Neither the heat nor last weekend's rains kept folks away from the 15th annual SummerWorks fest, the first run by artistic producers Keira Loughran and Kimahli Powell . With the help of a selection jury, they programmed a strong lineup of 43 shows. And audiences responded, with attendance of roughly 10,000.
Various awards presented the last night of the festival (Sunday, August 14) recognized some of the best work. The NOW Audience Choice Award went to Remember Lolo , Byron Abalos 's play about a Filipino family's happy memories and current problems.
The SummerWorks Prize for best production, chosen by a jury made up of actors Audrey Dwyer , Dov Mickelson and Kathryn Westoll , was presented to Niki Landau 's Territories . The show, which returns in a longer version to Theatre Passe Muraille in the fall, is a fascinating look at Israeli/Palestinian tensions woven into the context of how one tells a story. The SummerWorks prize guarantees Landau a slot in next year's festival. Mike McPhaden 's Noble Parasites received an honourable mention.
The Contra Guys Award , donated by Benj Gallander and Ben Stadelmann , two of the fest's founders, went to playwright Hannah Moscovitch for Essay .
The jury gave the Spotlight Award , presented to an individual or company for outstanding achievement, to Anand Rajaram and Bob Wiseman for Cowboys & Indians .
Here's NOW's list of the best of SummerWorks :
OUTSTANDING NEW PLAYS: Noble Parasites; Essay; Pu-Erh; Democrats Abroad; Capturing Freedom; Territories
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTIONS: Noble Parasites; Essay; Democrats Abroad; Remember Lolo; MUD; Territories; Cowboys & Indians; All Hams On Deck
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES: Chris Leavins (Little Monsters); Rhoma Spencer (Story-Ya); Chris Earle (Democrats Abroad); Mika Collins (Capturing Freedom); Stephanie Jones (17.5); Sarah Evans (Cancer Time)
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLES: Getting Through; Down The Main Drag; Enter My Goddess; The File; Territories; Cowboys & Indians; All Hams On Deck
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION: Brendan Healy (Down The Main Drag); Michael Rubenfeld (Essay); ahdri zhina mandiela (Story-Ya); Shari Hollett (Democrats Abroad); Beatriz Pizano (Capturing Freedom); N. Lee Aquino (Remember Lolo); Sarah Stanley (17.5)
OUTSTANDING DESIGN: Remember Lolo (Camellia Koo); Trevor Schwellnus and Amina Alfred (Capturing Freedom)
Check out our SummerWorks 2005 coverage!