The sixth annual Toronto Theatre Critics Awards, to be handed out on June 20, recognize the breadth and depth of theatre in the city.
A taut revenge thriller; a queer historical drama double bill; radical re-imaginings of a Quebecois folk tale and a classic Maritimer play. Professional critics representing the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Now Magazine, and Torontoist found plenty of theatre to celebrate from the past year, with the annual Toronto Theatre Critics Awards (or the TTCAs) slated to be shared out to over a dozen different companies.
Factory Theatre and Mirvish Productions tied in the top spot with three awards each, but no one show or company dominated. Mirvish’s Kinky Boots won Best Production of a Musical and acting awards for Alan Mingo Jr. and AJ Bridel, but Best New Musical and Best Director of a Musical went to Red One Theatre Collective’s The Chasse-Galerie, a collectively created seasonal show that’s almost guaranteed to return at the end of the year, while Best Actress in a Musical went to Carly Heffernan in One Night Only, an improvised musical created spontaneously each night by the cast.
Factory Theatre won Best Director (Ravi Jain for Salt Water Moon), Best Actor (Kawa Ada for Bombay Black), and Best Supporting Actor (Danny Ghantous for A Line in The Sand), while Best Production went to Nicholas Billon’s Butcher, part of The Theatre Centre’s November Ticket series. Best New Canadian Play went to Jordan Tannahill’s double bill of Sunday in Sodom and Botticelli in the Fire at Canadian Stage; Tannahill and William Ellis were also specially cited for their curatorship of Videofag, the queer-positive theatre space they’ve run out of their front room for the past four years, which will close next month.
Other awards include Best Actress in a Play for Laura Condlln, who stepped into a previously male cast role in Tarragon Theatre’s remount of Enemy of the People; supporting acting nods for Justin Bott (The Wizard of Oz, Young People’s Theatre) and Anna Chatterton (Gertrude & Alice, at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre); and a split decision in the Best Design category between Soulpepper’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, and Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre’s hybrid dance-performance piece Betroffenheit.
The full list of awards is below. Critics from the publications will present awards to attending recipients at the TTCAs reception and ceremony on June 20 at the Spoke Club (600 King Street West), and a select number of guest spots are available to the public on a first come, first serve basis, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Production of a Play
Butcher by Nicolas Billon, directed by Weyni Mengesha (Butcher’s Block Collective and Why Not Theatre, Theatre Centre)
Best New Canadian Play
Sunday in Sodom and Botticelli in the Fire by Jordan Tannahill, directed by Matjash Mrozewski and Estelle Shook (Canadian Stage)
Best Director of a Play
Ravi Jain, Salt Water Moon by David French (Factory Theatre)
Betroffenheit by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, Owen Belton & Alessandro Juliani & Meg Roe (composition and sound), Jay Gower Taylor (set), Tom Visser (lighting), Nancy Bryant (costumes), directed by Jonathon Young (Kidd Pivot and The Electric Theatre Company, Canadian Stage)
Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Lorenzo Savoini (set and costumes), Kimberly Purtell (lighting), Debashis Sinha (sound), directed by Alan Dilworth (Soulpepper Theatre)
Best Actor in a Play
Kawa Ada, Bombay Black by Anosh Irani, directed by Peter Hinton (Factory Theatre)
Best Actress in a Play
Laura Condlln, Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Florian Borchmeyer, directed by Richard Rose (Tarragon Theatre)
Best Supporting Actor in a Play
Danny Ghantous, Line in the Sand by Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef, directed by Nigel Shawn Williams (Factory Theatre)
Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Anna Chatterton, Gertrude and Alice by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton, directed by Karin Randoja (Independent Aunties, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)
Best New Musical
The Chasse-Galerie by the company, composed by James Smith, directed by Tyrone Savage (Red One Theatre Collective, Storefront Theatre)
Best Production of a Musical
Kinky Boots by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper, directed by Jerry Mitchell (Mirvish Productions)
Best Director of a Musical
Tyrone Savage, The Chasse-Galerie
Best Actor in a Musical
Alan Mingo Jr., Kinky Boots
Best Actress in a Musical
Carly Heffernan, One Night Only by Alan Kliffer and the company, directed by Melody Johnson (Kliffer Entertainment and Golden Ages Productions, Factory Theatre)
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Justin Bott, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Harold Arlen, and E.Y. Harburg, directed by Joey Tremblay (Young People’s Theatre)
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
AJ Bridel, Kinky Boots
Videofag (William Ellis and Jordan Tannahill)
Correction, 2:27 p.m.: Nicolas Billon won Best Production, and Jordan Tannahill won Best New Canadian Play, not the other way around. We regret the error.
Correction, 3:48 p.m.: This article initially misspelled Sarah Ruhl and Laura Condlln’s names. We apologize for the error.