Natasha wins a Merrit

Congratulations to Natasha MacLellan who added another theatre award to resumé. She took home the Mayor’s Emerging Theatre Artist Award during the Robert Merritt Awards gala ceremony, held Monday night at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth.
From the March 30th, 2010 edition of The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — Natasha MacLellan emerged with an award on one of the biggest nights of the year for the Nova Scotia theatre community.

The 32-year-old native of Southwest Margaree took home the Mayor’s Emerging Theatre Artist Award, presented by Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly during the Robert Merritt Awards gala ceremony, held Monday night at the Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth.

An established actor, playwright and director, MacLellan has been receiving lots of recognition recently. Last year, she was selected as the protégé prize recipient by Portia White Award winner Mary Vingoe, who was eligible to choose an emerging Nova Scotian artist or cultural organization for the prize worth $7,000. MacLellan has performed with theatres across Nova Scotia, including the Mulgrave Road Theatre, Ship’s Company Theatre and One Light Theatre and has travelled across the country with various productions. She is also co-founder of the theatre company, Forerunner Playwrights Theatre.

MacLellan’s emerging theatre artist award was one of several special honours presented during the evening, in addition to the nominated award categories. Cape Bretoners in those categories were shut out of the awards. Billy MacLellan was nominated in the outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of cousin Alexander in Neptune Theatre’s production of No Great Mischief, but Bill Wood took home the top prize. Cape Breton natives Ron Jenkins and Daniel MacIvor were both nominated for outstanding direction — Jenkins for Extinction Song, and MacIvor for A Beautiful View — but Ken Schwartz came out the winner for the play Rockbound. Both Jenkins and MacIvor were also up for outstanding new play by a Nova Scotian playwright for the same plays, while the island’s Bev Brett was nominated in the same category for Out The Meadow. Allen Cole took home the playwright award for Rockbound.

The Robert Merritt Awards, which recognize excellence in Nova Scotia theatre, are conducted by Theatre Nova Scotia and sponsored by Canadian Actor’s Equity Association, Filmworks, IASTE 680, Sky Talent Group, The Atlantic Talent Agency, The Cassidy Group, Egg Films, Tour Tech East, The Playwright’s Atlantic Resource Centre and the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage.