The red carpets have been walked. The flashbulbs have popped. The stack of slightly creepy clown statues are in the hands of their rightful owners. The 34th annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards were given out last night, June 24, and numerous queer people walked away with trophies.
Writer/director/Videofag co-head Jordan Tannahill clinched the Outstanding New Play award in the Theatre for Young Audiences Division with his unconventional work rihannaboi95. Rather than use a tradition theatre or even a site-specific location, the monologue exploring a South Asian teen’s experiences with bullying and homophobia was broadcast nightly on the internet for a week this past April.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre had dominated the nominations, with 21 nods given to plays gracing its stage this past season. When it came to the goods, the company performed equally well. Tawiah M'Carthy’s Obaaberima (about a young Ghanaian immigrant in a Canadian prison on the eve of his release) took home the top award for Outstanding Production as well as nods for Michelle Ramsay’s lighting design and Kobena Aquaa-Harrison’s sound design. The company’s other heavily nominated show (Daniel MacIvor’s Arigato, Tokyo) claimed the award for Outstanding Set Design, for Julie Fox’s beautifully minimalist yet versatile interior.
Founding artistic director Sky Gilbert’s tale of spinster sisters, A Few Brittle Leaves, snagged actor Gavin Crawford the award for Outstanding Performance-Male in the Independent Theatre Division. Writer/director Alistair Newton’s ambitious Lady Gaga musical,Of a Monstrous Child, was also heavily favoured in the nominations, and Stratford Festival veteran Bruce Dow took home the trophy for Outstanding Performance-Male in the Musical Theatre Division for his role as seminal art fag Leigh Bowery (no doubt in part for literally showing his balls onstage, as he stripped to his birthday suit in one of the show’s most memorable moments).
Initiated in 1978 by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts as a means of recognizing the city’s top talents in theatre, dance and opera, the Dora Awards have played a crucial role in the career of many artists. Whether claiming a prize or simply being nominated, the recognition garnered by landing on the list is both an important door-opener for new talent and a welcome recognition for established artists. For those hungry to have their works recognized next year, registration for the 2013/14 season is already underway.
Visit tapa.ca/doras for information on the registration process.