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Onegin leads Jessie Awards with 13 nominations

The cast of the musical Onegin rehearses at Vancouver’s BMO Theatre Centre in March. The play leads in nominations for the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

The new adaptation of Onegin by Vancouver theatre artists Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille leads the nominations for the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. The Arts Club Theatre Company production, which had its world premiere this spring, has received 13 nominations – with nods in each of the large theatre categories.

The Jessies board has also created a new award, in response to criticism that the awards have failed to reflect the diversity of the community. The Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award will recognize excellence in the field of accessibility and inclusion.

The Vancouver Now nominees are Gateway Theatre artistic director Jovanni Sy, Playwright's Theatre Centre, Theatre Terrific, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre artistic director Donna Yamamoto, and Heathers: The Musical for reflecting Vancouver's cultural makeup onstage.

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In the large theatre category, Onegin is up for best large production along with The Arts Club's Good People and The Valley, Rumble Theatre's Cock and the Firehall Arts Centre's The Motherf**ker with the Hat (a production that provoked much heated discussion about diversity in Vancouver's theatre scene).

Nominated for best direction (large theatre) are Mr. Gladstone, David Mackay for Peter and the Starcatcher, Peter Jorgensen for The Best Laid Plans: a Musical, Scott Bellis for The Comedy of Errors at Bard on the Beach, and Stephen Drover for Cock.

Nominated for best lead actor (large theatre) are: Alessandro Juliani (Onegin), Daniel Doheny (The Valley), John Cassini (Motherf**ker), Luc Roderique (In the Heights) and Richie Diggs (Social Studies).

In the best lead actress (large theatre) category, Colleen Wheeler is nominated for Good People, Lisa C. Ravensbergen for God and The Indian, Meg Roe for Onegin, Meghan Gardiner for Dead Metaphor and Naomi Wright for Pride and Prejudice.

Ms. Wheeler is also nominated in the supporting actress (large theatre) category for Peter and the Starcatcher, along with Jenn Griffin (Good People), Lauren Jackson (Onegin), Lori Triolo (Motherf**ker) and Luisa Jojic (The Comedy of Errors).

And up for supporting actor (large theatre) are: Josh Epstein and Andrew McNee for Onegin, Duncan Fraser (Cock), Robert Maloney (Disgraced) and Sayer Roberts (Les Miserables).

Leading the nominations for the small theatre category was Pi Theatre's The Invisible Hand, with eight including outstanding production, best lead actor for Munish Sharma, and Conor Wylie for supporting actor.

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Also nominated for best play (small theatre): Empire of the Son, RIVULETS: 3 short plays about a flood, The North Plan and The Out Vigil. Up for best musical (small theatre) are Heathers: The Musical, Love Bomb and Miss Shakespeare.

Along with Mr. Sharma, up for best lead actor (small theatre) are Alex Rose for Bad Jews, Kevin McNulty for You Will Remember Me, Matthew MacDonald-Bain for The Out Vigil and Tetsuro Shigematsu for Empire of the Son.

For best lead actress (small theatre), the nominees are Claire Hesselgrave for Tender Napalm, Genevieve Fleming for The North Plan, Marisa Smith for Little One, Moya O'Connell for Rapture, Blister, Burn and Stephanie Izsak for The Out Vigil.

Ms. Izsak is also nominated in the supporting category for Scratch, along with Corina Akeson for A Doll's House, Caroline Cave for Miss Shakespeare, Kayla Dunbar for Bad Jews and Gabrielle Rose for The Rivals.

Richard Wolfe has two nominations in the best direction (small theatre) for The Invisible Hand and Empire of the Son, up against Sabrina Evertt for The Out Vigil, Marie Farsi for RIVULETS and Chelsea Haberlin for The North Plan.

Up for best original script: Michelle Deines and Kathryn Kirkpatrick for I am the Bastard Daughter of Engelbert Humperdinck, James Gordon King for RIVULETS, Tracey Power for Miss Shakespeare, Antonette Rea for Miss Understood and Mr. Shigematsu for Empire of the Son.

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In the significant achievement category for large theatre, the nominees are Valerie Easton for A Christmas Story, The Musical (choreography), Tracey Power for Onegin (choreography), Veda Hille and the Ungrateful Dead for musical direction and musical ensemble in Onegin, Caitlin Hayes for Gateway Theatre's Closer Than Ever (musical direction), Wendy Gorling and Morris Panych for movement collaboration for The Waiting Room, and Andrew McNee and Daniel Doheny for outstanding comedic duo in Bard's The Comedy of Errors.

In the significant artistic achievement for small theatre category: Carol Macdonald and Remy Siu are nominated for integration of props, performance, camera and projection in Empire of the Son; Corwin Ferguson for You Will Remember Me for projection design; Joel Sturrock for Tender Napalm (movement direction and choreography); Talia Erdal for A Very Narrow Bridge (performance by a solo musician); and RIVULETS and The North Plan for their site-specific work.

Green Thumb Theatre's Still/Falling received the most nominations in the theatre for young audiences category, with five – one in every category, including outstanding production.

And up for the Georgia Straight Critics' Choice Innovation Award are: Betroffenheit, Empire of the Son, Flee, Romeo + Juliet (Studio 58 with The Chop Theatre) and Radix Theatre's TBD.

The Jessies will be handed out on June 27 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.

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About the Author
Western Arts Correspondent

Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. She covers the film and television industry, visual art, literature, music, theatre, dance, cultural policy, and other related areas. More

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