Les Filles du Roi, an original Canadian musical performed in French, Mohawk and English, leads the nominations for the 37th-annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, recognizing theatre in Vancouver.
Co-created by Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac, Les Filles du Roi was nominated in the small-theatre category for outstanding musical, direction (Payette), sound design or original composition (Payette and Kyra Soko), set design (Marshall McMahen), costume design (McMahen and Konwahonwa:wi Stacey, who designed the beadwork), lighting design (Jeff Harrison) and for performers Raes Calvert, Kaitlyn Yott and Chelsea Rose. The musical, which appeared at the York Theatre last year, was produced by Fugue Theatre and Raven Theatre in association with Urban Ink and The Cultch.
Another Indigenous story, Kamloopa – billed as a political, feminist and daring comedy, and made with an all-female cast and crew – is tied with the French-language theatre company Théâtre la Seizième’s production of Le Soulier (The Shoe) and the Snapshots Collective’s site-specific production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with eight nominations each.
Le Soulier, which had its world premiere in the winter, was nominated for outstanding production (large theatre), direction (Esther Duquette and Gilles Poulin-Denis), lead performances (Félix Beauchamp, Joey Lespérance, France Perras), original script (David Paquet), lighting design (Itai Erdal) and sound design (Malcolm Dow).
Kamloopa – produced by The Cultch in partnership with Western Canada Theatre, Persephone Theatre and Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre, and in collaboration with National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre – was nominated in the large-theatre category for outstanding production, direction and original script (Kim Senklip Harvey), set design (Daniela Masellis), sound design or original composition (Cris Derksen) and received two nominations for significant artistic achievement (outstanding ensemble and outstanding decolonization of theatre spaces and practices). It is also nominated for the Critics’ Choice Innovation Award.
And Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was nominated in the small-theatre category for outstanding musical, direction (Chris Adams), for performers Warren Kimmel, Colleen Winton, Oliver Castillo and Jonathan Winsby; for outstanding costume design and for the Critics’ Choice Innovation Award.
Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts) produced by the frank theatre company and the Queer Arts Festival – and inspired by Vancouver visual artist Paul Wong – is nominated for outstanding play, direction (Lesley Ewen), original script (Ewen), lighting design (James Proudfoot), set design (Khan Lee), sound design or original composition (Stefan Smulovitz) and significant artistic achievement for video design and projection (Sammy Chien).
Bard on the Beach’s production of As You Like It and Pacific Theatre’s Kim’s Convenience each received six nominations, both in the large-theatre category, including best musical (for As You Like It, which employed music by the Beatles) and best play (Kim’s Convenience). The 39 Steps, produced by Circle Bright Productions, received six nominations in the small-theatre category, including outstanding production.
Also nominated for outstanding production in the large-theatre category are Touchstone Theatre’s Kill Me Now and the Arts Club Theatre Company’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Rounding out the nominations for best musical in the large-theatre category are the Arts Club’s productions of Mamma Mia! and Once.
Also nominated for outstanding production in the small-theatre category are: Delinquent Theatre’s Never the Last; The Wolves, produced by With a Spoon Theatre in association with Rumble Theatre; and Itsazoo Productions’s Wet.
Poly Queer Love Ballad, produced by Anais West and Sara Vickruck, rounds out the nominations for best musical for small theatre.
A full list of nominees can be found here: jessieawards.com.
The Jessies will be handed out in Vancouver on July 15.
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