Siminovitch prize shortlist of top theatre designers announced

This year’s shortlist for Canada’s largest theatre prize features four designers from across.

The Siminovitch Prize is awarded annually but it rotates discipline each year. This year it celebrates Canadian designers. Other years theatre directors and playwrights are recognized.

This year’s finalists were announced in a media release Thursday morning:

Itai Erdal is an award-winning lighting designer, writer and performer. He is the artistic director of Elbow Theatre in Vancouver and has designed lighting for more than 250 shows, for companies such as the Stratford Festival (10 productions), Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Playhouse, Arts Club Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Tarragon Theatre, Soulpepper, Factory Theatre, Citadel Theatre and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. He has also co-written and performed in A Very Narrow Bridge, This Is Not a Conversation and Hyperlink for Elbow Theatre.

Stéphanie Jasmin is UBU co-artistic director Stéphanie Jasmin has a degree in art history from the École du Louvre in Paris with a specialty in contemporary art, and a BA in filmmaking from Concordia University in Montreal. In addition to acting as artistic collaborator and/or co-director, she has designed the video for more than 30 UBU productions and designed the sets for more than half of them. She has written and directed two original stage plays. Since 2005, she has also been working as a dramaturg with several Quebec women choreographers. She regularly hosts creative workshops in Montreal and Europe.

Camellia Koo is a Toronto-based designer for theatre, opera and dance. Recent theatre collaborations include designs for Cahoots Theatre Projects, Factory Theatre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, National Arts Centre and Tarragon Theatre. Opera collaborations include designs for Against the Grain, Boston Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera, Helikon Opera (Moscow), Minnesota Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria and Tapestry New Opera.

Alexander MacSween is a Montreal-based sound designer, composer and musician. He has worked with Alberta Theatre Projects, Marie Brassard, Daniel Brooks, Brigitte Haentjens, François Girard, Robert Lepage, Necessary Angel, Le Nouveau Théâtre Experimental and the Stratford Festival, where he recently completed his sixth season.

The winner will be announced Nov. 5 at the National Arts Centre. He or she will receive $75,000 and choose a protégé to receive $25,000.

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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.