#320 – Stefan Dzeparoski

Stefan is a Serbian-born, Toronto-based international director and creative producer. He is best known for his interdisciplinary stage practices merging film, digital and live performance. Stefan’s work has been seen on stages in Europe, Canada, and Off-Broadway. He is a Director and Creative Producer at Toronto’s award-winning BirdLand Theatre.

Among other things, Stefan is the founder of a creative StartUp Digital Dream Society.
Stefan is alumnae of Directors Lab at The Lincoln Center in New York, and fellowship recipient of International Theatre School at University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

His work has been featured in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, and in many online publications.

Twitter: @DzeparoskiS

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#319 – Daniel Levinson

Daniel Levinson has been performing, directing and teaching stage combat professionally since founding Rapier Wit in 1991. Rapier Wit is Canada’s oldest stage combat school and production company. Daniel is proud to be counted among Fight Directors Canada’s Fight Masters. He has had a long history with FDC. He was one of the founding advanced actor combatants at FDC’s inaugural workshop. Daniel has created fights for companies such as The Stratford Festival (5 seasons), Canadian Stage, Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, Volcano Theatre, Actors Repertory Company, Second City, A.C.T. Productions, Shakespeare In the Square, Factory Theatre, Shakespeare in the Rough, Theatre Aquarius, The Actor’s Repertory Company, Theatre Passe Muraille, The Tarragon Theatre and The Guild Festival Theatre. Daniel is proud of his years teaching at the University of Waterloo, Sheridan, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Twitter: @RapierWitCombat
Instagram: @Rapierwit

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#318 – Sarah Marchand

Launched in 2016, alma matters productions began with a single goal: To amplify underrepresented stories through the power of theatre. Fast forward five years later, and we have now supported thirteen new works that focus on intersectional feminism, cultural identity, and mental health. We proudly label ourselves as a grassroots company, which has built a community of artists eager to be the future voices of Canada’s performing arts industry. Together, we have showcased award-winning plays, built networks, and provided paid training opportunities for emerging talent.
To support Fly Away Home, our inaugural 2022 season, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-alma-matters-productions-first-season

SELECT CREDITS: Winter of ’88, co-producer (Nowadays Theatre, NNNNN); Love at 752, producer (ft. on CBC); Swim Team, producer (Nowadays Theatre, NNNN); Drink of Choice, Producer (Toronto Fringe 2019 Patron’s Pick), Cooking for Grief, Producer (Vancouver Fringe Festival)

The Artistic Director, Sarah Marchand, is secretly quite shy, despite friendly exteriors. As she continues to learn, Sarah is passionate about making indie theatre producing more accessible: if someone as bad with numbers like her can become a producer, you can too.

Twitter: @sarahamarchand
Instagram: @sarahamarchand

Twitter: @almattersprod
Instagram: @almattersprod

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#317 – Brendan Healy

Brendan Healy is the Artistic Director of Canadian Stage, one of the country’s leading not-for-profit contemporary performing arts organizations. The company produces, presents, commissions, and collaborates with multiple partners on cross-disciplinary work with a focus on performance styles that integrate theatre, dance, film, visual arts and more. Originally from Montréal, Brendan began his career as an actor before moving to directing. Brendan attended the National Theatre School’s Directing Program and trained extensively with one of the pioneers of the American avant-garde Anne Bogart and the SITI Company before relocating to Toronto. Since then, Brendan has established himself as a central figure in the city’s theatre scene. His work has been presented across the country and his productions have garnered multiple awards. Between 2009-2015, Brendan was the Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the world’s longest-running theatre devoted to LGBTQ2S artists and one of Canada’s most significant generators of experimental performance and theatre. During his time at Buddies, the company experienced an unprecedented period of artistic success. More recently, Brendan completed a Masters in International Arts Management, in a program jointly offered by the Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), l’École des hautes études commerciales (Montréal, Québec), and the SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy). He also worked as the Artistic Director for Performing Arts for the City of Brampton, one of Canada’s most diverse and fastest-growing cities.


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#316 – An IMM-Permanent Resident

A comedy infused with Bollywood elements, An IMM-Permanent Resident is a hilarious take on the mundane and tiresome bureaucracy of the Canadian Immigration process, as experienced by playwrights and real-life couple, Himanshu and Neha. The play explores the irreverent journey to obtain Neha’s PR status, including the couple’s trials and tribulations as they put their hopes and dreams on pause (indefinitely). Through wit and creative banter, this fast-paced roller coaster transports us between Mumbai and Toronto, as Neha and Himanshu navigate the immigration system and ask themselves – is love worth it all?

Tickets: whynot.theatre/work/immpermanentresident

Himanshu Sitlani is a thespian, originally hailing from Mumbai. Foraying his way into theatre as an actor, he progressed on to other creative aspects and worked as a Stage Manager and Producer over the years with QTP and Akvarious. He co-founded Le Chayim Theatre Productions in Mumbai in 2006 where he eventually made his directorial debut in 2013. Since immigrating to Toronto Canada, Himanshu’s been immersed in supporting the creative arts, working as Patron Services Manager at Factory Theatre, while penning down his ideas towards his goal of creating a bridge between creative artists in Canada and India eventually co-founding Nautanki Bazaar in 2019.
In 2021, he wrote and performed in the virtual show “Stories of a Dish’ that was presented at the Mississauga Multilingual Fringe Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe, The Little Lion Theatre Festival in London UK, The Tata Literature Live Festival in Mumbai India and the Next Stage Theatre Festival in Toronto.

Twitter: @himy316
Instagram: @himanshu.sitlani

Neha Poduval is a trained actor, with several feathers in her creative hat, having performed in various theatre plays, corporate films and TV shows across India. A post-graduate in Acting from the reputed Film and Television Institute of India, she continued her association with the performing arts since moving to Canada.
In January 2021, she launched her YouTube Cooking Channel “Mustard Tempered Dreams” where she shares her love for food with easy to make Indian and global vegetarian recipes.

Neha is also a certified Yoga Teacher and has been teaching Yoga across various studios, community and senior centres in Toronto.

Instagram: @mustard_tempered_dreams

Miquelon Rodriguez is a sound designer, composer, radio play mixer & editor, digital content creator, actor, and an emerging arts leader based in T’karonto. He was the Apprentice Artistic Director at Factory Theatre from 2017-2019, under the mentorship of Nina Lee Aquino, and co-curated Pan-Asian works over two seasons at Soulpepper through the Tiger Bamboo Festival and the Shen Development Series. He is an Artistic Leadership Resident with the National Theatre School of Canada and has worked with a multitude of artists and companies across Turtle Island.

Twitch: www.twitch.tv/troysteel
Twitter: @djtronix
Instagram: @troysteel

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#315 – Introverted Actors Roundtable

An introverted actors roundtable discussion featuring actor and playwright, Stephen Near; actor & Singer-Songwriter Carolyn Fe; writer, composer & and performer, Kristen Zaza; playwright & performer, Genevieve Adam; writer & actor Michael Ripley, and writer & theatre maker, Jess McAuley.

Stephen Near is an actor & writer working in Hamilton. His plays have been performed across Canada at various theatres and festivals including the Ottawa Fringe, the Toronto Fringe, the Hamilton Fringe, New Ideas, and Summerworks. He is a graduate of York University (BFA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (B. Ed) and the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. He is a member of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada, the Theatre Aquarius Creator’s Junction and Playwright’s Unit and an alumnus of the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Banff Centre. Stephen is co-founder and playwright-in-residence of Same Boat Theatre in Hamilton. Stephen was named one of the inaugural Writers-in-Residence at Hamilton’s Cotton Factory and is a staff writer for the Hamilton arts and culture blog Beyond James.
Twitter: @SNear23
Instagram: @stephenisnear
Carolyn Fe is a late-blooming Filipino-Canadian, tri-lingual Actress (English/French/Tagalog), Singer-Songwriter and former contemporary Dancer-Choreographer. Some Theatre credits include: Calpurnia (Nightwood/Sulong), Hilot Means Healer (Cahoots), Through the Bamboo (Uwi Collective) and Three Women of Swatow (Tarragon). At an age when her peers have long established themselves, Carolyn’s continuous pursuit of artistic evolution adds a new instrument to her art as an Emerging Playwright and Writer supported by Montreal’s Teesri Duniya Theatre’s Fireworks Playwrights’ Programme, The Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and, Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre, Factory Theatre’s Foundry Programme for Playwrights, Cahoots Theatre. Some TV/streaming credits include Lola (Grandma) in the Nickelodeon children’s show “Blue’s Clues & You!” and Madame Z in the award winning French webseries “Meilleur Avant” and the upcoming sketch comedy series “Abroad” on Omni Channel in Spring 2022.

Twitter: @TheCarolynFe
Instagram: @thecarolynfe

Kristen Zaza is a writer, composer, and performer based in Toronto, Canada. She is currently producing the second season of her award-winning audio drama podcast, On a Dark, Cold Night.

Twitter: @kristen_zaza
Instagram: @kristen_zaza

Genevieve Adam is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre School in Toronto and the East15 Acting School in the UK. Her first play Deceitful Above All Things premiered at SummerWorks in 2015 and won several accolades including Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Production, and Best Emerging Artist. It was remounted at the Factory in association with The Storefront Theatre in February 2017.

Subsequent plays include Bedsport (Newmarket National Play Festival), New World (Future Theatre Festival), Anatomy of A Dancer (Next Stage 2019), The Boat Show (Lost Souls’ Collective), and If The Shoe Fits, which won second place in the Toronto Fringe 2019 New Play Writing Contest.Her most recent play Dark Heart was named one of the top theatrical productions of 2018 by the Toronto Star.

Genevieve is also the poet behind the whimsical #haikusoflockdown series on Twitter.

Twitter: @FavourZeeBrave

Michael Ripley, 54, was born in Alberta but has spent most of his adult life in Ontario. He currently lives in Whitby with his wife and two sons. When Michael isn’t writing, performing or designing he spends inordinate amounts of time typing and immediately deleting long responses (which he never posts) to mean people on social media. He also eats far too many wine gums and watches not nearly enough basketball.

Twitter: @TalentedMr
Instagram: @talentedmr

Jess McAuley is a Brock University graduate (theatre studies, honours) with a passion for devised theatre, writing, and pushing the bounds of adventure on stage. She is also one of the co-hosts of The Introvert’s Guide To…

Twitter: @mcauleyjes
Instagram: @itsjessmcauley

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#314 – Bruce Dow

Born in Seattle, WA, and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Bruce Dow is an American/Canadian actor, director, composer/librettist, cabaret artist, and theatre educator, best known for his 5 featured roles on Broadway; his 12 seasons in leading roles at the Stratford Festival; and his Dora Award Winning performances at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre — the world’s largest and longest running LGBTQ2IA+ theatre — and his Helen Hayes Award nominated work with the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Studio Theatre in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @DowBruce
Instagram: @dowbruce

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#313 – Mateo Chavez Lewis

Mateo is a young singer, songwriter, actor and pianist currently working on the lands traditionally known as Tkaronto. In 2020, he wrote and produced “Quarantine Songs,” a song cycle about different characters dealing with the pandemic, which had its digital premiere on YouTube, featuring performers from Stratford, Mirvish and Charlottetown Festival stages. He is currently preparing to appear in Forever Plaid with Starvox Entertainment, and running a YouTube channel where he uploads weekly analysis videos of the greatest songs from the musical theatre canon. In the meantime, he continues to perform regularly alongside cabaret and comedy legend Mandy Goodhandy in their act, “Lady and the Rambler.”

Twitter: @MChavezLewis
Instagram: @mateochavezlewis

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#312 – Lisa Alves

Lisa Alves is a queer artist, theatre producer, educator, and human resource practitioner based in Tkaron:to near the Wonscontach. They grew up in a two-parent household, both Portuguese immigrants and from working-class families. Currently, they are the Managing Producer at Cahoots Theatre with their amazing co-leader, Artistic Director, Tanisha Taitt.
Lisa is a graduate Humber’s Theatre Performance Program, Humber’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program, and is currently completing her Human Resource Management Certificate. Working as a freelance producer for over 10 years, some of Lisa’s favourite productions they’ve produced include manidoons collective’s bug by Yolanda Bonnell, Soulo Theatre Summer Festivals and Cahoots Theatre’s Supermodel.

In their spare time Lisa practices yoga, plays video games, reads way too much, and hangs out with their hamster, Eleanor Waffles.

Twitter: @lisa_a_alves
Instagram: @lisa_a_alves

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#311 – Indie Theatre Roundtable with The Red Sandcastle and The Assembly Theatre

The Red Sandcastle is a 50 seat storefront theatre, where Anything is Possible! In May of 2011, Rosemary Doyle opened the RED Sandcastle Theatre, with the intent of giving theatre artists a canvas. That feeling that Anything is Possible! has become a reality with 922 Queen Street East acting as an artistic hub to rent for creators in theatre, dance, visual art, and music. The Red Sandcastle is managed by the Eldritch Theatre team of Eric Woolfe and Adrianna Prosser.

Instagram: @redsandcastletheatre

The Assembly Theatre provides independent and emerging artists with affordable performance space, and is always actively seeking new modes of outreach in order to better prioritize its use by under-represented and marginalized artistic communities. Co-artistic Directors Luis Fernandes and Cass Van Wyck keep the vision clear and the community thriving.

Twitter: @assemblytheatr_
Instagram: @assemblytheatre

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