NAC extends contract for Jillian Keiley; hires new managing director for English Theatre, David Abel

The NAC has extended Jillian Keiley's contract to 2022.

The NAC’s English Theatre department has added some new blood along with some continuity.

Artistic Director Jillian Keiley will stay in her post until at least 2022. She joined the NAC in 2012. She will be joined by a new managing director David Abel, who comes to the NAC from Toronto’s Art of Time which offers works in music, theatre, dance, film and literature.

Abel will assume his post on May 21.

From 2007 to 2011, Abel was managing director and general manager of the Canadian Stage company where he produced Canadian, American and international tours, including U.S. tours of Proof, Amadeus and Ain’t Misbehavin’.

“I am thrilled to be joining the exceptional team at the National Arts Centre in their passionate pursuit of collective change-making on a national scale,” Abel said in a media release. “It is more important than ever to hear from artists across Canada, and I look forward to partnering with the extraordinary Jillian Keiley in supporting those artists to the greatest extent possible.”

David Abel is the new managing director of the NAC’s English Theatre department.

His resume also includes work on the Canadian premiere of Broadway musicals such as Crazy for You and The Who’s Tommy for the Mirvish organization. In 2013, he received the Mallory Gilbert Award for leadership in Canadian Theatre.

“Working at the NAC has been a thrilling challenge and the greatest honour of my life,” Keiley said in a media release. “I look forward to this brand new chapter for English Theatre with David Abel holding the reins. With the power and passion of our wonderful staff, I truly believe we will bring English Theatre to new heights.”

Keiley is a winner of the Siminovitch Prize for Directing (2004), and holds honorary degrees from Memorial University and York University.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.