Joe Pagnan has been announced as the 2018 recipient of the F Joseph Anderson Award. The Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) Board of Directors made the selection after considering Pagnan’s transformative commitment to TIFT, and his generosity in giving his time and talent through mentoring and guiding others. Pagnan is the first professional artist to receive the annual award.

“Joe is an outstanding talent who selflessly shaped our productions, mentored both emerging and more senior artists, who either sought his mentorship or benefited from it without asking,” said Kathryn Talbot, Talk Is Free Theatre’s Chair. “We’ve been fortunate to have Joe as our resident designer for over six seasons and he’s been instrumental in the success of numerous influential TIFT productions. We wanted to recognize his contributions with the F Joseph Anderson Award.”

Inaugurated in 2011, the award honours the contributions of TIFT’s Founding Chair F Joseph Anderson. It was designed to celebrate an individual who has provided exceptional impact in furthering the objectives of TIFT through a variety of means, relative to their capacity. Some of the previous recipients have included Steve Sperling, Aline Revoy, Beth Foster and Ashley Frederick.

“I want to thank the company for trusting in my creative journey. For honouring the responsibility of visual storytellers to those watching,” said Joe Pagnan on receiving the award. “I am humbled to have my work featured by the F J  Anderson award, and I hope it opens a discussion for ways companies can support emerging interdisciplinary artists often at odds with their creative identity. Thank you Arkady and Talk Is Free for giving space to risk.”

Pagnan has an exquisite eye for detail and a remarkable ability to create sets and direction that lift productions to new realms. Some of Pagnan’s TIFT productions include Hedwig and The Angry Inch, The Curious Voyage, Amadeus, Candide, Offline, Darling of the Day, Sunday in the Park With George, Gotcha!, Stop The World, Prince of Hamburg, I Claudia, Vigil, and The Wakowski Brothers.

Pagnan was nominated for the 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award, is a three-time Broadway World Award recipient, a Dora Award Nominee, and a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and the Young Centre Emerging Artist’s Program, with further training with Universität Weimar. He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. More can be found at