Theatre Committee

Soheil Parsa, Chair is an award-winning director, writer, actor, dramaturg, choreographer and teacher, whose professional theatre career spans thirty-two years and two continents. In his native Iran, Soheil completed studies in Theatre Performance at the University of Tehran and began a promising career as an actor and director. Arriving in Canada with his family in 1984, Soheil completed a second Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at York University and then went on to establish Modern Times Stage Company, one of the most innovating theatre companies in Canada.  In 1995 Soheil received a New Pioneers Award by Skills for Change for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a recent immigrant to Canada. Soheil Parsa is a co-founder of Modern Times Stage Company. His artistic direction at Modern Times has been recognized with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Chalmers Fellowship in 2002, a senior artist creation grant from the Canada Council, as well as a number of international prizes and master class requests. In 2007 and 2010, he was short-listed for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Celebrating Directors, the highest honour in Canadian theatre. Most recently, Soheil has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution as a theatre artist to Canadian society. 

Mel Hague is a Toronto based dramaturge and curator and is a proud Queer woman of Jamaican-Canadian heritage. Mel is the Rhubarb Festival Director and Company Dramaturge at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and the Artist Development Coordinator and Company Dramaturge at Obsidian Theatre Company. Previously, Mel has worked with Factory Theatre, Banff Centre Playwrights Colony, bcurrent performing arts, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Queer Acts Festival, The Paprika Festival, and Mulgrave Road Theatre. Mel was invited as a Guest Panelist and Workshop Leader at the National Theatre School of Canada’s From Where I Stand: Canadian Theatre in Context Conference. Other theatre credits include Litmus Theatre’s Birth of Frankenstein (Dora Nomination – Outstanding New Play Independent Category). Mel wrote the Play Notes included in the Playwrights Canada Press Edition of Shakespeare’s Nigga by Joseph Jomo Pierre. Recent dramaturgy work includes Venus’ Daughter by Meghan Swaby (Obsidian Theatre Company, February 2016) and Up the Garden Path by Lisa Codrington (Obsidian Theatre Company, April 2016). Mel has an MFA in Theatre from York University.

Falen Johnson is Mohawk and Tuscarora from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is a writer, producer, dramaturge and actor currently living in Toronto. Her first play Salt Baby has been staged with Native Earth Performing Arts, Planet IndigenUS, The Next Stage Festival, Live Five, The Globe Theatre and has toured across the country. She has worked as a performer, producer, creator, and administrator.  She is a former artistic artist for Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble, and Native Earth Performing Arts as well as the former coordinator for the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. She is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School and the former playwright in residence at Native Earth Performing Arts and Blyth Festival Theatre. She was nominated by playwright and poet Daniel David Moses as the 2015 recipient of the OAC Emerging Aboriginal Artist Award. Her second play Two Indians was recently debuted at The SummerWorks Performance Festival. 

Indrit Kasapi has worked as an actor, director, producer, writer, choreographer and dancer.  Indrit is a core member of the award winning CORPUS Dance Projects. He is the Artistic Producer for lemonTree creations and Associate Producer for Cahoots Theatre. With lemonTree creations Indrit helmed the development and production of a brand new creation; Body Politic by Nick Green, currently slated for production as part of the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 2015/2016 Season. Indrit also launched the lemonTree {studio} in 2012, a rehearsal space in downtown Toronto that serves as a creative hub for the independent theatre community with various programs in place, including the RESIDENCY PROGRAM. Upcoming: Flock of Flyers with CORPUS (Tour to San Diego, Japan, South Korea) and developing a brand new piece with Japanese Artist and Dora Nominated Takako Segawa. Indrit is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

David Keeley is the Artistic Director of Theatre 20 and a veteran of Broadway and Stratford. He originated the role of Sam in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia. While in New York, Johnathan Demme cast him opposite Meryl Streep in The Manchurian Candidate.  At The Stratford Festival, David has played everything from Jud in Oklahoma to Flores in Fuente Ovejuna, the first Spanish Golden Age play produced at The Festival. Other Stratford credits include, Hamlet, Coriolanus, My One and Only, The Trojan Women, Richard III, Palmer Park and The Three Musketeers. David won a Dora Award for his portrayal of Lockstock in Canadian Stage's production of Urinetown. Other theatre credits include the North American premiere of True Love Lies at Factory Theatre, Romeo and Juliet, directed by Robert LePage, Tuesdays With Morrie at Theatre Aquarius, The Wrong Son at the NAC, Les Miserables at Western Canada Theatre, Rock of Ages and Billy Elliot both for the Mirvishes. David was also in Theatre 20's inaugural production of Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare and Theatre 20's recent production of Company. Film and TV credits include: "Rookie Blue", "Missing", "King of Siam", "XIII/The Series", "Haven", "The Listener", "Cracked", "Saving Hope", "The Barrens", "Murdoch Mysteries", "Copper", "Republic of Doyle". As a composer, his songs have been featured in such shows as "Due South", "Little Mosque on The Prairie" and Paul Gross's feature film, "Passchendaele".

Amy Nostbakken is Co-artistic director of Quote Unquote Collective and a core member of the international company Theatre Ad Infinitum. Amy graduated from Concordia University with a degree in Theatre Studies in 2005 and then trained for two years at École Internationale de Théatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She has co-written numerous award-winning productions including First Class - Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009. She co-wrote, composed and performs the one-woman show The Big Smoke - Edinburgh 2010 followed by a three month national tour of the UK and a North American debut at Factory Theatre. The Big Smoke was the winner of an Argus Angel Award at the 2011 Brighton Fringe, nominated for a 2012 Dora for Outstanding Performance by a Female, a 2011 Manchester Theatre Award for Best Studio Performance, Best Female Performer in Brighton’s Latest 7 Magazine UK and most recently picked up the award for Best International show at the Solo United Festival award in New York City. Since returning to Canada Amy has co-devised Everyday is a beautiful day/nichi nichi kore ko nichi (Cohort Theatre/ Rhubarb Festival 2012), performed in Erin Shield’s Barrel Crank (SummerWorks 2012) and Philip Mckee’s LEAR (Harbourfront's World Stage 2013/Magnetic North 2014). Amy directed, co-wrote, composed and performed inMouthpiece which premiered at The Theatre Centre April 2015. Mouthpiece receive six Dora nominations and won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, and Outstanding Sound Composition/Design.

Michelle Ramsay is a lighting designer for dance and theatre based in Toronto. Lighting designs include: Sister Mary is a Dyke?!, Sia, paper SERIES and Bhopal (Cahoots Theatre) Dinner at 7:30 (Theatre Rusticle); Arcadia (Shaw Festival); Night of the Living Dead Live (Nictophobia Films); carried away on the crest of a wave (Tarragon Theatre); Half Life Motel (Blue Ceiling Dance); Ching Chong Chinaman (fu-GEN); Sanctuary Song (Theatre Direct); Cafe Daughter (Gwaandak Theatre); Memorial (Next Step Productions); The Hours that Remain (New Harlem); The Lesson (Modern Times); Obaaberima(Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). She has received four Dora Awards and the 2008 Pauline McGibbon award

Tania Senewiratne worked for a Broadway producer in NYC for 10 years.  In that capacity she worked on over 30 theatrical productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, on tour in North America, in London, on tour in the UK, in Canada, in Australia and throughout East Asia.  Broadway shows include The Producers, Hairspray, Young Frankenstein, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, The Norman Conquests, A Little Night Music and many more.  Off-Broadway shows include Old Jews Telling Jokes, Cookin’, My Old Lady, The Fantasticks and others.  International productions include Porgy and Bess, The King and I, SpongeBob Squarepants, Cinderella, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and others.  Tania was involved in the creation of 54 Below – a cabaret space built in the cellar of the iconic Studio 54 building in New York City.  She is currently the General Manager of Obsidian Theatre and an instructor in the  Theatre Department at Ryerson University.