‘The Brothers Size’ and ‘The Mush Hole’ take five Dora Awards each

‘The Brothers Size’ and ‘The Mush Hole’ take five Dora Awards each
A play about the Black experience in the American South and a dance-theatre hybrid about the legacy of a residential school in Brantford were the big winners at Monday night’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which honour the performing arts in Toronto.

Soulpepper Theatre’s “The Brothers Size” took five awards in the general theatre division while “The Mush Hole,” from Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and Young People’s Theatre, took an equal number in the young audiences division.

The next biggest winner was the Canadian Opera Company’s “ Rusalka ,” which took four prizes in the opera division.

The awards were handed out by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts in an online ceremony.

“The Brothers Size,” a play about two Black brothers in the Louisiana bayou by Oscar-winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney (“Moonlight”), won Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu and Outstanding Feature Performance for Daren A. Herbert. It also won for costume design and lighting.

The other winners in the general theatre division included Tarragon Theatre’s “ Buffoon ” by Anosh Irani, which took Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Lead Performance for Anand Rajaram. Soulpepper’s “Almighty Voice and His Wife” won for scenic design and “Julius Caesar,” from Groundling Theatre and Crow’s Theatre, for lighting design.

“The Mush Hole” is the nickname for the Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford, which operated as a boarding school for Indigenous children from 1829 to 1970.

The theatre production of that name, based on interviews and writings by survivors, won both Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Play as well as Outstanding Direction for Santee Smith, who also created it. It also took Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble and projection design.

The award for individual performance in the young audiences division went to Malindi Ayienga for Young People’s Theatre’s “You and I.”

In the musical theatre division, the prizes were shared among six productions, with “ Caroline, or Change ,” from Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre, and “ Ghost Quartet ,” from Crow’s Theatre and Eclipse Theatre Company, taking two each.

“Caroline” claimed both the performance awards, with Jully Black winning Outstanding Lead in her musical theatre debut and Vanessa Sears taking Outstanding Feature Performance.

“Ghost Quartet” won for direction for Marie Farsi and lighting design for Patrick Lavender.

Named Outstanding Production was David Mirvish’s “ Piaf/Dietrich ,” while Bad Hats Theatre’s “ Life in a Box ,” by Landon Doak and Matthew Finlan, took Outstanding New Musical.

Eclipse Theatre’s “Sunday in the Park With George” and Young People’s Theatre’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio” rounded out the category with awards for musical direction and choreography, respectively.

Coal Mine Theatre’s “ Marjorie Prime ” won the most awards in the independent theatre division, including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Stewart Arnott and Outstanding Lighting Design for Nick Blais.

Native Earth Performing Arts’ “,” by Keith Barker, took Outstanding New Play.

The prize for Outstanding Performance by an Individual went to Alexander Thomas for another Coal Mine production, “ Between Riverside and Crazy .” And the ensemble performance award went to the cast of “Casimir and Caroline” from the Howland Company. That play also took the costume design award.

The award for sound design went to “Box 4901” from timeshare performance and scene design went to “Prophecy Fog,” co-produced by the Theatre Centre and Paper Canoe Projects with Nightswimming Theatre.

The Canadian Opera Company was the main winner in the opera division with “Rusalka” taking Outstanding Production, direction for David McVicar, musical direction for Johannes Debus and lighting design for David Finn.

Outstanding New Opera went to “ Shanawdithit ,” by Yvette Nolan and Dean Burry, co-produced by Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon.

The individual performance award went to Marnie Breckenridge for Tapestry’s “Jacqueline,” and the cast of “Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/Gallabartnit” took the ensemble prize. It was co-produced by Soundstreams, Signal Theatre and the Sami National Theatre Beaivvas.

In the dance division, “hollow mountain” by Rock Bottom Movement was named OutstandingChoreography for the National Ballet of Canada’s “ Angels’ Atlas .”

The individual performance award went to Josh Martin for “Mrozewski Series: Leftovers,” part of the “dance: made in canada” showcase from princess productions and Company 605.
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