Thursday, October 16, 2014
Moderated by: Dr. Baņuta Rubess
Chris Abraham has been the Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre since 2007. At Crow’s, he has directed numerous productions including Winners and Losers, Someone Else, Eternal Hydra, I,Claudia, Boxhead, The Country, and Instructions to any future socialist government wishing to abolish christmas.
Chris is a multi-award winning theatre and film director, dramaturg and teacher who has worked with Canada’s foremost artists and theatres, including the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Globe Theatre and Theatre Junction among many others. In 2000, he co-founded and was the Co-Artistic Director of Bill Glassco’s Montreal Young Company. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award winning hit I,Claudia for which he won a Gemini award. The film was also named one of 2004’s top ten Canadian films by the Toronto International Film Festival.
A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as Co-Director of the school’s renowned directing program (2006-2010). Chris was the recipient of the John Hirsch and Ken MacDougall awards and the Siminovitch Prize in Directing in 2013, as well as the Siminovitch protégé award in the award’s inaugural year. Chris has directed the highly lauded Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, The Matchmaker, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and next year returns to direct The Taming of the Shrew.
Mitchell Cushman is a director, producer, educator, and Co-Artistic Director of Outside the March, one of Canada’s leading site-specific theatre companies. With OtM, Mitchell has staged such award-winning immersive theatrical experiences as Vitals, Terminus, Passion Play and Mr. Marmalade. As a director, Mitchell’s work has been seen on stages as large as the Royal Alexander Theatre, in spaces as intimate as a kindergarten classroom, and in locales as remote as Whitehorse and Munich.
Other favourite directing credits include: New Jerusalem (Harold Green); The Last of Romeo and Juliet, Possible Worlds (Talk is Free) and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Studio Theatre). Also an active theatre producer, Mitchell recently created and curated the East End Performance CRAWL, a site-specific solo festival for Crow’s Theatre. He has received numerous distinctions for his theatre work, including two Dora Awards for Outstanding Independent Production (Vitals, Mr. Marmalade), the Siminovitch protégé award, the Ken McDougal Award, and the Toronto Theatre Critics’ awards for Best Production and Best Director (Terminus). Mitchell is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s MFA Directing program.
Next year, he will direct Possible Worlds as part of the 2015 Stratford Festival season.
Dr. Baņuta Rubess is a director and writer with a string of innovative productions to her credit for audiences in Europe and Canada. One of the first dozen women to win the Rhodes Scholarship, she has a doctorate in history from Oxford University. Formerly a denizen of the Toronto theatre scene, she created groundbreaking works for Nightwood Theatre, Theatre Direct, and Tapestry New Opera Works, and for a heady four years, was Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille. In 1998, she moved to Riga, Latvia, to participate in the development of a new democracy, returning to Toronto in 2012. She writes plays, screenplays, essays, newspaper columns, poems, prose and libretti. She directs plays, operas, musicals, and intermedial works that elude definition. Her most recent projects include a production of Waiting for Godot in a cinema, a novel for young adults, and an adaptation of Mrs. Dalloway. Currently she is working with choreographer Julia Aplin on a project called Seven Documentary Theatres of Love. She has been teaching academic and practical courses in drama at the University of Toronto since 2010.
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). RBC is the Presenting Sponsor for the 2014 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.