Last year I went out on a limb and picked my winners for the Jessie Awards, the annual recognition of excellence in professional theatre in Vancouver. Continuing that tradition, here are my picks for who I see as most deserving this year.

I must admit this year’s picks were particularly difficult with so many deserving productions, actors and technicians. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds at the end of the month.  (For the record, I have once again stayed away from Theatre For Young Audiences as I saw none of the shows in that category.)

Good luck to all the nominees this year. The 34th annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards will be presented at a ceremony on June 27 at the Commodore Ballroom. Tickets are available online.

Large Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Alessandro Juliani, Onegin
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role – Lisa C. Ravensbergen, God and The Indian
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Josh Epstein, Onegin
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Lori Triolo, The Motherf$cker with the Hat
Outstanding Lighting Design – John Webber, Onegin
Outstanding Set Design – Lauchlin Johnston, Peter and the Starcatcher
Outstanding Costume Design  – Jacqueline Firkins, Onegin
Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition – Veda Hille, Onegin
Outstanding Direction – Amiel Gladstone, Onegin
Outstanding Production – Onegin, Arts Club Theatre Company
Significant Artistic Achievement – Veda Hille and the Ungrateful Dead, Onegin

Small Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Tetsuro Shigematsu, Empire of the Son
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role – Claire Hesselgrave, Tender Napalm
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role  – Conor Wylie, The Invisible Hand
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Caroline Cave, Miss Shakespeare
Outstanding Lighting Design – Gerald King, The Invisible Hand
Outstanding Set Design – Glenn MacDonald, Annapurna
Outstanding Costume Design  – Barbara Clayden, Miss Shakespeare
Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition – Julie Casselman, Tender Napalm
Outstanding Direction – Richard Wolfe, Empire of the Son
Outstanding Production (Musical) – Miss Shakespeare, Musical Theatreworks & The Escape Artists
Outstanding Production  – Empire of the Son, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre
Significant Artistic Achievement – Carole MacDonald and Remy Siu, Empire of the Son
Outstanding Original Script – Tetsuro Shigematsu, Empire of the Son
Critics’ Choice Innovation Award – sorry, no spoilers here