If you would like to be involved in the project, or have information or research that would be suitable for display, please contact the project's Director. We would be pleased to talk with you about your involvement. There is a great deal of information out in the world relate to the history of performance, most of it under the care and keeping of families and local archives. Let us publicize what you have in hand. (Contact Us)
project organizing team
Jenn Cole is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on the cultural history of hysteria and the hysterics’ modes of resistance to misogynist medical spectacle. Her other published writing is about the political force of inarticulacy, the activist elements of intimacy created by imperfect storytelling and feminist performance adaptations. Her current performance practice explores storytelling, autobiography and sharing food together as an expression of vulnerability and relational exchange that is pivotal as we try to cultivate a sense of home.
She has taught Feminist Psychologies and Introduction to Acting and Performance. She is passionate about teaching performance and creative expression as research and scholarship practices. Her research interests include: the force of inarticulacy; hysteria; feminist performance; the cultural history of modern western Europe; autobiography and theatres of resistance. She received her PhD from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Ontario and Ontario Graduate Scholarships. She was twice a recipient of the Metl-Trebbin-DeBoni Endowment Award and conducted research at the Bibliothèque Charcot in Paris with support from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s Heather McCallum Scholarship. She is co-founder of the Impossible Projects Working Group out of Clarkson University, a research associate for the Critical Topography Research Group at Trent University, co-convenor of the Indigenous Performance Research working group for ASTR and Project Manager for the University of Toronto’s Theatre Documentation and Research Project. Her writing appears in Aging Activisms; The Dalhousie Review; The Toronto Review of Books; Hysteria: Hysterical Feminisms; TOPIA Canadian Journal for Cultural Studies and in the Canadian Society for Dance Studies Conference Proceedings. She is also a movement and dance and installation art practitioner, having performed with Kaeja d’Dance; Stand Up Dance; Fleshy Thud Dance Collective and Public Energy dance initiatives.
David is a theatre maker, teacher and graduate student working in the city of Toronto. As a lighting designer, production manager, and technical director he has taken part in over 300 productions across Canada, and his designs have been nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Most recently he designed the lighting for Good Morning, Viet Mom at the Next Stage Festival and Fortune of Wolves for Theatre New Brunswick, and production managed Jerusalem for Outside the March and Bearing for Signal Theatre and the Luminato Festival. He is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, where his research focuses on the dialogue between theatre space and theatre company, and its effect on artistic mandate, audience, and relationships with the city.
Gabrielle Houle holds a Ph.D. from the Centre for Study of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her primary research area is the recent staging history of the Commedia dell’Arte, contemporary mask-making practices, and masked performance. Gabrielle has trained in Canada, Italy, France, the United States, Costa Rica, and Denmark before working as an actor and a creator of masks. She has taught in several Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, Glendon College of York University, and the University of Calgary. She is a member of the Centre for Oral History and Tradition at the University of Lethbridge, where she is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor.
Kelsey Jacobson (B.A. Honours Queen’s University, M.A. Distinction Queen Mary University of London) is a current PhD candidate in the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation, “Feeling Real: Affective Dimensions of Reality in Contemporary Canadian Performance” consider the perception of realness in theatre. Her other interests include meta theatre, performance art, audience research, and cognition studies. She has worked for Dr. Stephen Johnson as a research assistant on his project Cross-Border Blackface for four years.
Matt is a doctoral student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, where his research focuses on contemporary experimental and political theatre and performance practices. He has been teaching courses in English language and writing since 2005. His writing has appeared in the Canadian Theatre Review, The Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Mirror, This Magazine, and Canadian Dimension. Matt's plays have been staged in Toronto, Montreal, and New York City.
Sarah Robbins is a PhD student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Her research interests focus on equity in theatre, particularly equitable training practices at Canadian post-secondary theatre arts institutions. She holds a B.A. Hons. and a diploma in Professional Actor Training from the theatre and drama studies program jointly held at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College, and an M.A. from CDTPS. Currently she is working with the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Equity and Diversity in the Arts Department at the University of Toronto Scarborough on the P.L.E.D.G.E. Project (http://www.pledgeproject.ca/), and is a member of Got Your Back Canada (https://gotyourbackcanada.com/).
Dr. Seika Boye is a dance scholar, artist, writer and educator. She is a Lecturer at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies/Director of the Institute for Dance Studies, University of the Toronto. Her current scholarship explores blackness and dancing in Canada and confronts historical omissions of Canada’s Black population. Seika is also an advocate for dance studies within Canadian Universities. Recent projects include curating It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900-1970 (Dance Collection Danse Gallery 2018); outside eye, adelheid Dance Projects’ re:research emerging artist intensive (2018) ; and dramaturg, Deanna Bowen’s The Long Doorway (Mercer Union 2017). Publications credits include The Dance Current, Dance Collection Danse Magazine, alt.theatre, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Performance Matters and forthcoming in Intersections: Canadian Journal of Music and Canadian Theatre Review. Seika was a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow and completed her dissertation Looking for Social Dance in Toronto's Black Population at Mid-century: A Historiography in 2016 (University of Toronto).
Heather Fitzsimmons Frey is a scholar, director and dramaturge, interested in performance for, by and with young people. She is currently conducting research for her Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the York University, Toronto (supported by Marlis Schweitzer) entitled “Rehearsing Revolutions: Girls, Amateur Theatre, and Encounters Between 19th and 21st Century Girls.” Her research is published in Canadian Theatre Review, Girlhood Studies, and Youth Theatre Journal, as chapters in Nationalism and Youth in Theatre and Performance (2014) and Reflections on Critical Multiculturalism and Dance in Canada (forthcoming) and in her two edited collections Theatre and Learning (Cambridge Scholars Press 2015) and Ignite: Illuminating Theatre for Young People (Playwrights Canada Press 2016). Her dissertation "Victorian Girls and At-Home Theatricals: Performing and Playing with Possible Futures," (2015, supervised by Kathleen Gallagher, OISE) explores nineteenth-century published and unpublished playscripts, juvenile newspapers, "how-to" guides, letters, diaries. She uses these to learn about ways girls could use amateur theatrical activities as powerful thinking tools to challenge the status quo and think about alternate and unconventional identities and futures for themselves. The dissertation was awarded the Clifford Leech Prize for best PhD dissertation relating to drama or theatre studies at the University of Toronto, and the AATE Distinguished Dissertation Award. Expanding on her research by experimenting with ideas “up on their” feet earned her the CATR Outstanding Submission for a Workshop award in 2016, and influences how she is developing her girl-centred approach to her post-doctoral research.
Martin Julien is an actor, singer, writer, and educator with over three decades of experience in Canadian theatre. He made his stage debut at age ten for the Factory Theatre Lab in Toronto, and has been nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards as best performer. Martin was listed as “#1” in The Top Ten Toronto theatre artists in 1995 Theatre Artist by NOW Magazine. Martin was Playwright-in-Residence through the Ontario Arts Council with Nightswimming Theatre in 2012/13, and his subsequent work with the company has been produced in Toronto, Berlin, Calgary, and Victoria. He recently played Sir John A. Macdonald in Sir John A .: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion to open the National Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary season in Ottawa.
Currently, he is a PhD candidate completing his dissertation on subjectivity and acting methodologies at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in the University of Toronto, where he held a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship for 2015-2017. He has been an instructor of acting, theories of acting, acting through song, theatre history, and modern play study at such institutions as the University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, and Soulpepper Academy. His work has been published by Routledge, TDR, Stanislavski Studies Journal, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Intermission, Playwrights Canada Press and Canadian Theatre Review.
Sasha Kovacs is a researcher, artist, curator, and educator. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and currently is a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellow at York University. In July 2018 she will begin a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on Canadian theatre history. A specialist in late nineteenth century theatre culture, Kovacs’ work has been published in Performance Research, Canadian Theatre Review (where she co-edited the 2015 issue focused on Performance and Human Rights in the Americas), and Playwrights Canada Press's collection on Canadian Performance Histories and Historiographies. Kovacs develops her own artistic projects with the international and interdisciplinary performance collective Ars Mechanica.
Jimena Ortuzar is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, investigating new citizenship imaginaries that emerge from the global division of labour, migration, and gender. She has contributed essays to TDR, CTR, Latina/o Canadian Theatre and Performance (Playwrights Canada Press),alt.theatre, and the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and has recently coedited a CTR issue on performance and human rights in the Americas.
Mark David Turner is the Manager of Audiovisual Archives and Media Literacy for the Tradition & Transition Among the Labrador Inuit Research Partnership and an Adjunct Professor of Music and Memorial University of Newfoundland. His work lays at the intersection of media, performing arts and archival practice in Newfoundland and Labrador. Writings on aspects of this research have appeared in popular and scholarly journals in Canada and the United States.
Jessica is a PhD Student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto with a focus on practise-based research approaching performance creation and process for people who have disabilities. Her Masters thesis explored non-visual practicalities of performing, performance accommodations, and the productive capabilities of invisibility. In 2018 Jessica will be co-curating the Centre for Drama's Festival of Original Theatre about Disability and Performance called "Supporting Bodies/Changing Minds" and would love to see every and all participants of the Republic of Inclusion there.