Ann Saddlemyer Award/ Le prix Ann Saddlemyer

Named in honour of the association’s co-founder, the Ann Saddlemyer Award goes to the best book published in English or French in a given year. The winning book should normally be broadly on a Canadian topic, and should constitute a substantial contribution to Canadian Theatre and Performance Studies.

Le prix Ann Saddlemyer récompense chaque année le meilleur livre de langue anglaise ou française qui a été publié l’année précédente. Le livre gagnant devrait normalement porter largement sur un sujet canadien et devrait constituer une contribution substantielle aux études canadiennes sur le théâtre et la performance.

Deadline: January 15, 2018. See here for more.

2018 Winner:

Ric Knowles, Performing the Intercultural City (U of Michigan Press, 2017).

It is our honour to present the 2018 Ann Saddlemyer Award to Ric Knowles for his book Performing the Intercultural City, published by University of Michigan Press. The result of a multiyear research program by a leading scholar, using archival and performance research methods, Performing the Intercultural City is both a scholarly documentation of intercultural theatre practices and the product of an intercultural collaborative process. Of particular note is Knowles’ investment in reciprocal relations, as the book documents research not on but with theatre companies, and his contributions back to the companies he was working with. This “insider” perspective enriches analysis but (perhaps more importantly) models how Indigenous research methods might be practiced in performance research.

Knowles contextualizes Toronto’s intercultural theatres in terms of the national “multicultural text” that took form in the 1960s, and he shows how the “poster city for Canadian identity” is alive, not only in terms of richness of the quantity and diversity of its productions, but also (and mostly) through relational aesthetics. He draws on Nicolas Bourriaud’s reading of Deleuze and Guattari to deploy key concepts such as rhizomes, radicants, networks and meshwork to evoke a unique theatrical ecosystem that “has been generative since at least the mid-1980s” and which can provide multiple keys to undergo similar work on other cities. We can all learn from his integration of a complex, practice-based and collaborative theoretical framework – including performance ecology, actor-network theory, and heterotopics. The book’s analysis of case studies, applied not only to Indigenous performance but to a range of intercultural performances, recognizes the primacy of Indigenous worldviews in spaces of performance in Toronto, with its core principles such as relational accountability, reciprocity, respect, and responsibility.

It is our pleasure to present the Ann Saddlemyer Award to Ric Knowles for this erudite, engaged, ethically compelling, and highly readable accomplishment.

Honorable Mention:

Barry Freeman, Staging Strangers: Theatre and Global Ethics (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2017).

We are also pleased to award an Honourable Mention to Barry Freeman, for Staging Strangers: Theatre and Global Ethics, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. In this provocative study, Freeman offers a new historical perspective on how theatre in Canada has engaged with its strangers – immigrants, minorities, and refugees -- and how communities formed by those experiences have used theatre to negotiate cultural space. In lucid performance analysis and textual criticism, Freeman effectively challenges the historical frame of state Multiculturalism to show how culturally specific theatre practices in Canada engage with what he calls the “liquid modern world.” His call for a “difficult and indeterminate ethics,” in which “living practices … provoke theory” is an urgent call to Canadian theatre artists and scholars to consider our impact as privileged global citizens. We congratulate Barry Freeman for his acute, timely and important intervention in the discipline.

2018 Committee: Alan Filewod (Chair), Heather Davis-Fisch, Sylvain Lavoie


Past Winners

2017Rick Cousins. Spike Milligan’s Accordion: The Distortion of Time and Space in The Goon Show. Leiden, Boston: Brill Rodopi, 2016.

2016 - Nicole Nolette, Jouer la traduction : théâtre et hétérolinguisme au Canada francophone. U of Ottawa Press, 2015.

2015 - Laura Levin, Performing Ground: Space, Camouflage, and the Art of Blending In. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

2014 - R. Darren Gobert, The Mind-Body Stage: Passion and Interaction in the Cartesian Theater. Stanford UP, 2013.

2014 - (Honorable Mention) Virginie Magnat, Growtowski, Women and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women. New York: Routledge, 2014.

2013 - Heather Davis-Fisch, Loss and Cultural Remains in Performance: The Ghosts of the Franklin Expedition. New York: Palgrave 2012.

2013 - Jenn Stephenson, Performing Autobiography: Contemporary Canadian Drama. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

2013 - Honorable Mention: Kirsty Johnston, Stage Turns: Canadian Disability Theatre. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012.

2012 - Alan Filewod, Committing Theatre: Theatre Radicalism and Political Intervention in Canada. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2011.

2011 - Erin Hurley, National Performance: Representing Quebec from Expo 67 to Celine Dion. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.

2011 - Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, Staging Strife: Lessons from Performing Ethnography with Polish Roma Women. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.

2010 - Candida Rifkind, Comrades and Critics: Women, Literature & The Left in 1930s Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.

2009 - Sherrill Grace, Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2008.

2008 - Michael McKinnie, City Stages: Theatre and Urban Space in a Global City. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.

2007 - Louise Ladouceur, Making The Scene: La traduction du théâtre d’une langue officielle à l’autre au Canada. (Québec: Editions Nota bene, 2005)

2005 - Kym Bird, Redressing the Past: The Politics of Early English-Canadian Women’s Drama, 1880-1920. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.

2005 - Honorable Mention: Ric Knowles Reading the Material Theatre Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004.

2003 - Alan Filewod, Performing Canada: The Nation Enacted in the Imagined Theatre. Textual Studies in Canada Monograph Series: Critical Performance/s in Canada, 2002.

2003 - Honorable Mention: Diana Brydon & Irena R. Makaryk eds. Shakespeare in Canada: A World Elsewhere? Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.

2001 - Ric Knowles, The Theatre of Form and the Production of Meaning: Canadian Dramaturgies. Toronto: ECW Press, 1999.

1999 - Leonard E. Doucette, The Drama of Our Past: Major Plays from Nineteenth-Century Quebec. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

1997 - Paula Sperdakos, Dora Mavor Moore: A Pioneer of Canadian Theatre. Toronto: ECW Press, 1995.

1995 - Gilbert David et Pierre Lavoie, eds. Le Monde de Michel Tremblay: Des Belles-soeurs à Marcel poursuivi par les chiens. Montréal: Lansman, 1993.

1994 - Rémi Tourangeau, Fêtes et spectacles du Québec: Région du Saguenay-Lac- Saint-Jean. Québec: Nuit Blanche, 1993;

1993 - Diane Bessai, The Canadian Dramatist volume 2: Playwrights of Collective Creation. Toronto: Simon & Pierre, 1992.

1992 - Denis Johnston, Up the Mainstream. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990.

1991 - Anni Brisset, Sociocritique de la traduction: Théâtre et altérité au Québec (1968- 1988). Longueuil: Préambule, 1990.

1990 - Chantal Hébert, Le burlesque québécois et américain. Textes inédits. Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 1989.

1989 - Bronwyn Drainie, Living the Part: John Drainie and the Dilemma of Canadian Stardom. Toronto: Macmillan, 1988

1989 - Jean-Luc Bastien & Pierre MacDuff, eds. La Nouvelle Compagnie théâtrale. En scène depuis 25 ans. Montréal: VLB, 1988.