LSM Newswire

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shaw Festival Artistic Director To Receive Herbert Whittaker Award

Shaw Festival Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell to Receive Herbert Whittaker Award

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, October 1, 2008 Ķ The Shaw Festival is thrilled to acknowledge that on Monday, October 6 Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell will be awarded the 2008 Herbert Whittaker/Drama Bench Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre.

The recipient of this prestigious award is chosen annually by the members of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association. Since 1982 the Award has been given to some of Canadas most respected theatre practitioners. Recent recipients include Joy Coghill, Monique Mercure, Brent Carver and Robert LePage.

On hearing that she was to receive the award, Ms. Maxwell said, How wonderful to receive this award which takes us away from the wear and tear of opening nights and reviews and focuses us on the long-term work we are all striving to do - making and celebrating theatre which will linger in our audience's minds and hearts long after the curtain falls. I am touched and honoured.

Under Ms. Maxwells creative leadership, the work produced on the Shaw Festivals stages has been characterized by a spirit of discovery, with classics from the period of Bernard Shaws lifetime reexamined with thoughtfulness and vitality and juxtaposed with contemporary explorations of the mandate.

Born and educated in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jackie Maxwell studied Drama at the University of Manchester. She acted in both Ireland and England before coming to Canada in 1978. Throughout her long and varied career in Canada, Ms. Maxwell has worked extensively as a freelance director and been instrumental in programme creation at many theatre companies, including the National Arts Centre as Associate Director, Factory Theatre as Artistic Director (1986 to 1994), and the Charlottetown Festival as Head of New Play Development.

Ms. Maxwell has been dramaturge and teacher for several Canadian theatre schools, most notably the National Theatre School in Montreal. For eight years she was Guest Artist/Lecturer at the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto. In October 2005 Ms. Maxwell was the recipient of the National Theatre Schools prestigious Gascon-Thomas Award, recognizing her exceptional achievements in Canadian theatre, and last year she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities from the University of Windsor.

The Herbert Whittaker Award is named for the late Critic Emeritus of The Globe and Mail, who was also the Founding Chairman of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association. Mr. Whittaker had a long and distinguished career in Canada as a theatre critic and author.

The 2008 season is proudly presented by HSBC Bank Canada/HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

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