Mental Health in Theatre Panel

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.

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