GRACE under TWU professor Angela Konrad's direction nominated for 6 Jessie Awards.

Grace is the story of a zealous Christian couple and their disfigured neighbor and how the line is blurred between religiosity and empathy. The play written by Craig Wright (Six Feet Under, ABC's Lost and Brothers and Sisters) is not shy of controversy, something that affected Konrad's decision to direct the production.

Reticent to take on the project, Konrad recalls her initial thoughts. Says Konrad, “The ideas and themes in Grace really intrigued me but I had never done such an edgy play before.” Acknowledging that it was a solid script that gets good reviews everywhere due to its thought provoking dialogue, Konrad realized this play was, after all, for her. “Plays that stimulate discussion are my favorite ones to watch, particularly when they involve incredibly human characters in incredibly complex situations. That describes Grace exactly, so I decided it was time to take the risk."

Konrad's passion for directing is intrinsically connected to the success of her actors. She says, “My bias is that actors are the most important element of the production and the director's primary task is to get great performances from them.”

Apparently Konrad succeeded, as each of the four actors in Grace was nominated for an award. Jessie hopefuls are TWU theatre instructor Craig Erickson for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role, Alexa Devine for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role, and Duncan Fraser and Kerry Van Der Griend for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Rounding out the nominations is the overall production of Grace which is up for Outstanding Production, and of course Angela Konrad for Outstanding Direction.

Says Konrad, “The response to Grace has been phenomenal; people really connected to it. Now we'll just have to wait and see how we fare on June 18th.”

The Jessies' 25th Anniversary celebration will be held on Monday, June 18th at the Commodore Ballroom. The Jessie Richardson Theatre awards honor the best professional theatre in Greater Vancouver. More information and a complete list of nominations for this year's Jessie awards can be found at www.jessies.ca. More information on Grace can be found by visiting www.pacifictheatre.org.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music to business, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 15 graduate degrees include such areas as counseling psychology, business, theology, administrative leadership and interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history.

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum