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Four remarkable playwrights have been selected as finalists for this year’s Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.
“These four playwrights demonstrate the astonishing and wonderful diversity in writing for theatre in Canada,” said Jury Chair John Van Burek. “Our finalists are passionate, accomplished artists who galvanize audiences and tell the most meaningful stories in a myriad of ways
Michel Marc Bouchard – Bouchard’s writing marries a mature and poetic voice with an adventurous theatricality. He creates compelling and irreverent characters; often outsiders trying to negotiate their way through a difficult world in plays such as Lilies and Christina, The Girl King. His work has been widely seen across Canada in both French and English, including productions at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.
Olivier Choinière – Choinière is known as a provocative risk-taker, and as someone who is always questioning and reinventing his theatre. He is well known for his early play Autodafé, and more recently for Félicité. This play was subsequently produced as Bliss at London’s Royal Court, and Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times in a translation by Caryl Churchill.
Hannah Moscovitch – Moscovitch’s plays take on big issues as seen through the emotional and moral struggles of her complex characters. Coming out of indie theatre, she brings sensitivity and wisdom to plays such as East of Berlin, which explores the lingering effects of the Holocaust many years later, and This Is War, where a group of Canadian soldiers are forced to confront a disturbing incident in Afghanistan.
Colleen Murphy – Murphy’s tough, hard-hitting plays pull back the curtain on disturbing subjects that we often don’t want to look at. But her stories are told in an intimate setting through deeply human characters. The December Man (L’homme de décembre) is driven by the Montreal Massacre, and her recent play Pig Girl was inspired by the murders of the missing women in Vancouver.
The 2014 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre will be awarded on Monday, October 20 2014, at 8:00 p.m. at Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto. The evening is hosted by the Gemini Award-winning performers and writers Susan Coyne (Slings and Arrows) and Mark McKinney (Kids in the Hall, Slings and Arrows)
The largest theatre prize in Canada, this $100,000 award allows the recipient to take his or her craft to the next level of accomplishment. At the same time, it encourages the next generation of artists by allocating $25,000 of the prize money to a protégé of the recipient’s choice. Over a three-year cycle, the prize celebrates a director, playwright or designer whose work is transformative and influential.
The 2014 jury included Chair John Van Burek (Toronto), Rachel Ditor (Vancouver), Brian Dooley (Edmonton), Brendan Healy (Toronto), and Jean-Denis Leduc (Montreal).
“The quality of our finalists this year demonstrates the strength of playwriting in this country,” said Dr. Lou Siminovitch. “We are delighted to support Canadian theatre artists with the help of our Presenting Sponsor RBC Wealth Management, and partners University of Toronto, Hart House Theatre and the Friends of the Siminovitch Prize.”
“At RBC, we have a long-standing commitment to supporting the next generation of Canadian artists,” said Rebecca Mooney, Vice President, Brand and Marketing, RBC Wealth Management. “We are thrilled to partner with the Siminovitch Prize to recognize and celebrate Canadian talent in theatre.”
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 40 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability
About the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre
The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre honours professional directors, playwrights and designers by acknowledging excellence while encouraging even greater exploration and originality in Canadian theatre. The Siminovitch Prize was created in 2001 and is dedicated to distinguished scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. A jury awards the $100,000 prize annually. Previous recipients are Daniel Brooks (2001), Carole Fréchette (2002), Louise Campeau (2003), Jillian Keiley (2004), John Mighton (2005), Dany Lyne (2006), Brigitte Haentjens (2007), Daniel MacIvor (2008), Ronnie Burkett (2009), Kim Collier (2010), Joan MacLeod (2011) Robert Thomson (2012) and Chris Abraham (2013).
For more information visit www.siminovitchprize.com