dossier: Eric Regimbald for BLACKBIRD

Eric and I met awhile ago now, about four years ago when we were working with a small Boal-inspired, forum-based theatre company. One of the best things to come from that experience, and probably what has become my favourite, was meeting Eric. The only way I know how to describe Eric is, “as a guy who likes to laugh.” Every time we’re together, this is the thing I remember most: laughing. I was happy to be able to write a character for Eric to act in the past that just allowed him to play, and now, I’m happy he’s stumbled, almost by accident, into the studio I work with in Toronto, hub14. 

Hearing and reading about Blackbird makes me so curious, so excited for Eric because he’s not only cast in a challenging, somewhat uncharacteristic role, but is also one of the instigators making this production a reality. And I can’t wait to see what happens.

Blackbird opens this Friday, March 14th at hub14.

But before then, let’s learn a bit more about one of its key players with dossier #29: 

Eric Regimbald

Who are we talking to?

Eric Regimbald

What gets you going in the morning?

Knowing I got a job in what I love to do (a touring kid’s show) and that I have a current project going on. i.e Blackbird. The kid’s show and commercials pay the bills, but theatre feeds the soul.

What is your earliest memory of realizing, yep, I need, or want, to do this with my life?

Well, early on I went to a pretty strict Catholic French school, St. Rene Goupil. This place had its own School board and you were only allowed to speak in French. I got in trouble a lot just by my nature and was constantly told to smarten up by the teachers. When the class was having a test it was quiet and, naturally, I would make some offhand remark aloud about one of the questions and the class’d laugh; it felt good to get those laughs even at the cost of being thrown out, detention or deducted marks. In Grade 6, they brought in Improv and I loved it! I found an avenue for my energy and natural ability to make people laugh; I found it to be the only thing I was good at. That, and presentations. I liked speaking out loud, having my voice heard. I think that was probably the beginning of it.

Have there been times you seriously question why you pursue this lifestyle/art form? If so, what was it that kept you in it, or brought you back?

I never question why I do it, I question what is the next thing that I have to do to further my career. As soon as I get a gig or am working on a project I put heart and soul in to it, I’m able to enjoy it and love working with new people. When its done I want to find that experience again. What keeps me in it is the hunger for new characters, telling stories and it’s always a new experience with each project. I’m very nomadic, especially with my job of touring Canada. Acting is a profession that works for nomads: where am I off to next? I go where the work is and I don’t like standing still.



It’s an intense show. Very visceral. It’s written really well and the language kind of juxtaposes what’s happening with the characters. When I first read it it hit me in the gut; it moved me. And that’s the kind of theatre I wanna do: theatre that punches people, pushes buttons all the way to the back of the room. Unless I’m doing a comedy which should make them laugh all the way to the back.  It has an intention: it tells a beautiful dark love story that’s relatable. It seemed very challenging. But possible. So we jumped in, feet first!

Isn’t there another play called Blackbird?

Yes there is. There’s Blackbird by David Harrower which is also a male female two-hander. Oddly enough more people seem to think of this show first before the Adam Rapp Blackbird. Which is nice ’cause I’m glad not everyone has heard of Rapp’s Blackbird. It seems to be the rarer of the two.

How did your collective of artists form? Who’s idea was it, to put this show together?

Blackbird came about in a few ways. One, my touring gig is fun but not character satisfying. I also don’t want it to become my life. I yearn for more so I was looking for a project to do. Enter Alona Metzer. We met through Ryerson simulations and she had asked me to write something for us, preferably a screenplay. I thought about it but was into writing other things. So I came back to her and said how ’bout a play? She was game. We read a couple of shows and Alona had brought Blackbird to the table and we decided on it. Then we just had to find a director we met with a few people that I thought would be interested. I approached TJ Cheslea. He was a guy who came from co-coaching an acting studio. I had worked with him in class a couple of times. We basically wanted a director that was going to push us and work intimately with two actors; [someone who] can be comfortable telling this story truthfully and not necessarily be focusing on what the show will look like. We needed a guy who’s gonna peer into the journey and hearts of these characters and TJ is that guy. The rest kinda fell into place.

What’s a favourite memory, or story, from performing on stage in the past?

One my favorite memories of performing on stage had to be when I was doing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein back when I did community theatre in Fergus; I was playing Victor Frankenstein. I was young and would do just about anything asked of me and I liked things to be as real as possible. The show was pretty ambitious with its big wooden carpenter built sets and period costumes. There’s a part in the play when Victor says “Bring down the chains!” Which is an integral part of the process in reviving the monster. Now all through rehearsals I had asked the director, “So, we’re gonna get chains right?” He assured me yes. “Like, real chains, right?” So we get to dress rehearsal in the space: still no chains. The director assures me that we will have chains for opening night. “Awesome!” I get there opening night. “Hey, where the chains at?” He tells me their up there and they will trickle down at the appropriate time. “Great!” I don’t even check them out or run that section to make sure it works; I was just excited to have chains. So sure enough, “Bring down the chains, Henry!” I’m super immersed in the role. I’m walking toward the table with the monster on it, now what i’m about to explain all happened in a split second: in mid-stride I hear from the air: zzzzzzzzzzip! What comes down from the sky is about 25pounds of bundled up rusty chains attached to a rope that a stage hand decided to drop at about 85 miles per hour! I put my arms out, caught it like nobody’s business and continued on.

Now if had been a split second earlier those chains would have knocked me flat out! I remember thinking afterward that how the hell did I catch those chains without even thinking or knowing where they were coming from? That’s theatre: you never know what’s gonna happen and when something different does happen it’s a gift and you go with it.


Describe BLACKBIRD in three adjectives, a phrase, or with sound.

Surviving, Putrid, Lovely

Do you have anything else you’d like to share? Photos, videos, links, posters, stories, wishes?

What I’d like to add is this:

Come see the Blackbird link for tickets:

A link to my comedy web series: Van Damme Motors. Be sure to check out all 7 TV spots:

Also, check out Eric on twitter!

dossier: Adriana Disman for LINK & PIN

Working with hub14 over the last year has really broadened my horizons in regards to what types of performance, and what types of performers are on my map. With this partnership, my map of the world has finally been updated from one of those old maps where North America is somehow connected to Russia to a slightly newer one where all the continents have more or less their true outline but there are still things like giant serpents in the sea and the four winds controlling the air.

While exploring these new, defined worlds, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working alongside Adriana Disman, a passionate, caring and ambitious creator who I really want to describe as fiery, but if I do you’d have to imagine the cool blue flame that keeps burning on after all that crazy orange has had its time. 

I digress. 

Let’s just get on with the interview.

dossier #27:


Who are we talking to?

Adriana Disman: I’m a performance art maker, thinker, and curator based between Toronto and Montreal. I’m currently curating a performance art series at hub 14 entitled LINK & PIN as well as completing my M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University.

What gets you going in the morning?

A foolish optimism.

And right now: Anne Michael’s writing, a particular video recording of Glenn Gould playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.

What is your earliest memory of realizing, yep, this is what I’m going to do with my life?

God, I think I have that realization everyday. One moment, each day, when time stops and all I hear is my heartbeat and I think, “Oh. So this is what life is for me.”

Have there been times you seriously question why you pursue this lifestyle/art form? If so, what was it that kept you in it, or brought you back?

Absolutely. I originally trained and worked professionally as an actor for many years before growing unhappy with my path. When I found performance art, I essentially had to choose to leave a world I had worked very hard to learn. A profound leap, for me. And one that required taking ownership of my craft — to trust my way of doing things. And an absolutely freeing one. Now, even when I occasionally agree to do a theatre piece, I carve out space to make the work in my own way. Maybe that’s just part of aging as an artist.

What was the inspiration for creating LINK & PIN?

The inspiration for L&P grew out of a series of house shows that I curated in Toronto called A Home for Performance in 2011. The events took place in my Grandmother’s house (thank god for grandmothers who love performance art!) and were borne out of a desire to open space for people whose work I loved and wanted to see.

Eventually the shows got too big for Gram’s house.

So when hub 14 awarded me the Community Chest to put on a series, I was thinking a lot about the sense of community that sprung up around Home. Part of that was from having shows in the afternoon, which allowed for a different kind of attention to bring to the work. And, since it wasn’t 11pm when the performances finished, people would hang out and talk about the pieces afterward, meet each other. I watched beautiful friendships and collaborations spring out of these talks.


In thinking about the name for the series, I was questioning how to articulate an intention to create community, to forge links between people, without falling into an idealistic unicorns-and-rainbows-lets-all-hold-hands-and-love-each-other. I mean, I love unicorns as much as the next person but I don’t take community building lightly. I think community building is sticky- it so easily becomes exclusionary and snooty.

Link-and-pin is actually a coupling technique that was used to connect train cars. Links protruded from each end of the cars and would be brought together so that an employee would drop a big “pin” through both, connecting them. However, it was actually exceptionally dangerous- apparently, many folks lost fingers or were even crushed between the cars. Yeeesh.

This, for me, is a perfect example of community building: usually simple until unexpectedly violent.

Tell us a little about the last two LINK & PIN instalments  Were there loose themes that determined who was involved, or did the themes come about after you looked at the rosters?

The first event, FEMINIST FIBRES, actually grew out of the work of Helene Vosters and Thea Fitz-James, two artist whom I love and whose work I saw a strong affinity between. From there, I invited Joce Tremblay and Maryam Taghavi, proposing the theme for them to create in response to, because I thought they would bring wonderfully different viewpoints to the event.

PARTICIPATION on the other hand, was theme-first. Most of my own performance works have been participatory and I have huge ethical questions about the genre. As an audience member, participatory works have been both some of the most transformative and some of the most violating works I’ve experienced. So I invited contributors whom I thought would have an interesting take/ response to the theme. It’s worth mentioning that two of the artists were actually crowd-sourced: I sent out a message on facebook asking, “Who is your favourite Toronto- or Montreal-based participatory performance artist?” I researched everyone who was suggested and then invited two artists from the resulting list!

I keep stretching the way that artists are given space to perform within the series because I believe that some curatorial methodologies prioritize certain kinds of artists / people. It’s a small gesture but one that I hope begins the large task of opening the series to more and more different kinds of artists.

Who are some of the artists involved this time around?

Oh baby. It’s gonna be good. For REPERFORMANCE, Victoria Stanton is coming in from Montreal to present the second iteration of a durational work that was shown at VIVA! this year. Also on Saturday, Feb 8th: hollyt and Jack Bride are presenting a very exciting piece inspired by Breyer P-Orridge. On Sunday, Feb. 9th, Julie Lassonde is reperforming a persona from Margaret Dragu (who’s also in town that weekend performing with WIA projects!), Brianna MacLellan is presenting a work by Julie Radul, Shannon Cochrane is presenting a top-secret piece, and Paulina Wiszowata is inviting the public to reperform Vita Acconci’s Following Piece with her!

Basically, I’m swooning.

And I want to mention that all of this has been made possible by the help of my fantastic intern, Veronia Abrenica.

Describe LINK & PIN in three adjectives, a phrase, or with sound.


Do you have anything else you’d like to share? Photos, videos, links, posters, stories, wishes?

Yes! Actually, you are in luck because it just so happens that we’ve JUST released L&P’s online platform for REPERFORMANCE. Our first video addition to the series by Lee Henderson and Bee Pallomina is, essentially, spectacular. I love this work so much that I literally start squealing and get all wiggly when I read the description.

So now, for your viewing pleasure, from The Marina Abramovic Institute Department of Puppets presents Relation in Time:

“The Marina Abramovic Institute Department of Puppets is pleased to launch Seven Easy Puppet Pieces, a collaboration by its first graduating class of students and their research into performance, video, duration, and the limits of the puppetbody.

Relation in Time references the absence and presence of a bodily audience, and the gradual loss of connection between puppets. Beginning with its premiere as part of the LINK&PIN online platform, we at the MAIDP are remounting seven historical works of performance by Marina Abramovic and Ulay. In so doing, we are bold enough to demonstrate what has long been suspected by the performance community worldwide–that we are all, now, Marina’s puppets.”

You can check out documentation from past events and read about future ones on LINK & PIN’s website. You can also check out Adriana’s performance work and curatorial practice here!

dossier: Claire Hill of Safeword Theatre for DONORS

Well, it’s been a while. 

The flurry of the end of summer festivals and the prospect of a new space in the city has left me wondering when I’d get time again to devote to this  dossier project. I knew it would naturally come up, and I never had any intentions of letting it fall into obscurity, but sometimes time management kicks in and forces my hand in the direction of those things that require a bit more of my physical presence. What with hub14’s Community Chest residency with Adriana Disman’s LINK & PIN starting up, the hub14 Halloween Party and my theatre band’s first show at Theatre Caravel’s Sea Change (as well as that aforementioned “new space”) I’ve had very little time to search for those exciting new shows cropping up all over the city.

Funny then that the first dossier back is of an artist who’s been quite engrained in the very reasons this project has been on hold. 

I met Claire Hill this past summer at the Fringe Tent in Honest Ed’s Alley. Mutual friend Brandon Crone introduced me to her as basically the second half of Safeword Theatre. Safeword has a history of working with hub14, producing their first play TURTLENECK there, and I’m happy to know they are coming back for their sophomore production DONORS this week! (EDIT: although after reading her answers, it seems I was at the same edition of Monday Night of New Works as she was, because I remember her saying that and remember hearing Brandon’s script…)

I recently had the pleasure of working with Claire directly: ON AND ON (my theatre band) engaged her to design our costumes for our initial performance at the last SEA CHANGE (pictures and more info coming soon!). 

So, without further ado, I am very proud to bring you our first scenographer on the site, dossier #24:

Claire Hill, photo by Chris Cater
Photo by Chris Cater

Who are we talking to?

Claire Hill. Set Designer, scenographer, carpenter, techie, admin monkey.

What gets you going in the morning?

Literally? Coffee and my mother yelling at me to get out of bed. I don’t really believe in mornings and will do anything to avoid being awake for them. In the grander sense of what gets me going, I’d say it’s the desire to work with the people I love. I feel very lucky to be in a community with people who are not only easy to work with but fun to work with.

What is your earliest memory of realizing, yep, this is what I’m going to do with my life?

It comes and goes at different phases of my career. I realized I should be in theatre (just in general) half way through second year of University, while writing an essay about something I hated, probably Wittgenstein, and staring off into the room for about twenty minutes and realizing I needed to switch majors before I died of boredom.

I’ve always been a firm believer that you should try many other things before you commit to a life in theatre, and that it needs to be the thing you must do.

Have there been times you seriously question why you pursue this lifestyle/art form? If so, what was it that keeps you in it, or has brought you back?

Constantly. Design is a difficult career. I started as a technician and learned scenic carpentry so I would know HOW things are built and could interact with technical staff. I had a great time in theatre school but when I graduated and worked professionally I was very frustrated, and I encountered problems I never could have prepared for. After my first year working as a technician I’d had enough, and was very discouraged about the arts in general, so I went back to school and completely relocated and changed everything in my life. Whenever I’ve been discouraged it usually had something to do with the scene of the city I was in, so I’ve moved around a lot and tried different places. I’ve tried a lot of different paths in theatre from techie to admin to design to academic. After I lived out west and only designed a few tiny projects, I came back to Toronto and found a community I really connect with. I love the variety and freedom I have here. This is the first time I feel like I’ve worked with like-minded folk. A professor of mine told me you need to find your tribe, and I think that is a very important element in making a design career work.


The obvious answer is that it’s Brandon Crone, who I would pretty much walk over hot coals for. The rest of it is that I love this script, I love the freedom he gives me as a scenographer to create what is best for the play. The trust is really there between us now that we’ve worked together and there’s a strong give and take between us. Very few directors give you absolute freedom to essentially design anything that comes to your mind, but he gives me that.

What kind of atmosphere do you wish to create with DONORS?

Dirty and uneasy. This script makes my skin crawl, and when I first finished reading it I kind of wanted to take a mental bath. I’m a very clean person, very organized and meticulous, so this set is my way of throwing that away and embracing a bit of chaos and a lot of mess. The challenge in design is to create an atmosphere that illustrates the mood of the show but doesn’t foreshadow the events of the play, so it’s a delicate balancing act. Then there’s just the fact that I want to do something people haven’t seen.

donors maquette
DONORS set maquette by Claire Hill

One of my major goals as a designer is to prove that Indie design can be scenographic, affordable, fresh and of the same caliber as professional design. I am so bored with black stages and ugly risers and flats. I encounter so many people who think that as soon as they make cuts to the budget the first thing that goes is set design- and of course if you’re working with realism the set is going to be the first thing you cut. But if the team is willing to do away with realism there is so much freedom. I have a long list of cheap materials I want to use and am slowly going through it. This time it was twigs and sticks and chicken wire, last time it was clear shower curtains. Fortunately I build what I design, I even have a garage at my parent’s house and a very willing recently retired father who drives me around to get materials. I essentially got this set for free because we sourced it all through people who were throwing things away. Then we built it at home.

turtleneck set
the set of TURTLENECK

How did you and Brandon Crone meet?

I met Brandon through his roommate, Alex Dault (of Single Thread Theatre Company). Three weeks after moving here my good friend took me out to Monday Night of New Works, and we were going around the circle introducing ourselves and I started by saying, “I can build things” and before I knew it Alex literally leaped across the room at me, business card in hand, insisting I get in touch with him. Brandon wasn’t at that edition of Monday Night but Alex was sent with a script from one of Brandon’s plays and when we read it, I was floored. I knew I had to track Brandon down, so I went to another reading the following week at Canadian Stage and basically walked up to him and was like, “I’m Claire. I’m bored. I want to design your sets.” I think that may be the oddest introduction I’ve ever made, but Brandon is the kind of person who rolls with that, so we met a while later about Turtleneck and his warmth and excitement made me really want to be a part of what he does.

Do you have a favourite story so far in regards to working together in the past?

Last winter, while working on Turtleneck, we opened during a snow storm. I had to run to Midoco at Bloor and Bathurst and get some big white sheets of foamcore to cover the windows adequately, so I did that. Of course when I got on the streetcar with two big pieces of foamcore as tall as me and the width of my armspan no one was happy. When I finally fought my way off at Queen I walked down this little alley way to Hub14, and tried to approach the building but was literally blown away. The foamcore was like a sail, and I just started wailing for help. Everyone inside thought I’d slipped on the steps up to the building and broken something, so they were pretty amused when they opened the door and found me struggling against the wind, being blown back about five feet, with these huge pieces of foamcore.

I also made the (slightly regrettable) decision to use the real doors of hub14 to the outside and make Brandon stage things on the fire escape in the middle of February. Basically, I didn’t feel like building a false wall with fake doors, and I’d been living in Victoria for two years and forgotten what a Toronto winter is like. The actors were so amazing about that though, and all of them had to sit in a tiny shed with just a space heater during snow storms and bitterly cold nights. Brandon stood outside for the opening scene of every play and assured people on the street that when our actors were screaming at each other it was just for a play, and not real domestic violence. I think it worked out though, since that was an element of the staging audiences really responded to.

Describe DONORS in three adjectives, a phrase, or with sound.

Donors is a rat in your walls. It chews a hole inside, nests its way through your insulation and your things and your food and keeps you up at night as it crawls around. It makes you angry and grosses you out and sends you off on a murderous rampage, but when you finally encounter the little bastard in the walls, there’s a sad humanity in its eyes that you can’t deny, and you almost feel bad for what you have to do.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share? Photos, videos, links, posters, stories, wishes?

This, obviously.!productions/cezk

And this, because I think more Scenographers and designers should model themselves off of the fearless Honey Badger.

DONORS Trailer #2:

donors image

dossier: Jess Taylor for The EW Reading Series

Today’s entry in the dossier series sees it branching away from the overwhelming majority of posts focused on theatre creators (you’d think I’m in theatre or something) and brings it into the territory of those artists most people don’t think would get up on stage to perform their art. The EW Reading Series was introduced to me by my then-roommate, and poet, Matthew Walsh as a poetry jam. I showed up, unsure of what to expect. It was my first time attending a poetry jam. I thought everyone would be drinking wine and I’d be expected to snap after each poem. 

This wasn’t the case. And I was surprised to learn it wasn’t just a poetry jam, but a laid-back, party-esque event that celebrated writers of all forms.

What’s funny is that, although it was Matthew who introduced me to this event and to Jess, a few months later Jess independently moved into the same house we lived in (and I still live in). Just a couple floors up.

So, even though one roommate moved away, he, this event and Jess remain relatively, and literally, close to me. 

Enough said.

I’d like you to meet my upstairs neighbour.

dossier #23:

Jess Taylor

Who are we talking to?

I’m Jess Taylor! Hello. I’m a Toronto-based writer and events promoter. I also do art, play music, and teach the youth.

What gets you going in the morning?

I like being busy and keep my life jam-packed. So usually before I open my eyes, I already am thinking about everything I’m going to do that day. I wake up full of anticipation. I make coffee, I hug my cat, and then I get to work. It makes me incredibly happy most of the time.

What is your earliest memory of realizing, yep, I need to write?

I’ve always been a storyteller, but I first started writing things down in grades two and three. I began with poetry, then started writing stories in grade four. Before that, I told stories through pictures and art. I did the usual nerdy writer-kid stuff – like start a poetry club in grade six, start writing weird novels about mice and parallel universes, and made zines in high school. I spent a lot of high school as part of gigging band, The Big Man Himself, but I still saw writing lyrics and the management of the band as contributing to a writing career somehow. I went to high school at Mayfield School of the Arts with a focus in Visual Arts, but I also brought text (either poetry or prose I had written) into my visual work. It all fit together for me.

Why The EW Reading Series?

When I moved to Toronto, I was really shocked by the literary scene here. It was part of the reason I moved. I’d started at U of T for their English in the Field of Creative Writing MA and was automatically included in a community of current students and alumni. I’d been missing that in Burlington, where I’d been living before, and at York University in their undergraduate creative writing program. I wanted to get involved any way I could. My first idea was to use my management and publication background (making zines and working for Existere Magazine at York) to start a micropress for work by emerging writers.

I’ve always believed in running my writing career like how I ran the band: working extremely hard, putting out a lot of content (but content I’m proud of), putting on shows, and – if something isn’t getting done – just doing it myself. So I thought I’d make chapbooks and then sell them at shows to make back the production costs (not really thinking about doing a special “launch” but just running a show every so often). I never got funding for my second year of the MA and was really poor, so getting a press started would be difficult and I gave up on the idea (for the meantime at least).

But I still wanted to do shows. No one knew who I was in Toronto. More accurately, I was a young young emerging emerging writer… I was no one. Nobody was going to ask me to read at their series or even really cared what I was working on. At the time, it seemed that series with curated programming tended to be reserved for more established writers, and younger writers were expected to scope out open mics, stay home and work on their craft instead of seeing performance as part of their craft.

So I decided to start a series. I went and talked to a couple venues. Duffy’s Tavern was really close to my house and was free. I had read there as part of a variety show, and the sound system was decent. I gave myself two months to plan the first show, booking it in January with the first show running March 2012. After that it took off. I now book up months in advance and have a submissions process.

Since I started the series, other series have popped up that feature emerging writers. Some of these series started before my series, but I wasn’t aware of them before I was running mine. I think having so many series in the city really enriches the community. There’s enough crowd to go around, and they are events people want to attend.

I named my series The Emerging Writers Reading Series to make it clear what the series was all about. I call it by its short form “EW” because I think it’s funny. It gets across the sense of play that I look for when curating. I want writers who have a good time writing and will have a good time performing.

What can someone expect when going to EW? What kind of atmosphere do you wish to create?

I found a lot of reading series around the city to be really serious, very quiet. I liked it when I was in the mood for that atmosphere, but I knew for a reading series geared towards emerging writers the atmosphere needed to be different. I drew a lot of inspiration from Pivot, where people could sit with people they didn’t know and make new friends and connections. I wanted to have that sense of inclusiveness, but have even more hype, even more of a raucous environment.

At the beginning, I did this a few ways. I would say hello to everyone who came, introducing myself to people who I hadn’t met before. I would try to introduce people to each other on break and before and after the show. I made a long break between the first half and the second half of the show to encourage people to start conversations. I hosted with a high energy style that tried to show that I cared about each of my readers, that I cared about them as people and as writers, and that I had a great respect for their work, even though they were at the early stages of their careers. The readers and I used to take a shot of tequila either after the show or on break as a bonding experience.

My hosting style has more or less stayed the same, and I think the atmosphere is the same too. The one thing that has changed is that the audience has developed a life of its own. People introduce me to newcomers now. There are too many people for me to introduce myself to everybody, and while there is a steady group of regulars, I get new faces at every show. And a lot of those faces come back. The venue fills up almost completely, so that people have to stand. That already lends a certain excitement to the show, something that no curating or hosting can control. I don’t do readers’ shots anymore because not everyone drinks alcohol and now I often work the next day. I pay my readers and give them two drink tickets. I also become the “drink ticket fairy” and drop drink tickets on unsuspecting members of the audience, convincing them to stay out later at the show’s after party.

The level of quality has stayed consistent as well. The city has a lot of talented and ambitious young writers in it, and I’m always amazed at how good the sets are. I curate each show, but I now have an assistant fiction curator, Sofia Mostaghimi.

What is your favourite memory from a past EW show?

My first show was probably my favourite because it showed me I wasn’t a complete hack; I could really run a series and I could fill a venue and everything would be ok.

Most recently, we ran BIG on Bloor Emerging Writers Past Readers Showcase, and I was thrilled. No one went over their allotted time, people gave great readings, and it was neat seeing EW at a different time (the daytime!!!) and in a different location. It allowed me to dream about it, wondering how big EW might become and what direction I’ll decide to take it.

Describe The EW Reading Series in three adjectives, a phrase, or with sound.

Our slogan: Read! Listen! Have fun!

Do you have anything else you’d like to share? Photos, videos, links, posters, stories, wishes?

Our website:

My website:

I blog for The Town Crier about other people’s reading series:

Come check out our first show of the fall season: September 10th, 2013 at Duffy’s Tavern. 8pm, PWYC. Facebook event:

I have a wish for all of my past readers: never stop writing or reading your work. I book you because I think you’re fantastic, and I can’t wait to see where we all end up as our careers progress.

EW september