Grace is the story of a zealous Christian couple and their disfigured neighbor and how the line is blurred between religiosity and empathy. The compelling play, written by Craig Wright (Six Feet Under, ABC's Lost and Brothers and Sisters) caused a real stir in the Vancouver theatre community when it had its Canadian premiere in March.
Says Konrad, “Vancouver has an incredible number of vibrant independent theatres that make up the small theatre category. It was an honor to be nominated along with some of the most talented and well respected directors in the city. When you work in academic theatre you have very little time or opportunity to work professionally. So when that work is recognized it is especially rewarding. To win is thrilling!”
Not only did Konrad's Grace win for Outstanding Direction,it also won Outstanding Production.
This is Konrad's first Jessie award and one that she is eager to share with her fellow TWU colleagues. Says Konrad “This is a big deal for TWU and a big deal for our department. We have a really strong performance faculty who are all working professionals but sometimes it's hard to communicate the significance of that to people outside of the Vancouver area. Awards are a universal language, so the nominations and awards we receive help to identify the strength of our program.”
Joining her in the celebrations at TWU are other Jessie award winners and nominees. Nicole Bach, who has been TWU's resident costume designer for several years, took home the award for Outstanding Costume Design (small theatre) for Pacific Theatre's production of A Bright Particular Star, TWU instructor Craig Erickson was nominated for best actor in a leading role in both small and large theatre categories. While he did not take home personal awards, both productions that he starred in, Peer Gynt (Blackbird Theatre) and Grace (Pacific Theatre) won Outstanding Production, a true testament to his talent on stage. Ron Reed, artist-in-residence at TWU, is also the artistic director at Pacific Theatre, the company which led the nominations and wins for small theatre.
For Konrad, time will tell how this Jessie award will impact her career. “Directors are in a tough position as they can't audition,” says Konrad. “This award will help me be more recognized for my craft and can essentially be used as a calling card.”
As Angela holds the elegant solid bronze statue tightly she hints that there might be a bit of a custody battle for Jessie brewing at home. “While it's here at the University today, my husband Wilf has said that he wants it to live at home where he can see it,” says Konrad with a laugh. “That's completely okay because I couldn't have done it without him.”
The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards honor the best of Vancouver's Professional Theatre community. More than 36 awards were handed out at the Commodore Ballroom spread across three categories; Large Theatre, Small Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences.
More information on the theatre program at Trinity Western University and its faculty can be found by visiting www.twu.ca/theatre.
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