When I first started at Theatre 20, I wasn’t sure what to expect – would I get invited to board meetings? Would I get to work outside the office? Would they need me in rehearsals? And now that I’ve been here for almost a year, I’m still not sure what to expect, but it’s in the best way possible, that “Just Around the Riverbend” type of feeling.
I am so grateful that I got to be at the press conference for the Dora Award Nominees Announcement this morning – we got some pretty amazing news!
Theatre 20’s inaugural production, Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare has received NINE Dora Award Nominations in the Musical Division!
Outstanding Performance – Male: Evan Buliung
Outstanding Performance – Female: Carly Street
Outstanding Performance – Female: Jan Alexandra Smith
Outstanding Performance – Ensemble
Outstanding New Musical/Opera: Joseph Aragon
Outstanding Scenic Design – Beth Kates
Outstanding Costume Design – Melanie McNeill
Outstanding Musical Direction – Jason Jestadt
It was so surreal to sit there and hear our name get called, and then hear it get called again and then AGAIN! Not too bad for our first step out! It was pretty surreal to be sitting in the audience, among such seasoned Toronto theatre professionals. And it was pretty surreal to hear the names of friends called as nominees! Besides being an extremely joyful one, today was certainly a lesson for me in just how lucky I am to be working at Theatre 20, and in theatre in Toronto.
My favourite moment (besides hearing THEATRE 20 CALLED NINE TIMES) was definitely Franco Boni’s speech as he accepted the George Luscombe Award, which honours those who have been outstanding mentors in theatre. Boni was clearly moved by the honour, and he asked the audience to call out the names of mentors who had influenced them in their lives and careers. It was pretty emotional and powerful to hear so many names I recognized called out and so many I didn’t. I myself didn’t call out the name of the person who had influenced me because she was sitting right next to me (some of you probably know her too!) Rosie Shaw, Theatre 20’s general manager hired me on the spot, and has given me the most amazing guidance I could ever ask for. She is an amazing mentor, leader and an even better friend. Boni’s exercise was a great reminder that, especially in theatre, mentors are so important and their influence should not be downplayed.