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annual report

A h o m e fo r i n n ovative live p e r fo r man ce f ro m Canada an d aro u n d th e wo r ld.

“The resurgence of Canadian Stage […] is perhaps the industry’s most talked-about turnaround story.” - The Walrus

Betroffenheit photo: Michael Slobodian


“Interdisciplinary and international: Canadian Stage artistic director Matthew Jocelyn […] stretches the Toronto performance company further beyond theatre – and further beyond Canada – than ever before.” - The Globe and Mail

“Three words describe the 2015-16 Canadian Stage season: international, interdisciplinary and interesting. Artistic and general director Matthew Jocelyn continues to stretch the programming envelope at our city’s largest not-for-profit theatre …” - Toronto Star

“The best new dance show of 2015” - the globe and mail, - now





Total audience

3,304 Number of subscribers

250 Number of performances (local)

7 Number of performances (touring)

15 Works performed

8 Premiere Canadian works

203 Artists engaged 4

Salvatore Antonio in Botticelli in the Fire photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

For the first time in the history of the prestigious stage award, one company - Canadian Stage - was honoured this season with the top Dora Mavor Moore Award in three major disciplines: theatre, dance and touring.

“ambitious and entertaining” - the globe and mail







Betroffenheit created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young

Cold Blood by Michèle Anne de Mey, Jaco Van Dormael and the Kiss & Cry Collectif (Belgium)

Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom by Jordan Tannahill

“Snappy, slick production� - toronto star

15 .1 6 Boar d o f D i r ec to r s Noreen Taylor

Chair Tony Baylis

Vice-Chair Robert Rowe

Vice-Chair Cathy Bateman Debbie Coull-Cicchini Councillor Paula Fletcher Dominique Hussey Adrian Lang Ron Lalonde Peter Lyman Councillor Pam McConnell John van Nostrand Monika Skiba David Staines Antoinette R. Tummillo Stuart Watson Cecilia Williams Susan Willmot Susan Wortzman

Paul Gross, Torri Higginson and Martha Burns in Domesticated photo: Guntar Kravis


Canadian Stage continued to make artistic headway in its 15.16 season. Amongst this year’s accolades were an impressive four outstanding Dora Awards for productions including Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom, Betroffenheit, Cold Blood and Chimerica. New performance ground was broken on several fronts. Our production of Helen Lawrence premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, receiving both applauding reviews and large, enthusiastic audiences who marvelled at the company’s new direction in contemporary theatre. Co-productions of both Betroffenheit and Cold Blood expanded the realm of movement’s ability to tell stories in an exciting and compelling manner and Julie opened up the realm of Chamber Opera for the audiences of Canadian Stage. In total, eighteen works were presented for our audiences – a remarkable achievement for a company whose focus is innovation in the performing arts! Yet while performance remains the focus of this company, Canadian Stage continues to believe that education in – and education about - the performing arts is vital to the creation of the next generation of Canadian talent – and the next generation of audiences for Canadian Stage. To that end, the company provided 120 education and outreach experiences, experiences which reached a staggering 6,790 participants. As in the last six years, the goal of Canadian Stage is to produce and present contemporary performing art. As a not-for-profit company, Canadian Stage has the mandate of seeking out the “new” or “untried” and strives to bring “theatrical firsts” to our audiences. Inherent in this mission of contemporary theatre is the challenge of making the unknown successful within the traditional confines of theatre. It is challenging to be sure, but it is a worthwhile and necessary challenge when striving to inspire growth. At the close of the 15.16 season, it is my pleasure to report that for the 5th year in a row Canadian Stage met these challenges and, once again, reported a surplus, showing that the theatrical audiences of the GTA are more than ready to embrace new directions in the performing arts. Speaking on behalf of all of us on the board, it is a privilege to be part of this remarkable company.

Noreen Taylor Board Chair 7


In June 2016, at the close of the 15.16 season, Canadian Stage was presented the Dora Award for the Outstanding Theatre Production of the season: Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom by Jordan Tannahill; the Outstanding Dance Production: Betroffenheit by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young; and the Outstanding Touring production: Cold Blood by Michèle Anne de Mey and Jaco Van Dormael. It was the first time in Dora history that a single company has been awarded the top prize in these three categories and it felt like a fleeting symbol of recognition of the high level, non genre-specific performing arts project we have been so methodically constructing these past six seasons. For the company, it felt good. The time is past, we allow ourselves to imagine, when audiences and critics challenged us for not being a “theatre company”, when we routinely had to explain our work, justify it, struggle to make it - and ourselves - feel legitimate. That’s it: we’ve arrived! we’re here! Awards however, whatever importance one chooses to attribute to them, are truly fleeting things. The real indication of the success of an artistic project doesn’t just come from one’s peers (those who cast the yay’s and nay’s) in a competitive context. It comes first and foremost from a place deep within: has the work attained the truthfulness, clarity or beauty it set out to reach, has it reached its most accomplished level of artistry? And it comes from places deep without: has the work reached an audience, audiences, old and new and unforeseen? Has it touched, made an impact, entertained, displaced? In short, is it relevant? This latter is a hard question to answer in a world of constant motion and fashion-oriented consumption. And it can rarely be answered with certitude, nor for very long. Unlike the visual arts, or music, or film, a work of live performance has only one chance to prove its relevance: the moment it happens, right here, right now.

photo: V. Tony Hauser

This past season we were delighted by the overwhelming success of many productions: close to record-breaking audiences in High Park for productions of Julius Caesar and Comedy of Errors, Lisa Dwan’s Beckett Trilogy, the magical work of Michele Anne de Mèy and Jaco Van Dormael, or Jordan Tannahill’s magnificent diptych directed by our MFA graduate directors, Matjash Mrozewski and Estelle Shook. Our production of Chris Haddock and Stan

Douglas’ Helen Lawrence continued to attract international audiences on tour at the prestigious Brooklyn Academy of Music and at the deSingel international arts campus in Antwerp. But we met with disappointment in the surprisingly low attendance for internationally successful Julie by Philippe Boesmans, our first ever chamber opera, and for Lucy Kirkwood’s brilliantly-crafted Chimerica in Chris Abraham’s equally brilliantly crafted production (the design for which, by Judith Bowden, received our fourth Dora Award of the season). This latter, the most demanding and most costly production of the season, also had proportionately the smallest audiences of the season, thus making it the most highly subsidized by the company, and by our own funders, public and private alike. Does that make it - we are forced to ask ourselves - the least relevant? Is there a geometric relationship between relevance and box office success? Or between the degree of investment required in a work of art and its ability, or inability, to attract an audience? These are amongst the many questions we live with daily in our industry - for which I can offer no quick answer - as we try to balance our means, our desires, our convictions, our needs. And yes, hopefully, our pleasures. The box office failure of Chimerica continues to be deeply troubling for me. The play is a remarkable and unexpected portrait of Sino-American relationships as they have evolved over the past 25 years: a portrait of these two superpowers at the onset of the 21st century. And the production itself was a remarkable concordance of technical wizardry, highly nuanced acting, and crystal clear storytelling. Politically-relevant subject, artistically relevant production, largely irrelevant impact. While we gained the satisfaction of a precious artistic accomplishment, we “lost” well over a hundred thousand dollars, a particularly hard hit coming as it did near the end of the financial year. Navigating the seemingly erratic relationship between artistic excellence, social relevance and commercial viability has always been an essential driver in a company such as ours, an industry such as ours. Because of this, our success or failure as a business, our very sustainability, lies paradoxically less in the quality of the work (as judged, admittedly, by those producing it, or even more subjectively by me) than in our capacity to rally sufficient private and government support to

underwrite it. This, in turn, creates a specific bend in the relevance curve: the work needs to feel relevant to those who help finance it before it has the opportunity to be relevant to the world at large. Or even in spite of its relevance to the world at large. Government mandates are becoming increasingly prescriptive, reflecting social concerns which each respective level of government considers to be relevant. It somehow feels as though artistic value is increasingly placed within a politicized context, if not simply superseded by each level of government’s political mandate. And private support ebbs and flows as does our capacity to sell

“These are amongst the many questions we live with daily in our industry - for which I can offer no quick answer - as we try to balance our means, our desires, our convictions, our needs. And yes, hopefully, our pleasures.” the ideas, the philosophy, the work itself - to make it feel relevant to a very privileged few. This is the ever-moving, ever-fragile foundation upon which our capacity to maintain a truly supportive space for artists, one in which they can produce their best, most innovative, most creatively exuberant work, and then share it with audiences, depends. I am deeply, deeply grateful of the opportunity to do the work we do, and equally grateful of the generous, truly engaged support which enables us to do it. I cannot help but question the principles upon which our livelihood depends.

Matthew Jocelyn Artistic and General Director 9

“A veritable symphony of movement and sound poetry” - paula citron

Akram Khan in Toro photo: Jean-Louis Fernandez

Numbers. Numbers. Numbers. In the year or two (sometimes three) leading up to a production or a presentation, when our artistic team indicates a programmatic choice; the desire to commission new work; to tour a project or house an artist-in-residence, many minds come together at Canadian Stage to assemble the numbers. These in-depth planning sessions which involve fundraising, producing, production and accounting skill sets from across the Canadian Stage staff, outline for us our areas of risk, of optimism, they suggest when we might anticipate lean times, and project the times where we stop holding our breath and know that our risk analysis will hold steady. All of this work is done to ensure that we are able, as a company, to fulfill the role we have set for ourselves - to provide relevant, gripping, sometimes transformative live performance, and to create a group of creators and collaborators with a view to large-scale work.


In collaboration with our highly dedicated Board of Directors, and with a reliance on our Audit and Finance Committee we assess throughout the season where we are in terms of our projections, and where we must recalibrate, or where we can let out a collective cheer and express to our audience and our donors, our government funders that their money was well spent. Our funders are entirely interested in our numbers, our year over year statistics; the trends that we can identify and in turn use to underscore our relevance. This measurement, while some might think it is antithetical to an institution dedicated to contemporary expression, is entirely in keeping with how we run our business in a local and global environment that is governed by perpetually shifting priorities and tastes. It is therefore both my greatest challenge and my greatest vocational satisfaction, to lead a team of colleagues through often unchartered waters and to end, for the fifth season in a row, with a modest surplus, while actualizing the artistic ambitions and projects that govern our work. It is not easy work. We have said goodbye to a handful of staff members over the past year, some after a number of years and some for whom this company and our work was not a fit. We have weathered criticisms that have challenged us, as a company, to become stronger through community outreach and activation. We have engaged in substantial professional development both for our staff members and as mentors and participants in numerous forums that affect not only our world, but speak to all of us global citizens. It has been a good year, a challenging year, but a year of substantial growth. It is our pleasure to share some of the highlights with you in the following pages.

Su Hutchinson Managing Director

photo: V. Tony Hauser

“All of this work is done to ensure that we are able as a company to fulfill the role we have set for ourselves� 11

The following pages offer a condensed version of our financial statements and are derived from audited financial statements issued with an unqualified opinion under date September 27, 2016.


The Canadian Stage Audit and Finance Committee is composed of non-employee directors of the Company who meet quarterly with financial management and annually with the auditor to satisfy themselves on the adequacy of internal controls and review the financial statements and auditor’s report. The Audit and Finance Committee report its findings to Canadian Stage’s Board of Directors for consideration in approving the financial statements and issuance to stakeholders. Included herewith are the comparative condensed financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2015 with accompanying notes. SANDRA CESARIO Controller

• C anadian Stage has reported $399,883 in 5 consecutive years of surpluses, with a surplus of $44,100 for fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, and a surplus of $100,270 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. • Our accumulated deficit has decreased by 3% in fiscal year 2016 from fiscal year 2015. • Reducing the Company’s accumulated deficit and maintaining operating surpluses is important in managing our cash flow position and investing in capital and artistic projects.


Year Ended June 30, 2016

1 NATURE OF OPERATIONS Canadian Stage (“Company”), as a community supported not-for-profit arts organization, is dedicated to creating and producing the best in Canadian and international contemporary performance. The Company nurtures the development of Canadian talent and strives to challenge the perspectives of its patrons through the presentation of outstanding professional performing arts. The Company is also committed to promoting its Canadian productions in international markets. 2 CREDIT FACILITY Canadian Stage has a line of credit with a Canadian chartered bank, which is collateralized by a general assignment of Canadian Stage’s assets and is supported by a guarantee from the City of Toronto. The Company is required to maintain certain covenants with the bank. 3 FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES Credit risk The Company is exposed to credit risk on its cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable. Accounts receivable balances are not greater than 90 days past due. Liquidity risk The purpose of liquidity management is to ensure that there is sufficient cash to meet all financial commitments and obligations as they fall due. The Company is dependent on its credit facility with a Canadian chartered bank (see Note 2) to meet its ongoing obligations. Current operations of the Company are funded by selling subscription tickets in advance of the performance season, as well as through artistic grants and other amounts received in advance of the year to which they relate.


Lucia Cervoni & Clarence Frazer in Julie photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

“Boesmans’ score for Julie is masterful and clever” – The Globe & Mail

Condensed Balance Sheet 2016




Accounts receivable



Prepaid expenses















Deferred revenues



Total Liabilities



as at June 30

ASSETS Current Cash

Preproduction assets

Capital assets, net TOTAL ASSETS

LIABILITIES Current Bank indebtedness Accounts payable & accrued liabilities

Ontario Arts Foundation Endowment fund, market value $1,730,977 at June 30, 2016 Deficit

(1,280,467) (1,324,567) $821,069






Earned revenues



Development revenues



Grant revenues



















TOTAL expenses









Theatre operations


(1,324,567) (1,424,837)


($1,280,467) $(1,324,567)



“Beautiful” - toronto star

For the year ended June 30



Excess of revenues over expenses






Net change in noncash working capital
























investing activity Purchase of capital assets

CASH (BANK INDEBTEDNESS) consists of: Cash Bank indebtedness

Cara Ricketts in Hedda Gabler photo: Dahlia Katz


Helen Lawrence tr i u m p h s i n N e w Yo r k an d Ant we r p


Following successful international presentations in 2014 at the Munich Kammerspiele and the Edinburgh International Festival, in October 2015 Canadian Stage toured its groundbreaking production of Helen Lawrence to BAM’s prestigious Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn, New York and the state-of-the-art deSingel arts campus in Antwerp, Belgium.

“The clever, ambitious effort, the brainchild of Canadian Stage, is hypnotic to watch” - Huffington Post (US)

While presenting exceptional performance is at the heart of Canadian Stage, our commitment to making our programming more accessible and deepening engagement with our audiences and community is a priority. Helen Lawrence photo: David Cooper

Canadian Stage is developing an enviable reputation for presenting world-class events with the highest international quality, as well as creating world-class Canadian productions for export. Our 15.16 season opened with Beckett Trilogy, starring Lisa Dwan in a tour-de-force performance and directed by Walter Asmus, a world-renowned expert on, and longtime friend of Samuel Beckett. Another much-anticipated highlight opening our season was the tour of Helen Lawrence. The company had the honour to perform our production by Stan Douglas and Chris Haddock at two of the world’s most prestigious cultural houses: Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, and deSingel arts campus in Antwerp, Belgium. While presenting exceptional performance is at the heart of Canadian Stage, our commitment to making our programming more accessible and deepening engagement with our audiences and community is a priority. Canadian Stage ensures that our patrons have access to international work and that local artists have the opportunity to develop their working practice alongside their artistic counterparts from around the world. This season Canadian Stage presented Beckett Trilogy (UK), Kiss and Cry (Belgium), and Toro (UK/Spain). We worked locally to co-produce our first chamber opera, Julie with Soundstreams; Domesticated with Company Theatre; Chimerica with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre; continued our second year with Necessary Angel (Hedda Gabler), and had our inaugural Upstairs Berkeley Street partner in Theatre Smash with their production of Das Ding. We co-produced Cold Blood (Belgium) and Betroffenheit (Kidd Pivot and Electric Company. I might add we brought back both Betroffenheit and Kiss and Cry for the second time due to their popularity! Finally, we supported our own productions through touring and residency: Helen Lawrence as mentioned above, and welcomed Jordan Tannahill as our playwright-in-residence, who penned the Dora Award-winning theatre production of Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom. With the participation of this season’s artists, including Lisa Dwan, Stan Douglas, Lawrence Cherney, Les Dala, Clarence Frazer, Sharleen Joynt, Philip Riccio, Paul Gross, Martha Burns, Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael, Akram Khan, Crystal Pite, Chris Abraham, Paul SunHyung Lee, Jordan Tannahill, Ashlie Corcoran, Philipp Löhle, and Jennifer Tarver (not to mention

the full cast and creative teams) we were able to deliver extraordinary, bespoke arts experiences. As part of our legacy, Canadian Stage is committed to developing the next generation of artistic leaders and arts managers. We continue to build the professional capabilities of the artists who are in our tailored MFA Directing program at York University. Our RBC Emerging Artist Program gives artists an array of strategies to understand models, partnerships, and new perspectives in finding creative solutions to develop, produce, present and operate non-profit theatres. This year we were pleased to have Elif Is¸közlü and Philip McKee as our Director Development participants and The Howland Company as our Company-in-Residence.

Canadian Stage believes in the spirit of collaboration. 15.16 season presenting partner companies include: Soundstreams, The Company Theatre, Necessary Angel, Theatre Smash, 1000 Islands Playhouse, the Goethe Institut, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Kidd Pivot, The Electric Company Theatre, the Kiss & Cry Collectif, Charleroi Danses, The Department of Theatre in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University. We also welcomed 25 rental companies in our multiple theatre spaces. With the support of the Metcalf Foundation Performing Arts Internship grant, we introduced a professional internship program to invest in individuals that are driving the artistic process. The 15.16 recipient was Aaron Willis, co-artistic director of Convergence Theatre. We partnered with GeneratorTO by mentoring Taliesin McEnaney in our artistic department. Under the guidance and supervision of our Dramaturg and Artistic Associate, Birgit Schreyer Duarte, we created a Dramaturgy Intern position for Joao Carrolo (Portugal). These programs are all a part of a vital strategy to create world-class training for a wide range of practitioners. With the talents of our artistic and management team at Canadian Stage we will continue to aspire to deliver excellence and innovation throughout our artistic programming, training, and curatorial approach.

Sherrie Johnson Executive Producer 17

15.16 SEASON



Total education and outreach activities

58 Pre & post-show chats held at our three spaces

6,790 Youth and patrons engaged in outreach activities

1614 Under 30 C-Stage ($15) tickets purchased

1769 Arts Worker tickets purchased (artists & administrators)

270 5,805 Total volunteers welcomed

Total # of volunteer hours accomplished

Community engagement is at the heart of what we aim to deliver at Canadian Stage. Through a range of initiatives and educational programs, we support accessibility and inclusion, build diverse audiences, actively engage and impact youth and foster the creative development of our future artistic leaders.

Shakespeare in High Park Youth Nights

Youth & Volunteers play a starring role at Shakespeare in High Park Every summer, younger audience members and youth organizations have the opportunity to get in touch with their inner Bard at free Shakespeare in High Park Youth Nights: interactive workshops led by cast members. The continued success of our signature outdoor theatre series is made possible by the dedication of our team of volunteers. In the summer of 2015, over 100 volunteers joined the Canadian Stage High Park team as site ambassadors, greeting thousands of patrons throughout the summer. 19

Chimerica: a case study in audience engagement

795 high school students from the Greater Toronto Area were offered the opportunity to attend our production of Chimerica for $5 a ticket through Canadian Stage’s Ticket Accessibility program. Theatre goers were also engaged in numerous exciting ancillary activities, including panel discussions in collaboration with Journalists for Human Rights, and post-show talkbacks with writer and human rights activist Sheng Xue, and Jan Wong, The Globe and Mail correspondent in Beijing from 1988 to 1994. This is but a sampling of our prolific beyond-thestage activities organized throughout the season. Highlights of the season include:

“thoroughly riveting, intellectually engaging”

In Conversation with Walter Asmus (Ireland), legendary stage director (Beckett Trilogy)

Understanding Opera: a pre-show discussion with opera creators from Toronto around Julie

The cinematic influence in Cold Blood Pre-show chat with Dr. James Cahill (University of Toronto)

Culture Talks: Translating Culture – a discussion panel on translating Das Ding (The Thing) from German to English (Goethe Institut, Toronto)

Diversity & Theatre: a workshop with Renée Bazile Jones (Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion)

- mooney on theatre

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee in Chimerica photo: Dylan Hewlett

E m e rg i n g Ar ti sts i n R e s i d e n ce

“We would recommend this program to any new company...”- the howland company

Philip McKee, Elif IS ¸Közlü and The Howland Company As a part of the 15.16 season’s RBC Emerging Artist Program we welcomed Emerging Director Development Residency participants Philip McKee and Elif Is¸közlü and Emerging Company-in–Residence, The Howland Company. Through the RBC Emerging Artist Program, Canadian Stage offers vital mentorship, intensive developmental support, networking opportunities and professional resources to our city’s emerging theatre artists. Philip McKee, writer/director; in development on The Pryce Academy

Elif Is ¸közlü, theatre, dance artist; in development on The Equation of Wonder. The Howland Company: in development on Take Rimbaud by Susanna Fournier & Casimir and Caroline, adapted by Holger Syme. “Our RBC Residency provided us with a home to host our monthly play readings, the opportunity to learn from leading theatre artists in the city and the resources workshop two of our productions in development. We would recommend this program to any new company with specific goals they might not otherwise have the resources to make happen” – The Howland Company 21

The Comedy of Errors, (Shakespeare in High Park). Photo: David Hou


“A thoughtprovoking approach to Julius Caesar” - toronto star

Dalal Badr, Allan Louis, Julius Caesar Shakespeare in High Park Photo: David Hou

Mélissa Laveaux, Célébration de la Francophonie photo: Nathan Kelly

Lisa Dwan in Beckett Trilogy Photo: Justin Downing


This year the Development department saw many exciting changes.

D e ve lo p m e nt Report

Amongst them was notable growth seen in our Underwriters initiative. This dedicated group of Canadian Stage donors, both existing and new, came together to focus on supporting some of this past season’s most groundbreaking works. Through their commitment, Kiss & Cry and Cold Blood, the Dora Mavor Moore Award-winner for Outstanding Touring Production, were brought to the Bluma Appel Theatre stage in addition to Akram Khan’s celebrated North American solo debut of Toro, made possible through the generosity of a dedicated anonymous donor. Our Underwriters are champions of our company’s mission and Matthew Jocelyn’s singular vision for contemporary performance. This belief and fundamental support is something all of our donors share. Our Individual Giving supporters are a driving force behind Canadian Stage and the Development department took every opportunity to recognize and celebrate their generous support. Through many donor-specific events, including opening night celebrations, behind-the-scenes tours, and our annual Artistic Patrons’ Circle New York trip, it becomes increasingly clear what an authentically passionate and involved community has developed through Canadian Stage’s philanthropic programs. This year we also celebrated the success of our 28th annual Theatre Ball fundraising gala. The spectacular event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, was a true testament to our supporters’ loyalty. This sold-out celebration featured a performance by world-renowned Cirque Éloize and was attended by our most dedicated donors and Board Members, and welcomed many new faces. Thanks to our dedicated Board of Directors Theatre Ball Committee and Development team, this flawless night was another high note in our year. Looking ahead, the Development department looks forward to sharing our curated immersive experiences with our supporters, and are excited for an upcoming year where we will connect our donors with each other and with the passionate members of our development team! Thank you again for all your generous support. 24

“Full of marvellous ingenuity... no ordinary night at the theatre” - toronto star

Cold Blood photo: Julien Lambert

INSPIRED SUPPORTERS INSPIRE GREAT ART Canadian Stage’s 15.16 presentations of Julie, Kiss & Cry, Cold Blood, Toro and Betroffenheit were generously underwritten by the following donors who collaborated and invested to ensure our boldest initiatives come to life on stage and help shape the cultural landscape of our city. Susan Crocker & John Hunkin, Jefferson & Sally Mappin, John & Kate van Nostrand, Maureen & Roger Parkinson, Tim & Frances Price, Gretchen & Donald Ross, O.C. Noreen Taylor, O.C. & Dr. David Staines C.M., OOnt, Sandra Simpson, Sylvia Soyka, Anonymous Donors (2).

“First-rate, bracingly fresh... the company’s season ends on a high note”

MFA d i r ec to r s’ PROG R AM

- toronto star

Valerie Buhagiar in Sunday in Sodom photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

Unique in Canada, this program combines academic and professional training in directing, culminating in professional productions of Shakespeare in High Park, premieres of new work at Berkeley Street 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. 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. 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 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 actress, director, creator and teacher. She has had an extensive career, working at major theatres across Canada. For her work as an actress 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.

“Our directors are an essential and necessary voice in our national expression and theatre practice.” 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. Tanja and Alistair are both currently working on Canadian Stage’s upcoming 2017 Shakespeare in High Park 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 are rare in our country, and I am forever stimulated, challenged and re-invigorated as the mentor for this program. Its 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 Lead Mentor, York University MFA in Theatre – Stage Direction in Collaboration with Canadian Stage 27

Qasim Khan in Das Ding (The Thing) photo: James Heaslip

“A truly unique piece of theatre” - Broadway world

staf f

Marketing & communications


Matthew Jocelyn

Associate Director of Marketing

Lee Milliken

Managing Director

Production Manager Associate Director of Communications Heather Landon

Artistic & General Director

Su Hutchinson Manager, Executive Office

Gianna Ceci

artistic Executive Producer

Sherrie Johnson Dramaturg & Artistic Associate

Birgit Schreyer Duarte Company Manager

Meghan Hunt


Director of Production

Jennifer Otter

Andrea Elalouf Associate Director of Audience Services

April Moon Patron Systems Administrator

Amar Bajracharya Graphic Design Manager

Ted Glaszewski Digital Marketing Coordinator

Nathan Kelly Education & Audience Development Manager

Technical Director

Greg Dougherty Assistant Technical Director

Alanna McConnell Head of Properties

Mary Spyrakis Head of Wardrobe

Ming Wong Building Operations Manager

Mark Stedman Berkeley Senior Head Technician

Autumn Smith

Jay Blencowe


Audience Services Manager

Sandra Cesario

Head Technician

Bri Proke

Monica Sass

Intermediate Accountant

Assistant Audience Services Manager

Sabrina Li

Brad Langham

Junior Head Technician

Accounts Payable Coordinator

Audience Services Coordinator

Pathma Mahadeva

Kayla Vanderlip

Compensation Administrator

Audience Services Supervisor

Janet Llewellyn

Andrew Markowiak

high park

Audience Services Representatives

Production Assistant & Driver

Marketing, Communications & Development Director of Business Development

Stuart Clarfield

development Associate Director of Government & Community Relations

Tim Whalley Manager, Individual Giving

Kalpana Srinarayanadas Coordinator, Major Gifts

Gabriella Borg

Emma Alderman Faisal Butt Peter Genoway Nada Kawar Will King Sienna Singh Yalini Rajakulasingam Sales Manager

Yunier Alvarez PeÑale Dresser

Caitlin Luxford

Melanie Hall Production Intern

Cole Vincent Sound Operators

Natalie Kirk Malcolm James Cooke

Shawn Ahmed

Youth And Community Outreach Coordinator

Sales Representatives

Cara Krisman

Michael Crumpton Elana Dunkelman Alex Jackson Scott Leaver

Volunteer Coordinator

Yalini Rajakulasingam Hill Supervisor

Sienna Singh

Development Officer

Front of House Manager, Operations and Events

Brett Thompson

Robin Gaunt

Reilly Ballantyne-Smith

Front of House Supervisor

Patron Services Supervisor

Adam Fraser

Alexandra Leeming


*List as of November, 2016.

Gate Supervisor

Nicola Atkinson Karen McKerracher Laurel Morgan


Shawn Ahmed

Emma Alderman

Amar Bajracharya

Reilly Ballantyne-Smith

Jay Blencowe

Faisal Butt

Gabriella Borg

Gianna Ceci

Sandra Cesario

Stuart Clarfield

Michael Crumpton

Elana Dunkelman

Andrea Elalouf

Adam Fraser

Robin Gaunt

Ted Glaszewski

Meghan Hunt

Su Hutchinson

Alex Jackson

Matthew Jocelyn

Sherrie Johnson

Nada Kawar

Nathan Kelly

Will King

Heather Landon

Brad Langham

Scott Leaver

Alexandra Leeming

Sabrina Li

Janet Llewellyn

Pathma Mahadeva

Andrew Markowiak

Alanna McConnell

Lee Milliken

April Moon

Jennifer Otter

Bri Proke

Yalini Rajakulasingam

Monica Sass

Birgit Schreyer Duarte

Sienna Singh

Autumn Smith

Mary Spyrakis

Kalpana Srinarayanadas

Mark Stedman

Brett Thompson

Kayla Vanderlip

Cecilia Waszczuk

Tim Whalley

Ming Wong

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December 1, 2016 Chimerica photo: Dylan Hewlett

Profile for Canadian Stage

15.16 Annual Report  

15.16 Annual Report