CATR Awards / Les bourses de l'ACRT

These awards were discontinued in 2018.

The CATR/ACRT conference awards were established in 2010 to support travel expenses for emerging scholars, theatre practitioners, and independent or underemployed scholars presenting at the CATR/ACRT annual meeting. In 2018, the format of the awards shifted to a grant structure as part of a series of efforts  to diversify the Association’s programming while extending its impact beyond the annual conference site and time. Please see CATR Grants page for more information.


Les bourses du colloque de l’ACRT ont été instituées en 2010 pour couvrir les frais de transport des jeunes chercheurs, praticiens et chercheurs indépendants ou sous-employés qui viennent présenter leurs travaux au colloque.

2017 Winners

First Time CATR Presenter, EB Hunter, “Something Wicked”

“Something Wicked” documents, in a concise and energetic fashion, the author’s process of developing a video game based on Macbeth, with an interdisciplinary team of programmers, animators and designers. Defining “Something Wicked” as an example of “generative humanities,” Hunter takes the reader on a wild ride, from the game’s genesis in her professional creative practice directing site specific Shakespeare, through to its current testing phase. In addition to its thorough description of the creative and collaborative process, Hunter’s paper offers a critical reflection on her process, and many valuable lessons she has learned as a pioneer in generative humanities. Hunter also illustrates how theatre scholars and practitioners might apply their skills in industries and contexts which are ostensibly at odds with theatre. This paper won the jury over with its elegant and economical prose as well as its documentation of an innovative creative project.

Theatre Practice, Jonmichael Rossi, Rumi High

Johnmichael Rossi’s practice-led PhD, Collabowrighting the Hyper(play)text: A Postdramatic Digital Poetics, considers playwrighting by way of collaborative web-design. The theatre practice component comprises a sort of digital dramatic triptych, exploring across three plays a range of practical forms and theoretical contexts for creating participatory, site-specific and immersive theatre. Rossi puts performance and literary playtexts into a reciprocal and mutually constitutive relationship. For example, his site-specific interactive play Rumi High, is presented in the form of a digital hyper(play)text, which invites reader/spectators to embrace a specifically digital modality of engagement: one does not simply “read” or “watch” Rumi High so much as initiate a multisensory, interactive event engaging with and responding to sounds, images and written language. The jury admired Rossi’s formal innovation in theorizing and practicing a digital dramaturgy.

Best submission to a seminar, roundtable, praxis or other, Camille Renarhd

Camille Renarhd’s “Mni Wiconi: Water is life: Water ritual in a contemporary artistic and political context” explores fluid dramaturgy in three body-based performances. Renarhd examines how water allows the creation of a fluid space that connects and conducts. In Australian artist Angelica Mesiti’s Citizen Band (2012), water becomes a rhythmic instrument that brings to the surface ancestral memories encoded in the displaced body of Cameroonian Akutuk performer Géraldine Zongo; in Renarhd’s own La distancia que nos aproxima (2016), the Saskatchewan River serves as a channel for restoration and the healing of physical and psychic wounds; and in Rebecca Belmore’s Fountain (2005), water dissolves the boundaries between political and artistic spaces. Renarhd’s elegant prose – available in both French and English, and beautifully illustrated with photographic images – captures three very different performances with impressive detail and precision, focusing on the resonations between water and the performing body.

Best submission to an open or curated panel, Meghan O’Hara

The CATR Award for Outstanding submission to an open or curated panel is awarded to Meghan O’Hara’s essay, “They’ll Never Stop The Simpsons”: Disposability and Reiteration in Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns: A Post-electric Play.” The jury was impressed by O’Hara’s close reading of Washburn’s play as an adaptation and extension of The Simpsons, which she situates in the context of The Simpsons’ remarkable persistence and durability. What makes this durability remarkable, as O’Hara shows, is that formally speaking, The Simpsons is designed to be disposable. Episodes of The Simpsons reflect a model of planned obsolescence that is emblematic of late-20th century society in general. Each episode features the same characters, relatively recyclable self-contained plots, and very rarely represent any significant change or character development. Since we do not need to remember anything about one episode to enjoy others, they essentially become obsolete after being watched. And yet, as Washburn’s play suggests, The Simpsons have proven unexpectedly persistent, like single-use plastic. O’Hara locates the play in the context of The Simpsons’ fan culture, which is devoted to the performative remembering of disposable pop culture in trivia quizzes, meme generators, and web sites. But Mr. Burns: A Post-electric Play shows how this remembering, seemingly grounded in a desire to preserve the fidelity of the original text, ultimately ends up mutating it: over the play’s 80-year span, the more times an episode is recalled, the less it resembles the original. The harder the characters fight to preserve an “originary referent” the more it disintegrates. O’Hara’s writing is lively and engaging, and balances careful description with insightful analysis, carefully developing a complex argument about how we watch and rewatch our favourite stories, inevitably rewriting them in the act of trying to remember them.

2017 Committee: James McKinnon, Michelle MacArthur, Catherine Graham

Past Winners


Theatre Practice

Natalia Esling, "Testing Perceptual Experience in Sensory-Focused Performance: A Practice-Based Research Design"

Outstanding submission for an open or curated panel

Brian Batchelor, "Looking for New Connections: Performance, Community and Neoliberal Ties between Canada and Chiapas"

Outstanding submission for a seminar, roundtable, praxis session, or other format 

Heather Fitzsimmons Frey, "Fin-like Flapping as Ordinary Stage Gesture: Encountering Florence Bell’s Advice"

First-time CATR/ACTR participants

Melanie Wilmink, "Doorways to an Urban Mirage: Examining Public Encounters with Mobilized Cinema Spaces"


Intercultural Award:  Kimberley McLeod, “Knowing Ways in the Digital Age: Indigenous Knowledge from Idle No More to The Unplugging”

International Award:  Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta, “Internationalized Applied Theatre: 'Good' Intentions with 'Harmful' Outcomes”

Theatre Practice Award:  Jess Riley, “Interrogative Feedback and the Myth of Neutral Dramaturgy”

Theatre and Performance in French Award:  Jennifer Spiegel, “The value of social circus: creative process, embodied critique, and the limits of ‘capital’”


Intercultural Award: Matt Jones, “‘Murderers, Scumbags’ and Victims: Representing Non-Westerners in Theatre of the War on Terror”

International Award: Benjamin Gillespie, “Virtuosic Labouring: Queer Embodiment and Administrative Violence at the Canadian/U.S. Border”

Theatre Practice Award: Ashley McAskill, “Reconfiguring the ‘Disabled’ Artist: Tender Mediations in Portraits, a Theatre Terrific Fringe Production”

Theatre and performance in French Award: Michelle MacArthur, “Historiographing a Feminist Utopia: Collective Creation, History, and Feminist Theatre in Canada.”


Intercultural Award: Nikki Shaffeeulah, "Staging Diversity and Embodied Decolonization: An introduction to the history, theoretical foundation, and trajectory of a community-based anti-racist feminist theatre project,"

International Award: Mary Isbell, "'Maintaining the Dignity of the Stage’ at Sea: Culture Wars aboard the USS Macedonian"

Theatre Practice Award: Natalie Doonan, A research document reflecting on her practice at le/the Sensorium

Theatre in and performance French Award: Joanna Mansbridge "A ‘Messy’ History of Burlesque in Montreal"


Intercultural Award: Majdi Bou-Matar, Rahul Varma, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard.

International Award: Kimberly Richards

Theatre Practice Award: Helene Vosters

Theatre and Performance in French: Michelle MacArthur


Mia Perry