Covering The Jessies 2012 (guest post by @niftynotcool) #Jessies12

Every year, thespians and theatre-lovers alike don their swanky threads and gather together to celebrate another season of Vancouver theatre excellence at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. For the second year in a row, I was delighted to be covering the ceremony and festivities for (I was also delighted to be tweeting them, #Jessies12.)


“La Cage aux Folles cast members perform in a musical tribute to the Vancouver Playhouse.”

Photo credit: Lauren Kresowaty in exclusive for

The winners of 2012 Jessie Richardson Awards include:

Outstanding Production

  • Large theatre: The Light in the Piazza, Patrick Street Productions
  • Small theatre: All the Way Home, Electric Company
  • Theatre for young audiences: Le portrait Gooble, Théâtre la Seizième

Outstanding Performance by Actress, Lead Role

  • Large theatre: Meg Roe, The Penelopiad, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Small theatre: Meg Roe, All the Way Home, Electric Company

Outstanding Performance by Actor, Lead Role

  • Large theatre: Greg Armstrong-Morris, La Cage aux Folles, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company
  • Small theatre: Andrew Wheeler, Re:Union, Pacific Theatre/Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre

Outstanding Performance by Actress, Supporting Role

  • Large theatre: Colleen Wheeler, The Penelopiad, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Small theatre: Nicola Lipman, All the Way Home, Electric Company

Outstanding Performance by Actor, Supporting Role

  • Large theatre: Jonathon Young, Intimate Apparel, Arts Club Theatre Company
  • Small theatre: Michael Kopsa, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Pound of Flesh Theatre

Outstanding Direction

  • Large theatre: Craig Hall, Snowman, Rumble Productions
  • Small theatre: Kim Collier, All the Way Home, Electric Company

Outstanding Original Script

  • Bill Richardson & Veda Hille, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craig’s List Cantata, Arts Club Theatre Company (in association with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival).

**For a full list of Jessie Award winners and nominees, please visit the Jessies website.

In a night filled with actors and theatre practitioners, I expected the hilarity, hijinx, and big personalities (looking over my tweets from the night, it seems there was a lot of making out happening onstage around the presentation of the awards for Actor(s) in a Leading Role). We were also treated to a musical tribute to the Vancouver Playhouse (including cast from La Cage aux Folles) and mock Jessies-related tweets courtesy of emcees Vancouver TheatreSports.

Though the levity and occasional irreverence made the evening entertaining, what struck me most about the 2012 Jessies were the sincere and heartfelt expressions of gratitude which became a main theme of the night. Not one award winner failed to acknowledge that their outstanding achievements were possible only through the assistance, hard work, and support of others. With the loss of the Vancouver Playhouse fresh in our minds, a real sense of community permeated the event, coupled with an acknowledgment that the theatre communities in Vancouver are closely intertwined. The excellence of our peers encourages excellence in us. The success of our peers in reaching new theatrical possibilities facilitates our attempts towards our own artistic goals. The evening presented a lot of laughter, a few tears, and a lot of love.

Though I have not yet had the opportunity to take in a show by Théâtre la Seizième, I have heard great things about this TYA (theatre for young audiences) company and was pleased to see them acknowledged with an award for Outstanding Production. It was also great to see Rachel Peake (director of the award-winning Le portrait Gooble with la Seizième), recognized as the recipient of the The Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director. In her acceptance speech, Peake spoke passionately about TYA’s place in the world of theatre. Like me, Peake is a small-town Saskatchewan girl, and she credits her childhood experiences with TYA for giving her the understanding that there is a world of imagination beyond the world she knew, and for inspiring in her the desire to make a life for herself living in this world of imagination. Her words struck close to home, and I’m sure she and I were not the only artists and art-lovers in the room who felt them ring true.

As with last year, each new category brought pangs of regret as I realized that while I did see some great theatre this past season, I also missed some exceptional shows. The moral of the story is that everyone in Vancouver needs to see more theatre (the more we see theatre, the more there will be to see!). The bright side, of course, is that each year brings new heights: new technical brilliance, new outstanding scripts, new magical performances, new ambitious direction, and new truly special theatrical experiences. The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards are a way to celebrate these heights, drink and dance with people whose work we admire, and set our sights on new exciting artistic peaks, whether as an artist or an audience member.

Lauren Kresowaty (Nifty Not Cool) covered The Jessies 2012 in exclusive for for the second year in a row (thank you again, Lauren!). Lauren Kresowaty is a writer, theatre artist, and blogger based in East Vancouver. She posts weekly on her personal blog,, and tweets from @niftynotcool. Lauren is currently working on an adaptation of the Greek tragedy “The Libation Bearers” for her friends in Rice & Beans Theatre and following her imagination wherever it leads.. You can get in touch with Lauren by commenting on a post on her site or following her on twitter. As always, I (Raul) retain full editorial control over anything published on my site.

Related posts:

  1. The 30th Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in Vancouver (The Jessies)
  2. Jason and the Argonauts (@CarouselTheatre) [Guest review by @niftynotcool]
  3. Jessies 2011: A Nifty Night with Vancouver’s Theatre Greats
  4. Christmas on The Air (@PacificTheatre) – guest review by @niftynotcool
  5. My favorite job – Guest post by Jeffery Simpson

Leave a comment

Your comment

CommentLuv badge