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The 2014 Jessies: See who won big in Vancouver theatre

Colleen Wheeler so committed herself to the role of Queen Elizabeth I that she shaved off her curly red hair.

Vancouver's Pacific Theatre had a good night at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, picking up four Jessies and nearly sweeping the large-theatre acting categories. In addition to winning outstanding production for The Seafarer, Pacific Theatre picked up awards for best actor for John Voth, supporting actor for Peter Carlone, and supporting actress for Erla Faye Forsyth – all for Larry Shue's The Foreigner.

Colleen Wheeler won the Jessie for best actress in the large-theatre category for Elizabeth Rex at Bard on the Beach. Bard picked up two Jessies for its production of Hamlet – Kim Collier won for directing and Torquil Campbell and Chris Dumont won for outstanding sound design or original composition.

The Arts Club Theatre Company's production of Avenue Q won two Jessies – for outstanding musical, and the significant artistic achievement award for outstanding ensemble performance.

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In the small theatre category, ITSAZOO Theatre's Killer Joe won for outstanding production; and Meaghan Chenosky won for supporting actress.

Realwheels Theatre's production of Whose Life is it Anyway? also won two Jessies – for lead actor Bob Frazer, while Adrian Muir won for outstanding lighting design.

Hardline Productions' Of Mice and Men also picked up two Jessies – for supporting actor (Alec Willows) and sound design (Matthew MacDonald-Bain and Malcolm Dow).

Up in the Air Theatre's Inside the Seed won two Jessies as well – Richard Wolfe was recognized for outstanding direction, and Jason Patrick Rothery won for outstanding original script.

Emmelia Gordon won the Jessie for best actress in the small-theatre category, for Shameless Hussy Productions' one-woman show Dissolve.

Designer Drew Facey, who received seven nominations – including four in the same category – picked up three awards, winning best set design in the large-theatre category for Gateway Theatre's "Art"; outstanding set design in the small-theatre category for Rumble Theatre's Penelope; and the award for Significant Artistic Achievement in the theatre for young audiences category for his outstanding body of work.

The Only Animal's Nothing But Sky won the award for Significant Artistic Achievement in the small-theatre category, for outstanding achievement in integrated design.

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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre's This Stays in the Room, which had its world premiere in March, won the Georgia Straight Critics' Choice Innovation Award.

And in the theatre for young audiences category, Carousel Theatre's Busytown won for outstanding production, while Théâtre la Seizième picked up two awards for Extra-Céleste: outstanding performance (Dominic Duchesne and Lauren Jackson); and outstanding artistic creation (Anita Rochon, for direction).

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About the Author
Western Arts Correspondent

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. She covers the film and television industry, visual art, literature, music, theatre, dance, cultural policy, and other related areas. More

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