Hannah Rittner - Creative Director of LACE Productions and Playwright
Hannah Rittner is a playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer from Toronto. She has worked for leading Canadian/American companies and festivals including Signature Theater, SummerWorks, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theater, Theaturtle, LunaSea Theater. Her play Estate won the Open Spaces 2012-2013 award at the Neptune Theater and was staged at the Scotiabank Studio January 2013. Her play Love & Exile is a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2014-15 nominee. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts MFA in Dramatic Writing where she received the Chair's Award in Excellence. Her play Three Women Mourn the Apocalypse premiered at The Theatre Centre September 2015. Her work has been developed with Oskar Eustis and Suzan Lori Parks' NYU Collaboration Class (New York, NY), The Bechtel Group (New York, NY), and The Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, CA). Hannah has been selected by the Stratford Festival to partake in their 2016 Playwrights Retreat. She is represented by Ian Arnold of Catalyst TCM.
Shadi Shahkhalili - Sanaa
Shadi Shahkhalili was born in Iran and grew up in Iran, Pakistan and England before immigrating to Canada. Past theatre credits include Anton in Show Business (Rhizoma Productions), Arash the Archer (Tirgan Festival) and The Melville Boys (Just Being Productions). Films include To Our Bright White Hearts and Birds In Mourning, which screened at the Short Film Corner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. She has studied acting at York University, Maggie Flannigan Studio inNYC, with Cindy Tanas and John Riven in Toronto. She has worked as stage manager, assistant producer and assistant director in the Toronto independent theatre scene. She holds a B.A in English Literature and Theatre from York University and an M.Ed in Social Justice Education from University of Toronto.
Sarah Baskin - Creative Catalyst of LACE Productions and Orli
Sarah Baskin hails from Montreal, Quebec. Sarah has worked in theatre Off-Broadway: Roundabout, 59E59, Theatre Row; Regional / International: American Repertory Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Theatre Centre (Toronto), Moscow Art Theatre. TV/Film credits include: “Blindspot”, “Who Killed Chandra Levy”, 39 1/2, The Lives of Hamilton Fish, Thanks for Sharing, In the Shadow of the Water Tower. As a writer, Sarah's short story, The Magical Violin was produced into a TV episode for YTV; writer/producer of her first short film, iHeart. Creative Producer at Subway Token Films; Company Member of LACE Productions (NY/Toronto). MFA in Acting: American Repertory Theatre at Harvard. For more: sarahbaskin.com
Marina McClure - Director
Marina McClure directs theater, opera, and spectacles. Her work has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New England, Canada, and South Africa. Upcoming projects include: Sara Farrington's play cycle about class in America, Leisure, Labor, Lust, Superhero Clubhouse's Planet Plays series with Jeremy Pickard, and Tear a Root from the Earth, a new folk-opera about three generations of an Afghan family, inspired by DC-based Americana band Gramophonic'sconcept album. Marina teaches directing at The National Theater Institute and recently was a guest artist at Dartmouth and Connecticut Colleges. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a script reader for the Public Theater's Emerging Writer's Group. MFA: California Instituteo f the Arts. www.marinamcclure.com
Anahita Dehbonehie - Scenographer
Anahita Dehbonehie is a scenographer and public artist, specializing in site-specific performance. Since coming home toToronto in 2012, she has had the opportunity to work with several Canadian companies. Before coming home, She created and designed shows in Norway, Iceland, Russia, the United States and the Czech Republic. Anahita is a Graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, The Norwegian Theatre Academy and a former member of the Soulpepper Academy. Her practice is founded on the principle that works of art return us to truths more powerfully by their divergence from a strict illustration of reality. Her work has been featured at the Prague Quadrennial, The Vilnius Capital of Culture 2012, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Selected Canadian credits include: Breath of Kings (Strafford Festival -upcoming), Blood Wedding (Soulpepper Theatre -upcoming), Costume Design Marat Sade (Soulpepper Theatre), Scenography Stupidhead A Musical (Summerworks Festival) Costume Design Mary Stuart (George Brown Theatre), Scenography Brotherhood The HipHopera (b current/Buddies in Bad Times), Scenography Vitals- Dora Nomination (Outside the March/Theatre Passe Murraille), Scenography Blue/Orange (Kingston Players Theatre), Scenography Possible Worlds (Talk is Free Theatre/ BeMe Theatre Munich), Set Design The Lesson- Dora Nomination (Modern Times Theatre Company), Scenography The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (Outside the March) Assistant Set Design Of Human Bondage, Tartuffe, Twelve Angry Men, Idiot’s Delight (Soulpepper Theatre), Assistant Set and Costume Design Seeds (Crows Theatre), Assistant Set Design Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre).
Laura Levin - Assistant Director & Advocacy Associate
Laura Levin is Associate Professor of Theatre at York University and Director of York's MA/PhD Program in Theatre & Performance Studies. She teaches courses on devised theatre and performance creation, contemporary performance, and performance theory, and her research focuses on performing gender and sexuality, site-specific performance and urban intervention, and political performance. She is a long-time editor with the Canadian Theatre Review (former Editor-in-Chief); editor of Theatre and Performance in Toronto (Playwrights Canada Press) and Conversations Across Borders (Seagull); co-curator of the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series; and Board Member of the Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas. She is the recipient of several awards including UC Berkeley’s Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts (for Theatre Directing), a Canada-US Fulbright Award, the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s (CATR) Richard Plant Essay Prize, and most recently CATR’s Ann Saddlemyer Award for best book published in 2014 (for Performing Ground: Space, Camouflage, and the Art of Blending In). Laura has worked as a director and dramaturg on a number of productions in North America and co-curated several performance art projects that investigate intersections of performance, geography, and cultural identity.
Joanne Williams - Associate Producer
Joanne Williams is a Toronto-based stage director and arts administrator who is currently a Metcalf Foundation intern at Art of Time Ensemble, chair of Alumnae Theatre’s Programming Committee, and Vice President of Theatre Ontario’s Board of Directors. She studied Drama and English at Queen's University and has worked at Canadian Stage and Toronto Fringe in general management, casting, and artist development programs. A 2015 Pauline McGibbon Emerging Artist Award nominee, her directing credits includeSavannah Bay & Le Shaga by Marguerite Duras (Spiel Players); Wild Dogs on the Moscow Trains by Anthony MacMahon and THEORY by Norman Yeung (SummerWorks).
Rachel Stephenson Sheff - Development Director
Rachel Stephenson Sheff is an experienced non-profit development professional (Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Opera, Housing Works) who has raised over $500,000 in project support. Rachel is also a freelance producer and publicist, and recently finished a sold-out New York run of the Canadian hit show, pomme is french for apple, at Joe’s Pub in 2015 – which landed a number one slot on Time Out New York’s Hot List. As a producer and fundraiser, Rachel is passionate about intersectional advocacy and feminism, and is proud to be part of a collective so committed to upholding and exploring these ideals. Rachel graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she earned an honours BFA in Drama with Minors in Producing and Applied Theatre.
Ashley Peoples - Development & Advocacy Associate
Ashley Peoples is a student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law focusing on international human rights and refugee and immigration law. This summer, she is working at PEN Canada— a nonpartisan organization of writers that defends freedom of expression as a basic human right. PEN promotes literature, fights censorship, helps free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in exile in Canada. With a background in theatre and film, Ashley is thrilled to join the dynamic Lace Productions team and to do all she can to bring powerful stories, like The Unbelievers, to audiences far and wide.
Where You Are Consulting - Outreach & Communications
Where You Are Consulting is an outreach and marketing company for artists and arts organizations. Our areas of specialization include social media strategizing and campaigns, marketing and community outreach. Where You Are was started by artist and theatre/film producer, Sedina Fiati who has over 10 years experience in producing, arts marketing and outreach including work with b current, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Subtle Vigilance Collective and various SummerWorks shows (Rendezvous With Home, The Centre, Kingship de Facto). Current clients: Buddies in Bad Times and LAL. Sedina is happy to be a part of the Unbelievers and to shine a light on this important issue.
Sue Edworthy - Publicist
Sue Edworthy has worked in the non-profit performing arts for over fifteen years and is a self-described city enthusiast. Her passion for the performing arts has led her to stints as a director, stage manager, event coordinator and arts administrator in theatre, dance and opera organizations in and around Toronto such as Luminato, Opera Atelier, Theatre Passe Muraille and Artscape. Sue is a former Board Member for TAPA and co-chair of Artsvote 2014, was Vice-President for the Toronto Fringe Festival for two years of a seven year stint and is now Treasurer for the Canadian Dance Assembly She is a 2010 Harold Award recipient and recipient of the CharPR Prize for best publicity, single show for 2012 and 2013, and the 2015 recipient of the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award.for Arts Leadership. For more information, visit www.sueedworthy.ca, find Sue Edworthy Arts Planning on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @sueedworthy.