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Twelve Canadian Directors Selected From More Than 80 Applicants, Representing Every Region Across the Country

September 15, 2004

TORONTO – The Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre today announced the Canadian directors selected to participate in the first-ever, all-expenses paid Master Class workshop with the inaugural 2001 Siminovitch Prize winning director, Daniel Brooks. The twelve participants were chosen from more than eighty applicants from across the country.

We are delighted with the incredible response we received from directors, said Janet Irwin, Master Class Jury Chair and Past President of Theatre Ontario. There is a real sense of excitement amongst Canadian directors right now. They are passionate about directing and are looking for inspiration and encouragement to further grow and develop their craft. The selected artists told us that they are thrilled with the opportunity to explore direction with Daniel and to connect with their peers from across the country, to share ideas and experiences.

Directors selected to participate in the 2004 Master Class in Directing on October 25th –
*Lois Brown – St. John’s , Newfoundland
Amiel Gladstone – Victoria, B.C.
Pamela Halstead – Parrsboro, Nova Scotia
Simon Heath – Toronto, Ontario
Craig Holzschuh – Vancouver, B.C.
*Jillian Keiley – St. John’s, Newfoundland
Arne MacPherson – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Ruth Madoc-Jones – Toronto, Ontario
Weyni Mengesha – Toronto, Ontario
*Ben Nind – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Jennifer Tarver – Toronto, Ontario
David van Belle – Calgary, Alberta
*2004 Siminovitch nominee

The 2004 Master Class in directing was developed by the Siminovitch Prize and Theatre Ontario, with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and BMO Financial Group. It is designed to celebrate one of the prime motivations behind the Siminovitch Prize: The importance of mentorship within the theatre community.

“It is a privilege to be able to pass on what I have learned over the many years of my career. Mentorship is extremely important for directors in this country and through this process, we have unearthed a desire for even more discussion and more opportunities for professional development on a national level,” said Brooks.

The Master Class participants will be working with a play that Mr. Brooks has directed in the past. The morning will include a discussion about the play selected. Mr. Brooks will talk about his experiences from the moment he decided to do the play, to opening night and beyond. He will cover why the play was chosen; the process of design and when designers became involved; casting; the rehearsal process and the audience. In the afternoon, the participants will consider alternative ways to approach the play.

The jury that selected the Master Class participants was chaired by Janet Irwin, Past President of Theatre Ontario; Leonard McHardy, 2004 Siminovitch Jury Chair; Jacoba Knaapen, Siminovitch Producer; and Daniel Brooks, Master Class Director.

Jury members were looking for directors with a personal vision and a level of experience who would benefit from working with Daniel Brooks and who would complement the other participants. To be considered, applicants submitted a resumé with a one-page cover letter highlighting their directing experience and the kind of instruction they seek.

Siminovitch Prize in Theatre

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was introduced in 2001 and dedicated to renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. Sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Canada’s richest annual theatre arts award recognizes direction, playwriting and design in three-year cycles, beginning with the 2001 award to director Daniel Brooks; the 2002 award to playwright Carole Fréchette; and the 2003 award to designer Louise Campeau. Directors will be honoured in 2004. The winner receives $100,000, of which $25,000 is awarded to a protégé or organization of the winner’s choice. Fifty-nine of Canada’s top directors have been recognized with nominations for the 2004 Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. This year’s prize will be presented on October 26, 2004 to a director who has made a significant contribution to theatre in Canada. A short-list will be announced on September 27, 2004.

JoAnne Hayes, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996
Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514) 877-1101

Biographies for the selected directors available upon request


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