Communicating: The Underbelly of the Production hosted by York University - Department of Theatre and SMArts

August 10, 2021, 7:00 - 8:00 PM


This event is sponsored by Christie Lites Sales

Communicating: The Underbelly of the Production

The most important relationship a Stage Manager has in the production is with the director. Right? Maybe.

Evolving from conversations within the SMArts Educators group (an online pandemic community of Stage Management Educators) this panel has been pulled together to explore the other relationships the SM has with their creative partners. This panel will feature a cast of characters, PMs, TDs, GMs, SMs, and Designers, talking to each other. Hopefully communicating. With the one goal of understanding the underbelly of our creative partnerships.
The focus on the director / SM relationship is vital. But what about the PM / SM relationship? How do the TD and technical staff fit in? How do designers see their relationships with SMs? What can each of us learn from an open and frank conversation? What will you take away to add to your practice?

This will be a moderated conversation with prepared questions and audience interaction. Attendees get to ask the hard questions while the panel examines what lies beneath successful and harmful communications in the underbelly of production partnerships.

Moderator: Paul Del Motte, CITT/ICTS Vide-President
Level: General (for all)
Discipline: Human Resources, Management, Production Management and Technical Direction, Career Development.

Session's objectives:

  • Facilitate an open dialogue around working conditions between various stakeholders within live performance production leadership.
  • Foster discussion that will contribute to the research and development of tools that PMs and TDs can use to better advocate for themselves and the crews they lead.
  • Introduce ways to get involved with Means of Production, and our yearlong project to develop a values-based approach to production with the live arts and events community.

Presenter: York University - Department of Theatre and SMArts

Aaron Kelly (Organizer, Co-moderator)
Aaron Kelly is a theatre crafter. He is a Production Manager and Technical Director. He is a lighting, projection, image, and set creator for Dance, Theatre, and Opera. His work has been seen across Canada and internationally in the United States, France and Fiji. Some companies he has collaborated with: fu-Gen Theatre Company, Factory Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, b current, Dancetheatre David Earle, Sheridan College, Humber College, and York University. Aaron is an assistant professor at York University.

Lisa Russell (Co-moderator)
Lisa Russell started her SM career over twenty-five years ago. She works primarily in theatre and musical theatre, but also in dance, opera, film festivals and special events. Selected SM credits include: The Unnatural and Accidental Women (Indigenous Theatre, NAC), Hadestown and Six (Citadel Theatre); and Flight (Pacific Opera Victoria); as well as seven seasons at the Stratford Festival. Lisa teaches the stage management course at the University of Calgary and is currently the Project Coordinator on the Organizing Committee for World Stage Design 2022.

Rick Banville (Panelist)
Rick Banville has been managing theatre and events for over 25 years while touring to Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Canada and the United States. Rick teaches Production Management for Theatre at Humber College, Ryerson University and NTS. Rick is currently the Project Co-ordinator for a major renovation project at Young People's Theatre and is a founding artist of IndustryPresents.

Kat Chin (Panelist)
Kat Chin is an SM, who has worked across Canada, Off-Broadway, and at the Palace of Versailles in France. During the pandemic, she has been fortunate to be involved in various projects that involve film and digital components or performances. She has taught at Ryerson University and the SMArts Conference. Upcoming: I Am William (Stratford); TOKA (TPM/lemonTree).

Giselle Clarke-Trenaman (Panelist)
Giselle Clarke-Trenaman was recently nominated for a Jessie Award and was selected to be highlighted by the Black Theatre Caucus for their 101 Black Stage Managers Celebration. She has worked with Presentation House Theatre, SoulPepper and Opera Atelier to name a few. Since 2014 Giselle has been the Production Coordinator at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver helping companies from all over the world realize their visions.

Jessica Han (Panelist)
Jessica Han is a lighting designer, stage manager, theatre technician, and filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. You can find her working with dance companies such as Co. Erasga, Company 605, Out Innerspace Dance, and Raven Spirit Dance in various capacities. She also works annually with Vancouver Folk Music Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Jessica made her Vancouver Opera debut as the assistant lighting designer for the production of Faust in Spring 2019. Jessica is the recipient of the Larisa Fayad Memorial Award in Lighting Design and Technical Direction; presented by the Vancouver International Dance Festival in 2018.

Camellia Koo (Panelist)
Camellia Koo is a set and costume designer for theatre, opera, dance and site-specific performance installations. Recent designs for theatre include collaborations with Cahoots Theatre Projects, Factory Theatre, The National Arts Centre, Soulpepper Theatre, The Shaw Festival, The Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre and Why Not Theatre. Recent designs for opera and ballet include collaborations with Against the Grain, Banff Centre, Boston Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera, Helikon Opera (Moscow), Minnesota Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Santa Fe Opera, and Tapestry New Opera. Camellia has received six Dora Mavor Moor Awards (Toronto), a Sterling Award (Edmonton), a Chalmers Award Grant, 2006 Siminovitch Protégé Prize, and the 2016 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award for Costume Design.

Carolyn Mackenzie (Panelist)
Carolyn is celebrating her 40th year as a theatre professional. After many years at the Shaw Festival as both a stage manager and education coordinator, she moved onto other challenges. Most recently, she has taught or been a course coordinator at Brock University, National Theatre School, Sheridan College, and the University of Windsor. Carolyn is proud of her volunteer work with Carousel Players.

Shanna Miller (Panelist)
Shanna Miller (She/Her) is currently the Technical Director at Young People's Theatre in Toronto. Credits include Stria (ChartierDanse); Svadba - Wedding (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre); Agokwe (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre); Spin by Evalyn Perry (Outspoke Productions); Penny Plain, Billy Twinkle; Requiem for a Golden Boy and 10 Days on Earth, Provenance (Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes); A Craigslist Cantata - 2014 Alberta Tour (Acting Up Stage Company); I Send You This Cadmium Red - 2014 (Art of Time Ensemble); Kaeja d'Dance 25th Anniversary Concert (Kaeja d'Dance); Porch View Dances (Kaeja d'Dance); Rocking Horse Winner - 2016 (Tapestry Opera); Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan in Wonderland (Ross Petty Productions).

Kathryn Westoll (Panelist)
Kathryn Westoll is the Managing Director of Geordie Productions. She was the Managing Director of the Toronto Fringe Festival for three years and spent the first 13 years of her career as a stage manager. Kathryn is Treasurer on the board of the IPAY, is a member of the PACT Advocacy and Labour Relations Committees, was a member of the Montreal English Theatre Awards Committee (METAC) for three years and recently finished two mandates (6 years) on the Quebec Drama Federation?s board. Kathryn teaches and mentors at NTS.