I am a theatre artist and an education consultant providing professional growth training, facilitating community-based projects using theatre arts to create dialogue in diversity and complexity.

Please drop me a note in comments, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, January 30, 2017


For second year now, I have been working with artists and young people from Toronto middle and high schools on supporting the work and dedication of Youth Without Shelter, a shelter facility in Etobicoke. Unbelievable number of up to 2000 youth are homeless in Toronto on any given night.We are raising awareness and funds to change that. One of the barriers the young people face once at the shelter is that they cannot finish school for lack of transportation funds. Tokens4Change title of the campaign emphasizes the need for education on the young people's path to success in life. 

Please check the campaign Tokens4Change facebook page 
and the Tokens4Change web site

I work on the project in two capacities:
as an artist, I created theatre for social change presentations with students from Cardinal Carter Catholic High School and from Crescent School, all boys private school. We will present the pieces to the public on Feb 3rd at the Spadina and Yonge/Bloor subway stations.

Students rehearsing at school's drama room
Cardinal Carter's presentation at the student rally at Tangerine downtown Toronto.

as a assistant artistic coordinator, I have been assisting other artists in developing their pieces of art for social change. Spoken word, visual arts, filming a public announcement for cable TV, dance and theatre pieces. The schools participating in the campaign:
T4C campaign with Havergal College students
Hudson College, Crescent School, Havergal College, Cardinal John Carter Catholic School for the Arts, Rawlinson Community School, and Father John Redmond Catholic School for the Arts.

Students from Rawlison School getting ready to create

I facilitated Resilience Arts and Activism workshop developed by Branch Out Theatre
to introduce the movement of arts for social change to students in the participating schools. 

RAA workshop at Rawlinson School 2017

RAA workshop at Rawlinson School 2017
It has been a great pleasure to work with dedicated and compassionate teachers and students at the participating schools. Thank you, Brachout Theatre for this incredible opportunity. And thank you Toronto for supporting the campaign with real action.

Friday, October 14, 2016

De-Railled - Canadian History and Theatre Project at Lawrence Heights Middle School

With Stephanie Dotto and Lauren Spring, I facilitated a theatre devising project with a group of girls from Lawrence Heights Middle School.
De-Railled is an organization that Stephanie conceived and has been running for a few years. Her mission is:
  • to connect students' stories to stories from Canadian history,
  • devise a theatre show based on those connections, and
  • present it to the audience at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace in downtown Toronto
Inevitably, theatre devising process is an intimate endeavor. I cherish the moments of creativity as the girls improvise dialogue and movement for the piece.
Nasra, Yolanda and Lauren

Yolanda, Nasra, Isheba, and Lauren

And I also cherish the challenges of the rehearsal process as they are great teachers for both me, the facilitator, and the girls. Stephanie, Lauren, and I have been challenging the girls constantly with critical reflection not only on the historical and social issues discussed, but also on their own behaviour and attitudes displayed toward each other.
One rehearsal session ended up with a physical fight between the girls. The next session, Stephanie, Lauren, and I created a short Forum Theatre piece showing bullying and escalation into physical violence. The girls were instantly drawn to the story we presented to them and stayed focused the entire hour. We asked them to step into the shoes of the bullied girl and suggest a different approach to manage the situation. And we also asked them to consider potential allies in such situation and what their role might be. The girls knew just the effective solutions or options for such volatile situations in the safety of our forum theatre "lab". However, in real life situations, they still have a long way to go. 

The theme of our work is what a community is for those who live in that community and how a community is perceived from the outside. The two communities juxtaposed to bring the theme forward are contemporary Lawrence Heights, Ontario and historical Africville, Nova Scotia.

De-Railed and the youth of Lawrence Heights Middle School will be presenting their play, From Lawrence Heights to Africville, on Monday, June 20th, at 7:15pm at Theatre Passe Muraille. The show is pay-what-you-can with no minimum donation required or requested. After the performance, the students will host a talk-back and there will be a reception with treats. 
facebook page for the event Africville

Friday, December 11, 2015

YOUR STORY MATTERS Professional Training for Teachers

YOUR STORY MATTERS offers the teaching community a unique opportunity and a fundamental principle for professional growth – to collectively and critically reflect on their teaching practice.

The training merges critical pedagogy and experiential learning. It will greatly contribute to the quality of teachers’ professional growth as it addresses the realistic challenges and relationships faced in schools and aims to equip teachers with the tools to actively promote positive change.  

Using theatre-based methodology, the training advances teaching careers in three components:

  •  allows educators to have a dialogue about themes vital to them,
  • presents an opportunity to explore choices and consequences by role-playing and creating images and scenes, and
  • allows teachers to rehearse best practices for real life.
In professional conduct, teachers experience high stake situations. After an unsuccessful encounter with a student or an unproductive exchange with a colleague, they regret: “If only I...” However, they cannot take it back. Yet, in a safe training environment, we have the opportunity to pause to reflect, and rewind to practice new approaches. We learn by doing, not by being told. Information is useless without the power to act upon it.

Experiential Training is unique, as it:
  •  is story-based and works in the context of participants’ own stories, experiences, and     observations
  • is holistic – the training engages both brain hemispheres, varied learning styles, and emotional intelligence
  • gives participants a rare opportunity to share their challenges and conflicts as a springboard for uncovering the possible solutions and opportunities for change
  • encourages participants to actively rehearse how to implement best practices for positive change in classroom and school community using theatre-based exercises, images, and scenes; a UNESCO recognized tool for social change
  • utilizes role-playing - to gain insight from multiple perspectives
  • provides for the integration of insights into teaching practice

YOUR STORY MATTERS offers the following workshops:
  •  Aligning Teaching Philosophy with Teaching Practice
  • Diversity and Anti-Oppression Training
  • Creative Collaboration
The training is conducted in fun, relaxed, and caring environment.