31st Annual Jessie Awards-6

Vancouver’s best theater party is back for its 34th season! On Monday, June 27, head over to the Commodore Ballroom to cheer on some of the city’s finest theater companies and their productions at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.

Linda Leon's Jessie for Set, Props, and Costume Design/Theatre for Young Audiences

For the uninitiated, the Jessie Awards are divided into three categories: Large Theatre, Small Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences (plus other special awards). The nominations were announced last month. Here’s a recap of the highlights to get you up to speed for the big night. 

The Arts Club Theatre Company is nominated for 11 productions for a total of 34 nominations. Their inventive production of Onegin is the runaway winner picking up 13 nominations, including Meg Roe and Alessandro Juliani for their Outstanding Performances in Lead Roles.

Andrew McNee accepts Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role/Large Theatre Jessie Award for Boeing-Boeing
[Andrew McNee accepts Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role/Large Theatre, 2013]

In addition, Good People, The Valley and Peter and the Starcatcher each have four nominations with Colleen Wheeler nominated for an Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role in Good People and for her Supporting Role performance in Peter and the Starcatcher.

Bard on the Beach has seven nominations – one for Love’s Labour’s Lost and six for Comedy of Errors with Scott Bellis nominated for Outstanding Direction.

Three cheers for John Moffat and Larry Lillo Prize winner Christine Hackman

Rumble Theatre’s powerful production of Cock is nominated for three awards alongside Stephen Drover’s recognition for Outstanding Direction.

Firehall Arts Centre & Haberdashery Theatre earned three nominations for The MotherF**ker with the Hat, along with the Firehall Arts Centre securing one nomination each for Social Studies, Dead Metaphor and God and the Indian.

Bill Millerd announcing GVPTA Career Achievement Jessie Award
[Bill Millerd announcing GVPTA Career Achievement Jessie, 2013]

The Small Theatre Category has a total of 21 theatre companies and 23 production nominations.

Munish Sharma was recognized for his performance in Pi Theatre’s production of The Invisible Hand that received a stellar eight nominations followed by Babelle Theatre’s presentation of RIVULETS: 3 short plays about a flood earning six nominations.

Upintheair Theatre’s production of The North Plan and Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production of Empire of the Son secured a total of five nominations each, both for Outstanding Direction & Production.

A little Jessie Awards entertainment
[A little Jessie Awards entertainment]
In the Under the Theatre for Young Audiences category, Green Thumb Theatre have two 2016 productions nominated with a total of six nods – Caitlin McFarlane for The Invisible Girl and Olivia Hutt for her moving work in Still/Falling.

Théâtre la Seizième secured a total of four nominations for Mathieu Mathématiques, with director Giles Poulin-Denis nominated for Artistic Creation along with Drew Facey for Outstanding Design.

A new award this year — Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award — recognizes excellence in the field of accessibility and inclusion. The inaugural nominees include Gateway Theatre – Jovanni Sy, Playwright’s Theatre Centre, Theatre Terrific, Donna Yamamoto and Heathers: The Musical.

Jenn Stewart accepts Sam Payne Award for Most Promising Newcomer
[Jenn Stewart accepts Sam Payne Award for Most Promising Newcomer, 2013]

Additional awards to be presented at the ceremony on June 27 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.

This is a fun evening that includes campy entertainment and a who’s-who of Vancouver’s theater scene. Tickets are still available.

34th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Show & Party

Date: June 27, doors at 5:30 pm; ceremony begins at 6:30 pm
Venue: Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $29.50; available in advance online

All photos by Ariane Colenbrander.

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