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Current Graduate Students

Our graduate students work at the cutting edge of research in drama, theatre, and performance studies.

Current PhD Students

James Ashby

James Beauregard Ashby is a PhD candidate (ABD), a puppet artist, and an instructor at Brock University. His dissertation is entitled “From the Inside Out, from the Outside In: Devised Puppet Theatre in Toronto.” His other research interests include devised theatre more broadly, new work development, practice-based research, and the semiotics and dramaturgy of professional wrestling. He has addressed topics related to Canadian puppetry at a number of American and Canadian conferences and in articles for publications such as Canadian Theatre Review and Puppetry International. Ashby is also the cofounder and co-artistic director of Bricoteer Experiments Theatre (a Toronto-based devised puppet theatre company) and the vice president of the Ontario Puppetry Association.

The ultimate goal of his dissertation—and of his practical work—is to address one deceptively simple question: Does the focus on the object in puppet theatre restrict the spontaneity and physical freedom that are so central to theatrical devising? Devising performers are trained to respond to spontaneous creative impulses, but they are trapped inside their bodies. Puppets, however, always exist outside of the live bodies onstage, even if only conceptually. Manipulators therefore have, in one sense, more control over their puppets than devising performers have over their own bodies. Nevertheless, while the body of the devising performer can react almost instantly to any impulse, the manipulator has an additional step to complete, as her reaction must be channelled through the puppet. This makes for a difficult balancing act in devised puppet theatre.

Links: http://www.bricoteer.cahttps://www.facebook.com/bricoteers; Twitter: @doctorpuppetry

Art Babayants

Art is a PhD student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto and the artistic director of The Toronto Laboratory Theatre, an open creative collective that focuses on the projects that allow for combinations, often unorthodox, of theatre practice and theatre research. His recent directing credits include The… Musician: An Étude (2012), Gypsy: A Musical Fable (2012), Seussical: The Musical (2009), Couldn’t We Be (2008). As part of the DitchWitch Brigade collective Art has been involved in the development and performance of two mockumentary performances: Miss Toronto Gets a Life in Parkdale (Theatre Centre, 2010), and Miss Toronto Acts Back (Theatre Unit 102), both directed by Antje Budde. Art has also been teaching English as a second language for more than 20 years and has developed a number ESL/Drama projects with his students. He completed his MA degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), where he conducted an action research study on the effects of acting on the development of second language pragmatics. He has also trained actors in the Stanislavsky technique, which he studied during his BA years in Moscow. For his doctoral dissertation, he is working on a practice-based qualitative study called “In Unknown Languages”: Acting in/through/with Multiple Languages, supervised by Prof. Kathleen Gallagher (OISE/UT). In his spare time, Art enjoys a bit of tapdancing, a bit of piano playing and a lot of speaking in French – his favourite language.

Paul Babiak

Paul Babiak is a theatre, film and television scholar and practitioner with a wide range of competencies embracing the fields of Performance, Cinema and Media Studies. Currently a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, Paul is hard at work on his dissertation, Slapstick and Knockabout: Comic Violence Enters the Modern Age — a study of the transformations wrought in the efficacy of violent comic performances at the threshold of the modern era by their relocation from stage to screen. Paul has created and taught a variety of courses in various centres at the University of Toronto, from The Logics of Canadian Television and The Business of Film for Innis College, Film Genres in Performance and From Stage to Screen at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, to Public Broadcasting in Canada and Broadcast Media and Culture, which he has offered for the past three years at St. Michael’s College.

Justin Blum

Justin A. Blum is a theatre historian who is completing his PhD at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. His dissertation project Murder, Myth, and Melodrama: The Theatrical Histories of Jack the Ripper explores how the entertainment culture of London helped to create, consolidate, and circulate cultural myths around the 1888 Whitchapel murders. He holds an MA (Drama) from Washington University in St. Louis and a BFA (Dramatic Writing) from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to teaching theatre and cinema studies courses at the University of Toronto he has worked as a writer, dramaturg, and director in both professional and academic theatres in the US and Canada.

He has recently published “Stagings in Scarlet: Exploring History, Historiography, and Historicity with Late-Victorian Murder Melodrama” (Theatre Topics 23.2), an article based on his 2009 staging of scenes from plays discussed in his dissertation at the Centre. Other recent publications include Recounting Our Riches, an English translation of the activist play Les contes de la Richesseby Quebec’s Théâtre par Minou (with Gabrielle Houle, Canadian Theatre Review 155); and “Adaptation, Piracy, and the Case of Dion Boucicault’s The Poor of _____” (Performing Arts Resources 28).

Seika Boye

Seika is a dance scholar, artist and educator. In 2005 she shifted her focus from performance to writing and research. She was a department editor/writer for The Dance Current Magazine (2005 – 2007), worked as an archives and editorial assistant for Dance Collection Danse (DCD) Archives and Press/es (2004 – 2010) and is a recent contributor to The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (forthcoming). Seika has performed with Judith Marcuse Dance Works and Electric Company Theatre, collaborated with numerous independent dance, theatre, visual and music artists and presented her choreography across Canada. She has taught lecture and studio courses in the departments of Dance and Kinesiology at York University, guest lectured at Ryerson Theatre School and looks forward to teaching Movement for Actors at UC Drama, U of T in fall 2013. Currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto, her research interests include twentieth century modern dance, contemporary dance performance and Canadian dance history with an emphasis on race and gender. Her doctoral dissertation explores social and theatrical dance within Toronto’s black population 1920-1950. Seika is a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.

Melissa Campbell

I am interested in a variety of topics relating to theatre/performance studies and gender theory. My research interests include: Indigenous theatre and performance, Restoration and 18th Century theatre, feminist autopathography, representations of violence in theatre, music performance, and contemporary Canadian theatre.

Currently I am writing my doctoral thesis, “Acts of Resistance: Reclaiming Native Womanhood in Canadian Aboriginal Theatre”; this project explores the ways Native women’s theatre disengages with contemporary stereotypes of Aboriginality and fosters positive representations of Native women and communities.

I am currently living in Trondheim, Norway where I am finishing my thesis. In my free time I enjoy dog training and agility, landscape and animal photography, travel, playing guitar, hiking in the mountains, and fishing.

Jenn Cole

I am a third year PhD student with research interests in the cultural history of modernity, the force of inarticulacy, continental philosophy, secrets and strangers. I completed my MA in Trent University’s Theory, Culture and Politics program with the SSHRC funded thesis, The Force of Stammering: Aporia and the Performative Stutter in the Story of Moses. I am also a dance practitioner and perform works connected to my intellectual pursuits, having choreographed and performed pieces on stammering, unsent letters, W.G . Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, Svetlana Boym’s notions of nostalgia, and Jean-Luc Godard’s Je Vous Salue, for example.

My current research concerns the performative force of the human cry and the complexities of hysteria in performance. My thesis, Cries Onstage: The Force of Inarticulacy in the Hysteria Performances of Nineteenth-Century France is a critical dramaturgy of J.-M. Charcot’s lecture series wherein the hysterical patient performed her symptoms before an audience alongside the positivist narration of the Salpêtrière director. Specifically, I am interested in the moment in an 1888 lecture wherein the patient Augustine cried out, interrupting the show, and what this moment reveals about the force of sounding as it relates to violence, power and subversion in performances of the body in pain.

Cameron Crookston

Cameron is originally from Toronto and recently completed his MA in theatre and performance studies at the University of Toronto. Prior to this he attended York University where he received a BA in theatre studies with a concentration in new play dramaturgy. He has also trained as a stage manager at the University of British Columbia. Most recently he wrote and held a staged reading of a new verbatim play titled Stories From the Generation Gap, which explorse ageism, intergenerational communication and mentoring in Toronto’s gay male community.

Cameron’s research is focused on documentary theatre and its relationship to both ethnographic research practices and dramaturgy. Specifically, he is exploring the positionality of the playwright/researcher in the script and how that positionality manifests itself in the dramatic text. In other words, how does the playwright write themselves into the text: silent observer, narrator or protagonist? What are the ethical implications of these positions? Cameron is also interested in exploring the ethics of interpreting and dramatizing “real” events and voices, and aesthetic techniques for conveying authenticity to an audience.

Natalia Esling

Natalia holds a Master’s in European Theatre from the University of Edinburgh and a BA(Hons) in English and French from the University of Victoria. She has trained and performed in ballet and contemporary dance on Vancouver Island, as well as at the Richmond Academy, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the School of Alberta Ballet.

Her academic interests in the field of performance studies lie at the intersection of dance and theatre, specifically in relation to contemporary devising, dramaturgy, and physical theatre. Her current research focuses on bringing a lens of cognitive science–namely, the neurological condition of synaesthesia as well as the theoretical approach of enactivism–to processes of dramaturgical development and alternative modes of performance creation.

Heather Fitzsimmons-Frey

Heather Fitzsimmons Frey is a director and dramaturge with a special interest in devised theatre.  Her dissertation explores the relationship between Victorian Juvenile At-Home Theatricals (for children to perform in middle class homes), girls perceptions of their possible futures, their identities, and their sense of agency.  She is also conducting research into youth spectatorship of dance in theatre for young audiences.  She is particularly interested in non-dominant indigenous dance forms and non-dominant dance forms brought to Canada through immigration.  She is writing about agency and  Canadian youth performance of strike and boycott action for the nationwide 1947 “chocolate strike,” she is editing a book of theatre for young audiences plays with an unusual creation process and history, and she and Art Babayants are editing a collection of essays addressing uneasy tensions between theatre and learning.

John Greyson

John Greyson is a Toronto film/video artist whose shorts, features and installations include: Fig Trees, Proteus The Law of Enclosures, Lilies,  Un©ut, Zero Patience The Making of Monsters and Urinal. These have received 5 Genies, 3 Teddies, and best film prizes at festivals in Toronto (TIFF), Montreal, Barcelona, San Francisco, Hamburg, Sudbury, Locarno, and Berlin. An associate professor in film production at York University, and a PhD candidate in Sexual Diversity/Drama at U of T, he was awarded the Toronto Arts Award for Film/Video, 2000, the Bell Canada Video Art Award in 2007, and the Alanis Obamsawin Cinema Politica Award, 2011.

Current research projects include: Murder in Passing, a transmedia murder mystery created for Toronto’s subway platform monitors; an opera/documentary about gay marriage and queer contributions to the academic/cultural boycott of Israel; an opera/documentary about the bombing of the Iraq Film Archives; a transmedia investigation of the lures and limits of queer global solidarity.

David Jansen

David Jansen is an actor/director who has performed leading roles over the years in most of Toronto’s major theatres and at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. Recently, he co-directed (with Kate Lynch) the Drama Centre’s Resource Show Age of Arousal; he staged Have I None for the Edward Bond Festival; and co-directed (with Birgit SchreyerDuarte) Kaspar and the Sea of Houses for Summerworks, which won that festival’s award for Outstanding Production. He teaches Drama 300 at the Drama Centre and Scene Study at George Brown Theatre School. Currently he is working on his PhD at the Drama Centre with a dissertation on strategies of directorial authorship in the productions of Neil Munro and Thomas Ostermeier.

Matt Jones

Matt’s research focuses on contemporary experimental and political theatre and performance practices. His dissertation, The Shock and Awe of the Real: Political Aesthetics and the Performance of the War on Terror, is a transnational study of plays, performances, demonstrations, direct action protests, and new media campaigns that responded to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a playwright, Matt’s work includes Dracula in a Time of Climate ChangeThe Mysterious Case of the Flying Anarchist and the collective creation Death Clowns in Guantanamo Bay. His theatre company is the Blacklist Committee for Unsafe Theatre.

Aida Jordão

Aida is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto — with the thesis, “Inês de Castro in Theatre and Film: A Feminist Exhumation of the Dead Queen” — and a Portuguese Language Instructor at York University and U of T. She is on a hiatus from her theatre life as an actor, director and playwright of popular theatre, feminist plays and Theatre of the Oppressed. Aida has worked worldwide creating original theatre: in Toronto with Nightwood Theatre, Ground Zero Productions and the Company of Sirens, and abroad in Portugal, Nicaragua and Cuba. She holds an Acting Diploma from the Drama Studio, U.K., and an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto. Publications include “(Re)Presenting Inês de Castro: Two Audiences, Two Languages, One Feminism” in Revista de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses (18), and “Playwriting in Canadian Popular Theatre: Developing Plays with Actors and Non-Actors” in Canadian Theatre Review (115).

Allison Leadley

My research interests are in the self-fashioned display of disease, illness, and the body in contemporary North American performance art. Specifically, my dissertation explores the utilization of the performance framework of the freak show amongst contemporary Toronto and New York-based performance artists renowned for the display of their self-identified abnormal and exceptional bodies. I am not only interested in how these artists engage with the historical images, aesthetic, and rhetoric of the freak but also, how through this performance framework, these artists also interrogate the implicit social exchanges that inform the very notion of ‘abnormality’.

I hold a B.A. from Dalhousie University (Halifax) and a M.A. from The University of British Columbia (Vancouver). I am a founding member of the Green College Players and have worked as an assistant director and literary dramaturge with companies that include the 365 Days/365 Plays Festival, Neptune Theatre, and DalTheatre. Recent literary dramaturgy credits include: Death Clowns in Guantanamo Bay (Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies/The Blacklist Committee for Unsafe Theatre) and The… Musician. An Étude (Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies/Toronto Laboratory Theatre). I am also the co-artistic director for the upcoming (2014) annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT).

Shelley Liebembuk

Shelley is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, researching the Latina body in performance. She is a graduate of the Atlantic Theatre Company’s acting conservatory (NYC); and has worked as an actress with the Pangea World Theatre (Minneapolis). Recent performance credits include Toronto Laboratory Theatre’s The…Musician, and quoi quoi quoi’s Raven for A Lark (Toronto SummerWorks, Ottawa Fringe Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival). She also works as a dramaturg with the intermedia company Ars Mechanica (Toronto), and is part of the Digital Dramaturgy Lab research group, led by Professor Antje Budde.

Her dissertation has the working title: “The Latina Body in Performance: Problematizing Gendered, Ethnoracial Identity in the ‘self’-representational works of Troyano, Bustamante & Baez.” Her research seeks to investigate the Latina body in performance across the solo works of contemporary performers Alina Troyano/Carmelita Tropicana, Nao Bustamante and Josefina Baez, and draws on the critical frameworks set forth by Amelia Jones and Jose Esteban Muñoz. She is analyzing how the performing body is inscribed and decoded across and against ethno-racial, gender, and queer considerations and ‘identities’, by both the artist herself and her audience, across the mediums of cabaret, performance art, and performance poetry.

Noam Lior

Noam Lior is a graduate of the University College Drama Program, where he completed an Honours BA in English and Drama. He holds an MA from the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at U of T, and is working on his PhD there, researching Early Modern English drama with a focus on editing Shakespeare for digital editions.

Noam is a dramaturge and director, and has worked on plays by Shakespeare, Webster, and Marivaux as well as developing productions of new Canadian plays. For the past several years, he has specialized in staging delightfully obscure Early Modern plays for the Drama Centre and PLS; recent projects have included the anonymous Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes, the (differently) anonymous New Custom, and Robert Daborne’s A Christian Turn’d Turk (produced in conjunction with the Jackman Humanities conference Early Modern Migrations: Exiles, Expulsion, & Religious Refugees, 1400-1700).

Noam is the co-developer of Shakespeare at Play, a company which creates e-book editions of Shakespeare plays with embedded video performances. For Shakespeare at Play, he has co-directed, dramaturged, edited, and annotated Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, and is currently working on Hamlet.

His dissertation, “Shakespeare at Play: Editing and the Multimedia e-book,” looks at the history of Shakespeare editing and editions, and the ways in which this practice feeds, informs, and challenges the current methods of producing Shakespeare digital editions, especially given recent innovations in multimedia embedding. What can digital editions tell us about the process of editing, the relationship between book and performance, and between editor and reader/viewer/user?

Alex McLean

I am the director of Zuppa Theatre Co., a devising theatre ensemble based in Halifax, NS. With Zuppa I have directed and created twelve original performances, most recently The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions, in collaboration with Cleveland-based writer Mike Geither. Zuppa’s award-winning work has been presented at major Canadian festivals and has toured internationally. I was also a founding member of Number Eleven Theatre, with whom I co-created and performed The Prague Visitor and Icaria (1998-2006). My writing has appeared in Canadian Theatre Review and New Essays on Canadian Theatre and I have been teaching acting and devising to emerging artists for a over decade.

I am interested in theatre that engages the five senses. I was given pause, though, while reading Martin Puchner’s The Drama of Ideas (2010), in which the author cautions against a tendency away from intellectual rigour and towards the body as ultimate authority. The important question, it seems to me, is whether a multisensory theatre of ideas is possible and, indeed, whether ideas derived from multisensory stimulus differ from those born strictly of the audio/visual. Through the lens of contemporary cognitive science, with this question in mind, I will examine the work of experimental chefs who conceive of cuisine theatrically and attempt to create experiences that play to both the sensorium and intellect.

Scott Mealey

Scott R. Mealey has worked professionally as an actor, director, playwright, and dramaturg in Atlantic Canada. He taught Theatre and Communications, as an adjunct professor, for nearly fifteen years in Moncton, New Brunswick. He recently has returned to full-time academia, obtaining an honours degree in Theatre Studies from Dalhousie University, and is completing the Master of Arts program at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto where he has been invited to undertake his PhD beginning this fall. His doctoral studies will be exploring the viability of using cognitive and persuasive rhetorical models in examining audience reception to transformative/political performances. Most recently he presented a related paper titled “The Gentle Critique: An alternative and populist approach to non-coercive political theatre” at the Another World of Popular Entertainments Conference in Newcastle, Australia.

Chima Osakwe

Chima Osakwe is a PhD candidate in Postcolonial Drama and Literature. His doctoral dissertation project investigates the potential of drama as a revolutionary tool in postcolonial Nigeria. A recipient of several academic awards which include but are not limited to the University of Toronto Doctoral Fellowship, Ontario Graduate Scholarship and Utrecht University Short Stay Fellowship for doctoral candidates, Chima’s scholarly publications have appeared in ARIEL, Journal of African Literature Association, and Annual Series of African Literature Association. Chima has also published several articles and letters on African politics in various magazines and newspapers. As a producer, writer, director and actor he has worked in African theatre productions in South Africa, Swaziland and Canada.

Lauren Shepherd

Lauren is a PhD Student at the Centre. She completed her BA Hons at Brock University in 2007, and her MFA with Distinction in Staging Shakespeare at The University of Exeter in 2010. During her time abroad Lauren worked with award-winning actresses Dr. Jane Lapotaire and Emma Thompson. She also worked under the supervision of Stewart Pearce, Glynn MacDonald, Giles Block, Trevor Rawlins, and Philip Bird at Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside. In August of 2009, Lauren received a scholarship from The University of Exeter’s Drama Department to attend the Summer Intensive Programme with Howard Barker and his Wrestling School of acting.

At the Centre, and under the supervision of Jeremy Lopez, Lauren is currently focusing her research on the performance of ‘madness’ in Shakespeare’s female characters. This includes the diagnosis of ‘madness’ in selected plays, as well as patterning the trends of his contemporaries in their own works containing ‘madness’. Lauren is particularly interested in categorizing the language used surrounding the diagnoses of ‘madness’ in these instances with the goal to create a performer training technique that will allow the audience to distinguish between the different patterns/trends of ‘madness’ the playwright has created for his actors to perform.

Cassandra Silver

Cassandra is in the latter half of her time working on a PhD at the Drama Centre with a collaborative program specialization in Knowledge Media Design. She wears many hats, but considers herself to be a theatre researcher, writer, teacher, and maker.

Her current scholarly focus is an exploration of interactivity, technology, and performance. Through the study of the myriad ways in which these concepts (and practices) are combined, she has learned a considerable amount about intermediality, spectatorship, new media, video games, and design. She’s deeply fascinated by how interactive technologies have the capacity to subvert passive spectatorial behaviours, and collects examples of ‘performing spectators’ like they were baseball cards.

Of course, most of the writing she does is towards her dissertation (tentatively titled “Getting in on the Action”), but she has also recently published an article in TDR and presented her work at both CATR and PSi. She has also recently taught courses in the Drama programs of UT Mississauga, UT St. George, and UWaterloo.

When not buried in books, Cassandra directs and stage manages in theatre and opera. Recent projects include Botched at both the Toronto and Ottawa Fringe Festivals, and Show and Tell Alexander Bell at Summerworks.

Grace Smith

Grace Smith is a fourth year PhD student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the transition from amateur to professional theatrical activity in post-WWII Ontario. Grace completed her BA in Theatre Studies and English at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia in 2009, and finished her MA at the Drama Centre in 2010.

Isabel Stowell-Kaplan

Isabel Stowell-Kaplan is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies where she is completing her dissertation entitled “They Did the Police in Different Voices: Representations of the policeman in Victorian Drama, Theatre and Performance”. She holds a BA Hons from Oxford University in English Language and Literature as well as an MA Hons in Text and Performance Studies from King’s College, University of London and RADA.

Her research interests include: Victorian drama, Policing, Surveillance, Docudrama/Verbatim Theatre, Theatre and the Real.

She has presented her work most recently at CATR 2013 and PSi 19 and will be presenting “Policing Bodies: The First Bodies of the Met Police” at Northwestern in the Fall.

She has in the past acted as Teaching Assistant on DRM 100, DRM 230 and DRM 264 and is currently Editorial Assistant for Modern Drama.

Caitlin Thompson

Caitlin Thompson is a third year doctoral student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. She graduated with her B.A. in English from Lafayette College and received her M.A. in Drama at the University of Toronto. She is also a Research Associate for the Records of Early English Drama contributing to the Patrons and Performances database. Elsewhere in the performance world, she has worked as a stage manager at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island and for numerous graduate productions at the University of Toronto.

Caitlin’s research interests include dialect comedy, comic theory, and constructions of “Englishness” and alterity in early modern drama. She is currently working on her dissertation on comic representations of Welsh dialects on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages within historicist analyses of language and the Tower of Babel. Her work situates dramatizations of constructed incompetence with the King’s English in conversation with comic theories to consider the objectification of regional heteroglossia as a perpetuated comedic convention.

Guillermo Verdecchia

Guillermo is a writer of drama and fiction as well as a director and actor. He is the recipient of a Governor-General’s Award for Drama for his play Fronteras Americanas and a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award. His work, which includes the Governor-General shortlisted Noam Chomsky Lectures (with Daniel Brooks), the Seattle Times’ Footlight Award-winning Adventures of Ali & Ali (with Marcus Youssef and Camyar Chai), A Line in the Sand (with Marcus Youssef), bloom, and Another Country has been anthologized, translated into Spanish and Italian, produced in Europe and the US, and is studied in Latin America, Europe and North America.

As a director and actor he has worked at theatres across the country, from the Stratford Festival, where he directed Sunil Kuruvilla’s Rice Boy to Vancouver’s East Cultural Centre, where he has presented several original works including Ali & Ali: The Deportation Hearings.  As an actor, he created the roles of Longomantanus in John Mighton’s Short History of Night, Elias in Joan Macleod’s Amigo’s Blue Guitar, for which he received a Dora Award nomination, and Dan in Daniel Brooks’s The Good Life.

Currently an Associate Artist with Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre, where he heads new play development, Guillermo is also a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. He has published a number of articles and contributed book chapters on aspects of intercultural theatre practice in Canada. He has an M.A. from the University of Guelph where he received a Governor-General’s Gold Medal for Academic Achievement.

His current projects include a translation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Asi Que Pasen Cinco Años (Once Five Years Pass) and a new play entitled Galicia.

Kelsy Vivash

Kelsy Vivash is a third-year PhD student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies.  She holds a Master’s degree in Drama from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Literature from Brock University.  She has recently published an article on abjection, the Body without Organs, and the performance art of Millie Brown (the ‘Vominatrix’) in alt.theatre magazine, and is currently developing a performance practice that examines the internal and external manifestations of ‘flow’.  She currently works as an Editorial Assistant for Theatre Research in Canada.

The focus of Kelsy’s doctoral dissertation is ‘bodily fluids in performance.’  Her thesis project will begin with a historical survey of the presence and representation of bodily fluids within theatre, drama and performance and an analysis of the ways in which these artistic representations relate to the understandings of such fluids in their respective cultural climates.  The project will continue by attempting to situate recent corporeally-centered performance art initiatives that aestheticize the production and expulsion of bodily fluids into this art-historical lineage.  Of particular interest to Kelsy are artists such as Millie Brown, Janine Antoni, Helen Chadwick, and Wilm Delvoye.

Ashley Williamson

Ashley Williamson is an unabashed Canadianist and Theatre Historian starting her second year of a Ph.d at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies.  She has an M.A in Theatre Studies from York University, and a B.A.H from Queen’s University in Drama and English. Her central academic interest is the way historical (re)performance makes, alters, and defines national identity.  She has also spent time researching how the archive performs,  how a researcher performs in the archive, and the role of theatre in museum exhibitions. Recently her attention has been piqued by augmented reality and computer coding.


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