Award-winning Canadian artistic director gives free talk at Museum London

Can theatres in London transform the city and can the performing arts bring diverse communities together? Lucky attendees to a St. Patrick's Day talk at Museum London will hear the National Art Centre's Artistic Director of English Theatre, Jillian Keiley, address these topics and more.

In her lecture “Inspired by Place”, Ms. Keiley reveals how local theatre is inherent to the development of our communities: it revitalizes cities to attract visitors and residents while bringing diverse demographics together to share experiences and understand each other better. Referencing personal experience, she recounts her journey from local theatre in St. John’s to her current position at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Ms. Keiley illustrates how theatre and performance not only strengthen communities but can also catapult its members to positions of renown.

The talk begins at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 17 and admission is free by registering online at

This lecture marks the third collaboration in a partnership between Museum London, the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities and Public Humanities at Western, both of Western University.


Jillian Keiley

Originally from St. John’s, Ms. Keiley founded the theatre company Artistic Fraud in 1995. Over the past twenty years the company has come to be hailed as one of English Canada’s most daring and innovative companies. The works of Artistic Fraud and its creators, director Jillian Keiley and Robert Chafe, have played across the country to high acclaim and have garnered Jillian the 2004 Siminovitch Prize for directing and Robert the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Since its inception the company has been developing a unique brand of choral stage work, the goal of which is deeply rooted in the theatrical possibilities of ensemble performance. With often minimal setting, props and technical elements the ensemble chorus is given full reign and responsibility for all visual and aural elements. Though carefully plotted and meticulously assembled, the goal of the work is the effortlessly organic; a performer driven stage where spectacle meets story. Productions include: In Your Dreams Freud, The Cheat, Under Wraps, Signals, Emoticons, Icycle, The Chekhov Variations, Burial Practices of the Early European Settlers Through to Today, Belly Up, Nightingale, Emile’s Dream, Fear of Flight, Afterimage, Oil and Water, and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, as well as staged works by Michael Crummey (Hard Light, and Salvage), and Berni Stapleton (The Pope and Princess Di).

At the National Arts Centre, Ms. Keiley produced, among others, Tartuffe, this time set in her native Newfoundland. Her production of Alice Through the Looking-Glass has toured Charlottetown, Winnipeg and Edmonton, featuring local casts in each city. For 2016, Ms. Keiley is directing As You Like It for the Stratford Festival. Jillian has won numerous prizes and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Memorial University.

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