Diane Brown, Artistic and Producing Director, Ruby Slippers Theatre

Diane Brown

artistic and Producing director

Ruby Slippers theatre

Diane is a multi award-winning director and actor, and is the long-time Artistic and Producing Director of one of Canada’s most resilient and successful independent theatre company’s, Ruby Slippers Theatre. She is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Bra D’Or Award, a national award annually presented by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, in recognition of her years of championing works by women. She was also a nominee for the 2018 Women of Distinction Awards.

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 You Will Remember Me, and most recently she produced and directed the west coast English language premiere of Michel Tremblay’s iconic Les Belles-soeurs.

Her English language Vancouver premiere production of You Will Remember Me has since been picked up, and was showcased to great critical acclaim as part of The Gateway Theatre’s mainstage 2016/17 Season. In 2015 she commissioned the English language translation for After Me 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. Diane has also freelanced across Canada and the United States. Diane co-created several interdisciplinary performance works that she then directed which were showcased abroad and at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa.

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.

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. Her production of Hotel Bethlehem has since been picked up three times by other companies. 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 Diverse 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. Advance Theatre offers profile to diverse women playwrights and directors and has resulted in some of the plays receiving fully realized, professional mainstage productions.

The Duchess aka Wallis Simpson

By Linda Griffiths. Directed by Sarah Rodgers. Featuring Diane Brown, Eileen Barratt, Raugi Yu, Georgia Beatty, Craig Erickson, Joel Garner, Melissa Oei, Kamyar Pazandah, Matt Reznek, Xander Williams. Photographed by Tim Matheson.

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, was a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre’s national Advocacy Committee, was a founding member and Past President of the See 7 Performing Arts Society, spent five years 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 holds a Masters Degree in Theatre from the University of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and son in Vancouver.