The 30th Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in Vancouver (The Jessies)

Vancouver’s (and in general, I would have to say British Columbia’s) arts scene is vibrant and strong despite the many challenges that have plagued it recently (more acutely, housing unaffordability, low wages and a society that sometimes seems to be much more excited about paying $400 for a hockey ticket than they are to pay $85 for a fantastic theatre show — em>there, I said it, so sue me). So I am always excited to be invited to cover the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in Vancouver (or as they are affectionately known, The Jessies). I am, in fact, friends with many of the nominated companies and actors, simply because I have spent the last 6 years covering Vancouver’s (and often, BC’s) theatre and arts. Unfortunately, I am NEVER able to attend, but luckily and for the second year in a row, my dear friend Lauren Kresowaty (Nifty Not Cool) will be covering The Jessies in exclusive for

The Jessies

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards began in 1982. The purpose of the Awards is to honor the many artistic achievements of the dedicated artists whose work has helped create a vibrant theatre community for Vancouver. The “Jessies” take their name from Jessie Richardson, one of Vancouver’s theatre pioneers who played an active role for over four decades in the beginnings of theatre in this city. Her contributions are the foundation on which our current thriving theatre community was built.

Some of the nominees are in fact, good friends of mine. Bob Frazer, whom you can see right now in Macbeth at Bard on the Beach, is nominated in the Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role, Large Theatre. Warren Kimmel, who made me cry in Next To Normal, is also nominated in this category.

As I suspected, Caitriona Murphy is nominated for her outstanding performance in Next To Normal. I am a very big fan of Murphy and I think she did justice to the challenges that bipolar folks face, in a respectful and compassionate manner. Another favorite of mine, Terra Macleod is nominated for Blood Brothers, which also made me cry. I have heard amazing things about Marci T. House and this category will be a very tough one, I think (Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role, Large Theatre). Marci is nominated for her role in Intimate Apparel.

Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t publicly and openly say that I have a soft spot for Next To Normal (The Arts Club) for Outstanding Production, Large Theatre. I’ve been told by my former intern Jessica, who reviewed The Light in the Piazza that it is such a lovely production that it probably would be a good candidate to win in this category.

In Outstanding Direction, Small Theatre, I have a soft spot for the directing work of Catriona Leger who made me laugh uncontrollably with her Bomb-itty of Errors. I’m not surprised at all that David A. Kaye, Jameson Parker, Brian Cochrane, Niko Koupantsis & Oker Chen are all nominated for Significant Artistic Achievement, Small Theatre. They were really, REALLY GOOD.
There are additional awards that will be presented at the Jessie ceremony – the Georgia Straight Patron of the Arts Award, the Mary Phillips Award for Behind-the-Scenes Achievement, the Ray Michal Prize for Emerging Director, the Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer, the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright, the John Moffat & Larry Lillo Award, the Colin Campbell Award for Excellence in Technical Theatre, and the GVPTA Career Achievement Award.

The 30th Annual Ceremony will again be held at the beautiful Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, on Monday, June 25, 2012, doors open at 5:30pm, ceremony at 6:45pm. Tickets are $28.75 plus service charges, through Ticketmaster 1-855-985-5000 or online at Ticket Master. The ceremony is being produced and directed by Vancouver TheatreSports who will produce a festive evening. For further information visit The Jessies’ website.

And again thanks so much to Lauren for covering The Jessies in exclusive for You can follow Lauren on Twitter at @niftynotcool.

Related posts:

  1. Covering The Jessies 2012 (guest post by @niftynotcool) #Jessies12
  2. Jessies 2011: A Nifty Night with Vancouver’s Theatre Greats
  3. PopVox Awards 2009
  4. Best of 604 Awards
  5. Canadian Blog Awards 2008 and a strong Vancouver/BC contingent!

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