Toronto – March 10, 2017 – The Gina Wilkinson Prize Committee is pleased to announce that Kimberley Rampersad of Winnipeg, Manitoba is the recipient of the sixth annual Gina Wilkinson Prize for an Emerging Female Director.
Kimberley Rampersad has been working as an actor over the last twenty years. Her growth as an artist has lead to choreography and now direction. She has participated as a director in the Mentor-Apprentice program (Obsidian), the Jean Murray – Moray Sinclair Apprenticeship (RMTC), and as both director and choreographer as an Artist-in-Residence (Rainbow Stage). Her credits this season include directing Routes (MTYP), and choreographing Seussical: The Musical (YPT), Passing Strange (Acting Up Stage/Obsidian) and Bittergirl: The Musical (RMTC).
“The encouragement this gives me – being acknowledged by the committee as an artist capable of making a meaningful contribution to our craft – is beyond measure. The extraordinary spirit of Gina is embodied in this honour and I am humbled to betouched by her magic, and to be in the company of the nominees and past recipients. Thank you to Steven Schipper and RMTC for the nomination, along with Pablo Felices-Luna, and Philip Akin for his continued mentorship.”
Ms. Rampersad was selected from a short list that includes Tamara Brown, (Montreal), Kim Harvey, (Vancouver) and Severn Thompson (Toronto). See bios below.
Tamara Brown is an Montreal-based actress, singer, director, and poet with a love for storytelling, geekery, and social justice. Co -founder of Montreal’s Metachroma Theatre, her favourite acting credits include Afrika Solo, The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (Black Theatre Workshop/Centaur Theatre/NAC), Richard III (Metachroma), Robin Hood (Geordie Productions), and Da Kink In My Hair (Theatre Calgary/NAC).TV credits include Helix, Quantico, The Art of More, This Life, 19-2, The Game,Gothica, LARPs: The Webseries, and video games for Eidos Ubisoft. As a director, her work has been seen in Toronto, Winnipeg, New York, Stratford, and Montreal. Her most recent work, Black Theatre Workshop’s 2017 TYA production of Bluenose, a musical comedy written by Emil Sher, currently touring elementary and high schools in Montreal.
Kim Harvey is from the Tshilqot’in, Syilx, Kutenai, Dakelh and Canada Nations and has spent the last 10 years working across Canada as an Actor. Kim is excited to be working with Savage Society, Rumble Theatre, Western Canada Theatre, the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, Urban Ink and The Cultch in Directing and Assistant Directing roles. She is deeply invested in community and youth engagement and is currently the Youth Program Manager at The Cultch, she’s worked on the Mayors Task Force for Mental Health and Addiction as well as the City of Vancouver’s Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee. Kim believes in equitable opportunity and looks forward to more women and minorities being decision makers in the Canadian Theatre community.
As an actor, Severn Thompson has performed in theatres across the country including several seasons at both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. This past winter, she completed a tour performing the title role in Elle, a play that she also adapted (Dora nominated). She is an acting graduate of the National Theatre School as well as Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory. Most recently, Severn directed a musical production of Peter Pan for Bad Hats Theatre that toured Toronto breweries. Other directing credits include Madam Mao (SummerWorks and remount), Beyond the Farm Show (Blyth Festival), and The Munsch Bunch (George Brown). Severn has recently been announced as Blyth Festival’s Associate Artistic Director and will be directing the collectively created play, ”The Pigeon King” for Blyth’s upcoming season.
The Committee received twenty three nominations from across the country and was thrilled by the calibre of the artists vying for the Prize. The nominations spoke to an incredibly diverse, intelligent and passionate group of artists who, as emerging directors, are clearly dedicated to creating not only a lively, rigorous and positive environment for theatre-making but also to providing audiences in their communities with theatre experiences of the highest order.
Gina’s Prize honours a Canadian female theatre artist who is transitioning from one theatre discipline (acting, stage managing, playwriting, administration, etc.) to that of directing. The Prize pays tribute to actor/playwright/director Gina Wilkinson, who passed away in 2010, and whose dedication, vision and indomitable spirit imbued her work and her life. An actor for over twenty years, Ms Wilkinson began turning her attention to both writing and directing and, in the last few years of her too-short life, established herself as a daring, strong, inventive director and collaborator in the Canadian theatre. In the spirit of Ms Wilkinson’s appetite for life, the Prize of $5,000 is a gift to be used in any way the recipient chooses.
The past recipients of Gina’s Prize are Ann-Marie Kerr of Halifax, Krista Jackson of Winnipeg, Christine Brubaker of Toronto, Valerie Planche of Calgary, and Kelli Fox of Toronto.
The Gina Wilkinson Prize was established through the generous support of Gina’s colleagues and admirers from across the country. The Committee (Micheline Chevrier, Bonnie Green, Eda Holmes, Krista Jackson, Jackie Maxwell, Tom Rooney and Bob White) extends its heartfelt thanks to all those supporters. Through their incredible generosity, the spirit of Gina lives on.
The Committee would also like to thank Alan Walker and the Ontario Arts Foundation for their administration of the Gina Wilkinson Prize. Anyone wishing to donate may do so at www.ontarioartsfoundation.on.ca.