Justin A. Blum is an Assistant Professor who teaches theatre history, dramatic literature, and dramaturgy. His published research focuses on melodrama and other popular performance forms, as well as the intersection between theatre history, dramaturgy, and contemporary theatrical production. He holds a PhD in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto, an MA in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Before arriving at the University of Lethbridge he taught at the Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto; the Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto Mississauga; Theatre Studies Program, Western University; and the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, University of Toronto, where he was also a Post-Doctoral Fellow.
Jenn Cole (Mixed Ancestry Algonquin, Kiji Sibi Watershed) is a scholar and performance artist. She is passionate about teaching performance and creative expression as research and scholarship practices. She writes about the activist elements of intimacy created by imperfect storytelling and feminist performance adaptations, while her performance practice explores storytelling, trans-generational autobiography, and the sharing of food together as an expression of vulnerability and relational exchange that is pivotal as we try to cultivate a sense of home.
Heather Fitzsimmons Frey completed her PhD at Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. She is a director and dramaturge, and has published articles in Canadian Theatre Review and Youth Theatre Journal, in addition to a chapter in Nationalism and Youth in Theatre and Performance (2014). Her interests include theatre for young audiences and for the very young, dance in theatre for young audiences, and Victorian juvenile at-home theatricals.
Gabrielle Houle holds a Ph.D. from the Centre for Study of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her primary research area is the recent staging history of the Commedia dell’Arte, contemporary mask-making practices, and masked performance. Gabrielle has trained in Canada, Italy, France, the United States, Costa Rica, and Denmark before working as an actor and a creator of masks. She has taught in several Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, Glendon College of York University, and the University of Calgary. She is a member of the Centre for Oral History and Tradition at the University of Lethbridge, where she is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor.
ORAL HISTORIES CURATOR & CONTRIBUTOR
Matt Jones researches issues of war, terrorism, security, and racism in performance. His dissertation, is The Shock and Awe of the Real: Political Performance in an Age of War and Terror, is a transnational study of theatre, live art, direct action protests, and new media installations about the recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. His published writing has addressed problems of representing war in performance as well as the performative construction of war in reality. He is the recent co-editor, with Barry Freeman, of a special issue of Canadian Theatre Review exploring the subject of “Post-Truth.”
Matt has taught courses in performance theory, theatre history, academic writing, and creative writing at the University of Toronto, Seneca College, and Concordia University. His writing has appeared in academic and journalistic publications, including Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Research in Canada, SubStance, alt.theatre, the Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, This Magazine, and Canadian Dimension. As a playwright and theatre devisor, his work includes the plays Dracula in a Time of Climate Change, The Mysterious Case of the Flying Anarchist and the collective creations Death Clowns in Guantánamo Bay and ASMRtist. As a dramaturg, he has worked on Mohammad Yaghoubi’s A Moment of Silence, Djanet Sears’s production of Scorched, and Arshad Khan’s award-winning documentary film, Abu. His work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Martin Julien is an actor, singer, writer, and educator with over three decades of experience in Canadian theatre. He made his stage debut at age ten for the Factory Theatre Lab in Toronto, and has been nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards as best performer. Martin was listed as “#1” in The Top Ten Toronto theatre artists in 1995 Theatre Artist by NOW Magazine. Martin was Playwright-in-Residence through the Ontario Arts Council with Nightswimming Theatre in 2012/13, and his subsequent work with the company has been produced in Toronto, Berlin, Calgary, and Victoria. He recently played Sir John A. Macdonald in Sir John A .: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion to open the National Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary season in Ottawa.
Currently, he is a PhD candidate completing his dissertation on subjectivity and acting methodologies at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies in the University of Toronto, where he held a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship for 2015-2017. He has been an instructor of acting, theories of acting, acting through song, theatre history, and modern play study at such institutions as the University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, and Soulpepper Academy. His work has been published by Routledge, TDR, Stanislavski Studies Journal, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Intermission, Playwrights Canada Press and Canadian Theatre Review.
GALLERY CURATOR & CONTRIBUTOR
Jimena Ortuzar is completing her PhD at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies with a collaborative program at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Her research explores the global division of labour, migration, and gender in both aesthetic and social contexts. She has contributed essays to TDR, Canadian Theatre Review, alt.theatre, the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and anthologies on Latinx theatre and performance in Canada. She co-edited a special issue of CTR on performance and human rights in the Americas and has a chapter in the forthcoming collection Sustainable Tools for Precarious Times: Performance Actions in the Americas (Palgrave Macmillan). Her research is informed by years of union activism, grievance handling, and conflict resolution at the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
ORAL HISTORIES CONTRIBUTOR
is a PhD Student at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Her research explores accessible approaches to creating theatre and performance by artists with disabilities in Canada. She has presented her work and is facilitating a working group on Disability and Performance at the Canadian Association of Theatre Research, and has appeared at the American Society for Theatre Research in a working group in 2017. As an artist, Jessica has created a few plays performed around Ontario and was an artist-academic participant at the National Art Centre’s The Study and Repbulic of Inclusion in June 2017 in Ottawa. In Toronto she is also a Blind Community Consultant and also consults on accessibility around Ontario and Quebec. With her interest in accessibility, disability, performance, and advocacy Jessica Co-Curated the 2018 Festival of Original Theatre at CDTPS called “Supporting Bodies/Changing Minds.”