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Joe Cobden in An Enemy of the People.

Cylla von Tiedemann/Tarragon

Richard Rose doesn't want credit for another man's work.

Tarragon Theatre's artistic director has declined a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for direction he received on Monday morning for his staging of An Enemy of the People – an update of Henrik Ibsen's 1882 play about municipal corruption.

The Tarragon production is based on a celebrated one from Berlin's Schaubühne theatre that has toured to New York and Montreal.

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Rose's staging is largely a re-creation of the original direction by German director Thomas Ostermeier wherein the main character is hit by a barrage of water balloons filled with paint and the audience is invited to participate in a town-hall debate.

"We tried to make it clear in our program and advertising that I was just staging it," he said in a telephone interview. "It's a bit different from [Schaubühne's] production, but basically it's theirs – so I'm going to decline."

Rose added that his theatre company had attempted to inform the Dora nominating committee in advance that he had staged the show and not directed it.

Jacoba Knaapen, executive director of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts that runs the Doras, took responsibility for the situation after hearing from Rose – saying that "an internal administrative error" led to Rose being nominated for what was mostly another man's directorial vision.

"This is an unfortunate mistake and by no means do we wish to misrepresent Richard Rose," she said in a statement sent to The Globe and Mail.

"We recognize the complexity of contemporary theatre creation practices and his nomination for Outstanding Direction in the General Theatre Division is being withdrawn."

Tarragon received a total of six Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for its production of An Enemy of the People, which was a critical and popular success and will be remounted next season. It will continue to compete for five awards, including outstanding production in the general theatre division, up against Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Soulpepper), Twelve Angry Men (Soulpepper), Hooked (Theatre Passe Muraille) and Tom at the Farm (Buddies in Bad Times).

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