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ISSUE TWO, WINTER 2016

A Note from Matthew Jocelyn


Dear Friends,

Thank you for reading our second issue of The Script. We are always excited to share interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes, artist insights and fascinating kernels of trivia about Canadian Stage, its productions and the people who bring it to life.

It has been a pleasure opening up the 16.17 season with five diverse productions – Concord Floral, All But Gone: A Beckett Rhapsody, Constellations, Dollhouse and Who Killed Spalding Gray? – each offering a glimpse of talented Canadian artists lighting up our stages, all of whom, in one way or another, have benefited from arts education.

Canadian Stage understands that the benefits of arts education go beyond the stage and performance. Experiencing art challenges us to think critically about the world we live in, about our environment; it can teach us compassion, by seeing the world through another's perspective; and it encourages curiosity – the surest way to lifelong learning.

Canadian Stage is a leader in youth engagement. Last season alone we welcomed nearly 7,000 participants to our education programs, held over 30 student and educator workshops and donated 3,000 tickets to young people experiencing the performing arts for the first time.

We are deeply committed to cultivating tomorrow's theatre makers and audiences by immersing them in our contemporary artistic vision. Our educational programs award students and educators the opportunity to engage their curiosity beyond the performance itself. In November, we launched our #BeyondPerformance campaign which aims to lay the foundation for future theatrical innovators through our audience outreach programs and youth programming.

You can read more about our training programs in this newsletter, including a landmark initiative launched in 2011: the York University MFA program in Direction in Collaboration with Canadian Stage.

Much of what we are able to accomplish in our education programs is due to your support. As always, we thank you for your dedication and generosity. As we approach the end of 2016, we welcome you to join us as we celebrate theatre, arts education and going #BeyondPerformance.

MATTHEW JOCELYN, ARTISTIC & GENERAL DIRECTOR

PHOTO: KIRAN HACKER

"Experiencing art challenges us to think critically about the world we live in, about our environment..."


PHOTO: NATHAN KELLY

"It's the people and their creative energy. The team here is always supportive and encouraging."

Berkeley Bricks & Mortar

Highlighting the history and people at Berkeley Street Theatre

Mark Stedman is the Building Operations Manager at Canadian Stage's Berkeley Street location. Mark has been working in property maintenance for roughly a decade and has simultaneously been studying architectural heritage and conservation, making the Berkeley Theatre an ideal marriage of his two interests. New to the city of Toronto, he is grateful to the site as it has served as a lens through which he can explore regional history and learn more about the city.

The original construction of the Berkeley Street building was commissioned by the Consumers Gas Company and opened in 1889. At that time, it served as the manufactured coal gas component of a large gasworks that spanned blocks throughout our neighbourhood.

When asked about his favourite building onsite Mark told us that the Prop Shop feels like home:

"My uncle used to be a high school art teacher; his classroom was decorated in a similar fashion to the Prop Shop, with random artifacts scattered around, hanging from the rafters. Whenever a student would say 'I don’t know what to draw,' he would just gesture towards all the stuff and say, 'Pick something.'"

Beyond the beautiful Berkeley grounds, Mark speaks to working at Canadian Stage at large:

"It's the people and their creative energy. The team here is always supportive and encouraging. I respect the product that comes out of this company and I'm happy to do anything I can to facilitate that creative process."

Setting the Stage

We speak to artists, volunteers and creators who are vital to the success of a Canadian Stage production.

Autumn Smith is the Education and Audience Development Manager at Canadian Stage. Prior to Canadian Stage she was the Artistic Director of MacKenzieRo: The Irish Repertory Theatre Company of Canada for nine years, as well as a freelance director and artist educator at organizations such as the Tarragon Theatre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Shakespeare School, George Brown Theatre School, U of T/Sheridan, Oxford Playhouse/UK and Stage door Manor/NY. Autumn is a graduate of the Oxford School of Drama Conservatory and she recently completed her MFA at York University.

When we asked Autumn what her goal is as our new Education and Audience Development Manager, the answer was simple: community building. She believes that the best approach is hands on, "throwing open our doors and inviting discussion, exchanging ideas and igniting future artistic innovators." As a long term advocate for the arts Autumn is looking to continue to explore what Canadian Stage means to its community, "I want our students, patrons and donors to be part of our process."

With a busy new year ahead at Canadian Stage, Autumn has developed a rich program of engagement from our pre-show chat series and relaxed performances, to new student ticketing initiatives and an exciting summer project in conjunction with Shakespeare in High Park that will be announced in early 2017. When asked about her initiatives she shared with us the following:

"I want to create an atmosphere where we can keep expanding our empathy through performance; where we have a safe space to discuss issues that affect our humanity; a place where we can have a raw, visceral experience and know that it is shared collectively. I want to see more youth populate our stages. I want to award possibility."

As a one-person department supported by Development and Marketing & Communications, Autumn's vision for Canadian Stage is nothing short of ambitious, "I am so grateful that I get to work in a place that embraces ideas and encourages the collective process whilst valuing the individual voice. Simply put, Canadian Stage is an awesome place to be."

PHOTO: NATHAN KELLY

"I want to create an atmosphere where we can keep expanding our empathy through performance."


PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL COLEMAN

"The arts are an integral part of one's life experience, and as such should be on the educational palette offered to the young."

Standing Ovation

Delving deeper into thought-provoking and genre-defying art and artists at Canadian Stage

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with noted dancer/choreographer Bill Coleman before he performed at Canadian Stage with the Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie production, Dollhouse – hailed by The Globe and Mail as "riveting" and "mesmerizing."

A thoughtful and articulate man who loves to be in motion, Mr. Coleman has had a fascinating dance career. In England, at the age of 15, he saw his first Fred Astaire film and decided he wanted to try tap dancing. His mother, having been a dancer herself, arranged for him to visit a little studio on Sundays to learn tap. Like many young men, he wasn’t sure he wanted his friends to know he was taking dance lessons, but the fear of them finding out never stopped him from pursuing this new found passion.

"There is this curiosity that pulls you towards things, that helps you overcome challenges and pushes you" Mr. Coleman explained, and that is what he experienced when he started to dance. That sense of curiosity has stayed with him to this day. It has pushed him to perform in unique places and spaces – from construction sites to mountain tops – around the world, and he has also integrated this into his own teaching practices.

For over 25 years he has been teaching students across the world and in workshops through his dance company, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie. Mr. Coleman has also taught at Toronto's Centre for Indigenous Theatre for over 15 years and has fostered a close relationship with many Indigenous communities.

However, Mr. Coleman was most surprised to find that his favourite students are young children; something, he admits, initially caught him off guard. "At the age of five, children are at the peak of learning through their five senses" he explained, making them some of the most receptive students to his methods. Mr. Coleman is very encouraging of kids learning to stay in motion, "We do things better when we are aware of our bodies."

It is clear Mr. Coleman loves what he does and is eager to share that love of dance with others, "I want to contribute to peoples' lives through dance, help them engage with the world around them and be in movement and motion with them." He believes arts education is a vital part of a young person's development, "I teach dance because I believe the form of dance can be used as a medium for empathy and sensitivity towards oneself and others. The arts are an integral part of one's life experience, and as such should be on the educational palette offered to the young."

Bill Coleman's sense of curiosity and exploration transcends his dance practice and teaching philosophy. It is expressive, inventive and physically intuitive, and despite his pensive nature, one knows there's always more than meets the eye.

Bill Coleman performed in Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie's production of Dollhouse, presented by Canadian Stage from November 16-20, 2016.

Tête–à–tête

Learn more about the hard-working and creative people at Canadian Stage

Born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Alistair Newton is a Toronto-based director of theatre and opera, Dora-nominated playwright, and founding Artistic Director of Ecce Homo Theatre. With Tanja Jacobs, Alistair is the 2015-2017 candidate in York University's MFA program in Direction in Collaboration with Canadian Stage where he will direct a production for Canadian Stage's Shakespeare in High Park in the summer of 2017. He will also assist Canadian Stage Artistic Director Matthew Jocelyn on his upcoming production of the North American premiere of Liv Stein by Nino Haratischwili.

We spoke to Alistair about his experience in the MFA program, working with Matthew Jocelyn, and why he believes the program is so vital in fostering the next generation of Canadian theatre-makers.

Why did you apply to be a part of the program? What was it that attracted you initially?
It's easy to get put into a specific box in our current theatre ecology. I had the double-edged good fortune of creating a couple of projects with my own company that received massive media attention, which forged an idea about who I am as an artist, and where my interests and skill-set lie, so I was anxious to try to change that conversation. Matthew's great vision in initiating this partnership with York was to attempt to address the fact that the large stages of this country have traditionally been closed to younger directors ('younger' having a very particular meaning when it comes to the arts in Canada: you can be pushing forty and still be considered a 'young director', whereas in Europe, directors are much more likely to be given big shows in their twenties and thirties). I was attracted to that vision, as I have always sought to have a career which allows me to work in large houses, as well as in more avant-garde contexts, with the goal of applying a populist sensibility to my experimental work, and an experimental approach to more mainstream fair.

What does this program offer that you couldn't get from other MFA Theatre programs?
As far as I’m aware, the professional opportunities on offer are unprecedented in North America; the chance for practical, professional experience at a major institution like Canadian Stage makes the program utterly unique, and totally vital as a tool for pushing forward a new generation of directorial voices in this country.

What does the program involve?
In addition to course work at York and small studio directing projects with the students, the program involves integration into the working of Canadian Stage through assistant directing, meetings with the company's staff and visiting artists, as well as trips to see work nationally and internationally, and an international residency opportunity with a master director. The thesis involves the editing and directing of one of the Shakespeare in High Park productions, as well as a written document on the director's conceptual approach to the piece, and the research and process that attends the production. MFA candidates are also engaged to direct a production at Berkeley Street in the Canadian Stage season, which occurs after our thesis defence has already taken place, making it a full professional gig; an essential element to the vitality of the program as a launchpad for the participants into another strata of professional Canadian theatre.

What has Canadian Stage brought to the program? What have you learned from Matthew Jocelyn?
When Fran Lebowitz was asked by an aspiring writer for her advice on graduate studies, she advised the student to avoid it, comparing it to going to 'tall school'; directing, like writing, is not really something that one can 'learn' in the sense that many of its core elements -- philosophical disposition, personal aesthetic taste, socio-political engagement -- can't really be 'taught'. However, what can be honed is craft, through mentorship and practical experience, and the Canadian Stage side of the program offers both at a rigorous and nurturing level.

The two words I often like to hold-up as my own ideal for the theatre director are polymath and cosmophage -- the first being someone with knowledge and skill in a wide variety of areas, and the second being someone who literally wants to eat the world; a person possessing of a voracious, indefatigable curiosity. To return to a writing analogy, Susan Sontag once said that being a writer is a way of 'paying attention to the world', and I feel that way about theatre directors, and Matthew Jocelyn exemplifies these qualities.

Why is the MFA program vital to Canadian theatre; why should it be supported?
If the theatre is to fulfill its great promise as a civic institution, there needs to be room on our major stages for as wide a variety of voices and expression as possible, and the Canadian Stage MFA program has the potential to be an integral part of providing that access, so that the doors to our large theatres aren't barred to the next generation of theatre artists.

What was your favourite show last season? What are you looking forward to this season?
I would count Betroffenheit as one of the great artistic experiences of my life. It reached a sublimity that is precious and rare; I was riveted. This season I'm most looking forward to Marie Chouinard's Hieronymus Bosch: the Garden of Earthly Delights -- I'm constantly enriched by the dance work that Matthew brings to Canadian Stage every season, and Chouinard is among my favourites; she's our Pina Bausch.

Who would take on the role of yourself in a play based on your life?
I'd love to be played by Tilda Swinton in drag (though I hope she'd have the good sense to turn down the gig.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALISTAIR NEWTON

"If the theatre is to fulfill its great promise as a civic institution, there needs to be room on our major stages for as wide a variety of voices and expression as possible."

Your impact on Canadian Stage


Amazing things are happening at Canadian Stage. By supporting us, you are investing in the creation of vital contemporary theatrical work and an arena for the uncompromising artistry of the most innovative theatre-makers from Canada and around the world. In addition to elevating your theatrical experience, your gift directly supports outstanding artist training programs, youth engagement initiatives and provide hundreds of artists with a platform to explore new forms of story-telling and creation.

To discover the many ways to get involved, get in touch at 416.367.8243 or donate@canadianstage.com

Donor Events: Engage Your Curiosity


Liv Stein Opening night dinner (for donors $2,000+) Jan 26
Pre-show chats Jan 27, Feb 3
Behind-the-scenes tour (for donors $250+) Jan 29
Post-show talkbacks Feb 1 (matinee), 2, 9
ISSUE ONE, FALL 2016

A Note from Matthew Jocelyn


Dear Friends,

Welcome to our brand new online newsletter, The Script! I hope you'll visit this page often to discover how your donations make an impact on the work we do at Canadian Stage. You can also read about the people who make it happen – artists, donors and staff. And this is the place to check in to find out about the educational and fun events you can participate in as a subscriber and donor.

Now, it is my pleasure to share with you exciting news. Canadian Stage was honoured to receive four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for our 15.16 season, including nods for three outstanding productions in three major disciplines: Outstanding Theatre Production (Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom), Outstanding Dance Production (Betroffenheit) and Outstanding Touring Production (Cold Blood).

For the first time in the history of the Dora Awards, a single company has garnered Outstanding Production Awards in the General Theatre, Dance and Touring categories. In addition, Judith Bowden received an award for Outstanding Set Design for Chimerica – a Canadian Stage and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Production.

Having wrapped up an exciting season of Shakespeare in High Park, with Hamlet and All's Well That Ends Well, we thank all those who attended in this, the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Through heat waves and rain storms, your support this summer has made it one of the best.

Finally, as we look ahead to the coming 16.17 season, I had the privilege recently to see the world premiere of Marie Chouinard's Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights in the Netherlands. It is a remarkable dance production, feisty, sexy, and even jarring at times, a true testament to the unique artistry of the great Dutch painter who died 500 years ago this year. We are so delighted to be presenting this extraordinary production at Canadian Stage in the Spring.

As always the support you show us by attending performances and generously giving to Canadian Stage leaves us in awe. We are incredibly thankful to have such wonderful supporters. I look forward to engaging with you in the varied and thought-provoking performances this 16.17 season.

With all best wishes,

MATTHEW JOCELYN, ARTISTIC & GENERAL DIRECTOR

PHOTO: V TONY HAUSER

"As always the support you show us by attending performances and generously giving to Canadian Stage leaves us in awe."


PHOTO: NATHAN KELLY

"I think every show is special and for me, and I’m sure for every theatre practitioner, you learn something from every show."

Berkeley Bricks & Mortar

Highlighting the history and people at Berkeley Street Theatre

This issue we feature Mary Spyrakis, the Head of Props at Canadian Stage. Mary began on contract with Canadian Stage in 1996 but began her journey with the company in 1991 when she interviewed for the Head of Props but was not successful as she was still young and early in her career. Instead, she accepted a short contract position before moving to Young People’s Theatre (YPT). Between her time at YPT, Mary stayed connected to Canadian Stage and was asked to work on Shakespeare in High Park (which was then called The Dream in High Park) during the summer months starting in 1993. Mary finally hired full-time to the company in 1996 and has been with us ever since. We asked Mary a few questions about the development of her career, and asked her to share some special memories from her over two decades with Canadian Stage.

Did you always believe you would end up in theatre? Or in props?
I wasn't intending to go into theatre; I studied visual arts at York University and then dabbled in some theatre because I had done it in high school. At the time I was doing some set design and scenic painting, but I thought I was going to be a graphic designer; I was being very practical and thinking that I shouldn’t be an artist, but I could draw so I figured graphic design and advertisement would be a good career. In my time at York I liked the experimental art components of theatre so I decided to take a few courses and really enjoyed it because I could use my visual arts skills.

Do you have a favourite Canadian Stage memory?
So many memories. Huge memories and small memories. I think every show is special and for me, and I’m sure for every theatre practitioner, you learn something from every show. It's never the same show twice.

Some really great memories are working with the artists from South Africa when we did Spotlight South Africa. We had to build their show from scratch because it obviously couldn’t be shipped. It was lovely to be in the company of these artists, and with the actors and directors. During that time I somewhat became the tour guide to their stage managers and designers. It was incredible, there would be times when we would try and contact them and their response would be “Oh, we can’t Skype with you today because someone stole our copper wire and we have no power in our theatre” and the struggles that they overcame regularly were very eye-opening because they still managed to create their art.

In addition, I think every Shakespeare in High Park is the pay off for me at the end of each season. It remains so special to me after all these years. There's nothing quite like sitting on the hill with all those people when the lights come on and the sky gets darker.

The props building is a unique space, what is your favourite part of it?
Prop Shop What's interesting about the space is that it's been the same since I’ve started here, but I’ve also built on it. My favourite place in the shop is where we're sitting right now, because it's our lunch table and our meeting table. The table is from a production of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs so it's super strong because the ladies in that production had to tap dance on it. But what's great about the space is that it's homey, and everything you see is used for props.

This is our hub, every morning when we're building a show we have our coffee at 8 o'clock, we go through the notes, and then everyone goes off and does their work. We come together here again when we take a break or when we take lunch, and I really try to unify the team no matter how busy we are. It's important for me to have that connection with the people who are working with us. Also, colleagues often come to this space to disappear. When you need some quiet time people always come to props to come and get away from it all.

Setting the Stage

We speak to artists, volunteers and creators who are vital to the success of a Canadian Stage production.

Shakespeare in High Park volunteer, Alexandra Gregolas, spent her first summer with us at the park. Volunteers are crucial in making your theatre experience enjoyable and fun and we are grateful for their support. We spoke to Alexandra about her experience.

What is your volunteer position at SiHP and what do your duties include?
I try to work all of the volunteer positions at SiHP (Shakespeare in High Park) as I find that each job requires different skills and ends up resulting in a different shift. Each position has you interacting with the attendees in a different manner so it's constantly something new which keeps things exciting. I will say though I generally prefer working as a greeter because it involves me being loud, grabbing people's attention and interacting with them in a direct manner trying to convince them to come back and experience SiHP another day

Volunteers What is your favourite part about volunteering at SiHP?
Hands down, the people are the best part about volunteering at High Park. From the amazing group of volunteers who make each shift fly by with great conversations (even if it's pouring rain), to the people who come to the show. I've never had the honour to work in a place where the customer base is so pleasant to deal with; everyone wants to be here and is here to have a good time.

Any favourite memories made from this summer?
It's hard to just pick one memory! I would have to say one of the last shifts I did it was pouring rain, but instead of being miserable everyone was really excited to be there and joking around. All the customers who showed up were decked out in raincoats and umbrellas but they were still there and ready to see the show. Because of the weather it was a slower evening so I had the chance to talk with more customers and discovered that many people were in the city visiting while traveling and were recommended to see the show. They were so determined to watch the performance no matter what; it was really heartwarming to see!

Volunteers What made you interested in volunteering for Canadian Stage?
I've been coming to Shakespeare in High Park for years now and when a friend suggested I volunteer I immediately jumped on the idea. I have so many incredible memories here that I just want to help make as many other people’s experiences as fantastic as my own.

Outside of volunteering, what are some of your favourite pastimes?
This sounds horribly cliché but I really enjoy my job. I work with the University Health Network and being able to assist in making information easier for individuals to read and comprehend, most often while faced with a traumatic experience, is really rewarding. Other than that I adore reading and exploring the city - there's always something new to discover in Toronto.

PHOTO: NATHAN KELLY

"Hands down, the people are the best part about volunteering at High Park."


PHOTO: DAVID COOPER

"Our directors are an essential and necessary voice in our national expression and theatre practice."

Standing Ovation

Delving deeper into thought-provoking and genre-defying art and artists at Canadian Stage

Written by Peter Hinton

15.16 has been a water-shed year for our partnership with York University and its MFA in Theatre- Stage Direction program. Unique in Canada, this program combines academic and professional training in directing, culminating in professional productions at Shakespeare in High Park, premieres of new work at Berkley Street Theatre and international residencies with master directors of the world stage. Each year two candidates are given a two-year intensive focus on the refinement of their creative practice and building skills for mainstages nationally and abroad. As the leading professional mentor, I have the privilege of following the original design from Kim Collier and Matthew Jocelyn, working alongside Chris Abraham, to train directors at a critical juncture in their careers, making the transition to the large stage and looking ahead to these “students” as theatre leaders for the future.

Rehearsal This year, we not only measure our aspirations, but also our success. Since its inception in 2011, our graduates have been recognized in significant and compelling ways. Ker Wells (MFA 2013), upon graduation was invited to be an assistant professor at Simon Fraser’s School for the Contemporary Arts. Ted Witzel (MFA 2013) has worked for the Stratford Festival and was invited back to Canadian Stage to helm our 2016 production of All’s Well That Ends Well in High Park. He has continued in his work as Artistic Director of Red Light Theatre, and was recently honoured with the Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice Winner for Canadian Theatre, towards his upcoming production of Lulu.

Estelle Shook and Matjash Mrozewski (MFA 2015) completed their training this spring with the heralded premiere of two new works by Jordan Tannahill; Botticelli in the Fire and Sunday in Sodom. Nominated for six Dora Awards, this production was also named Outstanding Theatre Production of the 15.16 season. We are very proud of this acknowledgement and recognition of the skills and attention given to our program. Commissioned by Canadian Stage as graduation projects for Shook and Mrozewski, Jordan Tannahill’s world premiere double bill was developed over a two-year period, allowing both directors to embed their directorial vision within the writing and creative process.

Matjash & Estelle Since graduation, Estelle was Assistant Director of Canadian Stage’s critically acclaimed Helen Lawrence in Antwerp and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and will also be assisting me on the Canadian Opera Company production of Louis Riel in 2017. Matjash Mrozewski is currently creating a new choreography which will have its debut with the Kelowna Ballet in 2017.

Having graduated four directors, and in the midst of our third intake, we are able to take stock of our program and recognize how our pedagogy translates into professional practice.

This year’s candidates are no exception.

Tanja Jacobs is an award-winning actor, director, creator and teacher. She has had an extensive career, working at major theatres across Canada. For her work as a performer in Toronto, Tanja has received eleven Dora nominations and three awards. Tanja is making a critical transition from actor to director and the program is positioning her training in this light, to equal her vast experience and knowledge of performance to the larger visual components of stage composition and design.

Alistair Newton is a Toronto-based director of theatre and opera, Dora nominated playwright, and founding Artistic Director of Ecce Homo Theatre. Alistair’s work has been seen at SummerWorks, Rhubarb, and Next Stage Festivals as well as the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. His work incorporates large visual conceptualization and his training is focused on specificity in performance and developing works of innovation for the large stage.

Both directors are currently working on the Shakespeare in High Park’s 2017 productions.

Our directors are an essential and necessary voice in our national expression and theatre practice. The skills required and time afforded to this leadership is rare in our country, and I am forever stimulated, challenged and re-invigorated as the mentor for this program. It ambition is tremendous and the results make it all worthwhile. The unique focus of the MFA program has given us much to reflect upon, reassess and plan for its future. 15.16 was a great year.

Peter Hinton is an award-winning and critically-acclaimed director, dramaturg, playwright, and former Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre He will direct Nick Payne’s Constellations at Canadian Stage Nov 8-27.

Tête–à–tête

Learn more about the hard-working and creative staff at Canadian Stage

Newcomers Tim Whalley (Associate Director of Government & Community Relations) and Autumn Smith (Education and Audience Development Manager) are no strangers to the arts and culture scene here in Toronto. Having only met the first week of August, they already have a great dynamic and are sure to bring a new vibrancy and collaboration to the team here at Canadian Stage.

What's your story?
Autumn: I'm a Toronto-based artist innovator and educator and a conservatory-trained actor from the Oxford School of Drama, specializing in Shakespearean text. I recently completed my MFA at York University in Theatre Direction with an emphasis on teaching. Most recently, I completed a year-long contract as the Communications and Outreach Manager for the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Prior to coming to Canadian Stage I worked as an Artist Educator with several arts organizations including the Ontario Arts Council, U of T/Sheridan, York University, and Tarragon Theatre. I also served as the Artistic Director of MacKenzieRo: the Irish Repertory Theatre Company of Canada for 8 years.

Tim: Prior to Canadian Stage I was the Associate Director of Government & Community Relations at Luminato Festival and before that I served for almost six years as the Executive Director of Scarborough Arts.

I've taught in the Gallery and Art Museum Management program at the University of Western Ontario – Continuing Studies, and my visual art and curatorial projects have been featured in venues throughout Toronto. I've also served on the Board of Fuse Magazine, Advisory Committee at the Doris McCarthy Gallery - University of Toronto Scarborough and am currently on the Toronto Arts Council Advocacy Committee. And in 2015 it was an honour to be selected as one of the Fellows for the inaugural Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab program.

What enticed you to work at Canadian Stage?
TW: Having worked at Luminato for the last couple of years on a festival schedule, I wanted to pursue work at an organization with year-round programming. As well I have never worked at a theatre and I wanted that experience. I have enjoyed the productions presented by Canadian Stage and I believe it is a place where I can continue to professionally grow and develop.

AS: I too wanted to do something away from the festival circuit, where you have a better opportunity to build a community and form partnerships with your co-workers and patrons over an extended period of time. I wanted to be part of something where these relationships could flourish and that would allow me an innovative process over the course of a season or two.

How are you settling at Canadian Stage and what are you most looking forward to this season?
AS: I’m settling in great! Already busy meeting with my colleagues, and setting up the audience engagement program for the season. I’m looking forward to working hands-on with my co-workers and our patrons: inviting discourse to help expand our Education department. I am always seeking a collaborative exchange. It’s amazing to have the resources and space that we have here at Canadian Stage and I cannot wait to engage young people in this space.

TW: It’s been good! I’m trying to make my space my own; I need to put some pictures up on my walls.

As for the season, after attending the reading of Constellations, I really enjoyed being a part of the process. To be able to meet the cast and crew, learn about the production, see the reading and then in a few months have it all come together on the Bluma stage is very interesting. So I’m particularly looking forward to more opportunities like that.

What's one thing you think subscribers, donors and theatre-lovers should know about Canadian Stage?
AS: We have a fantastic new initiative surrounding accessibility in our theatres called Relaxed Performances (find out more about it here).

Canadian Stage also has amazing youth and education initiatives that are made possible with the support of donors. I would be happy to sit down and chat with anyone who wants to learn more about it and how they can help.

SiHP Audience TW: I think it's fantastic that 90% of the artists supported by the company are Canadian. Donors are helping to foster and support Canadian talent and I think that's a statistic we should share more often.

What would be the name of a stage production about your life?
AS: “Label-less”

TW: “Cool Shades” and David Thewlis would play me. It would be directed by Mike Leigh - a film director, but still the right choice to tell my story.

AUTUMN SMITH & TIM WHALLEY. PHOTO: NATHAN KELLY

"I think it's fantastic that 90% of the artists supported by the company are Canadian."

Your impact on Canadian Stage


Amazing things are happening at Canadian Stage. By supporting Canadian Stage, you are investing in the creation of vital contemporary theatrical work and an arena for the uncompromising artistry of the most innovative theatre-makers from Canada and around the world. In addition to elevating your theatrical experience, your gift directly supports outstanding artist training programs, youth engagement initiatives and provide hundreds of artists with a platform to explore new forms of story-telling and creation.

To discover the many ways to get involved, get in touch at 416.367.8243 or donate@canadianstage.com

Donor Events: Engage Your Curiosity

DONOR EVENTS


Concord Floral Season Launch Party (For $750+) October 4
Constellations Opening Night Dinner (For $5,000+) November 10
Who Killed Spalding Gray? Opening Night Dinner (For $2,000+) December 1

PROVOCATIONS & TALKBACKS


Concord Floral Relaxed Performance October 1 (Mat.)
Post-show talkbacks: Inciting intimate engagements October 5 (Mat.), 6, 12, 13 (Mat. & Eve)
Pre-show Provocation October 7 & 14
All But Gone: A Beckett Rhapsody Post-show talkbacks October 19, 27, Nov 3
Constellations Pre-show Provocation November 11 & 18
Post-show talkbacks November 16, 17 & 24
Dollhouse Post-show talkback November 17
Who Killed Spalding Gray? Post-show talkbacks December 7, 8