KRISTA Jackson, artistic director of Winnipeg's zone41 theatre troupe, has won the second annual Gina Wilkinson Prize over 18 other nominees across Canada.
The award honours a female theatre artist who is transitioning from one theatre discipline (acting, stage managing, playwriting, administration, etc.) to directing. The recognition comes with a $2,000 cash prize.
Jackson was part of the Neil Munro Intern Directors Project at the Shaw Festival last season and assisted on such productions as Misalliance, His Girl Friday and Hedda Gabler. The former actress began her career appearing in Manitoba Theatre Centre's 1986 production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Next season she is engaged to direct Carolyn Gray's modern comedy inspired by Moliere's The Miser in co-production with Theatre Projects Manitoba as well as helm RMTC's centrepiece production of The Seagull for next January's ChekhovFest.
Jackson was assisting director Wilkinson, also a well-known actress, with The Seafarer at the MTC Warehouse in late 2010 when she took ill and died soon after of cervical cancer at the age of 50.
"Gina asked me to take over the directing of her show and completely changed my life," said Jackson. "I cherish her and hope to express the gratitude I feel in receiving this award in my work, as I could never express it in words. Her indomitable spirit is a constant reminder for me to listen to my heart and wear boots like you mean it."