May 14, 2021
Carmen Aguirre is a Chilean-Canadian, award-winning theatre artist and author who has written and co-written over twenty-five plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Refugee Hotel, The Trigger, Blue Box, Broken Tailbone, and Anywhere But Here, as well as the #1international bestseller Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (winner of CBC Canada Reads 2012), and its bestselling sequel, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution. She is currently writing an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea for Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre, Moliere’s The Learned Ladies for Toronto’s Factory Theatre, a short digital piece for Ontario’s Stratford Festival entitled Floating Life, and an untitled play on the life of famed twentieth century Italian photographer and revolutionary Tina Modotti for Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre. Reframed, an outdoor performance piece about online discourse, conceived and co-created with The Electric Company, received its world premiere on October 7th, 2020, in Vancouver, commissioned by Ottawa’s National Arts Centre for its Grand Acts of Theatre initiative. Carmen is a Core Artist at Electric Company Theatre, a co-founding member of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition (CALTAC), and has over eighty film, TV, and stage acting credits, including her award-winning lead role in the Canadian premiere of Stephen Adley Guirgis’ The Motherfucker with the Hat, and her Leo-nominated lead performance in the independent feature film Bella Ciao!. She looks forward to starring in Cecilia Araneda’s stunning debut feature film, Intersection, to be shot in Winnipeg in Spring 2021. Carmen is a graduate of Studio 58. carmenaguirre.ca
Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe & South Asian playwright, performer and multidisciplinary creator/educator. 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; a circle of artists creating Indigenous performance. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille. She was also named one of NOW Magazine's 15 stage artists to watch with Natasha Greenblatt, who she co-wrote The Election with, which premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille in October 2019. Yolanda has performed on stages at the Stratford Festival, the NAC, Persephone Theatre. She was recently nominated for a Dora award for her performance in Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/ Gállábártnit. Yolanda proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors.
Sunny Drake's theatre works have been translated into 4 languages and presented in over 60 cities across the world. His wide range of audiences have spanned international arts festivals, elderly ladies in regional theatres and queers in underground warehouses. Sunny was commissioned by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, PACT and ATFC to write the 2019 World Theatre Day message for Canada. He was awarded the inaugural Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize 2019 ($25,000) for having a significant impact on performing arts in Ontario, and was a finalist for the K. M. Hunter Theatre Award (2018). He was a playwright-in-residence at Stratford in 2019. Born and grown in Australia on Jaggera and Turrabul land, Sunny has lived in Tkaronto (Toronto) since 2011.
Marcia Johnson is a theatre artist in Toronto. Serving Elizabeth, in which she also acted, had its world premiere at Western Canada Theatre (co-produced with Thousand Islands Playhouse) in February 2020 and published by Scirocco Drama. Her 5-minute play A Magical Place written for Zoom is available as part of the National Transformations Project produced by the National Arts Centre and Stratford Festival. She directed the two-hander starring Kaleb Alexander and Amaka Umeh. Marcia has participated in playwrights’ groups at Thousand Islands Playhouse, Obsidian Theatre Company, Theatre Passe Muraille as well as Ontario Arts Council Playwrights’ Residencies at Blyth Festival and Roseneath Theatre. She also participated in Tapestry New Opera’s ComposerLibrettist Laboratory twice. Her training also includes a musical theatre workshop with William Finn at Canadian Stage Company and the Siminovitch Prize Playwriting Master Class with Carole Frechette. Marcia collaborated with Stephen Taylor on Paradises Lost, (opera) based on the Ursula K. Le Guin novella for the University of Illinois. Marcia Johnson is a core member of Got Your Back Canada; a juror and dramaturge for Ergo Pink Fest; co-founder of the CASA (Canada/South Africa) mentorship award and a member of the senior advisory board of Women Playwrights International.