The Directors Summit

November 13-20, 2009
Toronto, Ontario

Our celebration continues with the Directors Summit, a gathering of theatre professionals from across Canada and around the world to connect and exchange ideas on the art of interpretation.

Motivated by the desire to propel career opportunities for women through showcase, training and discourse, Nightwood has assembled a roster of renowned national and international directors for panels, masterclasses, networking and more. Join us for an exciting week of revelation, introspection and innovation in theatre.

Click here for The Directors Summit Detailed Information.pdf
For Info on The Canadian Women Directors Catalogue click here

(see bottom of page for details)

The Kick Start Reception and Cocktail Party
Nightwood launches this landmark gathering of artists with social revelry and celebration. Welcoming remarks by Nightwood Theatre AD Kelly Thornton and Shaw Festival AD Jackie Maxwell. We look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, November 13, 5:30pm // The Hub (Canadian Stage Rehearsal Hall, 26 Berkley Street) // Admission Free


The Canadian Vanguard
Two Siminovitch Award-winning directors discuss the creation of brave new theatrical styles from distinct Canadian cultures. Quebec’s most revered directorial matriarch, Brigitte Haentjens and Newfoundland’s favourite daughter, Jillian Keiley come together to discuss their innovative techniques and what it meant to win Canada’s most prestigious award. 

Saturday, November 14, 6:30pm, The Hub, $10


The Agony and Ecstasy of Staging New Work

Playwriting is “an art of composing in the medium of the actor”, and so is the art of the director, Susan Letzler Cole observes. What the director “sees” into reality is the end point of a process of exploring the nature of the script by enacting possibilities in rehearsal. How do you maintain fidelity to “what was written” and to “what was meant” while navigating the precarious terrain of an uncharted dramatic landscape.

Panelists: Cahoots AD, Nina Lee-Aquino; Alberta Theatre Projects AD, Vanessa Porteous; Shaw Associate AD, Eda Holmes; and Director Liesl Tommy (South Africa/US).

Monday, November 16, 6:30pm, The Hub, $10

Girls on Top: A special sneak peak screening
An intimate behind-the-scenes film which looks at the lives of eight women as they reunite to remount Soulpepper Theatre Company’s award-winning production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls. This playful and poetic examination of what it means to be a “top girl”, features Diana Donnelly, Megan Follows, Kelli Fox, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alisa Palmer, Cara Pifko, Liisa Repo-Martell and Robyn Stevan. Special work-in-progress preview screening followed by a talk back with film director Cassandra Nicolaou and theatre director Alisa Palmer.

Monday, November 16, 8:30pm// The Hub // PWYC

Staging Africa  

Renowned South African directors Yael Farber and Liesl Tommy discuss bringing issues of Africa to the world stage. “I strive to create theatre which plunders imagination, burgles our fragile human emotions and stalks truth and beauty with absolute ferocity,” says Tommy.  Of her play Molora, Farber posits, “I ha[ve] long been interested in creating work that explores the journey back from the dark heart of unspeakable trauma and pain toward the choice between revenge or redemptive forgiveness.”

Tuesday, November 17, 6:30pm, The Hub, $10

Women Directing in Canadian Theatre
A frank and open discussion of what it is to be a woman directing in Canada today. Renowned directors from across the country talk openly about their practice: the inherent challenges, how regionalism affects style and status, and how/whether their approach to the artistic process is unique.

Wednesday, November 18, 2:00pm// The Hub // Free

Relevance and Irreverence: Context and Cultural Mythologies

Anne Bogart, visionary director, wrote that the artist is engaged in the “violent act of articulation” and that this articulation “begins a new organization of the inherited landscape”. How does cultural context inhabit our work? How do we explore, explode, inform and transform our cultural mythologies?

Panelists: Directors Weyni Mengesha; Yael Farber (South Africa); Sabina Berman (Mexico); Johanna Schall (Germany).

Wednesday, November 18, 6:30pm, The Hub, $10

Broadway Bound
Multi-award winning American actor Brian Dennehy and Canada’s rising star director Jennifer Tarver, disclose the story of an artistic alchemy that culminated in the hit production of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at The Stratford Festival. As the play goes on to Broadway, Tarver and Dennehy discuss the intimate and often complex relationship between a director and her actor. 

Thursday, November 19, 4:30pm, Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs, $10


The Market Place
Anna Shapiro, 2008 Tony Award-winning director, said “I’m pretty sure the only way you get to have a life in the theatre is if somewhere in your life you come upon a group of people who, although they don’t need you, make room for you.” The Market Place is a speed dating frenzy between Canada’s most prominent Artistic Directors and our most exciting directors to watch.

Application deadline EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 1, 2009. Click here for submission details.pdf

November 14, 10-1pm, The Hub, BY APPLICATION

The Penelopiad Director’s Showcase  
In Association with The Shaw Festival
Presented with permission of Margaret Atwood, Curtis Brown (UK) and the National Arts Centre

In the culmination of this week-long experimental masterclass, ten provocative directors present their distinct vision of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. Led by renowned world stage director Yael Farber and Josette Bushell-Mingo, director of the acclaimed London and National Arts Centre productions, the presentation of this epic drama features an exciting ensemble of actors courtesy of The Shaw Festival. Showcase Directors: Arianna Bardesono, Kate Cayley, Ashlie Corcoran, Audrey Dwyer, Lise Ann Johnson, Esther Jun, Ann- Marie Kerr, Mary-Lou Martin, Sonia Norris and Emma Tibaldo.

November 15, 3pm and 6:30pm, Dancemakers Studio Theatre, $15


New Blood Cabaret  

The 4x4 Directors Summit is an opportunity to present our brightest young talent! The New Blood Cabaret is an evening of theatre from the minds of the next wave of directors. Nightwood provides a stage for ten fresh emerging directors to show their wares. Join us for this rare and raw event, and stay for a late night party.
New Blood Directors: Saniya Ansari, Devon Elke, Jessica Glanfield, Charlotte Gowdy, Heather Kieth, Ulla Laidlaw, Anna Lorena Leija,  Shannon Maguire, Birgit Schreyer Duarte and Kelly Straughn.

November 19, 8pm, The Hub, Admission Free


The Penelopiad Director’s Lab 
In Association with The Shaw Festival
The Penelopiad Directors Lab is a week-long lab (November 8-15, 2009) culminating in a one-night theatrical showcase. We are seeking, through a juried selection process, 10 emerging or mid-career female directors. These directors will have established themselves as professional artists in their community and will have proven their commitment to artistic excellence.

Working with professional actors (courtesy of The Shaw Festival) the participants will be mentored by both Josette Bushell-Mingo, director of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (Royal Shakespeare Company/National Arts Centre) and world renowned stage director Yael Farber. Atwood’s original script will be divided and assigned to selected directors who will work alone and in collaboration on their assigned portion of the text. The play will be presented in its entirety in a showcase to the public on Sunday November 15.

Each participant will be charged a $75 Lab Fee. Nightwood Theatre and The Shaw Festival have greatly subsidized the costs of this program to ensure that The Penelopiad Directors Lab and The 4x4 Directors Summit are accessible to all worthy artists. 

Application Deadline August 25, 2009
Click here to download submission info for the Director’s Lab

New Blood Program
The New Blood Program is an opportunity for emerging female directors to debut their work to the professional theatre community and to foster connections with peers, mid-career and senior artists. Nightwood will select 10 emerging female directors to participate in the program based on the merit of their application. We are seeking artists in the beginning stages of a professional career who have demonstrated style and ingenuity as directors. The program will run throughout the week of the 4x4 Director’s Summit November 13-22, including a showcase of their work in the New Blood Cabaret on November 19.

Each participant will be charged a $50 Lab Fee. Nightwood Theatre has greatly subsidized the costs of this program to ensure that The New Blood Program and The 4x4 Directors Summit are accessible to all worthy artists. 

Application Deadline August 25, 2009
Click here to download submission info for the New Blood Program

Jillian Keiley of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland leads this crash course in Kalideography, a system of synchronized movement harmonics, which make possible the creation of layered and complex stage landscapes. “Like symphonic music” explains Keiley, “but created with an actor’s speaking voice, natural movement, technical elements and blocking.” 

November 14, 2-5pm and November 15, 10-1pm, $45 Equity, $85 Non-Equity
Please Note: Full payment of $85 is required for Master Classes with your equity #. Upon completion of the workshop and confirmation from CAEA of your status you will receive a $40 refund from Nightwood

The Director’s Toolkit 

Two of the director’s most vital relationships are with actor and playwright. Liesl Tommy, renowned director and instructor at Juilliard and Brown University leads participants in an exploration of the tools of collaboration: understanding the playwright’s process, the art of dramaturgy, and interpretation and illumination within the actor’s journey.

November 16 and 17, 10-1pm, $45 Equity, $85 Non-Equity
Please Note: Full payment of $85 is required for Master Classes with your equity #. Upon completion of the workshop and confirmation from CAEA of your status you will receive a $40 refund from Nightwood

POV: Playwriting from the Directors Chair 
Sabina Berman, multi-award-winning Mexican playwright and director, writes from the multiple perspectives of author, director and designer. She “builds a building with spaces where actors can create”. Join Berman in this master class exploring how image inspires narrative when writing from a directorial POV.

November 16 and 17, 2-5pm, $85

The Business of Art: What an Aspiring Artistic Director Needs To Know
Art is a serious business.  When hiring, theatres seek leaders with both artistic vision and entrepreneurial chops. Participants will receive the 101 on fiscal and strategic planning, revenue diversification, stewardship and more from: Philip Akin (Obsidian), Richard Rose (Tarragon), Monica Esteves (Nightwood) and other established professionals.

November 18, 10-1pm, $25


Enjoy every event in the Summit for 33% off. Also get 15% off all Master Classes (Penelopiad and New Blood excluded) For more information or to reserve a spot in any of the Master Classes, In Conversations and Special Events, or to buy a $44 Industry Pass please contact Denyse Karn, Associate Artistic Producer .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 416–944–1740 x 7

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