Bravo, Boni. As a result of artistic producer Franco Boni's decision to move SummerWorks toward a juried and invitational rather than a fully lotteried festival, the quality of works was impressively high. The raised bar also brought out larger audiences: the 12th annual fest drew 9,900 people, up 10 per cent from last year.
The Audience Choice Award went to Emily Sugerman and Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman's touching and funny The End Of Pretending, while the SummerWorks prize for best new play -- guaranteeing a slot in next year's festival -- went to Victoria's Theatre SKAM for Amiel Gladstone's fanciful piece about humankind's fixation with flight, The Black Box.
Here are NOW's top picks of the 43-show fest.
OUTSTANDING NEW PLAYS
The Mourning; One Good Marriage That One, That One
The Black Box; Little Dragon; The Mourning; One Good Marriage That One, That One; Something About A River, Part One: The Fire Sermon
Sean MacMahon (Exhibit); John O'Callaghan (Howie The Rookie); Leanna Brodie and Caroline Azar (Phae); Reni Kratka (Portrait Of Ophelia, Drowned); Lyon Smith (The Zoo Story); Kathleen Phillips (The Disappearance Of Janey Jones)
Forms Of Devotion; Lemon Water; Ma Jolie; Stories From The Rains Of Love And Death
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ARTISTS
Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman and Emily Sugerman (The End Of Pretending); Ruby Dallas (Going For Groceries); Krista Colosimo (Lip To Lip)