MFA Student Shortlisted for Prestigious Award

October 06, 2011 - News Release

A University of Guelph graduate student and Canadian playwright has been shortlisted for the coveted $100,000 Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize, the country’s most lucrative theatre honour.

Robert Chafe, who is enrolled in U of G’s MFA program in creative writing, was among six finalists announced this week. The winner will be named Nov. 7.

A Newfoundland-based playwright, Chafe won the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Awards prize for English-language drama for his work Afterimage.

In addition to being a U of G graduate student, Chafe is the artistic associate and playwright for Newfoundland troupe Artistic Fraud, a theatre company that specializes in large-scale chorus-based productions and tours them nationally and internationally.

The annual Siminovitch Prize was created in 2001 in honour of philanthropist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife, Elinore. It alternates in a three-year cycle to celebrate theatre directors, playwrights and designers.

For 2011, the award honours a playwright who has made a significant contribution to the Canadian theatre scene in recent years.

The winner receives $75,000 and is asked to name a protégé to receive the remaining $25,000. In the past, playwrights honoured have included Daniel MacIvor and Carole Fréchette.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338,, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982,

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