An annual event since the Stratford Festival's second season in 1954, the Tyrone Guthrie Awards were presented on Saturday evening in the Paul D. Fleck Marquee in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Company members, theatre staff, and alumni received more than $63,000 in cash awards.

Named for the Festival's first artistic director, the awards were created by members of the first acting company to provide financial assistance for training, development, and special projects. They are funded each year by the proceeds from two designated performances, plus income from endowed awards. This year, the special Guthrie performances of Anything Goes and Noises Off netted $35,667 with $7,133.50 of that amount being donated to PAL (Performing Arts Lodge).

The Guthrie Awards allow recipients to pursue a variety of projects. This year, awards were given to support professional development opportunities in movement, music, dance, vocal work and technical areas such as painting and sculpting. Other awards support personal development, travel, theatre abroad and equipment such as musical instruments, computer software or photographic supplies. In 50 years, the Guthrie Awards have given more than $1.6 million to more than 1,800 individuals.

All members of the Festival company and staff, both past and present, are eligible for these awards and are invited to submit applications. The 2004 Guthrie Awards committee, chaired by actor Michelle Giroux, consists of actors Diane D'Aquila, Keith Dinicol, and Geordie Johnson; stage manager Melissa Rood; head of coaching Janine Pearson; Festival Theatre Master Electrician Alec Cooper; and Lorel Dawson, advertising and promotions manager.

In addition to the awards given from the general fund, named awards are administered by the committee and were given to the following recipients who work in the design departments:

  • Tom Patterson Award (for designer in training): Sean Mulcahy

  • Renato La Selva Award (for member of the Wardrobe Department): Margot Lamb

  • Brian Jackson Award (for theatre design study): Lucas Commerford

  • Dama Lumley Bell Award (for training or to recognize achievement in production crafts): Heather Ruthig

In addition to these named awards, the committee also granted funds for projects submitted by: Karin Ariss, Production – Wardrobe; Denise Bauman, Production – Wardrobe; Susan E. Dick, Production – Wardrobe; Karen Hancock, Production – Wardrobe; Annette Lenze, Production – Wardrobe; Sherri Neeb, Production – Wardrobe; François Rollin, Production - Boots and Shoes; Georgina Schinkel, Production – Wardrobe; Laura Snowden, Production – Wardrobe; and Michael Walton, Production - Lighting Design.

Wardrobe mistress Ina Brogan also received one of many unsolicited awards that go to company and staff members.