Bard Studio

Bard Studio provides free training for theatre professionals at any stage in their career. All classes take place on Mondays at the BMO Theatre Centre. This year’s series celebrated the wide range of talent in our theatre community by featuring guest facilitators from diverse disciplines.

Bard Studio sessions are free. Spaces are limited.


Thank you for your interest in Bard Studio. At this time, all sessions in the Winter Workshop Series are complete. Registration for 2023’s Fall Workshop Series will open in September 2023. Check our instagram for updates; we hope to see you soon.

Winter 2023 Schedule

View schedule by selecting the days listed below. Please note that there are no Bard Studio classes scheduled for Monday, February 20, 2023.

Monday, January 23, 2023

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Voice and Movement - Actor's Tune-Up with Akshaya Pattanayak

 Whether seasoned or beginner, this is an opportunity for an Actor's Tune-up. This session intends to rekindle the connection with the body to reconnect to physical and vocal impulses, bringing back an engagement with the self as instrument.


6:30pm – 9:30pm: Fights, Falls, and Friendship: Safe and Effective Stage Combat with Mike Kovac

A dive into the world of Stage Combat. Gain confidence and experience as you grow from using your own individual physicality into telling stories involving other people and their own unique abilities. If all storytelling involves conflict then there's a number of ways we can tell that - we can sing, talk, dance... but why not fight about it?

Participants should bring runners or otherwise comfortable footwear, water and clothes they can move in.

Monday, January 30, 2023

2:00pm – 4:00pm: Mad Play: Interactive Performance Design as Mad Art with Torien C. Cafferata

There is something mad about every play space. Ludology teaches us that play itself can often look "mad" out of context, but within the social construct of any given play-world there are delicate systems and norms guiding our behaviour. It is within these magic circles where new subversive ideas and relationalities can be explored among players -- we see these in everything from performance art to improv to clown to the design of games and playgrounds. Understanding how our play spaces can not only benefit from a neurodiversity paradigm but in fact rely on it for radical creation is critical for any wading into the troubled waters of participatory art. The methods and tools in this workshop are suited to performers, directors, performance designers, game designers, and any artist yearning to create meaningful and accessible environments of interactivity.

Bring clothes you can move in, and, if possible, a smartphone and earbuds.


6:30pm – 9:30pm: Rehearsal Skills: Dropping-in Text and Hooking into Impulse with Diana Donnelly

In this session, Diana will focus on text and impulse. She will support you in learning a particular process of dropping-in text to add to your skill set in the rehearsal hall. She will also lead some physical impulse work. The goal of the workshop: to feel more free in your next rehearsal hall. "I love witnessing actors surprise themselves." –Diana

Monday, February 6, 2023

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Stage Combat: Explore and Expand with Jonathan Hawley Purvis

Join us as we dive into both basic and advanced stage combat concepts, now with a focus on swords and swordplay. We will explore, play, and create as we develop and deepen how our bodies can better tell stories through combat.

Bring a water bottle and clothes you can move in.

6:30 – 8:00pm: Nothing About us Without Us: Collaborating with theatre artists from the Deaf and Disability Community

In this panel discussion we invite you in – we want to be your teaching moment!

We discuss best practices in language, collaboration, etiquette, and access needs and address any questions that you bring to the table.

Hosted by Amy Amantea (she/her), a cis woman who identifies as a white settler and lives with blindness, is neurodiverse, and experiences chronic illness and pain. Amy is an artist and creative and has been an Arts Access Consultant for the last 15 years with a deep desire to increase representation of the Deaf and Disability experience in all that we do as theatre makers.

Monday, February 13, 2022

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Establishing Collaborative Equity with Susanna Uchatius

ESTABLISH: is to build, set-up, stand still. COLLABORATE: is to work with one another. EQUITY: being equal, impartial and fair.  With respect, rigour and risk, we will collaborate to create an ensemble that honors the creative expression of each participant. Together we will build a story (what Shakespeare story do we choose?)  that speaks, moves, expresses with the sounds, voices and bodies of all participants.

Please wear clothes you can move in.

Monday, February 27, 2022

2:00pm – 4:00pm: Consent-Based Rehearsal Practises with Lisa Goebel

Through movement-based exercises, this workshop focuses on communication, safety, and consent during the rehearsal process. Participants will explore open communication and how to advocate for themselves and fellow artists in a respectful way, creating opportunities for the work to become more dynamic and specific.

6:30pm – 9:30pm: Audition & Performance Anxiety Toolkit with Veenu Sandhu

Face your fears and work with your nervous energy instead of against it. This workshop will equip you with the tools to manage and cope with your anxiety that shows up for auditions and performances. You will learn about your nervous system, and gain new techniques in visualization and bodywork to help you work through stressful situations.

Participants should bring clothing they can move in, water and a snack for break, and a yoga mat or anything they need to lie comfortably on the floor.

Monday, March 6, 2023

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Critical Response Process: How to Give and Receive Effective Feedback with Brian Postalian & Joyce Rosario

liz lerman's Critical Response Process (CRP) is a feedback system based on the principle that the best possible outcome of a response session is for the maker to want to go back to work. Whether you're laboring on a painting or designing a website, drafting a lecture or composing a score, CRP helps you get fresh and useful feedback from peers, laypeople, and experts alike, while giving you the tools to do the same for others' work. Through the supportive structure of its four core steps, CRP combines the power of questions with the focus and challenge of informed dialogue. In use for over 25 years, CRP has been embraced by art makers, educators, scientists, and theater companies, dance departments, orchestras, laboratories, conservatories, museums, universities, corporations, and kindergartens. With a focus on actual works in progress – a dance, a script, a lecture, visual art work, even a cake – this training will highlight participation, conversation, and the flexibility of the Process.

Participants should bring a notebook and something to write with.


6:30 – 8:30pm: The Power of the Entrance and the Exit with Susan Bertoia

What we bring on and what we take off! Entrance and exits are dynamic and shift the narrative of the story. Discover how your entrance and exit add to the scene. A physical exploration of the speed, the direction, the duration, and the impact of this movement.

Monday, March 13, 2023

10:00am-1:00pm: Creative Lab & Movement Discovery with Carol Mendes/AMOK Project

This is a movement workshop for theatre professionals who want to embark on a journey of movement self-discovery, empowerment, cultural heritage, and identity. We’ll dance together to explore and discuss physical (tangible) motifs versus imagined (unreal ones). Then, we will also investigate movement through image-based prompts repeated frequently among many cultures. The workshop will culminate with a creative lab fostering improvisation and creation.

2:00pm – 4:00pm: Musical Skills for Theatre Artists with Mishelle Cutler

This session will go over music fundamentals and everything you need to have a successful music rehearsal. Themes we’ll cover:

- Basic music notation and terms you will hear in music rehearsal

- Tips and tricks for learning music and singing in an ensemble

- Best practices for music rehearsal. What questions to ask, etc.

- We’ll end the session with learning a choral piece and singing it together.

6:30pm – 8:30pm: Building the Arc (Story Structure for Actors) with Anton Lipovetsky

As actors, we know our characters are supposed to have a “character arc,” to undergo an extraordinary transformation from beginning to end. But how do we track that journey? By applying the principles that writers use to tell a compelling story, we can create a character arc that is both satisfying and dynamic. In our session, we will break down Shakespeare’s 5-act structure, the screenwriter’s 3-act structure, the Hero’s Journey and more. Together we’ll examine the arcs of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and explore practical tools for building a character arc in preparation, rehearsal and performance. This workshop is intended for emerging actors, but all are welcome.

Participants should have some familiarity with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and  Macbeth.

Monday, March 20, 2023

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Lecoq Element Work and Shakesperean Monologues with Ming Hudson

Do you have a Shakespearian monologue that you've been eager to dive into, but aren't exactly sure where to start? Or an old favourite piece from the Bard that you'd love to access in a new way? This course is a great way to approach his text through active imagination and embodied movement! Using the Lecoq Technique, you will explore physicalizing the four elements, and then translating that work into your chosen text. A workshop for those looking to discover Shakespeare's language through the body.

Participants should arrive dressed to move and with a Shakesperean monologue. Water bottle and pencil are encouraged.


6:30pm - 9:30pm: Directing Essentials: The Director's Notebook with Cristiana Ripeneau

So you have a text you love and want to direct it but don't know where to start? The Director's Notebook is your first step and together we’ll take a look at what that is, how to go about it, what it is good for and when to throw it all away. In this session, we'll take a look together at how to analyze a play, how to break it down, how to come up with your own concept, and how to use the director's notebook to prepare for casting, production and rehearsals. We will practice together working in groups on well-known theatre plays.

Please bring a notebook and something to write with, as well as some familiarity with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Moliere's Tartuffe and Chekhov's The Seagull.

Monday, March 27, 2023

2:00pm - 5:00pm: "A Day to Play" - An Acting Workshop with Kathryn Shaw

 Working on short selections from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, participants will have the opportunity to play with the text in many ways to define the characters and investigate their intentions. Lots of acting tools will be explored to add to your repertoire and to guide you in making effective and playable choices as an actor. Suitable for all ages and experience.

Participants should bring water and a snack for break and clothes they can move in. OPTIONAL: Read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead before the session.


6:30pm - 9:30pm: Mother Ivy's Hand-Crafted Portal into the Bizarre with Ivy Hazard

Designer Demons & Fashion Freaks, oh my! Ballroom is filled to the brim with stylish gender-twisting fantasies, and those dreams are pushed to their limits in the Bizarre category: where contestants are asked to bring a handmade otherworldly effect that transport us to another realm entirely. Several key elements go into a memorable costume, and you must give it your all to pull off an authentic gag on top of that. The process of Bizarre Design is demanding enough that you can feel your creative well run dry at the halfway point. Each completed look is life changing, though–the display of raw & unfiltered creativity creates ripples in people’s minds and influences how we can see the world moving forward.

So where do we start, and how do we keep the momentum going? Well, Mother Ivy Andromeda is here to share all things Bizarre for one day only. An international Bizarre category winner, Ivy has accumulated years of experience designing gag worthy effects, from giant faberge eggs to full-bodied unicorns and a flock of hungry ghosts. They are here to share their knowledge, and help you tap into what you already know from your personal lived experience. Everyone has a story to tell, and there are so many ways to say it!

This three-hour session will start with the fundamentals of who/what/why Bizarre is & showcasing the dos and do-nots. From there, the class will collectively explore the fundamental elements that go into an effect: Masks, Silhouette, Texture, Structure, and Character. Participants will create some of their own looks on a manageable scale and practice moving around with them. With space to play with these and ask questions along the way, this class is perfect for the fresh-faced curious & ambitious designers alike. Come embody your inner monster and learn what some of Ballroom’s strangest has to teach all walks of life.

Winter 2023 Guest Facilitators

Mishelle Cutler


Mishelle is a composer, sound designer, and musician based in Vancouver. She has designed sound and music for 4 productions at Bard on the Beach: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare in Love, Done/Undone, and Lysistrata. Some other favourite projects include: Clean (Neworld), Made in Canada (rice & beans), A Christmas Carol, The Herd, The Candidate, The Party, Sweat (Citadel). She was an artistic lead and performer for The Quarantettes, a project developed in the early pandemic with support from Bard on the Beach, that brought distanced micro performances to the doorsteps of households in East Vancouver during isolation. Upcoming: sound design for The Seventh Fire, an immersive audio ceremony by Lisa C. Ravensbergen (Delinquent Theatre). Mishelle has an MFA from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts and a BFA from UBC. She is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

Diana Donnelly


Born in Montreal, Diana is a bilingual director/teacher/actor who moved to Vancouver in 2021. She was a company member at The Shaw Festival for over a decade and also worked at Soulpepper Theatre for years, most recently in Jesus Hopped the "A" Train, directed by Weyni Mengesha. Diana premiered the role of Sarah in East of Berlin by Hannah Moscovitch at the Tarragon Theatre, which played The Firehall (Touchstone/Chutzpah) as part of a national tour. Another favourite part: Kate in The Last Wife (Centaur Theatre). Diana has worked at The Citadel, Theatre Calgary, The Segal, The Globe and other regionals across the country. She directed Far Away as her Neil Munro Director's Project in 2018; she then directed The Russian Play at The Royal George in 2019 (Shaw Festival), working with movement director Esie Mensah. More recently, she directed a contemporary version of The Doctor's Dilemma on the Festival Stage (Shaw, 2022). She was shortlisted for the Crow's Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director's Prize (2019) and The Gina Wilkinson Prize (2020). She won Best Ensemble Dora Mavor Moore Award along with her cast mates in Jerusalem (Outside the March/Company Theatre). She teaches acting at The National Theatre School of Canada.

Jonathan Hawley Purvis


Jonathan is a fight director, actor, choreographer and stunt performer. Select fight direction credits include As You Like It, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, and Shakespeare in Love (Bard on the Beach); As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Milwaukee Rep); Antony and Cleopatra, The Three Musketeers, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet (St. Lawrence Shakespeare); The Silver Arrow, Shakespeare In Love, West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, The Penelopiad, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Citadel Theatre); and I Am For You (Concrete Theatre).

Susanna Uchatius


Susanna Uchatius has worked 35 years directing, writing, acting and teaching theatre. Her BFA is from SFU School for Contemporary Arts, voice at Banff Centre for the Arts with Richard Armstrong, the UBC National Voice Intensive, and work with Anne Bogart of Siti Theatre NY to name a few. She is an Equity, CAEA and IFTR member. Susanna has been the Artistic Director of Theatre Terrific, Western Canada’s longest running inclusive theatre company in Vancouver, since 2005. Having collaboratively developed over 30 professional, community and site-specific productions; she pioneered an accessible respectful, rigorous and risk-taking collaborative ensemble process, unifying professional and emerging actors who may or may not identify as living with physical, cognitive, mental health, gender, cultural and age differences. Susanna is honored to collaboratively create inclusive theatre; respectfully learning from and with the voices, perceptions and lived stories of the human community, in all its diverse, mosaic wonder.

Kathryn Shaw


Kathryn Shaw is the recently retired Artistic Director of Studio 58, the Professional Theatre Training Program at Langara College, position she held from 1985 to December 2020. In her retirement, she has taken up writing. Her new play SUPER SENIORS was read at Presentation House in April 2022. Kathryn has also reactivated her acting career appearing in The Thursday Night Bridge Circle by Ray Kennedy, directed by Sarah Rodgers for United Players in September 2022. For over 40 years, Ms. Shaw directed for theatre companies across Canada and taught acting for professional and community groups in British Columbia, Winnipeg and Halifax. She has also been a guest instructor at the National Theatre School. Ms. Shaw's most recent directorial work includes FOURPLAY at Studio 58 and RICHARD III and MEASURE FOR MEASURE for Bard on the Beach. Kathryn received the Canadian Actors Equity Life Membership award in 2016 and In 2010 she received the Career Achievement Award from the Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance. In 2005, Kathryn was elected into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of the 1996 SAM PAYNE AWARD given by UBCP/ACTRA in recognition of‚ Äúhumanity, integrity and the encouragement of new talent. She has served as the Festival Adjudicator for Theatre BC Mainstage 1991, 2004 and 2014 as well as adjudicating regional festivals, most recently the 2022 Fraser Valley Zone Festival.

Carol Mendes


Carol Mendes (she/her) is a movement director and teaching artist working at the intersection of contemporary dances, ballet, somatics research, and cultural heritage empowerment. A woman, native of Brazil with a polyethnic background, based in Vancouver on the unceded territories of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ. She holds a BFA in Dance and a dance pedagogy certification from UNICAMP (Brazil). She also completed an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (USA). She recently founded the AMOK PROJECT to create expressive dances with physical vigor, pushing the boundaries of movement while honoring creative processes and the individuals who participate in them. She is passionate about mentoring youth and emerging artists through female lenses, focusing on decolonizing practices, and respecting multicultural identities and diverse experiences.

Akshaya Pattanayak


Akshaya is an actor and professor based in Vancouver. The name Akshaya means, “never ending”. He was born in Montreal, Canada but raised in different parts of India. He graduated in 2019 with an MFA in Acting from the University of Southern California and currently teaches acting courses at the Vancouver Film School. Notable theatre credits include Bad Hamlet, 90 Days, and Macbeth. His film and TV credits include the comedy pilot Last Bite and the short film Digby and Glass. He is slated to be the lead in the short film Wellington and his role in an upcoming television show will be announced soon.

Amy Amantea


Amy lives with profound sight loss and spends much of her time consulting on all aspects of accessibility including in the public realm and shared spaces, private companies, and at the programming level including social activities. As an artist living with a disability Amy has been heavily involved in arts accessible for people who are blind and partially sighted and others living with disability - from not only the perspective of a patron but also performers and back stage workers. Accessibility, Inclusion and diversity practices are a commitment and need participation from the community in order to address specific needs. Amy is involved with two organizations that she is passionate about that work to increase access to the arts for people with disabilities - VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society who provides live audio description for arts and cultural events and Realwheels Theatre - which aims to deepen the understanding of of the lived experience of disability through inclusive and integrated casting of artists in both community and professional productions. Amy wished to thank the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach for the the opportunity to participate in such an important discussion - Nothing About us Without Us!

Veenu Sandhu


Veenu (she/her) is an actor, writer and director currently residing on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh first nations currently known as Vancouver, BC. Veenu has been an active member of the film & TV industry since 2007 and has also performed on stage. Recent stage credits include Himmat (Theatre Conspiracy) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Arts Club). She has been teaching Audition & Movement classes at Vancouver Film School since November 2020, and is a non-regular instructor teaching Acting Essentials at Emily Carr University of Art & Design for the Winter 2023 session. Notable screen credits include her recurring role as Prisha on Lost in Space (Netflix), as well as appearances on A Million Little Things (ABC) and Surface (Apple+).

Brian Postalian


Brian Postalian (Բրայն Փոսթալյան) is a performance creator, educator, and creative producer born and raised in Toronto/Tkaronto by way of Armenia, Ireland, Wales, and the Czech Republic. Brian is the founding Artistic Director of Re:Current Theatre which is dedicated to creating work that reimagines gathering. He recently toured their interactive playable performance of New Societies across Ontario, and presented a translated production of the Online version with the National Theatre of Taipei. His work co-creating Access Me with the Boys in Chairs collective was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press as part of Interdependent Magic: Disability Performance in Canada. Brian has been a sessional instructor within the School of Performance at Toronto Metropolitan University and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University.

Joyce Rosario


Joyce Rosario is performing arts curator, facilitator and consultant based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver BC) and is the first generation of her Pangasinan family to be born on this territory. Joyce’s practice is guided by values of collaboration, rigour and care and over her career has gained broad exposure in interdisciplinary, experimental and community-based performance. She is a certified facilitator of the Critical Response Process and is currently a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver. Early in the pandemic she was a freelancer with organizations such as The Cultch, Museum of Vancouver, Canada Dance Festival, and Fascinator Management. Previously, Joyce spent over 15 years in programming and senior leadership positions in Canada, including PuSh Festival, New Works and Made in BC - Dance on Tour. She studied Theatre Production/Design at UBC following her first foray in performance as a teenage participant in a ‘new genre’ public art project by Suzanne Lacy.

Anton Lipovetsky


Anton Lipovetsky is a theatre artist and educator based in Vancouver. He has performed in five seasons with Bard on the Beach and worked as a teaching artist with Bard Education since 2012. He has acted on stages that include the National Arts Centre, the Stratford Festival, the Belfry and Arts Club Theatre Company. Anton has been a guest artist at a number of post-secondary institutions including Capilano University, Langara College, Sheridan College and St. Lawrence College. He also facilitates workshops with Neworld Theatre’s Learning Ensemble Across Difference; a theatre ensemble that integrates neurotypical actors from Vancouver’s professional theatre community with neurodivergent actors. Anton is a graduate of Studio 58 and the Stratford Festival Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Acting. He is the recipient of two Jessie Richardson Awards and a Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist.

Mike Kovac


Mike Kovac is a certified Fight Director and Fight Instructor with Fight Directors Canada, and has been involved in one form of simulated violence or another for the past twenty years. He loves working with people of all ages and backgrounds in the universal language of movement. For the stage he has been the Fight Director for such Arts Club shows as Noises Off, Misery, Beauty and the Beast, among others. For the screen he has been a stunt performer for series like Supernatural, Kung Fu, Van Helsing, and a myriad of other shows. If you see him onstage or on screen, he's probably about to get beaten up.

Ming Hudson


Ming is a Vancouver based artist who pays rent on the lands stolen from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. For over 15 years, she has worked as a freelance performer, devised theatre creator, collaborative director, independent producer, and teaching artist on the west coast, nationally, and internationally. Her specializations are in physical theatre and the creation of new work as a collective ensemble. A graduate of the Advanced Devising Practice program at LISPA (now, Ming also holds a MA in Ensemble Theatre (Rose Bruford), and a BFA in Acting (UVic). In her various roles, Ming has worked for: Chemainus Theatre Festival, UVic, CCPA, Bard on the Beach, Dell'Arte International, Gwaandak Theatre, The Arts Club, TheatreOne, Two Planks and a Passion, Studio 58, Green Thumb Theatre, Theatre Replacement, Atomic Vaudeville, The Firehall, Boca del Lupo, Concrete Theatre, and Kaleidoscope Theatre. In addition, she has created nine new independent productions, which have been performed in five different countries.

Cristiana Ripeanu


Cristiana Ripeanu is a theatre director and educator. She is a graduate of the National University for Theatre and Cinematography in Bucharest, Romania, and holds an MFA in stage directing from York University. Cristiana has studied with titans of the industry, including Tudor Marascu, Sanda Manu, Valeriu Moisescu, David Rotenberg and David Smukler, among others. During her studies, Cristiana discovered her calling for comedy, the skills for which she honed through staging a wide range of styles, including Commedia dell’Arte, Shakespeare, and Theatre of the Absurd. Her work has been presented by several national theatres in Romania and performed in multiple languages at festivals across Europe, such as Balkan Theatre Festival, International Theatre School Festivals (Greece, Netherlands, Albania), Freistil Festival (Germany). In Canada and Germany, Cristiana has worked as an acting teacher and director for independent theatre companies and organizations. She has also worked in community-building and social outreach programs with sociocultural organizations in Romania and Germany. After spending the last 14 years in Germany, Cristiana is thrilled to have now relocated to Vancouver, where she joins many talented creators in the effort of enriching the Canadian theatre scene.

Susan Bertoia


Susan Bertoia is a professional theatre artist, director, devisor, writer and teacher. Her dynamic creative process and specialization in devised physical theatre make her a sought-out theatre artist. Recent projects: Creative Director (Place des Arts 50th Anniversary celebrations); Director/Writer (original film “Project Element: Once Upon a Time in Smithers” commissioned by Vancouver International Children’s Festival 2022); Writer/Director (“Juggle Me Not” commedia show with AXIS theatre) and Writer (commissioned site-specific adaptation of the Ugly Duckling, Place des Arts). She is Adjunct Professor at UBC teaching commedia and conducts numerous creative initiatives in schools through ArtStarts. Accolades: Awarded ‘Excellence in Drama Education’ through ABCDE; Outstanding Performance (Jessie Richardson’s Award) and The Gordon Armstrong Theatre Artist Award. Training: BFA (Theatre Acting UBC); Ill Piccolo Teatro di Milan (Italy), Donato Sartori’s International Mask School (Padova, Italy), Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre (California, USA), One Yellow Rabbit (Calgary, AB) and UK’s Frantic Assembly.

Torien C. Cafferata


Torien Cafferata (they/he) is a neuroqueer interdisciplinary producer, performer, playwright, director, dramaturge, and educator. Originally from the prairies of Treaty 4 and 6, Torien began his relationship with play in the austere solitude of rurality; every performance was immersive and every game moddable. After receiving his BFA in Drama, they co-founded It‚ Äôs Not A Box Theatre in 2015 alongside Amberlin Hsu. Since then they have been playing at the intersection between devised performance creation, participatory art, lo-fi game design, and immersive scenography, often exploring neurodivergence, gender, hauntology, and psychogeography. Their work has included app-guided documentary theatre, mobile interactive horror fiction, and a live-action sandbox RPG. Torien also served as President of the Sask Playwrights Centre, on the board of Live Five Independent Theatre, as an arts lab researcher for SATP, and head dramaturge at the Sask Writers Workshop. Torien is currently studying performance, ludology, and mad arts for his Interdisciplinary Arts MFA at Simon Fraser University.

Lisa Goebel


Lisa is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily as an intimacy director, actor, choreographer, and producer. She apprenticed with Intimacy Directors International before completing her certification with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators. Lisa is proud to contribute to the movement of better and safer conditions that are making a positive impact on the future of the arts industry. As an Intimacy Director she has worked with Bard on the Beach, Touchstone Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Urban Ink, and Gateway Theatre. She is a graduate of Studio 58.

Ivy Hazard


Ivy Hazard aka Mother Ivy Andromeda is a creative force of nature operating largely out of the Ballroom community in Vancouver. Their costume work in the bizarre category pushes the envelope on how queer & trans people can be seen and move through the world as empowered beings beyond comprehension. Found materials stay central in their work, letting broken pieces of furniture or tidal waves of abandoned dolls to turn into fantastical limbs; creating new legends to tell. In their classes, Ivy joins students in dialogue on extreme fashion and the purposes it serves. What stories do we have hidden away in our memories that we can tell? Where can we find materials that resonate with us? How do masks let us release our inner selves? Participants learn that they aren’t alone in wanting to create something mystifying, and pooling knowledge together makes achieving that dream all the more possible.