The musical “Rose” won four trophies at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Soulpepper’s original musical ‘Rose’ among big winners at Dora theatre awards

TORONTO — Soulpepper’s first original musical “Rose” was among the big winners at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

The production scored four trophies at the ceremony in Toronto on Tuesday night, including outstanding new musical.

“Rose” led the musical theatre category, netting honours for best direction for Gregory Prest and an acting prize for featured player Peter Fernandes.

From Sarah Wilson and Mike Ross, the musical is based on Gertrude Stein’s little-known tale “The World is Round” and follows a young girl on a whimsical adventure.

Broadway import “Next to Normal,” a Musical Stage Company production presented by David Mirvish, also landed wins for best production and best leading performance for Ma-Anne Dionisio.

In the general theatre category, Soulpepper swept all four design awards, including three for “The Royale” and one for “Orlando.”

“School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” from Obsidian Theatre in association with Nightwood Theatre, nabbed trophies for best production and best direction for Nina Lee Aquino.

Set in an elite boarding school in Ghana in the 1980s, the comedy by American playwright Jocelyn Bioh offers a West African spin on the universal themes of teenage cruelty.

“The Runner” led the independent theatre division with three Doras, including best production and best new play.

The one-person show, produced by Human Cargo with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille, is based on the real-life story of a volunteer in ZAKA, an Israeli rescue and recovery organization.

The Canadian Opera Company dominated the opera category, racking up five wins for “Eugene Onegin,” including best production.

“Hadrian,” from writer Daniel MacIvor and composer Rufus Wainwright, also earned a trophy for best new opera, while Gerald Finley won a prize for his performance in ”Otello.”

In the dance division, ”Blood Tides,” from DanceWorks/ Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, and “Trace,” from Red Sky Performance in association with Canadian Stage, each took home two Doras apiece.

The annual awards are presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and celebrate excellence in the Toronto’s theatre, dance and opera.

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