The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, Misery & Hand To God
The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, Misery & Hand To God

Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre and Arts Club Theatre Company were the big winners at this year’s Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.

Known simply as “The Jessies”, the annual awards were presented today in a ceremony under the Bard on the Beach main stage tent at Vanier Park. Recognizing the best of Vancouver’s professional theatre as largely chosen by peer juries, the awards are given out for large and small theatre, and theatre for young audiences.

The big winner in the small theatre category was Rumble Theatre’s production of The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius which took home six statues.

Included among the show’s awards was Stephen Drover’s win for outstanding direction. Ironically perhaps, Drover also took home outstanding direction honours in the large theatre category for the Arts Club’s production of Hand to God.  Titus Bouffonius marked Drover’s final show as Rumble’s artistic director, after it was announced he would be moving on to become associate artistic director for the Arts Club.

Titus Bouffonius also picked up the small theatre awards for outstanding production, outstanding ensemble, and individual awards for lighting (Sophie Tang) and set & costume design (Drew Facey).

Other winners in the small theatre category included Omari Newton for his performance in SpeakEasy Theatre’s production of The Shipment, Shayna Jones’s performance in Ruined by Dark Glass Theatre, and Daniel Deorksen and Kurt Schindelka for outstanding sound design or original composition for Seven Tyrants Theatre’s A Steady Rain. Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre also took home a significant artistic achievement trophy for 1 Hour Photo.

In the large theatre category, the Arts Club Theatre Company was the big winner, taking home a total of seven awards, with its productions of Misery and Hand to God each receiving three. Its production of Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika took home a single award for outstanding sound design or original composition for Torquil Campbell and Alessandro Juliani.

Along with Drover’s directing win for Hand to God, other Arts Club wins included Andrew McNee and Lucia Frangione for their outstanding performances in Misery, and Lauchlin Johnston for his set design in the same show.

Individual nods in the large theatre category went to Jeff Harrison (lighting) and Jeny Cassady (significant artistic achievement), for the Arts Club’s Hand to God, and Christine Reimer received a Jessie for costume design for the Bard on the Beach production of Much Ado About Nothing.

The award for outstanding performance by an ensemble went to Neworld Theatre’s production of King Arthur’s Night, while the biggest honour in the category went to Pacific Theatre’s production of Outside Mullingar, which walked away with the outstanding production win.

In the Theatre for Young People category, it was the Green Thumb Theatre Company who came up aces, sweeping the entire category for its production of The Code, and its Neworld co-production of Jabber.

Other awards handed out during the evening included Jovanni Sy’s outstanding original script win for Nine Dragons, and Rohit Chokhani was awarded the Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award.

For the first time, the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award had two winners, honouring both the powerful Japanese Problem by Universal Limited, and the inventive Multiple Organism from Mind of a Snail. The innovation award jury consists of Vancouver Presents contributing editor Mark Robins, and independent theatre critics Jo Ledgingham and Colin Thomas.

A complete listing of winners follows:

Small Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor
Omari Newton – The Shipment – SpeakEasy Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actress
Shayna Jones – Ruined – Dark Glass Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble
Sarah Afful, Peter Anderson, Craig Erickson, Pippa Mackie, Naomi Wright – The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius – Rumble Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design
Sophie Tang – The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius – Rumble Theatre

Outstanding Set Design
Drew Facey – The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius – Rumble Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design
Drew Facey – The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius – Rumble Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Daniel Deorksen & Kurt Schindelka – A Steady Rain – Seven Tyrants Theatre

Outstanding Direction
Stephen Drover – The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius – Rumble Theatre

Outstanding Production
The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius – Rumble Theatre

Significant Artistic Achievement
Tetsuro Shigematsu, Jamie Nesbitt & Susan Miyagishima – 1 Hour Photo – Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre – Outstanding technical design and execution for the purpose of historical storytelling

Large Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor
Andrew McNee – Misery – Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Performance by an Actress
Lucia Frangione – Misery – Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble
Amber Funk Barton, Andrew Gordon, Nathan Kay, Tiffany King, Billy Marchenski, Niall McNeill, Lucy McNulty, Kerry Sandomirsky, Matthew Tom-Wing, Marcus Youssef and Lucy Cairns – King Arthur’s Night – Neworld Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design
Jeff Harrison – Hand to God – Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Set Design
Lauchlin Johnston – Misery – Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume Design
Christine Reimer – Much Ado About Nothing – Bard on the Beach

Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Torquil Campbell and Alessandro Juliani – Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika – Arts Club Theatre Company

Georgia Straight Outstanding Direction
Stephen Drover – Hand to God – Arts Club Theatre Company

Outstanding Production
Outside Mullingar – Pacific Theatre

Significant Artistic Achievement
Jeny Cassady – Hand to God – Outstanding Puppet Design and Coaching – Arts Club Theatre Company

Theatre for Young Audiences

Outstanding Performance
Parmiss Sehat – Jabber – Green Thumb Theatre and Neworld Theatre

Outstanding Design
Shizuka Kai, Joel Grinke, and Mishelle Cuttler – Set/Projection/Sound – Jabber – Green Thumb Theatre and Neworld Theatre

Outstanding Artistic Creation
Chelsea Haberlin – Directing – Jabber – Green Thumb Theatre and Neworld Theatre

Outstanding Production
The Code – Green Thumb Theatre

Significant Artistic Achievement
Green Thumb Theatre – The Code – Outstanding Artistic Achievement for exceptional presentation of contemporary, far reaching teen issues

ADDITIONAL AWARDS

Outstanding Original Script
Jovanni Sy – Nine Dragons – Vertigo Theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, & Gateway Theatre

Critic’s Choice Innovation Award
Japanese Problem  – Universal Limited and Multiple Organism – Mind of a Snail

Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award
Rohit Chokhani

Patron of the Arts Award
Bonnie Mah

Mary Phillips Prize for Behind the Scenes Achievement
Ruth McIntosh

Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer
Tai Amy Grauman

John Moffat & Larry Lilo Prize
John Patterson

GVPTA Career Achievement Award
John Wright

Sydney Risk Prize
Rachel Aberle

Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre
Bruce Kennedy

Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director
Genevieve Fleming

Gordon Armstrong Playwright’s Rent Award
Devon More