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Aug 30, 2019

Congratulations to Alexandre Fecteau, winner of the RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize



For outstanding work as an emerging director, Crow’s Theatre is pleased to announce Alexandre Fecteau as the recipient of the Crow’s Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize. Designed to encourage and celebrate our most outstanding early-career stage directors, the Prize provides a $5,000 award to emerging Canadian directors, as well as a residency at Crow’s Theatre. Alexandre Fecteau is a director and writer, known most for his creations Changing Room and Le NoShow. He received the John Hirsch Prize in 2013. As an invited artist, he has directed Ionesco’s Rhinoceros and Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus for the Théâtre du Trident (Quebec City); Denise Boucher’s The Fairies Are Thirsty and Michel Tremblay’s Forever Yours, Marilou for the Théâtre La Bordée (Quebec City); and Tirso de Molina’s The Shy Courtier for the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier (Montreal). Passionate about site-specific work, he has served as the artistic coordinator of the outdoor ambulatory theatrical experience Où tu vas quand tu dors en marchant…? in Quebec City since 2016. Next month, Alexandre will premiere a new production about the hidden world of assisted living homes for the elderly entitled, Tout Inclus, at La Licorne Theatre in Montreal.

“Alexandre is swiftly becoming one the leading voices in Quebec’s theatre community. His work is at once rigorous, supremely playful, and defies easy categorization. The jury was unanimous in their selection of Alexandre as the winner of this year’s prize, citing in particular, his achievements with Changing Room and Le NoShow as extraordinary examples of a verbatim theatre practice that is breaking rules and redefining the form," says Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham.

“I see this Prize as the greatest business card ever” says Fecteau, “For me, it is a great opportunity to get to know audiences and theatre artists outside Québec, starting with Toronto. I’m mostly excited about the residency, since it will bring together the things I like the most about being a director: being in a studio rehearsing, and getting to know new artists. I couldn’t feel more honored!”.

Following a call for submissions in Spring 2019, a jury unanimously selected Alexandre 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 Alexandre as this year’s recipient, we are proud to announce that directors Tanja Jacobs, Diana Donnelly and Rouvan Silogix were selected as finalists on this year’s Prize shortlist.

“Each one of them, moved, inspired, and challenged the jury with their accomplishments and visions for the theatre. The jury wanted to celebrate Tanja, Diana and Rouvan – and we look forward to being a resource for each of them at Crow’s Theatre in the years to come.” says Crow’s Theatre Executive Director, Sherrie Johnson.

Concerning the prestigious prize created by the RBC Foundation, finalist Tanja Jacobs offer this: “I am grateful to be recognized as a finalist for this important distinction.” She adds “Has there been a better time to give ourselves the task of making serious work in the theatre? In a time when violent forces would tear us away from each other, the theatre has the capacity to knit connective bridges between people. Let us not waste any opportunity for authentic communication. Let us keep making purposeful work with the support and encouragement of generous prizes like the RBC prize.”

“As a new-immigrant artist to this city and country” explains finalist Rouvan Silogix, “I am deeply honored and grateful to Crow's Theatre, and am endlessly excited about where possibilities might lead...”

Finalist Diana says: “I am really grateful to have made the shortlist, and in such good company. As an emerging director all I want to do is to keep going, keep playing, keep failing, keep laughing, keep throwing ideas at the wall. Making art is you against you, so this recognition is water during the great marathon. Thank you."

About the Finalists

Tanja is an award-winning actress and director. She directed George Bernard Shaw’s Getting Married for the Shaw Festival 2019 season, as well as acting in Cyrano de Bergerac and Man and Superman. For Porte Parole, she has appeared in Seeds, The Watershed, and The Assembly. Other recent directing credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in High Park), The Model Apartment (Harold Green Jewish Theatre), Caryl Churchill’s highly original Love and Information (Canadian Stage), La Bête (Soulpepper Theatre). For her work as an actress, Tanja has received eleven Dora nominations and three awards. In 2018, she was nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award for Directing, and won the Gina Wilkinson Prize for a female director moving from another discipline. Tanja completed her MFA in Stage Direction at York University in Collaboration with Canadian Stage.

Rouvan is a new-immigrant, Pakistani-Tanzanian queer, director, writer, actor, and classical pianist. He is a multiple grant-winning playwright. As an artist, he fights for what can be, and against what is expected. Prior to his time in Canada, he worked in New York City, and Karachi, Pakistani, including as a resident artist under Pakistani-Icon Zia Mohyuddin. He was a Writer-In-Development at Factory Theatre (2018- 2019) under Nina Lee Aquino. He currently works as an artist and producer at Mammalian Diving Reflex.

Upcoming: Next Stage Festival 2020. Select Credits (Toronto): The Private Life Cabaret (SummerWorks 2018), Professionally Ethnic (SummerWorks 2017), Grab 'Em by the P**** (Theatre ARTaud), Blood + Soil (Theatre ARTaud).

Diana is an actor who has recently expanded her practice into directing. She has worked all over the country in both classical and contemporary work. She played Dawn in Jerusalem at Crow's Theatre and shared the Best Ensemble Dora Award with her cast. A few years ago she began directing site-specific work at the Shaw Festival. In 2018 she was chosen as a Neil Munro Director's Intern. Diana directed Caryl Churchill's Far Away as her culminating project. In one scene she enlisted 40 mostly-senior volunteers to participate in a parade set to a carnival synthesizer version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart." This year she directed Hannah Moscovitch's The Russian Play, which is currently playing at the Shaw Festival. She was inspired by her collaboration with movement director Esie Mensah and her bold/kind actors and design and tech team.


About the Award

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 Jiv Parasram and Tom Arthur Davis from Pandemic Theatre, Sarah Kitz (director of Shakespeare in the Ruff’s most recent production The Winter’s Tale in association with Crow’s Theatre), Zachary Russell (co-writer the of upcoming production STARS: Together at Crow’s Theatre this fall) and Rebecca Northan (who helmed the Spontaneous Theatre program at Crow’s Theatre and is the creator of the smash-hit Blind Date).

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 Alexandre’s promise, and we congratulate him on this much deserved award."