News (National): Olivier Choinière wins 2014 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre

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News (National): Olivier Choinière wins 2014 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre

The 2014 Siminovitch Prize was held October 20, at University of Toronto’s Hart House Theatre
Congratulations to all the finalists and recipient Olivier Choinière and his protégée Annick Lefebvre.
Click here to view the evening program in pdf form

siminovitch_logo2014 SIMINOVITCH PRIZE IN THEATRE

Four remarkable playwrights have been selected as finalists for the 2014 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 (*2014 recipient) – 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, andThis 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. (*Pig Girl world premiere was held in Edmonton as part of Theatre Network’s 2013 season.)

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).