Even the busiest artists need a break! Take Five with some of the hardest working and celebrated individuals in the performing arts scene today. We ask them a series of five questions to learn what inspires them and how their careers have been influenced by fellow community members.
Jennifer Walls is a Toronto based performer, producer and voice actor. Most recently she was a performer as well as assistant to the director in Canada 151: Better Late Than Sorry at Drayton Entertainment. She has received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Liza Minnelli in her one-woman show Liza Live! as well as her autobiographical rock cabaret Jagged Little Me featuring the music of Alanis Morissette. She has also enjoyed four seasons as a performer at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia. Jennifer has also produced a number of successful productions at the Toronto Fringe including The Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl series and Baker’s Dozen, Twelve Angry Puppets. This past year Jennifer was featured on the cover of NOW Magazine. As a voice actor she is the voice of the Family Jr. channel as well as a recurring character on PBS’s Peg + Cat and Amazon’s Creative Galaxy. Up next, Jennifer will be returning to the Victoria Playhouse for the 2018 Christmas Jamboree. .
Marion Newman is firmly established as one of Canada’s most accomplished singers. Her operatic roles include Carmen and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.. Upcoming appearances include world premieres of several works, operas and concerts that speak to Marion’s First Nations identity. This season, highlights for Marion include the premiere of Jennifer Butler’s Klee Wyck Woman with Emily Carr String Quartet at ISCM World New Music Days, and the role of Dr. Wilson in the premiere of Missing with City Opera Vancouver/Pacific Opera Victoria.
Veronica Hortiguela is a Cancer-Gemini cusp who grew up in east end Toronto. Raised in a Spanglish household, and with a healthy dose of Scarborough community theatre, she graduated this past spring from the Ryerson School of Performance Acting Program.
Kirsten Rasmussen is an award winning comedian known for her larger than life characters and physicality. She is alumni of the Second City Toronto Mainstage, a teacher/director and performer at Second City Training Centre and the Bad Dog Theatre. She performs and tours regularly with her comedy duos, K$M with Matt Folliott, and The Bloody Marys with Leigh Cameron. Kirsten is also known for her solo sketch shows FULL TIME IDIOT and KIRSTEN, GET SOME FRIENDS which won Just For Laughs PIck at Montreal Sketchfest and Patrons’s Pick at Toronto Sketchfest respectively. Kirsten’s work has been seen on your TV screen the screen in Dino Dana, Odd Squad, The Beaverton, Schitt’s Creek and various commercials selling you things.
Rick Miller is a Toronto-based Dora and Gemini award-winning writer/director/performer/musician/educator who has worked in five languages on five continents, and who Entertainment Weekly called “one of the 100 most creative people alive today”. He is also the founder and creative director of WYRD Productions, and co-creative director of Kidoons.
Jillian Welsh is a Dora nominated actor, comedian and storyteller. Her stories have been featured on NPR’s Unfictional, CBC’s Love Me, and RISK!. Jillian writes and performs sketch comedy with Mein Künt and is a member of the improv troupe The Pepperoni Pizza Cats. She is a graduate of AMDA’s musical theatre program in NYC and the Second City Conservatory in Toronto.
Nina Kaye is an award-winning playwright, a published poet and the artistic director of Unspoken Theatre. Her plays and short works have been produced in New York, Washington and Toronto. Her scripts received first prize in competitions with Sterling Studio Theatre and Hart House Players, and were shortlisted in contests with NuVoices and Panfish Productions. She has worked as a dramaturge on numerous projects. Upcoming, she is producing Kitchen Sink Drama at Toronto Fringe, a site-specific play in a kitchen served with free snacks.
Jason Cadieux is an actor & playwright. Recent theatre credits include: Jerusalem (Outside the March/The Company Theatre), The Wedding Party(Crow’s Theatre), Lear & 12th Night (Canadian Stage), Hossana (Soulpepper), Wrong For Each Other (Public Theatre, Maine), The Valley (Essential Collective Theatre). Film & TV: Reign (CW) Law & order SVU(NBC), Blue Bloods (CBS). Other: Jason is the Co-founder of The Essential Collective Theatre (ECT), a St. Catharines based co. mandated to produce contemporary Canadian work. While at ECT Jason wrote and produced many new works, including touring productions of 17.5 directed by Sarah Garton Stanley (4 stars – Time Out Magazine UK) and Hardways (“a rich and fascinating piece of work” – The Ottawa Citizen). He currently splits his time between Toronto, New York & Niagara.
Kit Boulter is a two-time Dora nominated actor and the Artistic Coordinator of Toronto Harbour’s adventure cruise Pirate Life. As a non-binary trans activist, they use their craft to help generate more visibility and representation in artistic mediums through song writing, gender performance and poetry. Kit is an excellent facilitator of discovering self-expression, and the unique ways an individual’s performance can transcend into art.
Craig Lauzon is an Anishnaabe actor, writer, and comedian. Most recently he played Angus in The Drawer Boy. Other theatre credits include: Man Watching (Tarragon), Comedy of Errors (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Stupid Fucking Bird (The Bird Collective), Taking Care of Baby (Storefront),Where the Blood Mixes (Theatre Aquarius), Thunderstick (Theatre Network), King Lear (National Arts Centre), and Trudeau & The FLQ and Trudeau and Levesque (VideoCabaret).