2021 Board of Directors Election

The CATR/ACRT requires a Board of Directors that includes one representative from each of the following geographical areas: Atlantic Region, Québec, Ontario, Prairie Region, Alberta and the Territories, and British Columbia. In addition, the Board will also include one francophone representative, two graduate student representatives, two Representatives at Large, and one Unaffiliated Scholar Representative.

The online election is open to all current members. Members will receive a Voter Key allowing them to vote via email. If you are a member and you have not received an email, please contact the Elections Officer, Matt Jones at mf.jones@utoronto.ca.

The deadline to vote is March 22nd, 2021 at 11:59 ET.

Congratulations to the following member, who has been elected by acclamation:


Jessica Riley

Dr. Jessica Riley is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg. Her research and teaching focus on theatre history and historiography, dramaturgy, and Canadian drama. Jessica is the editor of A Man of Letters: The Selected Dramaturgical Correspondence of Urjo Kareda. Her work has been published in the Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature, Canadian Performance Histories and Historiographies, Performing the Intercultural City, Latina/o Canadian Theatre and Performance, and Canadian Theatre Review. She is currently at work on a manuscript that uses archival research to analyze the impact of new play dramaturgy as practiced by Urjo Kareda at the Tarragon Theatre.

Jessica Riley est professeure adjointe au Département de théâtre et de cinéma de l’Université de Winnipeg. Ses recherches et son enseignement portent sur l’histoire et l’historiographie du théâtre, la dramaturgie et l’art dramatique canadien. Jessica a édité A Man of Letters: The Selected Dramaturgical Correspondence of Urjo Kareda. Son travail a été publié dans Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature, Canadian Performance Histories and Historiographies, Performing the Intercultural City, Latina/o Canadian Theatre and Performance et Canadian Theatre Review. Elle travaille actuellement sur un manuscrit qui utilise la recherche archivistique pour analyser l’impact de la dramaturgie autour de nouvelles pièces, telle que pratiquée par Urjo Kareda au Théâtre Tarragon.

Elections are being held for the following positions: Graduate Student Representative (1 position), Atlantic Region, Ontario, British Columbia, Francophone Representative

Candidate bios


Neil Silcox

Neil Silcox is a teacher, director, and actor who has taught college and university students across the country. He has degrees from Sheridan College, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, and York University. In 2018, driven by a desire for a space to share with, and learn from, other theatre teachers, Neil founded the Canadian Theatre Educators’ Conference, through which he brings teachers together (virtually and IRL) to support one-another and figure out new ways to teach and take care of our students. Currently, Neil is the Crake Drama Fellow at Mount Allison University.

Robin Whittaker

Robin C. Whittaker is associate professor of drama at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. He is a playwright, director and past artistic producer for Theatre St. Thomas. He is co-creator of the verbatim play No White Picket Fence (Talonbooks 2019) and editor of Hot Thespian Action: Ten Premiere Plays from Walterdale Playhouse (Athabasca UP 2008). His articles on Canadian theatre appear in publications that include Theatre Research in Canada and Canadian Theatre Review. Robin is presently writing a book on nonprofessionalizing theatre. He looks forward to returning to the CATR/ACRT Board to focus on artist-scholar initiatives and conference planning.


Giorelle Diokno

Giorelle Diokno is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. His research interests revolve around diasporic identity and contemporary Filipinx Canadian performance. Giorelle approaches Filipino folk aesthetics through a queer historiographic lens, exploring how citation of the folk contends with histories of abjection and multi-faceted colonialisms.

Natasha Visosky

Natasha Visosky is an MA candidate in Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on somatic reception of immersive and participatory theatre. She draws on polyvagal theory to explore the ways in which bodies respond to danger and how this can be attended to in order to create greater emotional impact while also guiding audiences back into a sense of safety. Prior to her academic career she worked in production management across Ontario. She looks forward to bringing the fresh perspective of a relative newcomer to the Board.


Julia Matias

Julia Matias is a PhD candidate working on a collaborative degree with the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies the Women and Gender Studies Institute, and the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. She holds a BA in Devised Theatre and English from York University and an MA from CDTPS. Her research centers on representations of “exoticism” as they are staged and challenged in neo-burlesque performance. Matias is also an award-winning neo-burlesque practitioner and performance creator.

Sarah Robbins

Sarah Robbins is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, currently teaching at Mount Allison University’s Drama Department. She has an interest in acting training practices, and employs intersectional feminist theory both as research methodology and teaching pedagogy, with a focus on equity and inclusivity in spaces of performance training. She also brings to the CATR board her experience serving on CATR’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Committee since Fall 2020.


Marie-Eve Skelling Desmeules

Dr. Marie-Eve Skelling Desmeules is a long-term appointment professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. She firstly completed professional actor training at the École supérieure de théâtre (Université du Québec à Montréal) and then studied artistic education at the University of Ottawa before completing a two-year postdoctoral program at Concordia University in circus education. Her doctoral research focuses on corporeal work in different voice, acting and movement classes in professional actor training and her postdoctoral and current studies aim to better understand training experiences in professional circus schools. She is also vice-president of the Société québécoise d´études théâtrales [SQET] and responsible for the Theater and Training axis.

Christine (cricri) Bellerose

Christine (cricri) Bellerose is a somatic-based movement eco-performance artist and researcher. Her somatic and land-based approach to thinking-moving engages with repatterning the sensuous and healing somatic amnesia. She is co-founder of the Somatic Engagement working group, as well as the mentorship program coordinator with CATR. Her work is published with Phenomenology & Practice, Choreographic Practices, Contingent Horizon, Moving Consciously, and Back to the Dance Itself. In Beijing, she founded homônumos, a literature journal in 8 languages (2006-2008). During the three-year mandate in this position, she aims to network with Canadian universities / Performing Arts programs and recruit French speaking members. In the coming year, she plans to facilitate a CATR e-event on translation, workshop-ping problematic key performance vocabulary. www.christinebellerose.com // https://yorku.academia.edu/ChristineBellerose


Eury Chang

Eury Colin Chang is a Vancouver-born theatre artist/scholar living on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. His PhD dissertation: A History of Asian Canadian Theatre, 1971-2018, at UBC, and forthcoming Postdoctoral Fellowship (Diversity Assessment of the National Arts Centre) at University of Ottawa, were supported by SSHRC funding and support. Before academia, Eury worked as a freelance editor/writer, dramaturge, and Tour Manager in the non-profit arts sector. He was twice Public Scholars’ Fellow at UBC and Chair of the New Script Jury for the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. His writing is found in journals (Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, Anglistik) and anthologies (Playwrights Canada Press, University of Wisconsin Press, and Arsenal Pulp Press). Eury has served on arms-length peer juries (and hiring committees) for the Canada Council, the BC Arts Council, and Theatre at UBC. He lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, with his spouse (husband) and elder son.

Statement of Personal Goals, if elected as the BC Representative/Board Member for CATR, my energy is dedicated and focused, but not limited, to the following and pressing needs:

1)            Connecting the membership and research of CATR with the work of BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and Queer Artists; strengthening trust/understanding of cultural customs and difference; and expanding performing arts research in Canada; and

2)            Building careers for PhDs in Theatre/Dance/Performance Studies, by linking the skill sets of Emerging Scholars with work opportunities and needs of the non-profit arts sector.

Anita Hallewas

Anita Hallewas (BA, BTeach Deakin University, Australia, MA University of Victoria, Canada) is currently undertaking her PhD at UNSW, Sydney, Australia, working remotely from BC.  Her PhD focus is in refugee theatre, specifically how theatre might improve the quality of life for those living in refugee camps and the ethical implications related to that practice.  She is an active applied theatre practitioner and is the founding managing artistic director of Flying Arrow Productions a BC-based theatre company that specializes in applied theatre programming with a special interest in encouraging intergenerational collaboration.

Any questions about this election can be addressed to the Elections Officer, Matt Jones: mf.jones@utoronto.ca

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