Tarragon is proud to have several multi-talented artists in residence.
Artists in Residence
Meet the artists
Aria has presented their choreographic work with Soulpepper Theatre Company and the City of Toronto (For Sale 2022), Dusk Dances (RElaps 2021), Public Energy (Bridge Over Troubled Water 2020), Citadel + Compagnie (In The Abyss 2019), The National Arts Centre (Finding Wolastoq Voice 2019), DanceWorks (link 2018), The Toronto Concert Orchestra (The Trickster Re-imagined 2017), Ontario Culture Days (Two Row 2017), the Toronto Fringe (RATED R 2016), SummerWorks (Desiccated 2015), Long Winter (box box box 2014) and many more. Aria’s works have been presented in both North America and Europe. Aria has toured with Theatre New Brunswick, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, created work commissioned by the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, performed for the Indspire awards, participated and performed in works by Kaeja d’Dance, Lara Kramer, Tapestry Opera, Sylvain Émard, Michael Greyeyes and Yvette Nolan, Penny Chouchie, Julia Sasso, Peggy Baker, The Banff Centre, A Tribe Called Red, Constance Cooke, Expect Theatre, and many more.
Aria has sat on Canada Council, Metcalf Foundation and Dora Award juries, been an Invited Guest Contributor to the 20th anniversary Canadian Arts Summit, talked on interdisciplinary panels and podcasts for the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Dance: Made In Canada Festival, The Dance Current, CPAMO, the Toronto Dance Community Love-In, CAHOOTS, CADA, TAPA’s INDIEX, DarkNights and On The Move. Aria has also acted as a facilitator and guest curator on behalf of many organizations. Aria’s work in dance film has led them to collaborate with a number of Toronto’s leading dance artists and organizations. Aria has taught dance film at Toronto Metropolitan University, TDSB, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Guelph Dance and for the SummerWorks Performance festival.
Waawaate has had numerous residencies as playwright and choreographer, including Banff Centre for the Arts, Native Earth Performing Arts, Playwrights’ Theatre Centre, Playwrights Workshop Montreal and Magnus Theatre.
Other work: Waawaate coordinated Canada’s first ever 2SLGBTQ+ Council for an Indigenous governing body at Grand Council Treaty #3. Waawaate served for three seasons as a curator for Indigenous Programming at Kick & Push Festival in Kingston.
Most Recent: Waawaate choreographed BentBoy by Herbie Barnes at Young Peoples’ Theatre. Performed Omaagomaan in Munich, Germany & Peterborough, Ontario.
Wunmi Idowu is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, filmmaker, performer, and producer and the Founder and Director of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. Since 2006, Woezo Africa has been passionately dedicated to bringing the history of African culture to the masses through traditional and modern modes of performing arts, including dance, music, theatre and storytelling. Her community outreach work with Woezo Africa has granted her numerous milestones, including her involvement in the inauguration of Alberta’s first Black History Month in 2017 and a Certification of Recognition from the House of Commons of Canada (House of Parliament) in 2018.
Woezo Africa provides an array of services and educational community outreach programming, including workshops, mentorships, and events. As a producer, Wunmi has organized both local and international productions, including Africa Jo, UNITY: Dance Across Africa, Woezo Africa’s annual Black History Month event UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance, two successful runs of the Woezo Africa Festival in collaboration with the Guild of Nigerian Dancers (G.O.N.D) and Ijodee Dance Center in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Woezo Africa Cultural Festival in Calgary, Alberta.
Wunmi’s accolades in the art industry span winning the People's Choice Performing Arts in the category of Dancer of the Year at the 2016 Obsidian Awards. The 24th Annual Immigrants of Distinction Award and the Canada Vendors Entrepreneur Award in 2020, both of which were for the category of Arts and Culture. She won the Afro- Canadian (AC) Community Leader of the Year Award in 2020 and was a recipient of Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2021. Wunmi was recently recognized on The Nigerian Canadian Association of Calgary’s (NCAC) Wall of Honour for her outstanding artistic and cultural influence to the City of Calgary. Wunmi was recently appointed as a Board of Director for the Calgary Black Chambers, she also sits on the board of the Alberta Black Stakeholders for Social Economy Collaborative (ABSSEC).
By pushing for increased visibility of ethnically and culturally diverse artists in Alberta, Wunmi hopes that perceptions will shift around who participates in the arts. Through dynamic, cutting- edge work that captures the imagination of a range of audiences, her hope is to enhance the creative economy in Calgary, empower communities and perpetuate the movement for instilling social change.
breton lalama (he+they) is a multi disciplinary artist who is currently excited by explorations of identity, performativity, and “truth”. As an actor: Broadway World Award for Best Featured Performer (North American Tour of Hair), Soulpepper, Neptune, the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, the Winter Garden, Bad Hats, Shudder, FX/Hulu, Crave, InsideOutFest, CBC/NBC, and more. Past play development: The Entire Hamlet (ATP Playwrights Unit), THE LAST SHOW ON EARTH! TRADEMARK SYMBOL! (Groundswell 2021; featured in Playwrights Canada Press’ upcoming 2SLGBTQIA+ Monologue Anthology). They are currently shooting their first feature film, Really Happy Someday, co-written with and directed by J Stevens. He is so grateful and excited to be Tarragon’s new RBC Emerging Playwright in Residence!
Griffin McInnes is a director, playwright and producer. He is a core team member at Outside the March and one of the co-creators of The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries, a phone-based, pandemic-responsive production performed thousands of times in 200+ cities worldwide.
His pandemic Zoom-based collaboration with playwright Karen Hines and The University of Windsor, The River of Forgetfulness, was hailed by The Toronto Star as “ingenious”.
His work is often based in research-creation, a practice he developed during a graduate program at France’s SciencesPo, collaborating with interdisciplinary artists from around the world.
He is a white, cis-gendered, able-bodied man of Scottish, English, Irish and French descent. He mostly works from home, lives in a two-income household and graduated from his undergraduate degree debt-free because of intergenerational wealth. He is a husband, father, son, big brother, grandson, friend, collaborator, mentor and mentee.
His most recent project, Revelations—an escape room-inspired show about the End of the World—was selected as Upintheair Theatre’s inaugural Updrafts Commission and produced in Vancouver in September 2021.
As Creative Producer at Outside the March, Griffin’s responsibilities include directing, producing, dramaturgy and new work development, curation, fundraising, communications and season planning. He facilitated the company’s Artistic Accomplice apprenticeship program over two seasons and served as Associate Artistic Director in 2018-2019, supported by the Metcalf Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Griffin is grateful to split his time between the Ottawa watershed—the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation; and Tkaronto—the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Monique’s artistic practice mines stories embedded in the body in connection to land and place. She has created land-based, embodied dramaturgies and taught Indigenous Theatre in theory, process and practice throughout Canada, the US, Latin America and Europe.
Most recent: the role of Wanda in My Sister’s Rage at Tarragon Theatre, Aunt Shady in The Unnatural and Accidental Women, at the NAC and Izzie M.: The Alchemy of Enfreakment written by Monique with a diverse creative team. Monique has collaborated with Santee Smith as the dramaturg for Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s tryptic, Re-Quickening /Blood Tides/SKe:NEN and for Teneil Whiskeyjack’s Ayita for Edmonton’s SkirtsAfire Festival. She is a member of the newly formed Indigenous Dramaturgy Circle at Tarragon Theatre and she was the inaugural Wurlitzer Visiting Professor at the University of Victoria’s Theatre Department in 2023.
Born in the Riverside-area of Toronto and raised in Mississauga by Hoklo and Vietnamese refugees, she now splits her time between Toronto and Montreal as a theatre-maker, arts
manager and stripper. Julie’s writing is openly hostile, characterized by her aggressive tone, off-beat sense of humor and frenetic lines of thought to explore agency, relationality and power. In particular, Julie’s work integrates her frustrations associated with her lived experience as a Vietnamese-Chinese woman into expressions of violence and the grotesque: she uses experimental art making, postdramatic storytelling and non-hierarchical theatre development processes as vessels for exploring fractured identities, bodily autonomy and structural dynamics. Despite her rage, an unexpected tenderness comes from the heart of Julie’s work:
her unique somatic insights from dance performance informs her intimate understanding of people, allowing her to connect audiences to a sense of responsibility and the truth. Julie’s commitment to creating honest work is motivated by the desire to facilitate meaningful dialogue towards building values alignment and trust between and within communities.
Her early promise earned her recognition and support from the theatre community, allowing her to continue to develop her voice and practice through mentorship, training and residencies with Paprika Festival, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Soulpepper, and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
At the age of seventeen, Julie won the opportunity to perform her first play at the 2018 Toronto Fringe through the Culturally Diverse Artist Project (CDAP) category; leading a team of five senior students and recent graduates from The Woodlands School, Julie premiered Fine China, a play that explores relational dynamics and intergenerational trauma within a family marked by the Vietnam War. The impact of this play led her to win the Teenjur Young Critics Award and the Robert Beardsley Award for Young Playwrights from Playwrights Guild of Canada in 2019. She also went on to stage a production presented by fu-GEN asian canadian theatre at Factory Theatre as part of their 18/19 season.
Julie continued to push boundaries around content and form with CPC Barbie– exploring idealized womanhood through the lens of seventy years of Communist Party rule in China, through socio-political satire and the deconstruction and reconstruction of Barbie dolls as marionettes. CPC Barbie won the Major Matt Mason Collective's Wildfire National Playwriting Competition in 2021, and is slated for a digital production in 2024.
In 2021, Julie was invited by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre to develop Never Walk Alone. where she continues her work to this day as a residency artist. The solo-theatre-pole dance piece, based on Julie’s experiences around the economics of intimacy in strip club ecology and the dialectic of authenticity moves between an explicitly narrative expression of her experiences through text and a more somatic and sensorial inquiry through dance. Her artistic work and her deepening connection to community earned her the Queer Emerging Artist Award in 2021. Her time at Buddies also included an internship in Artistic Producing under Daniel Carter over the 22/23 season to support her commitment to building capacity for organizational leadership and conversations around transforming the institutional status quo.
Julie was awarded the Young Canadian Playwright Award in 2022, by the Jon Kaplan Legacy Fund following her departure from school and ahead of her re-emergence in Toronto’s theatre scene: this recognition affirmed her practice and growing body of work as a distinctive, and powerful vision for the future of theatre.
Though her primary practice has been in theatre, Julie’s practice is expanding to areas in puppetry, dance, film, music, academia and design. Julie currently manages Toronto-based multidisciplinary digital and live performance collective PNSNV, and Montreal-based record label The GunShop. Currently in development for Julie are five stage plays, a video series, and a diss track.
His plays, The Herd, In Care, Café Daughter, Gordon Winter, Thunderstick, Bannock Republic, Suicide Notes and Three Little Birds have been produced across Canada. As a dramaturg, he has helped many playwrights at all levels develop their plays.
He lives in Edmonton with his partner, Dr. Melissa Stoops, with their cats, Augustus and Drusilla. He is a member of the George Gordon First Nation in the Treaty 4 territory.
Actor, Director, Playwright, Teacher, Artistic Director, Facilitator and Mentor, her theatre work includes Tarragon Theatre’s Theory, Young People’s Theatre’s One Thing Leads to Another (Dora Awards – Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Ensemble), The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Mirvish Productions’ Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,
RMTC’s Good People and The Crucible, thirsty at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Mirvish/Studio 180’s Clybourne Park and The Overwhelming, Canadian Stage’s Dream in High Park – The Tempest, Obsidian Theatre’s Black Medea, Mirvish/RMTC’s Medea, and Young People’s Theatre’s Blue Planet. She was also a member of The Second City Touring Company.
Her television and film credits include Da Kink in My Hair, The Ron James Show, The State Within, Man of the Year with Robin Williams, Atom Egoyan’s Where The Truth Lies and multiple episodes of the award-winning comedy series The Baroness Von Sketch Show.
She was approached to be a co-writer on The D Cut, a six-episode series produced by Shaftesbury Films. The D Cut can be found on Crave (Canada) and on Shaftesbury’s KindaTV Youtube channel.
She is one of the winners of the CBC Creative Relief Fund to create a television pilot called The Gordons. She is writing Come Home – The Legend of Daddy Hall for the Tarragon theatre. She wrote her first libretto called Backstage at Carnegie Hall with critically acclaimed composer Tim Brady, which was produced in Montreal in 2022. She wrote The Ringtone, an audio play for ImagoTheatre. She has been commissioned to write The Generations for Nightswimming Theatre. The Generations is an audacious five-hour drama that explores the power and resilience of a Black
family over thousands of years. It will be told through story, song, sound, dance and direct address and by one hundred characters.
In 2015, she directed a street opera for new and established opera singers in Paint and Song by Nicholas Nanos (An Unexpectedly Opera Production). In 2011, she directed and dramaturged The Apology by Darrah Teitel, which was presented at the Next Stage Festival. That year, she was nominated for Outstanding Direction, her team was nominated for Outstanding Ensemble and the play was nominated for Outstanding New Play (Independent Division – Dora Mavor Moore Awards). She has been nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award for Direction twice. She has been working in New Play Development for over fifteen years and has been mentoring artists for over ten years. In 2018, Audrey directed her play Calpurnia (Nightwood Theatre and SulongTheatre). The box office hit was shown to sold out audiences at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. In 2019, she directed Prairie Nurse (Lighthouse Theatre). In 2020, she directed Women of the Fur Trade (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). In 2021, she directed The Mountaintop (Royal Manitoba
Theatre Centre) and Blink (University of Winnipeg).
In 2008, she was the Associate Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre. In 2015, she won the Cayle Chernin Award for Theatre. From 2016 – 2017, she was the Artistic Director of Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre. She was the Urjo Kareda Artist in Residence at Tarragon Theatre (2018/19) and was also the Assistant Artistic Director. From 2019 to 2023, she was the Associate Artistic Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. She graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada, where she is an Associate Artist and a teacher.
Her short stories have been published in magazines and a poem is part of the Toronto Catholic School Commission’s curriculum teaching grade 10 and 11 students on the importance of intergenerational relationships. A budding playwright, she wrote her first plays while simultaneously participating in two different 2022 residencies: Montreal’s Teesri Duniya Theatre’s 2022 Fireworks Playwrights’ Programme where she developed “Go Fish!”, a play that was conceived in Tarragon Theatre’s Playwright Course with Paula Wing and, Factory Theatre’s 2022 The Foundry New Work Creation Group where she adapted her published short story into a play entitled “Still Life in Death”.
Carolyn has also translated “Cross Sea” by Kyungseo Min from English/Korean to French/Korean. The play telling the story of two women’s experiences as comfort women during the Japanese occupation of Korea.
As an actor, some TV/streaming credits include Lola (Grandma) in the Nickelodeon reboot of the children’s show “Blue’s Clues & You!”, Madame Z in the award winning French series “Meilleur Avant”, “ABROAD” a bilingual Tagalog-English sketch comedy series and, voices on various animated series such as DreamWorks’ “Pinecone & Pony” and PBS Kids’ “Work It Out Wombats”. Some Theatre credits include: Uncle Vanya (Crow’s Theatre), Three Women of Swatow (Tarragon Theatre), Calpurnia (Nightwood/Sulong), Through the Bamboo (Uwi Collective) and Miss Orient(ed) (Teesri Duniya Theatre).
When Carolyn is not on the theatre’s stage or front of the camera, she is most likely performing her original songs from her four albums or doing song writing collaborations with musicians around the globe.
Some of her accolades include:
2022 Top 10 Breakthrough Artist by Glenn Sumi Entertainment Journalist and Arts Critic, 2022 Dora Award Nominee Best Performance in a Leading Role “Three Women of Swatow” 2022 Nightwood Theatre’s Louise Garfield Award for “late-in-life” emerging creators. The recipient is one who connects deeply to the company’s feminist mission and have significantly enriched their community’s cultural or civic life. (Toronto, Ontario) 2019 Now Magazine’s 15 Artists to Watch. (Toronto, Ontario)
2018 Best Supporting Actress in a play by Toronto Critics Award for “Calpurnia” by Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre Project (Toronto, Ontario)
2014 International Release of the Year Album for Bad Taboo, Jimi Awards (USA)
2011 Best Blues and Associated Styles Album for Original Sin, Lys Blues Awards (Montreal, Quebec)
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 Nominated for Best Female Blues Artist, Le Lys Blues (Montreal, Quebec)
More about Carolyn at https://linktr.ee/TheCarolynFe
As a playwright, Sarena’s first full-length play, The Orchard (After Chekhov) premiered at the Shaw Festival in 2018, making Parmar the first South Asian playwright produced in the festival’s history. The play went on to a second production at the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver. It is now taught in universities across Canada and the USA. Currently Sarena is working on her next play as a Playwright in Residence at Tarragon Theatre.
Sarena is an acting graduate of the National Theatre School and Birmingham Conservatory of Classical Theatre (Stratford Festival).