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Joanna Garfinkel

Project Dramaturg/ Fringe New Play Prize

Joanna Garfinkel began dramaturgically-driven play development company Universal Limited. She is the co-creator, with Yoshié Bancroft, of JAPANESE PROBLEM, a site-responsive piece about the Japanese Canadian Incarceration, which premiered at Hastings Park in 2017, and went on tour 2018-2019 (japaneseproblem.ca). Previously, she co-created and directed the pedicab adventure Tour for HIVE 3, produced by the Electric Company, Universal Limited, and the Cultural Olympiad. That site-specific escapade was reinvented for Victoria (Theatre SKAM), and Toronto (SummerWorks). Joanna is struck by the racially motivated societal inequities that keep repeating in Canada, and to troubling those patterns through performance.

Recent credits include co-curating, dramaturging and directing the Northern Play Reading Series in Yellowknife, NWT (Akpik Theatre), dramaturgy for Gary Mok’s i broke the ocean (VACT MSG lab), and for the Fringe New Play Prize Winning Poly Queer Love Ballad, premiering in 2018. 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. Ongoing: project dramaturgy for Playwrights Theatre Centre.