Congratulations 2015 Shaw Festival Intern Directors

Congratulations to Esther Jun and Peter Pasyk, who were chosen as the two Intern Directors for the 2015 season at the Shaw Festival.

Shaw Estherjun 500Esther Jun

Esther originally trained as an actor in NYC and completed her directing degree at Drama Centre London in 2006. Since returning to Canada she has worked with a diverse range of companies across Toronto such as fu-GEN, Cahoots, Obsidian, Nightwood and Soulpepper.  Esther’s work has been seen at Rhubarb, SummerWorks and Next Stage Festivals, plus Toronto, Montreal and the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. She has helped facilitate programs for Crossing Gibraltar and the Paprika Festival and is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Directors Lab North, the first international offshoot of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, of which she was a 2010 member. She is also a founding member of The World Wide Lab, where most recently she co-created/co-directed a workshop of Imperium, at Teatro Due in Rome. She has been featured in NOW magazine’s Top Ten Artists to Watch (Fringe 2013) and was nominated for 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award & 2011 John Hirsch Directing Award. Esther continues to act and originated the role of Janet in Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience.  Selected Credits - Director: And Now, The End (Ante Up); Bremen Rock City (Song Trolley); Cowboy Mouth (Heart In Hand); Yellow Face (Hart House), Trout Stanley (Heart in Hand) Fear & Misery of the Third Reich (DeusXM), First Hand Woman (Fire Up Productions); workshops of Imperium (World Wide Lab/ Kit Italia); Calpurnia (Nightwood); Abigail’s Mirror (World Wide Lab/ Irondale Brooklyn), Intent City (Eventual Ashes), La Commune (Heart in Hand) and Sex Tape Project (fu-GEN). Co-director: Hiding Words (for you) (Eventual Ashes), Strange Mary Strange (Theatre on the Verge).

Shaw PeterpasykPeter Pasyk

Peter is a Toronto-based director of theatre and film, and the Artistic Director of surface/underground theatre for which he directed the Dora-nominated productions of Dying City, When the World Was Green, and The Jones Boy. Peter directed the world premieres of Rosa Laborde’s Like Wolves at the GCTC in Ottawa, and Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company at SummerWorks 2013, which received the Best Production and NOW Audience Choice awards.  Peter directing work has been nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award, the John Hirsch Prize (Canada Council for the Arts), the John Hirsch Award (Ontario Arts Council), and the Dora Award for Outstanding Direction in Independent Theatre. Last season Peter was the Urjo Kareda Artist-in-Residence at Tarragon Theatre where he Assistant Directed Lungs, and the world premiere of Sean Dixon’s Governor General Award-nominated play A God in Need of Help. After his internship at the Shaw Festival, Peter will be returning to Toronto to direct the much-anticipated remount of Late Company.

A New Chapter

This announcement also marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Neil Munro Intern Directors Project at the Shaw Festival, wherein The Shaw will now be solely responsible for its administration. Theatre Ontario was one of the founders of the program in 1988 and has been enormously proud to work together throughout the past twenty-seven years with Neil Munro, Christopher Newton, Jackie Maxwell, and the creative teams at The Shaw. The program has had over 55 participants, a venerable who’s who of Canadian Theatre, including Eda Holmes-who runs the program today.  Read the full list of past intern directors

The Directors Project has been both a unique and profound experience for Intern Directors, as is made evident by the many testimonials received throughout the years. No other director training program in Canada offers the same level of immersion for participants in a company of the scope and scale of the Shaw Festival. The Directors Project has sought to provide the space, time and resources for emerging directors to delve into their craft, discover the type of artist they wish to become and how they see themselves shaping the Canadian theatre industry. Interns have left the program with a changed perspective on the actor-director dialogue and a deep understanding of how to fashion compelling stories.

Shaw 14 Threeshortplays Roughfortheatrei 500The collective work of past Intern Directors has also played a significant role in fostering appreciation and accessibility of the arts across the country. The impact of their contribution to Canadian culture is evident in the communities that have come alive through their projects and the organizations which have benefitted from their influence. Intern Directors have gone on to work in regional communities providing training and work opportunities in the arts that had not previously existed. Other Intern Directors have taken on roles that encourage other artists to grow in their practice and present their work across the country.

The impact has been far-reaching, with Theatre Ontario being extremely pleased to have borne witness to Canada’s premiere mentoring program and quite thrilled that the program will continue to develop Canadian directorial talent in the many years ahead. For further information on the next round of applications, please see

Photo from Rough for Theatre I from Three Short Plays by Samuel Beckett
Directed by Alistair Newton at the 2014 Shaw Directors Project
Performers are Benedict Campbell and Patrick Galligan
Photo by Mark Callan


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