2020/2021 Recipient


The SATA Steering Committee received multiple (and we mean multiple) nominations from the theatre community for this year’s Henry Woolf Award, with each and every individual put forth being a worthy candidate.

After careful deliberations, the Steering Committee is pleased to announce that the 2020
Henry Woolf Award for Continuing Achievement has been awarded to Crispi Lord.

Crispi is the co-founder and long-time artistic leader of Wide Open Children’s Theatre, and is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre as well as the University of Saskatchewan’s acting program. Crispi has also worked with many other Saskatchewan theatre companies, including:Dancing Sky Theatre, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Gateway Theatre, Off-Broadway DinnerTheatre and Pauper Etiquette Theatre. She is a co-creator of not only Wide Open, but also of PauperEtiquette Theatre Company, and was a founding member of the Live Five theatre series in Saskatoon.

The strength of Crispi’s nomination came from her long-time service and commitment to Theatre forYoung Audiences. Wide Open Children’s Theatre has now been around for 20 seasons, and Crispi’s workg oes beyond creating and performing. Not only does Crispi serve as a director, producer, writer,designer and builder, but she also had to become a school tour coordinator, and box office manager- aII while raising a family to boot. To borrow a quote from her nomination, “a woman running a theatre company with babies on her hips is nothing short of inspiring.”Through Wide Open, Crispi has also provided work to many emerging artists with her seasons and school tours. In addition to helping these artists develop and hone new skills as puppeteers and puppet builders, she has also provided opportunities to artists as they begin their careers as performers,playwrights, and music composers. Many of whom are nominated for SATAs this very season.

So, not only has Crispi helped support the next wave of Saskatoon theatre artists, but she has also been an integral force in creating the next wave of Saskatoon theatre audiences through the work of WideOpen. For all of this, we would like to thank Crispi for her continuing commitment to the theatre community of Saskatoon and area, and we are pleased to present her with this year’s Henry Woolf Award.



The Henry Woolf Continuing Achievement Award honours an individual or group in the Saskatoon area for outstanding contribution, dedication, and achievement within the theatre community. The recipient(s) will have shown a significant contribution to theatre in Saskatoon and area.

This Award may be presented to a member of the community from any background (directors, performers, administrators, stage managers, technicians, patrons, etc). Nominations are invited from the public each year, and the SATAwards’ Steering Committee chooses the recipient.
Please keep in mind that this nomination is not for an individual’s work in a particular show that you saw – the jury will take care of that – but for continuing achievement in any area.

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James O’Shea, Henry Woolf and Chip Chuipka in The Caretaker, Persephone Theatre, 2013. (Gord Waldner/ StarPhoenix)

Henry Woolf has been described as “a living icon of the theatrical avant-garde, an actor who throughout the 1960s would appear (for pitiful pay) in any play that broke new boundaries” (Changing Stages, Eyre and Wright, 2000).

Born in London in 1930, during school years Woolf met playwright and 2005 Nobel laureate Harold Pinter, who was a friend and collaborator for over 60 years (Woolf commissioned, directed, and acted in Pinter’s first play, The Room, in 1957).

During the 60s, Woolf acted in theatre projects alongside such contemporaries as Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Peter O’Toole and Ralph Richardson. His film and television career included roles in Marat/Sade (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978), Gorky Park (1983), Superman III (1983), and the cult classics The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Doctor Who (1977).

Woolf and his wife, actress/director Susan Williamson, have made their home in Saskatoon since 1978.

Woolf served as a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan from 1983-1997 and as artistic director of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan from 1991-2001. He has received the University’s Master Teacher Award (1994) and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (2001).  He is a member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2006). His most recent stage appearance was in Pinter’s The Caretaker for Persephone Theatre in 2013.

Henry Woolf’s memoir, Barcelona Is In Trouble, was published in 2017. For more information, please see his Wikipedia page and entry in the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia.


Recently,  Professor Emeritus Henry Woolf, was honoured with the naming of a theatre space at the University of Saskatchewan for him. Here is a slideshow that was shown at the ceremony featuring images and video from Prof. Woolf's influential career in the Department of Drama and the Saskatoon theatre community.