Ali Joy Richardson | Artistic Producer

Ali Joy Richardson is a director, writer, and producer originally from Dartmouth, NS. She was part of the inaugural Paprika Director’s Lab and directed the 2016 Regent Park Collective. She’s a member of Nightwood’s Write from the Hip 2018 playwriting unit and is a director in residence through Canadian Stage’s 2018 RBC Emerging Artist Program. She was a finalist for the 2018 Safe Words New Canadian Play Contest and her plays have been read in DaPoPo Theatre’s Live-In Festival (Halifax) and Nightwood Theatre’s Groundswell Festival. She works as a book writer and director with Education Arts Canada, creating touring musicals about mental health for 9 to 12-year-olds. She has made theatre in Edinburgh, Vancouver, Berlin, Halifax, Edmonton, and Toronto, in museums, office buildings, hospitals, cafés, defunct record shops, abandoned schools, kitchens, and harbours. More about her and her work at:



Daniel Carter | General Manager

Daniel Carter is a Toronto-based theatre artist and arts worker. He is a graduate of McGill University’s Drama & Theatre program, and a graduate of Humber College’s Arts Administration and Cultural Management program. Previous to Paprika Theatre Festival, Daniel has worked with Theatre Direct and SummerWorks Performance Festival in various capacities. Additionally, Daniel helped create and coordinate Theatre InspiraTO’s Director’s Toolbox, which provides young and emerging directors practical mentorship while directing and producing a play in Canada’s largest 10-minute play festival. As a theatre artist, Daniel has worked with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Pandemic Theatre, DopoLavoro Teatrale, Shadowtime Productions, and Village Scène Productions. Daniel was a member of Factory Theatre’s The Foundry; House+Body’s Playwrights Initiative; and was a featured artist in Le Festival Rose, Gay Play Day Festival, and Nuit Rose.


Polly Phokeev | Artistic Programs Manager

Polly Phokeev is a writer, dramaturg and actor. She is the recipient of the 2016 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award and the 2016 MyEntertainment Award for Outstanding New Play for How We Are (co-created with Mikaela Davies). Her critically-acclaimed play Seams was produced at the SummerWorks Festival in 2015. Other writing credits include The Mess (with Davies), and upcoming play with music, based on Master and Margarita: M (in collaboration with Mikaela Davies and Hailey Gillis). As an actor, selected credits include Mankind and Pride of Life (Poculi Ludique Societas: New York, Toronto and UK tours), Much Ado about Nothing and The Loyalists (Single Thread Theatre Company). Polly is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a BA in Drama, honours with high distinction. She is currently working towards her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (optional residency), where she holds the SSHRC award for her work in prose fiction.



John Wamsley | Communications Manager

John Wamsley is an Indigenous, queer actor, dancer, and choreographer born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario. He is a graduate of the Theatre and Drama Studies program at Sheridan College and the University of Toronto and has since been fortunate enough to work both on and off stage developing a love for graphic design, stand-up comedy, and creating his own work as co-founder of Theatre Born Between. He also works in a restaurant… typical. For more, check out!





Hana El Niwairi | Lead Festival Administrator

Hana El Niwairi is a writer and arts manager with a background working in various capacities in theatre, film, and literary arts. A graduate of Humber College’s Arts Administration and Cultural Management program, Hana has worked primarily in event-planning, communications, and fundraising, with the Media Arts Network of Ontario, the Book and Periodical Council, Ontario Culture Days, One Little Goat Theatre Company, and Frontier College. She holds a degree in Creative Writing, English, and Psychology from Western University in London, Ontario, where she worked as a stage manager for various community theatre companies. In addition to her work with Paprika, Hana also currently works at a literary agency.





Luke Reece | Training Day Faciliator

In a failed attempt to escape Presto Luke Reece left his hometown of Mississauga under the guise of becoming a Toronto-based artist. He strives to share authentic and engaging stories with audiences through his work as a producer, playwright, poet and educator. Along with being the Co-Creator of Dark Nights, he is the Producer for Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company, Obsidian Theatre. He continually seeks opportunities to empower and support young-in-craft artists with his collective Little Black Afro Theatre, creating spaces for artists to develop work with and for the communities they come from. After becoming the Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) Grand Champion in 2017, Luke went on to captain the 2017 TPS team that became national champions at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He most recently competed in Vancouver in April 2018 at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam and placed 2nd in the country.




Daniel Pink (Chair)
Adam Gomes (Treasurer)
Patricia Grieco
Lindsay Arsenau
Lois Adamson
Briana Brown
Brandon Lablong
Elizabeth Sheffield
Kendra Stanyon