Stage Door News
Toronto: The Toronto Theatre Critics Association has announced its winners for the 2019/20 season
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Undaunted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortened season, the Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards have returned to honour excellence—and this year, resourcefulness as well—in the city’s professional theatre. The 10th annual TTCAs boast 30 winners in 14 categories spanning the 2019-2020 season, including a special citation for creativity in the face of the health crisis.
Outside the March, Obsidian Theatre and Crow’s Theatre were the big winners this year. OtM and Crow’s were cited for Best Production of a Play, Best Ensemble and Best Design for their co-production of The Flick, which also won the Best International Play Award for American playwright Annie Baker. Another Crow’s co-pro, Ghost Quartet, a collaboration with the new Eclipse Theatre Company, won two awards in the musical division: Best Ensemble and Best Director, for Marie Farsi.
OtM, meanwhile, received this year’s special citation for its quick and clever response to the COVID quarantine, a personalized telephone experience via its Ministry of Mundane Mysteries.
Obsidian Theatre’s outgoing artistic director, Philip Akin, was hailed with not one, but two Best Director awards: for Actually, a campus drama about consent and rape culture, produced by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre in association with Obsidian, and for Pass Over, a poetic drama about race relations produced by Obsidian at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Pass Over also landed a Best Ensemble award for its cast. Obsidian’s teamwork with the Musical Stage Company netted two awards: Best Lead Performance in a Musical, for Jully Black, and Best Supporting Performance, for Vanessa Sears, both for the civil-rights-era musical Caroline, or Change.
Black shared the Best Lead award with Chilina Kennedy, who starred in the North American tour of The Band’s Visit. That show, presented by Mirvish Productions, also picked up Best Production of a Musical. Another Mirvish musical, the Bob Dylan-inspired Girl from the North Country, won a Best Director prize for Conor McPherson.
Soulpepper Theatre, meanwhile, grabbed a couple of awards, with Best Performance in a Play going to both Amy Rutherford in A Streetcar Named Desire and Daren A. Herbert in Jesus Hopped the “A” Train. For the second year in a row, the TTCAs eliminated gender categories in its acting awards. Sarah Dodd received Best Supporting Performance for her role in Coal Mine Theatre’s futuristic Marjorie Prime.
The Best New Canadian Play Award goes to Anthony MacMahon and Thomas McKechnie for The Jungle, their contemporary reimagining of Upton Sinclair’s muckraking classic, which had its world premiere at Tarragon Theatre.
The Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards were founded in 2011 and are given out on an annual basis by a jury of professional theatre critics, whose outlets include The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, The Slotkin Letter, Stage Door, Intermission, Ludwig van Toronto, cushmancollected.com and paulacitron.ca. This year’s jury members are Paula Citron, Robert Cushman, Steve Fisher, Karen Fricker, Carly Maga, Martin Morrow, Lynn Slotkin and Glenn Sumi.
This year’s awards will be given out in an online ceremony that will double as a fundraiser for The AFC. Formerly known as the Actors’ Fund of Canada, The AFC is a national charity with a mission to help Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work. The TTCAs will be streamed live on The AFC’s YouTube channel on Monday, June 22, at 7 p.m. ET.
Here is the full list of winners:
Best New Canadian Play
The Jungle by Anthony MacMahon and Thomas McKechnie (Tarragon Theatre)
Best International Play
The Flick by Annie Baker (Outside the March and Crow’s Theatre)
Best Lead Performance in a Play
Daren A. Herbert in Jesus Hopped The “A” Train (Soulpepper Theatre)
Amy Rutherford in A Streetcar Named Desire (Soulpepper Theatre)
Best Supporting Performance in a Play
Sarah Dodd in Marjorie Prime (Coal Mine Theatre)
Best Ensemble Performance in a Play
Colin Doyle, Amy Keating, Durae McFarlane and Brendan McMurtry-Howlett in The Flick (Outside the March and Crow’s Theatre)
Kaleb Alexander, Mazin Elsadig and Alex McCooeye in Pass Over (Obsidian Theatre)
Best Director of a Play
Philip Akin, Actually (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Co. and Obsidian Theatre Co.)
Philip Akin, Pass Over (Obsidian Theatre Co.)
Best Production of a Play
The Flick, produced by Outside the March and Crow’s Theatre
Best Lead Performance in a Musical
Jully Black in Caroline, Or Change (Musical Stage Co. and Obsidian Theatre Co.)
Chilina Kennedy in The Band’s Visit (Mirvish Productions)
Best Supporting Performance in a Musical
Vanessa Sears in Caroline, Or Change (Musical Stage Co. and Obsidian Theatre Co.)
Best Ensemble Performance in a Musical
Beau Dixon, Hailey Gillis, Kira Guloien and Andrew Penner in Ghost Quartet (Crow’s Theatre and Eclipse Theatre Co.)
Best Director of a Musical
Marie Farsi, Ghost Quartet (Crow’s Theatre and Eclipse Theatre Co.)
Conor McPherson, Girl From The North Country (Mirvish Productions)
Best Production of a Musical
The Band’s Visit, produced by Orin Wolf, Stylesfour Productions, Evamere Entertainment, Atlantic Theater Co. et al., presented by David Mirvish
Best Design, Play or Musical
Nick Blais, Nick Bottomley, Anahita Dehbonehie and Richard Feren for The Flick (Outside the March, Crow’s Theatre)
Special Citation – For Creative Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Ministry Of Mundane Mysteries by Outside the March
Cast of The Flick. © 2019 Dahlia Katz, design by Kinnon Elliott.