About the Brickendens

Why do the Brickendens exist?

To celebrate and acknowledge excellence in independent theatre in London, in recognition of the continued burgeoning of new and non-mainstream theatre groups in London since the mid-90s.

The Birth of the Brickendens

In 2002, Christopher Doty, resident critic for the Theatre in London website, proposed filling an information gap by compiling a listing of the best shows of the year, thus recapping the year in London, Ontario live theatre. Jeff Culbert, co-founder of the Theatre in London website, turned Doty’s idea into a competition where nominees would be posted on the website, followed by an announcement of the winners on New Year’s Day.

In December 2002, Theatre in London co-founder and webmaster Sean Wilson created an on-line voting system for members of the public. Two sets of winners, critic’s choice and people’s choice, were created. These awards, in name only, were called The Brickendens, in honour of the late local actress, director and playwright, Catharine Brickenden.

What is the structure of the Brickenden Committee?

The Brickenden Committee has three levels of involvement, the Chairperson (Patsy Morgan) and administration, the Jury Panels, and the Awards Ceremony.

What is the make-up of the current Brickenden Committee?

They are committed individuals with a love of and varied experience in live theatre. For example, theatre columnists; those with experience in arts administration; those who have been involved in live theatre, but currently are not actively involved; members of the media with an interest in the arts; or avid theatregoers.

Brickenden Committee

  • Patsy Morgan – Chair
  • Matt Loop – Secretary/Treasurer
  • Harry Edison
  • Richard Gilmore
  • Jen Loop
  • Rod Keith

Panel Members

The “core” Panel members are responsible for viewing a minimum of 60% of all registered productions. This means that a minimum of 5 core panel members will have seen every registered production presented in London; in the case of youth productions, a minimum of 3 panel members.

Core Panel

  • Cora Linden
  • Wendy J Lewis
  • Jacqui Vandale
  • Susan Price
  • Liz Hicks
  • Delilah Deane Cummings

Youth Panel

  • Angela Daniel-Burwash
  • Karen Bailey
  • Laura Applebee
  • Rachel Weisdorf
  • Jordan Baldwin
  • Carol McKenna

Original Script Panel

  • Harry Edison
  • Mary Neill
  • Kerry Stover

What does the Brickenden Committee do?

The Brickenden Committee presents annual awards recognising outstanding work in all aspects of live independent theatre staged in London during the previous year. Awards are presented in the following categories:

outstanding director of the year
Actor – Male
outstanding actor of the year
Actor – Female
outstanding actor of the year
Supporting Actor – Male
outstanding supporting actor of the year
Supporting Actor – Female
outstanding supporting actor of the year
outstanding lighting design of the year
outstanding set design of the year (including props)
outstanding sound design of the year
outstanding costume design of the year
outstanding makeup design of the year
Original Script
outstanding original script by a local playwright
outstanding drama production of the year
Youth Drama
outstanding drama production produced by a cast and crew under the age of 17
Youth Musical
outstanding musical production produced by a cast and crew under the age of 17
Musical Production
outstanding musical production of the year
outstanding comedy production of the year — includes any form of comedy based on a script (i.e. does not include stand-up comedy, ventriloquism or novelty acts unless they have been encompassed within a play)

Panel members attend up to one hundred productions a year. When the nomination process is complete, the public will have the opportunity to register their vote online. Finally, utilizing the results of the Academy`s nominations, the adjudication panel members will meet to select the award recipients in all categories. The awards are presented at an awards ceremony in January.

One award is selected solely by the Adjudication Panel members. The Chris Doty Award is given to an individual or organization to honour their lifelong contributions to theatre in London.

Criteria for an eligible production

Any production mounted during the calendar year (January 1st to December 15th) within the city limits of London by a predominantly local cast and crew*.

Productions that have been adjudicated in a previous year, unless significantly altered in cast, script, etc., are not eligible for consideration. If you are unsure if your production is eligible please contact the Brickenden Awards Committee.

Play readings do not qualify for the awards.

Productions originated by the Grand Theatre on either its main stage or in the McManus Studio Theatre — including the High School Project — are not eligible for nomination. However, registered independent productions staged at this venue qualify for consideration in all the categories.

All productions wishing consideration MUST register on the website no later than 30 days prior to opening in order to allow the adjudicators time to book a viewing.