Lynda Hill, Artistic & Executive Director
Lynda is a professional theatre director, dramaturge, arts educator and arts leader with a passion for the creation and development of new work, new artists and new audiences.
Lynda Hill has led the organizational and artistic direction of Theatre Direct since 2001. She has commissioned numerous new plays for the company and guided the successful production of 19 productions, 12 of which were original commissions including And, By The Way Miss…., Beneath the Banyan Tree, Binti’s Journey, Sanctuary Song and most recently, Old Man and the River. The company’s productions have been seen by thousands of young people across the country in schools, theatres and international festivals.
In 2006, she initiated and oversaw Theatre Direct’s project to establish a permanent home as anchor tenants of the Artscape Wychwood Barns, a revitalization of former streetcar repair barns in the heart of a thriving neighbourhood of young families and schools. Since 2009, the company, moved from seasonal touring to year-round programming including the presentation of their original work, guest productions, community and education programs.
In addition to leading the artistic programming, Lynda oversees the direction of the company’s education work in schools and in their community programs, drawing on her 20 year experience as an arts educator. In this capacity, she has conceived and implemented unique residency projects that bring professional artists in collaboration with young people and their broader communities. Notable residency projects include The Petra Peace Project (with York Region District School Board) The Carpet (at Dovercourt PS in partnership with Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany), Letters to Africa (with Kent Junior PS), Roundtrip Home (with 5 local schools within walking distance of the Wychwood Barns), and 1000 Stories (Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy).
In tandem with Theatre Direct’s cycles of creation, development, and production, Lynda has been researching international trends in theatre and education for early years which included attending the International Study Week in Reggio Emilia, Italy at the Loris Maliguzzi Centre. After networking with leading companies in this field, attending various festivals, and creating with children under the age of 6, she initiated English Canada’s first international festival of theatre for early years which was realized in May 2014. The WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early Years, showcased 7 productions, in 4 venues, from Europe and Québec as well as an academic research conference, professional sector meeting, workshops for artists, parents and children, exhibitions, and a family festival of music and dance.
Prior to joining Theatre Direct, Lynda was a freelance director, dramaturge and radio drama producer. Along with her extensive direction credits, Lynda served as the Associate Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre from 1989-91 and the Co-Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre Projects from 1991-1993. In 1995, Lynda was awarded a fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany and in 2000, she served as the Theatre Officer at the Ontario Arts Council.
Lynda and her partner James Roy are proud parents of two children, Tessa and Quinn.
Kate Walker, Managing Producer
Kate Walker is a University of Toronto graduate with a double major in Anthropology and Sexual Diversity Studies. Kate has a diverse background in the performing arts, with extensive music and music education experience. A singer/songwriter whose songs have appeared on network television, she also works as a freelance producer. Most recently she worked as the Associate Producer for Theatre Direct’s WeeFestival and Producer of Shakespeare in the Ruff’s Portia’s Julius Caesar. Kate has been the Company Manager of Common Boots Theatre since 2014.
Lisa Alves, Education Coordinator
Lisa Alves is a multi-disciplinary artist, producer, and educator. She has worked at different organizations in a variety of roles including StageCoach Theatre Arts School, Generator, manidoons collective, Crow’s Theatre, The Milkweed Collective to name a few. After attending Humber’s Theatre Performance Program (2015) and Humber’s Business Management – Entrepreneurial Enterprise Program (2018) she appeared on stages across Toronto. Lisa founded SURGE Theatre in the Summer of 2018 where the company debuted with the well received show Follow Me, a physically devised creation exploring what is natural. Lisa is interested developing more efficient producing practices, devised theatre, delivering access to the arts to young people, and contributing to strong social justice awareness in operating organizations.
Angelo Pileggi, Production & Tour Coordinator
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