Yesterday was a big day for theatre in Vancouver–the Jessie nominations were announced. The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards are like our version of Broadway’s Tonys. Or our version of Toronto’s Doras. Well, you get the idea… it’s kind of a big deal.
There are two major categories of awards: Large Theatre and Small Theatre. Large Theatre is for the companies that have theatres and produce seasons, like the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, and the Playhouse. Small Theatre is where I work–indie companies that don’t have a theatre to call home, but often produce seasons, and rent their spaces.
Ruby Slippers leads that pack with 8 nominations. I worked on Life Savers a couple of months ago, and the production design was particularly stunning, so it’s fitting that they got nominations for Sound, Lights, and Set. Colleen Wheeler’s tortured France earned her a nomination for Lead Actress, and both Patti Allan (who played her mother) and Naomi Wright (who played her sister) picked up Best Supporting nominations. Kevin McNulty also garnered a nom in the Lead Actor category.
Leaky Heaven Circus, whose antigone undone is currently getting rave reviews by the critics, got two noms for last year’s Bone In Her Teeth. Sasa Brown is nominated in the supporting actress category (she deserves it for the baby watermelon scene alone) and Stephan Bircher for Lights.
Itsazoo picked up its very first Jessie nomination, in the category of Outstanding Costume Design. Meredith Canby is nominated for Death of a Clown. Not bad for a young company not yet out of its twenties, and only one year in Vancouver.
Congratulations to all. If you’re in Vancouver, and you’ve never been, check out the Jessie Awards on June 15. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s the one night of the year when the theatre community truly gets together. There’s a lot of love. And drinking.