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New Ideas Festival 2022

Local Artists’ Voices
The Power and Potential of Drama
Anna Tharyan, Producer

Innovating through Chaos
Tuesday, May 17/7pm-8pm EDT
FREE Streaming Live (Ticket Required)

Despite her decades of experience working on new works with gender marginalized theatre creators, Andrea Donaldson entered the pandemic as a brand new Artistic Director. In this talk, she will share her reflections on innovating through chaos as an artist and AD during this complex time.

Andrea is Nightwood Theatre’s Artistic Director. Directing highlights in Toronto include: Betrayal (Soulpepper), Every Day She Rose (Nightwood), Beautiful Man (Factory Theatre) Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) (Nightwood/Crows), Quiver(Nightwood/Buddies), Sequence (Tarragon), Romeo & Juliet (Ruff), Soliciting Temptation (Tarragon), Within the Glass – GG Nomination (Tarragon), Mistatim (Red Sky), The Atomic Weight of Happiness (Theatre Direct), Montparnasse (TPM), The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (TPM).
Awards: Stratford Festival’s Jean Gascon Award for Direction, nominations for the Pauline McGibbon & John Hirsch Directing Awards. Her projects have received over a dozen Dora nominations and have been awarded Outstanding Performance (Ensemble) & Outstanding Production for And By the Way, Miss (Theatre Direct).
Upcoming: Queen In Me at the Canadian Opera Company Theatre.

The Intersectional Feminist Lens
Tuesday, May 3/7pm-8pm EDT
FREE Streaming Live (Ticket Required)

Erin Shields is a Canadian playwright based in Montreal. Much of her work highlights the negation or misrepresentation of women in classical texts by adapting these stories through an intersectional feminist lens for a contemporary audience. Erin’s adaptation of Paradise Lost premiered at The Stratford Festival of Canada and won the Quebec Writers Federation Prize for Playwriting. Paradise Lost was slated to play in large theatres across Canada in 2020 and 2021.

Erin won the 2011 Governor General’s Award for her play If We Were Birds, which premiered at Tarragon Theatre. Other theatre credits include: Piaf/Dietrich (Mirvish Productions/Segal Centre), Beautiful Man (Factory Theatre), The Lady from the Sea (The Shaw Festival), The Millennial Malcontent and Soliciting Temptation (Tarragon Theatre), and Instant (Geordie Theatre). Upcoming productions include Jane Eyre (Citadel Theatre) and Queen Goneril (Soulpepper). (


Anna Tharyan:
Member of Alumnae Theatre Company and Act 2 Studio Ryerson.
Performer in New Ideas Festival Series, Write Now, Full Length Plays and Cyber-Reads. Produced Considering Drama Series — talks on Hamlet, This Is How We Got Here and Antigone.
Directed Ten Minute Plays.
Performer in Video Vignettes for Seniors (Ryerson)
​Singer in auditioned Classical Music Choirs

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