To say it was a busy theatre season is putting it mildly. There were an abundant number of dynamic productions that displayed the dedication, creativity and excellence of artists. All of these works enhance the vibrancy of our city, enriching its residents and visitors alike.
The awards are divided into three categories: Large Theatre, Small Theatre, and Theatre for Young Audiences along with other special awards that comprise the Jessies. In the Large Theatre category there was a total of seven theatre companies whose productions were nominated. The Arts Club Theatre Company led the way receiving a total of 19 nominations from six nominated productions with St. Joan receiving seven of them that included Meg Roe for her Outstanding Performance in the Lead Role and Dean Paul Gibson for his performance in a Supporting Role.
Pacific Theatre had another dynamic year earning an impressive total of 11 nominations with The Whipping Man receiving a total of eight, which includes Tom Pickett for Outstanding Performance by Lead Actor. Actor Robert Salvador received nominations in the category of Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role in Pacific Theatre’s The Rainmaker and in Espresso. Anton Lipovetsky’s performance in Cymbeline by Bard on the Beach was recognized along with five nominations for the play, and Luisa Jojic was nominated for her performance in a Supporting Role for The Tempest.
Notable this year is Théâtre la Seizième who garnered an impressive number of 16 nominations equally divided between the Large Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) categories. The production of À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou received eight nomiations in the Large Theatre category that include both lead actors Joey Lespérance and France Perras as well as Outstanding Production. A new work, Selfie, received eight nominations in the TYA category.
The Small Theatre Category was extremely prolific with a total of 21 theatre companies and 23 productions nominated! Pi Theatre’s production of Blasted received eight nominations followed by ITSAZOO Productions presentation of The Competition is Fierce with a total of seven nominations that include Outstanding Direction, Lighting Design, Set Design, and Outstanding Original Script. Ruby Slippers also had an impressive year with eight nominations for their productions After Me (Après Moi) and The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson with Diane Brown receiving a nod for her lead role in The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson and for her direction of After Me.
Also under the Theatre for Young Audiences category, five nominations were each received by Carousel Theatre for Young People for James and the Giant Peach, The Little Prince by Monster Theatre, and Green Thumb Theatre receiving four nods for Celestial Being and one for Showdown. Axis Theatre Company received two for their new work of Hamelin – A New Fable.
Additional awards that will be presented at the Jessie ceremony include: the Patron of the Arts Award, the Mary Phillips Prize, the Ray Michal Prize for Emerging Director, the Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer, the John Moffat & Larry Lillo Award, the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Innovation Award, and the GVPTA Career Achievement Award.
The 33rd Annual Ceremony will again be held at the beautiful Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, on Monday, June 22, 2015, doors open at 5:30pm, ceremony at 6:30pm. Tickets are $29.50 plus service charges, through Ticketmaster 1-855-985-5000 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca. The ceremony is being produced and directed by Vancouver TheatreSports who make the evening celebration one not to be missed.