Meet the 2017 INDIE X Panelists!

Keynote Speaker

Marjorie Chan - Artistic Director, Cahoots Theatre Company
Marjorie is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist based in Toronto. As a playwright, her works have been performed in Canada, Scotland, the United States, Hong Kong and Russia.  Marjorie’s playwriting debut, China Doll was nominated for a Dora (Outstanding New Play), as well as the Governor General’s Literary Award, and will receive its Cantonese language debut in April 2017.  Her other full-length plays include Tails from the City, a nanking winter and The Madness of the Square as well as the adaptation of the Japanese modern classic, in the garden, two suns with Damien Atkins.

Her writing has also supported dance pieces, sound theatre, radio drama and ‘cell phone’ plays.  As a librettist, Marjorie’s main-stage work includes Sanctuary Song, M’Dea Undone, and The Lesson of Da Ji, all three of which were recognized with Dora Awards for Outstanding New Operas.  Other awards include a Dora (Outstanding Performance- TYA), as well as the K.M. Hunter Artist Award. She was also nominated for a Canadian Citizen Award for Crossing Gibraltar, Cahoots'  theatre program for newcomer and refugee youth. She has been in residence with the Banff Centre, Tapestry New Opera, Cahoots Theatre, Theatre Direct Canada, SUNY (Geneseo, New York) and Theatre du Pif (Hong Kong).  Current works-in-progress include an adaptation of The Monkey King for Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, The Year of the Cello(Factory Theatre), and Lady Sunrise (Arts Club / University of British Columbia.)

Marjorie was appointed as Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre in 2013, and has focused her attention on developing new playwrights, increased outreach with the newcomer community, and more rigorous approaches to making theatre accessible to everyone. To that end, Cahoots recently launched the comprehensive online guide Deaf Artists & Theatres Toolkit (DATT). As a director for Cahoots Theatre, her most recent work includes ULTRASOUNDThe Enchanted Loom and John & Waleed.

DIY Marketing for Indie Artists

How to create a successful brand to help support and nurture new audiences.

Luke Reece – Moderator
Luke Reece is a biracial storyteller, community builder, and artist-educator from Mississauga. He is the Apprentice General Manager and a Resident Artist-Educator at Young People’s Theatre, Artistic Director of Little Black Afro Theatre, co-creator of Dark Nights, captain of the 2017 Toronto Poetry Slam Team, Associate Artist for Black Lives Black Words and previously the Associate General Manager of Obsidian Theatre Company. He has a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree from York University, where he studied Theatre and Creative writing.

Kevin A. Ormsby - Panelist
Artistic Director of KasheDance, Adjunct artist with the Dance Exchange (Washington DC), Kevin A. Ormsby works as a dance teacher, choreographer, movement coach and Arts Marketing Consultant. A Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow (2015) and Canada Council for the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch – Staunton Award recipient in Dance (2014) for outstanding achievement by a mid career artist. Kevin has many interests in the creative practice and administration of dance. He has honed his passion for dance, advocacy, writing and education while performing with various companies and projects in Canada and the United States. www.kashedance.com

Geoffrey Sirett - Panelist
As co-producer of The Bicycle Opera Project, Geoffrey Sirett is sought-after for his interpretations of new works, having created premiere performances and recordings of many Canadian works. Combining two of his passions, the cycling-touring company aims to give opera a new spin, introducing Canadian audiences to a wealth of high quality contemporary opera created in the country. After only five seasons, the company's unique combination of art and environmentalism has garnered global media attention, including coverage by Al Jazeera, CBC the National and even a Cyrillic newspaper in Russia!

Adam Matheson - Panelist
Adam Matheson is the Marketing and Audience Development Manager at Factory Theatre. As a Certified Associate in Project Management with over seven years experience working with not-for-profit organizations, his work has ranged from micro-targeted marketing campaigns to large-scale national audience development projects. Throughout his career Adam has focused on leveraging the power of box office data to understand audience behaviour and increase attendance both in Canada and Scotland. You can find Adam on twitter @AdamKMatheson

 

Write? Produce? Establish your own company?

Join dramaturge, Play Development Coordinator and Rhubarb Festival Director Mel Hague as she discusses play creation, establishing ones own company and producing self-written work with Dora award-winning playwright Kat Sandler and playwright, director and two time Governor General's award recipient Judith Thompson.

Mel Hague- Moderator
Mel Hague is a Toronto based dramaturge. She is the Play Development Coordinator at Obsidian Theatre Company. Mel is the Rhubarb Festival Director and Company Dramaturge at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Mel has worked with Factory Theatre, bcurrent performing arts, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Queer Acts Festival, The Paprika Festival, and Mulgrave Road Theatre. Other theatre credits include Litmus Theatre’s Birth of Frankenstein (Dora Nomination – Outstanding New Play Independent Category)  Mel has an MFA in Theatre from York University.

Kat Sandler - Panelist
Kat Sandler is a writer, director and Artistic Director of Theatre Brouhaha, where she has staged eleven of her original plays in the last five years, including Toronto Best of Fringe hits Bright Lights, Punch Up and Help Yourself  (winner of the New Play Contest), Delicacy (Summerworks Spotlight Award), and Liver, Cockfight and Retreat (Storefront Theatre). Other directing credits include Big Plans, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, Cabaret, and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia. She was a member of the 2014 Tarragon Playwrights Unit, where she developed, Mustard, which won the 2015 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (General Division) She was the 2015 recipient of NOW Magazine’s Audience Choice Award for Best Director and Best Playwright. Kat is a graduate of the Queen's University Drama Program.

Judith Thompson - Panelist
RARE Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Judith is a playwright, director, actor and Professor of theatre at the University of Guelph.  She is the author of 15 published plays, many of which are performed all over the world. She has directed and co-created four collective-creations including Body and Soul, Sick, RARE, and Borne.  She wrote two feature films, Perfect Pie and Lost and Delirious, several TV movies and many radio plays.  Judith twice won the Governor General's award for playwriting, the Toronto Arts Award, a Dora Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Expression.

 

Budgeting 101

Join Claire Burns and Brett Haynes as they attempt the impossible – teaching how to build a budget for grants and productions WHILE making it fun! Don’t miss this interactive and informative crash-course on budgeting.

Brett Haynes - Panelist
Brett is a producer, director, playwright, and founder of Triangle Pi Productions. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and George Brown Theatre School. Brett recently worked as a Special Events Associate at TAPA and is the Artistic Producer for d’bi.young anitafrika’s company, The Watah Theatre and General Manager for Judith Thompson's RARE Theatre Company.

Claire Burns- Panelist
Claire Burns is a Toronto based theatre creator, curator and leader. Claire holds an HBA in Political Science and History from U of T as well as a degree in Classical Performance from George Brown Theatre School. Claire is the Artistic Managing Director and an Artistic Producer of the Storefront Arts Initiative in Toronto. Claire has been on the curatorial team for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Storefront Seasons. Claire is dedicated to the philosophy that accessible storefront performing arts spaces should be a staple in every neighbourhood as a tool for urban culture seeding and community development.

 

Interdisciplinary: Get FANCY!

Interdisciplinary work is killing it on all dance, opera and theatre stages, galleries and site specific spaces. How can you and your company work to collaborate and engage multi-disciplinary artists? a practical panel on engagement models and making ART.

Claire Burns- Moderator
Claire Burns is a Toronto based theatre creator, curator and leader. Claire holds an HBA in Political Science and History from U of T as well as a degree in Classical Performance from George Brown Theatre School. Claire is the Artistic Managing Director and an Artistic Producer of the Storefront Arts Initiative in Toronto. Claire has been on the curatorial team for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Storefront Seasons. Claire is dedicated to the philosophy that accessible storefront performing arts spaces should be a staple in every neighbourhood as a tool for urban culture seeding and community development.

Aisha Bentham- Panelist
Aisha Bentham defines herself as an Artist/Creator. She has earned her BFA Honors Acting degree with a minor in Women and Diaspora Studies from the University of Windsor where studying woks such as Suzuki, Viewpoints, Laban, Contact, Commedia Del’Arte and neutral mask. Aisha has also studied in Berlin, Germany looking at theatre creation and performance. Aisha has developed a found interest in creating and devising new work that is socially relevant, that discusses and provokes movement for change through the mediums of puppetry, mask, physical theatre, visual art, filmmaking and installation.

Aria Evans- Panelist
Aria Evans is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist working in film, dance creation and performance. She draws on her experiences as a woman of mixed race (Mi'kmaq/African/British) as well as her BFA (2012) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through her interactive art. Aria is artistic director of the Go To Company where collaboration is the departure point to the work that she creates. She is co-artistic director of hub14, co-founder of The Research Exchange and a collective member of us. The Toronto, Ontario and Canada Council for the arts have supported Aria’s endeavours as well as Jumblies Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts and b current.

Deanna Choi - Panelist
Deanna studied neuroscience at Queen’s University before making a leap of faith into theatre. She is a Toronto-based violinist, composer, sound designer, and teacher. Previous design credits include The Boat; Laurier (Theatre New Brunswick), Alien Creature (Theatre Passe Muraille), Deceitful Above All Things (Storefront), The Death of Mrs. Gandhi (Next Stage). She has an alter-ego named Ludmilla.

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