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Shoshana Wasser

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Jordan Tannahill Receives 2014 John Hirsch Director's Award

December 3, 2014

Theatre director, playwright and filmmaker Jordan Tannahill is this year’s recipient of the John Hirsch Director’s Award. It will be presented to him on Tuesday, December 9, at Toronto’s Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art, where he is giving a performance lecture, “You And Me Right Here Right Now: Theatre In The Post-Cinema Age.” 

About Jordan Tannahill

  • Through his theatre company, Suburban Beast, Jordan has staged plays in theatres, galleries and non-traditional spaces (including a frat house, a mechanic’s garage, a defunct bordello, Toronto bargain emporium Honest Ed’s and on YouTube).
  • His production of Sheila Heti’s All Our Happy Days Are Stupid (directed with Erin Brubacher, and first mounted for audiences of just 30 people), will open the 2015 World Stage season at Harbourfront Centre. It will then run at New York City performance space The Kitchen.
  • This year, at age 26, he became the youngest recipient of a Governor General's Literary Award for English-language drama for his collection Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays.
  • He is currently playwright-in-residence at Canadian Stage and the Urjo Kareda Resident Artist at Tarragon Theatre. He also teaches at the National Theatre School of Canada.
  • In collaboration with William Ellis, Jordan runs Videofag, an alternative art space in Toronto’s Kensington Market.
  • Jordan’s films have been widely exhibited at festivals and galleries, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the British Film Institute.


“An outstanding leader with a strong personal vision, Jordan Tannahill is already changing the Toronto theatre ecology,” noted the jury. “He is the embodiment of the Hirsch Award – an innovator and a risk-taker. He is also an excellent collaborator and a compassionate director, working to support the next generation of theatre artists.” 

About the John Hirsch Director's Award

  • The John Hirsch Memorial Fund was established in 1989 by a bequest to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) from the late John Hirsch, one of Canada’s most distinguished directors.
  • The $5,000 award is presented every three years to a promising Ontario-resident theatre director to further the recipient's professional development.
  • This year’s recipient was chosen through a nominating and adjudication process administered by OAC. The jury included Eric Coates (Ottawa), Geneviève Pineault (Sudbury), Alexander Poch-Goldin (Toronto) and Nigel Shawn Williams (Brooklin).
  • Previous recipients include Louise Naubert (2011), Ruth Madoc-Jones (2008), Joël Beddows (2005), Jennifer Tarver (2002) and Chris Abraham (1999). Click here for a full list of past recipients.