York stage talent is up for Dora Mavor Moore Awards

The suspense will be over on Monday. By late evening we will know who, of the many York fine arts profs, students and alumni involved in Toronto productions this year, won a Dora Mavor Moore Award.

Established in 1981, the Dora Mavor Moore Awards are given annually for excellence in Toronto theatre, dance and opera. The 2007 awards ceremony will be held June 25 in the Winter Garden Theatre on Yonge St., Toronto.

The campy Evil Dead: The Musical, produced with backstage help from a host of Yorkies, has been nominated for direction, male and female principal performances, and choreography in a musical. Diesel Playhouse has extended its run to Aug. 4. Working behind the scenes are theatre Professor Peter McKinnon as production manager; York alumni Mike Cuttini (BFA ’07) as technical director and Loreen Gibson (BFA ’07) as apprentice stage manager; and theatre production students Jeff Cottam, Adrianne Carney, Wendy Ryder and Roberto Pires as the fit-up crew, and Larry Sarahan and Julie Freitas as lighting operator subs.

The quirky Gorey Story, based on the delightfully macabre work of writer-illustrator Edward Gorey and also packed with York talent, has earned four Dora nominations. Theatre Professor Erika Batdorf (left) is nominated for outstanding direction, and for outstanding new play with co-creators Christine Horne (BFA ’04) and Matthew Romantini (BFA ’05). The play has also been nominated for production and costume design, in the independent theatre division.

NOW magazine gave Gorey Story a four-star review during its November run in Toronto. Contributing to that rating were other York alumni: set designer Laura Gardner (BFA ’05), lighting designer Jason Hand (BFA ’05), stage manager Jessie Shearer (BFA ’06), and a cast including Cole J. Alvis (BFA ’06), Horne, Tania McCartney (BFA ’03), Ginette Mohr (MFA ’05) and Romantini.

Theatre alumnus Richard Rose (right) (BFA ’78) has been nominated for outstanding direction of a play in the general theatre division for Scorched, which ran this spring at the Tarragon Theatre, where Rose serves as artistic director.

Mark Cassidy (MFA ’99) vies with Batdorf for the prize for outstanding direction in the independent theatre division for Terror, produced by his company, Threshold Theatre.

Melody Johnson (BFA ’89) has been nominated for outstanding performance by a female for her principal role in the musical i think i can.

David Collins (MFA ’96) has been nominated for outstanding male performance in indie theatre for Twilight Cafe (The Last Breakfast).

Sarah Armstrong (BFA ’95, MFA ’99) shares with theatre veteran Astrid Janson a nomination for costume design in the general theatre division for The Saskatchewan Rebellion.

Michelle Ramsay (BFA ’97) got the nod for outstanding lighting design in independent theatre for The Stronger Variations.

Dance alumnus Christopher House (BFA ’79), who serves on the Faculty of Fine Arts Advisory Council, garnered two Dora nominations in dance for new choreography for his works Timecode Break and Chiasmata.

And John Oswald (BFA ’77) shares nominations for sound design/composition in dance and independent theatre for Shimmer and The Four Horsemen Project, respectively.