Unscripted: Cultivating Languages of Access & Storytelling is an online panel series exploring ideas around accessibility, decolonization and various approaches to performance and storytelling. With a roster of artists approaching storytelling from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, the Unscripted series hopes to amplify conversations between artists who are engaging creatively with elements of sensory-based, linguistic and cultural accessibility.
April 7th, 8th & 9th 2021, via Zoom
The Unscripted series was co-produced by Red Dress Productions & Theatre Passe Muraille, co-curated by Becky Gold and Wy Joung Kou with panel coordination by Rinchen Dolma, and generously supported by TD Bank Group, Ontario Arts Council, & Toronto Arts Council.
Sovereign Bodies, Sovereign Stages
April 7th, 7-9pm EST
What emerges at the intersection of ceremony and artistic creation; of movement and storytelling; of spirituality and physicality on stage?
Panelists: Yolanda Bonnell & Aria Evans
Moderator: Merlin Simard
ASL Interpreters: Carmelle Cachero & Rogue Benjamin
Yolanda Bonnell (she/they) is a Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe & South Asian Dora nominated multidisciplinary performer, writer and facilitator. Originally from Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, Ontario (Superior Robinson Treaty territory), her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. In 2016, Yolanda and Michif (Métis) artist Cole Alvis began manidoons collective and in February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille. Recently, she was also the Indigenous artist recipient of the Jayu Arts for Human Rights Award for her work. Yolanda proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors.
Aria Evans (they/she/he) is a queer, Toronto-based, West Coast born award winning interdisciplinary artist who’s practice spans dance; creation, performance and film. As a public speaker, activist and creative leader Aria draws on their experiences with Afro-Indigenous + settler heritage. With a large-scale vision, collaboration is the departure point to the choreographic work that Aria creates under their company POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Aria has collaborated across dance, theatre, film and opera with a number of the city and country’s most recognized companies and organizations. Advocating for inclusion and the representation of diversity, Aria uses their artistic practice to question the ways we can coexist together. www.politicalmovement.ca
Merlin Simard (iel/elle/she/they) is a disabled, Franco-Ontarian, trans-feminine performer, playwright, dramaturgy, and filmmaker originally from Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal) now based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). Select theatre performance credits: TRANSACTIONS (Buddies In Bad Times/BCurrent/NTS), Curious Voyage (Talk Is Free Theatre/DLT), Tape Escape (Outside The March), FEAR OF MEN ((Staged Reading) Assembly Theatre) and Gruesome Playground Injuries (Playground Productions) TV/Film: Grand Army (Netflix), This Life (CBC) Playwriting: FEAR OF MEN (in development at Theatre Passe Muraille), ZADDY ISSUES (In development at Ergo Arts Theatre) and TRANSACTIONS (co-written with Gabe Maharjan and in development at bigT). Merlin currently holds the position of Dramaturgy Intern at Theatre Passe Muraille.
(Re)building Sensory Worlds
April 8th, 7-9pm EST
Where does world (re)building fit into the world of theatre and performance? How can our understanding of a narrative change or expand when it is told via multisensory means of storytelling and immersive design
Panelists: Victoria Mata & Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis
Moderator: Anna Camilleri
ASL Interpreters: Rogue Benjamin & Amanda Hyde
Victoria Mata is Venezuelan-Canadian settler in T’Koronto. Poly-lingual choreographer, dance artist and activist with a background in expressive arts therapy. Mata’s career was first sculpted by pedagogic, self-directed training, which proceeded with training under internationally renowned choreographers. Mata’s sensibility to inclusion and border stories is due to her eclectic upbringing in three continents before the age of fifteen. Intersectional, multi-framed community-arts and the abolishment of violence against women are some of Mata’s passion. She has intricately weaved these themes in her MFA in Contemporary Choreography and is foundation for some of her recognitions such as being a recipient of the Metcalf Foundation, a finalist of the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award and 7 Dora nominations. Mata deeply believes in the arts as a core and tangible mode of sustaining and transforming the paradigms of oppressive tropes to populate a sphere of reflection, exploration and possibility.
Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis’ practice is rooted in foundations of contemporary dance and intermedia creation methodologies. As a disabled, transgenderqueer artist of Nigerian/French/Algonquin descent, working in decolonial frameworks is central to their research and creations. Being from Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Leelee has had the opportunity to train and work professionally across Kanata (Huron-Iroquois word for Canada). Their artistic goals are to merge performance and life, stage and experience, building a bridge to revealing the human condition. They can most commonly be found producing their own work as a solo artist, however often collaborate across milieus. Leelee has had the profound pleasure of collaborating with artists and choreographers such as Jolene Bailie, Dayna Danger, Raven Davis, Jesse Dell, Yannick Desranleau, Vanessa Dunn, Audrey Dwyer, Reginald Edmund, Gambletron, Chloe Lum, Ryan MacNamara, Kate Nankervis, Evalyn Parry, Lou Sheppard, and Alexandra Tigchelaar on works for theatre, film, and stage. Leelee also works as a program designer, facilitator, and consultant in the field of Social Innovation and Adaptive Change. www.leeleedavis.com instagram: @leeleeoluwatoyosi
Anna Camilleri has been working with performance, image, and text for over 25 years, with professional credits including book works, performance and theatre, and permanent and ephemeral public artworks and installations. Camilleri’s book publications have been recognized with distinctions from the LAMBDA Literary Foundation, Association of Independent Publishers, and the American Library of Congress. Upcoming projects include May I Take Your Arm?, a Theatre Passe Muraille and ReDefine Arts co-production upcoming in May 2021. Camilleri is artistic co-director of multi-disciplinary arts organization ReDefine Arts (Est. in 2005 as Red Dress Productions). @anna.camilleri.red
April 9th, 7-9pm EST
A panel of Deaf individuals discuss the impact of language colonization on everyday life.
Moderator and Curator: Natasha “Courage” Bacchus
Panelists: Amelia Palmer, Jenelle Rouse & Marsha Ireland
ASL Interpreters: Carmelle Cachero & TBA
Natasha Cecily Bacchus is an athlete and artist, passionate about mental health, deaf advocacy, fitness and physical expression. Throughout her life, she has nurtured her passion for fitness by competing as a professional athlete and securing medal positions in both the Deaf Olympics and Pan Am Olympics as well as many other competitive sporting events. While running was her first passion and a means of emotional release, she used acting as a mode of physical expression and found theatre and film to be the preferred spaces to thrive as an actress. She has participated in a number of theatre and film productions and has a strong desire to continue to grow and develop as an artist in these industries, expanding representation to include differently-abled persons and empowering Black Deaf women in Canada to shine on and off the stage.
Amelia Palmer was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to Jamaican immigrant parents. She grew up in oral public school from K-12, and she identifies as a Deaf individual. Amelia is currently an undergrad at Gallaudet University, majoring in Deaf Studies and a minor in linguistics. She wants to be part of the change, to transform the stigma against IBPOC Deaf/HOH individuals with many intersectional identities in Canada and the USA. Amelia has a strong belief in giving back to IBPOC Deaf/HOH through empowerment and mentorship. By doing so, she hopes to change the perspective of IBPOC deaf people to the hearing community.
Jenelle Rouse (she/her/hers) leads a dual career as an educator with a doctorate in Applied Linguistics and as a visual body-movement artist. Over ten years, she has performed various shows such as Talking Movement, Withered Tree, Perceptions II, Home: Body, Crossings, Hear, Feel, See, What! and Proud. Through her personal project, Multi-Lens Existence, she explores and experiments with different mediums to share stories through body movements without any reliance on words and sounds/music. Additionally, Jenelle has taken on different roles (e.g., facilitator, collaborator, co-researcher, writer, workshop provider, and consultant) while working with a variety of local (Ontario) arts-related projects.
Teyuhuhtakweku (Marsha) is a wife, mother of 5, grandmother of 12 and great grandmother of 1 from Oneida Nation of the Thames – Turtle Clan. Over the past few years she has developed Oneida Sign Language with her partner Max Ireland and the many fluent speakers whose company and wisdom of the Oneida spoken word was instrumental in achieving the success of their project. “During this time it was truly an honor and a privilege to share and spend time with speakers. Sadly we have lost so many fluent speakers, a total reaffirmation of the need to have our spoken and now Oneida Sign Language carried respectfully into our future. O.S.L has Created a circle of inclusion where there was none between the Deaf and Hearing members of the Oneida Nation. I am also and residential school survivor and a Staunch Advocate with Deaf Native Education and a Mighty Water Protector” – Marsha Ireland