The Winners From The 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards

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The Winners From The 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards

An expanded slate of critics recognized exceptional shows such as Robert Lepage's 887, Annie Baker's John, and Sankoff & Hein's hit musical Come From Away.

The Toronto-created Come From Away has won three major Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Toronto-created Come From Away has won three major Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. Photo by Matthew Murphy.


It should come as little surprise that Come From Away, the musical created here in Toronto by David Hein and Irene Sankoff (in association with Sheridan College’s Canadian Musical Theatre Project), is being well lauded by this year’s Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. The show, which tells the story of Newfoundlanders who took in air travellers stranded by the events of 9/11, and was one of Torontoist‘s cultural highlights of 2016, is currently wowing critics and crowds on Broadway, and is considered a front-runner at the forthcoming Tony Awards (and certainly, Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards).

Come From Away‘s winter Mirvish Productions run picked up Best New Musical, Best Director Of a Musical for Christopher Ashley, and Best Production of a Musical (that award may also be viewed as a best ensemble nod). In the individual musical categories, actors Beau Dixon and Vanessa Sears won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively for their roles in Passing Strange, an autobiographical rock and roll musical by New York-based artist Stew, which was co-produced by Acting Up Stage (now known as the Musical Stage Company) and Obsidian Theatre.

Obsidian Theatre also took major awards in the play categories for their co-production (with the Shaw Festival) of Athol Fugard’s Master Harold.. and the Boys, winning Best Director Of a Play for Philip Akin, Best Actor for André Sills, and Best Supporting Actor for James Daly. (The show was another Torontoist 2016 highlight.) Other major awards in the category were split between Company Theatre’s production of Annie Baker’s John, and Ex Machina’s production of Robert Lepage’s 887.

Left to right, Andre Sills, James Daly, and Allan Louis star in Master Harold... And The Boys. Photo by David Cooper.

Left to right, Andre Sills, James Daly, and Allan Louis star in Master Harold… And The Boys. Photo by David Cooper.

More awards that may come as surprises: Best Actress in a Play went to deaf performer Dawn Jani Birley for her role as Horatio in WhyNot Theatre’s Prince Hamlet, which revised the Shakespearean classic to tell the story from that character’s perspective, with remarkable skill. And Best New Canadian Play went to Quote Unquote Collective’s Mouthpiece, a scrappy feminist two-hander by Norah Sadava and Amy Nostbakken.

This year, the Toronto Theatre Critics Awards moved to a “one critic one vote” system, replacing the previous “one vote per outlet” system, recognizing that multiple local critics contribute to multiple outlets. Critics invited to participate were expected to have seen the majority of Toronto theatrical work produced since last May’s 2016 TTCAs.

The full list of winners follows. Those winners will be presented with their awards at an invite-only reception and ceremony taking place on June 19 at the Globe and Mail Centre. Also taking place at that ceremony: a special tribute to the late Jon Kaplan, beloved veteran reviewer for NOW Magazine.


Loretta Yu in Company Theatre's production of JOHN. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Loretta Yu in Company Theatre’s production of JOHN. Photo by Dahlia Katz.


Best Production Of A Play **TIE**

John by Annie Baker, directed by Jonathan Goad (The Company Theatre)

AND

887 written and directed by Robert Lepage (Ex Machina and Canadian Stage)


Best New Canadian Play

Mouthpiece by Norah Sadava and Amy Nostbakken (Quote Unquote Collective and Nightwood Theatre)


Best International Play
John by Annie Baker, directed by Jonathan Goad (The Company Theatre)

Best Director Of A Play

Philip Akin, Master Harold… and the Boys by Athol Fugard (Obsidian Theatre and The Shaw Festival)


Best Design

Robert Lepage, Jean-Sébastian Côté, Laurent Routhier, and Félix Fradet-Faguy, 887 by Robert Lepage (Ex Machina and Canadian Stage)



Best Actor In A Play

André Sills, Master Harold… and the Boys by Athol Fugard (Obsidian Theatre and The Shaw Festival)


Best Actress In A Play

Dawn Jani Birley, Prince Hamlet by William Shakespeare and adapted by Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre and Soulpepper Theatre)


Best Supporting Actress In A Play

Nora McLellan, John by Annie Baker, directed by Jonathan Goad (The Company Theatre)


Best Supporting Actor In A Play

James Daly, Master Harold… and the Boys by Athol Fugard (Obsidian Theatre and The Shaw Festival)



Best New Musical

Come From Away by David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Mirvish Productions and Junkyard Dog Productions)


Best Production Of A Musical

Come From Away by David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Mirvish Productions and Junkyard Dog Productions)


Best Director Of A Musical

Christopher Ashley, Come From Away by David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Mirvish Productions and Junkyard Dog Productions)


Best Actor In A Musical

Beau Dixon, Passing Strange by Stew (Acting Up Stage Productions and Obsidian Theatre)


Best Actress In A Musical

Patricia Cano, The Post Mistress by Tomson Highway (Théâtre Francais de Toronto and Pleiades Theatre)


Best Supporting Actor In A Musical

Dan Chameroy, Matilda by Roald Dahl, adapted by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly (Mirvish Productions, Dodgers Theatricals, and Royal Shakespeare Company)


Best Supporting Actress In A Musical

Vanessa Sears, Passing Strange by Stew (Acting Up Stage Productions and Obsidian Theatre)


Special Citation

Jon Kaplan


Jon Kaplan. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Jon Kaplan. Photo by Dahlia Katz.


The 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards adjudicators: Robert Cushman, Steve Fisher, Karen Fricker, Christopher Hoile, Carly Maga, Martin Morrow, J. Kelly Nestruck, Lynn Slotkin, and Glenn Sumi.

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