Theatre critic Jerry Wasserman takes 2023 Wyman Essential Writing prize — BC Alliance for Arts + Tradition

Theatre critic, creator and actor Jerry Wasserman is the winner of this 12 months’s Max Wyman Award in Essential Writing.

The annual award celebrates crucial commentary on the visible, performing and literary arts within the province of British Columbia.

It’s supposed to honour knowledgeable and compelling writing that stimulates crucial considering, fosters ongoing dialogue in regards to the position of arts and tradition in up to date society and demonstrates the worth of artistic commentary in our understanding of the world round us.

The winner receives a prize of $5,000 and a gold and emerald pin designed by Vancouver artist Robert Chaplin. A mentee, named by the laureate, receives a $1,000 prize. This 12 months’s mentee is Angie Rico, an rising author and media artist.

The award was established in 2017 by philanthropist Yosef Wosk to honour the profession and lifelong contributions of the Vancouver creator, arts critic and commentator Max Wyman. It acknowledges writers who’ve amassed a big physique of labor. Eligible topics of criticism embody the visible arts, structure and design, theatre, literature, dance, music, movie and tv, in addition to extra common cultural commentary.

Jerry Wasserman started working as a theatre critic on CBC nationwide radio within the mid-Eighties and broadcast weekly opinions on Vancouver’s The Afternoon Present from 1987-2003. He has since served as theatre critic for The Province and, presently, the Vancouver Solar. About 400 of his articles and opinions have appeared in these papers. Since 2004, his web site,, has acquired over 1.6 million visits. He taught English and Theatre on the College of British Columbia for over 4 a long time and served as head of the division of Theatre and Movie from 2007-2012. His performing resume contains stage appearances for the Arts Membership, Playhouse, Metropolis Stage, Westcoast Actors, New Play Centre, United Gamers and Western Gold Theatre, and over 200 movie and TV appearances, from The X-Information, Look Who’s Speaking and Alive to I, Robotic, Watchmen and The Final of Us.

The jury quotation reads: “Jerry Wasserman’s exceptional profession in some ways embodies the goals of this award. His a long time as a trainer and as a performer give his writing in regards to the theatre a sympathetic and considerate understanding that’s expressed in language that’s full of life, direct and deeply knowledgeable. The jury was unanimous in its appreciation of the way in which he has inspired and enhanced a wider appreciation of the richness of the Vancouver arts scene and the skills of those that make that richness attainable—each via his print and media opinions and thru his web site, which is a constant supply of knowledge and crucial context on all issues theatre in Vancouver.”

Yosef Wosk commented: “Jerry Wasserman’s voice has been a gentle and trusted supply of knowledge and context in regards to the Vancouver theatre scene for many years. He treats criticism and commentary as an integral a part of the cultural material, and sees the position of the critic not as an antagonist to the performer and creator however as a collaborator. I’m delighted that he’s to obtain this award.”

Earlier winners of the Wyman award are Dorothy Woodend, arts editor of the on-line journal The Tyee, freelance artwork critic Robin Laurence and creator, critic and former UBC gallery director Scott Watson.

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