Concordians win big at the 7th annual Montreal English Theatre Awards
This year’s Montreal English Theatre Awards (METAs) marked a record year for Concordia’s Department of Theatre faculty, students and alumni. They walked off with five awards after receiving 38 nominations in 14 of the 18 categories.
The annual ceremony, held this year at the Monument-National theatre on November 3, sheds light on notable community and professional English-language theatre productions across the city. Its awards committee is entirely volunteer-run.
Patrick Émmanuel Abellard, who hosted the ceremony along with Kate Hammer, said the METAs are “about community theatre, theatre that gives voices to people who are underrepresented.”
This show really had to do with love, and acts of love’
The Concordia victories were among the night’s highest honours. Liz Valdez (BFA 04), alumna and part-time theatre instructor, won the Outstanding Direction award for the play Encore, as part of the Tableau D’Hôte Theatre.
“This show really had to do with love, and acts of love,” said Valdez, as she went on stage to accept her award. She said she was honoured by the METAs’ recognition and that the entire English-language theatre community had supported her and inspired her throughout the years.
The Clean Slate team from Talisman Theatre earned the Outstanding Ensemble award. Translated from French, the play relates the tribulations of six young women who come back to the chalet where they used to spend time together in their teenage years.
The ensemble included Cleopatra Boudreau (BFA 18), Michelle Langlois-Fequet (BFA 17) and Kathleen Stavert (BFA 06), and the play was directed by part-time theatre instructor Leslie Baker. An active member of the Montreal anglophone theatre community, Baker won both the Lead Performance and Independent Production awards in 2017.
The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society won the Outstanding Community Production for its play, Cabaret. Its artistic director, Anisa Cameron (BFA 02), is a Concordia theatre grad.
The themes of openness and diversity were a part of this year’s awards ceremonies. The evening started with a short introduction about colonization, hosted by the Black Theatre Workshop. Many speeches and interventions also focused on self-acceptance and celebrating diversity.
The Outstanding New Text went to Rhiannon Collett for The Kissing Game, presented by Youtheatre. Collett, who studied theatre and English literature at Concordia, dedicated her acceptance speech and her play to queer “suburban Montreal high-school kids.”
She was also nominated in the Outstanding Emerging Artist(s) – Performance category.
The cast of the Broadway adaptation Choir Boy by Centaur Theatre closed the evening by winning the Outstanding PACT (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres) Production award. Mike Payette (BFA 07) directed the play, which was a big hit with the public and critics.
The cast and crew of the other nominated productions in that category — Encore, The Last Wife and Once — all featured Concordia faculty and alumni.
Find out more about Concordia’s Department of Theatre.