Producer at Holding Space Productions, Christie Watson, spoke with Artslandia recently about pulling together The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Christie answers a few lightening speed questions about last year’s event in anticipation for the 35th Jessie Awards on June 26.
What’s the best part about producing the Jessies?
Christie Watson: I love having the opportunity to create community and host a celebration.
Best moments from last year?
CW: It was so cool when, at the beginning of the night, the whole room stood up to show that everyone was in some way part of the theatre community. Bob Baker’s Welcome and Blessing was great too—I’m really looking forward it again this year. I enjoyed seeing folks from so many different backgrounds present awards. I also loved how short the show was. Oh, and Allesandro Juliani (Best Actor) being “shamed into sincerity” (his words) was fantastic, as well as Milton Lim’s (Emerging Director) impassioned call for more support and recognition for the creative process and diverse practices. It really struck a chord with me.
CW: Having to pick winners. It would be awesome if we could celebrate all the nominees and just leave it at that.
What are you looking most forward to this year?
CW: Seeing everything come together. We don’t get to see the whole show from beginning to end until the actual event, so the night is full of surprises.
One of your most recent projects?
CW: I was the producer for the world premiere of a new musical about the residential school system here in Canada called Children of God which just finished a run at the York Theatre in Vancouver and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. It was an honour to be able to contribute to such an important production.
Advice to winners when accepting their Jessies?
CW: Keep it short and be yourself!
The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards takes place at 5:30pm on June 26, 2017 at the Commodore Ballroom. Get your tickets here.
Christie Watson moved to Vancouver from Ottawa in 2008. Working in many roles within the cultural arena, he built a wide network in the community that made it possible for him to establish Holding Space Productions, a Vancouver-based production company in 2015. His recent productions include TBD: Liberation Through Hearing (RADIX), Sonic Elder (The Chop), and Children of God (Urban Ink). holdingspaceproductions.ca