Tarragon Theatre and RBC Foundation are pleased to announce the winner of the 2010/2011 RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights’ Competition, Ordinary Genius by Tracey Power. Ordinary Genius traces a young filmmaker’s imagined journey with the subjects of her film, American poet Walt Whitman and Canadian physician William Osler, as she grapples with her mother’s passing. The play was selected as the winner from a shortlist of three plays that also included Lake Laureate by Jordan Tannahill and Pieces by Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman.
Ordinary Genius was highly praised by the Competition’s prestigious panel of jurors – Robert Chafe, Governor General’s Award-winning playwright, Jenny Munday, Artistic Director of Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre and Bob White, Consulting Director of New Plays at Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Chafe observes Ordinary Genius is “well executed and sharply written”, while White remarked that it is “very ambitious and heart-felt.”
As the winner, Tracey Power will receive a cash prize of $3,000, as well as a year’s worth of dramaturgy at Tarragon Theatre, followed by a presentation as part of Tarragon Theatre’s Play Reading Week in November 2012.
Learning of her RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights’ Competition win, Power commented, “Tarragon Theatre is such an important and influential theatre in this country, and I am so honoured to accept this award, and to have this wonderful opportunity.” She adds, “Ordinary Genius is a play that asks big questions, and challenges me every time I sit down to write. It is these challenges that excite me as a playwright, and I know that Tarragon Theatre will be a great partnership in the development of this play. I look forward to learning from, and working with, them over the next year to write a script worthy of production.”
Originally from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Tracey Power now lives in Vancouver, B.C. As a playwright, her first play, a one-woman show Living Shadows, A Story of Mary Pickford, toured across Canada. Other writing credits include, Garage Alec a bilingual comedy that tackles the ever challenging language gaps of our country, The Great Mountain presented by Young People’s Theatre this season, Back to You, The Life and Music of Lucille Starr, If Romance is Dead Who Killed it?, The Big Sneeze touring with Axis Theatre and an adaptation of The Jungle Book published by Bakers Plays. Other plays in development include The Cardboard House and Miss Shakespeare for which she is also composing the music, and Better. Her newest creation CHELSEA HOTEL, The Music and Words of Leonard Cohen will premiere in February 2012 at The Firehall Arts Centre.
As an actor, Power has worked for theatres across Canada as well as internationally. Her upcoming performances include Anne in La Cage Aux Folles for The Vancouver Playhouse and Sarah in UBUNTU for Theatrefront/Western Canada Theatre. She has been the recipient of the Jessie Richardson Award and Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for her work.
The RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights’ Competition is generously supported by RBC Foundation. This is the third year RBC has supported the competition through their RBC Emerging Artists Project, which helps emerging artists bridge the gap from the academic to the professional world. In 2011, RBC committed more than $2.4 million in support of 114 arts organizations in 38 cities across Canada through the RBC Emerging Artists Project.
Shari Austin, RBC’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship said “RBC is proud to partner with the Tarragon Theatre and support the next generation of Canadian playwrights. Tarragon Theatre is recognized as a leader in presenting the best new Canadian works and through this competition, we can identify and nurture these new talented playwrights and help them succeed.”
Tarragon Theatre wishes to acknowledge the ongoing support of RBC Foundation.
The 2011/12 media sponsor is NOW Magazine. Tarragon Theatre gratefully acknowledges annual operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.
ABOUT TARRAGON THEATRE
Tarragon Theatre is known for its creation, development and production of new Canadian work. Over our 40 years, more than 190 plays have premiered at Tarragon, including work by Morwyn Brebner, David French, Michael Healey, Wendy Lill, Joan MacLeod, Daniel MacIvor, Morris Panych, James Reaney, Jason Sherman and Judith Thompson, among many others. Tarragon presents new plays from all parts of the country, revives significant Canadian plays and produces international work, contemporary and classical. Tarragon has also been a pioneer in presenting Quebecois plays in translation notably works by Michel Tremblay, Carole Fréchette, and most recently, Wajdi Mouawad. The theatre offers extensive play development programs and an active outreach and education department. For more information visit www.tarragontheatre.com
ABOUT RBC AND THE ARTS
RBC sponsors a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Proud to support events and passions that resonate with our clients, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Emerging Artists Project, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition; the RBC Emerging Visions Program; and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition, part of our commitment to the world’s top public film festival – the Toronto International Film Festival®.