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 constitute a substantial contribution to the field of drama, theatre, and performance studies in what is now known as Canada.

Nommé en l’honneur d’une des cofondatrices de l’Association, le prix Ann Saddlemyer récompense le meilleur livre publié en anglais ou en français, au cours d’une année. Le livre gagnant doit normalement constituer une contribution importante aux études sur l’art dramatique, le théâtre et la performance, dans ce qu’on connaît actuellement comme le Canada.

2023 Committee: Barry Freeman (chair), Karen Fricker, Jess Riley

2023 Winner

Roberta Barker, Symptoms of the Self: Tuberculosis and the Making of the Modern Stage. U Iowa P, 2022.

Roberta Barker’s Symptoms of the Self: Tuberculosis and the Making of the Modern Stage offers an original, deeply researched, and beautifully written analysis of the emergence and endurance of pulmonary tuberculosis as the primary theatrical representation of illness from the nineteenth century to the modern era. Written in lively, lucid prose, Barker’s engaging, eminently readable deep dive into the genealogy of the stage consumptive draws on key examples from the French, British, and American canons. It argues for a consumptive poetics grounded in the sentimental, with its indices of affective and psychological interiority and in its invitations to the diagnostic and/or sympathetic gaze, that functions both historically and in the present as a means through which cultural values are staged, negotiated, reinscribed, or reimagined. The book makes a deeply convincing case that the “consumptive repertoire” – the codified representation of tuberculosis that evolved on the nineteenth century stage – did not die out in the turn to theatrical realism and naturalism, but rather was extended into the realist canon and beyond. As Barker puts it, “The stage consumptive is alive (if still unwell) in the contemporary theatre.” Thus her corpus extends from Dumas fils to Giuseppe Verdi, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ellen Wood, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Charles Ludlum, and in introductory and concluding chapters places the study in the unsettlingly resonant contemporary context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee agreed that Barker’s book made them think about the staging of illness in a wholly new light, that the book is eminently teachable, and that it represents an outstanding addition to theatre and performance studies in Canada and beyond.

Past Winners

2022 - Karen FrickerRobert Lepage’s Original Stage Productions: Making Theatre Global. Manchester: MUP, 2020.

Honourable Mention - Peter Dickinson, My Vancouver Dance History: Story, Movement, Community. Montréal et Kingston : McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020.

2021 - Dylan Robinson, Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Sound Studies. University of Manitoba Press, 2020.

2020 (jointly awarded)
Julie Burrelle, Encounters on Contested Lands: Indigenous Performances of Sovereignty and Nationhood in Québec. Northwestern University Press, 2019.
Helene Vosters, Unbecoming Nationalism: From Commemoration to Redress in Canada. University of Manitoba Press, 2019.

2019 - Natalie Alvarez, Immersions in Cultural Difference: Tourism, War, Performance (U of Michigan Press, 2018).

2018 - Ric KnowlesPerforming the Intercultural City (U of Michigan Press, 2017).

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

2017 - Rick 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 LevinPerforming Ground: Space, Camouflage, and the Art of Blending In. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

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

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

2013 (co-winners)
Heather Davis-Fisch
Loss and Cultural Remains in Performance: The Ghosts of the Franklin Expedition. New York: Palgrave 2012.
Jenn Stephenson, Performing Autobiography: Contemporary Canadian Drama. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

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

2012 - Alan FilewodCommitting 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.

Honourable 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.

Honourable 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.