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Jessie Awards 2012: Live Blog


Monday, June 25th, 2012 — 4:59pm PDT
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The 30th Annual Jessie Richardson Awards for theatre in Vancouver are upon us as stars of local stages flock to the Commodore Ballroom. Nominees were announced back in May and the season will culminate with awards presentations tonight.

Jessie Awards 2012

I will be covering the awards ceremony for the third year in a row, providing photos, quotes, and posting about the recipients. The Jessies are always an enjoying production with laughs and the occasional tear as the industry pays tribute to some of its most remarkable colleagues.

The live blog will begin around 6:45pm tonight and it will be updated every few minutes. Please stay tuned and join me for this evening of celebration.

Update 6:30pm: The Commodore is filling with glamourous attendees as drinks are poured and friendly chatter echoes throughout. 50/50 tickets are being sold (by @alimaychisholm and @andrealoewen) to support the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society and media (like @GayVancouver, @Amuse_Events, and @CustomersRight) are setting up in front of the stage.

Jessie Awards 2012

Update 6:50pm: The lights go down and tonight’s ceremony gets underway with the band: “JR and the 30 Somethings”. The song? Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”. They rock it out as the name of every theatre company in Vancouver flashes up on the big screens that flank the stage.

“Where were you in 1982? The first year of the Jessies?” Each presenter and speaker tonight is being welcomed to the stage as a photo of themselves from 1982 pops up on the big screens.

Meredith Elliott, President of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, welcomes everyone to the 30th annual ceremony.

Recipients

(Updated Throughout the Night)
Large Theatre
Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Recipient: Robert Perrault, Snowman, Rumble Productions
Quote: Robert is currently in Toronto.

Small Theatre
Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition
Recipients: Bill Richardson & Veda Hille, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata, Arts Club Theatre Company (in association with The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival)
Quote from Veda: “Thank you darlings, I haven’t won anything since 1982 in grade school.”

Small Theatre
Outstanding Costume Design
Recipient: Vanessa Imeson, The Bomb-itty of Errors, Temporary Thing / Twenty-Something Theatre
Quote: “I didn’t think I would win so I didn’t prepare anything. Thank you so much to the Bomb-itty crew.”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Costume Design
Recipient: Mara Gottler, The Merchant of Venice, Bard on the Beach
Quote: Mara is not in attendance but her award is accepted by Director Rachel Ditor.

Silly "live tweets" at the Jessies

It’s now time for special awards. “30 years ago the “Most Promising” award was handed to Bill Millerd.”

Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright
Recipient: Meghan Gardiner
Quote: “Wow, I’m going to go into labour! And I didn’t think would be walking up those stairs and I wore a really short skirt — and I shouldn’t be wearing a really short skirt!” Obviously overwhelmed, Meghan mentions the name of someone she thought was sure to win. “And I said to myself, If one day I can write like that I’ll be really proud of myself.” Here she is on stage! She’s celebrating her 10th Jessies and she even met her husband at her first. “I strategically placed myself in his eye line all night.”

Mary Phillips Award for Behind-the-Scenes Achievemen
Recipient: Andrée Karas from United Players
Quote: “I just want to say thank you, thank you for supporting community theatre, thank you for the Jessie Award that I am very humbled to receive.”

Ray Michal Prize for Emerging Director
Recipient: Rachel Peake from Solo Collective Theatre
Quote: “I have to thank my co-artistic director Aaron Bushkowsky… …The person that I absolutely have to thank – and I’m so happy here’s here tonight – is James Tate… .. He is a mentor and a friend, and an inspiration.”

Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre
This is the first year for the awards. Colin Campbell passed away two years ago. Two recipients will be named tonight.
Recipient: Pat Smith
Quote: “This is bloody lovely!… I’ve been in theatre for so long and now I’m old, I’m tired, and this is fantastic!”
Recipient: Kevin Tanner from the Playhouse Theatre Company
Quote: Kevin isn’t here tonight but he sent along a letter…”I guess I’d have to say that I’m honoured to receive this award not only for the acknowledgement because I worked with Colin for so many years. Not just as a boss, but as a friend.”

A montage showcasing Vancouver Playhouse productions over the years bring emotion and many applause. It ends with the simple words: “Our Playhouse”.

Large Theatre
Significant Artistic Achievement
Recipients: Evan Bates, Sean Bayntun, Albertina Chan, Kerry O’Donovan, Janna Sailor & Lyndon Surjik, The Light in the Piazza, Patrick Street Productions, Outstanding Music and Musical Direction

Small Theatre
Significant Artistic Achievement
Recipients: David A. Kaye, Jameson Parker, Brian Cochrane, Niko Koupantsis & Oker Chen, The Bomb-itty of Errors, Temporary Thing / Twenty-Something Theatre Outstanding Ensemble Performance with Live Music and DJ

Theatre for Young Audiences
Significant Artistic Achievement
Recipient: Patrick McDonald, Direction, Out in the Open, Green Thumb Theatre
Quote: “We do just do plays about the world we live in and I suppose it will be easy for us to continue on if the world continues to be as f*cked up as it is.”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Lighting Design
Recipient: Alan Brodie, The Light in the Piazza, Patrick Street Productions
Quote: “Thank you for the gift of lighting the show call the “light” in the Piazza.”

Small Theatre
Outstanding Lighting Design
Recipient: Parjad Sharifi, project x (faust), Leaky Heaven Circus

Now it’s time for Don’t Forget the Monologue! The audience participation game show with Jeff Gladstone. “Here’s to the winners… here’s to the losers since there’s more of you!”

Georgia Straight Patron of the Arts Award
“He believed that art should be part of the every day…” His influence can be seen in many places from Vancouver’s striking manhole covers to the breathtaking renovations of The Cultch, to fusing low income housing with architectural excellence at the new Woodward’s. Vancouver’s most loyal and most passionate, Mr Jim Green.

Our city lost Jim over the last year but a speech is made on his behalf. “There are a lot of young people here and I don’t know if they know the extraordinary achievement Jim made in this city.”

GVPTA Career Achievement Award
“This year’s recipient started in the acting field at Studio 58 but didn’t want to learn lines and couldn’t… …A strong, caring, community person, always available to help out with decorated various events and not one to say ‘no'” this year’s recipient is Pam Johnson.

“This means so much, I can’t tell you. I’ve won a few Jessies in my time and this one means the most. I’d like to thank my parents who just supported me and encouraged me – and my brothers who are incredibly talented artists as well… I would also like to thank my students, because I grow, I grow through them. Whenever one of them comes up here to accept and award, that’s my legacy.”

Theatre for Young Audiences
Outstanding Design
Recipient: Drew Facey, Set & Costumes, Aesop’s Fables, Carousel Theatre for Young People

Small Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Recipient: Nicola Lipman, All the Way Home, Electric Company
Quote: “Thank you so much. This is turning out to be a great time in my life, contrary to all predictions…” “…This is…I can’t remember the name of the play… I didn’t expect to be up here!”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Recipient: Colleen Wheeler, The Penelopiad, Arts Club Theatre Company
Quote: “Thank you very much. Wow! Truly honoured, holy Sh*t! Thank you to Margaret Atwood, and everyone at The Arts Club. It was easy to fall in love with Meg Roe every night.”

Small Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Recipient: Michael Kopsa, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Pound of Flesh Theatre
Quote: “Wow, I guess I’ve been typecase from perennial a-hole to the Prince of Darkness himself. I’d like to thank Stephen Harper for the inspiration.” “I’m here to tell you without hesitation, this is a great theatre community.”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Recipient: Jonathon Young, Intimate Apparel, Arts Club Theatre Company
Quote: Jonathon is not here tonight as he’s at the DORA’s in Toronto.

John Moffat & Larry Lillo Award
Recipient: Craig Holzschuh
Quote: Craig is not here to accept the award tonight but he sent along a letter.

JR and the 30 Somethings take to the stage to play a medley of songs from the last 30 years of the Jessies.

Jessies musical interlude - Cage au Folles

Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer
Recipient: Anton Lipovetsky

Theatre for Young Audiences
Outstanding Artistic Creation
Recipient: Rachel Peake, Direction, Le portrait Gooble, Théâtre la Seizième
Quote: “Thank you to my cast… …We called it Cirque du Seizieme.” “It you haven’t seen a show at Théâtre la Seizième, go! They do really amazing work, they bring in amazing work, and they put up sur-titles so you don’t have to speak French.” “Theatre for young audiences is so important!”

Outstanding Original Script
Recipients: Bill Richardson & Veda Hille, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata, Arts Club Theatre Company (in association with The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival)
Quote from Veda: “I so wish Bill Richardson is here but he has gone to bed. Thank you so much this is far beyond anything. I’ve said for a long time that the only reason I’ve stayed in Vancouver is all the interesting assignments I get from you people so thank you, you bastards.”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Set Design
Recipient: Lance Cardinal, The Light in the Piazza, Patrick Street Productions
Quote: “I am not Lance Cardinal, I am the guy in the front of the Georgia Straight.” Lance is unable to be here tonight.

Small Theatre
Outstanding Set Design
Recipient: Marshall McMahen, All the Way Home, Electric Company
Quote: “Thanks so much to everyone at Electric Company.” Marshall also thanked the Vancouver Theatre Community for being supporting and accepting of new artists.

Critics’ Choice Innovation Award
Recipient: All the Way Home, Electric Company Theatre

Large Theatre
Outstanding Direction
Recipient: Craig Hall, Snowman, Rumble Productions
Quote: “Bill Millerd and the Arts Club, thank you for heling us out on this production. Nobody came but who f*cking cares!” …”I just want to say thank you Vancouver and we’ll miss you terribly.” Craig and his family are moving away in the near future.

Small Theatre
Outstanding Direction
Recipient: Kim Collier, All the Way Home, Electric Company
Quote: “The thing is that this show is bigger than me, and bigger than anybody that was a part of it. It’s one of those moments… …to do something greater than ourselves.” “Thank God for non-profit!”

Theatre for Young Audiences
Outstanding Performance
Recipient: Vincent Forcier, Le portrait Gooble, Théâtre la Seizième
Quote: Rachel Peake is back on stage to read Vincent’s note.

Small Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role
Recipient: Andrew Wheeler, Re:Union, Pacific Theatre / Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre
Quote: “I guess that makes me a winner and a loser.” Andrew was nominated twice in this category. To paraphrase, he says: “Being an artist means jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down.” He has plenty of wing-building opportunities with Re:Union.

Large Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role
Recipient: Greg Armstrong-Morris, La Cage aux Folles, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company
Quote: “I am simultaneously titillated and terrified that Bob Frazer wants to kick my ass right now.” (Bob Frazer was also nominated in this category). “I have to first of all thank Gloria Gaynor.” “I want to thank everybody at the office of the Playhouse – my first job was as a telemarketer.” “It’s incredible what a performer can do when they are so well taken care of. Everything I did was on the backs and shoulders of all these beautiful people.” Greg also thanks the sound crew — as the wife of an engineer, I appreciate this shout out.

Small Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role
Recipient: Meg Roe, All the Way Home, Electric Company
Quote: “Thank you very much with is a lovely acknowledgement.”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role
Recipient: Meg Roe, The Penelopiad, Arts Club Theatre Company
Quote: Meg Roe just won for Best Actress, Small Theatre. “I worked with 20 of Canada’s best actresses on this show in two cities.” “I have to thank Rachel Ditor who saw this show in Calgary and championed it here.” (Shout from the crowd: You made that show!) “You know who made that show? 10 f*cking good actresses!”

Theatre for Young Audiences
Outstanding Production
Recipient: Le portrait Gooble, Théâtre la Seizième
Quote from recipient on behalf of the group: “This feels like a very stressful English exam!”… …”Finally a big thank you to the schools who welcomed us and to the enthusiastic kids who spent an hour with the Gooble family.”

Small Theatre
Outstanding Production
Recipient: All the Way Home, Electric Company
Quote: “I wanted to acknowledge the Playhouse Theatre Company, they were the associate company.”

Large Theatre
Outstanding Production
Recipient: The Light in the Piazza, Patrick Street Productions
Quote: Katey Wright: “This has been in our hearts since 2003 and we waited and waited until we could bring it here to all of you so we could do the best that we could.” Peter Jorgenson: “This can’t happen without an amazing group, I’d like to thank our board, I’d like to thank our ensemble…”

That’s all for tonight folks! The live blog ends now as JR and the 30 Somethings take the stage and the tables are cleared for dancing.

Selected Tweets from #Jessies12

https://twitter.com/WEVancouver/status/217452459453456384

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society invites all attendees and industry members to provide feedback through a survey that can be found here or on their website.

Current contests on Miss604.com

2 comments

  1. Vince says:

    Thank you very much for live-blogging the Jessies. I had the pleasure of being there, so this gave me the chance to relive the experience and savour the memories until next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. […] Miss604′s Live Blog […]

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