The National Arts Centre is thrilled to announce the appointment of Jillian Keiley as the new Artistic Director of English Theatre
Ottawa (Canada)—The National Arts Centre (NAC) is delighted to announce that Jillian Keiley, an award-winning Director from St. John’s, Newfoundland and the founder of the “Artistic Fraud” Theatre Company will be the next Artistic Director of the NAC’s English Theatre Department.
“Jillian Keiley is a brilliant theatrical artist who is rooted in Newfoundland, but also has a wonderful sense of the country,” said the NAC’s President and CEO Peter Herrndorf. “She’s worked with artists and theatre organizations in every part of Canada, and we’re thrilled she’s chosen our ‘national stage’ for the next chapter of her extraordinary career.”
“There are very few jobs in Canada which I would be prepared to leave home for,” Ms. Keiley said. “The position at the National Arts Centre is one of them, because I believe as the NAC’s Artistic Director of English Theatre I will have the opportunity to do work which will reverberate across the country.”
Ms. Keiley has directed and taught across Canada and has worked internationally. Her collaboration with playwright, Robert Chafe, in the creation of “Tempting Providence”, resulted in a decade-long run of the beloved production across the country. The play was produced by Theatre Newfoundland Labrador and explores the courage and strength of a London-born nurse who was amongst the first British settlers in Newfoundland. Myra Bennet, an outport nurse, endured the region’s bleak weather to travel by foot, horse, dogsled and boat to deliver babies and care for people who lived along 320-kilometres of rugged coastline.
This week, Ms. Keiley is on her way to direct a play called “Oil and Water” at the Factory Theatre in Toronto. “Oil and Water” is another creative collaboration between Governor General Award-winning playwright Robert Chafe and Jillian Keiley.
Ms. Keiley studied at York University for her M.A. in Theatre, and was the winner of the prestigious Siminovitch Prize for Directing in 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Memorial University and was the winner of the Canada Council’s John Hirsch Prize. She has worked regularly as a regular instructor with the National Theatre School of Canada.
Ms. Keiley is currently the Artistic Director of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland. Selected touring productions include Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s “Tempting Providence” and “Stars in the Sky Morning”, Artistic Fraud’s “Afterimage”, “Fear of Flight”, “Emile’s Dream”, “ Under Wraps” and “Oil and Water”. Jillian has created productions in St. John’s, Calgary, Toronto, Regina, Ireland, Australia and Italy.
“The NAC offers the opportunity to bring together the most brilliant creative minds in our field. I am excited to build on the legacy of my predecessor Peter Hinton. Mr. Hinton revived the NAC’s Resident English Theatre Company, which brings more than 25 actors from across Canada to perform at the NAC during the each performance season.”
“I would really love the opportunity to create a young company of actors at the NAC, it is certainly one of my goals during my tenure. To see new theatre, and young careers take flight would be very exciting,” said Keiley.
No stranger to Ottawa, Ms. Keiley has brought three productions to the city over the past several years and has worked not only with the NAC but also with the Great Canadian Theatre Company. She will be directing “Metamorphoses” during her first season as Artistic Director of the NAC. The play, by Mary Zimmerman re imagines ten classical myths. Set around a giant swimming pool, this splashy theatrical event lets the audience experience the consequences of humanity’s deepest desires.
“I look forward to working with knowledgeable Ottawa audiences with a long tradition of seeing theatrical excellence,” Keiley said. “Canada is a young country when it comes to the theatre. I am excited about investing in and developing new work to build the Canadian canon.”
Ms. Keiley is a committed educator. She has taught workshops, lectures and master classes at the National Theatre School, York University, Queen’s University, Memorial University, the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta, and literally at more than a dozen colleges, university campuses and theatre organizations across Canada.
She joins the NAC Orchestra’s Music Director Maestro Pinchas Zukerman, Dance Producer Cathy Levy, the Artistic Director of French Theatre Brigitte Haentjens , Northern Scene Producer Heather Moore, and NAC Presents Producer Simone Deneau in making up a remarkable artistic leadership team at the National Arts Centre. Ms. Keiley begins her post at the NAC this summer.
The National Arts Centre
The National Arts Centre is Canada’s home of the performing arts and opened its doors in Ottawa in 1969. A leading showcase for the performing arts, the NAC presents Canada’s and the world’s best in music, English theatre, French theatre, dance, variety, and community programming. Strongly committed to being a leader and innovator in each of the performing arts fields in which it works, the NAC is a national centre for performance, creation and learning that collaborates with countless artists—both emerging and established—and partners with scores of other arts organizations and arts educators across the country.