Ottawa native Hannah Moscovitch on shortlist for Siminovitch prize

This year’s Siminovitch Prize will be awarded to one of four playwrights.

The list of 2017 nominees was announced in a media release Monday morning. The final four are:

Evelyne de la Chenelière was born in Montreal in 1975. A former member of the Nouveau Théâtre Expérimental, a company co-founded by Jean‑Pierre Ronfard. Her plays have been produced (in the original French and in translation) in Quebec, across Canada and around the world.

Ottawa native Hannah Moscovitch is a multi-award-winning playwright, librettist and screenwriter. Her work for the stage includes East of Berlin, The Russian Play, Little One, This is War, Infinity, What a Young Wife Ought to Know, Bunny and  Old Stock which played at the National Arts Centre this past summer before moving to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. She is currently playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.

Donna Michelle St. Bernard aka Belladonna the Blest is another multi-award winning emcee, playwright and administrator. Works for the stage include Sound of the Beast, They Say He Fell, A Man A Fish, Cake, The House You Build, Salome’s Clothes, Gas Girls and the interdisciplinary co-creation 501: Toronto in Transit with Bob Nasmith and Justin Manyfingers. She is Emcee-in-Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, Playwright-in-Residence at lemonTree creations and a vocalist with Ergo Sum.

Marcus Youssef has written and co-written some of Canada’s best-known theatrical investigations of otherness and difference, including Winners and Losers, King Arthur’s Night, Leftovers, How Has My Love Affected You?, Ali & Ali, Chloe’s Choice, Everyone, Adrift, Peter Panties, Jabber and A Line in the Sand. His works too have been performed across North America, Australia and Europe, and published by Talonbooks and Playwrights Canada Press. Amother multi-award winner, Youssef is the artistic director of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre and co-founder of the artist-run production centre, PL1422. He is also an editorial advisor to the Canadian Theatre Review, Canadian Fellow to the International Society for Performing Arts and ajunct professor of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

The $100,000 2017 Siminovitch Prize will be awarded on Nov. 6 at the National Arts Centre.

It operates on a three year cycle honouring in sequence directors, playwrights and designers. The winner gets $75,000 and then chooses a protégé who gets $25,000. Each finalist gets $5,000.

The 2017 jury includes Bob White, Nathalie Bonjour, Jessie Mill, Vanessa Porteous and Emma Tibaldo.

“The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was created in honour of my parents’ commitment to excellence both in the arts and in science. The Prize rewards outstanding theatre artists with recognition and resources that are transformational to their careers and, by extension, to our national culture,” said Dr. Kathy Siminovitch, Board Chair said in the media release. “This year is particularly meaningful for our family as the Prize shines a light on playwriting, my late mother’s passion and métier.”

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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.