Skip to main content

Agokwe, a new work from 23-year-old Ojibwa artist Waawaate Fobister. Agokwe explores unrequited love between teenage boys from neighbouring reserves.They meet briefly at a post hockey-tournament party where they bashfully confess their desire for each other. However youth, distance and isolation strive to pull the threads apart when tragedy intervenes.

Agokwe, a new play by 23-year-old Ojibwa artist Waawaate Fobister, won six Dora Mavor Moore Awards Monday night - dominating the general theatre division.

The six awards- for outstanding production, new play, performance by a male principal (Fobister), direction (Ed Roy), costume design (Erika Iserhoff) and lighting design (Kimberly Purtell) - were given out at the 30th annual Doras gala at Toronto's Winter Garden Theatre.

Fobister also received a $5,000 gift from the Bluma Appel Community Trust, awarded to the winner of the outstanding new play in this division. The play, mounted at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, explores unrequited love between teenage boys from neighbouring reserves.

Story continues below advertisement

In association with Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian, the Mirvish organization's The Sound of Music earned three Doras, for outstanding production of a musical, performance by a female principal (Elicia MacKenzie) and set design (Robert Jones).

The Dancap production of Jersey Boys garnered two awards - for outstanding direction of a musical (Des McAnuff) and performance by a male principal (Jeff Madden).

Two Doras were presented to artists associated the Canadian Stage Company: Raven Dauda won for outstanding performance by a female in a featured role ( Miss Julie: Freedom Summer ), and John Gzowski won for outstanding sound design/composition ( It's a Wonderful Life ).

The Soulpepper Theatre Company took one award - Alison Sealy-Smith's Dora for outstanding performance by a female principal in a play ( A Raisin in the Sun ).

Outstanding new musical/opera went to Abigail Richardson (composer) and Marjorie Chan (librettist) for Sanctuary Song, produced by Tapestry and Theatre Direct in partnership with Luminato.

Other winners included Anne Manson, for outstanding musical direction ( A Midsummer Night's Dream ), The National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch, for outstanding touring production, and Denise Clarke and Peggy Baker, for outstanding choreography ( Radio Play ).

In the Independent Theatre division, the big winner was Eternal Hydra , produced by Crow's Theatre. Its Dora collection included outstanding production, new play (Anton Piatigorsky), direction (Chris Abraham) and lighting design (John Thompson).

Story continues below advertisement

Other winners in this division included David Ferry (outstanding performance by a male, in Someone Who'll Watch Over Me ); Maja Ardal (outstanding performance by a female, in You Fancy Yourself ); Gillian Gallow (for both the set and costume design of Appetite ); and Waylen Miki (sound design/composition for An Inconvenient Musical ).

In the Dance division, the National Ballet of Canada's Innovation: Emergence swept all four awards - outstanding production, choreography (Crystal Pite), performance (the Ensemble) and sound design/composition (Owen Belton).

In the Opera division, War and Peace (the Canadian Opera Company/English National Opera) won for outstanding production, while Paolo Gavanelli earned a Dora for outstanding performance ( Simon Boccanegra ).

In the Theatre for Young Audiences division, Theatre Direct's Walking the Tightrope won both awards - outstanding production and outstanding performance (Wayne Robson).

In addition, veteran theatre producer Marlene Smith was presented with the Silver Ticket award, annually given to an individual who has excelled in their own career while also nurturing the development of Canadian theatre. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Smith produced dozens of shows, among them Canada's first megamusical, Cats .

And director Brendan Healy was named the 2009 recipient of the $7,000 Pauline McGibbon Award, presented annually on a three-year cycle to young directors, craftspersons and designers. Healy is the incoming Associate Artist at Crow's Theatre, an artist-in-residence at the Theatre Centre and a member of the Soulpepper Academy.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
About the Author

Based in Toronto, Michael Posner has been with the Globe and Mail since 1997, writing for arts, news and features.Before that, he worked for Maclean's Magazine and the Financial Times of Canada, and has freelanced for Toronto Llfe, Chatelaine, Walrus, and Queen's Quarterly magazines. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.