Department of Theatre: Class of 2020 Gradzoomation Celebration
Jun 10 @ 11:30 am – Jul 15 @ 1:00 pm

Department of Theatre
Class of 2020
Gradzoomation Celebration

The Class of 2020 Gradzoomation Celebration is now available on YouTube.

Design Grad Show 2020
Jun 20 – Aug 30 all-day

The YSDN 2020 Grad show is now live!

The Department of Design presents the class of 2020 Graduate Design show online.

We are proud to finally present the hard work of our design graduates through our online graduation showcase at We hope you will take some time to view the diverse selection of projects and encourage you to contact the students to support their work.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use the live chat feature on the site!

Learn more about our graduates
Want a more personal look into the journey of our graduates? The Medium articles feature conversations with a handful of students from YSDN. In these interviews, they discuss their experience in the YSDN program and reflect on their growth as designers. Click here for more.






Peripheral Vision Speaker Series: Online
Jun 20 – Jul 31 all-day

Peripheral Vision Speaker Series: Online

Did you know that the 2019 Peripheral Visions Speaker Series lectures are available online? Check out the Peripheral Visions Speaker Series website for more information regarding the series, featured speakers and ongoing work!

Running from January 2019 to March 2019, the Peripheral Vision Speaker Series presented scholars/artists working within critical disability and Indigenous frameworks to address vision, blind epistemology and art, crip technoscience, and Indigenous visioning practices. The series explored and critiqued the primacy of vision, problematizing the normalcy of ‘perfect’ vision, and worked to innovate blind and multi-sensory ways of knowing.

Curated by Mary Bunch, Laura Levin and Lauren Sergio the Peripheral Vision Speaker Series was hosted by York University’s Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology in the School of Art, Media, Performance and Design. The series was sponsored by SSHRC, CREF, VISTA -Vision: Science to Applications, The Departments of Theatre and Cinema and Media Arts, the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series and the Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies. Other partners included Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life, Tangled Art + Disability, and the New College Disability Studies Speaker Series at the University of Toronto.

The Llandovery Castle: Watch Now on YouTube
Jun 20 – Jul 31 all-day

Watch now on YouTube

Watch the first fully-staged production of The Llandovery Castle on YouTube.

The opera brings to life an important an important but little-known part of Canadian history. It is a beautifully-expressed tribute to Canadian nurses in particular, and healers in general who for millennia have put themselves in harm’s way to serve their communities and humankind.

Grab your favourite snacks, find a comfy seat, and get ready to experience York University Department of Music Professor, Stephanie Martin & York University Alumni, Paul Ciufo’s joyous and inspiring music drama.

YouTube Event Link

The opera centres on the 14 nurses of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle who served in harrowing circumstances throughout the war, their care and compassion contrasting with the chaos and violence surrounding them.

With music by Stephanie Martin and libretto by Paul Ciufo, the opera spotlights in particular the lives of Minnie ‘Kate’ Gallaher and Rena ‘Bird’ McLean, the latter traumatized by earlier battlefield-area nursing, and her quest to prove herself ready to return to the Front. Bird seeks to convince her superior, Matron Margaret ‘Pearl’ Fraser, that she is strong enough to serve close to the action once more, little imagining the fatal turn their assignment would take.

The music of The Llandovery Castle skirts boundaries of genre and style. Scored for a sonorous classical chamber orchestra and nine singers, it has been described as “a modern flirtation between baroque, classical, traditional and popular genres.” Composer Stephanie Martin describes this operatic style as “21st-century bel canto”, focused on the narrative and expressive power of the human voice.


Toasterlab: Mixed Reality Performance Symposium At York
Jun 20 – Aug 30 all-day

Image of a woman holding a virtual reality headset with her left hand. Behind her are two tall condominiums and between them stands a tall, multicolour poll.

Mixed Reality Performance Symposium: York

If you were unable to attend the November 5, 2019 Toasterlab Mixed Reality Performance Symposium at York University you can now view recordings of live webcast presentations and panel discussions here.

The Mixed Reality Performance Symposium: York is the first of six symposiums hosted by mixed reality producers Toasterlab, and will explore extended and mixed reality performance. Artists and new media creators will share modes of working and recent successes in VR, AR, and immersive theatre.

Projects include: 

Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Toasterlab’s Mixed Reality Performance Atelier is a two-year deep dive into the current mixed reality methods used by theatre and performance makers across Canada and the U.S. Every four months, an Atelier cohort will present progress on their projects at a symposium hosted by Toasterlab in partnership with a university and the Atelier’s advisory board. When the Atelier concludes in June 2021, Toasterlab will share open source tools, guidelines, and instructional material for the creation of immersive media in an arts context.

Toasterlab creates place-based extended reality experiences that promote deeper engagement with history, community, and imagination. Toasterlab combines expertise in storytelling, theatrical and media production, and the development of new technology to produce both original work and partnerships. Our work ranges from live site-specific live performance to bespoke mobile applications and VR films, and often combines a variety of approaches to collapse time and space for the delivery of impactful narratives. From the largest festivals to community youth workshops, we build accessible ways to understand places in whole new ways.

Sponsored/Supported by: 

Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology

Canada Council for the Arts

Toronto-Based Theatre Companies’ Transition from Blackout to Rebirth
Jul 9 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Toronto-based Theatre Companies’ Transition from Blackout to Rebirth:
A panel discussion with Native Earth Performing Arts and Tapestry Opera

DATE: Thursday, July 9th, 2020
TIME: 10:30AM – 12:00PM EST

The impact of the novel coronavirus is still deeply felt throughout the world as we continue our fight to keep individuals and organizations alive. Theatres still remain closed, yet professional performance companies have been striving to find ways to recover revenue loss whilst navigating new sustainable models of operation and programming. Throughout these past few months of fear and isolation, the irrefutable importance of art has become even more evident, but what lies ahead for theatrical venues and performance companies in a rapidly changing world weathering a pandemic?

Join us for a virtual panel discussion on how arts organizations such as Native Earth Performing Arts and Tapestry Opera are moving forward during an ongoing health crisis. Filmmaker and York University professor Brenda Longfellow will be in conversation with Native Earth’s Artistic Director Keith Barker and Tapestry Opera’s executive team Michael Mori and Jaime Martino to discuss their endeavors in raising funds for artists and transitioning to digital platforms.


Keith Barker – Artistic Director, Native Earth Performing Arts
Keith is a Métis playwright, actor, and theatre director from Northwestern Ontario, and the current Artistic Director at Native Earth Performing Arts. He was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English Drama in 2018 for his play, This Is How We Got Here. Keith received a Saskatchewan and Area Theatre Award for Excellence in Playwriting and a Yukon Arts Award for Best Art for Social Change for his play, The Hours That Remain. Prior to taking the job at Native Earth, Keith served as a Theatre Program Officer for the Canada Council for the Arts.

Jaime Martino – Executive Director, Tapestry Opera
Jaime is an award-winning choreographer and a lifelong contributor to the arts and social justice who creates art that challenges narratives and centers queer voices. Following the completion of her Master’s degree in New Zealand, she co-founded the Aha Dance Collective, a contemporary dance company dedicated to exploring gender and movement through a queer feminist lens. Now in her fourth season with Tapestry, Jaime has helped to more than double the annual operating budget, launch two national initiatives, and produce some of the largest shows produced by the organization since 2001.

Michael Hidetoshi Mori – Artistic and General Director, Tapestry Opera
An award-winning Canadian/American stage director, and the General Director of Tapestry Opera, Michael is frequently sought as a director, dramaturge, producer, and speaker. Michael’s leadership at Tapestry Opera has led to the Globe and Mail naming Tapestry as the “Leader of the Canadian opera pack” (2019). Recent directing credits include TAP:EX Augmented Opera with Tapestry Opera, Mada’ookii Songlines for The Luminato Festival, and Shanawdithit which he co-directed for Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon.


Brenda Longfellow – Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Studies, York University
Film practitioner and scholar Brenda Longfellow has published articles on documentary, feminist film theory and Canadian cinema in Public, CineTracts, Screen, and the Journal of Canadian Film Studies. She is a co-editor (with Scott MacKenzie and Tom Waugh) of the anthology The Perils of Pedagogy: the Works of John Greyson (2013) and Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women Filmmakers (1992). She recently launched the SSHRC-funded interactive web documentary OFFSHORE, co-directed with Glen Richards and Helios Design Lab.

York Cinema and Media Arts presents Lockdown Fest
Jul 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

York Cinema and Media Arts presents Lockdown Fest

York Cinema & Media Arts presents Lockdown Fest, a showcase of film and video works created during lockdown by York grads, undergrads, and alumni.

This selection of films will be available to view from July 9-11, 2020. We invite you to watch it together with us on the evening of Friday, July 10, and join us for a Q&A with the filmmakers on Zoom afterwards.

This screening will feature works from York MFA students Samuel Kiehoon Lee, JL Whitecrow, Shabnam Sukhdev, and Xin Liu and York Alumni Ingrid Veninger and Jorge Lozano.

Film and Zoom links will be provided once you have registered for the event.

DATE: Friday, July 10, 2020
TIME: 7:00 PM

Please follow their Facebook event page for updates.

This is the first of three screenings, with the next two screenings taking place on July 31 and August 21.

York students and alumni are invited to submit your work by emailing



Department of Theatre presents Solstice Cabaret
Jul 10 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Please join us for a night filled with poetry, song and theatre featuring professional artists performing alongside emerging artists from York University. This event will be streamed on YouTube Live for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Those who register will receive an email on the day of the event with a link to the stream.

DATE: Friday, July 10, 2020
TIME: 8:00 PM
COST: This is a Pay What You Can Event. For more information please visit Eventbrite.

Featuring Performances by:

Video Design by NATHAN BRUCE

Follow Solstice Cabaret on Instagram
Follow Solstice Cabaret on Facebook

Theatre Devising Starter Kit: Tools to Create from Scratch
Jul 20 @ 1:00 pm – Jul 31 @ 1:00 pm

The “Theatre Devising Starter Kit” will offer a series of FREE online lessons, workshop activities, collaborative opportunities, and feedback sessions for high school students interested in learning how to devise original theatre pieces from scratch. This 2 week, six session online course is aimed at students in grade 11-12 or 1st/2nd year post-secondary students interested in creating their own performance based work from scratch. Student will learn new lessons/activities each day led by professional artist educators, Aaron Jan, Lucy Powis, Luke Reece, & Autumn Smith. See full bios below.

Dates: July 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Zoom (Zoom details to be sent to those who Sign Up using the link below)
Interested students can sign up via SignUp Genius:
Contact: for more info


Guest Artist Biographies
Aaron Jan
Aaron Jan is a Hamilton-born playwright, director and dramaturg. He has worked as a creator with Factory Theatre, Canadian Stage, Native Earth Performing Arts, Theatre Aquarius, Cahoots, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, the Stratford Festival and the Next Stage Theatre Festival. Aaron is a member of the critically acclaimed, Silk Bath Collective, whose production of Yellow Rabbit enjoyed a sold-out run as a part of Soulpepper’s 2018/2019 season. Aaron is the 2019 winner of the Ken McDougall directing award and has served as TAC theatre projects juror, a TAC Arts in Parks juror, an RGTC Juror with Cahoots theatre as well as an OAC Chalmers Fellowship Juror.

Lucy Powis
Lucy Powis graduated from York University’s theatre program with specializations in devised theatre and dramaturgy. While living in Toronto, she worked in Soulpepper Theatre Company’s education department and on productions with Theatre Asylum, Theatre Aquarius, Buddies in Bad Times, Little Black Afro, Then They Fight, SummerWorks Performance Festival, and the Hamilton and Toronto Fringe Festivals. She moved to New York City to pursue her MFA in Dramaturgy at Columbia University and now lives there, working in the literary division at A3 Artists Agency and as a freelance dramaturg and producer. She previously held seasonal positions in the artistic/literary departments at Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Autumn Smith
Autumn is a director, artist educator and consultant. She is the current Artistic and Executive Director of Littlewoodsmith, a theatre company that brings quality theatre performance and education to the Muskoka Region. Autumn holds an MFA from York University in Theatre Direction with an Emphasis on Teaching and is a conservatory trained actor (Oxford School of Drama/UK). Ms. Smith is a member of the Faculty at AMPD (York University) Centennial College and University of Toronto. As a director and educator Ms. Smith led the Dora Award winning company MacKenzieRo for over a 9 year period in addition to working with companies such as: The Shaw Festival, The Tarragon Theatre, Stratford Festival, National Ballet, Theatre Passe Muraille, The Paprika Festival, George Brown Theatre School, Stagedoor Manor in Association with the American Theatre Wing, StageWest Mississauga, Theatre 20, The Druid Theatre/Galway and the Oxford Playhouse/UK. Most recently, Autumn curated and directed Territorial Tales for Canadian Stage, Oh, What A Lovely War! for Hart House Theatre and is set to direct and choreograph Citronella for the Gravenhurst Opera House 2021 season. Autumn also has a musical theatre podcast that she co-hosts called Before the Downbeat.

Luke Reece
In a failed attempt to escape Presto, Luke Reece left his hometown of Mississauga under the guise of becoming a Toronto-based artist. He is a theatre producer, playwright, spoken word poet, and arts educator. He is the Producer for Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company, Obsidian Theatre, and a Member of the Toronto Poetry Project. He continually seeks opportunities to empower and support young-in-craft artists with his collective Little Black Afro Theatre, creating spaces for artists to develop work with and for the communities they come from. Through his work as an artistic leader within the national arts community, he advocates for engaging and nuanced storytelling that challenges Canadian audiences. Luke is one of Toronto’s most decorated slam poets, becoming the Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) Grand Champion in 2017, winning the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word as the captain of the TPS team and then again in 2018 as the team coach. In 2018 he placed 2nd in Canada individually which earned him a spot representing the country at the 2019 World Cup of Poetry Slam in Paris France where he placed 4th. Most recently Luke has been featured performing for Toronto Raptor and NBA Champion Serge Ibaka on his Instagram Talent Show.


York Cinema and Media Arts presents Lockdown Fest
Jul 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

York Cinema and Media Arts presents Lockdown Fest

York Cinema & Media Arts presents Lockdown Fest, a showcase of film and video works created during lockdown by York grads, undergrads, and alumni.

This selection of films will be available to view from July 30 – August 2, 2020. We invite you to watch it together with us on the evening of Friday, July 31st and join us for a Q&A with the filmmakers on Zoom afterwards.

This screening will feature works from York graduate students and alumni, including J.P. Marchant, Cara Mumford, Ajla Odobašić, Weibin Wang, Elizabeth Lazebnik, and Sofia Bohdanowicz.

Film and Zoom links will be provided once you have registered for the event.

DATE: Friday, July 31st, 2020
TIME: 7:00 PM

Please follow their Facebook event page for updates.

This is the second of three screenings, with the final screening taking place on August 21.

York students and alumni are invited to submit your work by emailing