Learn more about our panel offerings, and the facilitators for each one. This free digital conference took place in December 2021.
All panels were ASL interpreted.
Scroll down to browse panels, or click these links to jump to a specific panel!
Immigrant Queer Identity
Monday, December 6th 2021
Immigrant queer self. Physical and distant relationships. The idea of belonging. Adaptation in community. Language barrier/enrichment. Culture shock. Longing. How are these notions impacting the work of queer Immigrant theatre creators that have made so-called Canada “home”? What is home, anyway?
Santiago Guzmán hosts panelists Xaiver Campbell, Sammy Chien, Mónica Garrido, khattieQ, Kama La Mackerel, Maher Sinno and Annie Valentina.
Santiago Guzmán (HE/HIM)
Santiago Guzmán is a theatre and filmmaker originally from Metepec, Mexico, now based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is Artistic Director of TODOS Productions (NL), Artistic Associate of Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (NS) and General Manager of Neighbourhood Dance Works (NL).
Find Santiago online
Hybrid Forms, Hybrid Selves
Tuesday, December 7th, 2021
How do we make art about in-between-ness? Can a play be non-binary, bisexual, or transcultural in form? For this panel, we’ve gathered artists who live in the liminal: theatre-filmmakers, musician-performers, media artists and more. These interdisciplinary innovators will share excerpts of their work, and, through conversation, queer the conventions of theatre.
Anais West hosts panelists Rebecca John, Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野, Fay Nass, Dasha Plett, Heath V. Salazar, lou sheppard and Donna-Michelle St Bernard.
Anais is a queer, genderfluid writer, actor and producer, as well as a Polish settler on the occupied lands of the Coast Salish peoples. Their Jessie Award-nominated plays, which merge theatre with film, poetry and punk music, have been presented in Tkaronto, so-called Vancouver and NYC. They are the frank theatre company’s Artistic Producer.
The Token Queer
Wednesday, December 8th, 2021
At a time where institutions are continuing to push themselves to be more “inclusive” it is becoming more likely that a queer artist will find themselves alone during an artistic process, within a heteronormative system, carrying the weight of queer representation. This panel explores experiences of being the token queer in hopes of defining boundaries artists can set to take care of themselves and concerns that should be addressed by the institutions.
Richie Wilcox hosts panelists Dillan Chiblow, Rooks Field-Green, Sarah Garton Stanley, and Jay Northcott.
Richie Wilcox is a multi-talented director/writer/performer whose work has been seen across Canada and toured internationally. Wilcox is the Artistic Director of the live art company HEIST where they have helped co-create and perform in Princess Rules, The Princess Show, Princess’ Pride ‘n’ Joy among other works. Wilcox is the writer of their autobiographical show New Waterford Boy as well as the recently premiered Good Grief. Wilcox also serves as the Artistic Director of the 37 year old Ship’s Company Theatre which is known for creating and producing original plays with an Atlantic Canadian emphasis.
2 Spirit Connections
Wednesday, December 8th, 2021
2 Spirit Connections is a panel bringing together folks across generations to chat about joy, representation and what it means to be 2 Spirit. Contrary to the colonial gender binary that exists now, 2 Spirit individuals have been around in various Indigenous Nations and beyond since time immemorial. What can we learn from each other as we work to reclaim our Indigenous/ Afro-Indigenous gender identities now?
Yolanda Bonnell hosts panelists Samaqani Cocahq (Natalie Sappier), Waawaate Fobister, Nenookaasi Ogichidaa, Laureen Blu Waters, and Ravyn Wngz.
Yolanda Bonnell (she/they)
Yolanda Bonnell is a Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe & South Asian multidisciplinary performer, writer, facilitator and producer. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille (co-produced with Native Earth and manidoons collective) while the published version was shortlisted for a Governor General Literary Award.
Queer Comedy as a Conduit for Joy, Destabilization, and Provocation
Thursday, December 9th, 2021
In this panel, a variety of 2SLGBTQ+ comedians, theatre makers, and artists from across Turtle Island will discuss comedy and humour and its place in their work.
Elena (Eli) Belyea hosts panelists Tyra Banda, Ajahnis Charley, Caleigh Crow, and Stevey Hunter.
Ajahnis Charley (they/them) is a Black, non-Binary comedian based in Toronto. They use comedy to tackle themes such as Queer identity, racism and Italian-American prestige actors. Their solo sketch show ‘THOTS AND PRAYERS’ won the Producers’ Pick Award at the 2021 Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival. As a director, they wrote, directed and featured in the short documentary I AM GAY, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, which played in festivals including Inside Out, Reel 2 Real International Film Festival, and Caribbean Tales, where it won the 2021 Intersect Award.
Stevey Hunter (they/them) is a queer genderfluid actor, comedian, and writer based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, NS.) They are a versatile performer known for their work improvising with award winning improv company: Hello City and has taught and performed improv across Canada. They have worked with numerous theatre companies in Nova Scotia including: Neptune Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Ship’s Theatre Company, Zuppa Theatre, and more. In Spring 2021, Stevey performed and wrote their first comedic solo show exploring their relationship to gender called When You Leave Please Say Nice Things About Me produced by the Bus Stop Theatre Writers’ Circle and funded by Arts Nova Scotia. In Fall 2021, Eastern Front Theatre and Shakespeare by the Sea produced the premiere production of their play FAT JULIET. The play is a contemporary retelling of Romeo & Juliet through the perspective of a fat Juliet. Stevey starred in the role of Juliet and the production had a very successful premiere run, selling out before opening night. Select TV/Film: Diggstown, Moonshine (CBC); FROM (EPIX); Look At Me (AfroViking).
TyraBanda got her start in comedy in 2014 when she joined the University of Alberta Improv Group, and her love of the art was immediate! From there, she performed in many improv festivals around the country, as well as internationally (Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre – 2019). She was part of Rapid Fire Theatre from 2017 to 2019, until moving to Toronto to pursue a diploma in Comedy Writing and Performance at Humber College. While in Toronto she was cast in a Season 7 Featured Players with Bad Dog Theatre, as well as Improv College’s Narrative
Mainstage Team. She is currently teaching improv classes on character at the Grindstone Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta.
Friday, December 10th, 2021
The emerging Queer history narratives on the stages of our theatres are helping to reconceptualize the history of the nation. Join several theatre writers who have made LGBTQ2S+ history a focus as they share stories of the challenges of Queering historical assumptions.
Darrin Hagen hosts panelists Chris Gatchalian, Nick Green, Dev Janke, Daniel MacIvor, and Natalie Meisner.
Born and raised on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh peoples (colonially known as Vancouver), C.E. Gatchalian is a queer Filipinx author and theatre creator. He was the 2013 recipient of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. He is Co-Founder of Q2Q and co-organized Q2Q-1 in Vancouver in 2016.
Devanand Janki is an award winning Director-Choreographer based in New York City. As a performer Dev has appeared on Broadway in Cats, Miss Saigon, The King and I and Side Show and tours of West Side Story and A Chorus Line. He is the Director of the Musical Theatre Division at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and the Artistic Director of Live & In Color, which develops new plays and musicals that celebrate diversity.
Nick Green is a Dora Mavor Moore, Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, and Tom Hendry Award winning playwright in Toronto, and the creator of The Social Distancing Festival (socialdistancingfestival.com) Featured writing credits include Every Day She Rose (co-written with Andrea Scott, Nightwood Theatre); Happy Birthday Baby J (Shadow Theatre); In Real Life (Theatre Sheridan, recipient of the Tom Hendry Award, with Kevin Wong); Body Politic (lemonTree Creations/Buddies in Bad Times, Dora Mavor Moore Award); Fangirl (Musical Stage Company, with Barb Johnston and Anika Johnson); Poof! The Musical (Capitol Theatre, with Darrin Hagen); and Coffee Dad, Chicken Mom, and the Fabulous Buddha Boi (Guys in Disguise, Sterling Award).
Natalie Meisner is an award-winning multi-genre author and 5th Poet Laureate of Calgary. Her work deploys the power of comedy for social change. She is a wife and mom to two great boys and a full Professor in the Department of English at Mount Royal University where she works in the areas of creative writing, drama and gender/ sexuality studies. http://www.nataliemeisner.com
Daniel MacIvor is a queer theatre and film practitioner born and raised in Unama’ki – colonially known as Cape Breton Island. Upcoming is a feature length theatre-process documentary The Work, and the touring solo performance developed with Daniel Brooks, Let’s Run Away.
Queer in our Homeland
Friday, December 10th, 2021
In light of the recent anti-LGBTQI+ law being proposed to parliament in Ghana, a group of queer art practitioners in the Global North engage in a panel conversation about their relationships to their Ghanaian homeland in work and practice.