Sunday, October 10, 2004

Magnetic North Attracts New Artistic Associate for 2005 Festival

Ann-Marie Kerr to join National Festival of Contemporary Canadian Theatre in English as it returns to Ottawa for a third season next spring

Mary Vingoe, Artistic Director of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, was pleased to announce today the appointment of well-known Canadian actor, theatre-creator, director and teacher, Ann-Marie Kerr, as Artistic Associate for the 2005 Festival, which runs from June 8-18. Ann-Marie is known most recently for her co-creation and performing work on Theatre Smith Gilmour’s Dr. Chekhov’s Ward 6 and Chekhov Longs…In the Ravine. The show toured to Magnetic North 2003, Festival de théâtre desAmériques and Quebec City’s Carrefour international de théâtre, and won 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Best New Play and Outstanding Production.

“Ann-Marie is exactly the kind of individual who exemplifies the creative spirit in Canadian theatre. She is a creator, an interpretative artist, as well as a theatrical entrepreneur with extensive experience in touring,” says Vingoe. “She will be a real asset to our organization.”  Ann-Marie will be primarily responsible for programming the Festival’s dynamic Magnetic Encounters series which features celebrity speakers, guest panelists and Teas with Artists.

Currently, Kerr is developing and performing, with the assistance of Soulpepper Theatre Company and her own theatre company This is a Bird, a show based on an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s short stories entitled The Long Valley - Ballads by John Steinbeck.

This past summer, she dramaturged and directed Anthony Black’s solo show Invisible Atom at Festival Antigonish in Nova Scotia. Ann-Marie’s directing and teaching work with Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Mentorship Program, the National Theatre School, National Arts Centre and George Brown College, along with her co-creation experience on several shows, including the national Fringe hit Splice with Blue Inc., will certainly inform her work with the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.

“I am honoured to be a part of this dynamic and important national festival,” says Kerr.

“I have worked in several capacities in the theatre, from directing to performing, and have a strong understanding of what it means to create an original show. I believe that the Magnetic North Festival is a place to nurture and encourage the voice and vision of theatre artists in Canada, and being a part of the Festival gives me a great opportunity to connect unique storytelling that happens across our country.”

Ann-Marie has also taught for the Soulpepper Training Intensives and University of Toronto, secondary school drama programs, and has adjudicated for the Sears Drama Festival across Ontario. She is a graduate of École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France, and York University’s BFA theatre program. Her studies at École Lecoq were supported by a Chalmers Award, and she is the recipient of the Tarragon Theatre’s 2003 Emerging Artist Award.

Ann-Marie Kerr replaces well-known Canadian Director, Sarah Stanley, who has left the Festival to focus on her directing and teaching career. “Sarah did a superb job with the Festival and she will be greatly missed,” says Vingoe, “but I believe Ann-Marie Kerr will also bring a terrific energy to this exciting new festival of contemporary Canadian theatre.”

Co-presented by Canada’s National Arts Centre, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival takes place in Ottawa every second year, travelling to other Canadian cities in the ‘even’

years. In 2004, Edmonton, Alberta, hosted Magnetic North to great success. In 2005, the Festival will return to Ottawa, travelling to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2006.

For more information please contact:

Iona Green

Magnetic North Festival

(613) 947-7000, ext. 832

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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