Sheridan-UTM students triumph in U of T Drama Festival

Image of student in Theatre Erindale play
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 10:11am
Nicolle Wahl

Students of the joint Sheridan-UTM Theatre and Drama Studies Program – participating as the UTM Drama Club -- won the major prizes in the U of T Drama Festival last week.

The festival took place at the historic Hart House Theatre on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto, from Feb. 15 to 18. Four nights of completely original one-act plays representing students from multiple colleges on three campuses were entered in competition.

The biggest winner was Kylah Thomson’s introspective play Trail of Embrace, in which a woman attempts to reinvent herself as she takes a look at how memory and love intertwine. The seven-member ensemble (Madeleine Brown, Courtney Keir, Mark Palinski, Wesley Payne, Nicholas Potter, Mark Snetzko and Evan Williams) together won the Hart House Theatre Award for Best Performance, while the show captured the Viewer’s Choice Award for Thursday, and Thomson took home the Robertson Davies Award for Playwriting. Kaitlyn Alexander directed, Nathaniel Rose designed the lights and the entire team won the President’s Award for Best Production.

This year’s festival adjudicator was Joel Grothe, head of the Performance Curriculum at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas (and a University of Toronto alumnus). Second-year student Brian Postalian was again the Drama Club representative on the Festival Organizing Committee.

Eight of the fourteen awards given out were awarded to three teams from the UTM Drama Club. These were made up of primarily first- and second-year students, although two senior students were able to participate as playwrights, and three cast-members from Theatre Erindale’s hit production of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) were available as actors.

Gevvy Sidhu’s play Twilight Soldier – set in Berlin at the end of the Third Reich – won both an Award of Merit for Direction for Victor Pokinko, and the IATSE Award for Best Technical Achievement. The cast included Sidhu, Brenna Stewart, Jack Morton, Samuel Turner and Roberto Esteves, while the stage manager was Kelsey Murphy and lighting was operated by Claire Kwiecien-Sherwood.

Andrew Di Rosa’s Days Like These captured both the Viewer’s Choice Award for Saturday and an Award of Merit for Acting for Adam Cresswell. Natasha Ramondino directed, and Alexandra Spyropoulos and Christian Tribuzio completed the cast, while the crew included Megan O’Kelly and Eliza Martin.