3rd Annual 90’s Trivia Night!


Join us for the Paprika Festival’s third annual 90s TRIVIA NIGHT fundraiser!

With your help, we are raising funds to support the free-of-charge training, mentorship and creative work of the young artists participating in Paprika Festival.

Join us on Monday, November 28th at 7pm at The Duke of York, 39 Prince Arthur Ave. in Toronto.

Buy your tickets online at HERE or at the door (cash only). Space is limited and we sold out last year, so we encourage you to buy your tickets in advance.

$25 in advance

$30 at the door

Sign up with a team or individually to compete. There will be prizes for the winners of each round and a special prize for the ultimate champions. Please have one representative from your team RSVP to create@paprikafestival.com to let us know who is on your team.

In addition to participating in trivia, all ticket-buyers will receive a tax receipt and will be entered into a draw to win a door prize!

The Paprika Festival is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization. We run year-round professional training and mentorship programs that culminate in a conference and performing arts festival of new work by young artists in May 2017. The Festival will take place at Native Earth’s Aki Studio in Daniels Spectrum, a cultural hub in Regent Park, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Paprika Festival is currently seeking applications for our 2016/2017 artistic programs. Whether you’re looking to meet new collaborators, starting your first project and don’t know where it could end up or you have the perfect vision for an exciting new play, Paprika can support you in taking your work to the next level.

Paprika Festival runs year round professional training and mentorship programs that culminate in a conference and performing arts festival of new work by young artists. This year, our programs begin November 2016 and lead up to a showcase at Paprika Festival in May 2017. The Festival will take place at Native Earth’s Aki Studio in Daniels Spectrum, a cultural hub in Regent Park, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Paprika is committed to accessibility. If you need assistance with your application in any way please don’t hesitate to contact us. We strive to be a barrier free organization and we want to make this as easy as possible for you! Paprika Festival offers interviews to every applicant, so if a written application poses any challenges to you, we can easily go through the questions in your interview. Paprika Festival is an equal opportunity organization and strongly encourages applications from Indigenous, culturally diverse applicants and any equity seeking group, including but not limited to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability status.

Through our diverse artistic training programs, Paprika provides the following:

* A note about age: at Paprika our core age group is 15-21 years for all programs excluding the Director’s lab (15-30 years) and the Advisory Board (21-25 years). We are interested in making exceptions to this for young people who can prove they need a higher caliber of training, and for older people who are new to the arts. It is not recommended for young people applying to Productions, The Creator’s Unit, or Playwriting have finished a post secondary degree in theatre.

More information about our programs and how to apply can be found here: APPLY NOW


Our programs are working towards being barrier free. If you have any challenges applying for the program, or questions about any of the programs, feel free to write to Artistic Producer Darwin Lyons at darwin@paprikafestival.com or call at 416-799-5112.

We are more than happy to make accommodations to any equity seeking person who needs an adjustment to the application process.

JOB POSTING – Community Arts Manager

Date: August 2016 – June 30, 2017 Part-time position, with renewable yearly contract
Payment: Honourarium
Location: Administrative Office – 16 Ryerson Ave. with work throughout the city


Ideal Qualities and Interests:


This position is approximately 5-10 hours a week. Due to Paprika’s youth-led mandate, the ideal candidate will be under 30. This position is a great learning opportunity for an emerging artist or arts administrator looking to take on a leadership role in a supportive environment.


Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to:
Paprika Festival –  recruitment@paprikafestival.com
*Please also note any experience you have within the Regent Park Community or Indigenous networks, as this position deals directly with Regent Park and our festival partner Native Earth Performing Arts

by Friday, August 19  at 5pm (Attn: Paprika Festival Hiring Committee).
Late submissions will not be accepted.

Paprika thanks all applicants in advance. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by phone. Paprika is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from culturally diverse applicants and all other equity seeking groups.


We need your support!

Paprika Festival is nominated for NOW Magazine Reader’s Poll Best Youth Organization

Please vote & share with your networks.
We look forward to another successful year at Paprika. Thank you!
Vote here – bit.ly/2aejWem

$2 clothing sale 2
$2 clothing sale 2016

Our annual summer clothing sale is back, and this year we are making it a REALLY BIG DEAL because it’s our last event as a 15-year-old and we are so super stoked to turn sweet 16!

This June 18, in Bloordale Village, Paprika offers you the finest second-hand selection of vintage, and pre-owned styles, including accessories, instruments, electronics and books! Join us for conversations over sangria in the shady backyard of 490 Brock Ave, and snag yourself some goodies in support of our festival!

The weather is looking promising and the Advisory Board has got one killer sangria recipe locked and loaded.

Be there or be square (because you’re not a-round)! We’ve got a Facebook event live over here!

we are xx 3

Three women reveal never-before shared stories and secrets from their lives in a theatrical dismantling of gender and cultural expectations. Their inner-most desires, frustrations, hopes, fears, and triumphs take centre stage in this deeply personal, collectively-created piece.

Advisory Board Member and Stage Manager to the Regent Collective, Thilini Seevakireedam, interviews the ensemble behind We Are XX: Samay Cajal, Rafia Salam and Anne Vo about their experience in the collective, their creation process and growth as artists. The Regent Collective is facilitated by Community Arts Manger Jijo Quayson and directed by Ali Joy Richardson.

Thilini What inspired you to create this show?
Samay Things came up very naturally, and whatever came out of the themes we spoke about or explored and then we continued to build on them.
Rafia I faced Islamaphobia myself many times in Toronto. I wanted to speak about these topics and drew inspiration from my personal experiences. Most of the writing exercises were “sit down – you had five minutes and whatever came to mind just start writing” And somehow we all connected without any direction or force.
Anne We touch upon a lot of themes and knew that we wanted to share these in our performance: feminism, cultural barriers, current issues that should be discussed, etc. We wanted to incorporate everything together. We were not forced in any way to touch on these topics it was something that we wanted to do all on our own. Something that we created and wanted to say and we had similar interest and we combined together.
Samay And I think that is really cool because it shows the similarities of woman of colour and all of our writing reflects this such as themes on migration, parents thinking in different ways, etc. I wouldn’t be able to create any of my writing without acknowledging that I am a migrant.

Thilini What brought all of you together OR a better question to ask is when you all came together what did you think?
Samay I came in at a point where I was looking for something different creatively, because I work with photography and video and I spend my full day in front of the computer. I just wanted to try something different and wanted to challenge myself. I am super shy and I’m someone who does not put myself at the centre of attention. I also had a lot of insecurities with public speaking and with the work and activism I do requires a lot of public speaking so, I decided to look for something. I saw a posting in one of the emails lists that I was subscribed too (FPYN) that said “collective looking for participants” so I just emailed Jijo and asked if I could join and stated that I don’t live in the Regent Park Community but I used to spend a lot of time in Regent Park before it was gentrified. I went away for a couple of years but once I came back everything was different, I know of the place and I feel connected to it even though I don’t live in it anymore.
Rafia Our (Rafia and Anne’s) story is kind of funny because I wasn’t really looking for anything, I have always been interested in acting but I never found that outlet for it and I was always scared to apply for programs. One day I received an email from the organization I am apart of -Pathways To Education – stating “looking for people interested in theatre – if you are 15-30 you should apply.” I was like ‘Oh My god!’ we should do this and so I sent the link it to our group chat and asked is anyone was interested and Anne was like ‘Yes, me!”  I got an answer right away from Jijo after emailing her and I do not regret it at all.
Anne My experience with Paprika was knowing about it a year before I was in the program. I started in Soulpepper and I did a summer program there and I discovered that I really like theatre and this it’s something that I could pursue. While in Soulpepper during my training, Michelle Yagi, she came in and she introduced us to Paprika and what they do, what kind of organization they are and what kind of festival they are planning to do in the upcoming year – this year actually. I wasn’t really sure because at the time I was focused on Soulpepper trying to get through it and trying to have my own fun with theatre. After I was finished my summer program, I still wanted to keep myself in theatre and be more active in the arts but I didn’t know how to do that so I just left it and went to school until Rafia told me that she found a posting about the Paprika Festival and they were looking for participants and realizing that this was the program that Michelle was talking about back then, so I decided to join.

Thilini How would you describe your show in three words?
Rafia Badass.
Samay Honest.
Anne Authentic.

Thilini What was your rehearsal process like?Samay It was mostly Jijo giving us a number of exercises to go through and they were timed: five minutes of this, two minutes of this, one minute of this. I definitely noticed the transition. At first I had no idea what to write and as I did it more and more and I expanded my writing more and more.
Anne The creating and writing process throughout Paprika was very challenging and opened me up. I really like writing and I took poetry classes, so having these writing and creating workshops it made me realize how much I am writing and how much I spewed out from my brain onto paper and it was really cool to see and it was cool to see everyone else’s writing, how they spoke and thought through their words. Doing all these exercises made us stronger as a team and allowed us to get to know each other better.
Samay At the beginning I was really confused, I didn’t understand why I was writing, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I set myself a few goals last December and one of them was to write creatively much more and I am happy that this happened because I enjoy my writing and I feel like I could get better the more I do it.

Thilini What is your most memorable rehearsal moment?
Rafia It’s really hard to pick, because each one makes me feel so good but so tired when I get home. I think it was after we made the script and we were into blocking. Personally, ‘2 Foot Rat’ is my favorite piece I wrote! We laughed a lot while blocking the piece which was fun. I also go back to the beginning where we made a poster made up of different magazine images and we got to know each other more from that experience. There was nothing about the play but things that we were passionate about.
Anne My most memorable memory is not really specific but more of memories of the writing process that we did and how we created all these different pieces and I think it’s because I love writing so that stuck out to me the most and hearing everyone else’s thoughts inspired me to write about topics as well.
Samay I think it was the moment we started to share our writing, I felt shy and I haven’t read out loud my writing and usually when I write I never look at it again. Then coming to a place where we all weren’t scared of sharing and then wanting to share – that was more for the writing process and for the rehearsal process I really love the cough in ‘2 Foot Rat’ it’s really funny.

Thilini What has been a challenge working on this show?
Anne I think a challenging part for me apart from writing was improve. Doing anything on the spot was very scary and I am very afraid of messing things up and I’m kind of a perfectionist and I want everything to go smoothly and I want every word that comes out to come out correctly. But practicing the scene through improv was good for me and making the situation whatever I want it to be instead of writing it down and going through it step by step.
Rafia I hate writing because I am more of a person that likes to get up on my feet and do things, so if you were to give me a situation and just throw me in there, I could do that but writing that situation down takes a toll on me.
Samay Lately, the biggest challenge for me has been switching through the different feelings that I have in each piece and the emotions that you feel when getting into different characters. It’s hard for me to internalize that feeling and speak whatever I have to say with honesty because I feel like it’s really easy for me to memorize and say the words but I feel that that’s not genuine and it doesn’t come out that great and it’s hard for me to embody those words.

Thilini Why does Toronto need We Are XX?
Samay Nobody can tell stories like we do. We are the only ones that can tell stories our way. No one has our story, we are all individual people, and come from different places and different histories and so there is not a single person in all of Toronto that can say the same things that we can and I think it’s important for people to say that and hear that. That’s it, it’s just us, there is nobody else. Yes there are people from our communities but they have such different experiences.
Rafia I don’t think there is a representation of us, you wouldn’t see three woman of colour on stage plus I’m the only person that wears a Hijab in Paprika, so it’s really weird for me. Whenever I talk about theatre to my parents or anyone that’s Bengali, there say ‘Are you sure you should be doing this? and ‘Not all Bangali girls should be doing this.’ It’s something different for them to see, they are so used to seeing the uniform of what you can see on stage or TV and I feel like we need to start moving forward because we are still stuck in time where there is difference.
Anne I think Toronto should come and watch We Are XX because, the title derives from us, XX represents the female chromosomes that make us female. Hearing young females of colour on stage is rare. Hearing our personal experiences, knowledge, what we want from the world and what we know. People will get to see our point of view, what we go through and what we see. Toronto should come and watch because this is the future of Toronto and if we want to improve ourselves we should hear it from young woman of this society.

Thilini What would you like the audience to take away from this?
Rafia Look at the world in a different perspective and there is different ways of telling a story and this is one but there are many other ways.
Anne This is what you should know of what is going on in the world, this is important and everyone should hear this and these are our current issues.
Samay Question things. I would like for people to question what they hear and a lot of what we write about is critiques of things and some are not but how can you look at things differently.

Thilini How has the mentorship received through Paprika helped with the process of creating We Are XX?
Rafia I was never confident about my acting but now I am, they helped me a lot and I never knew I had the capability to perform. They encouraged me and made me feel good about everything that I have done throughout this year. They allowed us to mold what was in our minds to something beautiful, even when I could not see it.
Samay Having a lot of encouragement for sure from everyone and validated and makes me feel less scared.
Anne They are literally the best people ever and they helped through so much! Thank you for this opportunity and bringing everyone together.


Catch the performance of We Are XX as apart of the 15th annul Paprika Festival, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 4:45pm tickets
Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:15pm tickets
Sunday, May 29, 2016 2pm tickets

Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas St E

Thank you for reading our last instalment of the Advisory Board’s Interview Series! We’ll see you at the festival!a

aracely reyes

Seventeen-year-old Raine hides in the dark alleys of Toronto gripped with fear and guilt after witnessing her best friend’s rape and murder. The same thoughts cycling through her head, “I’m sorry, I just watched you being ripped apart. How could I do that? Just freeze?” In the shadows she attracts the attention of a clan of Dark Faeries eager to feast on her tainted soul. Her only hope is to befriend a rogue Pixie and plead her case to the four ruling Feys; the only ones that can either protect or condemn her.

Aracely Reyes, our second participant of the Director’s Lab program, facilitated by Clare Preuss, sits down with Advisory Board Member Sukaina Ibraheem to share details about her creation process, growth and ambitions for her play Faerie Dust, mentored by Jiv Parasram.

Sukaina What inspired you to direct Faerie Dust?
Aracely I wrote Faerie Dust five years ago, and I have been trying to get it produced ever since. Directing it at one point just made the most sense; No one knows it better than I do and I also felt no one could fight for it as hard as I can. Over the years, I have been lucky to slowly assemble a team that are also ready, and willing to fight to see it make it onto the stage, and now we’re here.

My inspiration to direct it, was the same as I had for writing it. I love Faerie Urban lore; This idea that the magical world exists in our real world, but only “chosen, special” people are able to see it and co-exist with it. Add on top of that, fantasy as a metaphor for some dark topics, and in the case of Faerie Dust, it is a metaphor to help us understand the serious topics of rape, victim blaming and shaming, and the journey to self-forgiveness.

 Sukaina What brought your company together?
Aracely My stage managers, Zee and Raquel went to university with me, and we’ve known each other for many years. Both were with me when I directed “Hagoromo” in my third year with the Paprika Festival in 2008. Zee was my Costume designer, and Raquel was my Stage manager.  They are official members of my company: “Cely Productions”.

Tijana, the lead in Faerie Dust was a participant in the Paprika Festival with me prior to that, as well as during my last year in 2008. We continued to work together as members of bcurrent’s “rAiz’n ensemble” from 2011 to 2014. When we found each other in Paprika this year, she asked if I needed actors, and so of course we had to work together again.

Troy, Harsharan, and Janice are new to me and the group. Troy and Harsharan are also participants in the Paprika Festival, and were brought on when I asked the Festival for volunteer actors. Janice and I connected through Troy when I searched for a female of Oriental-Asian descent to play the Japanese Empress Kitsune.  All the members of my team have been absolutely incredible. They have offered me both challenges and triumphs and so far I am very proud of the work we’ve done.

Sukaina How would you describe your show in three words?
Aracely Fantastical, uncompromising, heartfelt.

Sukaina How did your rehearsal process begin?
Aracely I wanted to introduce my team to my style, the gothic appearance I always insist upon in my work. It’s a huge aspect of what make the piece mine. So, I brought the team together one afternoon at Dundas Square, and we did an actor Q&A exercise. After that we went to my favourite makeup shop: Inglot. I had all the members choose one piece of makeup that they felt was essential to their character, and I purchased that make up. They will wear it during the show and they get to keep it as a memento once everything is over. Actual rehearsals began shortly after that.

Sukaina What is your most memorable rehearsal moment so far?
Aracely The most memorable rehearsal for me was the rehearsal in which my mentor Clare was present. We constructed one of the most complex movement sequences, and it was nerve-wracking for me and for my cast. The work we accomplished was fantastic, and it was really great to have Clare to guide and encourage me.

Sukaina What has been a challenge of working on this show?
Aracely All of my actors are amazing, but they are also very different and have different needs in terms of support from me in order to do the work. I have to co-ordinate rehearsals so that I am giving everyone the attention they need, while also giving the group as a whole direction and support. I have to practice being patient with each member, listen carefully to their needs, remember their needs, and apologize if I forget. It’s been very good for me as well to learn different methods and ways to bring out the best performances from my actors.

Sukaina Why does Toronto need Faerie Dust?
Aracely Toronto needs Faerie Dust because the rape epidemic is a world-wide, international crisis and Toronto is not outside of that. It is one of the few works of art that is willing to tell the story of the witness, a victim whose voice is never heard, often never given the opportunity to be heard because the witness doesn’t exist, or does not exist as a victim themselves. But they are, and they have a story. Like in the case of Raine that needs to be acknowledged. Toronto needs Faerie Dust because stories of rape and the survival of rape affects everyone, not just the victim and the perpetrator(s).

Sukaina Who should see Faerie Dust?
Aracely My target audience is everyone. Men, young and old, should see this play to understand what women are going through; both those being attacked, and those watching or hearing about the attacks. Boys should watch it so that they can begin to understand where these feelings of grief come from, and be part of stopping it.

Women, young and old, should see Faerie Dust to know that they are not alone, that they should understand and support each other, as well as the many ways that they can be injured, and how they go about grieving and healing.

Children can see this play because the rape is never actually shown, but they will see an attack, and a friend mourning the loss of their friend, who feels shame in not being able to help.  They will understand that there are many forms of causing and feeling pain, and the healing processes which are necessary.

The story that Faerie Dust tells, is one that everyone needs to hear; difficult topics that cause so much pain cannot be ignored, or hidden away. We need to talk about the things that hurt and scared us and be comfortable in doing so. Only then can we begin to heal and find solutions.

Sukaina How has Paprika Festival supported your directing and development of your play?
Aracely Paprika Festival gave me the first, and only, opportunity in five years to bring Faerie Dust to the stage. They gave me a space, time slots, and an audience.  I will finally see how audiences will receive the play, and see the product of my direction and writing. They gave me a mini-mentorship session with jack-of-all-trades director: Natasha Boomer.

The Festival connected me with two amazing mentors: Clare Preuss and Jivesh Parasram, who have both been incredible resources.  Jiv allowed me to intern at Theatre Passe Muraille with three other directors: Evalyn Parry, Brandy Leary, Christine Brubaker and writer/actor Severn Thompson. I learn from them by sitting-in during their rehearsals and performances. Clare helped me learn to direct my own work, giving me assignments, and workshop sessions with actors.

Most importantly, they have given me their trust, and the freedom to choose Faerie Dust as a piece to be in the festival that is important, appropriate, and entertaining.


Catch the presentation of Faerie Dust at the 15th annual Paprika Festival in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:30pm tickets
Friday, May 28, 2016 8pm tickets

Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas St E

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Advisory Board’s Interview Series!

she is right here

Should I do this? I don’t know if I should do this. Please answer me. This is a bad idea, isn’t it? Using text from journal entries, movement and encounters with strange European men, She is Right Here is a solo piece that follows a young woman trying to figure out why she isn’t doing something.

Celia Green, the artist behind She is Right Here, a production mentored by Amy Nostbakken shares details with Advisory Board Leader Sabah Haque about her creation process, and her ambitions.

Sabah What inspired you to create She is Right Here?
Celia Last September, I went to Europe alone for three months. That trip made me reconsider a lot of things, it was actually quite difficult for me. Somewhere within those difficult moments while away, I decided that I was going to make a show about the feelings that were arising, which were mostly about identity and links to home. The show has since shifted a lot since those first thoughts, but that’s how it was born!

Sabah What is your creation process like?
Celia For this show, I started creating from existing material. I had two journals that I had filled up while travelling, so I sifted through those for things that I liked. I would select phrases, ideas, or sometimes bigger chunks of text, and then work from there. My mentor, Amy Nostbakken, has been coming in once a week and would tell me which stories to expand upon, or would give me prompts for movement sequences, and then I would go and write and create those bits. Most of the creating has been done while I was alone in a room, and that was difficult but has taught me a lot about myself…there has been a lot of lying on the floor staring at the ceiling.

Sabah What has been a challenge about working on the show?
Celia It is very challenging just working with myself for the most part. If I don’t do something, or I slack on something, there is no one else to blame or to pick up the slack. There is also (unless Amy is in) no one else to feed off of or draw inspiration from when I am the only person in the room.

Sabah How would you describe your show in three words?
Celia A woman speaking.

Sabah How has the mentorship you received through the Paprika Festival benefitted your work?
Celia Amy has affected the growth of the show and my growth as an artist in so many ways! She has very high expectations, and that has pushed me a lot. Also, her being a feminist has allowed me to feel comfortable exploring those things in my work, and she makes me want to go further in exploring the fucked up shit that happens to women every day (whether or not you are in your own country). There are a million ways in which she has benefited my work, I am so so thankful to have her as a mentor!

Sabah What would you like to accomplish with your theatre career?
Celia I want to be a part of the dismantling of the structures that silence or disvalue any voice that is not straight, white, or male. Amy has talked about smashing stuff, I want to smash stuff.


Catch the performance of She is Right Here as apart of the 15th Annual Paprika Festival, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Tuesday May 24, 7:15pm tickets
Saturday May 28, 8:15pm tickets
Sunday May 29, 2pm tickets

Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas St E

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Advisory Board’s Interview Series!

Sitting outside a Starbucks at night, Aimee anxiously awaits a first meeting with a sister she didn’t previously know existed. Can the distance of a lifetime ever be crossed? Are people capable of leaving behind their experiences to bridge the emotional gap?

Aryn Strickland, member of the Writers’ Circle shares details with about her process, her ambitions and journey of her blooming theatre career with Advisory Board Leader Sabah Haque. Aryn developed her play The Places We’ve Been over the season under the guidance of Festival Associate, actor and playwright Jeff Ho.

Sabah How did you come to find yourself in theatre?
Aryn While I was in high school my family and I were living in Dubai, the UAE and I got really involved. I took part in international drama festivals through my school and outside of school I took performance classes and was an assistant teacher at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre. During that period I became really passionate about theatre.

Sabah How did you discover your interest for playwriting?
Aryn After my first year of undergrad at UofT I was applying to the performance stream in the Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies program when I realized that it offered playwriting as well. By the end of my second year I knew that performing was no longer an interest for me. I applied and got into UofT’s playwriting course and really enjoyed it. I continued to write plays as a personal hobby after the course ended.

Sabah What inspired you to write The Places We’ve Been?
Aryn In one of my first playwriting classes my professor set us the exercise in which we had to try to write the worst possible scene in 10 minutes. Reading back over what I had written, I found something really interesting about developing the bizarre situation of two teenagers staring into a Starbucks window at night.

Sabah What is your writing process like?
Aryn I don’t have a certain amount of time that I set aside for writing. I am trying to teach myself to devote at least half an hour every other day but it hasn’t worked so far. When I do sit down to write, I always start by setting a timer and then I write for 10 minutes straight without stopping. It helps me focus and alleviates any self-conscious internal blocking, which prevent me from being able to write

Sabah How would you describe your play in three words?
Aryn Discovering family ties.

Sabah What has been a challenge of working on this play?
Aryn Finding the time to write or even think about how I want to develop it. This year was the last year of my undergraduate degree and I was also applying to grad school so certain times during the year were just really hectic for me.

Sabah What do you hope to accomplish with your theatre career?
Aryn I hope to continue to pursue playwriting and enter other drama festivals. The dream would be to see one of my plays fully performed one day but at the very least I hope to continue to write creatively even though I am currently focusing on a future as a journalist.

Sabah How has the mentorship you have received through the Paprika Festival benefitted your work?
Aryn I have found it easier to stay on track with the goal I initially set myself entering the festival which was to finish my play. It has helped me improve my work through getting more direct and consistent feedback while also enhancing my confidence in my work as a playwright.


Catch the free reading of The Places We’ve Been as apart of the 15th Annual Paprika Festival, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:30am
Where: Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas St E

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Advisory Board’s Paprika Festival 2016 Interview Series!

photo by Taku Kumabe

Set to a soundtrack of smoky Gershwin tunes and symphonies epic in scale, Intermezzo is a tragicomedy that follows the Wexler sisters, two once- estranged millenials. When Moriah moves back to Toronto following a brief, unsuccessful stint as an entertainer in Los Angeles, she brings with her old memories, relationships, neuroses, and secrets. The play is a true intermezzo, a brief moment in the lives of two sisters, who must ultimately decide if the secrets they keep are enough to threaten not just their relationship, but the stability of their lives.

Advisory Board member Deanna Galati interviews the cast and crew of Intermezzo to discuss their show, and process. The ensemble: Alexandra Jones, Vivi Diaz, Max Akerman, Jacqueline Levitan, Daniel Halpern, David Harding, Rosalia Vagalatis, Eric Venis and Saskia Muller sat down together to answer these questions as a collective about the development of their piece.

Deanna What is your favourite moment in the show?
Intermezzo There was a time we were running through a few scenes and we were going through the opening scene, and the character Tom has a line where he responds to a very tense situation by saying “There it is, the famous Wexler wit, just in time for the fall programming,”  and Max (the actor who plays Tom) was able to say the line so awkwardly that all of us just broke down and laughed so much! Our characters however, really don’t love the joke. From that, comes this very awkward moment. Some of us connect to that painfully relatable moment when you make a joke that really doesn’t  land well.

Deanna Why should people see your show?
Intermezzo It’s about communication with friends, family, and strangers which is something that is relevant to anyone in today’s society. Intermezzo also gives a surreal and interpretational perspective of a real situation and this gives the audience the opportunity to decipher it as they watch.  It’s really interesting to see these relationships develop over the course of the play and develops a really insightful perspective to our own everyday relationships.

Deanna What is one challenge you faced while creating this show? How did you overcome it?
Intermezzo With a cast chock-full of busy teenagers, scheduling proved to be a very difficult part of the process. Not to mention our rehearsal spaces were usually each other’s living rooms! In terms the rehearsal process, running group scenes proved to be challenging because we just love to make each other laugh. Another big challenge was portraying characters that were very far from our own ages. This was remedied by talking to people in our own lives, people watching, and some good ole’ fashioned character research.

Deanna Your funniest rehearsal moment?
Intermezzo One time while running a scene, the actress playing Moriah (Jacqueline) was about to say her line “it wasn’t a prank, it was bullying.” But when she said it, she took out the “a” and unintentionally spoke the line with a Russian accent. How? I don’t know – but we certainly laughed about it a lot!


Catch Intermezzo at the 15th Annual Paprika Festival, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Monday, May 23, 2016 5pm tickets
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 4:45pm tickets

Where: Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas St E

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Advisory Board’s Paprika Festival 2016 Interview Series!