Designer Drew Facey took home three awards at this year's Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
Designer Drew Facey took home three awards at this year's Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards

The annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, more popularly known as The Jessies, has wrapped for another year, recognizing the best in Vancouver theatre.

The big winner of the night was designer Drew Facey who was called to the podium three times to accept trophies in the set design category for both large and small theatre, plus an award for his outstanding body of work in the Theatre for Young Audiences category. Facey received an impressive seven nominations this year, including a sweep in the set design category for large theatre.

Large Theatre Awards

Eight of the Jessie nominations for Pacific Theatre were for the company's production of The Seafarer. Photo by Emily Cooper.
Eight of the Jessie nominations for Pacific Theatre were for the company’s production of The Seafarer. Photo by Emily Cooper.

In the large theatre awards, the Christian-based Pacific Theatre translated its fourteen nominations to four wins including outstanding play for its production of The Seafarer. Its other three wins came from its production of The Foreigner, with John Voth winning for outstanding performance by an actor in a lead role and both Peter Carlone and Erla Faye Forsyth taking home the awards for outstanding performances in a supporting role.

Bard on the Beach came up with three awards for its fifteen nominations including a best director nod for Kim Collier for its production of Hamlet. Colleen Wheeler garnered an award for her lead role performance in Elizabeth Rex and Torquil Campbell and Chris Dumont for outstanding sound design.

The Arts Club Theatre Company took home two awards for Avenue Q in the inaugural outstanding musical category and for significant artistic achievement for its ensemble. Patrick Street Productions , Gateway Theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre took home one award each for their productions of Floyd Collins, Art and Proud respectively.

Small Theatre

Colby Wilson, Meaghan Chenosky, Sebastien Archibald, Ted Cole and Emma Slipp in the ITSAZOO Productions presentation of Killer Joe. Photo by Andrew Klaver.
Colby Wilson, Meaghan Chenosky, Sebastien Archibald, Ted Cole and Emma Slipp in the ITSAZOO Productions presentation of Killer Joe. Photo by Andrew Klaver.

The small theatre category saw its awards spread out among eight productions.

Bob Frazer took lead acting honours for his performance in the Realwheels Theatre production of Whose Life is it Anyway?, with Adrian Muir also winning for the same production in the outstanding lighting design category.

Hardline Productions’ Of Mice and Men received two Jessies including Alec Willows for outstanding performance in a supporting role and Matthew MacDonald-Bain and Malcolm Dow for sound design.

ITSAZOO Theatre Production was acknowledged for its site-specific production of Killer Joe, with awards for outstanding production and Meaghan Chenosky for her supporting role performance.

Richard Wolfe received the outstanding direction award for Inside the Seed.

Theatre for Young Audiences

Betsy Bear (Devon Busswood), Huckle Cat (Colin Sheen) and Grocer Cat (Kayla Dunbar) in the Carousel Theatre for Young People production of Richard Scarry’s Busytown.
Betsy Bear (Devon Busswood), Huckle Cat (Colin Sheen) and Grocer Cat (Kayla Dunbar) in the Carousel Theatre for Young People production of Richard Scarry’s Busytown.

In the Theatre for Young Audiences, Théâtre la Seiziéme was recognized for its production of Extra-Céleste with Anita Rochon taking the award for outstanding artistic creation for her direction of the work, and Dominic Duchesne and Lauren Jackson for their performances.

Busytown, produced by Carousel Theatre for Young People, captured the outstanding production award in this category.

The nominees and winners for The Jessies are chosen by juries in the large ($350,000+ annual budget), small (under $350,000 annual budget), young audiences and script categories. Juries consist of a minimum of eight members for the large, small and young audience categories and 3-5 members for the script reading jury. Jury members are selected by invitation, intended to represent a diverse section of the professional theatre community.

Following is a complete list of the winners:

LARGE THEATRE

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role
John Voth (The Foreigner, Pacific Theatre)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role
Colleen Wheeler (Elizabeth Rex, Bard on the Beach)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Peter Carlone (The Foreigner, Pacific Theatre)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Erla Fay Forsyth (The Foreigner, Pacific Theatre)

Outstanding Lighting Design
Jeff Harrison (Floyd Collins, Patrick Street Productions)

Outstanding Set Design
Drew Facey (Art, Gateway Theatre)

Outstanding Costume Design
Barbara Clayden (Proud, Firehall Arts Centre)

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Torquil Campell and Crish Cumont (Hamlet, Bard on the Beach)

Outstanding Direction
Kim Collier (Hamlet, Bard on the Beach)

Outstanding Production Play
The Seafarer (Pacific Theatre)

Significant Artistic Achievement: Outstanding Ensemble Performance
Scott Bellis, Jeny Cassady, Shannon Chan-Kent, Kayla Dunbar, Evangelis Kambites, Andrew MacDonald Smith, Andy Toth (Avenue Q, Arts Club Theatre Company)

SMALL THEATRE

Actor in a Lead Role
Bob Frazer (Whose Life is it Anyway?, Realwheels Theatre)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role
Emmelia Gordon (Dissolve, Shameless Hussey Productions)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Alec Willows (Of Mice and Men, Hardline Productions)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Meaghan Chenosky (Killer Joe, ITSAZOO Theatre Productions)

Outstanding Lighting Design
Adrian Muir (Whose Life is it Anyway?, Realwheels Theatre)

Outstanding Set Design
Drew Facey (Penelope, Rumble Theatre)

Outstanding Costume Design
Marti Wright (Uncle Vanya, Blackbird Theatre)

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Matthew MacDonald-Bain & Malcolm Dow (Of Mice and Men, Hardline Productions)

Outstanding Direction
Richard Wolfe (Inside the Seed, Up in the Air Theatre)

Outstanding Production Play
Killer Joe (ITSAZOO Theatre Productions)

Significant Artistic Achievement: Outstanding Achievement in Integrated Design
Keith Murray,Mark Sylvester, Christine Reimer, Philip Birkby, Danielle Marlene Gotell, Samantha Tsang, Bill Moysey, Eric Thys Miller, Willliam Hales, Paul Dutton, Maziar Mehrabi (Nothing But Sky, The Only Animal)

THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

Outstanding Performance
Dominic Duchesne and Lauren Jackson (Extra-Celeste, Theatre la Seizieme)

Outstanding Design: Design Ensemble
Cathy Nosaty, GrahamOckley, Stephanie Kong, Al Frisk, Carolyn Rapanos, Mac Hiller (Jack and the Bean, Presentation House Theatre

Outstanding Artistic Creation: Direction
Anita Rochon (Extra-Celeste, Theatre la Seizieme)

Outstanding Production
Busytown (Carousel Theatre for Young People)

Significant Artistic Achievement: Outstanding Body of Work
Drew Facey

ADDITIONAL AWARDS

Outstanding Original Script: Jason Patrick Rothery (Inside the Seed, Up in the Air Theatre)
Critics’ Choice Innovation Award: This Stays in the Room (Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre)
GVPTA Patron of the Arts Award: Darleen Howard
Mary Phillips Prize for Behind-the-Scenes Achievement: Bonnie Allan
Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer: Jay Clift
John Moffat & Larry Lillo Prize: Richard Wolfe
GVPTA Career Achievement Award: Christopher Gaze
Sydney Risk Prize: Billy Marchenski
Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre: David Kerr
Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director: Brian Cochrane