Mental Health in Theatre Panel

Friday, November 9, 2018

How can theatre artists stay motivated and avoid burnout? How can we maintain safe spaces in rehearsals? What resources are available? These are some of the questions that will be addressed at our upcoming panel on mental health in theatre on November 25th. We’ll hear from local representatives from both the artistic and mental health community on how to balance self-care with a career in the arts. Working in the arts presents many unique challenges, from securing funding or performance space to finding inspiration for your next piece; this panel focuses on the specific mental health needs of professional artists. Local representatives will also speak to creating a safe environment from the rehearsal hall to the stage, making sure everyone feels comfortable as a cast and creative team.

Admission is by donation, so come check it out! The panel is on Sunday, November 25th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony St), on the second floor in room 2T05. The discussion will feature a great line-up of professionals:

Taylor Demetrioff will be moderating the discussion. Taylor has taken his experience as a teen struggling with mental health issues and turned it into a positive by helping teens in our community. After working for more than eight years in the field, he is now the Youth Mental Health Promotion Worker and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba and Winnipeg. He is also the founder of Sending You Strength Apparel, which aims to work with local artists to share a message of hope and recovery via various clothing lines. Through both avenues, he continues to run youth programs and gives presentations and workshops for high school and middle school students. Taylor promotes mental health awareness not only in his professional life, but in his personal life as well.

Elena Anciro is an actor, theatre educator, and arts administrator. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film, she has performed professionally in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Prince George. She is a member of the Red Threads of Peace, a playback theatre troupe that merges artistry, social justice, and community building through improvised storytelling. Elena is also the Education and Community Engagement Manager at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. As an artist who has experienced mental health issues related to her chronic illness, she is grateful to be invited to this panel to discuss this important topic.

Larry Isacoff has been a Production Manager for RMTC, PTE, and the Confederation Centre for the Arts. He’s designed the lighting for a bunch of theatres in a bunch of places. He taught Production Management at the National Theatre Centre of Canada and, amazingly, has been able to earn a living in the Arts for 30 years. He currently teaches and studies Yoga in Classical and Kaiut methods. His classes can be found at The Winnipeg Yoga Centre, Serene Yoga, and the Occupational Stress Injury Clinic.

Krista Jackson is Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s associate artistic director and the artistic director of zone41 theatre. In 2019 she will be directing A Doll’s House Part 2 for Royal MTC/Miryish. Directing Credits: Dancing at Lughnasa, The Shaw Festival, Sense and Sensibility, Morning After Grace, Bittergirl: The Musical, Private Lives, The Seagull (Royal MTC), The Lion in Winter, Fly Me to the Moon, Much Ado About Nothing (The Grand Theatre), Dying to Be Thin (MTYP), The Miser of Middlegate (zone41/TPM), Village Wooing (zone41). Associate Director: All My Sons (Stratford Festival). Krista holds the 2015 Stratford Festival Jean Gascon Award and the 2013 Gina Wilkinson Prize.

Heidi Malazdrewich is a director, dramaturg, actor, and theatre educator. Selected directing credits: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Canadian Theatre Premiere, RMTC/Citadel Theatre), Ladies Foursome (Theatre Baddeck), Di and Viv and Rose (RMTC), Romeo and Juliet (SIR), Myth of the Ostrich (RMTC), The New Canadian Kid (MTYP), and The Secret Annex (RMTC). Heidi holds an MFA in directing from the University of Calgary and is currently pursuing a PhD in theatre. Her research focuses on professional directing processes and the relationship to social justice and contemporary politics. She teaches Theatre at the University of Winnipeg.

The panel will also include several representatives from Klinic Community Health Centre.

For more information and to reserve your spot, contact our Associate Producer, Daphne, at or by phone at (204) 586-2236. Check out the Facebook event here.

Women’s Comedy Night Returns!

Friday, October 19, 2018

We’re back with year three of our Women’s Comedy Night Fundraiser! On November 14th, come enjoy some of Winnipeg’s funniest women in support of life-changing theatre. All are welcome! After turning away crowds in its first year, last year we brought in an early show and a racier late night show to meet demand. This year, we’ll be offering two showings again, but in a new, accessible venue at Club 200.

“In an industry dominated by straight, cis, white male comedians, we needed change, we needed diversity,” explains our producer, Elissa Kixen. “Womxn and those who go beyond the binary have experiences that are so relatable and unique and that’s what Winnipeg needs to inject life back into the comedy scene. We ARE that answer.”

Returning as host for her third year is Dana Smith. Dana Smith runs the successful monthly Women’s Open Mic and is a member of the sketch group HUNKS. She’s been featured in Just for Laughs Northwest, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Chicago Sketchfest, San Francisco Sketchfest, Edmonton’s Improvaganza, and has recorded for Sirius XM radio.

Elissa Black Wolf Kixen will be producing the event for the first time. Elissa is an Anishinaabe Two Spirit Comedian whose roots lay in Couchiching First Nation, Ontario. They have travelled across Canada and the USA as a Comedian and improviser. They use comedy as a tool in dealing with racism, homophobia, and sexism. They are the co-founder/producer of WOKE Comedy Hour and have been featured on APTN’s The Laughing Drum and serve as the Manitoba Ambassador for the Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians. They also co-produce Queer and Present Danger with Chanty Morastica.

Audiences will be entertained by a diverse line-up of local funny women – some are well-known comedians and some are newer talent. Meet the comedians who will be tickling your funny bones!

Ana Damaskin is Russian-Canadian that relocated to Winnipeg from Maritimes 6 years ago after she mistook a cult for yoga retreat and gave up all possession. She’s self-realized aging hipster who has bike, drinks kombucha, and enjoy soothing sounds of white-noise machine. She has performed at Queer & Present Danger and multiple alt-comedy show at Wee Johnny’s. She brings dark, tongue-in-cheek twist to her comedy. Currently in year-long beef with Shoppers Drug Mart for gifting anti-aging creams on her 29th birthday. She asks that you please read comedian biography in Russian accent.

Dione C. Haynes is a product of the Caribbean and South America, living on Treaty One Land. She is a writer, poet, and co-producer of WOKE Comedy Hour, fresh off their run at Winnipeg Fringe 2018.

Mayran Kalah is a Comedian from the bushes of Somalia and brings her experiences of displacement to the stage. She is one year into comedy and is a staple performer of WOKE Comedy Hour. She brings her A-Game every time she enters the stage.

Danielle Kayahara is a benevolent cat owner and relative newcomer to the Winnipeg comedy scene. Fuelled by equal parts anxiety and caffeine, she remains convinced that the former has nothing to do with the latte. Danielle has appeared in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Showcase, and the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. She is excited to bring her unique blend of storytelling and silliness to the stage in support of Sarasvàti Productions.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Dawn Lavand is a city slicker is of Cree and Ojibwe descent. A former youth in care, child actress, and a former great deal of other things; she strives to share her teachings/lessons learned along her journey in a good way.  She possesses a bright and extroverted personality with a quick wit that contributes to her ability to engage and build community by sharing her story through humourous anecdotes you are sure to enjoy. Dawn believes that laughter is medicine, so come out and get a dose.

Plus we are super excited to include our former producer of the event! Angie St. Mars is a Winnipeg-based comedian who has been accused of “lighting it all on fire!” with her tongue-in-cheek feminist-fueled wit. She has been featured multiple times at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, ODDBLOCK Comedy Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Showcase, and Queer and Present Danger. She is a staple on the live comedy game show Pants on Fire and has performed alongside such notable comedians as Jess Salomon, Eman El Husseini, and Kevin McDonald. She is proud to have opened for the likes of Paul Rabliauskas, Mike Rita, and 2018 Juno Award recipient for Comedy Album of the Year, Ivan Decker.

You can catch these talented folks on Wednesday, November 14th at Club 200 (190 Garry St). The early show starts at 7:00 PM (doors at 5:30 PM) and the late show starts at 9:30 PM (doors at 9:00 PM). Tickets are just $15! You can get yours here.

Don’t miss your chance to see these hilarious women in action! 


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