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SARAH KITZ Named winner of the 3rd annual Crow's Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize

Sep 7, 2017

For outstanding work as an emerging director, Crow’s announces Sarah Kitz as the recipient of Crow’s Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize. Designed to encourage and celebrate our most outstanding early-career stage directors, as well as to provide a forum from which to practice their craft with professionals, the Prize provides a $5,000 award to a Canadian emerging director, as well as a paid residency at Crow’s Theatre.

“Sarah is powerhouse talent,” says Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham. “She is a creator of strange and beautiful worlds that court ambiguity and revel in complexity. Her work interrogates the political underpinnings and consequences of unexamined normality through history. She is passionate about art as a force for social change, and is an advocate for women’s voice in theatre. Sarah, who began her career as an actor, has now made the leap into directing, and Canadian Theatre is lucky that she did.”

Sarah is on the ascent, participating in both the Michael Langham Workshop at the Stratford Festival of Canada and the Shaw Festival’s prestigious Neil Munro Intern Directors Project. She directed for the Next Stage Festival, SummerWorks, and Shakespeare In The Ruins. She is extensively involved with the AMY Project, which supports the creative trajectories of young women and non-binary youth in Toronto through arts mentorship. To date, Sarah’s twin focus lies in re-visioning classical works to recognize their current day interpretation, and in new creation.

“Theatre is a destabilizer and a source of hope,” says Kitz, “We can shift the narrative. That’s what I want to do. I’m adding my voice to those insisting on a better future, using new-old rituals. I am interested in making theatre that is urgent and dangerously alive. I am acutely aware that our reality is shaped by the stories we tell. With theatre, I seek to open spaces for possibility and change.”

Following a call for submissions in Spring 2017, a jury comprised of Abraham and other professional artists unanimously selected Sarah from an exceptional group of theatrical innovators in the early stages of their directing practice. The jury took into account:

  • the merits of the applicants’ current body of work,
  • their creative potential and
  • the impact of artistic residency on the up-and-coming director’s professional development.

As well as announcing Sarah as this year’s recipient, we are proud to announce that emerging directors Alexandre Fecteau and Jill Connell were selected as finalists on this year’s Prize shortlist.

Sarah’s residency at Crow’s Theatre commences in the fall of 2017. Her proposed “central project” is The Crone Show. The Crone Show is an original documentary theatre piece that affords a large ensemble of senior women the chance to provide their “last words”. Sarah anticipates that these words may come in the form of advice, blessings, curses, jokes, prayers, sass, admonishments and general, compelling theatrical offerings.

Concerning the prestigious prize created by the RBC Foundation, Sarah offers this: “To be recognized by my community, by senior artists and peers, is to be invited in. I’m in a place in my work where I feel clear-sighted about where I’m going and that gives me greater drive and determination to make work that opens more doors, that is more sustainable, that moves us forward, that offers stories that we need now from voices that we need now.”

The RBC Emerging Artists Project helps artists bridge the gap from emerging to established and supports organizations that provide the best platform to advance their career trajectory. The RBC Foundation supports arts organizations and artists in a range of genres, including visual art, music, theatre, performance, literature and film. Past recipients of the Crow’s Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize are Zachary Russell (director of last season’s Dora Award-winning The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely) and Rebecca Northan (who helms the Spontaneous Theatre program at Crow’s Theatre and premieres her latest work Undercover at Tarragon Theatre this fall).

Chris Abraham adds, “With its ongoing commitment to emerging artists in Canada, RBC has set its sights on the most critical group in need of support for a vibrant culture - the cultural innovators who seek to shake up the complacency of the world they inherit. This is Sarah’s promise, and we congratulate her on this much deserved award.”