Six playwrights  from across the country have been shortlisted for the coveted $100,000 Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize.


Newfoundland playwright Robert Chafe, who won the 2010 Governor General's Literary Awards for drama, is now shortlisted for the 2011 Siminovitch Prize. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Organizers unveiled on Tuesday half a dozen finalists for Canada's most lucrative theatre honour, which will be awarded in Toronto on Nov. 7.

  • Robert Chafe, the St. John's-based winner of the 2010 Governor General's Award for drama (for Afterimage) and artistic associate and playwright for Newfoundland troupe Artistic Fraud.
  • Joan MacLeod, the award-winning playwright and associate professor at the University of Victoria.
  • Larry Tremblay, the Montreal playwright, actor and director.
  • Jasmine Dubé, the writer, actress and director who co-founded and serves as artistic director of Montreal's Théâtre Bouche Décousues.
  • Greg MacArthur, the playwright-in-residence at the University of Alberta and the Toronto writer behind The Decameron: things we leave behind, Tyland: The Toxic Bus IncidentBeggar Boy and girls!girls!girls!
  • Mansel Robinson, the Chapleau, Ont.-based playwright (formerly of Saskatoon) and past president of the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre.

"The finalists demonstrate passion and imagination in their writing, as well as extraordinary voice and vision, all of which contribute to building a strong Canadian theatre scene," said jury chair Maureen Labonté. She is joined on the jury by Yvette Nolan, Carole Fréchette, Craig Holzscuth, Scott Burke and Vanessa Porteous.

The annual award, created in 2001 in honour of philanthropist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, 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."

Each year, the winner is presented $75,000 and is asked to name a protégé to receive the remaining $25,000.

In the past, playwrights honoured with the prize have included Daniel MacIvor and Fréchette.

With files from The Canadian Press