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Jennifer H. Capraru, Artistic Director
Theatre Asylum Canada

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 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, Ashkenaz, Segal Centre and Buddies.

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

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, and Metamorphoses (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 HF.

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; US, Israel, Canada, while oublications include Palgrave Macmillan, Methuen and Playwrights Canada Press.

Since 2014, when invited to Havana’s Francophone Festival to workshop Incendies, she directed the Cuban premieres of Les Belles Soeurs and Nous Voir Nous and the dance/theatre piece The Key as a resident artist at Retazos. Most recently, the English-language première of Tu iras la chercher at the Nairobi International Theatre Festival, and in development are Napoleon of the Nile, a Romanian premiere of My Mother’s Courage and a residency at Arteles, Finland.

Canadian Theatre Encyclopaedia

"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

Full Directing CV (pdf)

TVO French Interview
Rencontre Jennifer Capraru

Set of Shake Hands with the Devil, Rwanda 2006



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