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Mary’s Wedding named best Calgary production

Alberta Theatre ProjectsMary’s Wedding was named best production Monday night at the Betty Mitchell Awards, Calgary’s annual awards for theatre excellence.

Meg Roe and Alessandro Juliani in Mary's Wedding, which won the Betty Mitchell Award for best production. Meg Roe and Alessandro Juliani in Mary’s Wedding, which won the Betty Mitchell Award for best production. (Alberta Theatre Projects)

Stephen Massicotte’s play, first performed at ATP’s playRites festival in 2002, looks at romance between a young Prairie farmer named Charlie and a recent English immigrant to Canada called Mary before the First World War separates them.

Narda McCarroll’s lighting design for Mary’s Wedding, which shifts the mood between the prairie scenes and the trenches of France, also won a Betty.

ATP was honoured throughout Monday night’s Betty Mitchell Awards gala, with recognition for its productions of The Wizard of Oz, Playing with Fire and Ash Rizin.

The big winner in musical theatre was Volcano Theatre’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which took three awards, including best musical production.

Stephen Woodjetts won for best direction and Kevin Aichele for best actor in a musical for their work on Sweeney Todd.

Ash Rizin, a high-energy hip-hop musical, was recognized with two Bettys for its young stars – Allison Lynch and Kyle Jesperson – both in supporting roles. The production also took the honours for best sound design.

Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story, the one-man show that told the story of NHL player and sexual abuse victim Theo Fleury, earned three Bettys.

Actor Shaun Smyth was named best actor in a drama for his performance as Fleury. Smyth said he developed the role with the help of Fleury himself, studying the way he moves on the ice and his patterns of speech so he could tell a convincing story.

Ron Jenkins took the award for outstanding direction and David Fraser, who created an ice rink on the stage where most of the action took place, won the Betty for set design.

Other winners named Monday:

  • Best actress in a comedy or musical: Nicola Cavendish, Shirley Valentine, Theatre Calgary.
  • Best new play: Peril in Paris by Ethan Cole and Eric Rose, Drama: Pilot Episode, by Karen Hines.
  • Best actress in a drama: Julie Mackey, Jake’s Gift, Lunchbox Theatre.
  • Best costume design: John Pennoyer, The Wizard of Oz.
  • Best choreography: Anita Miotti, Hunger Striking, Urban Curvz.

CBC | Arts News