With the return of live theatre also comes the return of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards! Born in Glasgow in 1888 and arriving in Canada at 8 years old, Dora Mavor Moore is a key figure in the creation of Canada’s professional theatre scene. A recipient of many awards and honours, including the Order of Canada (1970), Dora Mavor Moore was truly one of the key founders of professional theatre in Canada and a fitting namesake for Toronto’s professional theatre awards. This year’s Dora Awards has 235 nominations in 46 categories spanning 7 divisions; and yes, that’s just the theatre that’s been happening here in Toronto!

            You can find a full list of nominees here: TAPA – Nominations Announced for 42nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards. For this post, I want to highlight the plays which I was fortunate enough to see and review this year! I’ve linked my reviews to each show title if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on the productions as well. I’ll separate them by division as per the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts website.

General Theatre Division

Is God IsObsidian Theatre Company, Necessary Angel Theatre Company, and Canadian Stage Co-Production, leads the General Theatre Division with 10 nominations including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction to Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role to each of Sabryn Rock and Tyrone Benskin, Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role to each of Oyin Oladejo and Vanessa Sears, Outstanding Scenic/Projection Design to duo Ken Mackenzie (scenic) and Laura Warren (projection), Outstanding Costume Design to Ming Wong, Outstanding Lighting Design to Raha Javanfar and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to Thomas Ryder Payne.

Wildfire, Factory Theatre, earns 5 nominations including Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play to Leanna Brodie and David Paquet, Outstanding Direction to Soheil Parsa, Outstanding Lighting Design to Kaitlin Hickey and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition to Thomas Ryder Payne.

Three Women of SwatowTarragon Theatre, taps 4 nods including Outstanding New Play to Chloé Hung, Outstanding Direction to Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role to Carolyn Fe and Outstanding Costume Design to Shannon Lea Doyle.

Pipeline, Soulpepper Theatre, taps 2 nods including Outstanding Direction to Weyni Mengesha and Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role to Tony Ofori.

ROOM, Mirvish Productions in co-production with Covent Garden Productions and the Grand Theatre, London, Ontario, garners 2 nominations including Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role to Alexis Gordon and Outstanding Lighting Design to Bonnie Beecher.

Orphans for the Czar, Crow’s Theatre, receives 1 nomination for Outstanding Production.

among men, Factory Theatre, receives 1 nomination for Outstanding Scenic Design/Projection Design to Joanna Yu.

Distant Early Warning, Pearle Harbour & Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, receives 1 hit for Outstanding Costume Design to Justin Miller.

Independent Theatre Division

Three Ordinary Men, Cahoots Theatre, also receives 5 nominations including Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play to Steven Elliot Jackson, Outstanding Direction to Tanisha Taitt, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble to Jamar Adams-ThompsonTristan Claxton and Jack Copland and Outstanding Costume Design to Claudia Tam.

The AntipodesThe Coal Mine Theatre, earns 1 nomination for Outstanding Scenic/Projection Design to Nick Blais.

Musical Theatre Division

Dixon Road, The Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre Company, in association with Canadian Stage, earns 4 nominations including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role to Germaine Konji, Outstanding New Musical to Fatuma Adar and Outstanding Original Choreography to the team of Ray HoggEsie Mensah and Rosie Harbans.

            Congratulations to ALL of this year’s nominees. I was so thrilled to see so many familiar productions and names on the nominee list! The live performance industry has faced even more challenges than usual this year, and I think this is a perfect time to celebrate our resilience and perseverance.

            One production which I thought for sure would have made the list was Trojan Girls and the House of Atreus. I thought it was a brilliant, ambitious, well-executed production unlike anything I’ve seen before. While there has been absolutely brilliant theatre being produced since the restrictions lifted, this one is a personal favourite. What’s fantastic is that the Dora Awards offers you, yes YOU, the audience member, a chance to reward your favourite! You can vote for the John Kaplan Audience Choice Award at this link: TAPA – Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award.

            The Dora Awards will be taking place at the Elgin Theatre on September 19th at 7:30pm. Award recipients will be live-tweeted via the Dora Awards Twitter account, and I’ll make sure to keep on top of things as well, so you can always follow my social media (if you’re not already that is).

All of the information regarding the Dora Nominees was obtained from TAPA – Nominations Announced for 42nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards


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