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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fall on Your Knees & Downed Hearts the big winners at the 2024 Merritt Awards

The Robert Merritt Awards celebrate the best in professional theatre in Nova Scotia.

The 2024 Robert Merritt Awards, celebrating the best in professional theatre in Nova Scotia, were presented last night in a ceremony at Alderney Landing.

This year’s big winners were the epic two-part Cape Breton story Fall On Your Knees, based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s sweeping novel, and Downed Hearts, inspired by the Swissair 111 disaster that struck off the coast of Peggy’s Cove in 1998. Both shows took home six awards each, with Fall On Your Knees taking the trophies for outstanding production and direction.

A complete listing of winners follows:

Outstanding Performances in a Leading Role
Deborah Hay – Fall On Your Knees – National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre & Grand Theatre
Zach Faye – Downed Hearts – Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with MatchstickTheatre

Outstanding Performances in a Supporting Role
Sherry Smith – Downed Hearts – Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with MatchstickTheatre
Elm Reyes – Downed Hearts – Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with MatchstickTheatre

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble
The New Canadian Curling Club – Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Outstanding New Nova Scotia Play
Catherine Banks – Downed Hearts – Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with MatchstickTheatre

Outstanding New Nova Scotia Adaptation
Hannah Moscovitch – Fall On Your Knees – National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre & Grand Theatre

Outstanding Direction
Alisa Palmer – Fall On Your Knees – National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre & Grand Theatre

Outstanding Choreography
Ray Hogg – Cinderella  – Neptune Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design
Diego Cavedon Dias – The Adventures of the Little Girl and the Wind – Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction
Sean Mayes – Fall On Your Knees – National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre & Grand Theatre

Outstanding Original Score or Composition
Garry Williams – Pinocchio – Shakespeare by the Sea

Outstanding Sound Design
Jackson Fairfax-Perry – Downed Hearts – Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with MatchstickTheatre

Outstanding Lighting Design
Leigh Ann Vardy – Fall On Your Knees – National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre & Grand Theatre

Outstanding Projection Design
Christian Ludwig Hansen with Anna Shepard – The Movements – Zuppa

Outstanding Scenic Design
Sue LePage, with assistance from Brenda Duran – Downed Hearts – Ship’s Company Theatre & Eastern Front Theatre in association with MatchstickTheatre

Outstanding Independent Production
The Crevice: Season 2 – Bus Stop Theatre Co-Op in association with Phyllis Rising Productions

Outstanding Production
Fall on Your Knees – National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre & Grand Theatre

Outstanding Technician
Evan Brown

Outstanding Stage Manager
Tessa Pekeles

Theatre Nova Scotia Professional Development Scholarship
Rachel Lloyd

Neptune RBC Chrysalis Emerging Artist Award
Rooks Field-Green

Theatre Nova Scotia Legacy Award
Pamela Halstead
April Hubbard

April Hubbard Creative Access Award
Eastern Front Theatre

Editor’s Note (16 April 2024): The list of winners was corrected to identify Sherry Smith as the recipient of Outstanding Performances in a Supporting Role for Downed Hearts, not Fall On Your Knees, as originally reported. We apologize for the error.

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