Welcome to Equity in Theatre

Capraru, Jennifer H.


Jen Herszman Capraru grew up in a haunted house in Montreal and is a artistic director of the award-winning Theatre Asylum, which premieres physical, imagistic and thought-provoking contemporary theatre by and about women and humanist issues.

In 2008, she founded Isôko Rwanda to help create modern intercultural theatre for human rights. For Isôko she directed and toured Wajdi Mouawad ’s Littoral (nominated for best mise en scène at Les Grands Prix de Théâtre Africain 2013), and Colleen Wagner 's The Monument (nominated for the Freedom To Create Prize 2011). The Monument toured all over Rwanda, the Arts Azimut Festival 2009, Poland's Dialog Festival 2013, and in 2011 to Toronto’s World Stage, Montréal Arts Interculturels, and University of Ottawa.

In March 2015 she directed the Cuban première of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs at Teatro el Sôtano in Havana, and in 2014 a staged workshop of Mouawad’s Incendies for the 1st Festival Francophone of Havana. She workshoped George Seremba ’s Napoleon of the Nile at Brown University, and directed The Successful Life of 3 and Mud by Maria Irene Fornés in a site-specific production in Kensington Market, Toronto. She is also adapting Sean Dixon's novel Kip Flynn into a site-specific piece for the Market.

Her productions at Theatre Asylum, such as BéBé, The Trials (2 Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations), and My Mother's Courage (3 Dora nominations), have been developed and toured Canada in partnership with The Theatre Centre, NAC, Intrepid Theatre, Segal Centre , Harbourfront and the Banff Centre. Other directing includes The Gut Girls at The Theatre Centre (3 Dora nominations, 1 award), the stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal at the DB Clark Montréal, 24 Exposures by Serge Boucher for the Canadian Stage Festival, Lullaby by Thelon Oeming for Dark Horse (Dora nomination Outstanding Production), Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman for the Phoenix Theatre (Victoria Critics Choice award Best Production, nomination for Best Direction), and The Illusion by Tony Kushner for Acadia, as well as Fringe and SummerWorks shows.

She was awarded the Baden-Württemburg fellowship to train as a director in Germany at Landestheater Tübingen and Volksbühne Berlin. She was Associate Dramaturg at Factory Theatre via a Metcalf Fellowship for three years, and nominated for the Hirsch and McGibbon Directing awards, was an invited fellow to Schloß Solitude and an invited director to the Lincoln Centre's Director's Lab, NYC. She has been a guest lecturer at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Haifa University, Brown University, Macalaster College, Brock, Western, Laurier, Bishops, and York universities, and a course director at Glendon College. Her academic essays are published by Methuen, Palgrave Macmillan, Playwrights Canada Press, Liaison and alt.theatre. She holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University.

Jen was second script supervisor on the film Shake Hands with the Devil, and was invited to give workshops at the Rwanda Cinema Centre, the National University of Rwanda, UNIFEM, Mashirika and Kivu Writers. In 2012 she was invited to Kinshasa DRC to teach and direct various troupes there. She is fluent in French and German and basic Spanish.

Professional Role(s): 
Dramaturg. Professor.