Diane Brown Biography
Diane is a multi award-winning director, actor, and the Artistic Director of Ruby Slippers Theatre. Diane is also the 2016/17 recipient of the prestigious Bra D’Or Award, given by the Playwrights Guild of Canada annually to an individual who has supported the advancement of Canadian women playwrights.
She has also freelanced across Canada and the United States. This work included four seasons with The Actors Shakespeare Company in upstate New York as an actor and a director, and work with The Sacramento Theatre Company. Diane co-created several interdisciplinary performance works that she then directed which were showcased abroad and at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa.
For Ruby Slippers Theatre, Diane has commissioned many English language translations of the best in contemporary French Canadian plays. She has proceeded to also produce and direct their award-winning English language premieres in Vancouver. Her affinity for the best in the French Canadian canon in English translation has resulted in critically heralded productions that include Down Dangerous Passes Road by Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau, The Winners by Francois Archambault, translated by Shelley Tepperman, Life Savers by Serge Boucher, translated by Shelley Tepperman, The Leisure Society by François Archambault, translated by Bobby Theodore, and most recently You Will Remember Me by François Archambault. Her English language Vancouver premiere production of You Will Remember Me has since been picked up, and will be showcased as part of The Gateway Theatre’s mainstage 2016/17 Season. In 2015 she commissioned the English language translation for Aprés Moi by Christian Bégin, translated by Leanna Brodie, and produced / directed the premiere. This resulted in five Jessie Award nominations including Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production. That same year she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson.
Other directorial highlights include award winning productions of The Waiting Room by Lisa Loomer (Canadian Premiere), The Cat Who Ate Her Husband by Drew McCreadie (World Premiere), Trout Stanley by Claudia Dey (Vancouver Premiere) and Hotel Bethlehem by Drew McCreadie which has since been picked up three times. Ruby Slippers Theatre’s landmark production of Daniel MacIvor’s A Beautiful View saw four remounts in four years, including five weeks at The Centaur Theatre in Montreal and a showcase at The Goldcorps Centre for the Arts Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre in downtown Vancouver. Ruby Slippers’ equally successful production of Communion by Daniel MacIvor was produced in association with Pacific Theatre.
Diane also spearheaded one of Ruby Slippers Theatre’s most powerful programs, Advance Theatre : New Works by Women. This annual week-long festival of dramatic readings features new works by diverse Canadian women, directed by diverse Canadian women. This initiative is in direct response to the appalling fact that over two thirds of the plays on Canada’s mainstages are written and directed by men.
Diane and Ruby Slippers Theatre have created seven full-length new Canadian works, and toured nationally three times. She and RST have earned the reputation for being Vancouver’s premiere producers of French Canadian plays in English translation, and perveyor’s of smart social satire that is infectiously entertaining. The company has garnered 40 nominations and 16 professional theatre awards in the last 10 years alone.
Diane is very active in the Vancouver cultural community. She leads Theatre Cares Vancouver, a volunteer organization that raises funds and awareness for people living with HIV/aids, is a member of Studio 58’s Theatre Advisory Committee, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre’s national Advocacy Committee, was a founding member and Past President of the See 7 Performing Arts Society, is currently on the steering committee for the Theatre Engagement Project, and is involved with several environmental and social justice initiatives.
Diane is a graduate of Simon Fraser University, and is currently working toward her Masters Degree at the University of British Columbia.