McKim Is New Artistic Director of Toronto's Passe Muraille

News   McKim Is New Artistic Director of Toronto's Passe Muraille Andy McKim has been appointed the new artistic director of Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM) in Toronto.

McKim joins the company — devoted to developing and producing new works — May 28.

"Our search process took more than six months," said Shelley Black, president of TPM's board and chair of the search committee, "and involved not only members from our board, but also knowledgeable members of the theatre community. We were pleased and impressed by the high caliber of extraordinarily talented artists from all across Canada who applied for the position. We chose Andy because he demonstrated a clear and distinctive vision that will deepen as well as expand the almost 40-year creative legacy inherent in our name — that of breaking down barriers."

McKim succeeds Layne Coleman, who has been TPM's artistic director twice: from 1990-91, then again from 1997 to the present.

During this period, "the company has supported and developed emerging and established talent and has produced or co-produced such hits as Michael Healey's The Drawer Boy, d'bi.young.anitafrika's blood.claat, Trey Anthony's da kink in my hair, James O'Reilly's Time After Time, Daniel MacIvor's You Are Here, and many others.

"Obviously Layne leaves huge boots to fill," Black continued. "During his tenure, TPM has been a leader in collective play development, and home to many of the country's outstanding original stage productions. We believe that Andy will continue and extend the traditions of our company, delighting audiences and reaching out to the theatre community in innovative ways." Outgoing artistic director Layne Coleman stated, "I congratulate the Board on its decision. Andy's directorial achievements, his extraordinary gift for working with artists in new play development, his ability to produce large-scale events such as the Spring Arts Fair (an occasion of great creativity as well as fun), his eye for talent, and his encyclopedic understanding of Canada's theatrical history and ecology mean that TPM is a huge winner."

A nationally renowned director and dramaturg, Andy McKim has been working in the theatre for 30 years, focusing primarily on new Canadian plays. He is best known for his two decades of work at Tarragon Theatre as associate artistic director, developing and directing countless new works by a wide range of Canadian playwrights. Most notable amongst them is Richard Greenblatt and Ted Dykstra's award-winning Two Pianos, Four Hands. At Tarragon he also produced the Spring Arts Fair, a free annual festival of performing arts work in development. It showcases not only theatre, but dance, music, poetry and a diversity of other art forms, while also acting as a community outreach for the theatre. His Dora Award nominations for Outstanding Direction include world premiere productions of Don Hannah's The Wedding Script, Jonathan Wilson's Kilt and the Canadian premiere of Wallace Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon.

McKim has also worked as a director at many theatres across Canada, including the Citadel in Edmonton, and Neptune in Halifax; in the United States at New York City's Promenade Theatre (Off-Broadway), Buffalo's Arena Stage and Rochester's Geva Theatre. In Great Britain, he garnered two Fringe First Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for his work on writer-performer Jack Klaff's Cuddles and The Fifty-Minute Hour.

He was president of the Toronto Theatre Alliance, a member of ArtsVote and a member of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards board. For eight of the past nine years, he has directed the Dora Awards show. He is the current past president of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.

For more information, visit www.passemuraille.on.ca.

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