Actor and director Diana Leblanc was presented with the Silver Ticket Award at the 35th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards, held Monday evening, June 23, 2014 at Harbourfront Centre’s WestJet Stage in Toronto.
Ms. Leblanc has been an influential and important force in the Toronto theatre community for many years. As an award-winning director, actor, and artistic director of vision and inspiration, she has worked extensively in both French and English theatre. While her work has taken her across the country from Victoria to Halifax, Toronto has always been her base – and it is here that her enormous contribution is readily apparent.
One of her most significant accomplishments has been to achieve greater prominence for French theatre in Toronto. During her leadership as Artistic Director of Théâtre français de Toronto (TFT) between 1991 and 1996, the theatre flourished and attracted English audiences as well as French. She directed more than a dozen productions for TFT, and continues to direct for them on a freelance basis (including L’Ecole des Femmes, Le Dieu du carnage and the upcoming Passé antérieur).
Ms. Leblanc has directed several lauded productions at many Toronto theatres including the Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Mirvish Productions (the highly successful Copenhagen) and Soulpepper Theatre – of which she is a founding member – in addition to her work with TFT. As well, she has worked extensively outside Toronto: for the Stratford Festival, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Montreal’s Segal Centre for the Performing Arts and the Manitoba Theatre Centre, among others.
For Soulpepper, her credits include Farther West, The Zoo Story, A Streetcar Named Desire, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Doc and Long Day’s Journey Into Night (which she previously famously directed for the Stratford Festival and was subsequently made into a film).
Ms. Leblanc has also worked extensively with Soulpepper Academy members, as well as with George Brown students. These young people benefit from her experience, encouragement and gentle wisdom. In addition to directing and mentoring, Ms. Leblanc serves on the board of directors of George Brown College.
As an actress, the Gemini Award-winning Ms. Leblanc has given many memorable performances in such works as The Road to Mecca for Soulpepper, La Voix Humaine for TFT, Father West and Albertine in Five Times for Tarragon Theatre and separately for TFT, to mention only a few.
Ms. Leblanc has also distinguished herself as a director of opera. For the Canadian Opera Company, she directed well- received productions of Les Dialogues des Carmelites and The Rape of Lucretia, an opera that was subsequently invited to The Opera Centre of Amsterdam.
A proud member of the first graduating class of the National Theatre School of Canada, her enormous energy, commitment and passion for the arts continues to be strongly evident.