Obsidian Theatre top dog at Dora Mavor Moore Awards
At the 33nd annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, held last evening at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Obsidian Theatre Company shared seven awards for two shows from their past season, Topdog/Underdog with the Shaw Festival and Caroline, or Change with Acting Up Stage Company.
Obsidian Artistic Director Philip Akin poignantly said, "Accept bounty when it comes." The bounty arrived in the general theatre category with Topdog/Underdog winning Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction of a Play/Musical (Akin) and Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role (Nigel Shawn Williams).
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) present the Doras to celebrate the creators of over 200 theatre, dance, and opera productions annually in five major categories: General Theatre, Independent Theatre, Dance, Opera, and Theatre for Young Audiences. Thom Allison was one of the more memorable Dora hosts in recent memory. After a spirited start in a snappy dance number, Allison went on to charm his way through the lengthy event.
In the musical theatre division, Caroline, or Change took home four awards: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role (Sterling Jarvis), Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role (Arlene Duncan), and Outstanding Musical Direction (Reza Jacobs). It was a banner night for Acting Up Stage, who added Outstanding Touring Production with Theatre Passe Muraille for Ride the Cyclone, increasing their total to five awards.
Theatre Passe Muraille's Crash also made waves in the general theatre division. Pamela Sinha took home two awards: Outstanding New Play and Performance by a Female in a Principal Role. Kimberly Purtell (Outstanding Lighting Design) and Debashis Sinha (Outstanding Sound Design/Composition) also won for Crash.
In the independent theatre division, Theatre Smash's The Ugly One took home the top prize for Outstanding Production, as well as Outstanding Set Design for Camellia Koo. Jules Lewis' Tomasso's Party won Outstanding New Play, Jennifer Brewin was honoured with Outstanding Direction for The Story, and Richard Donat and Astrid Van Wieren received acting prizes in the independent category.
In the dance division, Soupe du Jour (Lina Cruz/Fila 13 Productions) took home two awards, while Canadian Stage's Dark Matter won Outstanding Production. In Opera, the COC's Iphigenia in Tauris received the top award.
No surprise here. War Horse, presented by the National Theatre of Great Britain and David Mirvish, galloped away with the audience choice award, as well as Doras for Outstanding Costume Design (Rae Smith) and Outstanding Choreography (Toby Sedgwick). Baobab received the award for Outstanding Production in the theatre for young audiences division.
This year, the Dora Awards honoured Tarragon Theatre Artistic Director Richard Rose with the Barbara Hamilton Award For Excellence in the Performing Arts, actor, director, and playwright Ravi Jain with the Pauline McGibbon Award, and Toronto Dance Theatre Artistic Director Christopher House with the Silver Ticket Award.
For a complete list of winners, visit the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.
Photo of Topdog/Underdog by Emily Cooper