4 Questions: Shawna Dempsey

Shawna Dempsey is one of Canada’s best-known performance artists. She and collaborator Lorri Millan have created works such as We’re Talking Vulva, Lesbian National Parks and Services and Wild Ride (a carnival midway on Toronto’s Bay Street). They have been featured in women’s centres in Sri Lanka and the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. They have also published books and curated exhibitions. Dempsey is Co-Executive Director of MAWA, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art.

4 Questions: Rachel Kennedy

Rachel Kennedy is the Professional Theatre & Education Manager at Theatre Ontario. Other recent accomplishments include producing and directing for House of Rebels Theatre, Deadman’s Tale Podcast, Epigraph Collective, Filament Incubator, Breakin’ Ground Productions, Prairie Fire Please, and Truesight Collective, as well as co-founding Unmarked Theatre and their Creme De La Femme Cabaret which recently held its third-edition event as part of Buddies in Bad Times’ Pride Programming.

4 Questions: Aaron Jan

Since graduating, Hamilton-born playwright, director, and dramaturg Aaron Jan has worked professionally as a creator with the Next Stage Theatre Festival, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, Cahoots Theatre, Soulpepper and Native Earth Performing Arts. Recent projects include his work as a writer and director for Silk Bath Collective, whose next show, Yellow Rabbit is a part of Soulpepper’s 2018-2019 season.

Spotlight on Alumni: Francesco Antonio

Francesco Antonio (BFA Acting 2017) has been very busy since graduating from the Theatre Department! His work in film, television and music, including his short film “Addiction,” has led Francesco to 4 awards and 9 nominations on the film festival circuit. Francesco joins us to share what was most important about his time at York, and how it impacts his working life today.

4 Questions: Julia Gray

Julia Gray is a postdoctoral fellow at Bloorview Research Institute which is embedded in Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital (and fully affiliated with University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine). She writes, directs and produces applied theatre/performance projects, including her most recent play ,Cracked: new light on dementia, which was a collaborative project among artists, health researchers, people living with dementia and their family members.

Spotlight on Faculty: Shawn Kerwin

Shawn Kerwin joins us to share her experience of her 2017-18 sabbatical, which saw her designing two important works in Newfoundland with director and York alumna Jillian Keiley, and participating as a full-time student in the “Institute without Boundaries.” Shawn shares stories of the 2 shows, and of her time in the IwB, and how they’ve changed the way she thinks about design.

4 Questions: Owais Lightwala

Owais Lightwala is a theatre producer, and also characterizes himself as “as occasional theatre artist and web/graphic designer”. He is the Managing Director of Why Not Theatre, an independent theatre company he helped build from the ground up into one of the country’s fastest growing companies. Additionally, he works as a strategic consultant for a diversity of arts and culture organizations in areas related to changing who’s in their audience demographic, innovating new models, and “anything to do with numbers”.