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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
October 26, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Sunil Kuruvilla, Staff/Alumnus

Sunil Kuruvilla (BA ’87) remembers going to the theatre for the first time. It was 1987, and he had just graduated with an English degree from Laurier. The play was an award-winner, recently taking top prize in the Shaw Festival’s silver-anniversary playwriting competition.

The experience was particularly memorable because the play, Fight of the Century, was his own, and it was the first one he had ever written.

“I felt like the characters inside my head finally had a voice,” says Kuruvilla, who also works as the marketing and promotions coordinator for Laurier’s Faculty of Music.

After moving audiences across North America with his compelling characters and receiving positive reviews from the L.A. Times and New York Times, Kuruvilla marked a milestone this year with the production of his most recent play, Rice Boy, at the 2009 Stratford Festival.

“When you meet Sunil, you immediately see there is a generosity of spirit there, and like Shakespeare, he knows how to create characters we empathize with,” says Stratford dramaturge Robert Blacker. “That’s a real gift for a playwright.”

Yet comparisons to theatre greats like Shakespeare don’t faze the soft-spoken Kuruvilla, who remains endearingly humble.

“Stratford has always been mythic in my imagination,” he says.” It’s a grand, classy place, and I consider this production a huge honour.”