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2b Theatre sweeps the 2018 Robert Merritt Theatre Awards with eight wins 

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The 2018 Robert Merritt Awards came and went with a swift ceremony in the Casino’s Schooner Showroom on Monday night. Produced by Ken Schwartz with Dustin Harvey as the surprise host, the gala saw 2b Theatre’s Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story take home eight awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Play. The company is currently in New York City for the show’s off-Broadway run so their trophies were accepted by eager 2b Theatre staff running back and forth from the stage. Heist’s Princess Rules won four awards, notably for its costume design by Emlyn Murray, and whose entire team should be given the unofficial title for best-dressed, overall, forever.

Stephanie MacDonald won for her supporting role in Two Planks and a Passion Theatre’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream. Accepting the trophy, she acknowledged that the role she portrayed is typically given to men. More women was a sentiment echoed throughout the evening, which could also be a nudge for a female host next year.

Mary-Colin Chisholm delivered a touching speech accepting the Theatre Nova Scotia Legacy Award. “If I can give back as much as I’ve been given, I’ll be happy,” she said to the room of admirers. Laura Vingoe-Cram was honoured with the inaugural Neptune Theatre Chrysalis Award for Emerging Artist.

The general tone of the evening was relaxed and efficient, thanks in part to the lack of fanfare seen in previous galas. Host Harvey opted out of the stand-up banter and musical spoof in lieu of boxes labeled “more” and “less” from which he would periodically pull out slips of paper, providing impromptu instructions for the evening. More dance breaks. Less same. More snacks. (Although there were no snacks, to everyone's disappointment.) The highilight of the evening was still Richie Wilcox and Aaron Collier's matching flamingo-printed suits.

2018 Awards Winners

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (female)
Mary Fay Coady - Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story,  2b Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (male)
Hugh Thompson - Kingfisher Days, Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (male)
Richie Wilcox - Princess Rules, Heist

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (female)
Stephanie MacDonald - Dream By Fire, Two Planks and a Passion Theatre

Outstanding Choreography
Jacinte Armstrong - Princess Rules, Heist

Outstanding Costume Design
Emlyn Murray - Princess Rules, Heist

Outstanding Direction
Christian Barry -  Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story,  2b Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design
Ingrid Risk -  Snake in the Grass, Neptune Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction
Ben Caplan - Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story,  2b Theatre

Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian
Hannah Moscovitch, Ben Caplan and Christian Barry - Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre

Outstanding Original Score
Ben Caplan and Christian Barry - Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story,  2b Theatre

Outstanding Scenic Design
Louisa Adamson and Christian Barry, with Andrew Cull - Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story,  2b Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design

Aaron Collier - Princess Rules, Heist

Outstanding Production by a New or Emerging Company
I, Claudia, Felix Productions

Outstanding Production
Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story,  2b Theatre

Outstanding Presentation
Kim’s Convenience, presented by Neptune Theatre

Outstanding Technician: Sean Burke
Outstanding Stage Manager: Louisa Adamson
Outstanding Volunteer: Radovan Marinkovic & Brian McKenzie (Two Planks and a Passion Theatre) and Angela Butler (Theatre Arts Guild)
Theatre Nova Scotia Scholarship: Stephanie MacDonald
Neptune Theatre Chrysalis Emerging Artist Award : Laura Vingoe-Cram
Wes Daniels Design Award: Villian’s Theatre with Vicky Williams
Theatre Nova Scotia Legacy Award: Mary-Colin Chisholm

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