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Jennifer H. Capraru, Artistic Director
Theatre Asylum Canada, Isôko Rwanda

Jennifer Herszman Capraru grew up in a haunted house in Montréal. She is an acclaimed international director, a 2019 nominee for the Siminovitch Directors Prize and a 2017 nominee for the John Hirsch Directors Prize. Her work has been seen in Africa, Cuba, the US, Canada and Europe.

As artistic Director of the award-winning Theatre Asylum, her productions such as BéBé, The Trials (2 Dora nominations), My Mother's Courage (3 Dora nominations), and The Gut Girls (2 Dora nominations, 1 award) have been developed and toured Canada in co-production with Theatre Passe Muraille, The Theatre Centre, Banff Centre, National Arts Centre, Intrepid Theatre, Nightwood, Buddies, Ashkenaz and the Segal Centre.

After crewing on the film Shake Hands With The Devil she founded Isôko Rwanda with Rwandese artists to create intercultural theatre for human rights, directing African premieres of Canadian plays; Littoral (nomination Best Direction, Prix Théâtre Africain 2013), and The Monument (2008-2013 nomination Freedom to Create Prize, tours of Rwanda, World Stage, Montréal’s MAI, Dialogue Festival Poland) and has given applied theatre workshops in Rwanda and the DRC via UniFem, University of Rwanda and l’Institute National des Arts.

Directing includes the critically-acclaimed Mud and SLO3 by Maria Irene Fornés (Theatre Asylum), Napoleon of the Nile (Brown University), Lullaby (Dark Horse Dora nomination Best Production), Communist Manifesto for Children (Buddies), Mandelstam (Amphitheatre), 24 Exposures (CanStage), The Seventh Seal, Metamorphoses (Phoenix Theatre, nomination Victoria Critics Prize). She was Associate Dramaturg at Factory Theatre for three years, a nominee for the McGibbon Award, the Canada Council's Hirsch Prize, an invited director to the Lincoln Centre Lab and Schloss Solitude, Germany, and Acting Director of Performing Arts, Harbourfront.

Jen trained in directing in Germany at Landestheater Tübingen and the Volksbühne Berlin (assisting Marthaler) and holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University. She is a professor; York, Acadia, Glendon, guest lecturer and director; USA, Israel, Canada. Publications include Palgrave Macmillan, Methuen, Playwrights Canada Press.

Since 2014, when invited to Havana’s Francophone Festival to workshop Incendies, she directed the Cuban premiere of Les Belles Soeurs and Nous Voir Nous, the dance/theatre piece The Key and was a resident artist at Retazos for Ciudad en Movimiento. In development are the English-language première of Tu iras la chercher, premiered at the Nairobi International Theatre Festival, an exploration of Fassbinder with Cabal, the Romanian premiere of Tabori's My Mother’s Courage and currently she is writing a piece on Agota Kristof.

"Just as we understand that things in the past determine how we experience the present, so too can it be said that the visible is defined by the invisible.”

Peggy Phelan

Canadian Theatre Encyclopaedia

Full Directing CV (pdf)

TVO French Interview
Rencontre Jennifer Capraru

Set of Shake Hands with the Devil, Rwanda 2006



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