Organizing Committee – University of Toronto

The organizing committee for this Residency is composed of PhD students, MA students and recent graduates from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.

  • Director for the Centre of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies: Stephen Johnson
  • Faculty Advisor: T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko
  • Producer: Myrto Koumarianos
  • Associate Producer, Head of Publicity and Outreach: Jenny Salisbury
  • Production Manager: Cassandra Silver
  • Production and Publicity Assistants: Annie Crowley, Amelia Nezil, Marjan Moosavi, Martine Plourde, Cara Spooner


dc_johnsonbioStephen Johnson is a Full Professor in the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. He has taught theatre history and performance theory, cinema studies, dramatic literature, and performance studies, as well as acting and directing, at the University of Guelph, McMaster University, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the Drama Centre. He has published widely on 19th and early 20th century performance, with articles in The Drama Review, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Topics and Nineteenth Century Theatre, as well as Theatre Research in Canada / Recherches théâtrales au Canada, which he (co)edited for ten years. He is president of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research / Association canadienne de la recherche théâtrale, a member of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

dc_cesarebioT. Nikki Cesare Schotzko is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. She has published extensively on pop culture and experimental performance, and in 2010 coedited TDR’s special issue, “Caught Off-Garde: New Theatre Ensembles in NYC (mostly).” She is, as well, Critical Acts editor of TDR and an occasional dramaturge, having worked on productions in New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Morelia, Mexico. In fall 2012, Professor Cesare Schotzko organized the SSHRC- and Jackman Humanities Institute-supported conference The Future of Cage: Credo in celebration of the centenary of composer John Cage, and she is currently editing a collection of pieces derived from the event. She is also in the process of finishing her Connaught-funded manuscript, entitled The Untruth of Style: Art and Culture in the Age of Digital Reproduction, which engages the skewed relationship between 21st-century media technologies, perception, and popular culture.

MYRTSMyrto Koumarianos is a second-year doctoral student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Her background is in philosophy, psychology, languages, and literature. Her current research pertains to the work of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. She is particularly interested in the ethics and poietics of memory, witnessing, and the chorus in performative praxis as a space of encounter. Myrto is a writer, singer, and experimental performer. She most recently performed in Stare.Print.Blue. – Voyeuring the Apparatus for the off-Nuit Blanche scene, and is now embarking on a singing/performance project engaging with Jean Anouilh’s Antigone.

Jenny SJenny Salisbury is a second year Ph.D. student at The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto and is a director, dramaturge and arts educator.  She is the program coordinator for Ask & Imagine, a national youth leadership program based at Huron University College at Western, in London Ontario.  Her research is based in Canadian collective creation and play development, and focuses on community in performance, audience, the role of the artist as researcher, and aesthetics of authenticity in contemporary performance.  She continues to work in new play development, and directs regularly in Toronto.

cassandra05Cassandra Silver is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies where her dissertation project explores interactive technologies and spectatorship in live performance. She explores her academic work into her theatrical practice, as a theatre director, dramaturge, and occasional stage manager. Her professional work is rounded out with project-based arts administration and sessional work as an instructor, most recently at the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto.

Headshot2-smAnnie Crowley has just recently completed her MA at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, before which she studied Educational Theatre at New York University (B.Sc.) and Theatre Performance at Dawson College’s Dome Theatre Program in Montreal (DÉC.) Working most often as a teaching artist, Annie is currently collaborating with a number of arts enrichment organizations around the city, creating and facilitating drama and theatre curricula with students from K-12. Academically, Annie is interested in dramaturgical pedagogies of audience engagement, performance politics and the burden of “beholding”, and intuitive educational theatre practices.

278579_10150723082760261_3396906_oAmelia Nezil is currently working on her M.A. at the Drama Centre. Born and raised on the west coast, she spent her childhood and teenage years performing with a youth theatre company in Victoria, B.C. After high school, she switched gears from the artistic to the academic and did her B.A. in Honours English at the University of Victoria, where she graduated first in her class. During her undergrad, Amelia focused on contemporary drama and, especially, the works of Canadian Indigenous playwright Marie Clements. While at UVic, Amelia honed her editing chops at three different publications: she is the co-founder and previous Vice Editor-in-Chief of The Warren Undergraduate Review, an interdisciplinary journal of art and literature at UVic. She was also a Student Editor for Victorian Review, an international journal of Victorian Studies and the new Broadview Anthology of Victorian Literature (publication pending). Amelia’s current focus of study is on alternative forms of text and contemporary Indigenous theatre.

meMarjan Moosavi is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Marjan is originally from Iran, but her life, work, and studies have taken her across Iran, China, US and Canada. As a Fulbright grantee and graduate student she has lectured in various conferences on contemporary Iranian theatre. Her current studies focus on dynamics of state and artists’ relations in creating and conditioning the cultural interventionist theatre at national and international level.

480Martine Plourde recently completed her MA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, where she became interested in collective memory and performance. In 2012 she graduated from Queen’s University with a B.A. (Honours) in Drama with a minor in Film and Media Studies with an interest in Art History. During her undergrad she also spent a semester at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceaux Castle in the United Kingdom where she took a special interest in German and British relations. Martine also enjoys working in technical theatre and previously worked as an assistant stage manager, production manager and costume designer.

headshotCara Spooner is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist working in performance art, dance and theatre.  She has a BFA in Dance from York University and is currently working on a MA in Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her work has been presented in Toronto, St. John’s Newfoundland, Sisters Oregon and Zürich Switzerland.  She has worked in collaboration with Alicia Grant, Diane Borsato, Sky Fairchild-Waller, Francesco Gagliardi, Erin Brubacher and Jordan Tannahill. Her interests in bodies in relation to space have lead her to create performances in many non-proscenium contexts as well as develop alternative mapping strategies.


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