A photograph of a snow-covered field with tufts of grass peeking through. Above, the sky is a dark blue with smoky wisps of clouds. To the right, a full moon peers through the clouds.

Round Table:

BLM and the Canadian Theatre and Performance Landscape

Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 15:00 - 16:30

Supported by the Cole Foundation


Live discussion on Zoom; spoken in English with live ASL interpretation. There will also be live translation from English to French available in the chat.

Join Now in Room B

This 90-minute session focuses on issues of racial discrimination and systemic change as it affects theatre and performance in Canada. Panelists are drawn from both academia and non-academic sectors as they explore questions that reflect on Canada’s historical past, prevailing present and speculate about the future on the ways to address issues that the Black Lives Matter movement pursue in the world of theatre and performance in Canada.


Dr. Henry Daniel – Professor, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver). Professor of Dance, Performance Studies and New Technology, scholar, performer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of Full Performing Bodies, Daniel’s research concentrates on strengthening notions of Practice-as-Research (PaR), Arts-based-Research, and Research/Creation in Canada. He leads a group of artists and scholars who help define new parameters for excellence in these areas. He has a professional background in dance, theatre, and new media with a career that started in his native Trinidad & Tobago and continued in the USA, Germany, the UK, and Canada.

Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae – Associate Professor, University of Waterloo (Waterloo). Naila Keleta-Mae holds a PhD in Theatre Studies (York University), an MFA in Theatre (York University) and a BA with distinction (Concordia University). Her areas of research and teaching expertise are race, gender and performance. Dr. Keleta-Mae’s current artistic and research project is called Black And Free with a focus on Black expressive culture and it is funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the University of Waterloo. She has appeared as a media commentator for the BBC, CBC, CTV, The Canadian Press, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and The Fader and written op-eds for The Globe and Mail and Vice Network. She is also a recording artist, poet and playwright who has performed in Canada, France, Jamaica, and South Africa.

Quincy Armorer – Artistic Director, Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal). Quincy Armorer has worked professionally as an actor, director, instructor and administrator for several years. As an actor, he has worked at the Stratford Festival, Centaur Theatre, Black Theatre Workshop, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, Geordie Productions, Repercussion, Piggery Theatre, Shakespeare by the Sea, among many others. He studies in the Theatre Department at Concordia University and at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival. He was Associate Artistic Director of Black Theatre Workshop for the 2005-2006 season, before being named as Artistic Director in 2011.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi – Assistant Professor, University of Regina. Taiwo Afolabi is an applied theatre practitioner with a decade of experience working across a variety of creative and community contexts in over fifteen countries across four continents. He uses theatre for community engagement, promoting social change and creating brave and safe spaces for conversations. He is the founding artistic director of Theatre Emissary International, Nigeria and a research associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His current research focuses on theatre and policing, decolonizing dramaturgy and theatre on the Canadian prairies through the lens of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). He holds a doctorate in Applied Theatre and he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Cherissa Richards is a Winnipeg-based actor and director and the 2021 winner of Crow's Theatre's RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Award. She has performed as an actor for the past 20 years across the country, most notably at The Shaw Festival and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. She has been pursuing directing as an apprentice director at Bard on the Beach in Vancouver, The Shaw Festival and the Stratford Festival in Ontario, and Manitoba Theatre for Young People. Cherissa has directed The Power of Harriet T at MTYP and New Beginnings and The Game at Sarasvàti Theatre's Fem Fest 2018. Most recently she directed a double bill for the Neil Munroe Directing Project at the Shaw Festival; Lynn Nottage's Poof and The Subjection Of Kezia by Edith Ellis. In 2020, Cherissa returned to NTS after almost 20 years as a director in residence, exploring design as a director.

Mike Payette is a Montreal-based actor and director who has worked with many great companies from coast to coast. Directing work includes Hosanna and Choir Boy (Centaur), Reaching for Starlight and Virginia Wolf (Geordie), Burning Vision and Indecent (National Theatre School), the Quebec premiere of Héritage – A Raisin in the Sun (Théâtre Duceppe) and the national tours of The Tashme Project (Tashme Prod/Centaur/Factory/Firehall) and Lorena Gale’s Angélique (BTW/Tableau D’Hôte/National Arts Centre/Factory/Obsidian). Mike is a two-time Montreal English Theatre Award (META) recipient and was the co-founding Artistic Director of Tableau D’Hôte Theatre and past Assistant AD for Black Theatre Workshop.  He is an educator and sits on the boards of PACT and la Maison Théâtre, and has served as the Artistic and Executive Director of Geordie Theatre for six seasons, currently transitioning into his new role as Tarragon Theatre’s incoming Artistic Director.