Forum and Panel Discussion on Diversity, Engagement, and Inclusion in Theatre

Saturday, May 25, 2013
10:30am to 1:00pm
Robert Gill Theatre
214 College Street, Toronto

You are cordially invited to Theatre Ontario's 2013 Annual General Meeting, followed by refreshments and the panel discussion.

charles c. smith will be moderating an engaging dialogue with four dynamic and innovative theatre panelists: Ravi Jain, Yvette Nolan, Soheil Parsa, and Trevor Schwellnus.  Our panelists will share their success in nurturing inclusiveness to engage communities, foster collaboration, and develop audiences.  Following the forum, there will be an opportunity to address the panelists with specific questions and issues.

Charles_C_SmithFacilitator charles c. smith is a published poet, playwright, and essayist. He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada. He has edited three collections of poetry, has one published book (Partial Lives), and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and publications.  charles is also Lecturer, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts at the University of Toronto Scarborough and Project Lead for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario.  Further, he is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, board member FUSE Magazine and advisory board member for the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre and the Scarborough Arts Kaleidescope Program.


Ravi_JainRavi Jain is a multi-award-winning actor, director, producer, educator, arts activist, and Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. He is on the Board of Directors for the Laidlaw Foundation and the Artistic Advisory Boards for ArtReach Toronto and the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre. He is also alumni of the DiverseCity Fellows program with Civic Action.  Ravi is currently artistic director-in-residence at The Theatre Centre, Resident artist at the Young Centre, and was selected to be on the roster of clowns for Cirque Du Soleil.  He was awarded the Ken MacDougal Award for Emerging Director and most recently The Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Director.


Yvette_NolanYvette Nolan (Algonquin/Irish) is a playwright, director and dramaturg. She is the editor of Beyond the Pale: Dramatic Writing from First Nations Writers and Writers of Colour, and of Refractions: Solo, with Donna-Michelle St Bernard. In 2007, she received the Maggie Bassett Award for service to the theatre community, and in 2011, the George Luscombe Award for mentorship in professional theatre. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. Last season, she was the Writer-In-Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library.  She is currently working on a book about Native theatre in Canada.





Soheil_ParsaSoheil Parsa is an award-winning director, actor, writer, dramaturg, choreographer, and teacher, whose professional theatre career spans thirty years and two continents. In his native Iran, Soheil completed studies in Theatre Performance at the University of Tehran and began a promising career as an actor and director. Soheil’s own work at Modern Times has been recognized with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Chalmers Fellowship in 2002, a senior artist creation grant from the Canada Council, as well as a number of international prizes and master class requests. In 2007 and 2010 he was short-listed for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre



Trevor_SchwellnusTrevor Schwellnus is a Scenographer, working with independent companies in Toronto. Since 2002 he has been the Artistic Producer of Aluna Theatre, with his partner Beatriz Pizano. There he: directed and designed the collectively created Nohayquiensepa (No one knows), designed La Comunión, Madre, and For Sale, and produces the biennial Panamerican Routes | Rutas Panamericanas Festival of Theatre for Human Rights. This year he curated Harbourfront's HATCH series of emerging performance work. He is currently studying multidisciplinary and intercultural practices, with a focus on the dramaturgy of design, through a Chalmer’s Fellowship. Upcoming: What I learned from a decade of fear.

Please RSVP to Cornelia Persich, Education Coordinator, at or 416.408.4556 x.10


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