38th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Award Winners

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards—named after the pioneering Canadian actress, director, and teacher—celebrate the best of Toronto theatre. (This year’s nominees are listed here.) This year’s awards are hosted by Raoul Bhaneja, and are being held at the Elgin Theatre.

UPDATE: Here’s the full winners’ list. The liveblog is below.

General Theatre

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding New Play:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Outstanding Scenic Design:

Outstanding Costume Design:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

  • Trevor Schwellnus, Alien Creature (Theatre Passe Muraille)
  • Kimberley Purtell, Concord Floral (Brubacher/Spooner/Tannahill presented by Canadian Stage)
  • Kevin Lamotte, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper)
  • André du Toit, The 39 Steps (Soulpepper)
  • Lorenzo Savoini, The Testament of Mary (Soulpepper)

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition:

Independent Theatre

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding New Play:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Outstanding Scenic Design:

Outstanding Costume Design:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition:

Musical Theatre

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Opera

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Musical Theatre/Opera

Outstanding New Musical/Opera:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Scenic Design:

Outstanding Costume Design:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Outstanding Choreography:

Outstanding Musical Direction:

Touring Productions

Outstanding Touring Production:

Theatre for Young Audiences

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding New Play:

Outstanding Direction:

Outstanding Individual Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Dance

Outstanding Production:

Outstanding Original Choreography:

Outstanding Male Performance:

Outstanding Female Performance:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Outstanding Sound Design:

7:20 The crowd is starting to file into the Elgin.

7:40 Still waiting for the show to start. Lots of well-dressed people are around, though.

7:41 Lights are dimming! About to begin.

7:42 On the side of the stage, a seat is reserved for Jon Kaplan.

7:47 Host Raoul Bhaneja tells the crowd that he’s living out his dream.

7:50 Star columnist Tony Nappo gets a shoutout in Raoul Bhaneja’s blues song about his experience losing a Dora at the 2015 ceremony. (“Just because you’re gonna lose, you don’t have to have them blues.”)

7:57 Tourism, Culture, and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon and Kawa Ada are the first presenters, for the Independent Theatre Category.

Winner, Outstanding Male Performance:

Coal Mine “is a magic place to work,” he says.

Winner, Outstanding Female Performance:

“For all of us women who are over sixty and don’t have work, I’ll trade this,” she said in her speech. She also noted how much she misses Jon Kaplan.

Winner, Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Direction:

  • Christopher Stanton, Pomona (ARC)

8:14 The next presenters, in the Musical Theatre/Opera category, are Patricia Cano and Tim Carroll.

Winner, Outstanding Choreography:

  • Mark Marczyk, Counting Sheep (The Lemon Bucket Orkestra)

Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design:

Winner, Outstanding Scenic Design:

Winner, Outstanding Costume Design:

Now Raoul Bhaneja is announcing winners in the Theatre for Young Audiences category.

Winner, Outstanding Individual Performance:

  • Anita Majumdar, Boys With Cars (Nightswimming in association with Young People’s Theatre), “Boys With Cars is the last time I saw Jon Kaplan,” she says. “He said he had never seen so much anger from a woman on the stage.” She thanks Nightswimming and YPT for helping her tell the stories about “consent and cultural appropriation.”

Winner, Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

  • Ensemble of Peter Pan (Bad Hats Theatre). “This play is an unapologetic ode to the word yes,” says Fiona Sauder. “It’s very fitting that we’re winning this award for Peter Pan in this room full of people who refuse to grow up.”

Now Raoul Bhaneja is honouring the winners of the ancillary awards handed out at the Dora nominations last month and earlier in January:

Pauline McGibbon Award for Unique Talents and Potential for Excellence:

  • Joanna Yu, designer

Leonard McHardy & John Harvey Award for Leadership in Administration:

  • Mitchell Marcus, the Musical Stage Company

George Luscombe Mentorship Award:

  • Marjorie Chan, playwright and artistic director of Cahoots Theatre

Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award:

  • Christopher Newton

Mark Garner and Liza Balkan are presenting Opera and Musical Theatre/Opera awards.

Winner, Outstanding Female Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Male Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Winner, Outstanding New Musical/Opera:

  • Come From Away, book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein (Mirvish Productions and Yonge Street Theatricals). David Hein tells a funny story about how the Newfoundland airport manager was skeptical about their project: “Good luck with that!” When the band starts to play him off, he protests: “I’m going to Bette Midler this.” Irene Sankoff quickly gives her thanks for public arts education, universal health care, and government support for the arts.

“Even when you’re nominated for a Tony, you gotta keep it moving,” Raoul Bhaneja jokes. He’s introducing more awards in the Theatre for Young Audiences category.

Winner, Outstanding New Play:

  • Anita Majumdar, Boys With Cars (Nightswimming in association with Young People’s Theatre).  “I kind of thought I’d only get up here zero times, so I kinda wasted the speech on the first one,” she says, but goes on to add that “it’s so important that we talk to young people about the things that make it important to be an adult.”

Winner, Outstanding Direction:

The next presenters: Colin Doyle and Claire Burns. They’re presenting awards in the Independent Theatre division.

Winner, Outstanding Scenic Design:

Winner, Outstanding Costume Design:

  • Lindsay Dagger Junkin, Tough Jews (The Spadina Avenue Gang). She thanks “the actors, who look so good in blood.”

Winner, Outstanding Sound Design/Composition

  • Waleed Abdulhamid and DJ L’Oquenz, The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely (Emancipation Arts in association with Crow’s Theatre)

Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design:

  • Michelle Ramsay and Jennifer Tipton, The Magic Hour (Co-produced by The Theatre Centre and Jess Dobkin). “We’re very, very lucky in our city to have such incredible stage managers,” Michelle Ramsay says, to huge applause.

Winner, Outstanding New Play:

  • Ngozi Paul, The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely (Emancipation Arts in association with Crow’s Theatre). Before speaking, she laughs gleefully into the microphone. “Thank you that this comes with a cheque!” she says.

Raoul Bhaneja introduces Jackie Richardson to sing with him. She gets a standing ovation from the crowd. They introduce the In Memoriam segment.

Jacoba Knaapen of TAPA announces that this year, the NOW Audience Choice award is being renamed to honour Jon Kaplan. Glenn Sumi, Jon’s colleague at NOW, is presenting the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice award along with Jon’s husband, Don. “For Jon, the theatre community really was his second family,” Glenn Sumi says.

The Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production

Kevin Hanchard and Sabryn Rock are introducing awards in the Musical Theatre/Opera division.

Winner, Outstanding Musical Direction:

Now they’ve moved on to the General Theatre category.

Winner, Outstanding Female Performance:

  • Maev Beaty, The Last Wife (Soulpepper). Using her character Katherine Parr as a model, she thanks people who have have made her “useful,” including co-star Joseph Ziegler, who she says has played “my boss, my father, my lover, and my husband, proving himself very useful indeed.”

Winner, Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

  • Ensemble of Incident at Vichy (Soulpepper). In the acceptance speech, Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster says, “Put people in plays, it doesn’t matter if they’re girls, if they’re boys, where they’re from.”

Winner, Outstanding Male Performance:

  • André Sills, “Master Harold”… and the Boys (Obsidian Theatre Company in association with Shaw Festival). He thanks director Philip Akin: “Philip is great because he doesn’t let me get away with anything.”

Winner, Outstanding Direction:

  • Philip Akin, “Master Harold”… and the Boys (Obsidian Theatre Company in association with Shaw Festival) In his speech, he says making a show is “a vessel, and we pour ourselves into it, at the end of it we share it with other people. As they say in Shakespeare in Love, it’s a mystery.”

d’bi young and Ofilio Sinbadinho are presenting awards in the Dance division. She thanks Jon Kaplan, who she says taught her “that reviewing is as much about mentorship as it is about anything else.”

Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design:

Winner, Outstanding Sound Design:

Winner, Outstanding Original Choreography:

Winner, Outstanding Female Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Male Performance:

Joanna Yu and Mitchell Marcus are now announcing awards in the Musical category.

Winner, Outstanding Male Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Female Performance:

Winner, Outstanding Ensemble Performance:

  • Ensemble of Counting Sheep (The Lemon Bucket Orkestra) They thank the crowd in Ukrainian and sing a few lines in harmony, to huge applause.

Winner, Outstanding Direction:

  • Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera co-commissioned by Scottish Opera). “I know you don’t all go to opera, but if you want to see something interesting, check out Tapestry sometime,” he says.

Lascelle Wingate and Frank Cox-O’Connell are presenting awards in the General Theatre category.

Winner, Outstanding Costume Design:

Winner, Outstanding Lighting Design:

Winner, Outstanding Sound Design/Composition:

  • James Bunton (sound design) and Amy Nostbakken (music), Mouthpiece (Quote Unquote Collective presented by Nightwood Theatre). “Have the audacity to trust your instinct and the audacity to trust the raw, unplugged female voice,” Amy Nostbakken says in her acceptance speech. She also says she hopes next year there will be more than one woman nominated.

Winner, Outstanding Scenic Design:

Winner, Outstanding New Play:

  • Nick Green, Body Politic (Buddies in Bad Times). The day of the closing matinée performance was the day after the Pulse nightclub shooting, Nick Green says. He says it makes the queer pioneers who inspired the play even more impressive, and says that watching that performance, he thought: “This is why live theatre.”

Raoul Bhaneja announces the winner in the Touring Production category.

Winner, Outstanding Touring Production:

  • 887 (Canadian Stage). “Robert Lepage is a poet of untold dimensions,” Matthew Jocelyn says in his acceptance speech.

Raoul Bhaneja announces the Outstanding Production awards in the Theatre for Young Audiences category.

Winner, Outstanding Production:

Last year’s Silver Ticket Award winner, Andy McKim, introduces this year’s winner, who he calls a “triage nurse for theatre communities: you know you’re in trouble when she shows up, but you’re so grateful to see her.”

Silver Ticket Award Winner:

  • Jane Marsland. “I never expected it, although I must confess I certainly lusted after it,” she says.

Only five awards left! Valerie Buhagiar and Franco Boni are the last presenters.

Winner, Outstanding Production, Opera:

  • Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera co-commissioned by Scottish Opera) “We all do this because we’re addicted to it,” Anna Chatterton says in her acceptance speech.

Winner, Outstanding Production, Dance:

Winner, Outstanding Production:

  • This is the Point (co-produced by Ahuri Theatre and The Theatre Centre). “A lot of the people we work with can’t actually be on this stage,” says Dan Watson, accepting the award. “Not just because of the ramps, but because the way work is usually made excludes them. Collaborating with people of all different abilities makes the work better.”

Winner, Outstanding Production:

Winner, Outstanding Production:

  • Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts I, II, III) (Soulpepper) Albert Schultz thanks director Weyni Mensha and says “we’re coming back for the next three parts as soon as Suzan writes them.”

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!


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