NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR CHOSEN TO SUCCEED THOUSAND ISLANDS PLAYHOUSE FOUNDER

On Monday, February 27th, 2012, Liz Austin, President of the Thousand Islands Foundation for the Performing Arts, announced the successor to Greg Wanless, founding Artistic Director of the Thousand Islands Playhouse. “After an extremely thorough process that involved a selection committee made up of Board members and several members of Ontario’s professional theatre community, we have selected Ashlie Corcoran, currently of Toronto, to take on the position of Artistic Director at the end of the 2012 season. Ashlie brings an impressive new energy and commitment to our theatre and the performing arts scene in Ontario, and will be a fitting successor to continue Greg’s artistic vision of a Playhouse by the river in the 1000 Islands. Her versatile directing and play development experience, especially with her commitment to Canadian work, echoes the Thousand Islands Playhouse’s 30 years of devotion to the creation of theatre for a wide range of audiences. We are very excited to be welcoming Ashlie into the Playhouse and Gananoque communities.”
Originally from White Rock, British Columbia, Ms. Corcoran began her training at Queen’s University, Kingston, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Drama. She received a Master’s Degree in Directing, awarded with distinction, from Goldsmiths College at the University of London. Since 2005, she has been Artistic Producer of Toronto’s acclaimed Theatre Smash, of which she was co-founder. Productions she has directed with the company include Tiny Dynamite, the company’s Dora-nominated inaugural production; Igor Bauersima’s The Bus, Layne Coleman’s Tijuana Cure and Graeme Gillis’ A Boy Called Newfoundland. Recently the Globe and Mail included The Ugly One, which she directed, in the Top 11 of 2011 List. Additionally, Ms. Corcoran produced Norway.Today for Theatre Smash.Ms. Corcoran has worked extensively both nationally and internationally. She was a Shaw Festival intern director in 2009, where she directed Bedtime Story, was a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, and was the 2010/11 Urjo Kareda Emerging Artist at Tarragon Theatre. Other theatre credits include direction for the Resurgence Theatre, Driftwood Theatre, numerous festivals and Gateway Theatre in British Columbia. She recently acted as a consulting director for The Gay Heritage Project at the 33rd Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times and will soon direct The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Western Canada Theatre.
This spring, she will also be directing Die Fledermaus at Cowtown Opera, and assistant directing The Barber of Seville at Vancouver Opera.
Artistic Director Greg Wanless and Associate Artistic Director Kathryn MacKay have known Ashlie for a number of years since her early days at Queen’s University and have admired her continuing work as a director as well as her work as the Artistic Director of Theatre Smash. “Ashlie will bring enthusiasm, creativity and a very strong work ethic with her and we both think that the future of the Playhouse is in very capable hands”.
Accepting the position of Artistic Director, Ms. Corcoran says “I am thrilled to be returning to Thousand Islands Playhouse – where I held my first professional theatre job, in the props department, after graduating from Queen’s University. I am excited to build on the artistic excellence created by Greg and Kathryn, and to continue making TIP an active and contributing part of Gananoque’s community.”
Ms. Corcoran will join the company early in the summer to select the 2013 playbill in consultation with Wanless and Associate Artistic Director Kathryn MacKay, who also leaves the company at the end of the season.