In the Round: 2016 Doras – Outstanding New Play

At Intermission, we want to tell the stories behind the stories you see on stage. Monday’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which celebrate excellence in theatre, give us an opportunity to look back not only at the stories we watched unfold onstage over the last year, but also at the way they got there.

To best tell these stories, we have to bring together the artists who brought them to life. 

We approached actors James Graham and Sascha Cole to host a series of round table conversations with some of the 2016 Dora nominees for Outstanding Female Performance, Outstanding Male Performance, and Best New Play, in both the general and independent categories. James and Sascha created questions that would be catalysts for discussion, covering the artists’ work, the Toronto theatre industry, the issues we’re grappling with, and more. 

At the Outstanding New Play conversation were five playwrights, who wrote, co-wrote, or adapted texts that went on to be well loved by audiences and critics alike:

Nicolas Billon, nominated for Butcher
Anna Chatterton, nominated for Gertrude and Alice
Fabrizio Filippo, nominated for The Summoned
Kat Sandler, nominated for Mustard
Severn Thompson, nominated for Elle

In this clip, the playwrights talk about how important it is to show unfinished work to audiences. How long should artists be allowed to experiment with new work before critics step in and make definitive judgments? Is there a risk in workshopping a show so extensively that it changes more than it should?

See the Outstanding Female Performance video here, where d’bi.young anitafrika, Claire Armstrong, Valerie Buhagiar, Claire Calnan, Sarah Dodd, and Mayko Nguyen talk about cultural specificity.

See the Outstanding Male Performance video here, where Greg Gale, Danny Ghantous, Sina Gilani, Matthew Gouveia, Tony Nappo, and R.H. Thomson talk about how the industry can impact the work.

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Hosted By

Sascha is an actor and producer. She spends a lot of time in her garden or thinking about being in her garden. Some of her favourite things include rap music, Barbra Streisand, the Toronto Blue Jays, and anything ever written by Michael Ondaatje.

Hosted By

James is an actor, producer, and founding member of The Howland Company. He is a lifelong sports fan and an overly enthusiastic rec-league athlete.

Video By

Jill is a Toronto-based theatre director with a film degree. She is the co-founder of Cue6 Theatre. She directs lots of indie shows, both for Cue6 and for other companies around town, but she still manages to find enough film work to subsidize her love of eating on a regular basis.