Gascon-Thomas Award 2011
Allan Hawco and Claude Poissant:
Recipients of the 2011 Gascon-Thomas Award
Montreal, October 25, 2011 – As its 50th anniversary celebrations come to a close,
the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is proud to announce that this year’s Gascon-Thomas Award
will be distinguished upon actor, artistic director, writer and executive producer Allan Hawco
(Acting, 2000) and director, playwright, actor and dramaturge Claude Poissant. The two will receive
their awards, in the Monument-National’s Ludger Duvernay Theatre, at 12:30 p.m., on Friday, October 28, 2011,
just hours prior to the start of the first-ever NTS alumni Homecoming weekend.
Created in 1990 by the NTS Board of Governors, the Gascon-Thomas Award is named after two of
the School’s founders, Jean Gascon and Powys Thomas. The Award recognizes
exceptional achievement. Each year, two artists (one Anglophone and one Francophone) are singled out and
honoured, not only for the way they've shaped the world of theatre and the live and visual arts, but also
for their status as role models to NTS students. Presided over by NTS governor Tom Peacocke,
the jury comprises several members of the School's Board of Governors, artistic directors Sherry Bie
and Denise Guilbault, CEO Simon Brault, and student representatives.
A native of Newfoundland, versatile actor Allan Hawco (Acting, 2000) has worked in several
established theatres across Canada. Select credits include: RICHARD III (RCA Theatre); THE SHAPE OF THINGS
(Canadian Stage Company); WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLFE? (Manitoba Theatre Centre); THE CRIPPLE OF INNISHMAN
(Centaur Theatre); LA RONDE and PRESENT LAUGHTER (Soulpepper Theatre). In 2005, Hawco co-founded The
Company Theatre with Phillip Riccio and he acts as Artistic Director.
He has starred in some of the most interesting and acclaimed television dramas, including the eight-part series ZOS: ZONE OF SEPARATION (Movie Network, 2008) and the miniseries H2O (CBC, 2004). Hawco appeared in a supporting lead in Sir Richard Attenborough’s CLOSING THE RING with Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine. He recently starred in LOVE AND SAVAGERY, directed by John Smith. The film earned Hawco an Outstanding Male Performance nomination at the 2010 ACTRA Awards.
As co-creator, writer, star and one of three executive producers of the CBC television drama REPUBLIC OF
DOYLE, Hawco plays Jake Doyle, the roguish and irreverent private investigator at the center of a colourful
cast of characters who run a “gumshoe” racket in contemporary St. John’s, Newfoundland. The
show premiered on January 6th, 2010 and was quickly renewed for a second season.
Director, playwright, actor and dramaturge Claude Poissant is co-founder and artistic
director of Théâtre PÀP. Poissant has brought
several creations by Quebec playwrights to the stage, including Jasmine Dubé (Acting, French Section, 1978),
Jean-Frédéric Messier, Reynald Robinson, Louise Bombardier, Jean-François Caron (Playwriting, French Section, 1985),
Michel-Marc Bouchard, and David Paquet (Playwriting, French Section, 2006).
He has also directed a number of plays by Larry Tremblay (Le Ventriloque, Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre
et The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi). In addition, quite a few playwrights had their work heard for the
first time under Poissant’s direction, such as Hélène Pedneault, Geneviève Billette (Playwriting, French
Section, 1998), Fanny Britt (Playwriting, French Section, 2001), François Létourneau, Jonathan Harnois,
Étienne Lepage (Playwriting, French Section, 2007), and Mathieu Gosselin.
He also introduced Quebec audiences to many contemporary playwrights, such as Canadians Judith Thompson
(Acting, 1979) and Kevin Kerr, and Martin Crimp of Great Britain. He has mounted several plays by
Marivaux, as well as Musset, Racine, Victor Hugo, Caldéron, Pirandello, and Hamsun, and has directed
many music shows, including Mutantès by singer-songwriter Pierre Lapointe. Claude Poissant
teaches in most of the main theatre schools of Quebec, where he has mounted about 20 shows.