Partnerships and community spirit dominate at the 16th annual Betty Mitchell Awards!
Recipients of the 16th Annual Betty Mitchell Awards were announced during a gala event at Stage West Theatre Restaurant on Monday, August 26, 2013. This year’s award ceremony paid homage to 81 nominations in 16 award categories from 56 eligible productions.
The evening of awards honouring Calgary’s 2012/2013 professional theatre season was hosted by two of Calgary’s most vibrant theatre artists, Nicole Zylstra and Stafford Perry, who opened the evening with an ode to every actor’s life struggle – a song entitled “Cast Me Maybe” (a lighthearted parody of “Call Me Maybe”).
In addition to having some fun, the awards gala also took time to recognize the significant impact the 2013 flooding in Southern Alberta had on the performing arts community. His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi delivered a stirring call out to the audience to support flood impacted businesses and communities. Never ones to wallow, the Bettys stage show celebrated the efforts made by members of the theatre community to assist each other (in some cases total strangers) in surviving and recovering from the devastating effects of the flood waters.
The presentations of awards began strong for Vertigo Theatre, with the award for Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role going to Natascha Girgis for The Ends of the Earth. Following that, there was a double-bill of Terry Gunvordahl winning Outstanding Lighting Design and Outstanding Set Design for Double Indemnity.
Alberta Theatre Projects was well-recognized with eight awards: Intimate Apparel represented well in two categories, with Graham Percy receiving Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Deitra Kalyn receiving Outstanding Costume Design. The God That Comes received Outstanding Sound Design or Composition for Hawksley Workman and Christian Barry and was applauded with Outstanding Production of a Musical. Continuing their long tradition of popular work, The Apology received the FFWD Readers’ Choice Award, and Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Comedy Or Musical went to Scott Shpeley for his role as Snoopy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Red rounded out Alberta Theatre Projects’ honours, receiving both Outstanding Direction for Vanessa Porteous, and nabbing Outstanding Production of a Play.
The evening also conferred individual successes on a number of people and productions, including Outstanding Choreography Or Fight Direction going to Karl Sine for William Shakespeare’s Land Of The Dead: A True And Accurate Account Of The 1599 Zombie Plague; Julie Orton receiving Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Comedy Or Musical for her role in Scarlet Woman, and Outstanding New Play going to Arun Lakra for Sequence. Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Drama recognized Geneviève Paré for her role in Polygraph, and Haysam Kadri took home Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Drama for Bashir Lazhar.
There was only one tie in the evening, with Don Horsburgh (Next To Normal) sharing the spotlight with Joe Slabe (Maria Rasputin Presents).
The Juried Awards emphasized efforts made to enrich the lives of the people within the Calgary performing arts community, with Nova Lea Thorne honoured with the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award; Onalea Gilbertson with the Greg Bond Memorial Award honouring outstanding contribution to musical theatre in Calgary; and Richard McDowell receiving the Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award Honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production. In addition, the Stage Door staff at the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts were acknowledged for their vigilance and devotion to the success of the people and companies gracing their building with the 2013 Outstanding Contribution award.
The Betty Mitchell Awards are a significant annual event for Calgary’s professional theatre community. These awards recognize the continued level of excellence in our theatres, raise the profile of live performance in our city, and encourage audience growth.
2013 Betty Mitchell Awards Recipients Listing
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Natascha Girgis – The Ends of the Earth – Vertigo Theatre
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN Terry Gunvordahl – Double Indemnity – Vertigo Theatre
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN Terry Gunvordahl – Double Indemnity – Vertigo Theatre
DUVAL LANG THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES AWARD Nova Lea Thorne presented in conjunction with Quest Theatre
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Graham Percy – Intimate Apparel – Alberta Theatre Projects
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN Deitra Kalyn – Intimate Apparel – Alberta Theatre Projects
OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN OR COMPOSITION Hawksley Workman and Christian Barry – The God That Comes – Alberta Theatre Projects/2b theatre company
FFWD READERS’ CHOICE AWARD The Apology – Alberta Theatre Projects
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY OR FIGHT DIRECTION Karl Sine – William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead: A True and Accurate Account of the 1599 Zombie Plague – Ground Zero Theatre/Hit & Myth Productions/The Shakespeare Company
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION Don Horsburgh – Next to Normal – Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre (TIE) Joe Slabe – Maria Rasputin Presents – Forte Musical Theatre Guild (TIE)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A COMEDY OR MUSICAL Julie Orton – Scarlet Woman – Lunchbox Theatre
GREG BOND MEMORIAL AWARD HONOURING OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSICAL THEATRE IN CALGARY Onalea Gilbertson
DEAN OTT/DEBBIE BOULT AWARD HONOURING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL PRODUCTION Richard McDowell
2013 Betty Mitchell Awards Recipients Listing (continued)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A COMEDY OR MUSICAL Scott Shpeley – You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – Alberta Theatre Projects
OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY Arun Lakra – Sequence
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION Vanessa Porteous – Red – Alberta Theatre Projects
BETTY MITCHELL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THEATRE IN CALGARY The EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts Stage Door Staff
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A DRAMA Geneviève Paré – Polygraph – Sage Theatre
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A DRAMA Haysam Kadri – Bashir Lazhar – Downstage
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL The God That Comes – Alberta Theatre Projects/2b theatre company
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY Red – Alberta Theatre Projects