Megan Mooney – Publisher
Megan loves being in the thick of all things theatre, but her ultimate goal is to promote theatre to the world of non-theatre people. It was the same when she was the theatre writer for blogTO, or the Fringe Correspondent for CBC Radio One‘s Here and Now, as it is as the founder of Mooney on Theatre. Her basic belief is that there is theatre/performance out there for everyone to love, they just need to find it. This is not to be confused with the idea that everyone should love theatre for theatre’s sake; in fact, as obsessed as she is with theatre, even *she* doesn’t love all types of theatre.
Wayne Leung – Managing Editor
Wayne is a writer, editor and corporate communications professional who is thrilled to be a part of the Mooney on Theatre team. Wayne has loved theatre ever since his aunt brought him to a production of Les Misérables at the tender age of ten . . . despite the fact that, at that age, the show’s plot was practically indiscernible and the battle scenes scared the bejeezus out of him. Wayne’s current list of likes runs the gamut from opera, ballet and Shakespeare to Broadway musicals, circus and Fringe theatre. Outside of the theatre, Wayne’s interests include travel, technology and food.
Samantha Wu – Editor
Samantha is both a writer and a fan of the arts and has been able to find numerous ways to pair the two. Aside from being an editor here at Mooney on Theatre, she’s a photojournalist for both Lithium Magazine, which gets her writing and shooting about everything from Dave Matthews Band to Fan Expo, and Been Here Done That, a travel, dining and tourism blog that focuses on Toronto and abroad. She’s passionate about music, theatre, photography, writing, and celebrating sexuality — not necessarily in that order. She drinks tea more than coffee, prefer ciders over beers, and sings karaoke way too loudly. You can follow her on various social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Lindsay Young – Editor
Lin Young is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University by day, an insatiable theatre-goer by night. She truly loves seeing innovative indie theatre, the strange sort of hole-in-the-wall shows that big companies would never take a risk on. She’s seen plays in basements, gardens, bars, and in old dilapidated houses, to name a few. She’s always on the lookout for the next theatrical experiment in the city, and loves seeing shows that have some quality of fantasy, historicity, or strangeness to them – especially if they involve puppets! She tweets about theatre, comics and the 19th century at @linkeepsitreal.
Jess Gillis – Assistant Editor
Jess is an East coast transplant to Toronto who stumbled into her love of theatre via her social media gig at Ballyhoo Push Pin Media, and stumbled into review writing via an open call to cover the 2015 Fringe Festival for MoT. In addition to writing for MoT, she also blogs about dating, white supremacy, fat politics, theatre, graphic design, and sex at thejessgillis.blogspot.com. She’s a self-taught freelance graphic designer by trade, and a visual artist by passion. She sells and displays her wares at jessgillis.com. She’s passionate about laughter, anti-oppression, sex workers’ rights, body positivity, vegan food, cycling, good TV, and swimming. If you want to follow her foodie, nail art, and pet sitting posts, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheJessGillis
S. Bear Bergman
S. Bear Bergman has great faith in the power of theatre to make change, and has been putting his money where his mouth is on that one for some time. A writer, performer, and lecturer, Bear works full time as an artist and cultural worker and loves to see as much live performance as possible, making this a fantastic gig for him.
Apart from his (pathological?) obsession with airplane disasters, Istvan is a filmmaker and film enthusiast, but began his creative adventures in theatre. Starting out as an actor, he soon discovered a preference for life behind-the-scenes. He has experience in lighting design, stage management and production management, but his passion is writing and directing. With several short films and an indie feature under his belt, film has been his focus in recent years, but theatre has been calling him back. You see more of his critical writing at his film reflection blog: http://captiveviscera.wordpress.com/
Dorianne is a graduate of the Theatre and Drama Studies joint program between University of Toronto and Sheridan College. She writes short stories, plays and screenplays, and you can visit her website at www.dorianneemmerton.com to find her publications, some of which are online so you can read them for the low, low price of free. She’s also a speaker and a storyteller and a host of Sex City on the CIUT radio station. She likes beer, cheese and summer and hates pants. You can follow her on twitter @headonist if you like tweets about cats, books, sex, food, toddlers, LGBTQ stuff and leftish politics.
Everything Sam knows about theatre she learned from her amazing daughter Megan – the Mooney in Mooney on Theatre. Sam’s one of those people who used to find theatre intimidating. Not the big shows, but anything a little less than mainstream.
Her top two theatre memories:
- Taking a 7 year-old Megan to see Charlie’s Aunt at one of the lavish old rococo theatres in London. After looking around at the gilt, the ornate plaster, and the velvet Megan said, “I didn’t know that ordinary people could come to a place like this.”
- Going to a matinee performance of Fences on Broadway in 1987 when at least half the audience were suburban Baptists. They talked to the characters, shouted encouragement, disapproval, and warnings. When the play ended and the audience was standing waiting to leave, the woman in the next seat hugged her and said, “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Wasn’t that the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?“
Like many struggling actors, Vance Brews mostly uses his training as an actor to critique other people’s works. For him, theatre is one of the most personal and intimate types of art. He takes great joy in seeing companies pushing boundaries and exploring new or powerful ideas. He’s also a big fan of sketch comedy and improv. He remembers a matinee of Sally Clark’s Moo with four people in the audience, where it seemed everything that could go wrong did. Yet, with props failing, costumes ripping and general chaos besetting the cast, they soldiered on and entertained that audience with gusto. Theatre is dedication.
Madeleine Copp saw her first show when she was four years old and it was love at first sight. She pursued a bachelor’s in theatre production and design and English literature, culminating in a love for flexible, innovative, and diverse theatre artists that challenge all our preconceived notions of the stage. Her thesis, Printed Voices: Women, Print, and Performance pushed for new interpretations of closet drama from the early modern to modern period in the hopes of seeing more female playwrights included in the performance canon. Since graduating, Madeleine continues to seek out unexpected, startling, and challenging works that leave her angry, speechless, and wonderfully confused.
Keira Grant has enjoyed a passion for music and drama her entire life. From her grass roots in school and church musicals she went on to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York and a Master’s of Music from Western in Literature & Performance. Keira worked very hard to inject a radical, anti-oppressive perspective in discussions with class-mates and professors alike while learning to perform the works of countless dead white men. Although she currently spends her days helping her employer constructively address the Nurse Jackies of the health care system, she does so with a song in her heart. Keira is very excited and eager to share beautiful and challenging music with the smart and sexy people gathered here tonight.
A former freelance translator in Paris, Catherine Jan now enjoys writing in Toronto and about Toronto. Especially about Toronto theatre. She also blogs about translation, copywriting, editing and other word-related past-times at Catherine Translates. Are you on Twitter? Join @translatetrad‘s 2,000 followers who keep up with her workin’ girl tweets.
Jeff was introduced to theatre at a young age, enjoying such shows as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Cats. His love for live performance grew through watching various Fringe Festival and SummerWorks shows. Jeff loves the raw reality of theatre performance. He is drawn to the fact that there are no do-overs and there is no screen in between the audience and the performers. Theatre is as live and true as life itself. He maintains a website of his own at jtkwriting.com, that features his own stories and musings about the written word.
Chris is a graduate student at the University of Toronto. She works with medieval and early modern English literature, especially between the 14th and 16th Centuries (the best centuries). Chris divides her time between grad school, improv, and writing; her work has appeared online in The Globe and Mail and onstage at the McGill Drama Festival. Her favourite playwrights are Peter Shaffer and Shakespeare. You can read more from Chris at chrisklippenstein.wordpress.
Ilana Lucas has been a big theatre nerd since witnessing a fateful Gilbert and Sullivan production at the age of seven. She has studied theatre for most of her life, holds a BA in English and Theatre from Princeton and an MFA in Dramaturgy and Script Development from Columbia, and is currently a professor of English and Theatre at Centennial College. She believes that theatre has a unique ability to foster connection, empathy and joy, and has a deep love of the playfulness of the written word. Her favourite theatrical experience was the nine-hour, all-day Broadway performance of The Norman Conquests, which made fast friends of an audience of strangers.
Maighdlin is a Vancouverite turned Torontonian who graduated the summer of 2015 from Randolph Academy as a singer, actor and dancer. She first came across the idea while watching The Wizard of Oz movie for the 50th time, when she was about 3 years old. She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of NonExistent Theatre, a new theatre company that challenges conventional casting and provides opportunities to emerging artists. while also attending the University of Toronto. Oh, and she ran into Bernadette Peters in a coffee shop once.
George has always been passionate about theatre, but didn’t know it. As a young boy he was mesmerized by professional wrestling. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was an early role model. Shortly thereafter, the explosive histrionics of Pete Townshend would supersede this Canadian icon. George’s attention later turned to American theatre. Jello Biafra became a seminal influence. The “Do It Yourself” ethic was firmly embraced by Perry, and he ventured into the vast repertoire of artists like Paul Westerberg and Steve Albini. As a young adult, he was re-introduced to the works of Townshend. His then girlfriend, Michelle, was hugely impressed by the theatrical production of The Who’s “Tommy”. He meandered through factories, schools, border towns and Michigan for a very long time afterwards. He eventually landed in Toronto. All these influences were brought together in one kettle when George discovered Mooney on Theatre. He understands and personifies the fact that theatre is indeed for everyone. To further this end goal, he contributes.
Lauren holds an incredibly useful B.A. in Creative Writing from the elusive and inclusive Concordia University in Montreal. A native Montrealer, she moved to Toronto a year ago for work and is often asked which city she likes better (a question she refuses to answer on principle). She’s dabbled in many different things including theatre, circus arts and competitive cheerleading, but has had a consistent involvement with writing (fiction and scripts) and dance (predominantly hip hop). Theatre she tends to prefer ranges on the funny, quirky, and intelligent side, though is always up for well-performed works regardless of their genre.
Angela Sun is a Toronto-based fat East Asian performer, theatre creator, poet, and writer. She is currently a member of the environmental theatre company, Broadleaf Theatre. In her spare time she enjoys reading and writing about art, feminism, pop culture, identity, body image, mental health, and social justice. Ironically, she fell in love with Canadian theatre after seeing a televised production of Kristen Thomson’s I, Claudia on CBC. (She finally saw the remount on stage 5 years later and was over the moon). You can follow her exploits on her sporadically-updated Twitter @21sungelas.
With her love of theatre, dance and writing, Ashima Suri jumped on the opportunity to write for Mooney On Theatre. Ashima is an award-winning, established dance artist with her own dance theatre company called Limitless Productions. In her own work, she uses art as a tool for social change. As a reviewer, she seeks out shows that speak to the diversity in the community. She loves to watch innovative shows that break the norms and challenge the audiences.
Gian has been a contributor to MoT since June 2013. Other than a couple of theatre history electives in university, Gian’s main theatre experiences date back to his childhood days when he would accompany his parents to shows at the Elgin Theatre or Princess of Wales Theatre. His fondest memory is seeing Les Mis as a child and being in awe of the larger-than-life costumes and musical numbers. When seeing a show, he loves pieces that come from a sincere place of truth – that tell a heartfelt story. During the day, he’s a Toronto Copywriter and Search Marketing Specialist. You can connect with him on both LinkedIn and Twitter.