Ruby Slippers Theatre artistic director Diane Brown has received a national prize for supporting female playwrights.
She is the 2016-7 recipient of the “Bra D’Or” award from the Womens’ Caucus of Playwrights Guild of Canada.
Actor-playwright-author Carmen Aguirre presented Brown with the award at the opening of You Will Remember Me, a show Brown is directing at the Gateway Theatre. The Bra D’Or is presented every year to someone who has supported the advancement of Canadian women playwrights.
The Womens’ Caucus of Playwrights Guild of Canada offered the following commendation: “Over the last 26 years, Diane Brown has consistently championed works by women. As Artistic Director of Ruby Slippers Theatre, Diane has an extensive history of showcasing works by women in her regular programming. She also created and initiated both the Advance Theatre: New Works by Women five-day festival and the Femmes Fatales Series, where women perform their own work. Diane’s fundamental commitment to, and record of, producing outstanding plays created by women, makes her very worthy of this award.”
The Ruby Slippers founder, who launched Advance Theatre in 2015, released this statement: “I am so honoured to receive this award, as it is very meaningful to me. For years I have been, like many others, working to redefine ‘normal’ on Canadian stages, to have gender equity and diversity issues be a thing of the past. In these frighteningly reactionary times it is more crucial now than ever to collectively commit ourselves to bringing diversity of all kinds to our stages, including, of course, women playwrights and their stories, which make up so little of our mainstage professional fare. Inclusivity is what makes theatre a humanizing and powerful force in our society.”
Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women, presented with the Vancouver Fringe Festival and Equity in Theatre, takes place again from September 11 to 15 at the Fringe fest. It spans staged readings of plays written and directed by women.