Jennifer Brewin specializes in the creation and development of new work, with an emphasis on large-scale, outdoor performance. She has created new plays for British Columbia’s Caravan Farm Theatre, the National Arts Centre English Theatre in collaboration with Ottawa’s Experimental Farm, Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works, and at the Canadian National Memorial in Vimy, France, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Jennifer has directed premiers of works by Martha Ross, Haley McGee, Natasha Greenblatt, Martin Julien, Colin Heath, Sean Dixon and Michele Riml. She has directed at theatres across Canada, including the NAC English Theatre, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Green Thumb Theatre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, and Festival Players.
She co authored and directed a number of collective creations including, The Public Servant (Theatre Columbus/GCTC), A Night in the Woods (Caravan Farm Theatre), The Great Frost of 1608 (with Peter Hinton/National Arts Centre) and The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls (Theatre Columbus).
She is a multi-award winning artist, receiving a Jesse Richardson Award (direction), a Dora Award (direction), a Harold Award, and the Armstrong Award of Excellence (with colleague Estelle Shook) in recognition of the Caravan Farm Theatre’s outstanding contribution to its community. She was Co-Artistic Director of the Caravan Farm Theatre and associate artist at the NAC.
Jennifer’s statement of intent
“I aspire to create performances that live — as Jonathon Lynn writes — “on the thin line between order and chaos.” I direct primarily new work and facilitate collectively created scripts. Many are large productions performed in unusual places.
I aim to create an environment that frees people to bravely investigate how we behave as a society. I seek a form and a forum where high art and comedy can fuel important and relevant discussions about our lives. I am interested in the place where the state and the individual meet and collide, where the big picture of existence intersects with the smaller pictures of everyday life. I seek work that is populated with everyday characters — the deeply average person who for a moment accidentally trips into public view.
The social and physical landscape of the working environment informs my work in terms of theme and aesthetic. When the creative process begins, I head to the territory where human dilemmas ferment — borrowing from the dramaturgy of chaos, doubt and desire, traveling from disorder to balance and back again.
My practice has been influenced by a constellation of artists and institutions: Peter Hinton, Leah Cherniak, George F. Walker; The National Arts Centre, The Caravan Farm Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre, Theatre Columbus.
I chose to continue my artistic practice with Theatre Columbus because working collaboratively is mandated with the expectation that the work be disciplined, funny and unique.
I am driven to show off this country’s unbelievable theatrical talent to the public; and to be part of those theatrical events that show off the best of what we are in community. I am committed to the next generation of theatre artists by providing opportunities to create and develop alongside us, challenging our work to be better and stronger than before. I encourage the voice of women in artistic leadership.”