Robert G. Lawrence Prize/ Le prix Robert G. Lawrence

The Robert G. Lawrence Prize was established in 1995 by the Association to honour the memory and contribution of a valued member and friend. The prize recognizes the research of an emerging scholar who has presented an outstanding paper in an open or curated panel session at the Association’s yearly conference. (Position papers presented as part of seminar, roundtable or workshop sessions are not ordinarily eligible for consideration.) The award of $250.00 is supported by the generous donations of Mrs Robert G. Lawrence. To learn more about Robert Lawrence's contributions to the association and field, please read the following tribute.

The award is open to graduate students and emerging scholars who recently completed their PhD (less than five years) and who present a paper in either French or English at the annual CATR/ACRT conference.

Deadline: May 21, 2018. See here for more details


Le prix Robert Lawrence a été créé en 1995 pour honorer la mémoire et la contribution d’un membre estimé et ami de l’Association. Il récompense la recherche d’une ou d’un jeune chercheur dont la communication au colloque s’est démarquée lors d’une séance thématique ou à sujet libre. (Les articles d’opinion présentés pendant les séminaires, tables rondes et ateliers ne sont habituellement pas admissibles.) Le prix assorti d’une somme de 200 $ est remis avec le généreux concours de madame Lawrence.

Le concours s’adresse aux étudiants des cycles supérieurs et aux chercheurs ayant obtenu leur doctorat dans les cinq dernières années, et qui présentent une communication en français ou en anglais lors du colloque annuel de l’ARCT.


2018 Winner

Kelsey Blair (PhD Candidate, SFU) is the 2018 recipient for her paper presentation titled, “Theoretical Exchanges: The Structuring of Practice in Cultural Performance Genres and the Case of Canadian Women’s Basketball." Here is the committee's citation:

Using historical sources on women and men’s basketball and her personal experience of playing as well as coaching, Blair successfully argues that women have had a significant role in the game's development and how the vertical cylinder—originally intended to contain women's bodies—can now be understood as a way that women basketball players learn to claim their space in the world at large as well. Blair's paper is original and significant, convincingly building on Spatz's theorizing of practice and technique as methods of embodied knowledge to develop her term “formation”, which identifies the structuring principles of practice. The paper presentation is clearly written and well organized, with care taken to succinctly explain concepts such as vertical plane, squaring up, etc., in order to keep a reader less familiar with basketball engaged with her theorizing. Blair’s dynamic and compelling presentation offers genuinely original discoveries about Canadian women and sport; but at its core, her investigation is about gendered space and the role sport plays in shaping (or un-making) gendered spaces.

The committee also wishes to congratulate its short-listed candidates for the 2018 prize, Kimberley Richards for her paper “Crude Cowboys at the Calgary Stampede” and Matthew Tomkinson for his “Cast-Off Casts: Overcoming Disability and Outgrowing Anxiety in Dear Evan Hansen.”


Past Winners 

The year listed indicates the year the paper was presented at the annual conference. Formal recognition of the Lawrence Prize often happens at the conference the following year.

2017 - Katrina Dunn, “Liquid Apocalypse: Contemporary Canadian warnings in theatrical form”

2017 - Kelsey Laine Jacobson, “‘Everything is True, Some Things are Scripted’: Good Fences and the Dialogue of Truthfulness”

2017 - (Honorable mention), Julia Henderson, “Utopian Performativity in The Chop Theatre’s Sonic Elder: Performing Time, Place and Age Identity” 

2016 - David Owen, “Thrills and Chills: Embodying the Fiction at Fan Expos, in Cosplay, and through Intermedial Performance.”

2016 - (Honorable Mention) Alana Gerecke, “Legislated Choreography and Sidewalk Design.”

2016 - (Honorable Mention) Julia Henderson, “Resisting Dominant Ideologies of Aging: Sally Clark’s Moo and Ten Ways To Abuse An Old Woman

2015 - Katrina Dunn, “Turning Our Backs On The City We Look On Water Canada’s National Arts Centre Considered.”

2015 - (Honorable Mention) Matt Jones, “Hearts and Minds in Extremis: Performing the Body at War.”

2015 - (Honorable Mention) Zita Nyarady, “The View from an Ankle Hang: The Capital(s) of Inverted Spectacle in Cascade.”

2015 - (Honorable Mention) Jessica Riley, “Interrogative Feedback and the Myth of Neutral Dramaturgy.”

2014 - Benjamin Gillespie, "Virtuosic Labouring: Queer Embodiment and Administrative Violence at the Canadian/US Border"

2014 - (Honorable Mention) Brian Batchelor, "Zapatouristic Differentiations: Reading Autoethnographic Representations and Touristic Identities through the Camera Lens in Oventic"

2014 - (Honorable Mention) Ian McWilliams, "‘Very Realistic, and Was Received with Intense Silence by the Audience’: Founding Spectres and Recasting The Last Stand"

2013 - Kim McLeod, “Finding the New Radical: Digital Media, Oppositionality and Political Intervention in Contemporary Canadian Theatre.”

2013 - (Honorable mention) Julia Henderson, “Dissolving the Edges: Challenging Age Binaries by Viewing King Lear in Temporal Depth.”

2012 - Helene Vosters, "Between Two Worlds: Reflections on a Year of Falling"

2012 - (Honorable mention) Jess Riley, "The Dramaturge and/as Hyphen-ated Artist Scholar"

2011 - Nicholas Hanson, “A Solo Census: One-Person Productions as a Rising Tide?”

2010 - Robin Whittaker, “Intellectual and Un/Disciplined: Relocating Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre Company, from Philanthropic Theatre to the Original ‘Alternative’.”

2009 - Jill Carter, “Shaking the Paluwala Tree: Fashioning Internal ‘Gathering Houses’ and Re-Fashioning the Spaces of Popular Entertainment through Contemporary Investigations into Native Performance Culture (NpC).”

2008 - Lydia Wilkinson, “Creating a Canadian Odyssey: George Elliott Clarke’s Global Perspective in Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path

2007 - James McKinnon, “Aiming the Canon at Canadian Audiences: Cowgirl Opera’s The Three Sisters: A Black Comic Opera

2006 - Barry Freeman, “Interculturalism in the Prague-Toronto-Manitoulin Theatre Project (PTMTP)”

2005 - Kim Solga, “Spaces Within and Spaces Between: Ground Plans for an Architecture of Feminist Performance”

2004 - Laura Levin, “Environmental Affinities: Naturalism and the Feminine Body”

2003 - David Fancy, “In Defence of Bad Acting: A Prolegomena for an aesthetics of the amateur actor”

2002 - Natalie Alvarez, “‘Are You an Actor?’: Big Fat Inc. and the Secret Agents of Capitalism”

2001 - Marlene Moser, “Identity and Realism in The Drawer Boy and The Farm Show

2001 - Sky Gilbert, “Art as Plague and Plague as Art: The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me

2000 - Robert Appleford, “Red Sons in the Sail Set: Hazards of Occupation in Floyd Favel Starr’s Lady of Silence and House of Sonya

1999 - Kate Cornell, “The Ballet Report of 1962: A Forgotten Artifact of Canadian Dance Heritage”;

1999 - Christiane Gerson, “Le lieu théâtral comme médiateur entre le spectacle et le spectateur”

1998 - Scott Duchesne, “Mike is the Message: Performing the Common Sense Revolution”

1998 - Paul M. Malone, “The Cybernetic Actor and Cybernetic Mirror”

1997 - Julie Salverson, “Transgressive Storytelling and Refugee Testimony”

1996 - Rosalind Kerr, “Border Crossings in Sharon Pollock’s Blood Relations & Doc

1995 - Celeste Derksen, “Masculinity and the Mise en Scène: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid