SMCP’s Cabaret receives 13 nominations, 5 awards at WODL Awards Gala March 19


Pictured, from left, are: Maggie Whitcroft (Producer), Tania Harvey (winner – costumes), John Stevens (cast), Angela Wettlaufer (cast), Ann Jackson (winner – Cameo performance and Kit Kat Girl), Don Van Galen (Producer and cast), Shawn Harvey (costumes and crew), Kristen Keller (cast), Denise Fergusson (dialogue coach), Melissa Metler (cast), Josey Christmas (winner – Kit Kat Girl), Landon Hoare (winner – best actor), Jay Harrison (set designer), Liane Gregory-Sterritt (Producer), Fern Pridham (SMCP President), Paula Hoare (Front of House Manager) and Sandy McDonald (WODL Adjudicator). (Eros Photography)

There is a famous quote by Goethe: “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

In recent months, the St. Marys Community Players made some very bold moves indeed. Perhaps the most bold was their decision to stage “Cabaret” (October 2015). “It was not a decision taken lightly,” said Fern Pridham, President of SMCP. With its pre-World War II era setting, mature content and serious themes, it was a departure from SMCP’s more recent fare of light comedies and cheerful musicals.

With this bold move, the mighty forces appeared: strong, talented newcomers from surrounding communities participated with SMCP for the first time, onstage and off; several ‘alumni’ returned to SMCP after a long absence; and some St. Marys locals pushed their own boundaries, delivering performances that delighted audiences. The audiences were mighty, too, in their praise for the show and their attendance, making it the highest box office of any show staged at SMCP. Co-producer Don Van Galen described the show as “a truly successful production built with the assistance of mighty forces.”

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St. Marys actor Lanny Hoare, right, poses for a photo with celebrated Canadian actress of stage and screen Denise Fergusson Saturday, March 19 at the Western Ontario Drama League Awards Night and Gala in Woodstock.

All that boldness and mightiness paid off when it was announced, Sunday, Feb. 21 at the Western Ontario Drama League’s 2016 Festival Awards, that SMCP’s Cabaret had earned 13 nominations and 5 awards in the ‘Out of Festival’ category. This is an historic number of nominations and winners for a single show produced by SMCP, and the group has been told their production of Cabaret also set a WODL record for most nominations for one show. A large contingent of the cast and crew made the trip to Woodstock on March 19 to accept their trophies and certificates in style at the Western Ontario Drama League Awards Dinner and Gala.

The complete list of nominations and wins are as follows:

Wodl Out Of Festival Nominations & Awards For Cabaret

● Outstanding Performance as an Actress in a Major Role: Nominated – Melissa Metler as Sally Bowles

● Outstanding Performance as an Actor in a Major Role: Winner – Landon Hoare as Emcee

● Outstanding Direction: Nominated – Terry Todd

● Outstanding Ensemble Production: Winner – The Cast of Cabaret

● Best Visual Production: Nominated – Cabaret

● Outstanding Performance by a Juvenile: Nominated – Maddox Keller

● Best Cameo Performance: Nominated – Dan Castello – Sailor; Winner Ann Jackson – Gorilla

● Best Visual Costumes of a non-rental Nature: Winner – Tania Harvey

● Best Set Design: Nominated – Jay Harrison

● Outstanding Lighting Design: Nominated – Gary Austin

● Special Adjudicators Awards:

● Winner – The Phenomenal Kit Kat Girls

● Outstanding Achievement by the Stage Management Team – Nominated – Tania Harvey, Altiera Essensa, Patti Muma-Cook and Fern Pridham

While there are no WODL awards to recognize their contributions, at the top of his presentation, adjudicator Sandy MacDonald made special mention of the Music Direction by Karen Rempel and Choreography by Rory Scofield for Cabaret. He also gave a special mention to Chloe Weir for her role as Fraulein Kost and to Andrew Hodges for his role as Bobby.

Next month, the Community Players will be bringing to the stage Oscar Wilde’s most loved and enduring comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

For more information or to purchase tickets on our upcoming shows visit, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.