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May 17, 2021

Canadian Stage Performer

Virgilia Griffith

Virgilia Griffith is a Toronto based actor. Winner of the Meta Emerging Artist Award for Gas Girls by Donna Michelle St. Bernard. Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance for Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears. She was also a Dora nominee for Outstanding Female in an Independent Theatre Division for her performance of Honesty directed by Jordan Tannahill and received a Dora nomination for Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) (Saga Collectif) by Jeff Ho. Selected credits include: Guarded Girls (Tarragon Theatre/ Greenlight Arts), Betrayal (Soulpepper Theatre Company), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper Theatre Company), The Wedding Party (Crow’s Theatre), Other Side of the Game (Cahoots/Obsidian Theatre), Da Kink In My Hair (Theatre Calgary/NAC), How We Are (Mikaela Davies and Polly Phokeev Productions), and Up The Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre Company).

“I am honoured to have been chosen for the 2021 Jon Kaplan Canadian Stage performer award. This award is very special to me; I am forever grateful to Jon for always seeing and acknowledging my work, and I truly love what I get to do.”

Canadian Playwright

athena kaitlin trinh

athena kaitlin trinh is a Dora nominated, queer, Chinese-Vietnamese actor, writer, and spoken-word poet. With roots stemming from China, Toronto, and Viet Nam, athena celebrates her Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and dedicates herself to diverse, intersectional, and inclusionary art-making. For more:

“I am so honoured to have received this year’s Jon Kaplan Legacy Award for Young Canadian Playwright. The news couldn’t have come at a better time…I believe that a lot of us in the arts community, like many others, have been struggling. Struggling to keep focused, struggling to fuel inspiration, struggling to keep food on the table. This recognition and the love and support that comes with it is beyond inspiring. It is a reminder that I have a lot to offer and that my journey is only beginning. As a young emerging playwright, being seen and being heard are the pillars of my growth; I am grateful to have been seen and heard by the jury and Jon Kaplan’s dearest people.

Jon’s legacy is a deep rooted one. You don’t experience theatre in this city without hearing about Jon Kaplan and the love, passion, and life that he poured into this community. I am grateful that his legacy lives on through these awards and through all of our memories. As we continue to celebrate, recognize, and amplify diverse and new voices, I believe Jon’s legacy will never die.

Thank you, again, for this honour. Thank you for seeing me and my work.”

Graduating Student from a Canadian Theatre School

Haneul Yi

Haneul Yi (he/him) is an actor-musician, music director, composer/arranger and multi-instrumentalist. His love for music and storytelling/expression is what keeps him hooked on musical theatre. In a nutshell, he loves the ‘magic carpet’ moment, when the audience, actors, and band are all on one page, thinking the same thought, taking in the same breath. Having completed his final year at Sheridan, Haneul is still hungry to learn, dipping his toes into different creative roles. He is never hesitant about putting whatever feels dreary to the side for a while and pursuing what invigorates him in the moment.

“I am so grateful to be the recipient of the Jon Kaplan theatre student award. This award reminds me that I am on the right path. It is the path paved by the giants before me. It’s a reminder that the way I’m living/loving is aligned with the way Jon Kaplan did when he was with us. So I receive this award recognizing that it is about much more than one person. It is encouraging me to continue the race for us all. It is ‘out of the self’ and ‘into the other’ – pursuing the objective that’s not within us but rather, ahead of us. I am immensely grateful to the fund for their support and faith in young voices and artists.”


Canadian Stage Performer

  • Karen Robinson
  • Catherine McNally
  • Keith Kemps
  • Thom Allison
  • Allegra Fulton

Canadian Playwright

  • Marcia Johnson
  • Christopher Morris
  • Alison Lawrence
  • Lee MacDougall
  • Kelley Jo Burke

Student at a Canadian Theatre School

  • The faculty at Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program
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