OAF News

Short List for the Annual Gina Wilkinson Prize Announced

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, March 3, 2014 — The committee for the 2014 Gina Wilkinson Prize  is pleased to announce the short list of nominees for the third annual prize: Christine BrubakerCharlotte GowdyElizabeth Saunders, and Dayna Tekatch.

Christine Brubaker 
Christine Brubaker has been working as a theatre artist for twenty years. Primarily an actor, she has performed nationally and internationally working in small theatre and large. She began directing three years ago when friend and colleague, Eric Woolfe from Eldritch Theatre, hired her to direct his puppet spectacle Madhouse Variations. Originally from Guelph, Ontario, Christine studied Theatre and Arts Administration at the University of Waterloo, and went on to train as an actor at the National Theatre School of Canada. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College in Vermont. This spring, she is part of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at the Stratford Festival. Christine is a teacher,musician and a regular theatre instructor at Young People’s Theatre and Sheridan College.  

Charlotte Gowdy
 is a graduate of both the National Theatre School of Canada and Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris, France. Charlotte has been acting, directing and teaching professionally for over a decade. In 2009, she was awarded a grant from Theatre Ontario to train in directing and she has been working steadily as a director ever since. Charlotte is a regular guest teacher in the theatre departments of Queen’s University, Fanshawe College and the University of PEI. In 2013, she was appointed to the position of Associate Artistic Director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse.


Elizabeth Saunders
 is an actor, director and artist-educator. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours in Acting at the University of Alberta. She has worked extensively as an actor for 24 years in theatres across Canada and has had an extensive acting career both on camera and in voice over and cartoons. She was a Resident Artist Educator at Young Peoples Theatre and has been a freelance artist educator for numerous other leading arts organizations. In recent years,Elizabeth has turned her hand to directing. Last year, she received a Theatre Ontario mentorship grant to be assistant director under Peter Hinton on A Tender Thing at the Belfry Theatre.


Dayna Tekatch 
Dayna Tekatchworks as a director, educator and actor and has choreographed in theaters from Vancouver to Newfoundland. As an actor and choreographer, she was a member of the Stratford Festival for eight consecutive seasons. For three seasons, Dayna was a member of the English Theatre Company at the National Arts Centre (NAC) as a director, choreographer and actor. She is also on the faculty of the Banff/Citadel Professional Training Program. Dayna lives in Toronto with her husband actor Sean C. Robertson and their son Liam.

These four nominees were chosen from an impressive and varied list of 22 women from across the country, each nominated by a respected artist from within the Canadian theatre community. The committee was greatly impressed by the passion and dedication to theatre and the determination to establish themselves as directors that was shown by this truly inspiring group of 22 female theatre artists.


The Gina Wilkinson Prize is an annual award that has been established in the name of Gina Wilkinson who passed away in late 2010 due to an aggressive cancer. Gina spent the first 20 years of her career as an actor, but in the latter years of her too-short life emerged as one of Canada’s brightest directors. The Gina Wilkinson Prize was established through the generous support of Gina’s colleagues and admirers from across the country. The annual prize of $2,000 honours a female theatre artist who is making the transition to directing from another theatre discipline.

The 2014 winner of the Gina Wilkinson Prize will be announced on Gina’s birthday, March 10.

Anyone wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to the Gina Wilkinson Prize can do so through the Ontario Arts Foundation at http://www.ontarioartsfoundation.on.ca/.

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