David S. Craig honoured with Barbara Hamilton Award and 3 Dora Nominations for Roseneath Theatre

Roseneath Theatre is proud to see two of our 2013-2014 Season shows honoured with a total of 3 nominations for 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Awards!  Congratulations to all of the wonderful Artists whose excellent work brought these nominations to fruition.

For Outstanding Production:
Wired (presented by Roseneath, produced by Green Thumb Theatre)
For Outstanding New Play:
Beatriz Pizano for La Maleta (The Suitcase)
For Outstanding Performance – Ensemble:
The cast of La Maleta (The Suitcase)
Alejandra Simmons, Anita LaSelva, Joseph Recinos, Jessica Zepeda

And we are overjoyed to congratulate our former Artistic Director and Roseneath Co-Founder, David S. Craig – honoured with the Barbara Hamilton Award this year.  We all agree this honour is richly deserved and are thrilled to see his incredible contributions to Theatre For Young Audiences recognized in this way.

From David’s acceptance speech:

David S. Craig (r) receiving the Barbara Hamilton Award from Councillor Gary Crawford

This is the first time the Barbara Hamilton Award has been given to someone who has made a career with a principal focus on theatre for young audiences, and so I share this award with all my colleagues in Toronto and across Canada. Of those, I particularly want to name Patterson Fardell who has devoted so much of her working life bringing children to theatre and theatre to children and to NOW theatre reviewer Jon Kaplan who has consistently seen our work when he didn’t have to and was our champion when no one else was.

Creating theatre for young people has huge challenges and joys. The biggest challenge is to create a dramatic literature that reflects all the complexity and nuance of contemporary life in a way that can be understood by a child of six. It has to be simple but not simplistic; A pure colour for the child that provokes a catalyst of colours for adults.

The biggest joy is the children themselves. They are the best audience. Young people feel emotions with huge intensity. They will eat fast food if that’s all they are given, but they are hungry, starving even, for theatrical feasts.

I wanted to create that kind of theatre and then I wanted thousands to see it. At its peak, Roseneath Theatre reached an annual audience of 120,000 young people in every school district in Ontario. That was the largest audience of any theatre in Toronto and it is worth celebrating today.  People say, often very soberly, ‘children are the audience of the future’. My colleagues and I laugh because of course where else do audiences come from? I have personally never been interested in creating future audiences but I do now.

I love this hungry, passionate, rowdy, reckless audience of now. Let’s get ‘em hooked. Now. Thank you.”

Read the full award citation here

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