Vanessa Porteous, Jury Chair
Vanessa is a director, dramaturg, arts leader, and educator based in Calgary. From 2009 to 2017 she was Artistic Director at Alberta Theatre Projects.
Most recently, she directed Amahl and the Night Visitors (Calgary Opera), the world premiere of Bronte: The World Without by Jordi Mand (Stratford Festival), the world premiere of To the Light by Siminovitch Finalist Evelyne de la Chenelière, translated by John Murrell (ATP), and The Humans (Theatre Calgary).
Some favourite directing work includes the world premiere of Gracie by Siminovitch Recipient Joan MacLeod (ATP/Belfry Theatre); Christina The Girl King by Siminovitch finalist Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau (Stratford Festival), The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (ATP and Arts Club Theatre), The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan (ATP, twice) and Pinocchio, both by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop (ATP, Magnetic North Theatre Festival), and L’enfant et les sortileges (Calgary Opera).
She has received two Betty Mitchell Awards for Outstanding Direction.
Coming up, she directs Amahl and the Night Visitors (Calgary Opera), and Between Us (Handsome Alice Theatre). Vanessa teaches directing at the University of Calgary.
Vanessa is a graduate of the University of Toronto and of the University of Alberta. She is a member of CAEA, LMDA, and PACT.
Marie is a director and theatre maker, who has trained and worked across Canada and internationally. She is also the founder and the Co-Artistic Director of the formal experimental company Babelle Theatre in Vancouver. Her work with Babelle has been described as trippy, intelligent and wildly inventive. As a director, her professional experience is varied, from staging classical texts, new Canadian plays, sketch comedy and theatre for young audiences, to developing new works with writers and devising contemporary puppetry. Marie is not afraid of risk, of bending physical space and theatrical conventions to offer a different point of entry into the arts for younger and more adventurous audiences. She is an artist with very playful conceptions of dramatic convention – her shows operate under one set of rules and then they subvert those rules ever so slightly, again and again.
She has directed for and collaborated with companies such as Rumble Theatre, Théâtre La Seizième, and Porte-Parole. For the 2018/19 season, she worked as the Associate Artistic Director at Crow’s Theatre with Chris Abraham. She was also an Assistant Director at the Stratford Festival, Bard on the Beach, and the ArtsClub. Favourite and noticeable directing credits include: GHOST QUARTET (Crow’s Theatre); THE HUNS (Toronto Fringe 2019); SURVEIL (Hip. Bang! – Artistic Risk Award at the Vancouver Fringe 2018); ALL MY FRIENDS ARE ANIMALS (a co-production with Axis Theatre); MOVEMENTS 1&2; RIVULETS (seven Jessie Richardson Award nominations including Outstanding Direction and Production in Small Theatre); SEABIRD IS IN A HAPPY PLACE (2015 winner of the OOB Short Play Festival/NYC) and THE 4th GRADERS PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE-SUICIDE (Rumble Theatre). More at mariefarsi.com.
Émilie Monnet’s theatre practice straddles performance and media arts, and revolves around questions of identity, memory, history and transformation. Her works favour the process of collaborative creation and are, more often than not, presented as interdisciplinary theatre or immersive shows. Artist in Residence, from 2018 à 2021, at le Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, she presented her latest creation, OKINUM in October, 2018. This Time Will Be Different, her new work, co-created with the choreographer Lara Kramer, will be presented at the FTA (Festival du théâtre des Amériques) in June and then in Scotland in August. Since 2016, Émilie has also presented Scène contemporaine autochtone, a platform for the diffusion of Live First Nations Arts. The next edition of Scène contemporaine autochtone will be presented at Edinburgh this summer in a partnership with The Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Émilie is both Anishnaabe and Française, and she grew up in the Outaouais and in Brittany. She currently lives in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang/Montréal. onishka.org
Émilie Monnet Artistic Director of ONISHKA & Scène contemporaine autochtone / Indigenous Contemporary Scene
Bobby Theodore is a screenwriter, playwright, dramaturg, and translator. Bobby has worked on several TV series, including Murdoch Mysteries, Flashpoint, and Knuckleheads (an adaptation of the iconic Québecois cartoon, Têtes à claques). After graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada’s playwriting section in 1998, he was a Governor General Award finalist in 2000 for his translation of 15 Seconds by François Archambault. Since then, Bobby has gone on to translate over 25 plays from French to English. His most recent translations include The Just by Albert Camus (Talonbooks, 2017), An Accidental Death by François Archambault, and Public Enemy by Olivier Choinière. For the stage, Bobby co-created 300 Tapes (with Ame Henderson), a performance that premiered at the Theatre Centre in Toronto and at Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) in Calgary. In 2014, his translation of François Archambault’s You Will Remember Me premiered at ATP, won a Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play, and was produced across Canada and in the USA. Currently, Bobby is adapting a feature film script, writing a TYA play about a boy who’s hiding inside a man’s head, and collaborating (with director Viktor Lukawski) on Manipulator, a devised performance inspired by Jerzy Kosinski’s life and work. Bobby shoots right and is the translation dramaturg and host of the Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac.
Adrienne Wong’s work straddles theatrical and digital space. She has performed in former morgues, current science centres, art galleries in the middle of the night, and at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Web projects include The Apology Generator, which earned her the inaugural Artist in Residence position on CBC Radio’s Q, and SadSongs.ca, commissioned by Nightswimming Theatre in Toronto. Other radio work includes writing, performing in and directing plays, and contributing to North by Northwest and The Afternoon Show, all out of CBC Radio Vancouver. Landline (created with Dustin Harvey) is a performance for audio recording and SMS that toured nationally and internationally for five years. Me On The Map (created with JD (Jan) Derbyshire) is a kids show about urban planning and collective decision-making, received a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nomination in Vancouver and was selected for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity 2017 Playwrights Colony. Adrienne’s writing has been published in Canadian Theatre Review, CdnTimes, and the anthology Asian Canadian Theatre. Adrienne was Artistic Producer at Neworld Theatre in Vancouver until 2013, where she commissioned and produced 11 “podplays” in partnership with Playwrights Theatre Centre and Martin King. Currently, she is Artistic Producer of SWS Performance, Festival Director of the Festival of Live Digital Art (foldA), and also co-edits the SWS online magazine CdnTimes. Now living in Banff, Alberta, Adrienne holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.