OTTAWA — Playwright and actor Mani Soleymanlou has been appointed the next artistic director of the National Arts Centre's French Theatre.
NAC president and CEO Christopher Deacon says Soleymanlou will assume the new role on Sept. 1, 2021.
Soleymanlou will take over from Brigitte Haentjens at the end of her nine-year term.
Haentjens will program the French Theatre's 2021-'22 season, which will be presented after her departure.
Soleymanlou landed the role after an open-competition search for Haentjens' successor was launched last October.
A committee of senior managers from the NAC and the francophone theatre community oversaw the search.
Soleymanlou is a 2008 graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and has lived in Tehran, Paris, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
He is best known as the founding artistic director of the Montreal-based theatre company Orange Noyee.
Soleymanlou's work has explored notions of community identity and social relationships.
In the spring during the COVID-19 pandemic, he created "Prologue," a physically distanced theatre project performed at Montreal's OFFTA festival.
The NAC said Soleymanlou's "ongoing involvement in the francophone theatre community, coupled with his expertise and sensitivity, make him an exceptional candidate who is able to grasp the full depth and complexity of Quebec and Franco-Canadian theatre."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2020.
The Canadian Press