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MARJORIE CHAN Honoured as this year’s Recipient of George Luscombe Award for Mentorship.


The George Luscombe Award for Mentorship was inaugurated in 1999. Revolutionary theatre founder and artistic director George Luscombe founded Toronto Workshop Productions (TWP) in 1959, marking the beginnings of Toronto’s alternative theatre movement. He was Artistic Director for 27 years at TWP. This year’s recipient is multidisciplinary theatre artist Marjorie Chan, an award-winning playwright, librettist, dramaturge and director who, in 2013, was appointed Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre Projects.

As Artistic Director of Cahoots, Marjorie has focused her attention on mentorship, artist incubation, new play development and accessibility, with increased outreach to newcomers and advocacy for a broader and more rigorous approach to inclusiveness for all. To that end, Cahoots recently launched the comprehensive online guide DATT, the Deaf Artists & Theatres Toolkit. The DATT addresses practical and artistic aspects of theatre production with a Deaf cultural context. In May of 2016, Marjorie directed the groundbreaking Ultrasound by Adam Pottle, a Canadian author who explores deafness and disability, that featured two Deaf actors.

A graduate of George Brown Theatre School, Marjorie Chan was Associate Artistic Director of Cahoots from 2006-2010. During that time, she created Crossing Gibraltar, a theatre training and performance program for refugees and newcomers, primarily in under-serviced neighbourhoods. For her work on this, she was nominated for a Canadian Citizen Award in 2010. She also produced a tour reading and outreach series to Hong Kong, under the LIFT OFF! banner in 2006. Marjorie resurrected both of these programs as Artistic Director of Cahoots.

Marjorie has served as a mentor for the AMY Project - Artists Mentoring Youth - many times, including in 2017. The AMY Project seeks to build the leadership and unique voice of young women and non-binary youth in Toronto by supporting them early in their careers. While Play Creation Unit Director for Carlos Bulosan Theatre from 2010-2012, Marjorie mentored writers from a Filipino background. She has also been an Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Playwrights’ Colony, Tapestry New Opera, Theatre Direct Canada, SUNY (Geneseo, New York), Theatre du Pif (Hong Kong) and Cahoots Theatre.

Her works for the stage have been performed in the United States, Scotland, Hong Kong, Russia and across Canada. Marjorie Chan is the recipient of four Dora Mavor Moore Awards: three as a librettist and one for performance. She is also the recipient of the 2005 K.M. Hunter Artist’s Award in Theatre as well as a Harold Award for her contribution to the Toronto theatre community. She was nominated for a Governor General’s Award for her playwriting debut China Doll, which explored the seeds of feminism in China through the metaphor of the bound foot; it received its Cantonese language debut in April 2017.

As an artistic leader, Marjorie Chan passionately champions for arts access, education and the inclusion of marginalized youth and isolated communities into the artistic process. She has a reputation for generosity, curiosity and offering her colleagues and mentees the challenge to climb the steeper terrain.

Previous winners of the George Luscombe Award are Peggy Baker, Franco Boni, Ruth Howard, Yvette Nolan, Leah Cherniak & Martha Ross, Iris Turcott, Andy McKim, ahdri zhina mandiela, Layne Coleman, Alison Sealy-Smith, Winston Morgan, Maja Ardal, Ken Gass, Jenny Phipps and Urjo Kareda.

The George Luscombe Award is administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Committee members are: Chair - Maja Ardal, Steven Bush, Ravi Jain, Karen Luscombe and Anusree Roy. The George Luscombe Award comes with original artwork by Theo Dimson, a copy of the book Conversations with George Luscombe: Steven Bush in conversation with the Canadian Theatre visionary and a cash prize of $1,000 through the generous sponsorship of an anonymous donor.

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards are administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). In addition to the Doras, other programs and services provided by TAPA include: the city-wide arts app TOnight “a box office in your pocket”; Toronto.spacefinder.org; Toronto's Official Theatre Guide; hipTIX, offering $5 tickets to students between the ages of 14 and 29; citySPECIAL, offering free tickets to newcomers and marginalized communities; the Commercial Theatre Development Fund; and the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program - TRIP. For more information visit www.tapa.ca.

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