Tara Rosling flew high in prizewinning If We Were Birds.
This year's SummerWorks was pretty much a trip along the Queen West strip, from the Cameron House to the Gladstone Hotel's performance gallery.
Add the Theatre Centre's theatre productions and nightly concerts to shows at Factory and Theatre Passe Muraille, and you have a juried festival that first-time artistic producer Michael Rubenfeld expanded artistically and geographically into new territory.
With seven fewer productions but more events than last year, the 18th annual SummerWorks increased its audience size to 13,600. And that's with all the rain we had during opening weekend.
Prizes awarded on Sunday (August 17) recognized some of the event's finest work.
The SummerWorks Prize for outstanding production went to Erin Shields's If We Were Birds, a moving and highly theatrical reinterpretation of a Greek myth. The presenting company, Groundwater Productions, gets a slot in next year's festival.
Benj Gallander and Ben Stadelmann, two SummerWorks founders, again contributed the Contra Guys Award for outstanding new play, which this year included not only a cash award but also publication in Playwrights Canada Press's upcoming anthology of SummerWorks scripts.
This year's winner is Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn's spooky and imagistic Any Night.
Claire Calnan received the directing award for her play Raising Luke; The Pastor Phelps Project's Alistair Newton got honourable
mention. Crow's Theatre sponsors the award.
I'm So Close It's Not Even Funny by Why Not Theatre (Katrina Bugaj, Troels Hagen Findsen and Ravi Jain) tied with Djennie Laguerre's Rendezvous With Home for the Spotlight Award, presented to a featured performer.
The NOW Audience Choice Award went to Morgan Jones Phillips's The Emergency Monologues.
New this year is the Emerging Artist Award, which went to In Darfur's Dorothy Atabong. Playwright Jane Maggs, who wrote and performed in Until June, received an honourable mention.
Here's NOW's annual list of the best of the fest :
OUTSTANDING NEW PLAYS:
If We Were Birds; Dust; Any Night; Khalida; Foto; Fridays With Frieda
In Darfur; Dust; Any Night; The Dwarfs; Foto; If We Were Birds; A Soldier's Story; Pelee; Lauchie, Liza and Rory; The Pastor Phelps Project; Fewer Emergencies; Fridays With Frieda
Brandon Coffey and Jessica Moss (Dust); Talya Rubin (The Girl With No Hands); Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn (Any Night); Djennie Laguerre (Rendezvous With Home); Jason Jazrawy (Khalida); Natasha MacLellan and Christian Murray (Lauchie, Liza and Rory); Valerie Buhagiar (Marla's Party); Tawiah M'carthy (The Kente Cloth)
Raising Luke; In Darfur; The Dwarfs; Foto; If We Were Birds; Waiting; A Soldier's Story; I'm So Close It's Not Even Funny; Pelee; Ablaze; 2½ Breaths; The Pastor Phelps Project; Fewer Emergencies; (Never Underestimate) The Power; The Red Devil; Fridays With Frieda
Alan Dilworth (If We Were Birds); Claire Calnan (Raising Luke); Andrew Lamb (In Darfur); Ron Jenkins (Any Night); Jennifer Tarver (The Dwarfs); Alexandra Seay (Khalida); Adam Pettle (Foto); Anita La Selva (A Soldier's Story); Mary-Colin Chisholm (Lauchie, Liza And Rory); Alistair Newton (The Pastor Phelps Project); Brendan Healy (Fewer Emergencies); Jonathan Seinen (The Red Devil); John Gordon (Fridays With Frieda)
Lindsay Anne Black and Michelle Ramsay (In Darfur; Khalida); Peter Pokorny, Erin Macklem, Davis Fraser and Gord Heal (Any Night); Thomas Ryder Payne (Khalida); Jung-Hye Kim, Kimberly Purtell and Thomas Ryder Payne (If We Were Birds); Iner Souster and Howie Shia (Pelee)