Symposium Information

Sharing the Legacy Symposium - 2011

Please note - this event took place in 2011

The fees for the symposium are $75 CDN - Includes all events over 4 days

Keynote Address is $15 and can be purchased at the symposium.

Each Panel Discussion is $10 and can be individually purchased at the symposium.

Each Workshop is $10 and can be individually purchased at the symposium.

Each Performance is $15 and can be purchased through this website or at the symposium.


Shows are $15: Dream, Scene & Heard Scored, and Cariboo Buckaroo.
Advance Tickets can be purchased online and will be held in your name at the door.

Symposium Events

DAY 1 Symposium events take place at the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre | Google Map

5:00 pm

5:30 pm

– Registration 

--Reception Dinner (Catered)

6:30 pm
7:00 pm
7:45 pm
– Welcome Address by Puente Founder Lina de Guevara
-- Keynote Address – Dr. Edward Little
-- Q & A  with Dr. Edward Little               

8:00 pm

9:00 pm


Dream - Runaway Moon Theatre (Details below)

-- Post-show Conversation with Cathy Stubington and Zompopo Flores after the show

    Facilitated by Monica Prendergast

Day 2 Symposium events take place at First Metropolitan United Church | Google Map
8:00 am – Continental Breakfast (Catered)
9:00 am – PANEL 1: The Value of Cultural Representation on the Canadian Stage & in the Performing  Arts
10:45 am -- Break
11:00 am – PANEL 2: The Importance of Partnerships and Collaborations
1:00 pm – Lunch Break (Not Catered)
2:30 pm
4:15 pm
– WORKSHOP 1: Physical Theatre
-- Break
4:30 pm
6:00 pm
– Roundtable Discussions & Networking
-- Dinner Break (Not Catered)
8 pm

-- Excerpts from  Scene & Heard Scored - PUENTE Theatre (Details below)


Day 3 Symposium events take place at the Intrepid Club | Google Map
8:00 am – Continental Breakfast (Catered)
9:00 am
10:45 am
– PANEL 3:  The Performer in a Multicultural Society
-- Break
11:00 am – PANEL 4:  Thriving Beyond Founding Members
1:00 pm – Lunch Break (Not Catered)
2:30 pm
4:15 pm
– WORKSHOP 2: Puppets
-- Break
4:30 pm
6:00 pm
– WORKSHOP 3:  Killing the Playwright: Ways to Open Up the Creative Process
-- Dinner Break (Not Catered)

8:00 pm

9:30 pm

Cariboo Buckaroo - Theatre SKAM  (Details below)

-- Post-show conversation with Matthew Payne after the show

    Facilitated by Monica Prendergast

Day 4 Symposium events take place at the Intrepid Club | Google Map
8:00 am – Continental Breakfast (Catered)
9:00 am
10:45 am
– WORKSHOP 4:  Storytelling
-- Break

11:00 am

12:45 pm

– WORKSHOP 5:  Community Plays


1:00 pm

1:30 pm

– Closing Remarks by Puente's Artistic Director Mercedes Bátiz-Benét
-- Good-byes

Panel Discussions

Lina de

Chilean born, Lina de Guevara is a director, actor and theatre teacher. She trained in the Instituto del Teatro (University of Chile) and studied in Canada with master teachers such as Augusto Boal, Richard Fowler (Odin Theatre), Annie Skinner, Ralph Cole and Judith Koltai. A specialist in Theatre of the Oppressed and Commedia dell’Arte, she’s lived in Victoria BC, Canada, since 1976. In 1988 she founded PUENTE Theatre and was its artistic director for 23 years. She was the director and writer of many PUENTE productions about the immigrant experience, such as I Wasn’t Born Here, Crossing Borders, Sisters/Strangers, Familya, Of Roots and Racism, Storytelling Our Lives, and Canadian Tango. Other directorial credits include Pastorela de Juan Tierra, Uthe/Athe, Emergence, Algarabía/Danza, Chile Con Carne, The House of Bernarda Alba, Mother Courage, Letters for Tomas, Scene & Heard, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, Puppets and Traditions, and The pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción. PUENTE productions have been presented in national and international festivals, such as Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro and Toronto, Festival de Pastorelas in Mexico City, Women in View Festivals in Vancouver, FemFest 08 in Winnipeg, and in Canadian Popular Theatre Alliance Festivals in Guelph and Edmonton.

Lina freelances as drama instructor and director. She has taught at Canadian institutions such as Canadian College of Performing Arts, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, and Camosun College. She has also worked with El Ciervo Encantado and Teatro-Estudio in Havana, Cuba; Proyecto Integrarte in Mexico City; Teatro Visión in San Jose, California, United World College in New Mexico, ICTUS Theatre, and Escuela de Teatro de la Universidad Austral in Chile.

Dr. Edward Little

– Professor of Theatre – Concordia University (Montreal, QC) | Web Site

– Associate Artistic Director – Teesri Duniya Theatre (Montreal, QC) | Web Site

– Editor-in Chief – (Montreal, QC) | Web Site


Dr. Edward Little

Body, Mind, and Spirit: The Holistic Legacy of Community-engaged Arts

Dr. Edward Little

  • If—The concern with the common good inherent in the intentions and values of community-engaged arts is an essential option to the doctrine of neoliberal individualism and “survival of the fittest.” How do we position ourselves?
  • If—The holistic, participatory approach of community-engaged arts contributes to more accountable and sustainable human interaction to counterbalance the monoculture of a trickle down, privatized state with assets managed by large corporations. How do we position ourselves?
  • If—Community arts champions a culture of hope to resist “the rhetoric of fear” that currently dominates modern democratic politics (Ramachandra Guha) and produces inequality, marginalization, violence, physical, and mental illness. How do we position ourselves?

Edward (Ted) Little is Professor of Theatre at Concordia University. He teaches courses in Current Canadian Theatre, and various aspects of Theatre and Development (Theatre and Social Change). Little is currently developing two new team-taught, interdisciplinary courses: one in Applied Human Sciences and Performing Arts (with Prof Warren Linds), and the other in Oral History and Performance (with Steven High).

Little's list of publications includes articles, reviews, and chapters in cultural diversity and the stage, Canadian Theatre Review, Modern Drama, Contemporary Issues in Canadian Drama, The Theatre of Form and the Production of Meaning, and Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English. He has directed and served as consultant on numerous large and small-scale theatre projects across Canada.

Little is also Editor-in-Chief of cultural diversity and the stage, and Associate Artistic Director of Teesri Duniya Theatre. is Canada's only professional arts journal examining intersections between politics, cultural plurality, social activism, and theatre. Teesri Duniya - a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) - is an innovative Montreal-based company with an intercultural mandate extending to mainstage (Equity) productions, new script development, community-engaged theatre projects, and publication of the quarterly journal

Denise Brown

Denise Brown

Denise Brown is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and has been active in the Victoria theatre and arts community for over 10 years. Denise discovered that she was not so bad at producing theatre after graduation which then lead to work in marketing and publicity, production management, front of house management and administration. She has worked in many capacities and with many companies over the course of a decade. The majority of her time was spent in building the Victoria Shakespeare Society which has it's home on the grounds of Camosun College and has a loyal and growing following. She is currently the Theatre Manager at Langham Court Theatre.




Erin Macklem

Erin Macklem

Erin is a West Coast designer and writer, and Artistic Associate for Victoria’s Belfry Theatre.  Her designs have been seen at The Belfry Theatre, Intrepid Theatre, Kaleidoscope Theatre, Theatre SKAM, Sunshine Theatre, Story Theatre, TheatreOne, DualMinds, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Pacific Opera Victoria and Caravan Farm Theatre.  Her writing has been featured at SummerWorks (Gladstone Gallery), Playwrights Theatre Centre (Playwrights Colony and Festival of New Work), Rumble’s Tremors Festival (Foreshocks and Aftershocks), Theatre SKAM (School House Rocks and Bike Ride), Belfry Theatre’s SPARK Festival (mini plays), Solo Collective (Solo Flights), The Walking Fish Festival, and the BC Festival of the Arts.  She has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Victoria.




PUENTE strongly believes that if we don't work towards a theatre that responds to the interests and expectations of our increasingly diverse population, theatre will become elitist, irrelevant, and devitalized.  How can we open up to these influences without losing our identity and histories?  What does it mean to work with underprivileged & underserved communities?  What is the correlation between different target audiences?  Do Canadian stages stand to lose anything if access is not given to other cultures?  What bridges do we need to build?


Floyd Favel – Writer, Director – Poundmaker Cree Nation (Saskatchewan) | Web Site

Natasha Joachim – Co-Artistic Director – Ellipsis Tree Collective (Calgary, AB) | Web Site

Shahin Sayadi – Artistic Director – Onelight Theatre (Halifax, NS) | Web Site

Floyd Favel


Writer, Director – Poundmaker Cree Nation (Saskatchewan) | Web Site

Floyd Favel

Floyd Favel is a theatre director, playwright, essayist and cultural worker. His play 'Maitre de la Rosee' will be presented in French by Ondinnok Theatre at Theatre Denise Pelletier in Montreal in February 2012. He is currently writing a film coproduced with Kunuk/Cohn Productions and his company Miyawata Films. Mr. Favel studied theatre in Denmark at the Tukak Teatret and in Italy at the Centro di Lavoro di Grotowski. His work has been presented across Canada and the United States.







Natasha Joachim


Co-Artistic Director – Ellipsis Tree Collective (Calgary, AB) | Web Site

Natasha Joachim

Natasha Joachim is an actor, educator, director and Community and Corporate outreach for Ellipsis Tree Collective (ETC). She has been published in numerous university publications, written/directed large ensemble productions and been nominated for several awards such as the Women of Distinction and the Edwin Parr Teacher Excellence award.   Select acting credits include: Superwomen, RUINED (Canadian Premiere), The Vigina Monologues, Weave, Under The Nut Tree (ETC), To Kill a Mockingbird (Workshop Theatre), Bye Bye Birdie (Front Row Centre Theatre), Suicide Prevention (Calgary Mental Health), and Inside Out (CHR).





Shahin Sayadi


Artistic Director – Onelight Theatre (Halifax, NS) | Web Site

Shahin Sayadi

Shahin Sayadi is the founder and Artistic Director of Onelight Theatre, a professional company, based in Halifax, that develops and produces original theatrical works following the guided, disciplined collaborative process that is the Onelight Theatre's signature working style.  Since 2002 Onelight Theatre has produced and toured a number of productions; recent shows include The Veil, The Toxic Bus Incident and Return Ticket: Halifax-Abadan-Halifax.  Under Shahin's guidance, Onelight Theatre is currently working on Prismatic, a biennial performing arts festival and conference that takes place in Halifax, which showcases the work of Canada's leading Aboriginal and culturally diverse artists.





Exciting and wonderful changes in theatre traditions are in the air.  How can we share them?  Do we need to collaborate?  If so, what are the conditions of successful partnerships and collaborations?  What are the challenges?  Who are the stakeholders?


Steven Lorenzo Baileys – Multicultural Programs Coordinator – ICA (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Brian Richmond – Producing Artistic Director – Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre  (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Michael Shamata – Artistic Director – Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Steven Lorenzo Baileys

Multicultural Programs Coordinator – ICA (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Steven Lorenzo Baileys is currently the Coordinator of the Multicultural Programs at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.  Steven graduated from the University of Victoria in 1990 with a B. Ed.  From 1992-2003 he worked with the BC Human Rights Commission as a Human Rights Investigation and Mediation Officer.  Over the past three decades Steven has been involved with a number of local and international community development and human rights groups including: OXFAM, Victoria International Development and Education Association (VIDEA), Peace Brigades International, Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA), University of Victoria CFUV Community Radio and others.  Steven has a strong commitment to work towards ensuring Victoria is a welcoming and inclusive community.  Steven has worked on a number of ICA community projects with Puente Theatre and strongly believes in the power and magic of popular theatre as a tool build positive relationships between our diverse communities and increase understanding.

Brian Richmond


Producing Artistic Director – Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre  (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Brian Richmond

Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, Brian is also the Founding Artistic Director of Saskatoon's Persephone Theatre, and past Artistic Director for Montreal's Playwrights Workshop, Thunder Bay's Magnus Theatre, and Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille.  A multi-award winning director, he has created nearly 150 professional productions for many of the major theatres across Canada, as well as in the U.S., Europe and Mexico.  For Blue Bridge Rep. he has directed Death of A Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire, Hank Williams – the show he never gave and It's A Wonderful Life – the radio play.  Brian is also a professor at the University of Victoria where he teaches producing, directing and acting, and where he recently completed two terms as the Chair of the Department of Theatre.



Michael Shamata


Artistic Director – Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Michael Shamata

Michael Shamata is the Artistic Director of the Belfry Theatre, where he has directed Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing and Ann-Marie MacDonald's musical Anything That Moves.  Shamata made his debut as an opera director with the February 2011 production of Puccini's La Bohème at the Pacific Opera Victoria (POV).  He has also been working with POV as dramaturge on Mary's Wedding, a new opera commissioned by POV, and he will direct the world premiere in November 2011.  West coast directing credits also include I Am My Own Wife, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, and Hello, Dolly! at the Vancouver Playhouse, and Much Ado About Nothing, Love's Labour's Lost, and The Winter's Tale at Bard on the Beach.  He has directed at most of the major theatres across the country, including the Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Soulpepper, and the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and his work has been seen in every province in Canada.  His productions have won awards for outstanding production in Toronto (A Little Night Music), Vancouver (Fiddler on the Roof) and Ottawa (Kilt). Michael is the former Artistic Director of Theatre New Brunswick and the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario.

Can multicultural theatre conquer Canada's mainstream stages?  Since the stage is a place of power, what are the challenges and advantages that minority performers face as being seen as representatives of whole communities?  Are training institutions doing enough to utilize the cultural diversity available in this country?  Are they recruiting teachers, instructors, and writers from a variety of cultures?  Are we opening up to other forms of making theatre?


Majdi Bou-Matar – Artistic Director – MT Space (Kitchener, ON) | Web Site

Janis Dunning – Co-Founder, Former Director and Teacher – CCPA (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Krystal Cook – First Nations poet, performer, Creative Writing Teacher (Victoria, BC)

Majdi Bou-Matar


Artistic Director – MT Space (Kitchener, ON) | Web Site

Majdi Bou-Matar

Majdi Bou-Matar is a theatre director and performer who immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in 2003. He holds an MA degree in Drama from the University of Guelph with a research focus on Canadian intercultural theatre. Majdi has directed several productions in Beirut and has been an active participant in several theatre, television, and film projects in the Middle East and Tunisia. Majdi represented his country of origin, in Le Centre Arabo-Africain de Formation et de Recherches Theatrales (CAAFRT) where he gained broad experience with and passion for the intercultural aspects of theatre. An active member of the arts community in Waterloo Region, Majdi founded The MT Space (the Multicultural Theatre Space) in 2004.
In Beirut, Majdi's directing portfolio includes: Nijinsky: the Hour of his Wedding to the Lord (1997); Miss Julie (1999); Something Like Macbeth (2000). In Canada, he has directed for The MT Space: Three-Legged Horse (04-05), Seasons of Immigration (2006), Yes or NO! (2007), Exit Strategy (2008), and The Last 15 Seconds (2009–2011).
He is currently the Artistic Director of The MT Space and the IMPACT theatre festival.

Janis Dunning


Co-Founder, Former Director and Teacher – CCPA (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Janis Dunning

Janis Dunning is a veteran of a professional performing career in Canada, the United States, and London, England.  She founded the Musical Theatre Program for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and for 18 years she created, directed and starred in national television series Let's Go and The Rockets for the CTV network.  Dunning has created cultural and multi-cultural works seen nationally and internationally, has been the director and creator of highly successful performing arts training programs in Canada, and has received awards and acclaim for the musicals she has written with Canadian composers.  Her students have garnered major roles on stage and screen in Canada, London, New York, L.A. and Asia.  Janis Dunning was recognized as a 2004 Community Arts Leader of the Year in Victoria.



Krystal Cook


First Nations poet, performer, Creative Writing Teacher (Victoria, BC

Krystal Cook

Krystal Cook is a Kwakwaka'wakw woman from the Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay, BC.  She is a graduate of the En'owkin International School of Writing (Uvic), and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre's Native Theatre School Program.  Cook is a performance artist, poet, facilitator of Healing through the Arts, and Mother.  She currently resides in Victoria, BC, with her partner Nik and two sons Kwasun and Rayn.






There are many arts organizations that are transitioning from founding members to new artistic leadership.  This passing of the torch from one generation of leaders to the next can be fraught with difficulties - mainly because founding companies are very closely tied to the identity, energy and passion of their founding members.  Can such transitions be successful?  Can companies not only live beyond their founders, but thrive as well?  What are the challenges?  What are successful examples?


Chris Gatchalian -- Artistic Producer -- Screaming Weenie Productions (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Roderick Glanville – Artistic Director – Kaleidoscope Theatre (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Diane Roberts – Artistic Director – Urban Ink (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Richard Wolfe – Artistic Director – Pi Theatre (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Chris Gatchalian


Artistic Producer -- Screaming Weenie Productions (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site


Born, raised and based in Vancouver, C. E. Gatchalian is the Incoming Artistic Producer of Screaming Weenie Productions, Western Canada's professional Queer theatre company. A graduate of the University of British Columbia's Creative Writing program (MFA, 2002), he is also a writer of drama, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His plays, which include Broken, Crossing, Claire and Motifs & Repetitions, have appeared on stages nationally and internationally, as well as on radio and television. The recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council, he has been Playwright-in-Residence at the Vancouver Playhouse and the Firehall Arts Centre, and Writer-in-Residence at the Berton House Writers' Retreat in Dawson City, Yukon. His fourth book, Crossing & Other Plays, was published earlier this year by Lethe Press, and his play for young audiences, People Like Vince, commissioned by Green Thumb Theatre, is touring schools next spring. His latest play, Falling in Time, premiered in Vancouver this November and will be published by Winnipeg's Scirocco Drama in early 2012. Personal website:

Roderick Glanville


Artistic Director – Kaleidoscope Theatre (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Roderick began his training with Maxim Mazumdar with the Provincial Drama Academy in Stephenville, NFLD, touring with curriculum-based programs for young audiences. He was invited to tour and spend six months in Ireland working with the Irish National Ballet as scenic painter, stage manager, and performer on tour. His apprenticeship continued with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, which included National and International tours of Peter and the Wolf and Just So Stories. In Toronto, he studied at the Maggie Basset Studio at the Tarragon theatre, under the direction of Lloy Coutts, Richard Monette, and Dean Gilmour. Film and Television credits include work with the National Film Board of Canada, and Alliance TV with the War of the Worlds series. Roderick spent two seasons with Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach and has been a company member of Kaleidoscope Theatre for over fifteen years; he brings a career of twenty-five years performing for young audiences throughout Canada and the U.S. Directing for Kaleidoscope Theatre includes the popular musical, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Boy who learned to Fly, Hana’s Suitcase, and As You Like It and Hair for Lawyers On Stage, including twelve years directing and developing new work for the annual Young Playwrights Festival. Favourite roles include ‘Captain Hook’ in Peter Pan, Edgar in King Lear for Bard on the Beach, Billy Bishop for Victoria Summer Theatre, Expo ‘86 with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, ‘Theatre in the Schools’ for the Stephenville Festival and Manitoba’s Theatre for Young People. Roderick has also spent three years as the Program Producer in Education for the Maritime Museum of B.C., Gallery Animator for the Royal B.C. Museums Da Vinci Exhibit, Circus Magicus, and he also works creating interactive programming for Craigdarroch Castle, including his performances of Oscar Remembered and Lyric the Leprechaun. His one-man adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick has been performed all over Vancouver Island. He has created and performed with the Victoria Symphony with his adaptation of Peter and the Werewolf, and A Soldiers Tale. On stage recently: Goth in Kaleidoscope’s Silverwing at the McPherson Playhouse, and Banquo in Macbeth and Gandalf in Kaleidoscope’s production of The Hobbit. Watch for Roderick soon in film festivals in his latest project Near Silence directed by Ana DeLara. As a founding faculty member of Kaleidoscope Theatre’s Performing Art’s Studio and Studio Principal for the third year, he is excited to continue to challenge and grow this dynamic company as Artistic Director providing professional theatre for the whole family.

Diane Roberts


Artistic Director – Urban Ink (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is the Artistic Director of urban ink productions.  She has been a practicing theatre artist for over 20 years.  Her studies and practical work as director, dramaturge, actor, playwright and community animator have taken her throughout Canada, the U.S., the UK, Europe and the Caribbean.  In Canada, Diane has directed for such companies as Theatre Direct, The Company of Sirens, Black Theatre Workshop, b current, Cahoots Theatre Projects, Obsidian Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Women in View Festival, The Sudbury Theatre Centre and The Stratford Festival. As Artistic Co-Director of Nightwood Theatre from 1994 to 1996, she spearheaded the Groundswell Festival of New Works by Women. Some of her most exhilarating directing projects have included: Gail Nyoka's Mella Mella!, Femi Osofisan's Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels for Concordia University, Andrew Moodie's A Common Man's Guide to Loving Women (nominated for a Mecca award for best production and best director, winner of Mecca Award for best ensemble), Darrell Dennis' The Trickster of Third Ave. East, G.B. Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession, M. NourbeSe Philip's Coups and Calypsos, Pauline Peters' Dryland, Djanet Sears' Harlem Duet, and Joan MacLeod's Little Sister, for which she was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award in 1998.  A reading of Robert's play Bone Bred was featured in the 2003 Africanadian Playwrights Festival, and in excerpt on CBC Radio.  It was also co-featured in the 2004 Spring issue of Canadian Theatre Review.  Roberts is a research partner in the international collaborative research project entitled VIVA!, which brings together practitioners of popular education and community arts from across the Americas.

Richard Wolfe


Artistic Director – Pi Theatre (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Richard Wolfe

Richard Wolfe, Pi Theatre's current Artistic Director, is an award-winning theatre artist who has twelve years of experience as an Artistic Director of Theatre Conspiracy and who has directed over 50 productions in cities around the country.  After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan's drama program, Wolfe worked as an actor, director, dramaturge and producer from Edmonton to Newfoundland, eventually coming to Vancouver to earn his MFA in directing from UBC.  He is a founding member of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan , the See Seven Performing Arts Society, and Theatre Conspiracy. He is also a member of the Lincoln Centre Theatre's Director's Lab in New York and the Literary Managers and Dramaturges of the Americas. Wolfe has participated in the Director's Project at the Shaw Festival , is the recipient of four Jessie Richardson Award nominations for Outstanding Director, and has received the Ray Michal Award for Outstanding Body of Work by an Emerging Director.


Workshop 1: Physical Theatre


Facilitator: Treena Stubel – Choreographer

Treena Stubel


Treena Stubel

Treena's work has been called “relentlessly entertaining” (Globe and Mail), and “engaging, full on performance” (Monday Magazine).   She has created and presented at numerous festivals including: Dancing on the Edge, Dancers’ Studio West, SummerWorks Theatre Festival, the Toronto LabCab Festival, ROMP! A Festival of Independent Dance, The InFrinGing Dance Festival, and the Hay Festival (Wales).   In 2009 she founded the Bounce Dance Cabaret to support new work by independent dance and physical theatre artists.   Selected choreography credits: Ride The Cyclone (Atomic Vaudeville, SummerWorks Theatre Festival 2010, awards for Best Production, and Audience Choice Award).   Henry VI, Richard III, Falstaff (Bard On The Beach), The Fantasticks and As You Like It, (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre).  Recent appearances: ROMP! A Festival of Independent Dance, Nemesis in Vanessa (Pacific Opera Victoria), Fay in the award winning film Near Silence, Courtyard For A Bird (Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Suddenly Dance Theatre), and Agnes B, (Belfry Spark Festival, Suddenly Dance Theatre).  She has studied numerous movement disciplines throughout Canada, The US and Europe, holds a BFA in Theatre from The University of Victoria, and an MFA in Lecoq Physical Theatre from The London International School of Performing Arts in London, UK.  She is the recipient of two Monday Magazine Awards, as well as Dance Victoria’s 2010 inaugural Chrystal Award, and is currently an instructor of physical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts.



Workshop 2:  Puppets



Tim Gosley – Artistic Director – Merlin's Sun (Victoria, BC)


Tim Gosley Tim Gosley

Timothy Gosley has an extensive background in puppets and theatre as an artist and teacher. After receiving a B.F.A. in acting from the University of Alberta in 1976, Tim turned to puppets. His on-the-job training for many European puppet techniques led to work with the Muppets on Fraggle Rock and after, nine years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street. Along with his television career, which garnered him a Gemini Award in 2003, he pursued many projects ranging from children's entertainment to avant-garde explorations.

His one person Ugly Duckling has taken him to Germany, Austria, the UK and the USA. His live video puppet explorations, including work with Quebec visionary Marcelle Hudon, were performed in Quebec and Toronto. His LED/Halogen shadow puppet work including Faust thru the Shadows, and Simon Capet's production of Dvorak's The Sprectre's Bride have pioneered new applications of shadow puppetry and taken him to the UNIMA International Shadow Festival in Germany. Recent projects include: Muppet Man Meets Mentor Mirbt at The Belfry Spark Festival; tributes to poets Robin Skelton & P.K. Page; And Beethoven Heard Nothing by the New Music ensemble, LaSam; plus various explorations of live video, shadow and light puppetry which together Gosley calls Low-Tech Multi-Media.

Since moving back to Victoria, B.C. three years ago, he has had a growing awareness of puppets' significance throughout the world, and how they filter into many parts of our society beyond performance. His work with Puente Theatre on Puppets & Tradition utilized giant puppets to express new immigrant experiences coming to Canada. His recent giant bread puppet for a Vancouver troupe, Theatre Terrific, created a unified environment for the mentally and physically challenged actors. These extended applications of puppetry have convinced him that puppets are rooted to more then western presentational performance and entertainment. He finds they can reach into primal expressions of our individual and cultural essence.

Ways to open up the creative process



Judd Palmer – Artistic Director – The Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Calgary, AB) | Web Site


Judd Palmer

Judd Palmer is one of the founding members and artistic directors of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, a Calgary-based company that produces puppet shows for both adults and children, and tours them around Canada, the US, and Europe; their best-known show is probably Famous Puppet Death Scenes.  Over the past twelve years, the Old Trouts have also made several short films, including a Juno Award winning video for Feist, and they have made some sculptures, including a forty-five foot tall wind-powered cosmological clock/puppet machine that manages to blow a whistle at random intervals to tell everybody it's time for a beer-break at the Big Rock Brewery in Alberta. 

He is also the writer and illustrator of some books – the Preposterous Fables for Unusual Children, two of which were shortlisted for the Governor-General's Award for Children's Literature, and most recently Umbrella, part of the series called Odd Little Books by the publisher Bayeux Arts.

Palmer is also the singer and slide banjo player in the stomp & holler trance blues band the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, which is more popular in Ireland than here for some reason.  He went to school at Trinity College, at the University of Toronto, where they gave him a degree in philosophy, and is married to the woman of his dreams.


KILLING THE PLAYWRIGHT - Ways to open up the creative process


Judd Palmer, co-founder of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, will attempt to describe the Old Trouts’ latest experiment in collaborative process. It’s called Open Creation: as they write and design their new show, they’re posting it all on their website – ideas, script, drawings, storyboards, the whole shemozzle – and anybody who wants to can comment, criticize, or contribute. It’s like a virtual Comments Box, except that people get to say what they think before the show hits the stage, and reviewers can say they don’t like it before it’s too late to do anything about it for once. The dream: people from all over the world come together to make a marvelous multicultural puppet show. Maybe some teenager in Finland comes up with the most hauntingly beautiful soliloquy ever spoken by a puppet, or some lawyer in Sri Lanka sends in a strikingly elegant solution to the seemingly overwhelming problems with the set design, or some techno DJ in Shanghai points out how to make the ending powerful yet ambiguous in just the right way, saving the show from otherwise-certain stupidity.

The idea might or might not work. Judd’s got more questions than answers, that’s for sure – questions like: where do ideas come from? Who gets to say they own them? How do you know when you’ve had a good one? Who gets the royalties? Whose play is it, anyway? Do audiences actually want to have more input, or would they rather sit back and enjoy the ride? Are we theatre people really the experts in creativity just because we’ve got black turtlenecks on? Can we use the World Wide Web to invite people from different cultures to collectively dream up something beautiful? What would happen if everybody got together and made one gigantic play with seven billion people in it?

In keeping with the theme of the talk, Judd will try to facilitate a discussion on these subjects, and hopefully, by the end of the process, we’ll have come up with some answers to these questions together – or at least come up with better questions.

Workshop 4:  Storytelling



Jennifer Ferris – Storyteller – Storytellers' Guild (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Comfort Ero – Artistic Director – African Stages (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Comfort Ero


Artistic Director – African Stages (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Comfort Ero

Being a chief's daughter, Comfort Ero was raised in a Nigerian Bini chief's household where tradition and culture are passed on to the child by the ever-present grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins who all live within the same household.

Comfort has learned and told folktales and songs ever since she learned to talk. Her vivacity in this regard prompted her parents to send her to school in the city. She studied languages and drama and became a teacher at a time when it was very unpopular in Africa to send girls to school. She has over twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher and principal in Nigerian high schools and colleges.


Jennifer Ferris


Storyteller – Storytellers' Guild (Victoria, BC) | Web Site

Jennifer Ferris

Victoria storyteller, Jennifer Ferris, has told stories for 15 years in schools, at community events and festivals. Her interest and connection to the history of Vancouver Island has provided many storytelling opportunities. In addition to her own stories, she also entertains audiences with stories of myths, magic and transformation from around the world. She gives workshops to adults and children and she is very interested in promoting storytelling in the family. 




Workshop 5:  Community Plays



Cathy Stubington – Artistic Director – Runaway Moon Theatre (Enderby, BC) | Web Site

Savannah Walling – Artistic Director – Vancouver Moving Theatre (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site


Cathy and Savannah will share their explorations within two very different communities of a form of theatre derived from the experience of English playwright Ann Jellicoe in a small town in England in the 1980's.  This form, the "Community Play", is developed through a process which engages as many people as possible, in the common creation of a work of art that is by, about, and for their own community.   In this session we will introduce the Jellicoe model, and how we adapted it to our contexts: the rural district surrounding Enderby, in Secwepmec Traditional Territory, and the inner city neighbourhood of the Downtown Eastside, of Vancouver, in Coast Salish Territory.  Grounded in the principle and practice that there is a part for everyone, whatever their age or experience, or time commitment, the Community Plays in both of our communities became such enormous projects that they not only welcomed but needed everyone to make them a success!  Since the Enderby and District Communty Play  Not the Way I Heard IT (1999) and the Downtown Eastside Community Play  In the Heart of a City  (2003), Runaway Moon and Vancouver Moving Theatre have continued to build on guiding principles of this form of theatre, creating projects and productions of all kinds and sizes that involve community engagement.  Cathy and Savannah will share some of these experiences as well.

Cathy Stubington


Artistic Director – Runaway Moon Theatre (Enderby, BC) | Web Site

Cathy Stubington

Cathy Stubington is Artistic Director of Runaway Moon Theatre Arts Society, dedicated to the creation of both puppet theatre and of community based arts projects, in the rural region around the small town of Enderby in Secwepmec Traditional Territory.  Over the past twelve years, hundreds of people of all ages and walks of life have participated in the creation of large scale spectacles that celebrate social, historical, and natural aspects of this place.  Last year our "Reflection" project culminated in a dance and storytelling piece entitled Sawllkwa, in the woods, banks, and water at Kingfisher Interpretive Centre by the Shuswap River.  For two years of "Food for Thought", we celebrated locally grown fruit and vegetables through a series of seasonal events and collaborative visual art.  In our community shadow play Enough is Enough we cast images onto Starlight Drive-in Screen, in a partnership project with the Splatsin Band Health Department.

Cathy has created puppet theatre of all sizes, ranging from a tiny world inside a suitcase, to a giant as tall as a house.  Plays have taken place in a cornfield, on a rocky outcrop, and in streets and shops.   Presently she is touring a puppet play entitled Dream with Salvadoran puppeteer Zompopo Flores, and is involved in a cultural exchange with a village in Kenya.  She lives with her family on a vegetable farm in the interior of British Columbia.

Savannah Walling


Artistic Director – Vancouver Moving Theatre (Vancouver, BC) | Web Site

Savannah Walling

A theatre artist and writer trained in dance, mime and music, Downtown Eastside resident Savannah Walling is artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre; associate artistic director of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival and singer with the Barvinok Ukrainian choir. She collaborates with artists of many genres, techniques and traditions to create multi-layered productions that interweave localized content, accessible storytelling, spectacle, and live music. Before co-founding VMT in 1983, she toured BC with the Mime Caravan; New York State with the Merle Lister Dance Company, and Canada with the avant-garde collective Terminal City Dance. Highlights of Ms Walling’s career with Vancouver Moving Theatre include co-developing Drum Dance Training Workshops, touring four continents with masked dance dramas and drum dances

(Samarambi: Pounding of the Heart; Drum Mother’s Gifts and Blood Music); performing in the award-winning Crime and Punishment; co-directing Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Setzuan ( awarded a Jessie Award for Outstanding Production); and writing Tales from the Ramayana (nominated for Jessie Awards for Outstanding Production- Theatre for Young Artists and Significant Artistic Achievement in Cultural Exchange and Education). Over the last decade, she has focused on community-engaged art tailored for and with her inner city home of 30 years. Highlights include co-writing In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play, co-founding the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival; co-writing the giant screen shadow play We’re All In This Together: Addiction and Recovery; co-producing New Directions: the 4th National Community Play Symposium; The Minotaur Dreams (with Enderby’s Runaway Moon Theatre); Bah! Humbug! (with SFU Woodwards) and The Downtown Eastside Arts For All Institute (with Jumblies Theatre): a 6- day course on principles and practices that engage with and build community. Ms Walling writes articles on VMT's interdisciplinary and community engaged practice, was co-awarded a Jessie Award for Significant Artistic Achievement in Spectacle Design; the 2008 British Columbia Community Achievement Award and the 2009 City of Vancouver Mayor’s Award (Community Art).


Will Weigler

Will Weigler

Will has been a community-based director, teacher, and playwright for over twenty-five years. He is the author of the award-wining book Strategies for Playbuilding: Helping Groups Translate Issues into Theatre, and has been seen around Victoria in role as the 19th century political reformer Amor de Cosmos. Will recently completed his PhD in Applied Theatre at the University of Victoria, where he now teaches. For his doctoral dissertation, he analyzed hundreds of descriptions of people’s most unforgettable moments as audience members so that he could develop a theory about what made those moments so astonishing. Based on his analysis, he developed a vocabulary of staging strategies that offers community participants and theatre artists a way to collaboratively engage the power of the theatrical event. Just prior to immigrating to Canada from the US, Will wrote, produced, and directed Common Wealth, a large-scale intergenerational musical play created in collaboration with the Settler community of Darrington, Washington, and the nearby members of  the Sauk-Suiattle First Nations tribe.



Dream - Runaway Moon Theatre

Mark the end of the spook season with Runaway Moon Theatre’s play for actors and puppets, Dream.

When: November 17, 2011 - 8 PM

Where: Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre located at 638 Fisgard Street.

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Originally produced at Caravan Farm Theatre sixteen years ago, this production reunites the team of director James Fagan Tait and performer/creators Cathy Stubington and Zompopo Flores in an all-new take on this powerful story.

Once a year, in Mexico, people come together to feast and celebrate on the Day of the Dead. On that day, when the thin line between the living and the dead is easily crossed, Juan, a poor, hard working farmer, finally indulges his one long held desire. He is visited by three powerful figures, each holding him to account for his actions.

Created mainly for adults, but suitable for those over the age of five, Dream is a folk tale set in a miniature world animated by mariachi music, roast chicken, and cruel coffee barons.

Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre located at 638 Fisgard Street

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Excerpts from Scene & Heard Scored  -  PUENTE Theatre & Cinevic

When: November 18, 2011 - 8 PM

Where: The Sanctuary of the First Metropolitan United Church located at 932 Balmoral Road.

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Scene & Heard SCORED is a unique collaboration: traditional storytellers teamed up with local filmmakers under the direction of PUENTE founder Lina de Guevara to create an evening of multicultural stories intertwined with film and animation. The result is a combination of ancient and modern, like tales told around the fire with multi-media enhancement, all accompanied by an original score written and performed by local musician Oliver Swain.

Oliver Swain

For the Symposium, we will be presenting three stories from the full production:

"The Wild Woman" fuses contemporary dance and drama on film to recount a timeless Czech fable. Director and UVic Associate Professor, Maureen Bradley, teams up with storyteller Jennifer Ferris to create a video triptych in high definition.

"Between" is the true story of a young indigenous man's soul, told for both audience and ancestors to hear. It is a collaboration between filmmaker Scott Amos and Cree/Métis performer Rob Hunter about finding balance and floating between identities.

"The White Boned Demon" is narrated by Wangsu Ma from China and visualized by filmmaker Denver Jackson from South Africa. The story is a traditional Chinese myth based on the tales of the Monkey King, Wukong. Denver uses many different techniques from animation, hand-painting on paper to live-action, to create a visual mixed media representation of the tale.

The Sanctuary of the First Metropolitan United Church - 932 Balmoral Road.

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Cariboo Buckaroo  -  Theatre SKAM

Cariboo Buckaroo

When: November 19, 2011 - 8 PM

Where: The Intrepid Club - 2-1609 Blanshard St (at Fisgard).

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by Matthew Payne

This true tall tale of an 1860′s cattle drive full of surprise, magic and beans, explores three actual historical events in B.C. history, including the Chilcotin War of 1864.

Developed in partnership with the X’eni Gwet’in, this play includes epic cowboy poetry, water, and secrets for any children in attendance (recommended for ages 8+).

Developed in the known and unknown territories in the interior of the westernmost British colony in the summer of 2009. Directed by Ross Desprez with Designs by Keith Houghton, Carole Klemm and Erin Macklem. Scenic treatments by Diana Nielsen. Original stage management by Denay Amaral, 2011 touring stage management by Spencer Sacht-Lund.

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Staged readings of plays from around the world


A reading series of plays-in-progress

Story Telling

If you're interested in telling your story - we can help.


Theatre Tools: workshops, training and presentations

For Your Inspiration

For Your Inspiration is a new arts outreach initiative created by the Canada Council in collaboration with design company Cause + Effect to highlight 22 of Vancouver’s and Vancouver Island's most vibrant culturally diverse arts organizations!


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