THE SCOOP | The Winners Of The 2018 Dora Awards, Celebrating Excellence in Toronto’s Performing Arts

By Michael Vincent on June 26, 2018

The 39th annual competition took place June 25 at the Winter Garden Theatre.

A Scene from Against the Grain Theatre's Orphée (Photo: Blake Manns)
A Scene from Against the Grain Theatre’s Orphée (Photo: Blake Manns)

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards (the Dora Awards) awarded their special top prices last night to Sarah Conn (recipient of the 2018 Pauline McGibbon Award) and David Fox (The Silver Ticket Award). Hosted by actor Astrid Van Wieren, it took place June 25 at the Winter Garden Theatre of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre.

The big surprise of the evening came from the opera division, with the Canadian Opera Company completely shut out from their 10 nominations. It was a stark contrast to last year, where the company received a total of 27 nominations, winning three.

This year it was Against the Grain’s turn to lead the pack with five awards for Orphée+ Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance – Female (Marcy Richardson, Outstanding Performance – Ensemble, Outstanding Costume Design (Zane Pihlström), and Outstanding Choreography (Austin McCormick).


Tapestry’s The Overcoat — A Musical Tailoring, took home three for Outstanding Performance – Male (Geoffrey Sirett ), Outstanding Scenic Design (Ken MacDonald), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Alan Brodie).

In the competitive Musical Theatre division, it was Life After, co-produced by The Musical Stage Company, Canadian Stage and Yonge Street Theatricals that made the most impact with the judges for a total of six Doras: Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Musical/Opera (Britta Johnson), Outstanding Direction (Robert McQueen), Outstanding Performance – Female (Tracy Michailidis), Outstanding Performance – Ensemble and Outstanding Musical Direction (Lynne Shankel and Reza Jacobs).

In the General Theatre Division, Company Theatre’s Jerusalem led the way with six Dora Awards: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction (Mitchell Cushman), Outstanding Performance – Male (Kim Coates), Outstanding Performance – Ensemble and Outstanding Scenic Design (Nick Blais), and Outstanding Lighting Design (André du Toit). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille co-production of Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools earned two Doras for Outstanding New Play (Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory) and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition (Evalyn Parry and Cris Derksen).

The Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company lead the pack in the Dance division with three awards for De La Raíz (From the Root): Outstanding Performance – Male (Juan Ogalla), Outstanding Sound Design/Composition (Caroline Planté and Benjamin Barrile), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Sharon DiGenova).


Runners-up included the Akram Khan Company (Luminato) winning the coveted Outstanding Production for Until the Lions. Hanna Kiel from DanceWorks/Human Body Expression landed one award for Chasing the Path (Outstanding Original Choreography). Peggy Baker Dance Projects was taped for Outstanding Performance – Female for unmoored (Map by Years), and the Ensemble of FLOOR’D took home a statue for Outstanding Performance – Ensemble (Holla Jazz).

Now in its 12th year, the Bluma’s Indies backed winners in the Independent Theatre Division included Bears (Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre, and pool (no water) (Cue6 Theatre), The Coal Mine Theatre’s The Aliens, Adedo Collective, and The Watah Theatre’s Addicted.

The sought-after Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award was handed out to Jerusalem, produced by Outside the March and Company Theatre, in association with Starvox Entertainment.

The Outstanding Touring Production went to En Avant Marche! (Luminato presents NTGent and les ballets C de la B production in collaboration with VLAMO).

Michael Vincent
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