Theatre Committee

Michael Sinclair, Chair is the General Manager of Obsidian Theatre Company Inc., Canada’s largest culturally specific theatre company.  Prior to assuming the position at Obsidian, he was very active in the theatre community, being a professional stage manager for over 20 years, a job which took him across the country from PEI to Vancouver and internationally to Barbados.  In that time, he worked in commercial, festival, large regional and local theatres, and touring internationally, nationally, regionally and schools but working mainly in the Toronto area.  A graduate from Concordia University majoring in Accounting, Michael worked for a Chartered Accounting firm before branching out into the theatre business, but always had a love for the theatre as he was involved in community theatre while still pursuing his accounting career.  He is on the board of Stage Managing the Arts (SMArts), and a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA), Stage Management Committee.

Naz Afsahi (she/they) is a 1.5 generation West Asian-Canadian theatre arts manager with over a decade of experience in Tkaronto, supporting artistic creation and operations. Naz deeply values the unique mission that Nightwood champions and was delighted to be appointed as the Managing Director in February 2022 after six seasons with the company. Prior to joining Nightwood, Naz spent five seasons with Theatre Direct in a variety of roles, and has served on Juries at the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and at the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts for the DORAs. Naz holds a Masters of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario, and an Honours B.A. (double major) from Queen’s University. Naz believes in community engagement and volunteering: they are the past Chair of the Board of Directors for Paprika Theatre Festival (2019-2022) and currently serving as the Treasurer of the Board; they sit on the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres’ (PACT) Finance Committee and Labour Negotiations team; and they have been a decade-long volunteer editor with Shameless Magazine and shortly shifting to become a Board Member. Naz is also a core team member for OPEN DOOR/RISING TIDES, a new initiative to fill a gap in the national performing arts sector in supporting and training emerging/developing IBPOC administrators and managers, specific to the needs of this community.

Jonathan Heppner is a Toronto-based producer and arts manager. He is currently Executive Producer at Soulpepper Theater Company. Prior to joining Soulpepper, he was the Managing Director of Factory Theatre, where he worked since 2011/12 (first joining as Associate Producer). Prior to Factory, he has held producing and administrative positions with Dusk Dances, Crow’s Theatre, Across Oceans Collaborations in Contemporary Arts, Prologue to the Performing Arts, and Theatre Gargantua among others.

Monique Mojica (Guna and Rappahannock nations) Actor/Playwright/Dramaturg is passionately dedicated to a theatrical practice as an act of healing, of reclaiming historical/cultural memory and of resistance. Spun directly from the family-web of New York’s Spiderwoman Theater, her theatrical practice embraces her artistic lineage through mining stories embedded in the body in connection to land and place. Monique has taught Indigenous Theatre in theory, process and practice at Brown University, the University of Illinois, the Institute of American Indian Arts, McMaster University and is a former co-director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She has lectured on land-based embodied research and taught performance workshops throughout Canada, the US, Latin America, New Zealand and Europe. She was most recently seen onstage in the role of Aunt Shadie in Marie Clements’ The Unnatural and Accidental Women, the inaugural production of the new Indigenous Theatre department at The National Arts Centre, with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in the European tour of I lost my Talk as part of the Life Reflected series, Izzie M.: The Alchemy of Enfreakment written by Monique with a diverse artistic collaborative team and in Tara Beagan's Honour Beat for Theatre Calgary. Upcoming projects include the role of dramaturg for Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Sken:en created by Santee Smith. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the Toronto-based Chocolate Woman Collective.

Andrea Vagianos is Managing Director of Tarragon Theatre, a role she assumed in April of 2018. Over the past twenty-five years, she has held a variety of positions in the cultural sector on both the producing and funding sides of the industry. In the early ‘90s, Andrea spent several years creating and running arts education programs for the Shaw Festival and the Canadian Opera Company. She moved to the Laidlaw Foundation in the late ‘90s, where she was Arts Programme Coordinator and facilitated its province-wide funding of new works in the performing arts. Andrea moved into management roles at the start of the century and spent six years as Administrative Director of Dancemakers (2000-2005), during which time she negotiated and managed the company’s move to and leasehold improvements of the Centre for Creation in Toronto’s Distillery District. She worked in the public sector as Acting Arts Education Officer at the Ontario Arts Council (2006-07), and was General Manager of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (2007-09) before moving on to become Managing Director of Toronto Dance Theatre (2010-2018). Throughout her career, Andrea has volunteered on juries at all levels of government and on numerous arts boards, including Canadian Dance Assembly, and seven years on the board of the Toronto Alliance of the Performing Arts (TAPA), the last three of which she served as President. She is currently on the Centennial College Arts Management’s Program Advisory Committee.

Annemieke Wade, Executive Director of Roseneath Theatre, has been with the organization since 2016, after serving a year as the General Manager for Theatre Direct Canada. Prior to her time at Theatre Direct, she spent four seasons with Tarragon Theatre as the Company Manager. In 2010, she concurrently held the positions of both the Artistic Director of Toronto Youth Theatre and the Production Manager for the Lower Ossington Theatre. In addition to her years of experience in the administrative side of the industry, Annemieke toured TYA across the US and Canada as a performer between the years of 2000-2007. During this time, she performed over 7,000 shows, and in one particularly exciting summer traversed over 26,000 kilometers. Theatre, and especially Theatre for Young Audiences has been an integral thread woven into the fabric of her identity. She holds a MBA from Champlain College, an HBA from the University of Toronto in Theatre & Drama Studies, and a diploma in Acting from Sheridan College. In addition to her extensive managerial experience, Annemieke brings a strong background in performance, producing, and educational touring. For the past seven years, she was on the Toronto Alliance for Performing Arts (TAPA) board and was the acting Secretary for three of those years. She is one of the founding members of Royal Porcupine Productions and continues to be quite active in the Ontario art scene administratively and artistically. Originally from St. Albans, Vermont, she has made Canada her permanent home since 2007.

ted witzel (he/him) is a queer theatre-maker, curator, and arts leader who has worked in theatres across canada, as well as in the UK, germany, and italy. ted recently finished up four years as artistic associate and laboratory director for the stratford festival, where he oversaw the festival’s research and development initiatives. In 2019, ted was an artistic leadership resident at the national theatre school and a member of the banff centre’s cultural leadership cohort.  he has been artist-in-residence at buddies in bad times, harbourfront centre, and the institut für alles mögliche. ted was in the inaugural cohort of york university/canadian stage’s MFA in directing and holds a BA from the university of toronto. Recent directing credits include: every little nookie (stratford festival), just a trick (TO live online), susanna fournier’s what happens to you happens to me (canadian stage CSgrid), elizabeth rex (theatre@york), the scavenger’s daughter (buddies/paradigm) and LULU v.7 // aspects of a femme fatale (buddies/red light district).