Gore Bay theatre wins at QUONTA, will represent the North

Co-directors Walter Maskel and Andrea Emmerton join Will Smith, Tara Bernatchez, QUONTA adjudicator Annette Procunier and Will Smith following the presentation of the Outstanding Production Award. photo by Michael Erskine

Theatre Ontario finals scheduled for May in Sault Ste. Marie

ESPANOLA – The Gore Bay Theatre crew will be headed to Sault Ste. Marie for the Theatre Ontario Festival competition following their QUONTA Festival Outstanding Performance Award win.

Rumours that the Theatre Ontario Festival was cancelled following the loss of provincial government funding have proven to be unfounded. “I don’t know where that came from,” QUONTA chair Andrea Emmerton said. “Sault Theatre Workshop is hosting the Theatre Ontario Festival.”

In addition to the aforementioned Outstanding Performance Award, Gore Bay Theatre is hauling home top honours in the Outstanding Female in a Leading Role (Tara Bernatchez for her amazing lead role in ‘Molly Sweeney’), Outstanding Visual Performance and the Richard Howard Award for Outstanding Direction (Walter Maskel and Andrea Emmerton).

Both Will Smith (Mr. Rice) and John Robertson (Frank Sweeney) were nominated for the Outstanding Male in a Leading Role Award, but the award went to Warren Tilston of the Espanola Little Theatre (ELT) for the title role of Hedwig in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch.’

ELT’s ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ also had an amazing showing at the QUONTA Awards luncheon held on Sunday in Espanola, taking home Outstanding Technical Presentation, as well as nominations for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction (Warren Tilston), Outstanding Visual Presentation and Outstanding Female in a Leading Role (Tammy Sheppard for Yitshak).

‘Molly Sweeney’ was also nominated in the Outstanding Technical Presentation category.

Outstanding Male in a Supporting Role went to Richard A. Paterson (Dromio of Ehpesus in ‘The Comedy of Errors’), Outstanding Female in a Supporting Role went to Angelyka Sopchyshyn (Luciana and the Courtesan in ‘The Comedy of Errors’). 

In the special adjudicator awards, the Gore Bay Theatre troupe took Excellence in Ensemble Acting (Tara Bernatchez, John Robertson and Will Smith) and Excellence in Musical Composition (Mary Anderson). 

In other Adjudicator Awards, Excellence in Costuming was presented to ‘The Comedy of Errors’ (Kim Carpenter), Excellence in Sound Design  went to ‘Angel’s River’ (Michael Cuthbertson) and the Excellence in Performance by a Youth Award went to ‘Angel’s River’ (Calista Jones for Carrie Lynn).

If you missed the opportunity to see a performance of ‘Molly Sweeney’ this past month don’t despair, the production will be part of Gore Bay Theatre’s summer repertoire performances.

The 2020 Theatre Ontario Festival takes place Wednesday, May 13 to Sunday, May 17 and will be adjudicated by Terry Tweed and performances will take place at the Korah Collegiate and Vocational School at 636 Goulais Ave, Sault Ste. Marie. Curtain is at 7:30 pm and the after show adjudications will take place at the Delta Hotel by Marriott the following morning. Tickets are $30 for individuals, $35 for brunch and a full pass package is $135 (includes four shows and the brunch). Tickets can be ordered by calling Sandra Hamilton at 705-946-4081 or by emailing sandramhouston@gmail.com.