Prestigious award for Wakefield director
Wakefield’s Nadia Ross has been named the winner of the country’s most prestigious theatre award, the Siminovitch Prize.
“To be recognized by the Siminovitch Prize for directing is lifechanging. I am most grateful to the Siminovitch family and to the jury who selected me,” Ross said in a news release. “I am also delighted to help support the next generation with the additional protégé award. Thank you so much for this incredible gift.”
Now in its 16th year, the Siminovitch Prize recognizes a body of work in design, direction and play writing in three-year cycles. Winners receive $75,000, while $25,000 goes to a protege of their choice — Ross has chosen Sarah Conn and Shaista Latif to share $25,000 between them.
Ross’ work, which has blended performance, video and installation in pieces like What Happened to the Seeker, has garnered an international reputation since she established STO Union in Toronto in 1992 — which has grown into a touring company, presenting original Canadian work at festivals in Canada and across four continents internationally In 2005, Ross left Toronto to return to the Outaouais, where she was born.
Ross was among five finalists competing in the category of direction. The others were: Toronto’s Ross Manson, who has also directed in Ottawa; Quebec City-based Christian Lapointe; Ravi Jain, a Toronto director with a strong interest in theatre that is both poetic and political; and Jonathan Christenson of Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre. “Despite an incredibly talented pool of finalists, the jury unanimously selected Nadia as the laureate,” said jury chair Bob White in a news release. “We felt the integrity of her work, her profound vision for the theatre, and her fierce spirit best reflected the aspirations of the Siminovitch Prize.”
Her work is characterized by immediacy and intimacy, with a focus on dramaturgy that is thoroughly researched and located within historical narratives of power and politics. She has explored and pushed accepted boundaries and has been described as being “a forerunner of the international post-dramatic movement in Canada.”