York theatre professor wins a Dora Mavor Moore Award

York theatre Professor Teresa Przybylski (right) advanced to the winners’ circle June 27 at the 26th annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards in Toronto, which celebrate excellence in the local performing arts. The ceremony was held at the Winter Garden Theatre. Thirty-three awards were presented in five major categories: general theatre, independent theatre, theatre for young audiences, dance and opera.

Przybylski was honoured in the independent theatre category for Outstanding Costume Design for Judith Thompson’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece Hedda Gabler, which played at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre May 25 to June 12. She was also nominated for Outstanding Set Design for the same play.

Przybylski is an architect and theatre designer who is well-known for her set and costume designs for theatre, opera, dance and film. The recipient of four previous “Doras” and two Gemini Awards, her credits include designs for the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, the Canadian Opera Company and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Rhombus Media and many of Toronto’s theatre companies. Her costume designs can currently be seen on stage in the Shaw Festival production of the Brecht/Weill musical Happy End, running to Oct. 28 at the Royal George Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The high-profile pool of nominees in the independent theatre division also included theatre faculty Erika Batdorf and Shawn Kerwin.

Erika Batdorf’s new work, Poetic License, was nominated for Outstanding New Play or Musical. As well, Batdorf was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female for her solo performance in Poetic License. (See the May 26 issue of YFile.)

Theatre Department Chair Shawn Kerwin vied for the honour of Outstanding Costume Design for St. Christopher, written by Fine Arts alumnus A. Shay Hahn (BFA ’96) and directed by Vikki Anderson, which ran at Theatre Passe Muraille in April.

As the lighting designer for the CanStage/Dancap Private Equity Inc. production of Ain’t Misbehavin’, which rang down the curtain at CanStage June 25, Fine Arts Dean Phillip Silver was part of the creative team that earned the Fats Waller musical a nomination for Outstanding Production of a Musical. (See the April 22 issue of YFile.)

Several York alumni were also among the nominees and winners. In the independent theatre category, Michelle Ramsay (BFA ’97) shared the Outstanding Lighting Design award with Rebecca Picherack for the production Rough House (which ran until Jan. 16, 2005 at the Toronto-based Theatre Centre). In the general theatre category, Melody Johnson (BFA ’89) was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role in the Factory Theatre production of Trout Stanley (which ran until Feb. 6, 2005). York theatre alumnus Todd Hammond (BFA ’90) competed for Outstanding Direction for his work in Erika Batdorf’s Poetic License. In the dance division, dance alumna Andrea Nann (BFA ’88) was nominated for Outstanding Performance in the production Source.


The awards were established in honour of Dora Mavor Moore, a well-loved teacher and director who helped establish Canadian professional theatre in the 1930s and 1940s. Visit the Dora Mavor Moore Web site for more information about the awards, including a complete list of nominees and winners.