2020 Dora Mavor Moore Awardspresented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA)

The 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Awards Virtual Edition, presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), will be broadcast on Monday, June 29, at 7:30 pm via the Dora Awards YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/DoraAwards. This year (41st) is the first time that the annual awards show is broadcast virtually.

That evening, there will be 46 Dora Awards, the Silver Ticket Award, and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award will be given out to Toronto based theatre, dance and opera companies whose productions have made an impact on the 2019-2020 season. A total of 88 productions received a nomination (from 160 productions overall).

At the virtual press conference, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, announced that sound designer Deanna Choi was the recipient of the 2020 Pauline McGibbon Award (which included a $7000 cash prize). Dowdeswell said that “the arts are crucial and challenge us to dream big. Artists play an essential role. Arts find a way, leaving us forever changed.”

The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Oustanding Leadership in Administration (which included a $1000 cash prize) was given to Monica Esteves. Esteves fondly recalled her visits to Theatrebooks (run by Leonard McHardy and John Harvey).

The Victor C. Polley Protégé Award was given to Canadian Stage Company Manager Beth Wong. The award included a $500 cash prize.

Another exciting announcement was the return of the Pat and Tony Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts. The return provides a cash prize of $1,000 to each recipient of Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role in the General Theatre Division and Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role in the General Theatre Division.

The public will get a chance to vote for the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award by choosing a winner from the list of nominees (or choosing their own) for Outstanding Production via https://nowtoronto.com/doraawards.

The award show is written by Diane Flacks and directed by Ed Roy. Some of the celebrated guests to make appearances during the show are Michael Healy, Jani Lauzon, and Cathy Jones. After the awards are handed out, there will be a Dora Virtual Dance Party to keep the fun going.

The Dora Awards are divided into seven divisions: General Theatre, Musical Theatre, Independent Theatre, Opera, Dance, Theatre for Young Audiences, and Touring. There are 243 nominations.

Here are some of the highlights of the nominees:

  • GENERAL THEATRE DIVISION:

Soulpepper leads in total nominations in the General Theatre Division (and across all divisions) with a grand total of 24 taps over 6 productions, including 6 for A Streetcar Named Desire, 5 for Almighty Voice and His Wife and 2 for each of August: Osage County and Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train plus 1 for Betrayal.
The Brothers Size for Outstanding Production along with Outstanding Direction for Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role for both Daren A. Herbert and Mazin Elsadig, Outstanding Costume Design for Rachel Forbes, Outstanding Lighting Design for Raha Javanfar, Outstanding Sound Design/Composition for the team of Thomas Ryder Payne, Kobena Aquaa-Harrison and Waleed Abdulhamid and Outstanding Scenic Design for Ken MacKenzie.
A Streetcar Named Desire for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Soulpepper Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha, Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for Amy Rutherford, Outstanding Scenic Design for Lorenzo Savoini and Outstanding Lighting Design for Kimberly Purtell.
Almighty Voice and His Wife’s for Outstanding Direction for Jani Lauzon, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role for each of James Dallas Smith and Michaela Washburn, Outstanding Scenic Design for Ken MacKenzie and Outstanding Costume Design for Kinoo Arcentales.
Maev Beaty and Nancy Palk for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for August: Osage County; and Daren A. Herbert and Xavier Lopez for Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train.
Julius Caesar’s 7 nominations are Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role for Michelle Giroux, Outstanding Scenic Design for Lorenzo Savoini, Outstanding Costume Design for Ming Wong and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition for Thomas Ryder Payne.
Crow’s Theatre The Flick (presented by Outside the March and Crow’s Theatre) which is nominated for Outstanding Direction by Mitchell Cushman, Durae McFarlane for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, Amy Keating for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role, Nick Blais and Anahita Dehbonehie together for Scenic and Lobby Design respectively in the same Outstanding Scenic Design category and, in the Outstanding Lighting Design category, for Nick Blais with Projection Lighting designed by Nick Bottomley.
Two other productions in the running for Outstanding Production in the General Theatre Division include: Forget Me Not (from Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes in association with Luminato) – Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Costume Design for Ronnie Burkett; and Buffoon (from Tarragon Theatre) for Anosh Irani for Outstanding New Play and Anand Rajaram for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role. Tarragon’s Yaga for Outstanding New Play.
Two more productions are in the running for Outstanding New Play include: The Negroes are Congregating by Natasha Adiyana Morris (a PIECE OF MINE Arts Production with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille) and The Book of Life by Odile Gakire Katese (a Volcano Theatre production in association with The Woman Cultural Centre, Rwanda and Why Not Theatre presented by Canadian Stage).
The two final nominees for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role in this division are Alex McCooeye for Obsidian Theatre’s Pass Over and Stephan Jackman-Torkoff for Factory Theatre’s Trout Stanley.

  • MUSICAL THEATRE DIVISION:

Caroline, or Change nominations: The Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre for Outstanding Production, Robert McQueen for Outstanding Direction, Reza Jacobs for Outstanding Musical Direction, Jully Black for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, each of Stewart Adam McKensy and Vanessa Sears for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role, Timothy French for Outstanding Original Choreography and Peter McBoyle for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Sound).
The Musical Stage Company with an Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role tap for Michael De Rose for REPRINT, a Musical Stage Company and Yonge Street Theatricals production.
Piaf/Dietrich nominations: David Mirvish for Outstanding Production, Erin Shields (adaptation) and Daniel Große Boymann, and Thomas Kahry (writers) collectively for Outstanding New Musical, Gordon Greenberg for Outstanding Direction, Jonathan Monro for Outstanding Musical Direction, each of Jayne Lewis and Louise Pitre for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role and Michael Gianfrancesco for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Scenic).
David Mirvish’s Girl From the North Country with Ian Ross up for Outstanding Musical Direction and Gloria Obianyo up for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role.
The Adventures of Pinocchio nominations: Young People’s Theatre for Outstanding Production, Sheila McCarthy for Outstanding Direction, Connor Lucas for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, each of Arinea Hermans and Joel Cumber for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role, Julie Tomaino for Outstanding Original Choreography and Joanna Yu for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Scenic).
Ghost Quartet nominations: Crow’s Theatre and Eclipse Theatre Company for Outstanding Production, Marie Farsi for Outstanding Direction, Andrew Penner for Outstanding Musical Direction, Hailey Gillis for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role and Patrick Lavender twice for Outstanding Achievement in Design – for each of Lighting Design and Scenic Design.
Sunday in the Park with George nominations: Adam Sakiyama for Outstanding Musical Direction, each of Evan Buliung and Tess Benger for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, Charlotte Moore (grand-daughter of Dora Mavor Moore) for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role and Allyson McMackon for Outstanding Original Choreography.

Life in a Box, Bad Hats Theatre for Outstanding Production, Landon Doak and Matthew Finlan for Outstanding New Musical, Fiona Sauder for Outstanding Direction, and Landon Doak for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role.
Outstanding New Musical for Luminato’s The Cave. Obeah Opera presented by Nicole Brooks in association with Luminato Tu Nokwe for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role and Anthony “Prime” Guerra for Outstanding Original Choreography.

  • INDEPENDENT THEATRE DIVISION:

Marjorie Prime from Coal Mine Theatre for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction to Stewart Arnott, Outstanding Performance by an Individual to each of Martha Henry and Sarah Dodd, Outstanding Lighting Design to Nick Blais and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to Bram Gielen.
Between Riverside and Crazy for Outstanding Production to Coal Mine Theatre, Outstanding Direction to Kelli Fox and Outstanding Performance by an Individual to each of Alexander Thomas and Allegra Fulton.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Theatre Rusticle, for Outstanding Production; Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Richard Alan Campbell, Burgundy Code, Amanda Cordner, Michael Derworiz, Nick Eddie, Matthew Finlan, Sarah Machin Gale, Richard Lee, Alexa MacDougall, Alexandra Montagnese, Kwaku Okyere, Matthew Rossoff, and Annie Tuma), and Outstanding Costume Design to Brandon Kleiman.
This Is How We Got Here is nominated for Outstanding Production to Native Earth Performing Arts, Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Direction to Native Earth Artistic Director Keith Barker and Outstanding Scenic Design to Shannon Lea Doyle.
No Foreigners, a Hong Kong Exile and fu-GEN Theatre production presented by The Theatre Centre, for Outstanding New Play to fu-Gen Artistic Director David Yee, Outstanding Scenic/Projection Design to the team of Remy Siu and Natalie Tin Yin Gan (Scenic Design) and Milton Lim and Remy Siu (Projection Design). Milton Lim and Remy Siu together also earn an Outstanding Sound Design/Composition nod.
Prophecy Fog, co-produced by The Theatre Centre and Paper Canoe Projects in association with Nightswimming Theatre, for both Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance by an Individual to Jani Lauzon and Outstanding Scenic Design to Melissa Joakim.
Outstanding Production to DopoLavoro Teatrale for The Stranger 2.0 (Above & Below) and Outstanding Direction to Daniele Bartolini for the same. Daniel MacIvor, for Let’s Run Away (reWork Productions presented by Canadian Stage), and the team of Robin Luckwaldt and Natalia Bushnik for The Bathtub Girls (KAIROS Theatre), for Outstanding New Play. Outstanding Performance of an Individual taps goes to Carly Street for Grounded (theatreSix) and Ryan James for Sibs (Don’t Look Down Theatre Company).
Paolo Santalucia for Outstanding Direction for Casimir and Caroline (The Howland Company) while Alex Crowther, Hallie Seline, Cameron Laurie, Caroline Toal, Michael Ayres, James Graham, Kimwun Perehinec, Shruti Kothari, Veronica Hortiguela and Michael Chiem are up for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble for same.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble nods go to the ensembles of Box 4901 (timeshare performance) for Colin Asuncion, Hume Baugh, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, Keith Cole, Daniel Jelani Ellis, Jeff Ho, Michael Hughes, Indrit Kasapi, Daniel Krolik, Eric Morin, G Kyle Shields, Chy Ryan Spain and Geoffrey Whynot; The Wager (Theatre Gargantua) for Olivia Croft, Teiya Kasahara 笠原 貞野, François Macdonald and Michael Gordon Spence; and Remembering the Winnipeg General (Zietpunktheatre in association with Why Not Theatre) for Ximena Huizi, Heather Marie Annis, Kristine Schmitt, and Jesse Corrigan.

  • OPERA DIVISION

Tapestry Opera’s Shanawdithit (co-commissioned and co-produced by Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon) in the lead with 8 nominations. An additional 5 nods for Jacqueline for a total of 13 put Tapestry in top spot for the division. Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook (presented by Luminato in association with Soundstreams) and Rusalka (Canadian Opera Company) each garner 5 taps as well.
All four of the above shows are nominated for Outstanding Production along with Pandora from FAWN Chamber Creative (which also sees Amanda Smith up for Outstanding Direction).
For Outstanding New Opera: Jacqueline (Librettist: Royce Vavrek, Composer: Luna Pearl Woolf), Shanawdithit (Librettist: Yvette Nolan, Composer: Dean Burry) and Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook (Tim Albery).
Tapestry’s Shanawdithit are: Outstanding Direction for the team of Michael Mori and Yvette Nolan, Outstanding Musical Direction for Rosemary Thomson, Outstanding Performance by an Individual for Marion Newman, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble for Rebecca Cuddy, Asitha Tennekoon, Evan Korbut, Deantha Edmunds, and Aria Evans and Outstanding Achievement in Design for both the scenic design team of Camellia Koo, Jordan Bennett, Meagan Musseau, Jerry Evans and Lori Blondeau and Cameron Davis in projection design.
Tapestry’s Jacqueline additionally for each of Marnie Breckenridge and Matt Haimovitz for Outstanding Performance by an Individual and Camellia Koo for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Scenic).
The Canadian Opera Company (COC), with 10 taps over 3 productions (additionally Turnadot and Hansel & Gretel), has second spot in the Opera Division, followed by Soundstreams with 9 over 2 productions (additionally Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit, presented in partnership with Signal Theatre which garners 4).
Joining the Outstanding New Opera category are Loose Tea Music Theatre’s Singing Only Softly (Librettist: Monica Pearce, Composer: Cecilia Livingston, Concept and Development: Alaina Viau) and Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys: Gállábártnit (Librettist: Rawdna Carita Eira, Composer: Britta Byström).
The Canadian Opera Company’s Rusalka for David McVicar for Outstanding Direction, Johannes Debus for Outstanding Musical Direction, Sondra Radvanovsky for Outstanding Performance by an Individual and David Finn for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Lighting). Outstanding Musical Direction to each of Johannes Debus for Hansel & Gretel and Carlo Rizzi for Turandot. Turandot’s Tamara Wilson for Outstanding Performance by an Individual as well as the Canadian Opera Company Chorus for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble; Hansel & Gretel sees the same for the Canadian Children’s Opera Company.
Luminato, in association with Soundstreams’ Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook adds Tim Albery for Outstanding Direction, Russell Braun for Outstanding Performance by an Individual and Cameron Davis for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Projection).
And Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit for Outstanding Direction to the team of Michael Greyeyes and Cole Alvis, Outstanding Performance by an Individual to Yolanda Bonnell and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble to Nicole Joy Fraser, Karen Weigold, Vania Chan, Deantha Edmonds-Ramsay, Rebecca Cuddy, Bó Bárdos, Michelle Lafferty, Jonathan MacArthur, Mitchell Pady, Evan Korbut, Andrew Adridge, Bryan Martin and Neil Aronoff.
Rachael Kerr for Outstanding Musical Direction for Against The Grain Theatre’s Figaro’s Wedding and Sara Schabas for Outstanding Performance by an Individual for Loose Tea Music Theatre’s Singing Only Softly/The Diary of Anne Frank: Operas from the Secret Annex.

DANCE DIVISION:
Angels’ Atlas for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Original Choreography for Crystal Pite, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Jack Bertinshaw, Skylar Campbell, Joe Chapman, Jimmy Coleman, Trygve Cumpston, Brenna Flaherty, Christopher Gerty, Selene Guerrero-Trujillo, Jeanine Haller, Kathryn Hosier, Tanya Howard, Tirion Law, Chelsy Meiss, Larkin Miller, Tiffany Mosher, Noah Parets, Brent Parolin, Genevieve Penn-Nabity, Tina Pereira, Meghan Pugh, Teagan Richman-Taylor, Kota Sato, Calley Skalnik, Alexander Skinner, Nan Wang, Tene Ward, Ethan Watts, and Isaac Wright), Outstanding Original Sound Composition for Owen Belton, and Outstanding Achievement in Design (Scenic) for Jay Gower Taylor.
Marguerite and Armand see Greta Hodgkinson with a tap for Outstanding Performance by an Individual. The company for Orpheus Alive for Outstanding Achievement in Design (Scenic) for Hyemi Shin.
DanceWorks’ 5 nominations include 3 for DanceWorks / Zata Om’s Eden Planted – Outstanding Production, Outstanding Original Choreography for Zata Om Artistic Director William Yong and Outstanding Achievement in Design (Costume Design) for Lisa Mann and William Yong – Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble for DanceWorks CoWorks / Human Body Expression’s Resonance (Connor Mitton, Eleanor van Veen, Jake Poloz, Jake Ramos, JT Papandreos, Lonii Garnons-Williams, Martha Hart, Morgyn Aronyk- Schell, Peter Kelly, Roberto Soria, Sarah MacDonald, and Zsakira Del Co.) and Outstanding Achievement in Design (Projection Design) for Jeremy Mimnagh for DanceWorks / Harbourfront Centre / Adelheid’s LOT X.
Princess productions for Outstanding Performance by an Individual to both Danielle Baskerville for Janus is a god (a piece in its dance: made in Canada/fait au canada – Cruz Series) and Josh Martin for Leftovers (from dance: made in canada/fait au canada – Mrozewski Series); Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (David Albert-Toth, Joe Danny Aurélien, Simon-Xavier Lefebvre, Milan Panet-Gigon and Nicolas Patry) for La vie attend (part of dance: made in canada/fait au canada – Morrison Series); and Outstanding Original Sound Composition to Sashar Zarif for Kismet: Opposing Destiny (dance: made in canada/fait au canada – Morrison Series).
Red Sky Performance for AF: Outstanding Production, Thomas Fonua for Outstanding Original Choreography, Miyeko Ferguson for Outstanding Performance of an Individual, and the team of Eliot Britton and Rick Sacks for Outstanding Original Sound Composition.
Rock Bottom Movement’s hollow mountain: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Original Choreography for Alyssa Martin, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Samantha Grist, Natasha Poon Woo, Drew Berry, Brayden Cairns, and Sydney Herauf) and Outstanding Original Sound Composition for Sydney Herauf.
Pratibha Arts’ A Hidden Princess for Outstanding Production as well as Outstanding Performance by an Individual with Bagashree Vaze’s nomination.
Toronto Dance Theatre for Outstanding Performance by an Individual for House Mix: Encarnado with one for each of Christianne Ullmark and Erin Poole; for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Sonja Boretski, Alana Elmer, Yuichiro Inoue, Peter Kelly, Megumi Kokuba, Ryan Kostyniuk, Pulga Muchochoma, Erin Poole, Devon Snell, Margarita Soria, Roberto Soria, and Christianne Ullmark) for House Mix: Vena Cava.
Citadel + Compagnie’s this happened… Kate Hilliard for Outstanding Original Choreography while its Citadel Dance Mix 2019: Black Ballerina sees Syreeta Hector earn 1 for Outstanding Performance by an Individual.

  • THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES DIVISION:

Both Les Zinspiré.e.s: Infiniment Éveillé.e.s and The Mush Hole (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presented by Young People’s Theatre) are in the top spot with 6 nods each for the following: Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble and Outstanding Achievement in Design (2 taps each).
The Mush Hole’s nominations in addition to Outstanding Production for Young People’s Theatre are: Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Direction for Santee Smith, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Jonathan Fisher, Raelyn Metcalfe, Santee Smith, Montana Summers, and Julianne Blackbird) and two taps for Outstanding Achievement in Design: Sound Composition by Jesse Zubot and additional Composition by Adrian Dion Harjo, and a separate nod for Projection Design by Ryan Webber and Shane Powless.
Les Zinspiré.e.s : Infiniment Éveillé.e.s’ nominations in addition to Outstanding Production for Théâtre français de Toronto are: Outstanding New Play to Charlotte Calvez, Cass McGarry, Martin Staadecker, Sofia Velikov and Emily White – coached by Lara Arabian, Alex Côté, Krystel Descary, Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, Karine Ricard, Pierre Simpson and Donald Woo; Outstanding Direction to Krystel Descary; Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Alex Côté, Francesca Bárcenas, Lexi Soha, Stéphie Mazunya and Vincent Leblanc-Beaudouin) and also two separate taps for Outstanding Achievement in Design: Lighting by Duncan Appleton and Projection Design by Laura Bergeron.

Young People’s Theatre’s A Million Billion Pieces for Outstanding Production, David James Brock for Outstanding New Play, Philip Akin for Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Aldrin Bundoc, Kate Martin, Simon Gagnon, and Jonelle Sills) and Outstanding Achievement in Design: Projection Design by Daniel Oulton.
The other Outstanding Production nods go to Solar Stage’s Jillian Jiggs and A Billion Nights On Earth presented by Harbourfront Centre (Junior Festival). Jillian Jiggs also earns Outstanding Direction for Dahlia Katz and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Megan Starkman, Gabriel Vaillant, Shai Tannyan, and Nicole McCafferty).
Young People’s Theatre’s You and I sees Maja Ardal up for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance by an Individual along with Malindi Ayienga for the same.
Roseneath Theatre for La Maleta (The Suitcase) with Outstanding Direction to Andrew Lamb and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Sofia Rodriguez, Oscar Moreno, Jill Harland, and Jessica Zepeda) as well as Outstanding Performance by an Individual to Djennie Laguerre for Rendez-Vous With Home.

  • TOURING DIVISION:

Five shows presented by five different companies are represented in the nominations for the Touring Division. The nominees are: Radical Vitality solos and duets (a Compagnie Marie Chouinard production co-presented by Canadian Stage and TOLive), Mixed Repertory Program (presented by Harbourfront Centre), Us/Them (presented by Mirvish Productions), Rite of Spring (presented by Luminato) and Adrenaline (Suitcase / Adrenaline) (presented by Theatre Passe Muraille).

Full list of the nominees is available at https://tapa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Dora-Awards-2020-Nominees-Grid-FINAL.pdf

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