Meet our Block D 2023 Cohort!


Welcome to our new Block D 2023 cohort! These 6 artists will be working with Dramaturg, Creative Engagement Joanna Garfinkel over the next 10 weeks in a small and supportive cohort to expand their dramaturgical tool kits and breadth of experience.

Join us in welcoming Victoria Bell, Chelsea Carlson, Ashley Chodat, Marc Castellini, Lili Robinson, and Jesse Del Fierro!

Block D is for artists interested in boosting their dramaturgy skills. This program is for artists who help to shape, nurture and create all kinds of performance, including script-driven, hybrid forms, and physical theatre.

Cohort Bios:

Victoria Bell (V) (she/they) is a Vancouver based technical director, multidisciplinary technical designer, and Studio 58 graduate. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the team of fantastic artists that are involved in these works.

Chelsea Carlson (she/her) has worked in arts production and administration for over fifteen years managing and producing theatre and special events. For 11 years (until 2012) she worked in Administration and Production at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, most recently as Associate Producer. In 2010 she produced the five-city national tour of Kevin Loring’s Where the Blood Mixes and became General Manager of Savage Society that same year. Chelsea is the recipient of the 2019 John Hobday Award in Arts Management.

Ashley Chodat (she/her) is a deviser, dramaturg, playwright and educator. In these roles, Ashley has been fortunate to work for companies across Canada like Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, The Cultch, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Theatre SKAM and Arts Umbrella. She is particularly interested in stories that explore nostalgia, female joy and intergenerational relationships.  She holds a diploma in Theatre Performance from Douglas College and is working towards her BFA in Applied Theatre at Uvic. Recently, her play June Bug won the inaugral TYP Family Forward Award at Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Marc Castellini (he/him) is a librarian, archivist and theatre artist, currently residing on the unceded and ancestral lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. He holds a BFA in theatre performance from Simon Fraser University, and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the Pratt Institute in New York. As a dramaturg, Marc has worked primarily with new scripts in development, and with projects engaged with forms of memory and accumulations of material history. Also a playwright, Marc has had his work produced at the rEvolver Theatre Festival, and been a recipient of Staircase Theatre’s “Movin’ On Up” New Play Prize in 2016. Across all his work, Marc remains fascinated by questions of the materiality of the past, and the ongoing construction of the present.

Jesse Del Fierro (they/them/siya) is a second-generation, non-binary, Filipinx – Canadian theatre creator, performer and dramaturg with the privilege to work in both Moh’kinstsis on Treaty 7 Territory and on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples colloquially known as Calgary AB and Vancouver BC respectively. They are so eternally grateful for the love and support they’ve received working with Vertigo Theatre, Chromatic Theatre, Downstage Theatre, Theatre Alberta, PBG and the PBB, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, Playwright’s Theatre Centre and PuSh International Performance Art Festival amongst others. Intersectionality is their only reality. Say hello at

Lili Robinson (she/they) is a theatre artist, poet and facilitator based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Lili is passionate about centring voices at the intersections of queerness, Black diaspora, socio-economic diversity and femme identity in their work. Since graduating Studio 58 in 2018, Lili has worked and trained with an array of theatre companies including Theatre Replacement, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Rumble Theatre, New Harlem Productions, the frank theatre, UpintheAir Theatre, Neworld Theatre, and the Arts Club. Lili’s debut play, Mx, was the winner of the 2019 Fringe New Play Prize and the 2019 Cultchivating the Fringe Award, and was subsequently presented as a digital production in the Cultch’s 2021/2022 season. Currently, Lili is the Resident Curator at rEvolver Festival; she is also developing two new plays, “Infest” and “Maroon”. While theatre is Lili’s primary practice, poetry and spoken word are her first loves. Lili has been featured as a part of the Vancouver Writer’s Festival, Queer Arts Festival’s “Queerotica” and “Futurosity in the Midst of History” events, and online as part of Brick Books’ Brickyard online platform. In their spare time Lili loves napping, geeking out on Afrofuturism, and cooking food that connects them to their Black Southern roots.

Mentor Bio:

Joanna Garfinkel  (she/any) is the Dramaturg, Creative Engagement at Playwrights Theatre Centre and co-founder, with Yoshie Bancroft, of Universal Limited. Joanna’s focus is in collaborative approaches to new play development, multidisciplinary, and site-specific work; upcoming projects include dramaturgy with ZeeZee Theatre/VACT on My Little Tomato, and the Queer & Trans playwriting unit; UL’s development on To the Sea; PTC Associates Kamila Sediego’s Engkanto and José Teodoro’s Binary Star. She is also working on ongoing dance collaborations, including TCP’s Pants. She is the co-creator, with Yoshie Bancroft, of JAPANESE PROBLEM, a site-responsive piece about the Japanese Canadian Incarceration, which has been performed site-specifically in Vancouver, at Soulpepper in Toronto, and in several locations in between. Joanna is struck by the systemic inequities that repeat in Canada, and commits to trouble those patterns through performance. Other notable credits include Berlin: The Last Cabaret at PuSh 2020, and the multi-award-winning Poly Queer Love Ballad, which toured to Theatre Passe Murailles in 2019. She has been nominated for three Jessie awards, winning one (Critics Choice for Innovation); was awarded the Pure Research grant from Nightswimming Theatre (Toronto), and has received the Sydney Risk award for directing. She moved to Vancouver to get her MFA in directing at UBC, and her focus since has been primarily in new play development, multidisciplinary, and site-specific work. She has trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in New York.

Photo – Top row, left to right: Victoria Bell, Chelsea Carlson, and Marc Castellini. Bottom row: Ashley Chodat, Jesse Del Fierro, and Lili Robinson.

Find out more about the artists and the program on our Block D page!