Stage Door News

Toronto: Presenters and special guests announced for the 2020 Virtual Dora Awards

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) today announced the VIP presenters, special guests and theme for the 41st annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards which, for the very first time due to the restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are being held virtually. On Monday, June 29, the show begins at 7:30pm on the Dora Awards YouTube Channel at, followed by the Dora Dance Party on Zoom from 8:30pm-9:30pm.

The annual Dora Awards celebrate excellence in professional theatre, dance and opera in a ceremony that includes 46 Dora Awards, theSilver Ticket Award, and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award. Even though the 2019-2020 season was sadly truncated in the wake of the pandemic, Toronto stages still saw 135 producing companies present 160 eligible productions, representing 85% of productions registered for the Dora Awards. The 2020 Dora Awards - Virtual Edition show is written by the multi-talented Emmy, Gemini and Dora-nominated Diane Flacks for the fifth year in a row while acclaimed theatre director, actor and writer Ed Roy takes the helm as director for his eighth time.

Fittingly, the theme for the 2020 Doras is perseverance in the face of isolation. The Doras aim not only to celebrate and congratulate Toronto's talented performing arts community, but also commiserate about the state of being alone and/or isolated, with uncertainty the only constant - but to do that with humour, compassion and irreverent wit.

Audiences will visit "The Five Stages of Isolation" (based on the Five Stages of Grief) as playwright Michael Healey, recent Resident Artist at Native Earth Performing Arts Chris Mejaki, actor Elley Ray, theatre creator Sunny Drake, and Canadian Screen Icon Award winnerCathy Jones (of CBC-TV's legendary This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame) take their places to each depict one of the "five stages" in their own words: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

The inimitable Rick Mercer, long-time host of CBC TV's The Rick Mercer Report, opens the show. Among the VIP presenters and special guests are Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, stars of the multi-award-winning television show Kim's Convenience; Human Cargo Artistic Director Christopher Morris (Dora Award for The Runner); four-time Dora Award-winning set and costume designer Gillian Gallow; dancer/choreographer Kevin Ormsby, Artistic Director of acclaimed Afro-contemporary KasheDance; Ravi Jain, multi-award-winning Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre; Aurora Browne, one of the stars of award-winning comedy series Baroness von Sketch Show; actor, writer and comedian Kris Siddiqi, co-creator/star of CBC Gem's Bit Playas and others.

Juno and Gemini Award winner Jully Black, Canada's Queen of R&B Soul, ends the show with her powerhouse vocals. Ms Black is nominated for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role in the Musical Theatre Division for her performance in the Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre's Caroline, or Change.

During the virtual Dora Awards ceremony, audiences will be encouraged to make a donation to the AFC (at which provides compassionate support and a lifeline for Canada's entertainment industry, and to Black Lives Matter (at, a global network actively working to dismantle all forms of anti-black racism, and to support black healing.

Leading up to the Dora Awards, theatre, dance and opera fans are reminded to vote for their favourite production to receive the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award, sponsored by NOW Magazine, online at through to June 21 at 12 midnight.

TAPA invites audience members to dress for the occasion and post a selfie on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter of what they are wearing with the hashtag #Doras2020outfit from 7pm onwards on the night of the show on June 29. Look for Dora Awards recipient acceptance thank you speeches at #Doras2020speeches.

TAPA Executive Director and Dora Producer Jacoba Knaapen outlined, "As Toronto's 'Biggest Opening Night of the Year,' the Doras wind up the performing arts season (which normally runs from September through May) every year with a ceremony and a big party. This year, in the face of the pandemic, things must run differently to keep everyone safe. But TAPA invites the arts community and arts-loving public to celebrate the accomplishments of the past season by tuning in and attending not only the show, but also the Virtual Dora Dance Party afterwards featuring Deejay RAINER, live. The link to the Dora Dance Party will be available at at 8:00pm.

Dora Board President Chris Goddard added, "There is always a signature cocktail at the Doras and this year is no exception. Visit from June 19 onward to check out recipes for Dora Cocktails and Dora Mocktails. We hope people will prepare them in advance and enjoy during the show and at the Dora Dance Party!"

On Monday, June 29, beginning at 7:30pm, the 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Awards will be presented virtually on the Dora Awards YouTube channel at where 46 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Silver Ticket Award and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award will be bestowed.

2020 Dora Awards - Virtual Edition

- Toronto's Theatre, Dance and Opera Awards -

Monday, June 29, 2020

Written by Diane Flacks, Directed by Ed Roy,

Musical Direction/Composition by Waylen Miki, Video Direction by Cameron Davis,

Costume Design by Rosanna Saracino, Art Direction by Blair Francey, Production Management by Andrea Lundy,

Produced by Jacoba Knaapen

7:00pm - Preshow: Use hashtag #Doras2020outfit on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to post a selfie in your outfit!

7:30pm - 2020 Dora Awards - Virtual Edition

Watch on the Dora Awards YouTube channel at and/or on TAPA's Facebook page at

8:30pm-9:30pm - Virtual Dora Dance Party on ZOOM!

Link will be available at at 8:00pm.

Social Media:   Facebook - @TorontoAllianceforthePerformingArts Twitter - @DoraAwards   Instagram - tapa_to 

Hashtags:       #Doras2020      #Doras2020outfit        #Doras2020speeches      #theatreTO