Andrew Gurza

Introducing your 2017 Intersection Workshop leaders

Andrew Gurza |Engaging Accessibility

Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator. In his work, he seeks to explore how the lived experience of disability feels, as it interplays with intersectional communities.  By using hashtags like #diSAYbled, #DisabilityAfterDark, #BearinAChair and #KissAQueerCripple Andrew shares his lived experiences of disability, queerness, sexuality and body image in a raw, vulnerable and unapologetic fashion.

He has presented all across North America on sex and disability as a Queer Crippled man. His written work has been highlighted in Out Magazine, The Advocate and Huffington Post.

He hosts the Disability After Dark podcast, which shines a bright light on sex and disability, as well as the Disability With Drew Podcast which aims to explore the everyday issues that surround disability AND share disability experiences we don’t often hear.

Andrew resides in Toronto, Canada, and loves 80s/90s pop, bad Chinese take-out and Netflix marathons….

Julie Tepperman |Immersive Theatrejulie_tepperman

Julie Tepperman is an actor, playwright and educator, as well as co-artistic director (with Aaron Willis) of Convergence Theatre, thrice listed by NOW Magazine as the “Best Site-Specific Theatre Company in Toronto”.

Past immersive Convergence productions: The Unending (amongst several “best of” critics’ picks for 2015); the Canadian premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play (with Outside the March and Sheep No Wool; Dora Award for Outstanding Ensemble), YICHUD (Seclusion) (published by Playwrights Canada Press; Capital Critics’ Circle nomination for Outstanding Production; one of NOW Magazine’s Top Ten Productions of 2010); The Gladstone Variations (4 Dora nominations; #2 in NOW Magazine’s Top Ten Toronto Productions of the Decade); AutoShow (one of NOW Magazine’s Top Ten Productions of 2006).

Selected acting:  Julie has acted at theatres across Toronto, as well as two seasons at The Stratford Festival, and the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. Favourite recent acting credits include: The Unending (Convergence);Still (Binocular Theatre); Tease (Crows’ Theatre/East End Performance Crawl);Passion Play (Convergence/Outside the March/Sheep No Wool); Mr. Marmalade(OtM); Out The Window (The Theatre Centre).

Selected playwriting: The Unending (a re-imagining of Strindberg’s The Stronger and What Doesn’t Kill You…); YICHUD (Seclusion) (Convergence/Passe Muraille/Magnetic North), I Grow Old (as part of The Gladstone Variations; Dora nomination); ROSY (as part of AutoShow); a re-imagining of the August Strindberg play  The Father (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre). Julie was Playwright-In-Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille in 2010/11 with the support of the Canada Council.

Recently: BRANTWOOD – a 15hr. immersive choose-your-own-adventure musical that had audiences following characters all over an abandoned high school (co-created, written and directed with Mitchell Cushman, as part of Sheridan’s Canadian Musical Theatre Project.)

Currently: Julie continues to collaborate with composer Christopher Thornborrow and dramaturge-director Richard Greenblatt on Selfie – a new opera for teens, commissioned by Tapestry Opera, as well as a new musical with composer Kevin Wong, a 25-minute excerpt of which was presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of Reframed (Acting Up Stage Theatre), for which it received a 2016 Dora Nomination.

Other: Julie is proud to be the Board President of Generator ( and was humbled to be awarded a Harold in 2016 for her work in Indie Theatre.

Natasha MytnowychNatasha Mytnowych |Financial Survival

A past Paprika Festival Artistic Producer, Natasha Mytnowych is currently the Managing Director for the Globe and Mail Centre.  Prior, she was responsible for the programming, facility and administrative management for Artscape Youngplace, a cultural community hub in the West Queen West area and Artscape Sandbox, a creative event space in the entertainment district.  An award-winning arts leader and theatre director, she was acknowledged with an Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence as an emerging artist, and the Toronto Arts Foundation’s inaugural Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist.  Natasha was at Canadian Stage for over seven years, most recently as Associate Artistic Producer.  She has sat on advisories and boards including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, The Artists Mentoring Youth Project, the Laidlaw Foundation’s Arts Advisory Committee and was an inaugural member of Toronto’s DiverseCity Fellows Program and the Toronto Arts Council’s Cultural Leaders Lab.

t-5GUFjsSharrae Lyon |Self-care for Artists

Sharrae Lyon is a facilitator who is dedicated to changing perspectives on mental health from a stigmatized lens to a framework that incorporates indigenous teachings that asserts that we have the power to self-heal. Her approach is guided by three key values: Courageous Evolution, Loving Transformation and Servicing our World. Her workshops are designed from personal experience in struggling with depression and anxiety, in addition to using artistic expression and the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in recognizing that we have the power not only to transform ourselves, but the world around us.

Her workshops are designed to encourage participants to come into a deep relationship with their inner world, and recognize the inherent power they have to make significant shifts in their consciousness and awareness to higher forms of existing and being. Grounded within an anti-oppression framework, her work acknowledges the histories of colonization and enslavement, both historically and contemporary, and their present-day impact on how we relate to ourselves, our families, and to others belonging to different identity-groups.  As a storyteller, Sharrae interweaves afrofuturist stories that can convey the multiple realities that vie for dominance, while revealing the power of choice an individual and community has to alter the stories of the past, changing the present in order to creating sustainable and healthy futures.

She has facilitated workshops in Canada and the United States that push others to explore their identities that have traditionally been a source of inferiority and shame, and guides the transmutation of painful self-reflection to self- and collective- images of individual and shared empowerment.

joshua deperryJoshua DePerry | Powwow Bounce

Joshua DePerry (Blackfoot and Cree Nations), born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Attending Saturday Night Youth dances inspired Joshua to start Break Dancing. He has been Break Dancing since the age of 12 in Sault Ste. Marie, performing at talent shows, events, and youth workshops. His favourite memory was when he first performed for over 500 youth in Chicago, Illinois. Joshua was a key youth leader for “Right to Play”, he joined the KDT cast for The Honouring tour in 2014 and continues to be a featured KDT Powwow Boot Camp instructor.  Joshua is a Fancy Dancer and as music producer “Classic Roots” he launched his album Hack the Planet in 2014. His goals are to advocate for the Native community about healthy living and staying fit.



0Andrea Houssin | Empowering Actors in the Audition Room

Andrea Houssin is a Toronto-based actor and arts educator. As a performer, her work has been seen across the country with such companies as Mirvish Productions, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Western Canada Theatre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Thousand Islands Playhouse, and in many productions in her hometown of Winnipeg. Favourite recent credits include: Kate in Seminar (Panasonic Theatre/Mirvish), Eve in Waiting for the Parade (Western Canada Theatre), Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown(Project X Theatre), and the upcoming films Radius (EMA) and Room for Rent (Farpoint). A graduate of the prestigious Studio 58 Acting Program, she also holds a Certificate in Classical Acting for Theatre from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art in London, England, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg.

As a facilitator, Andrea’s goal is to empower actors by de-mystifying the audition process, and to provide tools to maintain and sustain a healthy practice so they can complement their work with confidence.

Online:; Twitter @andreahoussinCA