The Gina Wilkinson Prize Committee is pleased to announce that Krista Jackson of Winnipeg, Manitoba has been awarded the second annual Gina Wilkinson Prize. Ms. Jackson was chosen from a list of 19 nominees from across Canada. The recipient was chosen on March 10th - on what would have been Gina's birthday.
Ms. Jackson spent last season at the Shaw Festival in the Neil Munro Intern Directors Project where she assisted on Misalliance, His Girl Friday and Hedda Gabler and directed members of the Ensemble in FourPlay - a combination of two short plays that fell within The Shaw's mandate - for her Directors Project. She is artistic director of zone41 theatre in Winnipeg and, this fall, will direct Carolyn Gray's modern comedy inspired by Moliere's The Miser in co-production with Theatre Projects Manitoba. Ms. Jackson will then direct Manitoba Theatre Centre's centrepiece production of The Seagull for next year's Master Playwright Festival: ChekhovFest. She comes to directing from an acting career that began with Manitoba Theatre Centre's 1986 production of Brighton Beach Memoirs.
"Gina was a huge inspiration to me as a young actress when we first tied corsets together in MTC's 1997 production of Quills. In a dressing room, we draped from floor to ceiling with fabric from wardrobe and adorned with 19th century furniture from props, she taught me to follow my instincts and be brave in my work," recalls Ms. Jackson. "In 2010, we met up again at MTC, but this time Gina was directing The Seafarer and I was her assistant. When she took ill, Gina asked me to take over the directing of her show and completely changed my life. I cherish her and hope to express the gratitude I feel in receiving this award in my work, as I could never express it in words. Her indomitable spirit is a constant reminder for me to listen to my heart and wear boots like you mean it."
The Gina Wilkinson Prize honours a female theatre artist who is transitioning from one theatre discipline (acting, stage managing, playwriting, administration, etc.) to that of directing. The Prize pays tribute to actor/playwright/director Gina Wilkinson whose dedication, vision and indomitable spirit imbued her work and her life. An actor for over twenty years, Ms. Wilkinson began turning her attention to both writing and directing and, in the last few years of her too-short life, established herself as a daring, strong, inventive director and collaborator in the Canadian theatre community. In the spirit of Ms. Wilkinson's appetite for life, the prize of $2,000 is a gift to be used in any way the recipient chooses.
The committee would like to thank all the nominators and nominees. The list was truly impressive and wonderfully varied. The Gina Wilkinson Prize was established through the generous support of Ms. Wilkinson's colleagues and admirers from across the country and the committee extends its heartfelt thanks. Through this generosity, the spirit of Gina lives on.
The committee would also like to thank Alan Walker and the Ontario Arts Foundation for their administration of the Gina Wilkinson Prize. Anyone wishing to donate may do so at www.ontarioartsfoundation.on.ca.