The biggest prize in Canadian theatre has gone to a video and set designer from Montreal who has fashioned an international career for herself.
Stéphanie Jasmin has won the 2018 Siminovitch Prize. Jasmin will receive $75,000 for her win and another $25,000 will go to support her hand-pickers protégé Max-Otto Fauteuil, who is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Set and Costume Design program.
Jasmin is best known for her work with the Montreal based avant-garde theatre production company UBU. Along with her colleague Denis Marleau, UBU has prepared some 60 productions over 30 years, ranging from opera to cutting-edge video presentations in Montreal, Canada and in Europe. The award was handed out at a ceremony in Ottawa on Monday night in the NAC’s Fourth Stage.
Jasmin’s background includes a degree 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 the co-director for UBU, she has designed the video for more than 30 UBU productions and designed the sets for more than half of those. Her stage work has been seen in Montreal (especially at Théâtre Espace GO) and in Europe (Festival d’Avignon; Comédie-Française, Paris; Manège de Mons; deSingel, Antwerp; and Grand Théâtre de Genève, Geneva). She has written and directed two plays, Ombres and Les Marguerite(s), and texts on theatre and the visual arts. Since 2005, she has worked as a dramaturg with several Quebec women choreographers.
“For me, creation is a space for shared awareness and exploration that constantly drives us to come up with imagined solutions and forms,” she said in a media release.
“At this stage in my career, (the prize) amounts to incalculable recognition and a phenomenal incentive for me to continue to explore and develop stage imagery in even greater depth, and the countless ways in which it meaningfully mirrors the world.”
The Siminovitch Prize is Canada’s largest national theatre award. The prize rotates on a three year cycle between directors, playwrights and designers. It honours theatre artists at mid-career. Each of the finalists gets $5,000.
Since 2016 a formal partnership has existed between the National Arts Centre and the Siminovitch Prize.