Concordia University

And the Montreal English Theatre Awards go to...

Concordians steal the show at the 2016 METAs
October 26, 2016
By Andy Murdoch

META_awards1-620 Marie-Christine Despestre, Tamara Brown, Trudy Lee Gayle, Don Jordan and Tristan D Lalla represent the Chorus for the award-winning The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God.

On October 24, Montreal’s English-language theatre community came together at the Rialto to honour its brightest stars.

Past and present Concordians gave an outstanding performance at the 2016 Montreal English Theatre Awards (METAs): the university’s alumni, faculty and students earned 25 nominations in 12 categories — and they walked onstage, victorious, on four occasions. 

Recent theatre graduate Alex Petrachuk (BFA 16) took home two METAs: Outstanding Supporting Performance – Actress (Compleat Female Stage Beauty) and Outstanding Emerging Artist (Moby Dick, Compleat Female Stage Beauty and Confiteor: Vol II).

Another Concordia theatre alum, Quincy Armorer (BFA 97), won two group awards. As Artistic Director of the Black Theatre Workshop, he accepted an Honorary Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) META Award presented in partnership with the Conseil des arts de Montréal for the BTW's Artist Mentorship Program. His participation in The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God earned the Outstanding PACT Production award. He was also nominated in the Lead Performance and Ensemble categories.

Alum Quincy Armorer (top) performs in The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God. Alum Quincy Armorer (top) performs in The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God.

Former theatre student Jimmy Blais was part of Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play, which won for Outstanding Ensemble. 

Overall, Concordia names dominated the nominations in the ensemble, emerging artist and independent production categories; they were also strong contenders for the set, costume and sound design awards, as well as those for musical composition and direction.  

‘Concordia taught me to perform, to collaborate, to be self-sufficient’

Noah Drew, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, says the sheer volume of nominations and wins by Concordians, “means that we are deeply part of Montreal’s English-language theatre community.”

He adds that Petrachuk, to whom he taught voice and acting, is a great example of the skills Concordia helps to produce.

“She has a deep playfulness. That’s what we try to teach here. We want students to learn pleasure in performing. It means you can access lots of parts of yourself in a performance.”

Alex Petrachuk (left): “The department’s really doing something right.” Alex Petrachuk (left): “The department’s really doing something right.”

For her part, Petrachuk is proud to be a Concordia theatre grad.

“The department is really doing something right. In the last few years, it’s been pretty clear that it’s engaging full-on in the community.”

She credits this approach as an essential component of her success.

“There’s a long list of mentors and instructors who took me under their wing as a member of multiple ensembles. They taught me to perform, to collaborate, to be a self-sufficient artist and hold my own academically.”

METAs act as important calling cards

While all the university’s nominees showcase Concordia talent, according to Drew it’s the young theatre professionals who enjoy the greatest benefit from awards like this. 

“I get excited for Alex’s career because of what this looks like on her resumé. She’ll be able to say ‘I’m a multiple META award-winner’ for as long as she wants.”

Successes like this travel beyond community borders as well. Most cities across North America have similar ceremonies, he explains, and these awards act as important calling cards. 

“In Montreal, it’s about celebrating achievements in the community. Outside the city, it means accomplishment with a capital ‘A.’”

For Petrachuk, this is the culmination of a busy working year: since graduating last spring, she has performed in nine shows. All her effort has paid off with a pair of METAs, and she’s grateful.

“I’m thinking of all the people who got me here,” she says, smiling. “But I’m basically exhausted.”

Learn more about the Department of Theatre

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