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Friday, April 19, 2024

Epic Cape Breton story tops nominations for this year’s Merritt Awards

Theatre Nova Scotia has revealed the productions vying for this year's Robert Merritt Awards, celebrating excellence in Nova Scotia's professional theatre.

The epic six-hour, two-part Cape Breton story Fall On Your Knees, based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s sweeping novel, tops the list of nominations for the 2024 Robert Merritt Awards, celebrating excellence in Nova Scotia’s professional theatre.

The co-production between Halifax’s Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, and Grand Theatre garnered 14 nominations, including best production.

Hannah Moscovitch's adaptation of Fall On Your Knees, based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s sweeping novel, took five theatre companies to bring to the stage.
Hannah Moscovitch’s adaptation of Fall On Your Knees, based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s sweeping novel, took five theatre companies to bring to the stage.

Following close on its heels is the Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre’s production of Downed Hearts with eleven, including best production.

Other locally produced multi-nominated shows include Neptune Theatre’s Billy Elliot the Musical, The Play That Goes Wrong, and Cinderella, as well as the reWork Productions and 2b theatre company productions of Let’s Run Away, The Villains Theatre’s A Beginner’s Guide to the Night Sky & Rain on the Parade, Shakespeare by the Sea’s Pinocchio, and Zuppa’s The Movements.

Daniel MacIvor in Lets Run Away. Photo by Guntar Kravis.
Daniel MacIvor in Let’s Run Away. Photo by Guntar Kravis.

Also making the list of locally produced multiple nominations is the Neptune Theatre & Highland Arts Theatre co-production of In Lieu of Flowersthe Bus Stop Theatre’s The Crevice: Season 2and F*cking Theatre Co.’s F*cking Trans Women.

Celebrating Nova Scotia’s outstanding talent in the theatre industry, the annual awards named after late Dalhousie Theatre professor Robert Merritt will be handed out during a ceremony at Dartmouth’s Alderney Landing Theatre on April 15. Visit theatrens.ca for tickets and more information.

A complete list of nominees follows:

Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role 

Name

Role

Production

Producing Company

Emma Vickers

Little Girl

The Adventures of the Little Girl and the Wind

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Jackson Seib

The Suspect

Murder For Two

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Samatha Hill

Kathleen Piper, Ensemble

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Jenny L. Wright

Mercedes Piper, Jeanna Lacroix

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Deborah Hay

Francis Piper, Ensemble

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Jeff Schwager

Robert Grove

The Play That Goes Wrong

Neptune Theatre

Ryan Brown

Prince Charmin

Cinderella

Neptune Theatre

Daniel MacIvor

Peter

Let’s Run Away

reWork Productions and 2b theatre company

Zach Faye

Aaron

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Geneviève Steele

Albertine

A Beginner’s Guide to the Night Sky

The Villains Theatre

Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role

Name

Role

Production

Producing Company

Janelle Cooper

Adelaide Taylor,
Sweet Jessie, Hogan, Ensemble

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Eva Foote

Lily Piper, Ensemble

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Nicola Lipman

Grandma

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Patricia Zentilli

Mrs. Wilkinson

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Dan Bray

Elsworth/
Gorman Roach

Rain on the Parade

The Villains Theatre

Wally MacKinnon

Stuart MacPhail

The New Canadian Curling Club

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Sherry Smith

Pearl

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre
& Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Elm Reyes

Lucas

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre
& Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Chris Vergara

Boutons

Cinderella

Neptune Theatre

Becca Guilderson

Deetah

Cinderella

Neptune Theatre

Outstanding Choreography 

Name

Production

Producing Company

Sarah Prosper

Jack and the Beanstalk –
A Musical Comedy Pantomime

Highland Arts Theatre

Ray Hogg

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Stephanie Graham

Cinderella

Neptune Theatre

Jade Douris-O’Hara

Pinocchio

Shakespeare by the Sea

Liliona Quarmyne

The Movements

Zuppa

Outstanding Costume Design

Name

Production

Producing Company

Diego Cavedon Dias

The Adventures
of the Little Girl and the Wind

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Judith Bowden

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage,
Grand Theatre production

Tea Stewart

Pinocchio

Shakespeare by the Sea

Oliver Dorais-Fleming

Rain on the Parade

The Villains Theatre

Diego Cavedon Dias

Wind in the Willows

Two Planks and a Passion Theatre

Outstanding Direction

Name

Production

Producing Company

Alisa Palmer

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre,
Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage,
Grand Theatre production

Ann-Marie Kerr

In Lieu of Flowers

Highland Arts Theatre & Neptune Theatre

Jeremy Webb

The Play That Goes Wrong

Neptune Theatre

Jesse MacLean

Pinocchio

Shakespeare by the Sea

Samatha Wilson

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre
& Eastern Front Theatre
in association with Matchstick Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design

Name

Production

Producing Company

Ingrid Risk

The Adventures
of the Little Girl and the Wind

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Leigh Ann Vardy

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Jessica Lewis

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Alison Crosby

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre
& Eastern Front Theatre
in association with Matchstick Theatre

Jessica Lewis

The Movements

Zuppa

Outstanding New Nova Scotia Adaptation (Playwright)

Name

Production

Producing Company

Zoë Comeau

F*cking Trans Women

F*cking Theatre Co.

Wesley J. Colford

Jack and the Beanstalk – A Musical Comedy Pantomime

Highland Arts Theatre

Hannah Moscovitch

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

William Shakespeare, Adapted by Drew Douris-O’Hara

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare by the Sea

Allen Cole and Ken Schwartz

Wind in the Willows

Two Planks and a Passion Theatre

Outstanding New Nova Scotia Play (Playwright) 

Name

Production

Producing Company

Wesley J. Colford

The Beloved

Highland Arts Theatre

Alison Crosby

In Lieu of Flowers

Highland Arts Theatre & Neptune Theatre

Daniel MacIvor

Let’s Run Away

reWorks Productions and
2b theatre company

Catherine Banks

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre
& Eastern Front Theatre
in association with Matchstick Theatre

Colleen MacIssac

A Beginner’s Guide to the Night Sky

The Villains Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction

Name

Production

Producing Company

Sean Mayes

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre,
Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Paul de Gurse

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Garry Williams

Pinocchio

Shakespeare by the Sea

Lisa St Clair

Cinderella

Neptune Theatre

Avery-Jean Brennan

Murder For Two

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Outstanding Score

Name

Production

Producing Company

Sean Mayes

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Garry Williams

Pinocchio

Shakespeare by the Sea

Garry Williams and Evan Brown

Rain on the Parade

The Villains Theatre

Jenny Trites & Colleen MacIsaac

A Beginner’s Guide to the Night Sky

The Villains Theatre

Stewart Legere

The Movements

Zuppa

Outstanding Ensemble

Name

Production

Producing Company

Ensemble

The New Canadian Curling Club

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Ensemble

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

Ensemble

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Ensemble

The Play That Goes Wrong

Neptune Theatre

Ensemble

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Outstanding Production

Production

Producing Company

Murder for Two

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

The New Canadian Curling Club

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre production

The Play That Goes Wrong

Neptune Theatre

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Outstanding Independent Production

Production

Producing Company

The Crevice: Season 2

Bus Stop Theatre

F*cking Trans Women

F*cking Theatre Co.

The Beloved

Highland Arts Theatre

Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sissy Mary

Theatre Baddeck

A Beginner’s Guide to the Night Sky

The Villains Theatre

Outstanding Projection Design

Name

Production

Producing Company

Stevey Hunter

MACRO Series: ISOLATIONS (GENTLY, SOFTLY, NOW)

Eastern Front Theatre

Matt Downey

Billy Elliot the Musical

Neptune Theatre

Christian Ludwig Hansen and Anna Sheppard

The Movements

Zuppa

Victoria Ryan & Matthew Downey

F*cking Trans Women

F*cking Theatre Co.

MacKenzie Cornfield

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Outstanding Scenic Design

Name

Production

Producing Company

Sue LePage, with assistance from Brenda Duran

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Andrea Evans

Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sissy Mary

Theatre Baddeck

Vickie Marston

The Adventure of the Little Girl and the Wind

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Zach Faye

The Crevice: Season 2

Bus Stop Theatre

John Dinning

The Play That Goes Wrong

Neptune Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design

Name

Production

Producing Company

Deanna H. Choi

Cinderella

Neptune Theatre

Jackson Fairfax-Perry

Downed Hearts

Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with Matchstick Theatre

Brian Kenny

Fall on Your Knees

A Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre,
Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage,
Grand Theatre production

Deanna H. Choi

Let’s Run Away

reWorks Productions and 2b theatre company

Stewart Legere with Thomas Rice

The Movements

Zuppa

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