Theatre BC’s Mainstage 2019 in Port Alberni is now in the history books, and by all accounts, it was a very successful one indeed! Adjudicator Dean Paul Gibson was exemplary in his handling of our performing clubs, and in educating & entertaining those attending the coffee critiques. Our adjudicators are asked to make difficult choices in selecting the awards from a wide field of excellence on display throughout the week. Here are the Thespian Awards as presented at The Italian Hall in Port Alberni on the evening of July 13, 2019:
- Bill Elliot Award for Best Performance by a Youth or Notice, sponsored by TBC North Island Zone:
Aiden Oorebeek, “Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
- Best Set Decorating and Properties, sponsored by Theatre BC:
Greg Jones, Lisa Eckert, Vera Kahan & Irene Suessenwien, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Costume Design, sponsored by Doug Perri & Norman White:
Sheila Fremont-Male and Lorna McLellan, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Set Design, sponsored by Powerhouse Theatrical Society:
Jamie Regier, “Cherry Docs” by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, CIZ
- Best Sound Design, sponsored by The Italian Hall:
Alex Leary, “Cherry Docs” by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, CIZ
- Best Lighting Design, sponsored by Christie Lites Sales:
Cathy Hamm, “Cherry Docs” by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, CIZ
- Best Ensemble, sponsored by Courtenay Little Theatre:
“Dancing at Lughnasa”, Langley Players Drama Club, FVZ
- Best Supporting Actor, sponsored by Theatre BC:
Dean Chadwick in “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Supporting Actress, sponsored by TBC Central Interior Zone:
Wendy Karpuik in “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Actor, sponsored by TBC Okanagan Zone:
Chris Froese in “Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
- Best Actress, sponsored by Naesgaard’s Farm and Market:
Melissa Kahan in “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Director, sponsored by Nanaimo Theatre Group:
Brian Haigh, director of “Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
- Burnaby Award (Runner Up), sponsored by Langley Players Drama Club:
“The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Production, sponsored by The Graphics Factory:
“Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
Two non-adjudicator Thespian Awards are also presented each year at Mainstage:
- Backstage Cooperation Award, sponsored by TBC North Island Zone, as selected by ADSS Backstage Coordinator Melissa Lowe and TBC technician Andrew Taylor:
Nanaimo Theatre Group (NIZ), “The Diary of Anne Frank”
- Darrell Phillips Workshop Play Award, sponsored by Theatre Kelowna Society, as selected by Workshop Play instructor Nicolle Nattrass:
Bronwyn Hall and Dennis Szalai, “Annapurna”, Bridge to Broadway, PRZ
Certificates of Merit were also presented by Dean Paul Gibson, as follows:
- Most Inventive and Ambitious Production: “Age of Arousal” by Opening Nite Theatre Society, FVZ;
- Outstanding First Time Direction: Colleen Byberg, “Hidden In This Picture” by Well Planned Theatre Company, NSZ;
- Outstanding Contribution to a Production: Ami MacFarlane for Projection Design, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ;
- Outstanding First Time Set Design and Decoration: Kaymia Wheat, “Between The Sheets”, Stage North Theatre Society, PRZ;
- Best Self-Choreographed Dance Sequence: Mort Paul and Torrey Clark, “Stones In His Pockets”, Ladysmith Little Theatre, SIZ.
In Theatre BC’s 2019 Graphic Competition, the following certificates were awarded:
- Best Poster – Powerhouse Theatrical Society – A Christmas Carol. Designer Chris Gallagher – Mecca Arts
- Best Program (Specific Production) – Powerhouse Theatrical Society – Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Designer Arta Adams
- Best Season Brochure, Program, Press Kit – Courtenay Little Theatre, 2018/2019 Season Brochure. Designer – Linda Hampshire
The judge in this year’s competition was Melissa Martin, who writes “I am Canadian born, but grew up in New York, I finished my schooling in Ohio, at Dayton University with a BFA ; concentration in Commercial Design, specializing in Graphic Design. After moving back to Vancouver in 1987, I began freelancing as a Graphic Artist, my passion! Although the world of design has changed significantly since I was in school; we were not taught on computers, but rather cut and paste ideas and thoughts all by hand, a whole other world! Some of my other work included being an Art Director for two major Vancouver Art Publications and designing corporate identities for real-estate marketing packages as well as for major corporations. In 1993 I opened my own Interior design business, while I am also currently the Arts Administrator and Executive Director for the Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley. Working for the Community Arts Council enables me to also design all our publications for events and programs as well as all marketing for the Art Centre.”
Congratulations to all the participants and award recipients, and we’re all looking forward to Mainstage 2020 from July 3 – 11 in Port Alberni again, with adjudicator Fran Gebhard.
At Theatre BC’s 2019 Annual General Meeting, held July 13 in Port Alberni at The Capitol Theatre, the following executive officers were acclaimed with their nominations and no nominees from the floor:
- President – Doug Perri, North Shore Zone
- Vice-President – Sheryl-Lynn Lewis, Central Interior Zone
- Recording Secretary – Andrea Mallett, Central Interior Zone
Our newly elected executive committee members will serve two-year terms in their offices, and they join the officers below, who have one year remaining and will be due for election at the July 11, 2020 AGM also to be held at The Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni:
- Vice-President – Allison Haley, Central Interior Zone
- Vice-President – Adele Kuyek, Okanagan Zone
- Treasurer – Jacqollyne Keath, North Island Zone
Theatre BC thanks Peter Wienold from the North Island Zone who served as President for the past three years, and will continue in the next year as Past President. We also thank Christine Daley who has retired as zone chair in the Okanagan.
Edward has been practising art all of his life, art that is directly related to his Huu-ay-aht First Nations culture, and the Nuu-chah-nulth community. As Edward says, “Our culture art has a way of telling our story. I love telling stories through art, and it was a wonderful experience composing this art piece for Theatre BC.”
“I’m feeling very honoured to know what this represents, telling a story through art, but also telling a story through the stage. In wanting to represent the theatre through the faces, I feel it represents and tells the story,” he continues.
Edward grew up mentoring under his father, Ed Johnson Senior, a Master Carver. Theatre BC is indeed fortunate to have this recognizable and local artwork to symbolize our Mainstage Festival in Port Alberni.
Theatre BC’s #Mainstage2019 takes place in Port Alberni from July 5 – 13.
Dean Paul Gibson is an award-winning theatre practitioner with 30 years of experience. His passion for performance, language and its intent has served to make him a trusted and sought-after theatre artist in a number of roles including: Director, Actor, Instructor, Workshop-Leader, Adjudicator and Coach. His extended experience as a successful director over sixty productions has allowed him to further enrich his skills and create opportunities to connect with people and their stories.
Program Director for the Annual Arts Club Intensive, Instructor with the The Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Training, Bard Studio, Guest Instructor at Studio 58 Professional Theatre Training and Capilano University.
As an actor- Dean’s credits include: Otto in The Shoplifters for Arts Club, David (and others) in The Full Light of Day for Electric Company, Tom Sergeant in Skylight – Theatre Calgary, Warwick in Saint Joan for the Arts Club, Andrew Undershaft in Major Barbara for an A.C.T/TC co-production, The Bartender in Tosca Café—another A.C.T/ TC co-pro, Patrick Flanagan in Jitters at the Belfry, Falstaff for Bard on the Beach, Vigil and The Drowsy Chaperone for Theatre Calgary, Little Mercy’s First Murder and The Family Way for Touchstone Theatre, the Ruby Slippers Theatre and Pi Theatre co-production of Shopping and F**king, the original ‘Tailor’ in The Overcoat at Vancouver Playhouse, where he also performed in Romeo and Juliet, The Dead Reckoning, The Music Man, Little Voice, Stones in His Pockets, Humble Boy (also at Tarragon Theatre and the National Arts Centre), and A Christmas Carol. Problem Child, Green Thumb Theatre.
Upcoming: Dean will be directing Bard’s first production of Coriolanus with Vancouver Island’s very own Moya O’Connell
Mainstage 2019 Coffee critiques will be held daily at 10:00 am at Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) following the previous night’s show. Room C225/C226 (hiišimłuwit) is a short walk through the main school lobby, on the left. Signs will help you find your way.