The Classic Theatre Festival, the Ottawa Valley’s only professional theatre company, last week garnered four nominations in the prestigious Capital Critics Circle Awards, which annually recognize outstanding artistic achievement in the National Capital Region. The awards ceremony takes place in Ottawa on November 14.
William Vickers received a Best Actor nomination for the role of Herb in the Festival’s 2016 production of Neil Simon’s comedy I Ought to Be in Pictures (in which he co-starred with Alison Smyth, who was nominated for a similar honour the previous summer for her role in the thriller Wait Until Dark). In addition, the Festival received three nominations for George Bernard Shaw’s comedy Arms and the Man: Best Director (Laurel Smith), Best Actress (Lana Sugarman, who played the role of Raina), and Best Production. Arms and the Man also featured a stellar collection of veteran Classic Theatre performers including Catherine Bruce, Scott Clarkson, Rachel Fischer, Alan Lee, Alastair Love, and Lindsay Robinson. The production team included costume designer Renate Seiler and lighting designer Wesley McKenzie, with stage manager Alison Muir and assistant stage manager Emily Richardson.
“We had a terrific summer with our expanded 7th season of three shows,” says the Festival’s Artistic Producer Laurel Smith. “We were able to draw thousands of tourists to town who enjoyed the accessibility and flexibility of our staging shows in June, July, August and September, with the consequent economic benefits that flow to local restaurants, accommodations, shops, and other attractions.”
The Capital Critics Circle is a distinguished panel of some of Canada’s top theatre reviewers, including the prolific reviewer, playwright and journalist Iris Winston, Alvina Ruprecht (veteran theatre reviewer including CBC Radio), Jamie Portman (a long-time writer with the CanWest chain of newspapers), radio station CKCU’s arts reporter Barbara Gray, and the Ottawa Citizen’s Patrick Langston.
“Since we began, we have dedicated ourselves to bringing the top professional talent in Canada to Perth every summer, and audiences and critics agree that it is a very successful venture,” says Smith. “The golden age of Broadway and the London Stage produced so many plays that continue to appeal to a wide range of audiences, and we plan to continue producing those shows that still speak to us, inspire laughter, and provoke stimulating discussions.”
The Festival is currently running its annual holiday sale, with savings of up to 25% on 2017’s shows, with the option to pick dates later. The Festival’s mainstage shows next year, in keeping with the Canada and Ontario 150 celebrations, will feature a majority of Canadian playwrights who made it big on Broadway and beyond: Bernard Slade, who penned the beloved comedy Same Time, Next Year (which ran over 3 years on Broadway) and Peter Colley, whose thriller I’ll Be Back before Midnight is considered the most successful play ever staged in Canada, with performances in over 30 countries abroad. The season also features George Bernard Shaw’s romantic comedy Candida, which pokes fun at Victorian notions of marriage and a romantic triangle.
Vouchers for the 2017 season can be purchased with savings of up to 25% before December 31 at www.classictheatre.ca or 1-877-283-1283.