The winners in the 10th annual Critics’ Choice Spotlight Awards were announced on December 29, 2011, and Phoenix Theatre was once again in the top tier with seven nominations and two wins.
Chosen from all local productions playing from September 2010 to Fringe 2011 by Victoria’s leading theatre critics (including the Times Colonist, Monday Magazine, On The Island and CVV Magazine—formerly Culture Vulture Victoria), the world premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s Inside nabbed Best New Play and director Linda Hardy’s swinging ’60s revamp of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night picked up Overall Community Production.
David Lennam, critic for CBC Radio One’s On The Island, felt Phoenix had a strong season last year, calling both Twelfth Night and Inside as “both absolutely superb and from complete opposites of the spectrum.” Forced to choose, he came down on the side of Shakespeare and director Hardy, calling her Twelfth Night “the best I’ve seen—full of new ideas and staging.” Former Monday Magazine critic Amanda Farrell-Low also noted that Twelfth Night was “one of the best things I’d seen at UVic in quite some time.”
Among the other Phoenix nominees were Cat Haywood (Costumes, Twelfth Night), Kesinee Haney (Performance in a Community Production, Twelfth Night, Yerma), Inside (Overall Community Production) and both Linda Hardy (Twelfth Night) and David Ferry (Inside) for Direction—a category that was ultimately won by UVic Theatre prof Brian Richmond for his turn at the helm of Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Phoenix alumni also factored heavily in the overall nominees, including the likes of Janet Munsil and Erin Macklem (Influence), much of the cast and creative team behind Atomic Vaudeville’s Ride The Cyclone, Kate Braidwood (Grim & Fischer), Clayton Jevne (Moscow Stations) and Ingrid Hansen (Chalk).
Check out CVV Magazine for the full list of nominees and winners.