Brian Quirt

Brian Quirt

With more than 25 years experience as a dramaturg, Brian has worked with many of Canada’s leading playwrights. As a director, his credits include premieres of these Nightswimming commissions: Anita Majumdar’s The Fish Eyes Trilogy (2014/15 national tour) and Same Same But Different (Theatre Passe Muraille/Alberta Theatre Projects), Carmen Aguirre’s Blue Box (2012-2014 national tour), Anosh Irani’s Bombay Black (Cahoots Theatre and tour), Judith Thompson’s Such Creatures (Theatre Passe Muraille), Andy Massingham’s Rough House (national tour) and Richard Sanger’s Whispering Pines (GCTC). Three of his productions have appeared at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival; 10 have toured Canada from Victoria to Whitehorse to St. John’s.

In addition to his work with Nightswimming, Brian also serves as Director of the Banff Centre Playwrights Colony, which he has expanded to incorporate international guest artists, creation company residencies and diverse approaches to theatre making. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas).

He has created eight of his own plays, most recently Why We Are Here! and Wolf in the Voice (with Martin Julien) and These are the Songs I Sing When I’m Sad (in development with Jane Miller). His other plays include the 2009 Summerworks hit Lake Nora Arms (adapted from Michael Redhill’s book with Jane Miller), Blue Note (with Martin Julien; Harbourfront Centre), The Death of General Wolfe (Theatre Passe Muraille), and adaptations of Jane Urquhart’s The Whirlpool (Tarragon Theatre), and the Iranian play Aurash (with Soheil Parsa; Modern Times Theatre in Toronto, Iran, Columbia, Cuba and Bosnia). With Nightswimming Producers Rupal Shah and Naomi Campbell he has led the company’s innovative Pure Research performance research workshops in Toronto and Vancouver since 2003.

He has received LMDA’s Elliott Hayes Award for Dramaturgy twice in recognition of his work in creating and directing Nightswimming, and for his dramaturgical work on Ned Dickens’ seven play cycle City of Wine. He served as LMDA President from 2006-2008. He has been nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, two for Direction and one for his adaptation of the Aurash. He gave the keynote address at the 2007 PACT Conference (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.

His production of Pierre Brault’s Portrait of an Unidentified Man premiered at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 2005, and has since been seen in St. John’s at Magnetic North 2006, at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, and London’s Grand Theatre. It was revived in 2009 and toured to New Zealand’s Christchurch Festival. In April 2008, he directed the premiere production of Brault’s 5 O’Clock Bells at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, which went on to tour to the Grand Theatre, Toronto’s Luminato Festival, Winnipeg’s Manitoba Theatre Centre, Whitehorse’s Yukon Arts Centre and the Banff Centre.

Brian was Interim Artistic Director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company 2010/11, Dramaturg at Toronto’s Factory Theatre from 1998-2004 and at the Theatre Centre from 1992 to 1999; prior to that he worked at the Canadian Stage Company in a variety of dramaturgical positions. He has also worked as a dramaturg for many independent companies and artists, from Mirvish Productions and the Manitoba Theatre Centre to directing national tours of two new works created with Ottawa’s Sleeping Dog Theatre. In addition to his theatrical work, Brian specializes in dance and choreographic dramaturgy, and is an adjunct professor at York University’s Department of Dance. His work as a dramaturg has been documented in numerous articles, journal and books, including recent publications such as The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, Dramaturgy in the Making, New Dramaturgy, Developing Nation: New Play Creation in English Canada, Theatre Topics, and the Canadian Theatre Review.

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