Kamal Al-Solaylee, former drama critic for The Globe and Mail, has written extensively and passionately about theatre for years, most notably as the lead theatre writer at Toronto's EYE Weekly. Kamal has more than 4,300 reviews and feature stories under his belt, covering every aspect of Canadian theatre from Mirvish megamusicals to one-person fringe shows. He has also written on theatre for the National Post, Xtra! and Elle Canada.
Kamal was selected by the editors of Time Out in London to write the Theatre and Dance chapter for their first travel guide to Toronto (2003). Kamal holds a PhD in Victorian Literature from Nottingham University, England, specializing in 19th-century melodrama. He also co-edited volumes of Victorian fiction for both Oxford University Press and Everyman Paperbacks. He joined The Globe and Mail in October 2000 as production editor for Report on Business magazine. Since then, he has contributed numerous stories to Globe television, Review, Foreign News, Travel, Focus, and of course, Report on Business Magazine.
Mary Alderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Alderson returned to writing theatre reviews in 2004 on a freelance basis. She established her own website www.entertainthisthought.com, and has an email list of more than 300 interested readers. As well, she has supplied publications such as the Strathroy Age-Dispatch and Sarnia's First Monday magazine, and websites www.thebeatmagazine.ca, www.theatreinlondon.ca and www.grandbendstrip.com.
Mary has been a fan of live theatre since her first visit to the Stratford Festival as a child, where she saw Christopher Walken and Louise Marleau in Romeo and Juliet. She holds a BA Honours English and an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, London. After graduation, Mary was a reporter for the Exeter Times-Advocate and reviewed shows at Grand Bend's Huron Country Playhouse.
She now lives in Strathroy, Ontario, central to southwestern Ontario's many professional theatres.
Jeniva Berger email@example.com
CTCA Board Member (Ex-officio)
Jeniva Berger was born in Chicago, Illinois. She immigrated to Canada in 1957 and received a MA in drama from the University of Toronto in 1976. She has been reviewing theatre on a regular basis since the late 1970s, writing on theatre and entertainment on a regular basis for such publications as Toronto Calendar Magazine, the Canadian Jewish News, Scene Changes Magazine — for which she served as editor from 1977 to 1982 — and Toronto Tonight. Other theatre pieces have appeared in The Guardian and Melody Maker (Great Britain), the Canadian Theatre Review, the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Oxford Companion to Canadian Drama, and for the book Contemporary Canadian Theatre: New World Visions. She is the author of a handbook for theatre publicists, For Immediate Release. She was a regular columnist on Toronto theatre and arts events for The Buffalo News for six years. Currently, she is publisher, reviewer and webmaster for www.scenechanges.com.
Jeniva is the co-founder (with Herbert Whittaker) and founding president of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association and served for many years as chair/co-ordinator of the Nathan Cohen Award for Excellence in Theatre Criticism.
Robin Breon firstname.lastname@example.org
CTCA Board Member
A freelance theatre journalist, Robin Breon was born in State College, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University (BA) where he majored in theatre arts and communications. After university he toured nationally for two years with the New Shakespeare Company of San Francicso (Margrit Roma, artistic director) and then immigrated to Canada in 1972, where he worked as a freelance arts journalist in Toronto and was a founding member of the Toronto Drama Bench. He returned to Pennsylvania in the mid-1970s where he received a masters degree in education from Lehigh University's Social Restoration Program. After teaching English and drama at the secondary and post-secondary levels, he returned to Canada in 1981, to work for Black Theatre Canada as publicist and administrator until 1988, when he became program administrator for the Museum Studies Program at the University of Toronto. Over the years his theatre reviews, articles and cultural essays have appeared in a wide variety of print media, popular and academic journals including Canadian Theatre Review, American Theatre, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Chronicle for Higher Education, Theatre History in Canada, TDR-Drama Review, Toronto Review of Writing Abroad, Our Times and others. He teaches a course on arts journalism for the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, is on the advisory committee of the Theatre Museum and is a regular contributor to AisleSay.com (the independent internet journal of theatre review and opinion).
Robert Cushman email@example.com
CTCA Board Member
Born in England, educated at Cambridge University, worked in professional theatre as director, writer and performer. Theatre critic, The Observer, 1973-84. Came to Canada 1987. Theatre critic for the National Post since its inception in 1999. Has also written for The Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, New York Times, and taught theatre at York University. Winner of eight Nathan Cohen Awards. A frequent broadcaster in Canada and the U.K., especially on musical theatre (Book, Music and Lyrics, BBC) and American popular song (Songbook, CBC).
Publications: Fifty Seasons at Stratford (2002). Produced for the Quantum Book Group by Madison Press Books, Toronto.
Jessica Goldman firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Goldman is the theatre critic for CBC Radio’s The Calgary Eyeopener and is the author of the online performance review site www.applause-meter.com. Jessica has a journalism degree from Ryerson University and has previously worked for CityTV, CTV and Shaw Media.
James Hoffman email@example.com
James Hoffman is professor of theatre at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. His research specialty is the theatre history and culture of British Columbia. He is at present examining the relationship between professional theatre companies in small cities (Kamloops, Prince George, Nanaimo) and their communities. His latest publication (2009) is a chapter in the book, The Last Best West, An Exploration of Myth, Identity and Quality of Life in Western Canada (New Star Books), titled "Professional Theatre and Community Engagement in Three Small Cities in British Columbia." He has co-edited Playing the Pacific Province: An Anthology of British Columbia Plays, 1967-2000 (Playwrights Canada Press), Alan Filewod's Performing Canada: The Nation Enacted in the Imagined Theatre (TSC Monographs), and edited George Ryga: The Other Plays (Talonbooks) and George Ryga: The Prairie Novels (Talonbooks).
A selection of other publications includes: The Ecstasy of Resistance, A Biography of George Ryga, Toronto: ECW Press, 1995; "Biocritical Essay" in The George Ryga Papers, University of Calgary Press, 1995; "Genre Contention at the New Play Centre," in Theatre Research in Canada, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2; "Theatre" entry in The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, Vancouver: Harbour Publishing, 1999; "Subverting Modernisms in British Columbia: Christopher Dafoe at the Vancouver Sun, 1968-1975," chapter in Establishing Our Boundaries: English Canadian Theatre Criticism, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999; and "Shedding the Colonial Past: Rethinking British Columbia Theatre," in BC Studies 137 (Spring 2003). He also writes program notes for plays staged by Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops.
Christopher Innes firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Innes is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (U.K.), and distinguished research professor at York University, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Performance and Culture.
He has published more than 85 essays and 13 books, most recently: Avant Garde Theatre (Routledge), Modern British Drama: the Twentieth Century ( Cambridge), Hedda Gabler — A Sourcebook (Routledge), and Designing Modern America: Broadway to Main Street (Yale).
He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Bernard Shaw, as well as the general editor for the Cambridge Directors in Perspective series, and co-editor for the Lives of the Theatre series (Praeger/Greenwood). He was a contributing editor for The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, and has been co-editor of the quarterly journal Modern Drama.
At York he founded the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and served as its first director, as well as establishing a faculty and graduate student exchange program with the Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz.
For more information see www.moderndrama.com
Gordon Jones email@example.com
Gordon Jones is a professor of English specializing in Shakespeare and drama at Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland. He has been director of a number of amateur Shakespeare productions from 1983 to 1996, such Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew (twice), The Comedy of Errors (twice), Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love's Labour's Lost, Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. He was freelance theatre reviewer for CBC Radio, St. John's from 1985 to 1994 and for The Telegram from 1994 to 2003. He has contributed to Theatrum, Performance Arts and Entertainment in Canada. He is the 1992 winner of the Nathan Cohen Award in the Broadcast/Telecast division and the author of The Irish Caruso, a one-man play with music on the life of John McCormack, first performed in 1996. He is a member of the board of the National Theatre School of Canada and a former board member of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.
James Karas firstname.lastname@example.org
James Karas holds degrees in English literature and law from the University of Toronto. In addition to practising law and extensive community involvement, he has taught at Ryerson University and writes on theatre and opera for The Greek Press and reviews books for Hellenic Way.
Jon Kaplan email@example.com
Jon Kaplan is is senior theatre writer for NOW Magazine and has been writing about theatre in the publication since it began in 1981. He was also theatre critic for CJRT FM, and the Toronto correspondent for the New York-based BackStage and the London-based Plays International. He has received a Brenda Donohue Award and a Harold, both for his contributions to the Toronto theatre community.
Patricia Keeney firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Keeney has been a freelance theatre critic for more than 20 years for such publications as Canadian Forum, Scene Changes, Canadian Theatre Review, Performing Arts in Canada, and Maclean's. She is the author of nine volumes of poetry and one novel. She is currently working on new fiction, including a novel about theatre under the Amin regime in Uganda. She is a professor of creative writing and English literature at York University. Website: www.wapitiwords.ca
Alide Kohlhaas email@example.com
A founding member of CTCA, since 1991 Alidë has been a regular arts review columnist for Seniors Review and is an arts feature writer. She was a regular contributor to Perspectives on Canada (Ottawa) until that publication's demise in 2002. From 1979-88 she was full-time general arts writer, critic and editor at the St. Catharines Standard in St. Catharines, Ontario, and prior to that a freelance general reporter and arts writer for The Globe and Mail, Niagara Falls Gazette (Niagara Falls, New York), Courier Express (Buffalo, N.Y.) and the St. Catharines Standard.
She has directed two advertising films promoting children and women's issues and was promotion manager for CTV Network, Toronto. She has taught English and lectured on Canadian and Chinese history at a college in Changchun, China, and wrote and published Western Etiquette, published in Chinese in China. In addition, Alidë has had poetry published in China and is a lyricist for a composer in Germany who uses only English-language lyrics. Her volume of poems, A Meditation on Nature, was published in 2006.
Read Alidë's column in Seniors Review and in Lancette Arts Journal at: www.lancetteer.com and www.lancette-arts-journal.ca
Byron Laviolette firstname.lastname@example.org
CTCA Board Member
Byron Laviolette is a Toronto-born theatre-maker, critic, and scholar.
Having recently completed his MA in theatre studies specializing in theatre criticism, Byron is now working towards a PhD at York University in Canadian theatre history. As a critic, he is a freelancer whose work has appeared frequently in EYE Weekly in Toronto. Previously he had been a staff writer for York's Excalibur newspaper and, in that time, had covered theatre as well as film and the visual arts. He recently attended the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, is a graduate fellow from the National Critics Institute's "'Boot Camp," and has attended numerous of the International Association of Theatre Critics’ New Critics Seminars.
Artistically, Byron is the co-artistic director of Up Your Nose and In Your Toes Productions and the director of the critically acclaimed Morro and Jasp do Puberty, which ran at the Toronto Fringe in 2009. Previous UNIT works include Morro and Jasp GO GREEN, The Truth According to Morro and Jasp, and The Bully Project: Clowns in the Round, a co-production with Toronto’s premier forum-theatre makers, Mixed Company. Byron was also the founder and artistic director of Theatre du Refuse, producing the five-star hit The Hunt For Treasure at the 2006 Toronto Fringe, which later ran Off-Broadway in New York with English Rose Productions.
In addition, Byron worked as dramaturg and associate director at the University of Toronto's historical Hart House Theatre on its musical theatre productions of Godspell, the sell-out hit The Rocky Horror Show, and the Canadian premiere of Reefer Madness. He also toured with the Canadian Improv Showcase for seven years, performing in more than 400 shows, including school shows, fringe festivals, workshops, corporate events, comedy clubs and a cultural exchange to Singapore.
Sheila Martindale email@example.com
Sheila Martindale wrote the theatre column for Scene Magazine (London, Ontario) from 1989 to 2007, and for the Lake Erie Beacon (Port Stanley, Ontario) from 2004 to 2008. She has also published one play, eight books of poetry and several hundred articles and reviews in newspapers and magazines in Canada and the U.S. She was the poetry editor of Canadian Author for 15 years, and the Canadian editor of Bogg (U.S.) for 21 years. Sheila has taught creative writing at the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College, as well as business English for 3M and other major Canadian companies, and is in demand as a literary adjudicator and workshop facilitator. Sheila now lives in Victoria, B.C.
Martin Morrow MrrwMart@aol.com
CTCA Board Member
Martin Morrow has been an arts journalist since the 1980s. He was the Calgary Herald's theatre critic from 1988 until 2000, during which time he won the Nathan Cohen Award. He was the arts editor and theatre reviewer for Fast Forward, Calgary's alternative weekly, from 2003 to 2006, and prior to that was a regular contributor to the arts pages of the Globe and Mail (2000-2003). Morrow has a particular interest in experimental and avant-garde work and is the author of Wild Theatre: The History of One Yellow Rabbit, published by the Banff Centre Press (2003) and nominated for an Alberta Book Award. Now based in Toronto, Morrow has worked as an arts producer for CBC.ca and currently reviews theatre for The Globe and Mail and theatre and film for The Grid.
J. Kelly Nestruck firstname.lastname@example.org
Theatre critic, The Globe and Mail.
Malcolm Page email@example.com
Malcolm Page is professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., and a past president of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research. He writes the Vancouver column for the British monthly, Plays International. His essay on Sharon Pollock's early plays is reprinted in Sharon Pollock, ed. Anne F. Nothof (Guernica, 2000). His essay, "14 Propositions about Theatre in British Columbia," first published in Journal of Canadian Studies, was reprinted in Theatre in British Columbia (Playwrights Canada Press, 2006). He is currently working on the recent history of theatre in Vancouver.
David Prosser firstname.lastname@example.org
In his 14-year career with the Kingston Whig-Standard, David Prosser won five Nathan Cohen Awards and two National Newspaper Awards for theatre criticism. He also won a 1986 Centre for Investigative Journalism Award for his story on Soviet POWs in occupied Afghanistan, and a third National Newspaper Award in 1990 for editorial writing. In 1991 he was awarded a Southam Fellowship to study at the University of Toronto.
He is now director of literary services at the Stratford Festival of Canada, where he oversees the editorial content of all festival publications. Two one-hour scripts that he created, based on the writings of Robertson Davies, were presented at the Stratford Festival in 2001, and his adaptation of Plato's Symposium was presented in the 2003 season's series of public workshop readings.
Don Rubin email@example.com
CTCA President and Board Member
Currently, president of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association. Don Rubin is editor of the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre. He was founding editor and editor for eight years of Canadian Theatre Review, and former chair, Department of Theatre, York University. Don has been a freelance critic for more than 30 years reviewing for, among others, the Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CITY-TV, Canadian Forum, Maclean's, New Haven Register (U.S.), Entre (Sweden), Dialog (Poland), Teatteri Finland, Teatr (Russia), Theatre Quarterly (U.K.). He was co-founder and former president of the Toronto Drama Bench, former president of the Canadian Centre of the International Theatre Institute, former chair, International Permanent Committee on Theatre Publishing.
Don is a professor in the Department of Theatre, York University.He is the editor of the standard textbook, Canadian Theatre History: Selected Readings (Playwrights Canada Press).
Alvina Ruprecht firstname.lastname@example.org
CTCA Board Member
Currently co-president of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association, Alvina Ruprecht has been the regular theatre reviewer on CBC Ottawa morning since 1981. She can also be heard and read on the CBC website: www.cbc.ca/ottawamorning/columnists/, on the Parisian critics site www.theatredublog.unblog.fr, and on the Caribbean websites www.madinin-art.net and www.gensdelacaraibe.org. She is professor emeritus at Carleton University and currently adjunct professor in the theatre department of the University of Ottawa. She has published in Theatre Research in Canada, Essays in Theatre, Canadian Theatre Review, and the Quebec theatre journals l'Annuaire theatral and Cahiers de theatre Jeu, as well as theatre journals abroad. Her book, Les Theatres francophones et creolophones de la Caraibe, (coll. Univers theatral, Paris l'Harmattan) was published in 2003. Thanks to a recent SSHRC research grant. she has been able to persue her research on Francophone theatres in the Indian Ocean, in the South Pacific and in the francophone and creolophone spaces in the Caribbean and South America (Guyane). Her research web site is another result of this SSHRC grant: www.carleton.ca/francotheatres. She is currently engaged in a Caribbean theatre repertory project involving the English, Spanish and French speaking countries of the region; she is preparing a book on the theatres of New Caledonia and Tahiti and a second publication on the origins of Guadeloupean theatre.
Ron Singer email@example.com
Ron Singer is a freelance theatre critic for the online Tempo Magazine. He has worked in theatre, film and television as an educator, producer, director, actor and playwright. He was an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at York University (1973-2002), and was Associate Dean of Fine Arts - Director of Graduate Program and Chairman of Theatre (1985-88); he is currently a Professor Emeritus at York. His theatre production and direction credits include work with the National Arts Centre and Stratford Festival, and he also served as Artistic Director of the Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts (1992-2010).
Hara Stathopoulos firstname.lastname@example.org
Charoula (Hara) Stathopoulos writes in English about theatre and North American news items for Eleftheria, a daily Greek newspaper where she works as Canadian correspondent. She also writes for The Greek Press, a weekly Canadian ethnic journal, and has her own own program on Odyssey Television Network & Hellenic Canadian Chronicles. She specializes in ancient Greek theatre studies and classical Greek theatre.
John Threlfall email@example.com
A specialist in media and popular culture, John Threlfall was on staff at Victoria's award-winning alternative weekly newspaper, Monday Magazine, from 1999-2010 (arts editor, editor-in-chief and in-house theatre critic). He also spent five seasons as the on-air "walking encyclopedia of popular culture" for CBC Radio One's Definitely Not the Opera, has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, and spent a decade as a stage manager and technical director in live theatre. Currently, John is the special projects and communications officer for the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria, and reviews theatre for the online magazine, www.culturevulturevictoria.com.
Anton Wagner firstname.lastname@example.org
CTCA Board Member
Anton Wagner has edited 10 books on Canadian theatre and drama, including Establishing Our Boundaries: English-Canadian Theatre Criticism (University of Toronto Press, 1999) and The Worlds of Herman Voaden (http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/Theatre/voaden/index.htm) about the experimental Canadian director and playwright of the 1930s. Anton was the director of research and managing editor of the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, published by Routledge. He has produced and directed a dozen documentaries including Our Hiroshima, distributed by the National Film Board of Canada.
Jerry Wasserman email@example.com
Jerry Wasserman is professor of English and theatre at the University of British Columbia and editor of the two-volume anthology Modern Canadian Plays (Talonbooks), now in its fourth edition. He has published widely on Canadian drama and theatre in academic journals and encyclopedias, and he co-produced, hosted and wrote Modern Canadian Theatre, a 12-hour television series for B.C.'s Open Learning Agency. As an actor, Jerry has appeared on most of Vancouver 's professional stages and in more than 200 TV episodes, MOW's and feature films (see www.imdb.com for a partial list). He has reviewed theatre since 1985 on CBC radio, where he was the regular critic for Radio One's The Afternoon Show in Vancouver from 1987 to 2004. He was theatre editor and critic for Vancouver's Plus magazine, 1988-89, and has freelance reviewed for the Georgia Straight and Shaw TV. Since July 2004, Jerry's criticism has appeared on his web site, www.vancouverplays.com, and since February 2005 he has been freelance theatre critic for Vancouver's Province newspaper.
William Watt is a freelance theatre critic and has written for R.P.M. Magazine, the Toronto Free Press, and HiRise.
S. James Wegg firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto native James Wegg has been an active musician and writer since 1973. He studied clarinet at the University of Ottawa and obtained a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (1980). Through the Nepean Symphony Orchestra, which he founded in 1974, he conducted the world premieres of more than 50 works. In the 1990s, Wegg re-focused his artistic projects from music to television production as both producer and writer. Simultaneously, he led and assisted a number of cultural and social service agencies. Since 1997, his articles, short fiction, performing arts and film reviews, profiles and commentaries have been widely published. Currently, Wegg is managing editor of JWR (James Wegg Review). He is a regular contributor to Pulse, Niagara Echo, Hamilton View, Film Threat and Rotten Tomatoes.
Ric Wellwood email@example.com
Ric Wellwood was born in Chatham, Ontario and began a 50-year relationship with theatre at the Chatham Little Theatre under the direction of the late theatre designer Jack King. He passed his audition to the National Theatre School in 1962, but was talked out of going by Jean Gascon and Powys Thomas when he informed them he wanted to write plays. Enrolling at Ryerson, he completed his work in radio and television arts while studying drama with Jack McCallister and theatre with Ernest Schwartz. He completed further studies in drama and Shakespeare at Wilfrid Laurier University and film at the University of Western Ontario. While a senior news editor with CKNX Radio and Television in Wingham, he began reviewing the Stratford Festival in 1967, London's Grand Theatre in 1970 and the Shaw Festival in 1974. He continued to direct in community theatre and had two plays commissioned by Bernard Hopkins, the Grand's artistic director. As a performer, he toured Ontario with a one-man show on Stephen Leacock in the 1980s, reprising the role in 2005 at Roy Thomson Hall. Ric has won four CanPro Awards in writing and direction for Canadian television drama, and holds gold, silver and bronze medals from the International Radio Festival of New York for commentary and news analysis, sharing the awards podium with Dan Rather and Peter Jennings.
Founding Chairman, Canadian Theatre Critics Association
Herbert Whittaker was born in 1910 in Montreal to British-born parents, and raised in the Outremont section of Montreal. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in that city and later designed many of the productions that he also directed, including those at the Montreal Repertory Company and the Crest Theatre in Toronto. He directed the first Canadian production of Bertolt Brecht's Galileo in 1951 in the basement theatre of the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as the first Canadian production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame in 1959. One of his stage designs is part of the certificate for the Herbert Whittaker/Drama Bench Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.
Herbert Whittaker began his critical career as film, dance and theatre critic for the Montreal Gazette (1935-49) before he was invited to take the same post at The Globe and Mail (1949). From 1952, he concentrated his critical attention mainly on theatre, until his retirement from the Globe in 1975, at which time he was given the title of drama critic emeritus. He continued to cover theatre for the Globe and Mail from New York and London and as he traveled to Russia, Greece, Israel, France, China and Australia. According to Robert Fulford in his article about Herbert Whittaker in the National Post (June 13, 2000), "Whittaker remains a unique figure in our journalism: More than anyone else among the daily arts critics of the last 50 years, he's practised the craft he's written about."
Mr. Whittaker was the founding chairman of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association and founding chairman of the Toronto Drama Bench. He was a member of The Order of Canada.
Setting the Stage: Montreal Theatre, 1920-1949. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 1999.
Whittaker's Theatricals. Toronto: Simon & Pierre, 1993.
Whittaker's Theatre: A Critic Looks at Stages in Canada and Thereabouts, 1944-1975. Edited by Ronald Bryden with Boyd Neil. Greenbank, Ontario: The Whittaker Project, 1985.
"Canadian Theatre Criticism" in Contemporary Canadian Theatre, ed. Anton Wagner. Toronto: Simon & Pierre, 1985.