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Undergraduate Faculty

Our core faculty and sessional instructors are theatre practitioners and scholars whose interests and expertise are indicative of the Drama Centre’s broad and interdisciplinary activity. You can learn more about their research, creative work, and other interests below. You’ll also find information about the TAs who will be working at the Centre in 2015-16.

Teaching Assistants – 2015-16 TBA

UNI102Y – TA Johanna Lawrie
DRM100Y – TA(s) Art Babayants,Katie Fry, Jeff Gagnon, Montgomery Martin, Christine Mazumdar, Marjan Moosavi
DRM230Y – TA Isabel Stowell-Kaplan
DRM254Y – TA Dave Degrow
DRM268H – TA Johanna Lawrie
DRM302H – TA Laura Lucci
DRM328H – TA Natalia Esling
DRM342H – TA Kelsy Vivash
DRM362H – TA Natalia Esling
DRM385H – TA Deniz Basar, Yang Huang
DRM386H – TA Richard Windeyer
DRM388H – TA Myrto Koumarianos
DRM400H – TA Kelsey Jacobson, Jenny Salisbury
DRM402H – TA Laura Lucci, Sebastian Xavier
DRM403Y – TA Lisa Aikman, Caitlin Thompson
DRM411H – TA Jenn Cole
DRM428H – TA Maria Meindl
DRM485H – TA Kelsy Vivash

Alan Ackerman

Professor of English; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor

Office Phone: 416-946-3455
Office: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 911
Contact: alan.ackerman@utoronto.ca
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: TBA

Degrees: B.A. (University of Pennsylvania), M.A., Ph.D. (Harvard University)

Alan Ackerman is Professor of English. His primary areas of teaching are American Literature and Modern Drama. Professor Ackerman’s research interests cover a range of genres (including plays, novels, poems, autobiographies, movies, and television talk-shows) and center on cultural forms of liberalism. His studies of cultural history involve law and literature, theories of liberal education, and media history. His recent book, Just Words: Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, and the Failure of Public Conversation in America (Yale University Press, 2011) focuses on a libel suit between celebrity authors and explores tensions between privacy and self-expression, freedom and restraint in public language. His book, Seeing Things, from Shakespeare to Pixar (University of Toronto Press, 2011), investigates the technological revolution that has changed the way we see things via the storytelling media employed by Pixar Animation Studios, Samuel Beckett, and William Shakespeare. The Portable Theater: American Literature and the Nineteenth-Century Stage (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999) studies the importance of theatre in the works of Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, William Dean Howells, and Henry James. Ackerman is the editor of numerous books in the field of modern drama and theatre. Since 2005, he has served as Editor of the journal Modern Drama. His current research project, provisionally entitled “Comedies of Capitalism,” aims to reconsider the “genre” of economic and philosophical liberalism. Professor Ackerman holds a joint-appointment in the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies.


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Seika Boye

contact: seikaboye@gmail.com

PhD Candidate, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto
MA Dance, York University, (2006)
Thesis: The Women of Modern Dance in Toronto 1965-1975
B.F.A Dance and English, York University (1999)

Seika Boye is a dance artist and scholar. She has appeared as a  contemporary dancer with Ballet Creole, Judith Marcuse Projects, Electric   Company Theatre and various independent artists across Canada. Her work has been published in *The Dance Current*, *Dance Collection Danse
Magazine*, *alt.theatre*and* The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism *(forthcoming). Seika has
taught lecture and studio courses at York University and currently teaches  movement for actors at the University of Toronto, where she is a PhD candidate in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Her recent projects include: dramaturg and deviser for *A Black Girl in Search of God* (writer/director Djanet Sears); choreographer with Ars Mechanica for their upcoming project at the 2016 Hatch Series, Harbourfront Centre; and initiating/chairing The Other D: Locating Dance in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in Canada Symposium in January 2016. Seika’s doctoral research on social dancing within Toronto’s black population at mid-century is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is Director of the newly established Centre for Dance Studies
at The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto.

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Cindy Block

Cindy Block holds an honorary BFA and an MFA in Acting,  a Teaching Diploma from York University and a certificate to teach Embodied Practices®.  She studied Acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York and is a veteran actor of the Canadian stage, having played over 30 professional roles. Throughout her performance career, she has participated in the artistic development of several new Canadian works and was co-founder of P.I.E. Theatre in Vancouver. She is currently a core performer with Toronto Playback Theatre: an improvisational form developed to generate dialogue in community and encourage the recognition of shared experience through story telling.

Her artistic research includes extensive study and application of the practice of Authentic Movement to writing, performance and collective creation for the stage, culminating in a Master’s Thesis Shakespeare on Wild Ground, a one-woman show Heart of Flesh, and The Cassandra Project. She has been a co-presenter of this research at the International Festival of Making Theatre in Athens, Greece, The Myth and Theatre Festival’s Summer University at the Roy Hart Centre in France, and at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference.

Over the past 15 years she has taught voice, collective creation, movement for actors and Embodied Practice® at York University’s Theatre Department, the Humber College Comedy School,  The Centre for Indigenous Theatre as well as privately with industry professionals. She is part of the core faculty at Canada’s National Voice Intensive,  George Brown Theatre School,  and The Professional Actor’s Lab and is currently vocal coach on the Butoh Based Production of Eunioa with Fujiwara Dance Premiering at World Stage in 2014.   Her Pedagogical interest is in synthesis of principles for bringing voice and movement together in actor training.

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Antje Budde

Contact: a.budde@utoronto.ca

Prof. Antje Budde M.A., PhD (Humboldt-University Berlin) taught previously at Humboldt-University in Berlin and the Academy for Film and Television “Konrad Wolf” (HFF) in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany. In 1990-1991 and 1994-1995 she conducted research and artistic projects in Beijing, China (Central Academy of Drama and National Experimental Theatre Company) followed by several short study trips to P.R. China. Prof. Budde works both in the academic and the artistic field of performance studies. Since 2005 she is cross-appointed at the University College Drama Program and the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto.

She published her first book in 2002: Antje Budde/ Joachim Fiebach (Ed.) „Herrschaft des Symbolischen. Bewegungsformen gesellschaftlicher Theatralität in EUROPA –ASIEN – AFRIKA“, (The power/ruling of symbols. Processes of societal theatricality in Europe, Asia, Africa) Vistas Verlag, Berlin 2002. This book was followed by her recent publication: Theater und Experiment in der VR China. Kulturhistorische Bedingungen, Begriff, Geschichte, Institution und Praxis. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller. 2008. 780 p. (Theatre and Experiment in P.R. China. Socio-Cultural conditions, concept, history, institution and practice)


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T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko

Assistant Professor
Critical Acts Editor, TDR: The Drama Review

Email: cesare.schotzko@utoronto.ca
Website: http://individual.utoronto.ca/cesareschotzko/;

Office: University College, Room E101
Office hours: Tuesdays, 2.00-4.00p; or by appointment


Ph.D., 2008; M.A., 2001; Performance Studies, New York University
M.A., 2000; Double Bass Performance, Hartt School
B.A. with highest honors, B.M., 1999; English, Double Bass Performance, Oberlin College


Major Interests: performance art; experimental performance and avant-garde theatre; music-theatre; intermedial performance; feminism and phenomenology; intersections with popular culture

Affiliations: Performance Studies international; Canadian Association for Theatre Research; American Comparative Literature Association; Toronto Performance Studies Working Group

Fellowships/Honors: Fellow, The Mellon School of Theatre Performance and Research at Harvard University; Michael Kirby Memorial Prize for Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation


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Leah Cherniak

Contact: leah.cherniak@gmail.com

Leah Cherniak is the C0-Founder with Martha Ross of Theatre Colombus (now Common Boots Theatre) in Toronto. The company created over 30 new plays and has an excellent reputation for innovative productions of classics. Leah studied theatre at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris after graduating from U of T with theatre degree from the University College Drama Program. She is an Associate Artist with Soulpepper Theatre Company. For Theatre Colombus she directed most of the company’s repertoire, including multi-award winning published play, The Anger of Ernest and Ernestine, which has been produced all over the world, including Labrador, Cuba, The Czech Republic, and Los Angeles. Leah created and played the role of Jelly in The Attic, The Pears and 3 Fine Girls for Theatre Colombus in another published and often produced play. She was co-writer and director in the Chalmers Award winning play The Betrayal, as well as directing many other memorable Theatre Columbus shows, including Gynty, (an adaptation of Peter Gynt); a musical adaptation of The Barber of Seville; Hotell Loopy; Twelfth Night; Lonely Nights and Other Stories; Dance of the Red Skirts, inspired by a painting by Paul Klee, and And Up They Flew, by Marta Ross.


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Michael Connolly

Contact: michaelconnolly11@gmail.com

This is Michael’s fourteenth year of teaching voice at UC Drama. He has also taught at York University, George Brown College, Seneca College, Sheridan College, the Canadian Native Theatre School, Equity Showcase and Theatre Ontario. For several years, Michael was a performance trainer for the CBC, specializing in voice and presentation skills. He has trained broadcasters and performers across the country. As a writer, Michael’s works have appeared on CBC radio, the Summerworks Theatre Festival, with Mixed Company, and at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. As an actor Michael has worked with Canadian Stage, Theatre Aquarius, Manitoba Theatre Workshop and with Mixed Company. Michael holds a M.F.A. from York University.

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Xing Fan

Xing Fan Photo

contact: stars.fan@utoronto.ca

Assistant Professor in Asian Theatre and Performance Studies

Office location: University College E104
Office phone: 416-978-6032
Office hours for fall 2014: Tuesdays 2 to 4pm, and by arrangement

Xing received her Ph.D. in theater from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and her M.A. in Chinese theater studies from the Academy of Chinese Traditional Theater.  Her research interests include theater and politics in the People’s Republic of China, Chinese dramatic literature, dramatic and performance theory in Asian theatre, and inter-cultural collaborations.  Xing has more than ten years of training in Beijing opera and Kun opera acting in China, and received intensive training in Beijing opera acting, Kabuki acting, and Gamelan ensemble in Hawai‘i.  She is a winner of the Award for Best Leading Female Role hosted by the Hawai‘i State Theater Council for her performance in Nozaki Village, an English-language Kabuki production in 2004.  She became interested in Gamelan music in Hawai‘i, and played and danced with the Bates Gamelan during 2010 to 2014.  Xing is a winning author of the “Emerging Scholars Award” hosted by the Association for Asian Performance in 2013, and is currently composing a manuscript on Beijing opera model plays during China’s Cultural Revolution.  Before joining the University of Toronto, Xing taught at the Bucknell University and the Bates College in the U.S.  Xing is serving as the Vice President of the Association for Asian

Recent Publications and Activities:

Book chapter.  “Revolutionary Femininity in Performance: Female Characters in Beijing Opera Model Plays during China’s Cultural Revolution,” Chapter 3 in New Modern Chinese Women and Gender Politics: The Centennial of the End of the Qing Dynasty, ed. Ya-chen Chen.  New York: Routledge, 2014.

Book review.  Barbara Mittler, A Continuous Revolution: Making Sense of Cultural Revolution Culture in Asian Theater Journal, vol. 31 no. 2 (Fall 2014), 617-620.

Workshops.  A week of workshops on Beijing opera model plays, including acting workshops on speech and movement, and movie screenings and discussions at the LaSalle College of the Arts, hosted by the Singapore International Festival of the Arts and LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore, 10/2014.

Public lectures.  “Storming the ‘Most Stubborn of Strongholds’: From Beijing Opera to Model Beijing Opera,” and “Inheriting an Innovative Tradition: Artistry and Aesthetics of Model Beijing Opera,” public lectures at the LaSalle College of the Arts, hosted by the Singapore International Festival of the Arts and LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore, 09/2014.

Conference presentation.  “A Hinny’s Dilemma: Three Mountains As an Early Modern Jingju Creation in the PRC.”  Presented at the 28th Annual Conference of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Scottsdale, 07/2014.


Peter Freund

Contact: peter.freund@utoronto.ca

Peter Freund is enjoying his 21st year as the Technical Director of the University College Drama Program. He has extensive experience in many areas of theatrical production, including stage and production management, lighting design, multi media presentations, and set construction. Within the program Peter has designed lights for many of the program’s productions, managed international presentations of UC Drama shows as well as assisted international artists and companies visiting the Drama program. His professional work includes work at numerous theatres including Factory Theatre, Toronto Free Theatre, National Arts Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille. In addition to teaching DRM 254Y at the University College Drama Program, he has taught in a variety of environments, including community theatres, youth theatres, and other educational institutions. Peter is always interested in seeing the work of UC Drama students and alum.
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Ken Gass

Contact: ken.gass@utoronto.ca

Ken Gass is a recognized Canadian writer and director. He was founder and Artistic Director of the Factory Theatre from 1970-79 and, since his resumption of the Artistic Directorship three years ago, has led Factory Theatre from the brink of financial ruin to making a $1.2 million purchase of the building in which it is housed. Ken is also the Artistic Director of Canada Rep Theatre. He is past chairperson of the Canadian Guild of Playwrights and has directed for stage, television, radio and film. Many of his plays (Hurray for Johnny Canuck, Claudius, and Amazon Dream, for example) have been performed all across Canada. Ken teaches DRM 200Y.

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Stephen Johnson

A full profile can be found at http://sbjohnson.wordpress.com/

Stephen Johnson is a Full Professor in the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. He has taught theatre history and performance theory, cinema studies, dramatic literature, and performance studies, as well as acting and directing, at the University of Guelph, McMaster University, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the Drama Centre.

He has published widely on 19th and early 20th century performance, with articles in The Drama Review, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Topics and Nineteenth Century Theatre, as well as Theatre Research in Canada / Recherches théâtrales au Canada, which he (co)edited for ten years. See http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/TRIC

He is president of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research / Association canadienne de la recherche théâtrale, a member of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. See http://catracrt.ca/.


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Martin Julien

Martin is an actor of four decades’ experience, having made his professional debut at age ten for the Factory Theatre Lab. Since then, he has worked with virtually every established theatre company in Toronto, including Tarragon, Factory, Passe Muraille, Canadian Stage, Mirvish Productions, Livent, YPT, Necessary Angel, Crow’s, Theatre Columbus, Volcano, Nightwood, Nightswimming, Tapestry, Theatre Direct, Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Native Earth, and Buddies in Bad Times. He has been nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards as best performer, and has also been an associate artist at the internationally-acclaimed Caravan Farm Theatre in British Columbia since 1997. As well, Martin has maintained a extensive career in television and film, playing supporting principal and/or recurring roles in TO CATCH A KILLER (opposite Brian Dennehy), STREET LEGAL, BLACK HARBOUR and LOST GIRL among others. He is also an accomplished playwright, with productions at Canada’s National Arts Centre, Harbourfront/Worldstage, Nightswimming and Summerworks. Martin has taught acting and theatre history for York University and the Toronto Film School. He is currently a PhD student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, and also teaches theatre history at Humber College.

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Pia Kleber

PiaBioImageContact: pia.kleber@utoronto.ca

Prof. Pia Kleber has been a Professor at the UC Drama Program and Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto since 1988. She has an MA in costume design from the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. In 1999 she was made the first chair holder of the Helen and Paul Phelan Chair in Drama.

Professor Kleber is the organizer of many major international theatre festivals and conferences; Why Theatre: Choices for the New Century (1995), Brecht: 30 Years After (1986), Mirror or Mask? Self-representation in the Modern Age (2002), Faust in the 21st Century Modernity, Myth, Theatre (2004), all held at the University of Toronto. Her numerous publications include books on Bertolt Brecht: Expectations and Rules: Brecht, Planchon and “The Good Person of Szechwan” and Re-Interpreting Brecht: His influence on contemporary Drama and Film (co-edited by Colin Visser). Some of her articles are on “Theatrical Continuities in Giorgio Strehler’s The Tempest” in Foreign Shakespeare; “The Directing Methodologies of Giorgio Strehler” in the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s Theatre and Art (translated into Chinese), “Die Courage der Mütter. Am Beispiel von Bertolt Brecht”, in Verklärt, verkitscht, vergessen. Die Mutter als ästhetische Figur; and “Academe and the Stage in Canada: Writing the Female Voice”, in Curriculum Transformation: The Impact of Women’s Studies on the University Training in Canada and Germany.

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PIC small - Shelley LiebembukShelley Liebembuk

Contact: shelley.liebembuk@mail.utoronto.ca

Shelley Liebembuk is a graduate of the Atlantic Theatre Company acting conservatory (New York City), and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. She has taught theatre and acting courses at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus.

Having worked as a processual dramaturg on several experimental theatre projects in Toronto, she will be embarking on a forthcoming comparative Canada-Germany research project on multilingual dramaturgies (Winter 2016). She is also involved with Toronto’s Aluna Theatre, having co-curated the Aluna Theatre’s café reading series (2014-2015), and serving on the organizing committee for Aluna Theatre’s Panamerican ROUTES/ RUTAS panamericanas (2014) and their upcoming CAMINOS festivals (November 2015).

Research Interests:  US Latina performance;  the body in performance; Post-colonial Theatre; Intersectionality; Queer Theory; Critical Race Theory; Multicultural and multilingual Dramaturgy

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Noam Lior

Contact: noam.lior@mail.utoronto.ca

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).

In addition to teaching DRM100 and DRM264 for the CDTPS, Noam has also taught Shakespeare for Actors at the Toronto Film School, worked as a guest artist at Earl Haig Secondary School, and run workshops on Shakespeare performance and audition preparation at U of T and elsewhere.

Noam is the co-developer of Shakespeare at Play (www.shakespeareatplay.ca), an app which combines digital editions of Shakespeare plays with embedded video performances. For Shakespeare at Play, he has co-directed, dramaturged, edited, and annotated Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He is also a co-founder and Head of Research at_play Systems, a free online platform for user-generated learning content (www.atplay.io).

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Kate Lynch

Contact: katelynch@bell.net

Writing credits include The Road to Hell, co-written with Michael Healey for the Tarragon Theatre, Tales of the Blonde Assassin, directed by Alissa Palmer for Summerworks, and Early August, for the Blythe Festival.

Kate Lynch has worked at the UC Drama Program since 1994, as a director (Henry V, Waiting for Godot, Pericles, Cymbeline, and most recently Linda Griffith’s Age of Arousal), a voice teacher and an acting teacher. Other directing credits include Terrence Rattigan’s French Without Tears and Noel Coward’s Starchamber at The Shaw Festival, Courting Johanne, Winter Kill, and Michael Healey’s new comedy The Nuttalls, at the Blyth Festival and for Theatre Passe Muraille 3 plays by Tom Walmsley – Blood, Three Squares a Day, and Descent, as well as an all female Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lynch has also taught at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, the National Theatre School, George Brown Theatre School, and the Gaity School in Dublin.

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Sallie Lyons

Contact: s.lyons@utoronto.ca

Sallie Lyons is a teacher, movement coach and choreographer. She danced and choreographed in the pioneering companies of Judy Jarvis and T.I.D.E. (Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise) and choreographed numerous seminal works by composer R.Murray Schaffer. She has coached various Toronto productions at Factory Theatre, Alumni Theatre, the Canadian Childrens’ Opera Chorus and Mixed Company.

Although retired from dancing she occasionally performs at music and dance festivals with artists such as Maxine Hepner’s Across Oceans, Kaeja’d’dance and Viv Moore. Most recently she has been involved in remounting and performing Judy Jarvis’ Clouds as part of a presentation called Threads of Influence: Dance in the ‘70s and its Influence on Theatre and Theatre Training.

She has guest taught for York University’s Theatre Program , the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Equity Showcase, and Players’ Academy.

She is a certified yoga instructor (Ester Myers) and spent 4 months at the Yasodhara Ashram near Nelson BC and is certified in the Rada form of Hatha Yoga. She is a member of the Embodied Practice Guild (Judith Koltai), has worked with the SITI company of New York and Saratoga springs and is certified in Levels I & ll (Professor) of the Margolis Method of physical actor training.

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Allyson McMackon


allysonmcmackonContact: amcmackon@gmail.com

Dora-nominated director, Allyson McMackon has been involved in the independent theatre community in Toronto since 1989 as an actress, “mover”, administrator/producer and director. She has worked with DvxT Theatre, STO Union, Skylight Theatre, Factory Theatre/Briefcase Productions, and in Rhubarb!, Summerworks, The Fringe and Groundswell Festivals, Blue Ceiling Dance Projects and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She has taught at Unionville School of the Arts, the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, two seasons at the Globe Theatre Conservatory (Regina) and has been on faculty at York University and the University of Toronto Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, teaching movement for the actor, physical and devised theatre. She a frequent workshop leader at The Director’s Lab North. Allyson was three times nominated for the KM Hunter Artists Award and received a Harold Award in 2008. She founded Theatre Rusticle in 1998 and since then the physically based company has garnered twelve Dora nominations, has been presented at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival (2008 Vancouver), SuperNova (2008 Halifax) and toured the acclaimed April 14, 1912 to western Canada. Rusticle has partnered with Harbourfront Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille and for the last two years with Buddies in Bad Times. Allyson directed Brooke Johnson’s Trudeau Stories (Theatre Passe Muraille, Neptune, NAC/Mag North, Centaur, Thousand Islands), and coached on the award-winning If We Were Birds (Tarragon Theatre), Them and Us (Theatre Passe Muraille), Eight Ways from Mara(Zata Omm Dance projects), Farther West (Soulpepper directed by Diana Leblanc) and has mentored with Buddies’ Young Creator’s Unit and the Paprika Festival. Recent projects included The Stronger Variations at Buddies in Bad Times  and Anna Karenina at George Brown Theatre School (Spring 2015). A graduate of the UC Drama Programme (1986-90), Allyson has an MFA in performance from York University. http://theatrerusticle.org/Theatre_Rusticle/Home.html

Scott Mealey


Scott M -headshotContact: scott.mealey@mail.utoronto.ca

Scott Mealey has worked professionally as an actor, director, playwright, and dramaturg in Atlantic Canada, including with Theatre New Brunswick, Neptune Theatre, Festival Antigonish, and LoHifi Productions. In addition, he has enjoyed nearly two decades as a theatre instructor/coach, notably fifteen years as an adjunct professor in Theatre and Communications at Crandall University. Most recently, he taught Theatre History at Humber College’s School of Performing Arts.

After returning full-time to academia in 2011, he obtained an honours degree in Theatre Studies from Dalhousie University, and completed an MA at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Toronto) in 2013.  His current doctoral study (U of T) explores persuasion and the potential process of attitudinal change in theatre audiences. As extensions of this interest, he has presented on the topic of non-coercive found object theatre at Another World of Popular Theatre Conference (Newcastle, Australia), audience mindfulness in museum curation at the Festival of Original Theatre (Toronto), and the role of social cognition in audience assessment at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference (Brock University).

Outside of the world of performing arts, Scott has consulted with businesses, educators, and non-profit organizations in the areas of interpersonal and public communication.

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Michael Reinhart

Contact: michael.reinhart@mail.utoronto.ca

PhD Candidate, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto
MA Theatre Studies, Centre for Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (2010)
B.F.A Theatre: Acting, Ryerson University (2003)

Michael Reinhart is a theatre/performance creator, performance scholar and theatre instructor. His recent work (both creative and academic) has been based in exploring processes, formats and structures for interdisciplinary and collective creation. Much of this exploration/research has occurred through his work with [elephants] collective, The Jerzy Grotowski Workcentre, Magnetic Laboratorium (NYC), Theatre Passe Muraille’s Elephants in the Room Creation Lab, Mixed Company Theatre and The Digital Dramaturgy Lab. This research has resulted in a wide range of performance work, most recent projects include; A Wake for Lost Time ([elephants] collective, Summerworks 2015, The Pearl 2015, hub 14 2014, TPM Backspace 2014), there/GONE ([elephants] collective, Fringe 2015) Stare.Print.Blue (Open Spaces: SURVIVAL Festival, Berlin 2014), , Poems to be performed by Kevin McPherson Eckhoff: with or without a Green Elfin Mask (Moez Surani, Videofag 2014), Doctor Potato Chips: A roots rock story show about capital (Outmanned Outgunned, Lab Cab 2014). Michael is also a instructor at The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in the Theatre Department.

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Banuta Rubess

Contact: banutanora@gmail.com

Baņuta Rubess is a director and writer with a string of innovative productions to her credit. Baņuta cut her theatrical teeth working in collectives rebelling against traditional authorities such as an author or a director, or even a stage. This is for you, Anna, created with The Anna Project, began a long and fruitful collaboration with Nightwood Theatre. She co-wrote the award-winning teen drama Thin Ice for Theatre Direct, and directed the illustrious chamber opera Nigredo Hotel for Tapestry New Opera Works. For a heady four years, she was Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille. In 1998, she moved to Riga, Latvia to participate in the country’s new democracy. There she has directed drama, opera, musicals, and site-specific productions. Most recently she staged Waiting for Godot in a cinema. One of the first dozen women to win the Rhodes Scholarship, she holds a doctorate in history 
from Oxford University.

In the last two years at the Drama Program, she directed both the DRM403 Resource Shows: in 2010/11 Howard Barker’s The Possibilities and in 2011/12 Chuck Mee’s The Rules.

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Djanet Sears

Contact: djanet.sears@utoronto.ca

Djanet Sears is an award-winning playwright and director and has several acting nominations to her credit for both stage and screen. She is the recipient of the Stratford Festival’s 2004 Timothy Findley Award, as well as Canada’s highest literary honour for dramatic writing: the 1998 Governor General’s Literary Award. She is the playwright and director of the multiple Dora Award winning production of Harlem Duet (Scirocco Drama, 1997), which was workshopped at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in NYC, where Djanet was the international artist-in-residence in 1996. Her other honours include: the 1998 Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Cultural Industries, and a Phenomenal Woman of the Arts Award. Her most recent work for the stage, The Adventures Of A Black Girl In Search Of God, (Playwrights Canada Press, 2003), shortlisted for a 2004 Trillium Book Award and enjoyed a six month run in the fall/winter of 2003/2004, as part of the Mirvish Productions Season. Her other plays include Afrika Solo, Who Killed Katie Ross and Double Trouble. Djanet is the driving force behind the AfriCanadian Playwrights’ Festival, and a founding member of the Obsidian Theatre Company. She is also the editor of Testifyin’: Contemporary African Canadian Drama, Vols. I & II, the first anthologies of plays by playwrights of African descent in Canada (Playwrights Canada Press, 2000 & 2003). She is currently an adjunct professor at University College, University of Toronto where she teaches DRM 328H.

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John Thompson

Contact: john.thompson@utoronto.ca

John Thompson has been designing sets costumes and lighting for almost twenty years. During that time he has worked on over one hundred productions at many theatres across the country including The Stratford Festival, The Manitoba Theatre Centre, CanStage, and Soulpepper Theatre. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed A Whistle In The Dark for the Company Theatre, The Pessimist for Tarragon Theatre, The Tempest and The Retreat From Moscow for The Manitoba Theatre Centre. John has been an art director for two feature films and has also been employed as technical director.

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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.

He can be reached at gmo.verdecchia@utoronto.ca

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