2016 Dora Award Winners

dora awards

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards—named after the pioneering Canadian actress, director, and teacher—celebrate the best of Toronto theatre. (The nominees are listed here.)

For more Dora coverage, check out Bruce Dow’s account of what it takes to be a host, our publisher Phil Riccio’s impassioned plea for the return of supporting actor categories, and our In the Round video series of round table conversations with nominees in the Outstanding Female Performance, Outstanding Male Performance, and Outstanding New Play categories.

This year’s ceremony takes place on Monday, June 27, starting at 7:30 pm. We’ll be covering the ceremony here, live from the Harbourfront Centre. Join us!

UPDATE: Here’s the list of winners. Liveblog is below. Congrats to everyone involved!

General Theatre Winners

Outstanding Production:

  • Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom (Canadian Stage in collaboration with York University’s Department of Theatre)

Outstanding New Play:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Outstanding Scenic Design:

Outstanding Costume Design:

  • Astrid Janson and Melanie McNeill, The Great War (VideoCabaret)

Outstanding Lighting Design

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition:

Independent Theatre Winners

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding New Play:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble:

Outstanding Scenic Design:

  • Patrick Lavender, CRAWLSPACE (Videofag)

Outstanding Costume Design:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition:

Musical Theatre Winners

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble:

Opera Winners

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Musical Theatre/Opera Winners

Outstanding New Musical/Opera:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Scenic Design:

Outstanding Costume Design:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Outstanding Choreography:

Outstanding Musical Direction:

Theatre for Young Audiences Winners

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding New Play:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Individual Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Dance Winners

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding Original Choreography:

  • Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate, Brodie Stevenson Various Concert (dance: made in canada / fait du canada – Morrison Series) (princess productions)

Outstanding Male Performance:

  • Fabien Piché, Waiting for a Sleepless Night (dance: made in canada / fait au canada – Robinson Series) (princess productions)

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Touring Productions Winners

Outstanding Touring Production:

  • Cold Blood (created by Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael, presented by Canadian Stage)

    Other Awards

NOW Magazine Audience Choice Winner for Outstanding Production:

  • One Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written (Golden Ages Productions)

Silver Ticket Winner for Outstanding Contribution to the Stage:

  • Andy McKim, Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille, director, and dramaturg

Pauline McGibbon Award for Unique Talents and Potential for Excellence

  • Jennifer Wonnacott, Stratford costume designer

Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration

  • Nancy Webster, executive director of Young People’s Theatre

Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award

  • George Curtis Randolph, president of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts

Liveblog

7:25 The day was a scorcher but it’s a beautiful night on the Harbourfront. No rain yet, fingers crossed!

7:33 The show is starting! Host Bruce Dow has just taken the stage.

7:35 Toronto theatre is lucky because the Canada Council for the Arts has just received a big infusion from Justin Trudeau, Bruce Dow says. “I would also take a huge infusion from Justin Trudeau.”

7:40 HUGE cheer for the contribution women have made in theatre this year. Right now in Toronto theatre companies there are over 40 female Artistic Directors, Bruce Dow says. (We shouldn’t get too self-congratulatory, he says, though: “With the appointment of Evalyn Parry at Buddies, the number of women ADs in Toronto of mid-sized theatres has doubled…. along with Nina at Factory Theatre… To two!”)

7:45 The first musical number of the night: a production of “We’re in the Money” with some help from Sheridan College students and giant loonies with Justin Trudeau’s face on them. “We’re in the money, but who needs money?”

7:48 Bruce Dow takes a moment for a land acknowledgement. Big cheer from the audience.

7:50 The first award of the night is for Outstanding Male Performance in Dance. It goes to Fabien Piché for Waiting for a Sleepless Night (dance: made in canada / fait au canada – Robinson Series). Congrats!

7:51 The award for Outstanding Female Performance in Dance goes to Jillian Peever for The Mystery of Mr. Leftovers (Jillian Peever Dance Creations & Cinetic). Fabien wasn’t here tonight, so this is the night’s first acceptance speech! Jillian seems happy, and emotional.

7:54 The award for Outstanding Individual Performance in the Theatre for Young Audiences category goes to Mishka Thébaud for Scarberia (Young People’s Theatre).

7:55 The next award is for Outstanding Male Performance in the Independent Theatre category. The Dora goes to Cliff Cardinal for Huff(Native Earth Performing Arts) He has a million people to thank and almost forgets to pick up his statue. “You all hated when I acted, until Karin Randoja,” he says.

7:57 The Dora for Outstanding Female Performance in the Independent Theatre category goes to d’bi.young anitafrika, She Mami Wata & The Pussy Witchhunt (The Watah Theatre)! “d’bi is on a silent meditation somewhere up in the bush,” says one of her colleagues at Watah Theatre, so she gives an enthusiastic speech on d’bi’s behalf. She thanks her “mentors far and wide, you are what my dreams are made of” and Toronto, “the village that raised me.”

“Thank you for recognizing that I am a growing thing,” she says. “The revolution is happening, are you coming?”

d'bi.young anitafrika
d’bi.young anitafrika

8:00 The Dora for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in the Independent Theatre category goes to the ensemble of La Chasse Galerie (Red One Theatre Collective)!

8:05 Andrea Bavanos and Raoul Bhaneja are presenting the award for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition in the Independent Theatre category. The Dora goes to James Smith for La Chasse Galerie  (Red One Theatre Collective). “This is great, just in time for rent!” he says.

8:08 The Dora for Outstanding Lighting Design in the Dance Division goes to Marc Parent for Phase Space (Peggy Baker Dance Projects).

8:10 The next award is for Outstanding Scenic Design in Independent Theatre division. It goes to Patrick Lavender for CRAWLSPACE (Videofag). (He was also nominated for Killer Joe.)

8:12 The Dora for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition in the Dance category goes to John Kameel Farah and Fides Krucker for Phase Space (Peggy Baker Dance Projects). 

8:15 The next award is for Outstanding Costume Design in Independent Theatre. The Dora goes to Anna Treusch, Tails from the City (Common Boots). “There are a lot of you looking at me!” she says.

8:16 Next is Outstanding Lighting Design in the Independent Theatre category. Patrick Lavender is nominated twice, again! He wins for the second time tonight for It Comes In Waves (Necessary Angel and bluemouth inc.) “I really wanted to enter from backstage,” he says.

8:20 The next presenters are Philip Akin and Alan Convery. “Hi, Philip!” yells someone down the row from me. 

They’re presenting the Dora for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in the Theatre for Young Audiences category. It goes to the Ensemble of One Thing Leads to Another (Young People’s Theatre).

8:22 The award for Outstanding Female Performance in Opera goes to Ekaterina Siurina for La Traviata (Canadian Opera Company).

8:23 The award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in the Dance division goes to the ensemble of DanceWorks DW212: Woven (DanceWorks / Tribal Crackling Wind).

8:25 The Dora for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in Opera goes to the ensemble of AtG’s Messiah (Against the Grain). The ensemble gives an enthusiastic endorsement of independent opera. “If you don’t know what that is, it’s not too late!”

8:27 The Dora for Outstanding Male Performance in Opera goes to Quinn Kelsey, La Traviata (Canadian Opera Company).

8:28: Bruce Dow gives a shout out to companies celebrating anniversaries. Many Toronto theatre companies have been around for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years. Tarragon has been around for 45 years! Young People’s Theatre for 50!!!

8:30 “Speaking of long relationships,” Bruce Dow says, the next presenters, John Harvey and Leonard McHardy opened Theatre books in 1975. The audience is thrilled to see them – they get a standing ovation.

8:31 The Dora for Outstanding lighting design in musical theatre/opera goes to David Finn, Siegfried (Canadian Opera Company).

8:32 The Dora for Outstanding Costume Design in General Theatre category goes to Astrid Janson and Melanie McNeill for The Great War (VideoCabaret). They thank the cast for “wearing the hell out of everything.”

the-great-war.jpg.size.

8:33 The Dora for Outstanding Scenic Design for Musical Theatre/Opera goes to Michael Levine, Siegfried (Canadian Opera Company).

8:34 The award for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition in General Theatre division goes to Debashis Sinha for We Are Proud to Present… (The Theatre Centre). In his acceptance speech, Debashis invites the audience to listen to the world the way the late Todd Charlton did. (The renowned Toronto sound designer died earlier this year.)

8:37 The Dora for Outstanding Scenic Design in the General Theatre category goes to Judith Bowden, Chimerica (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Canadian Stage).

8:38 The Dora for Outstanding Costume Design in Musical Theatre/Opera goes to Cait O’Connor, La Traviata (Canadian Opera Company).

8:39 The Dora for Outstanding Lighting Design in the General Theatre category goes to Jennifer Lennon for Bombay Black (Factory Theatre).

Bombay Black
Bombay Black

8:43 Bruce Dow comes back on stage wearing a tight-fitting gold sparkly gown. “Here we are, midshow, midlife, midsection.”

Bruce talks about how happy he is to be here in Toronto right now, in the wake of the Orlando shootings and other attacks on Pride events. “I’m so lucky to be here as a part of a community that is not only safe, but embraces diversity, and defiantly so.”

“Art heals,” he continues. “It says the unsayable, and allows us to release the grief as well as the joy in our hearts. We are strong, we are bold, we are irrepressible, we are here.”

Now he’s singing Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” Someone behind me asks her friend if she has a lighter to hold up.

8:46 Bruce Dow’s version of “Both Sides Now” gets a standing ovation.

8:48 The Dora for Outstanding Direction in the Independent Theatre category goes to Weyni Mengesha for Butcher (Why Not Theatre). She dedicates the award to all the mothers who breastfeed on their coffee breaks and thanks Why Not Theatre: “they made sure I never had to choose between being a mother and being an artist.”

8:51 Outstanding Direction in the Theatre for Young Audience division goes to Sébastien Bertrand for Les Zinspirés puissance Quatre (Théâtre français de Toronto). “Ben, tabernak,” is the first thing he says when he gets on stage. He thanks the Doras for recognizing French theatre for teenagers in Toronto.

8:53 Jerry Mitchell wins Outstanding Choreography in Musical Theatre/Opera category for Kinky Boots (Mirvish Productions).

8:55 The winner of Outstanding Direction in the Musical Theatre/Opera category is François Girard for Siegfried (Canadian Opera Company).

8:55 Ravi Jain wins Outstanding Direction in the General Theatre category for Salt-Water Moon (Factory Theatrewins for Salt-Water Moon. “It’s great to be able to address the community,” he says. “That’s kind of the best part of this award, I think.” He’s had an incredible year, he says: “The support the community has given me has been tremendous. As an artist who continually feels like I’m screaming to be heard, I really feel like this year people were listening. I say to all of you who don’t feel like you’re being heard, continue to scream, and they will hear.”

Ravi Jain
Ravi Jain

8:59 Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate, and Brodie Stevenson win the Dora for Outstanding Original Choreography in the Dance category for Various Concert (dance: made in canada / fait du canada – Morrison Series) (princess productions).

9:01 Outstanding Musical Direction in the Musical Theatre/Dance category goes to Johannes Debus, Siegfried (Canadian Opera Company).

9:02 The Dora for Outstanding Male Performance in the General Theatre category goes to Anand Rajaram for Mustard (Tarragon Theatre). He thanks “everyone nominated tonight, and everyone not nominated tonight!”

Anand Rajaram in Mustard
Anand Rajaram in Mustard

He thanks four people in particular: “My grandfather who taught me stories, my cousin who taught me mischief, my dear friend Joel Harris who taught me how to be a clown and play, and especially my dear mentor and friend, Sam Moses.”

9:05 The Dora for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in the Musical Theatre category goes to the ensemble of The Wizard of Oz (Young People’s Theatre).

9:08 The award for Outstanding Female Performance in Musical Theatre goes to Lisa Horner for Grey Gardens (Acting Up Stage Company). “My life feels like an embarrassment of riches, until I get my tax bill,” she says.

9:10 The award for Outstanding Female Performance in the General Theatre category goes to Rebecca Northan, Blind Date (Tarragon Theatre). She acknowledges that she’s wearing the same outfit tonight as she’s wearing in the picture of her projected on the big screen: “I only have one fancy outfit!”

Rebecca Northan
Rebecca Northan

9:13 The award for Outstanding Male Performance in Musical Theatre goes to Alan Mingo Jr., for Kinky Boots (Mirvish Productions). “I’m going to keep this short because I may start crying,” he says.

9:16 The Dora for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in the General Theatre category goes to the ensemble of The Great War (VideoCabaret).

9:18 Last year’s Silver Ticket Award winner fina macDonnell is on stage to present the 2016 Silver Ticket Award. The award goes to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Toronto stage. The award goes to Andy McKim, Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille who was previously Associate Artistic Director at Tarragon and has directed at Buddies in Bad Times, Citadel Theatre, Neptune Theatre, and the Toronto Fringe. He talks about how much he loves the community, and how glad he is to be here. “I look forward to more equitable and inclusive theatre to come,” he says.

9:28 Inspired by Andy McKim’s speech, Bruce Dow encourages young audience members to read up on Toronto’s theatre history.

9:30 The Dora for Outstanding New Musical/Opera goes to Marjorie Chan and John Harris, M’dea Undone (Tapestry Opera in collaboration with Scottish Opera). John traveled all the way from Edinburgh to be here! “I came dressed as a true Scot,” he says, in reference to his kilt. “That is, one who didn’t vote for Brexit.” He also thanks the Toronto theatre community for welcoming him: “You guys are crazy!”

9:34 The Dora for Outstanding New Play in the Independent Theatre category goes to Cliff Cardinal for Huff (Native Earth Performing Arts). “Fuck, did you guys see the Heritage Minute the other day?” he asks the audience. “A lot of First Nations kids don’t get to stand up here on stage tonight. So for all those kids, and for everyone who is a First Nations ally, stand the fuck up, we have a Dora Mavor Moore award now.”

9:37 The Dora for Outstanding New Play in the Theatre for Young Audiences category goes to Maja Ardal, Audrey Dwyer, Julia Tribe, Mary Francis Moore, One Thing Leads to Another (Young People’s Theatre).

9:39 The award for Outstanding New Play in the General Theatre division goes to Kat Sandler for Mustard (Tarragon Theatre). “Holy fuck, you guys!” she says. “I usually have a drink in my hand for things like this.”

Mustard
Mustard

“It’s so strange that we categorize stuff as independent or general,” she says. “No one sets out to write an independent or a general play. We set out to tell a fucking story.”

9:42 Cold Blood, created by Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael (presented by Canadian Stage) wins the Dora for Outstanding Touring Production.

9:44 The Dora for Outstanding Production in the Dance category goes to Betroffenheit (A Kidd Pivot, Electric Company Theatre Production, presented by Canadian Stage).

9:50 Jani Lauzon sang and played the flute to accompany In Memoriam segment of the show, celebrating the people the community lost this year.

9:55 Susan G. Cole of NOW Magazine is presenting the Audience Choice Award. Jon Kaplan can’t be here because he’s recovering from surgery, but Susan tells us he send his love “from the operating… theatre.” The award goes to One Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written (Golden Ages Productions).

10:00 Lyn Anne Sparrow and Nicky Guadagni are presenting the award for Outstanding Production in the Musical Theatre/Opera category. The Dora goes to Siegfried (Canadian Opera Company).

10:02 The Dora for Outstanding Production in the Theatre for Young Audiences division goes to Goodnight Moon (Young People’s Theatre presents Seattle Children’s Theatre).

10:05 The award for Outstanding Production in the Independent Theatre category goes to The Winter’s Tale (Groundling Theatre Company).

Winter's Tale
Winter’s Tale

10:07 Kinky Boots (Mirvish Productions) wins Outstanding Production in the Musical Theatre category. Two super-cute child actors accept the award, endearing themselves to the whole crowd.

10:10 The last award of the night, Outstanding Production in the General Theatre category, goes to Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom (Canadian Stage in collaboration with York University’s Department of Theatre). Jordan Tannahill accepts wearing a really excellent red jacket. “These plays are about how history repeats,” he says. Politics of hate can easily come to societies that consider themselves progressive, he says. “We as artists must be vigilant, now more than ever.”

Botticelli in the Fire
Botticelli in the Fire

10:13 “We’re getting shitfaced, but not in this place!” Bruce Dow sings. The show is over. Thanks for following along!

Written By

Maija is the co-editor of Intermission, a master of journalism candidate at Ryerson, and a Taurus. She’d like you to know that it’s pronounced just like “Maya.”

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