Alternative Forms of Governance
  Wednesday, May 22nd at 9:30am – 12:00pm, University of Alberta

Using original research from Deneh’Cho Thompson (University of Saskatchewan), Peter Farbridge (Postmarginal), Soni Dasmohapatra and Larrisa Poseluzny (MacEwan University), and informed by the emergent collaborative governance practice of Azimuth Theatre in Edmonton, this roundtable will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of changing governance in theatre.

Two people facing the same direction almost in a line, but there is a screen separating them.
Photo by Helena Vallès

Patterns of social behaviour over time create structure, and the current hierarchical system of theatre in Edmonton is the result of patterns of behaviour learned through generations of education steeped in Eurocentric theatre traditions.
An alternative approach to theatre governance is required to allow the growth of alternative patterns of behaviour predicated on equity and ethical relationality.
This roundtable on alternate approaches to theatre governance will focus on a diverse group of academics, artists, and theatre practitioners who are actively engaged in the creation of alternative governance strategies.


Deneh is seen sitting on a cream-coloured chair. He is slightly bent forward with his elbows resting on his thighs. He is wearing a blue blazer, white button up shirt, and beige/cream pants. In the background you see blurred grey brick walls. Deneh is wearing glasses with blue-ish frames. He has a beaded dreamcatcher-looking pin on the collar of his blazer.

Deneh’Cho Thompson (he/they) is a director, actor and playwright and displaced and dispossessed member of the Pehdzeh ki Nation. His artistic practice focuses on new play development, acting credits include the world premieres of Fruitcake by Heather Morrison with production dramaturgy by Lenore Claire Harrem, Iron Peggy, by Marie Clements, REDPATCH, by Sean Oliver Harris and Raes Calvert, and Thanks for Giving, by Kevin Loring. This summer Deneh’Cho directed Drew Hayden Taylor’s Cottagers and Indians at the Blyth Festival.

As Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan Deneh’Cho oversees the wîcêhtowin Theatre Program, one of few Indigenous theatre programs at a Canadian university. Deneh’Cho’s research focuses on the development, naming, and centering of Indigenous pedagogies, new play development, and modes of collaboration while centering the values of reciprocity, respect and reflexivity. Deneh’Cho is also engaged in the (re)storying of personal family archives focusing on healing, resilience, and Indigenous storywork as a pathway towards the creation of new works of theatre.

Photo of Peter Farbridge from just below his chest up. He is wearing a black long-sleeve shirt with a v button opening in the front. He has a serious expression on his face as he looks directly at the camera.

Peter Farbridge (he/him) is a theatre actor and creator working on the island of Tiohtià:ke, commonly known as Montreal. After a 30-year career with the Modern Times Stage Company as actor, writer, producer, deviser and translator, he completed an MA in Anthropology and Theatre, and is currently Artist-in-Residence at Concordia University’s Department of Theatre. As the national coordinator for Postmarginal, a project he began at Modern Times, he has been responsible for the expansion of this organization promoting and exploring performing arts practices among marginalized and non-marginalized artists, and is currently engaged in defining and developing a set of governance principles and practices for a national organization.

Soni Dasmohapatra (she/her) is a consultant and educator who works with individuals, groups, public service institutions and community agencies to facilitate the development of tools that focus on building inclusive platforms that incorporate strategy, design, wellness and art for transformative change. Currently an Assistant Professor at MacEwan University in the Arts and Cultural Management Program, she has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, a master’s in public administration (MPA) from the University of Victoria, and is a PhD candidate with Royal Rhodes University.

A lower-contrast greyscale headshot of Larissa. She has a slight smirk expression, with smiling eyes. Her dark hair is down, with thick bangs sideswept on her forehead. You can see the top of her black-collared-attire and necklace chain. The background is a neutral solid grey.

Larissa Poseluzny (she/her) is a practicum student in the Arts and Cultural Management Program, working with Soni on a research project focussed on alternative governance and using this workshop and the development process of this event as resource material.

Azimuth theatre logo

Azimuth Theatre in Edmonton has over a thirty-year history of innovative and socially engaged theatre. As part of their ongoing commitment to equity and inclusion, they are currently piloting a novel model of artistic leadership with three individuals collaborating in an emergent experiment in governance.

Collaborative Creation Across Cultures
  Thursday, May 23rd at 9:30am – 12:00pm, MacEwan University

How can experiences of theatre creation coming from different perspectives and cultural backgrounds bring light into imagining a more inclusive performing arts community? This roundtable will involve conversation and practical examples totheatre creation in Edmonton.

A photo showing a wooden carved piece of art with a figure of a person on it. There are people touching this artwork. One person is holding it (we only see partial torsos of these people).
Photo by Helena Vallès

Both the terminology and the practice of theatre creation differ across cultures, with some examples from African, Indigenous and South American theatre and multi-disciplinary creation practices being much more interwoven, collaborative and equity-based than North American practices in the professional and academic sphere.

In this roundtable conversation with the audience, theatre artists Lebo Disele-Pitso (Actor, Theatre Creator), Josh Languedoc (Playwright, Theatre Creator), Elisa-Marina Mair Sanchez (Performer-Creator), and Tatiana Duque (Actor-Creator) will focus on sharing practical experiences of diverse ensembles and applications of collective creation, devised theatre, amongst other forms coming from diverse perspectives that can contribute to a more inclusive performing arts community in Edmonton.


A high exposure greyscale headshot of Duque smiling. It is a close-up headshot. You can only see her from the top of her forehead to the base of her neck.

Tatiana Duque (she/her) is a Colombian actor-creator, currently residing in Edmonton, Amiskwaciwâskahikan. She is passionate about ensemble work, artistic collaboration, collective creation and Latin American theater; and has extensive experience performing, teaching in Colombia and touring in theater festivals in Latin America. Other professional highlights include having graduated from the MFA Theater Practice from UAlberta and most recently, having attended the Odin Week Festival and Training with Odin Theater in Denmark. As an artist who immigrated to Canada, Tatiana feels great joy in performing for projects that create connections between the theater scene in Edmonton and the Latin American theater and culture. Tatiana is delighted to be a part of Postmarginal Edmonton 2.0 Collective.

A chest-up photo of Lebo smiling widely at the camera. She is wearing a white button up blouse, colourful multi-layered bead necklace, and yellow tassle earrings. Her hair is pulled back into a single afro puff.

Lebo Disele-Pitso (she/her) is a theatre-maker with a focus in movement, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. She was the Artistic Associate at Mile Zero Dance for Winter 2022 and a part of the Citadel RBC Mentorship Program’s 2021/22 cohort. Select performance credits include The Wolves (Maggie Tree/Citadel), Breaking Ground (Mile Zero Dance), The Space Between (NextFest 2021, Expanse Festival 2022), “Radical Imagination” in Brandon Wint’s Freedom Journal: Antidotes to Violence as Care (2022); All That Binds Us (Azimuth Theatre, 2020) and What (Black) Life Requires (Expanse Festival, 2018). Lebo locates her work within the genre of physical theatre, focusing on interdisciplinary collective creation.

Photo of Josh smiling at the camera. His dark hair is shaggy with waves and curls. You can see the top of a blazer, and necklace.

Josh Languedoc (he/him) is an Anishinaabe playwright, producer, teacher, and storyteller. He is a second genaration survivor of the Sixties Scoop and an active member of the theatre and education communities of amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, AB).

Elisa sits on a grey sofa, smiling at the camera. Her long brown hair is curled. She is wearing alight pink blouse with tiny black dots on it. The collar is ruffled. She is holding a pen and a notebook sits on her lap.

Elisa Marina Mair-Sanchez (she/her) is an immigrant performer/creator originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico, currently residing in amiskwaciwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ) colonially known as Edmonton. Growing up her main mode of artistic expression was dance, competing in national festivals throughout Mexico. She immigrated to Edmonton to pursue her BFA in Acting degree from the University of Alberta. Since graduating, she has had the pleasure of being a part of the Edmonton theatre community, mostly as a performer, for many companies including The Fox Den Collective, Grindstone Theatre, Catch the Keys Productions, Theatre Yes, and the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre among others. Most recently, she has been exploring her artistic expression through creation and writing. She’s interested in theatre that crosses boundaries and blurs the lines between different art forms, while also incorporating multiple languages. An example of her work includes “Frida y Su Reflejo” (“Frida Through the Looking Glass”), a bilingual movement-based show about the life and death of Frida Kahlo. Her newest piece “El Funeral” explores the guilt and experiences by members of the diaspora, through the lens of her family history. This play is a multidisciplinary, bilingual, site-specific show, where audiences can piece together the story by roaming in an interactive path throughout a funeral home. She has also written a number of short plays including “Rooftop Murmurs,” which was selected as a winner of the inaugural EdmonTEN festival and performed at the Grindstone Theatre in September of 2020, as well as “Alebrijes” commissioned by Concrete Theatre as part of their 2022-2023 Anti-Racism and Change programming. She also wrote and performed four of the episodes released as part of Nextfest’s digital performance piece “What’s Next?”.

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