first_img3. MAEV BEATY, ACTORWhile I kicked myself for not travelling to Prince Edward County to see Beaty and Liisa Repo-Martell in Daniel MacIvor’s A Beautiful View (hey, TIFF was on) and missing her play Joni Mitchell in Musical Stage Company’s three-day run of Uncovered, I did get to see her in a trio of unforgettable shows. Beaty’s imperious Russian princess added glamour and fire to Orlando (she got bonus marks for the year’s hottest onstage kiss with Sarah Afful), but it was her two collaborations with friend Hannah Moscovitch that made the year so memorable. Bunny and Secret Life Of A Mother dealt honestly and frankly with taboo topics concerning women, and Beaty fearlessly explored all the oh-so-human contradictions suggested in each work. Maev Beaty put her own life under glass in Secret Life Of A Mother. COURTNEY CH’NG LANCASTER As usual, coming up with just 10 names was nearly impossible. But these artists, besides being part of at least two shows, demonstrated a commitment and range that has made them a thrilling and essential part of the theatre landscape.1. COURTNEY CH’NG LANCASTER, ACTOR AND DIRECTOR (Pictured Above)No theatre artist did as varied and consistent work this year as Lancaster, whose layered characters resonate in theatregoers’ minds long after a show is over. She was an essential part of the moving chorus in Idomeneus; played the conflicted/complicit narrator in Innocence Lost (convincing as both a child and adult); got us to bite our nails as a businesswoman caught in a sticky Airbnb situation in Anywhere; made a footnote in musical history come vividly alive (complete with charming singing) as an opera composer in I Call Myself Princess; and played both Marshall McLuhan’s devoted secretary and a scantily clad cigarette seller with a firm grasp of the philosopher’s oeuvre in The Message. In addition, as co-artistic director of the Howland Company, she directed an ass-kicking and deeply empathetic production of The Wolves. Facebook Prest has hitherto been known for his intense dramatic performances in shows like Of Human Bondage and Ghosts. This year, he proved as good at comedy, gleefully devouring and spitting out his rhyming lines as the boorish central character in La Bête and then morphing into a half dozen characters in Bed And Breakfast opposite his real-life partner, Paolo Santalucia. He also added to his impressive director resumé with a powerfully unsettling production of the timely and disturbing Punk Rock. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With:center_img 5. GILLIAN GALLOW, DESIGNERGallow is responsible for some of the most striking images on any stage this year. In Long Day’s Journey Into Night she created a family whose picture-perfect sartorial surface belied their hellish inner turmoil; in Orlando, her sumptuous clothes helped communicate the work’s changing eras and mores; in Idomeneus, her characters emerged as if from some ash heap; and in the opera Hadrian, her costumes had to evoke Roman leaders, tempestuous Gods, peasants and duets of cavorting lovers. But oddly enough, her most memorable design was also the simplest. In The Runner, her sparse set consisted of a long, moving treadmill on which a ZAKA volunteer was stuck as if on an existential catwalk, forever attempting to go forward and getting nowhere. Gregory Prest (left) and Paolo Santalucia served up humour and heart in Bed And Breakfast. (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann) 4. BEAU DIXON, ACTOR AND MUSICIANDixon has such a laid-back onstage persona that it’s easy to underestimate his skill. Early in the year, he was part of Hamlet’s rock ’n’ roll ensemble, even jamming with fellow musician Jack Nicholsen at one point. (I would pay to see them do a cabaret duo.) Later on, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, he added a low-key but deep soulfulness to his piano-playing, well-read Toledo. Most impressive was his Othello in Harlem Duet, playing a philandering academic, a slave looking to escape to freedom and a deeply compromised vaudevillian actor. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement 2. GREGORY PREST, ACTOR AND DIRECTOR Twitterlast_img

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