (for the Why Not Theatre presentation of Lester Trips (Theatre)'s Mr. Truth), Ken MacKenzie (earning his second Dora for the evening) for Outstanding Lighting Design (for Flashing Lights, co-produced by Ahuri Theatre and Bad New Days) and Ron Kelly for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition (for Pressgang and Pandemic Theatre's Situational Anarchy).


In the Theatre for Young Audience's Division, Selfie, presented by Young People's Theatre, heads the division with 2 Doras: Outstanding New Play to Christine Quintana and Outstanding Performance - Ensemble. Additional tallies in this division: Instant earns Outstanding Production (Young People's Theatre presents Geordie Productions), Les Zinspirés: six degrés de séparation (Théâtre français de Toronto) scores Outstanding Direction to Chanda Gibson and Risky Phil (Young People's Theatre) wins Outstanding Performance - Individual to Jamie Robinson (bringing Young People's Theatre's total to 4).


The Outstanding Touring Production category goes to En Avant Marche! (Luminato presents NTGent and les ballets C de la B production in collaboration with VLAMO).

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 actor David Fox, an artist of great talent who is widely known for his remarkable and carefully crafted performances, as well as for his unwavering commitment to new Canadian work and his mentorship to younger artists. Many of David Fox's most memorable characters and performances for the past almost half a century are to be found in the countless new Canadian plays he helped wrestle into existence such as The Farm Show, 1837: The Farmer's Revolt and Them Donnellys (collective creations under Paul Thompson's direction) as well as Michael Healey's The Drawer Boy (for which he earned a Dora Award), George F. Walker's Nothing Sacred and David S. Young's No Great Mischief, among others.

Ottawa-based theatre director Sarah Conn is the recipient of the 2018 Pauline McGibbon Award. The award honours former Lieutenant Governor Pauline McGibbon for her support and patronage of the arts. It includes a $7,000 prize and a medal designed by Dora de Pédery-Hunt. The award is presented to an Ontario-resident professional artist in the early stages of their career who displays unique talent and has the potential for excellence. Every three years, the award goes to a designer, then to a director, and the third year to a production craftsperson. Ottawa-based theatre director Sarah Conn is the recipient of the 2018 Pauline McGibbon Award. Sarah Conn produces award-winning theatre and live art projects using an interdisciplinary approach. Sarah is currently the Artistic Associate for the National Arts Centre's National Creation Fund, which is paving the way for a new model of creation in Canada's performing arts. Sarah received the 2016 Siminovitch Protégé Prize in Directing.

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 winner is Jerusalem, produced by Outside the March and Company Theatre, in association with Starvox Entertainment.For the winner's list and more info, visit

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). Additional programs and services provided by TAPA include:; Toronto's Official Theatre Guide; hipTIX, offering $5 tickets to students between the ages of 14 and 29; citySPECIAL, offering free tickets to newcomers and marginalized communities; the Commercial Theatre Development Fund; the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program (TRIP);; and the TAPA Trade Series. For more information visit

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