Italian Mime Suicide, Sweeney Todd, & Juliet and R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light also recognized at first in-person awards since 2019
By Glenn Sumi
Aug 29, 2022
The scorching hot drama Is God Is, the jaw-dropping spectacle Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, the immersive musical Sweeney Todd and the quirky Italian Mime Suicide are among the most-nominated shows at this year’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards, announced at a live press conference this morning at the Four Seasons Centre.
The full list of nominees is below. The ceremony itself takes place in a few weeks, on Monday, September 19, at the Elgin Theatre. Usually the Dora Awards happen in the spring, acknowledging productions from fall to spring. But because of the pandemic, this year’s ceremony recognizes work done from May 15, 2021 to August 15, 2022.
Despite some excellent digital/hybrid offerings, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), who put on the Doras, decided that “online performances would not be eligible for adjudication for the 2022 awards due to barriers of equal access, equality practices and resources.”
So I guess that means not everyone has access to computers, but that they’re fine to attend performances where masks and vaccination status might be optional?
It was a fantastic year – or rather 15 months – in this division, and it’s fitting that Obsidian, Necessary Angel and Canadian Stage’s scorching hot co-production of Aleshea Harris’s Is God Is should lead the nominations, with 10. I adored the show.
As well as recognizing production, Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu’s direction and the stellar designers Thomas Ryder Payne (sound design/composition), Raha Javanfar (lighting), Ming Wong (costumes) and Ken Mackenzie (sets) and Laura Warren (projections), jurors singled out many from the cast. Oyin Oladejo and Vanessa Sears both earned deserving nods for oustanding performance in a leading role, while Sabryn Rock and Tyrone Benskin were acknowledged for their work in featured roles. (Everyone was good, but it’s a shame Alison Sealy-Smith’s work wasn’t recognized in the featured category.)
The one-part version of the blockbuster Mirvish production Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, meanwhile, earned eight nods, including production, direction (John Tiffany) and featured performance nominations for Gregory Prest and Sarah Afful, neither of whom got to do very much in the show. What a shame that the production’s young breakout stars, Luke Kimball and Thomas Mitchell Barnet, not to mention Sara Farb, who plays the key role she did on Broadway, remain unacknowledged.
Other nominees for best production include Crow’s Theatre’s Orphans For The Czar (its single nomination, which must be unprecedented) and The Land Acknowledgement (As You Like It) as well as Factory Theatre’s Wildfire.
Leanna Brodie and David Paquet’s excellent Wildfire and Cliff Cardinal’s bold The Land Acknowledgement (called simply As You Like It during its run) are both up for Outstanding New Play, along with Chloé Hung’s Three Women Of Swatow, Jordan Tannahill’s Draw Me Close and Rosa Laborde’s Light.
Of the five production nominees, three received nominations for director as well: Harry Potter’s John Tiffany, Is God Is’s Otu and Wildfire’s Soheil Parsa. The other nominees are Three Women Of Swatow’s Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster and Pipeline’s Weyni Mengesha.
In addition to Is God Is’ Oladejo and Sears, the Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role includes ROOM‘s Alexis Gordon, Three Women Of Swatow’s Carolyn Fe, The Land Acknowledgement’s Cardinal, Mission Totally Possible‘s Hannah Spear (remarkable to single out a single performer from a sketch revue), Pipeline’s Tony Ofori and MixTape‘s Zorana Sadiq.
Besides Is God Is’ Rock and Benskin and Harry Potter’s Afful and Prest, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role includes Light’s Christine Horne, Where The Blood Mixes‘ Craig Lauzon and Sheldon Elter (you might argue that the latter is a lead role) and Kamloopa’s Yolanda Bonnell. This last nomination is completely deserving, but it’s a shame Bonnell’s writing and performance weren’t acknowledged for her play White Girls In Moccasins.
Other snubs? It’s terrific that Soulpepper’s Pipeline was acknowledged for directing (Weyni Mengesha) and lead performance (Ofori), but where’s the production nomination? Or the love for actors Akosua Amo-Adem, Kristen Thomson, Chelsea Russell and Mazin Elsadig? Horne was absolutely radiant in Light, but it’s too bad Linda Kash’s complex work went unacknowledged. And I know some performances were affected by COVID-19 illnesses, but it’s a shame awards love couldn’t have gone to Where The Blood Mixes’ director Jani Lauzon, actor Valerie Planche or sound designer James Dallas Smith.
And I suppose it’s because there’s no Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble category in this division, but it would have been nice to acknowledge the absolute stunning artistry of the actors in Wildfire: Soo Garay, Paul Dunn and Zorana Sadiq.
This big winners in this division were Bad News Days’s Italian Mime Suicide, which came away with eight nominations, and Theatre Gargantua’s A Tonic For Desperate Times, which was acknowledged with seven taps; both were nominated for Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble. What’s interesting is that Nautanki Bazaar/RISER’s An IMM-Permanent Resident, The Howland Company’s The Home Project and Cahoots Theatre’s Three Ordinary Men also got nominated in all three categories too.
Four of those five shows were also nominated for director: Adam Paolozza and Kari Pederson for Italian Mime Suicide, Jacquie P.A. Thomas for A Tonic, Miquelon Rodriguez for An IMM-Permanent Resident and Tanisha Taitt for Three Ordinary Men. The fifth slot went to André Sills for his work on ARC/Crow’s Theatre’s Gloria.
There aren’t separate categories for lead and featured performances, so the list of actors acknowledged for oustanding performance are: Cass Van Wyck, who received nominations for both The Huns and Two Minutes To Midnight; Craig Lauzon and Louise Lambert for Detroit (this makes Lauzon another double acting nominee, along with his Where The Blood Mixes nod); Layne Coleman for TRUE; Liz Der and Rhoma Spencer for The House Of Bernarda Alba; and Vivian Chong for Dancing With The Universe.
Obvious snubs include director Soheil Parsa for Bernarda Alba, director Ted Dykstra and the ensemble for Coal Mine Theatre’s The Antipodes (the show’s single nomination went to Nick Blais for scenic/projection design) and the ensemble for Gloria.
Talk Is Free Theatre’s glorious walkabout production of Sweeney Todd swept this division’s nominations with 13 nods, followed by Mirvish’s & Juliet (eight) and TIFT’s fall production of Into The Woods (seven), Mirvish and Past Future Production’s Boy Falls From The Sky (six) and Musical Stage Company/Obsidian Theatre’s Dixon Road (four).
No surprises here, except that it’s nice to see rising star Germaine Konji emerge with two Dora nods (lead for Dixon Road, featured role in Into The Woods), and TIFT’s Michael Torontow show his versatility with acting (lead for Sweeney Todd) and directing (Into The Woods).
And really, everyone involved in a live performance production deserves an honourary award for getting through this difficult year.
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Is God Is
Orphans For The Czar
The Land Acknowledgement (As You Like It)
Wildfire
Three Women Of Swatow, by Chloé Hung
The Land Acknowledgement (As You Like It), by Cliff Cardinal
Draw Me Close, by Jordan Tannahill
Wildfire, by Leanna Brodie and David Paquet
Light, by Rosa Laborde
Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Three Women Of Swatow
John Tiffany, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Is God Is
Soheil Parsa, Wildfire
Weyni Mengesha, Pipeline
Alexis Gordon, ROOM
Carolyn Fe, Three Women Of Swatow
Cliff Cardinal, The Land Acknowledgement (As You Like It)
Hannah Spear, Mission Totally Possible
Oyin Oladejo, Is God Is
Tony Ofori, Pipeline
Vanessa Sears, Is God Is
Zorana Sadiq, MixTape
Christine Horne, Light
Craig Lauzon, Where The Blood Mixes
Gregory Prest, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Sabryn Rock, Is God Is
Sarah Afful, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Sheldon Elter, Where The Blood Mixes
Tyrone Benskin, Is God Is
Yolanda Bonnell, Kamloopa
What You Won’t Do For Love: Projection Design (Jamie Nesbitt)
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child: Scenic Design (Christine Jones); Video Design (Finn Ross, Ash J. Woodward)
among men: Scenic Design (Joanna Yu)
Is God Is: Scenic Design (Ken Mackenzie); Projection Design (Laura Warren)
Draw Me Close: Scenic Design (Tom Paris, Andy Berry); Projection Design (Teva Harrison, Olie Kay)
Justin Miller, Distant Early Warning
Katrina Lindsay, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Ming Wong, Is God Is
Samantha McCue, Kamloopa
Shannon Lea Doyle, Three Women Of Swatow
Arun Srinivasan, MixTape
Bonnie Beecher, ROOM
Kaitlin Hickey, Wildfire
Neil Austin, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Raha Javanfar, Is God Is
Gareth Fry (Sound Design), Imogan Heap (composer/arranger), Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Thomas Ryder Payne, Is God Is
Thomas Ryder Payne, MixTape
Thomas Ryder Payne, Wildfire
A Tonic For Desperate Times
An IMM-Permanent Resident
Italian Mime Suicide
The Home Project
Three Ordinary Men
The Home Project, by Akosua Amo-Adem, Qasim Khan and Cheyenne Scott
An IMM-Permanent Resident, by Neha Poduval and Himanshu Sitlani
Three Ordinary Men, by Steven Elliott Jackson
Italian Mime Suicide, by the Company
A Tonic For Desperate Times, by the Ensemble
Adam Paolozza and Kari Pederson, Italian Mime Suicide
André Sills, Gloria
Jacquie P.A. Thomas, A Tonic For Desperate Times
Miquelon Rodriguez, An IMM-Permanent Resident
Tanisha Taitt, Three Ordinary Men
Cass Van Wyck, The Huns
Cass Van Wyck, Two Minutes To Midnight
Craig Lauzon, Detroit
Layne Coleman, TRUE
Liz Der, The House Of Bernarda Alba
Louise Lambert, Detroit
Rhoma Spencer, The House Of Bernarda Alba
Vivian Chong, Dancing With The Universe
Adam Paolozza, Nicholas Eddie, Rob Feetham, Ericka Leobrera, Italian Mime Suicide
Akosua Amo-Adem, Qasim Khan, Cheyenne Scott, The Home Project
Heather Marie Annis, Sierra Haynes, Alexandra Lainfiesta, Michael Gordon Spence, Nabil Traboulsi, A Tonic For Desperate Times
Jamar Adams-Thompson, Tristan Claxton, Jack Copland, Three Ordinary Men
Neha Poduval, Himanshu Sitlani, An IMM-Permanent Resident
Italian Mime Suicide: Scenic & Projection design (Evgenia Mikhaylova and Anahita Dehbonehie)
The Cold War: Scenic Design (Andrew Dollar), Projection Design (Maxim Luca Bortnowski)
Gloria: Scenic Design (Jackie Chau)
A Tonic For Desperate Times: Scenic Design (Michael Gordon Spence); Projection Design (Laird Macdonald)
The Antipodes: Scenic Design (Nick Blais)
Allie Marshall and Evgenia Mikhaylova, Italian Mime Suicide
Anahita Dehbonehie and Niloufar Ziaee, 1184
Angela Thomas, The House Of Bernarda Alba
Claudia Tam, Three Ordinary Men
Melanie McNeill and Astrid Janson, The Cold War
André du Toit, Italian Mime Suicide
Andrew Dollar, The Cold War
Jareth Li, The Home Project
Jenny Jimenez, 1184
Laird Macdonald, A Tonic For Desperate Times
Arif Mirabdolbaghi and Cheldon Paterson, Italian Mime Suicide
David DeLeary, The Home Project
Miquelon Rodriguez, An IMM-Permanent Resident
Thomas Ryder Payne with original compositions by the ensemble, A Tonic For Desperate Times
& Juliet
Boy Falls From The Sky
Dixon Road
Into The Woods
Sweeney Todd
Aidan deSalaiz, Into The Woods
Betsy Wolfe, & Juliet
Germaine Konji, Dixon Road
Glynis Ranney, Sweeney Todd
Jake Epstein, Boy Falls From The Sky
Lorna Courtney, & Juliet
Michael Torontow, Sweeney Todd
Tracy Michailidis, Into The Woods
Cyrus Lane, Sweeney Todd
Germaine Konji, Into The Woods
Jeff Lillico, Sweeney Todd
Kole Dumford, Killing Time: A Game Show Musical
Melanie La Barrie, & Juliet
Noah Beemer, Sweeney Todd
Richard Lam, Into The Woods
Tess Benger, Sweeney Todd
Divine Interventions, by Anika Johnson
Dixon Road, by Fatuma Adar
Boy Falls From The Sky, by Jake Epstein
Killing Time: A Game Show Musical, by Ben Kopp (music/lyrics) and Margot Greve (book)
Anika Johnson, Divine Interventions
Chris Tsujiuchi, Into The Woods
David Atkinson, Boy Falls From The Sky
Dominic Fallacaro, & Juliet
Ran Rutzen, Sweeney Todd
Luke Sheppard, & Juliet
Margot Greve, Killing Time: A Game Show Musical
Michael Torontow, Into The Woods
Mitchell Cushman, Sweeney Todd
Robert McQueen, Boy Falls From The Sky
Costume design (Laura Delchiaro), Sweeney Todd
Lighting design (Nick Blais), Sweeney Todd
Scenic design (Brandon Kleiman), Boy Falls From The Sky
Scenic design (Kathleen Black), Sweeney Todd
Scenic design (Soutra Gilmour), & Juliet
Cameron Carver, Sweeney Todd
Jennifer Weber, & Juliet
Matthew O’Connor and Bonnie Kim, Divine Interventions
Ray Hogg, Esie Mensah and Rosie Harbans, Dixon Road
Gould’s Wall
La Traviata
R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
The Magic Flute
The Queen In Me
Amina Edris, La Traviata
Anna-Sophie Neher, The Magic Flute
Gordon Bintner, The Magic Flute
Lauren Pearl, Gould’s Wall
Midori Marsh, The Magic Flute
Roger Honeywell, Gould’s Wall
Scott Belluz, R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
Teiya Kasahara, The Queen In Me
Canadian Opera Company Chorus, La Traviata
Caitlin Wood, Andrea Ludwig, Keith Klassen, Justin Welsh, Alice Malakhov, Gould’s Wall
Jamie Groote, Charlotte Siegel, Lauren Segal, The Magic Flute
Maeve Palmer, Annie Ramos, Jennifer Routhier, Sofu Gudino, Katherine Semchuk, Emily Spearing, Brayden Cairns, R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
Gould’s Wall: Brian Current (composer); Liza Balkan (librettist)
R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light: Nicole Lizée (composer); Nicolas Billon (librettist)
The Queen In Me by Teiya Kasahara
Brian Current, Gould’s Wall
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, The Queen In Me
Gregory Oh, R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
Johannes Debus, La Traviata
Patrick Lange, The Magic Flute
Andrea Donaldson and Aria Umezawa, The Queen In Me
Anna Theodosakis, The Magic Flute
Arin Arbus, La Traviata
Michael Hidetoshi Mori, R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
Philip Akin, Gould’s Wall
Lighting Design (Marcus Doshi), La Traviata
Projection Design (Cameron Davis), R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
Scenic Design (Cameron Anderson), R.U.R. A Torrent Of Light
Scenic Design (Myung Hee Cho), The Magic Flute
Sound Design/Composition (Debashis Sinha), R.U.A. A Torrent Of Light
In My Body
La bulle
Legacy Tap Dance Concert
Sadhana/Tarana
This Is NOT A Remount (The Miserere Project)
Bagashree Vaze, Sadhana/Tarana
Casimiro Nhussi and Pulga Muchochoma, MUKUTHÔ
Christine Friday, Firewater Thunderbird Rising (Citadel Dance Mix 2021)
Crazy Smooth, In My Body
Travis Knights and Lisa La Touche, Legacy Tap Dance Concert
Bageshree Vaze, Sadhana/Tarana
Casimiro Nhussi, MUKUTHÔ
Christine Friday, Firewater Thunderbird Rising (Citadel Dance Mix 2021)
Kobena Aquaa-Harrison, MUKUTHÔ
Lisa La Touche, Legacy Tap Dance Concert
Piotr Stanczyk, in a state of vanishing (Sharing The Stage: Programme B)
Pulga Muchochoma, MUKUTHÔ
Travis Knights, Legacy Tap Dance Concert
Jordan Alleyne, Yuichiro Inoue, Peter Kelly, Megumi Kokuba, Erin Poole, Devon Snell, Margarita Soria, Roberto Soria, welcome, we’ve been waiting
Julie Rock (Julie Benoît), Anyo (Jerick Collantes), Jayson Collantes, DKC (David Dundas), Bboy Vibz (Romain Gailhaguet), Tash (Natasha Jean-Bart), Crazy Smooth (Yvon Soglo), Nubian Néné (Nadine Sylvestre), Tiffany Leung, In My Body
Syreeta Hector, Jane Alison McKinney, Amanda Pye, on air
Tarika Nath, Ariaki Dandawata, Anindita Anaam, Shivani Badgi, Sadhana/Tarana
Bagheshree Vaze and Vineet Vyas, Sadhana/Tarana
Caroline Planté, Benjamin Barrile and Miguel Medina, Reflejos del Tiempo (Sevillanas) (Ayer y Hoy, Celebrating 40 Years!)
Casimiro Nhussi and Kobena Aquaa-Harrison, MUKUTHÔ
DJ Shash’U, In My Body
Mikael Karlsson, Crypto
Lighting Design (Chantal Labonté), In My Body
Multimedia/Video Design (Thomas Payette), In My Body
Scenic Design (David Danzon, Carolin Lindner), La bulle
Scenic Design (Xavier Mary), In My Body
Sound Design (Donny Milwalkee), Legacy Tap Dance Concert
Alice In Wonderland
Fireside Munsch (’21)
MOBY: A Whale Of A Tale
MORE Fireside Munsch
Spoiiiiiing
Annie Tuma and Lena Maripuu, MOBY: A Whale Of A Tale
Stories by Robert Munsch, adapted by M. John Kennedy (Fireside Munsch ’21)
Stories by Robert Munsch, adapted by M. John Kennedy (MORE Fireside Munsch)
Alex Montagnese, MOBY: A Whale Of A Tale
Dahlia Katz, Fireside Munsch (’21)
Dahlia Katz, MORE Fireside Munsch
Kitt Johnson, Spoiiiiiing
Tyler J. Seguin, Alice In Wonderland
Kiana Woo, Alice In Wonderland
M. John Kennedy, Fireside Munsch (’21)
M. John Kennedy, MORE Fireside Munsch
Samuel Gustavsson, Spoiiiiiing
Sture Ericson, Spoiiiiiing
Amaka Umeh, Annie Tuma, Jamar Adams-Thompson, Lena Maripuu, Alex Millaire, Kaitlin Milroy, MOBY: A Whale Of A Tale
Anne-Marie Krytiuk, Cayne Kitagawa, Lauren Wolanski, Michael Williamson, Muhaddisah, Alice In Wonderland
Outstanding Achievement in Design
Costume Design (Gabriel Vaillant), MOBY: A Whale Of A Tale
Lighting Design (Mogens Kjempff), Spoiiiiiing
Costume Design (Nancy Anne Perrin), Alice In Wonderland
Puppetry (Nancy Anne Perrin), Alice In Wonderland
Scenic Design (Nancy Anne Perrin), Alice In Wonderland
@glennsumi
Glenn Sumi
Glenn started writing for NOW’s theatre section in 1997. Currently, he edits and contributes to the film and stage sections. He sees approximately 280 live stage shows and 150 movies a year. His mother once described his job as “Seeing The Lion King”
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