Heidi Taylor (she/her) is a dramaturg, director and performance maker, and Artistic and Executive Director at PTC. She makes sited, devised, and interdisciplinary work, developing performances from first idea through production. Recent projects with rice & beans theatre include Derek Chan’s yellow objects and Pedro Chamale’s Peace Country. She dramaturged for VACT’s MSG Lab from 2016-2020, including Zahida Rahemtulla’s The Wrong Bashir. She has also dramaturged for dance, most recently Amber Funk Barton’s How to Say Goodbye. Recent projects include world premieres of Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here, Kuroko and 1 Hour Photo by Tetsuro Shigematsu (Governor General Award nominee), Public and Private by choreographer Ziyian Kwan, and am a by Amber Funk Barton and Mindy Parfitt. Current PTC projects include process dramaturgy with The Public Swoon on Mermaid Spring, and Tanya Marquardt’s Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep at PuSh OFF. Heidi received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Contemporary Art from SFU, where she taught acting for 15 years. Her collective, Proximity Arts, created cross-disciplinary projects including podplays, sited dance performance, a community-run side show, chamber opera, cabarets, sound installation and a digital gardening project, from 2003 – 2011. Heidi served as Board Treasurer of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas 2017-20, and was the founding president of LMDA Canada. She is currently Secretary of the board for C-Space.
Melanie Yeats (she/they) is a theatre maker living on the unceded stolen territories of the the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
She is committed to upholding spaces where people feel safe enough to do the challenging work of creating meaningful art. As an arts administrator, Melanie calls PTC home. As Creative Managing Director, she helps keep PTC running smoothly, with a special focus on creativity in capacity management, mentorship, and values alignment. She has worked in arts administration with organizations such as Indie Opera West, Gateway Theatre, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and Firehall Arts Centre. She has also proudly served on the boards of several arts organizations, while being committed to dismantling the inequities inherent in this system.
As an artist, Melanie has worked with a broad range of companies, such as re:Naissance Opera, Tara Cheyenne Performance, Music on Main, Carousel Theatre, Upintheair, Neworld, Mainly Dance, Joe Ink, Boca del Lupo, and Pi Theatre, collaborating on many new works, including interdisciplinary projects with theatre, dance, and music artists. She works as a performer, dramaturg, director, playwright, and intimacy director. Melanie has worked for more than 25 years in performing arts and holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from SFU.
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.
Davey Samuel Calderon (he/they) is PTC’s Dramaturg, Public Engagement, a stewardship of the many artists and people who come to PTC, where mutual trust is forged when melding stories into meaningful theatre for our community. His dramaturgy and artistic mandate revolves around community-centred values, collaboration, performance experimentation and artistic agency. He has his BFA in Theatre Performance and Communication from Simon Fraser University and is Co-Founder of New(to)Town Collective, a theatre collective aspiring to provide economically accessible, experimental training workshops and creating new interdisciplinary works. Davey’s first written solo show, Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night!, premiered at the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival (Produced by Tender Container and associate producers New(to)Town Collective and Neworld Theatre) with a reading at the 2020 Tales of the Flipside Festival (Carlos Bulosan Theatre, Toronto) and presented as part of the 2022/23 Evergreen Cultural Centre season. Currently, he’s writing a queer-Filipinx Canadian fired chicken musical, Deep Fried: A Pinoy Musical!, and adapting Big Queer into an interactive livestream, BQFKN! ONLINE.
Current dramaturgical projects are The Frontliners by Zahida Rahemtulla (2021-22 New Play Prize Winner; 2022 Vancouver Fringe Festival special workshop presentation), Before They Cut Down Our Tree by Karter Masuhara (2020 vAct’s MSG Lab), Opo by Bianca Miranda (2021 vAct’s MSG Lab), and It Lives in my Bedroom by Mily Mumford (2021-23 PTC Associate). Davey has worked with nationally recognized companies and individuals – including Neworld Theatre, Alley Theatre, Paul Wong, rice and beans theatre, and Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Association.
Kathleen believes her biggest strengths are intellectual curiosity and holistic thinking. She calls herself a “closet academic” because she can focus on in-depth research and the big picture. She asks questions, shares stories and imagines words on the page in three dimensions. As a dramaturg Kathleen collaborates with the playwright and other theatre makers to dig into the deep structure and essential story or idea, the soul, of a work, building outward with concrete details and images to manifest a piece of theatre live in space. Her main objective as a dramaturg is to help a piece of theatre become whatever it is intended to be, with the capacity to engage an audience.
She relies on her work as a former producer of radio drama – her claim to fame is as producer of The Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour – and Ideas documentaries for CBC Radio, as well as her experience as theatre director and dramaturg, to help her connect with playwrights and the ideas they are shaping. She has the advantage of being a working class woman from small prairie towns who has lived and worked all across Canada and worked in theatre for forty years – from the ‘happenings’ and collective creations of the early ‘70s through American realism to post-modernism and the post-dramatic. Her formal education includes a BA in political science, a BFA in theatre and MFA in directing. Her dramaturgical work in the theatre began in the early 1980s and included work with Catalyst Theatre, Cahoots, Factory Theatre, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Nightwood and Theatre New Brunswick as well as dramaturgy, producing and directing original works for independent small theatre production. She has collaborated with hundreds of writers including Beverley Cooper, Michael Riordon, Adrienne Wong, Kwame Dawes, Ian Weir, Jason Sherman, Greg Nelson, Carol Shields, Betty Kwan, Marie Clements, Myrna Kostash and Thomas King. In the past three years at PTC, she has read more than 250 new plays and worked with SNAFU Dance Theatre, Tim Carlson, Tara Travis, Derek Chan, Briana Brown, Kenneth Williams, Curtis Peeteetuce, Yawen Wang, Leanna Brodie, Dave Deveau, Elaine Avila, Jordan Hall and Deneh’Cho Thompson. Recent projects include editing a book of interviews that were done by Gayle Murphy with theatre veteran Joy Coghill: Joy, in her Voice, and the creation of a new publication foregrounding PTC’s dramaturgical processes.
Carmela Sison (she/her/siya) is a Filipino-Canadian artist living and working on the unsurrendered traditional territories of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səlil̓wətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). She is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA in Acting program and has been working in theatre and film in Western Canada since 2010. Beyond acting, she has been a producer, arts administrator, and is an active acting coach for young actors. She has also taken on translation in the past few years with her show, Lasa ng Imperyo, the Tagalog translation & adaptation of A Taste of Empire by Jovanni Sy. She is thrilled to join the PTC team to continue making art happen and make theatre more and more accessible to all.
Alyssa Formosa (she/her) is a playwright, performer, recreation facilitator, and PTC’s 2023 Artistic Associate. Her passions for theatre and humanity fuel the work that she does. Alyssa’s plays include Epic Insomnia, Oh Brother, Redd, Odd Man Out, and Dream On. Alyssa’s work has been performed at the Or Festival, National Theatre School (NTS) Drama Festival, and developed through the Arts Club LEAP playwriting program and PTC’s own Block A. Awards include: Mission Arts Council’s “Literary Arts Award” in 2022, and Association of British Columbia Drama Educators YouthWright/NTS Drama Festival’s “Outstanding Original Script” in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Alyssa strives to build community through her work and encourages others to share the important stories that only they can tell.