2014 Betty Mitchell Awards Honour the People and Companies Who ARE Calgary’s Performing Arts Past and Present.
For a full list of award nominees and recipients, click here.
Recipients of the 17th Annual Betty Mitchell Awards were announced during a gala event at Stage West Theatre Restaurant on Monday, August 18, 2014. The recipients were selected from among 86 nominations across 17 categories from 11 companies presenting 32 distinct shows.
The evening of awards honouring Calgary’s 2013/2014 professional theatre season was hosted by Stephen Hair, a long time Calgary theatre artist best known for his crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge in Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol for 20+ years.
The evening’s awards began with some saucy language when Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role went to Carmen Aguirre as it was for her performance in The Motherf***er With The Hat (Alberta Theatre Projects). Other performers celebrated were Mathieu Bourassa, Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role for Michel & Ti-Jean (Sage Theatre); Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Comedy Or Musical going to Natascha Girgis for Around The World In 80 Days (Alberta Theatre Projects); Outstanding Performance By An Actress In A Drama celebrating multiple-Betty award winner Jamie Konchak for her turn in The Red Priest (Eight Ways To Say Goodbye) (Alberta Theatre Projects.)
Scott Reid took home Outstanding Lighting Design for his work on In The Heat Of The Night (Vertigo Theatre) and Anton De Groot took home Outstanding Set Design for Travels With My Aunt (Vertigo Theatre) while Outstanding Projection Or Video Design came down to a tie between Jamie Nesbitt for The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Vertigo Theatre) and Sean Nieuwenhuis for The Mountaintop (Theatre Calgary.) Outstanding Costume Design went to Judith Bowden for her stunning designs showcased in The Great Gatsby (Theatre Calgary.) Outstanding Sound Design And Composition went to the pair of Jeremy Parker With Foley Props By Kevin Corey for Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play (Vertigo Theatre.)
The victor who came out on top for Outstanding Fight Direction Or Choreography was Trevor Schmidt for 6.0 How Heap And Pebble Took On The World And Won (Lunchbox Theatre.) Joe Slabe rang a wonderful note for Outstanding Musical Direction for Touch Me: Songs For A (Dis)Connected Age (Forte Musical Theatre Guild.)
Rounding out the awards were Outstanding New Play, going to You Will Remember Me by François Archambault Translated By Bobby Theodore (Alberta Theatre Projects); Simon Mallett for Outstanding Direction with Travels With My Aunt (Vertigo Theatre); Outstanding Production Of A Musical lauded Disney And Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (Theatre Calgary) and Outstanding Production Of A Play celebrated Twelfth Night (The Shakespeare Company.)
Taking home the one award decided on by the general public through the FFWD Weekly Readers’ Choice Award was Legend Has It (Alberta Theatre Projects).
Betty Mitchell Awards Steering Committee member Deborah Ferguson gave a moving and enlightening tribute to the force of nature for whom the Betty Mitchell Awards is named, Dr. Betty Mitchell. The show also honoured a new Bettys tradition, Bettyball – a fun softball game played between the “big” Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and the independent theatre producers. Team Indie may have won Bettyball, but it was the PACT houses that took home the lion’s share of the Betty Mitchell Awards; Vertigo Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects each walked away with six awards, Theatre Calgary with three, and The Shakespeare Company, Lunchbox Theatre, Forte Musical Theatre Guild and Sage Theatre each catching one award each.
The second tie of the evening saw Andrew Macdonald Smith (Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins [Theatre Calgary]) share the accolade for Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Comedy Or Musical with Michael Tan (Travels With My Aunt [Vertigo Theatre]).
The Juried Awards emphasized three folks who exemplify long-term dedication to the community and excellence in their respective crafts with Rose Brow honoured with the Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award; Jack Jamieson receiving the Dean Ott/Debbie Boult Award Honouring Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production; and the normally raucous Bettys crowd sat in rapt attention as Willy Joosen played the piano as his acceptance “speech” for the Greg Bond Memorial Award honouring outstanding contribution to musical theatre in Calgary;
The 2013/2014 professional theatre season (June 15, 2013–June 14, 2014) brought to the stage 52 shows eligible for Betty Mitchell Award nominations. The complete list of award recipients can be found here.