Manitoba Drama Educators’ Association 

STAGE PRESENTS: Mirrors and Windows. Reflections and Insights!

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (RMTC) 174 Market Avenue


8:15-9:00 Hot drinks & Hellos
9:00-9:15 Greetings from MDEA Exec and new RMTC Artistic Director Kelly Thornton (In Rehearsal Hall)
9:15-10:15 Keynote Presentation (In Rehearsal Hall)
10:15-10:30 Health Break in Lobby
10:30-12:00 Morning Workshop Sessions
12:00-1:15 Lunch and SAGE MDEA AGM in the Lobby: catered from TOPCHOP
1:15-2:45 Afternoon Workshop Sessions
2:45-3:15 Performance
3:15-3:30 Games and Prizes (Booklet of handouts provided at 3:25!) in Lobby


Man Up: Comic Musings on Gender and the Power of Art in Identity Building

Drama teachers know how important it is to explore stories from multiple perspectives. They also know how transformative it can be to tell a story that asks audiences to think about the world in a different way. Like literature, theatre can offer both mirrors that reflect part of our identity and windows that open us up to views and experiences that may differ from our own. Our keynote offers such a window to grow as artists, educators, mentors and allies.
In sharing their personal story and perspective, award-winning comedian Chanty Marostica talks about coming out, Trans-ness and growing up. In their presentation, Marostica wonders about and wanders through the concepts of gender and sexuality, using their own experiences and observations living on the Trans side of the gender spectrum. This stand-up-focused keynote will also address how creating art and sharing it for an audience can be a cathartic and fulfilling process.
Marostica’s hope is that their keynote grows empathy and awareness for those in the 2SLGBTQQIAA community and the marginalized communities within its rainbow. They also aim to reinforce the importance of supporting students as they build their identities as people and as artists.

Keynote Biography:

Chanty Marostica, known for their unique brand of high energy physical comedy, brings their jokes to life through a combination of storytelling, impressions, and spot on timing.

Chanty has been featured in Just For Laughs, JFL42, ODDBLOCK, Kevin Hart’s “Laugh Out Loud” Network, The Halifax Comedy Festival, The Winnipeg Comedy Festival, CBC’s “Laugh Out Loud”, “Debaters” and “Workin’ Moms”

They are proudly the creator and producer of Canada’s Touring LGBTQ Comedy Showcase(s) “Queer and Present Danger”, the first EVER lgbtq weekly mic “QAPD Collective” and Toronto’s longest running lgbtq+ Showcase “Church Street Comedy”

Chanty is an Award-Winning Comic, and was nominated for “Best Stand Up Comic” at The 2015 Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Won “Patrons Pick” in both 2015/2016, they also received The Canadian Comedy Award for “Best Breakout Artist” 2018, were recently named Sirius XM’s “Top Comic 2018” and their Debut Album “The Chanty Show” was nominated for a 2019 Juno for Comedy Album of the Year.

AM Workshops 10:30-12:00pm

AM1  Introduction to Corporeal Mime Systems

Session Description:

The art of Corporeal Mime differs from others in that it concerns itself with the deconstruction and stylized reconstruction of the varied human corporeal behaviour on a practical, imaginary, spiritual or metaphorical level, giving it a three-dimensional form for the purpose of theatrical representation. To participate in its realization demands that the actor have an appetite for physical activity in general.
Artists at this level will focus mainly on three-dimensional and interwoven Corporeal Mime Systems as related to various Figures of Style. The workshop will also integrate basic techniques, principles and
philosophies based on Konstantin Stanislavski, Rudolf Laban and Hatha Yoga. The mime actor will now be able to apply the exterior style of Corporeal Mime with that of his/hers internal states of emotion, thought or memory, the – What? Why? and How?

Presenter Bios: A Native of Southern Italy, Giuseppe Condello’s artistic and academic pursuits have spanned a period for more than fifty years. He’s recognized internationally as a Professional Actor, Corporeal Mime, Yogi, Artistic Director/Producer, and as a Certified Educator.
A graduate Actor of the National Theatre School of Canada (1967-1970), Giuseppe has performed with theatre companies all over the world. On the recommendation of world-renowned mime artist Marcel Marceau, Giuseppe then went on to study the art of
Corporeal Mime under the Master & Father of Modern Mime, Etienne Decroux in Paris, France (1972-1974). In later years, he studied the art of Hatha Yoga at Toronto’s East to West Yoga & Pilates Studio.

Session Location: Rehearsal Hall, 2nd floor

Grade Level: HIGH SCHOOL

AM2  Dynamic Learning Through Drama
Liz Coffman

Session Description: This workshop is an opportunity for you to explore how drama can deepen learning in curriculum. A number of dramatic techniques will be demonstrated in the context of curriculum that will bring learning into a lived experience. You will discover how dramatic play in story can be a powerful way for students to be active participants in learning and how the lived experience can be a springboard for broadening a unit of study for further investigation in a variety of ways.

Presenter Bio: Liz has always been an active participant in arts education. She established the Artist in the Schools Program, was the Art Educator for Schools Programs at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and later became an arts instructor at the U of M Faculty of Education. Liz was a founding member of the Manitoba Reggio Inspired Care in Education, has served on the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Alliance for Arts Education. She chaired the committee that established the K-8 Drama Curriculum and has authored the book “Dramatic Play in the Early Years.”
But what she loves most is to be in the classroom with children adventuring into the rainforest, going on a buffalo hunt in the 1800’s or rocketing off to Jupiter with kindergarten children.

Session Location: West Coast Room 2nd floor (Glass wall)

Grade Level: Element/Middle School

AM3  Stand Up Comedy Writing: Using Life Struggles to Laugh
Chanty Marostica

Session Description: Critically-acclaimed, Juno-nominated and Canadian Comedy Award-winning Comedian, Chanty Marostica passes on their 13+ years experience in the Industry by teaching writing exercises, physicality and performance tools as well as personal experiences to help educators boost self esteem in their students, and find the funny in whatever life throws at us. Focusing on the positives from self to the world around us to combat anxiety and depression is how Marostica has survived and thrived in their work and life and it’s time to PASS IT ON!

Presenter Bio: Chanty Marostica, known for their unique brand of high energy physical comedy, brings their jokes to life through a combination of storytelling, impressions, and spot on timing.

Chanty has been featured in Just For Laughs, JFL42, ODDBLOCK, Kevin Hart’s “Laugh Out Loud” Network, The Halifax Comedy Festival, The Winnipeg Comedy Festival, CBC’s “Laugh Out Loud”, “Debaters” and “Workin’ Moms”

They are proudly the creator and producer of Canada’s Touring LGBTQ Comedy Showcase(s) “Queer and Present Danger”, the first EVER lgbtq weekly mic “QAPD Collective” and Toronto’s longest running lgbtq+ Showcase “Church Street Comedy”

Chanty is an Award-Winning Comic, and was nominated for “Best Stand Up Comic” at The 2015 Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Won “Patrons Pick” in both 2015/2016, they also received The Canadian Comedy Award for “Best Breakout Artist” 2018, were recently named Sirius XM’s “Top Comic 2018” and their Debut Album “The Chanty Show” was nominated for a 2019 Juno for Comedy Album of the Year.

Session Location: Cargill Board Room, 2nd Floor

Grade Level: Middle/High School

AM4 Voice Work for Young Performers
Tom Soares

Session Description:

This workshop will cover the basics of vocal production so that teachers can offer their students practical skills such as projecting, speaking with clarity and with a dynamic voice. Some topics covered will include breath support, listening with the breath, resonance, projection and articulation. Basic text work will be offered so that students can clarify their thoughts as performers and for their audience. Participants will learn simple and effective vocal exercises and drills to share with their students as well as a 10 minute warm-up. Additionally, participants will be provided with handouts on the exercises covered, on vocal health and some fun voice based assignments that you can share with your student or adapt.
This workshop will be a practical, hands-on experience.

Presenter Bio:  Tom Soares is an actor, theatre educator, voice and text coach and also teaches the integration of movement, acting and voice. He has coached or acted for most of Winnipeg’s regional theatres and has also worked as an actor in film. In 2011, he earned his MFA in Acting with a Graduate Diploma in Voice Teaching from York University and received his BA Honours in Theatre from the University of Winnipeg. In 2018 he became a certified instructor in the Expressive Actor Technique which integrates movement, vocal and acting training. He has also trained with Shakespeare and Company (Lenox, Massachusetts), Patsy Rodenburg (New York) and Canada’s National Voice Intensive where he later worked as an associate instructor (Vancouver). For the past eight years, Tom has taught performance and voice at the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film.

Session Location:North West Lobby 1st Floor

Grade Level: Middle/High School

AM5  Théâtre – outil essentiel à l’apprentissage d’une langue
Allison Palmer

Session Description: Un temps de partage et de pratique fera aussi partie de l’atelier. Ces outils peuvent être intégrés dans vos cours de théâtre, vos cours de langues ou être utilisées comme activités de team building.

Presenter Bios: Enseignante des Arts dramatiques pour des Maternelles à la 8e année dans une école à double voix depuis plus de 8 ans, animatrice d’ateliers variés et comédienne professionnelle, Alison Palmer partagera ses jeux, leçons et unités préférés qui enrichissent l’apprentissage d’une langue seconde.

Session Location: Main Lobby, 1st floor

Grade Level: Elementary/Middle

PM Workshops 1:15-2:45pm

PM1  Sarasvati’s Transformative Theatre in process…

Session Description: Reconciliation is the restoration of friendly relations. It is a simple concept, but challenging to achieve when much reparation needs to be done. Now more than ever our community is recognizing the importance of creating pathways for truth and reconciliation. Sarasvàti Productions believe the arts have an important role to play and are excited to be working with seven Indigenous organizations on a project to explore Reconciliation Through Theatre. In January 2019, Sarasvàti Productions launched this community-based initiative. Consultation circles with Indigenous youth shaped the initial phase. Story-gathering followed using the arts to explore experiences in a colonized world. This project provides art-based workshops for youth to tell their stories. It will culminate in a large-scale theatrical production in May 2020, followed by a stripped down school tour. Using the arts to explore the current reality of racism will allow for a powerful step forward towards true reconciliation. However, it will also allow for an examination of the practice of theatre and how it too must change in order to model reconciliation. The results and lessons learned from the project will also have a long-term impact with changes to Sarasvàti’s practices moving forward and recommendations to other theatre practitioners.

This session will include an overview of the work since January 2019 as part of the Reconciliation Through Theatre project. Responses from consultation circles with Indigenous youth will be shared. Sarasvàti Productions’ artists will also outline the methods used for story gathering and provide an overview of adjustments required to actively role model reconciliation in the process of theatre creation. It will include a hands-on demonstration of techniques. An exclusive sneak peek of artwork and a reading of the work in progress being developed for performance will be shared.


Presenter Bio: Sarasvàti Productions’ vision is to transform society through theatre. As an independent theatre company, it has established its reputation over the last nineteen years in Winnipeg with a mandate of using theatre to promote human understanding. They have told the stories of youth in care, criminalized women, food bank users, those struggling with mental health issues, newcomers, and promoted gender equity as well as diversity in stories being told on stage. The company produces FemFest (an annual festival of plays by women for everyone), a wide range of plays, community tours, workshops of new creations and projects that support emerging artists.

Session Location: Rehearsal Hall

Grade Level: any

PM2  Preparing Students for the Professional Audition & Work After School

Description Session: Students are often overwhelmed with what to do, and how to break into Theatre and Film. This workshop focuses on how educators can prepare our students to face the video or theatre auditions in order to temper their nerves and find a way into professional acting. Participants will work on: – theatre auditions set ups – theatre auditions – the do’s and don’ts; – video audition set ups – the do’s and don’ts; – lighting, positioning, eye contact, commercials v. film/TV, dress code – recording the video audition – the do’s and don’ts; – professionalism in auditions – professional communication – do’s & don’ts These materials are not necessary for participation, however, If participants are in possession of any of the following materials, they are encouraged to bring any of the following: – a tripod – camera/phone/tablet – microphone with a headphone jack – soft boxes/professional lighting.

Presenter Bio: Video Audition Professional, Acting Coach, Drama Educator

Session Location: West Coast Room 2nd Floor

Grade Level: Teachers of all grade levels are encouraged to join, as any student can audition for their age appropriate role in any market in Canada.

PM3  Introduction to Musical Theatre Techniques
Laura Kolisnyk

Session Description: In this Introduction to Musical Theatre you will cover the basics to sing, dance and act your way through a choreographed Musical Theatre number. Come ready to move! Water bottle and comfy clothes are recommended.

Presenter Bio: Laura Kolisnyk is a Winnipeg based performer, choreographer, director and educator. An honours graduate of the University of Winnipeg theatre department she has performed locally and internationally. Recent credits include Beauty and the Beast and Shrek at Rainbow Stage, The UnHappy Medium, The Little Prince and Lies Of A Promiscuous Woman at the Winnipeg Fringe, choreography for Celebrations Dinner Theatre and directing and choreographing the extra curricular Junior Musicals at MTYP. Specializing in theatre for young audiences, she spent ten years touring the world with Koba Entertainment. Most notable credits include Max and Ruby, performed on Broadway, Caillou, performed in Korea and the United Arab Emirates, and Franklin performed in France. She has written, produced and performed shows for the Winnipeg Kids Fringe. Her favourite being, Ordinary May’s Extraordinary Ways, a play for kids about self worth and acceptance. Laura has also voiced many cartoon characters and was the voice director on Balloopo. She is the singer for the funkiest kids band in Winnipeg, The Fun-Key Ducks. When Laura is not on stage she is sharing her passion for performing arts and yoga. As an educator she has over two decades of experience, having taught dance, musical theatre, drama and kids yoga and mindfulness at many studios and schools in Winnipeg.

Session Location: Cargill Board Room, 2nd Floor

Grade Level: All

PM4  Viewpoints
Thomas Morgan Jones

Session Description: The Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively, and to generate work/creation quickly. It is improvisation in nature and breaks performance into the categories of time and space. Educators will find this useful for:
-Building ensemble
-Creating plays (verbally and non-verbally)
-Generating inspiration

Presenter Bio: Thomas has worked across Canada and internationally as a director, playwright, dramaturg, instructor, and movement coach.
He holds a B.A. from the University of Guelph, an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and has trained with SITI Company in NYC, Madrid, Paris, and Fredericton, and The Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT).
He is a former artist/educator in residence with Young People’s Theatre, associate artist and associate artistic director with Theatre Direct, and artistic director of Theatre New Brunswick. He is currently the artistic director of Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Session Location: North  West Lobby 1st Floor, (needs room to move and ability to play music/ Maybe move to rehearsal hall if more participants than sketch when registered?)

Grade Level: High School (possible middle)

PM5  Improv to Sketch Comedy
Riley Paull

Session Description: In this workshop we will go through what aspects and ideas you need to write a sketch. We will go through the foundation, tropes, length, characters, jokes and all the qualities that make a funny sketch. Learn how to write a sketch from just an idea!

Presenter Bios: Riley Paull is a member of the sketch group Family Dinner, who have been in the Winnipeg comedy scene since 2017. Riley has performed with Family Dinner in monthly shows, including Toronto Sketch Festival, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival for two years running. She enjoys comedy in many different ways, such as sketch, improv, and stand-up.

Session Location: Main Lobby, 1st Floor

Grade Level: High/Middle School

Afternoon Performance: 2:45-3:15

Family Dinner Sketch Com

Family Dinner is a group of six young comedians from Winnipeg, MB. With their absurd take on the classic sketch format, these kids are hungry for the belt. If you throw a tomato at them they will surely catch it and cook it up for you.




Prizes, announcements and feedback


Register Online Here:


Teacher Fee and Membership: $80
Teacher Half Day AM fee and Membership: $45

Student Teacher Fee and Membership: $40

Student Teacher – Half Day AM fee and Membership:

Teacher Fee and Non-Membership: $90

Teacher Half-Day AM fee and Non-Membership: $50

Student Teacher – Fee and Non-Membership: $45

Student Teacher – Half-Day AM Fee and Non-Membership – $35

Membership Only – $20 – Not Attending Conference

Student Membership Only – $10 – Not Attending Conference

Lunch is included during our AGM in the Lobby over the lunch hour. Discounts will not apply if lunch is not wanted. Unfortunately, no walk-up registration the day of the conference can participate in lunch. Lunch served will also have Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free options; Anything more specific than this cannot be accommodated. Our apologies. Please indicate if there are life threatening allergies to certain foods.