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“Regardless of what drives them, these artists stand alone. And yet, each of these five artists is also renowned for opening their arms, so generously, to upcoming voices. They are known for providing encouragement, mentorship, inspiration, even shelter. Deeply rooted in their craft as playwrights, these artists are leaders in their communities, and their influence is felt in multiple dimensions, both deep and wide. When their work meets an audience, it is unforgettable. A thrilling list.”
Beagan is co-founder and director of ARTICLE 11 and is currently playwright-in-residence at Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg. This year, Began’s Honour Beat won the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama. Her play Deer Woman recently premiered in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Karen Hines is the author of seven award-winning plays and she has twice been a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, for her Drama: Pilot Episode and for her trilogy of Pochsy Plays. She is the long-time director of internationally beloved adult horror clowns Mump & Smoot.
Due to physical distancing rules, the ceremony will be virtual this year on Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. MT. through the National Arts Centre.
The prize recognizes the importance of mentorship to support emerging talent: the laureate receives $75,000 and selects a protégé who receives $25,000. The prize rotates annually between honouring playwrights, directors and designers.