Theatre kudos

Two of Canada's most prestigious national theatre awards revealed their shortlists this week.The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre rotates annually between.

Two of Canada’s most prestigious national theatre awards revealed their shortlists this week.

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre rotates annually between directors, playwrights and designers. This years award, which includes a $100,000 prize $25,000 of which goes to a protege chosen by the winner highlights the work of a director.

Two of the five finalists are Toronto artists: Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatres artistic director and associate artistic director at Soulpepper, and Ross Manson, whose company, Volcano, focuses on multidisciplinary performance.

A third, Nadia Ross, is now based in Quebec with her troupe STO Union, but back in the 80s the company was a driving force in the local indie scene. STO Union presented a show called 7 Important Things at SummerWorks 2013.

The others on the shortlist are Jonathan Christenson, artistic director of Edmontons Catalyst Theatre (the companys production of Frankenstein played at Canadian Stage several years ago), and Quebec City director Christian Lapointe.

The winner will be announced October 28 at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, with which the Siminovitch Award has just launched a partnership. Two previous winners of the award, Jillian Keiley and Brigitte Haentjens, currently run, respectively, English and French theatre at the Centre. Also new this year is an alliance between the Siminovitch and the National Theatre School of Canada, a partnership that will expand the prizes focus on mentorship.

Finalists for the Governor Generals Literary Awards were also made public.

In the English drama category, the playwrights and works given the nod are Brad Frasers Kill Me Now, Colleen Murphys Pig Girl, Donna-Michelle St. Bernards A Man A Fish, Jordan Tannahills Concord Floral and Mary Vingoes Refuge.

All but Vingoe are Toronto-based writers Nightwood Theatre staged her nominated play last year. Tannahills play is currently running as part of the Canadian Stage season.

Playwrights Canada Press published the majority of the plays Vingoes script comes from Scirocco Drama/J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing.

The Canada Council, which sponsors the awards, will announce the GG Award winners in all categories on October 25.

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