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National Arts Centre names Jillian Keiley as artistic director of English Theatre

Jillian Keiley in 2004

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The National Arts Centre has named a new artistic director for its English Theatre: Jillian Keiley, the award-winning founder of Artistic Fraud theatre company of St John's.

"Jillian Keiley is a brilliant theatrical artist who is rooted in Newfoundland but also has a wonderful sense of the country," NAC President and CEO Peter Herrndorf said in a release announcing the news Tuesday.

Keiley will take the reins from outgoing artistic director Peter Hinton this summer. She will be directing Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, a play set in and around a giant swimming pool, next fall in the final season programmed by Hinton.

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"I am excited to build on the legacy of my predecessor Peter Hinton," Keiley said in a statement, praising in particular Hinton's re-establishment of the resident acting company at the Ottawa-based arts centre.

"I would really love the opportunity to create a young company of actors at the NAC; it is certainly one of the goals of my tenure."

With Artistic Fraud, Keiley has created a number of inventively staged productions that have toured Canada, including Tempting Providence and AfterImage. Her latest collaboration with playwright Robert Chafe, Oil and Water, will play at Toronto's Factory Theatre in April.

Keiley's direction earned her the 2004 Siminovitch Prize, the influential $100,000 award that is about to enter its final year. (Incoming NAC French Theatre artistic director Brigitte Haentjens is also a past winner.)

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