The 27th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards were held at the Commodore Ballroom Monday night honouring Vancouver’s vibrant theatre community and its artistic achievements. “Simply a Celebration” was the theme of the evening – recognizing the significant achievements, of companies and acknowledging the diversity and talent of Vancouver’s theatre community. Vancouver Theatresports put their creative talents to work and created a dynamic evening.
Winning five Jessies in the Large Theatre category was the Playhouse Theatre Company with awards given to Max Reimer for Outstanding Direction and Jay Brazeau for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role, both for The Drowsy Chaperone, Frost/Nixon received an award for Significant Artistic Achievement, and Alan Brodie was awarded Outstanding Lighting Design for Miss Julie: Freedom Summer. In addition, the Playhouse Theatre Company & the Savage Society garnered two awards for their production of Where the Blood Mixes.
Bard on the Beach received 3 awards, with two for the production of The Tempest – Jennifer Lines for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role and Alessandro Juliani for Outstanding Sound Design. And winning for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role was Simon Bradbury for his portrayal in Titus Andronicus.
The Arts Club Theatre Company‘s production of the Constant Wife garnered awards for Outstanding Costume and Set Design.
The Small Theatre category had an array of diverse winners. Electric Theatre Company & Virtual Stage won Outstanding Production for No Exit in addition to the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award. Jennifer Mawhinney and Russell Roberts both were acknowledged for Outstanding Performances in Lead Roles for their work in Blackbird by Rumble Productions & Theatre Conspiracy. Ruby Slippers received three Jessies for their production Life Savers. Each receiving a single award for their achievements was Touchstone Theatre, Progress Lab, Pi Theatre and Leaky Heaven Circus.
In the Theatre for Young Audiences category Neworld Theatre’s production of Are We There Yet? received three Jessies – Outstanding Production, Outstanding Artistic Creation, and Significant Artistic Achievement, Ensemble Performance. Drew Facey won for Set & Costume Design for Ecran de fumée by Théâtre la Seiziéme and Emmelia Gordon received a Jessie for Outstanding Performance in Green Thumb Theatre’s New Canadian Kid.
Numerous Special Awards were also handed out, honoring new directors, performers, writers, designers and significant patrons of the arts.