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The myth and the reality

WORK – LIFE – BALANCE…How can 3 words cause such yearning and longing, frustration and determination? In this passion-driven industry is this something you are striving to attain or does it seem like an overly lofty goal?

Work Life balance is possible – it is not a rainbow-striped unicorn. There are people in our industry who have come up with some wonderful life hacks that work for them in order to balance these two bickering lovers. Moderator, Rick Banville spoke with a panel of PMs, TDs and SMs who were attempting concrete solutions. These were a mix of personal strategies that work on a global stage and work strategies that are bound by specific company policies. They may not have achieved perfection but they were making the effort.

In order to make this a national discussion, we provided remote access seats through our ZOOM Video conferencing platform. After the event, participants and panelists moved to Betty’s for networking and continued informal discussions.

DATE: Monday, December 9, 2019
TIME: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST
VENUE: Canadian Stage – Upstairs Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, Toronto
COST: $10 in advance / $15 at the door / $5 for students / $5 for remote access seats


Jessica Severin – Panelist
Jessica Severin is a Toronto-based Stage Manager, and a graduate of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Over the past 15 years she has worked across the country and internationally, for companies such as Mirvish Productions, Vancouver Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier, Glimmerglass, the Royal Opera Versailles, Luminato, Musical Stage Company, Soulpepper, Obsidian, Nightwood, Tarragon, Ross Petty Productions, the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Drayton Entertainment, Harold Green Jewish Theatre and others.

Erin Fitzgerald – Panelist
Erin is an avid hiker, traveller, gardener, reader, and perpetual student who has a home yoga practice that provides hours of entertainment/confusion for her dog, Daisy. Happily married, honoured to be a stepmom and thrilled to be a part of this discussion on work/life balance, Erin is a Toronto-based stage manager who has had the opportunity to work, live & play tourist in many theatre towns throughout the country.

Barney Bayliss – Panelist
Barney studied film and photography at Ryerson in the early 80s, worked on movies until ’91 when he started managing the scene shop of the Canadian Opera Company. Over twenty-four years at the COC, he went from Shop Supervisor to Associate Technical Director. In 2016 he took the position of Technical Director at the National Ballet of Canada, and has recently taken the role of Interim Director of Production.

Rick Banville – Moderator
Rick has been a Production Manager for over twenty years, working alongside some of Canada’s leading artists and companies while having the great fortune of touring theatre, opera, dance and music through Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, and Canada. Rick has managed the production departments for The Blyth Festival, Opera Atelier, The Stratford Summer Music Festival, Volcano, Bluewater Summer Playhouse, Opera Lyra Ottawa and most recently, Young People’s Theatre. He has helped to produce annual conferences for CAPACOA, IAMA and ISPA. In 2017, Rick was proud to production manage Luminato’s opening event Tributaries, a celebration of the immeasurable power, passion, beauty, and resilience of Indigenous women. Currently, Rick freelances on the occasional project, consults on others, and teaches Production Management at Ryerson University, Humber College and the National Theatre School in Montreal as well as a course on international touring at NTS. He lives with his family in Hamilton and is a founding member of #hamont’s newest professional theatre company, Industry.

Adrien Whan – Panelist
Adrien has been working professionally as a technical artist for the past 30 years. 22 of them were spent at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, where Adrien started as a House Technician and then moved into the role of Technical Director. Just recently Adrien has left Buddies and is now the AV Manager at the Gladstone Hotel. He is currently still acting as the Touring Technical Director for Buddies.

Other selected credits include; Assistant Technical Director for Young People’s Theatre. Sound and Video Operator for touring
productions of Our Brief Eternity and Circa (The Holy Body Tattoo). Lighting Designer for Under The Mink and Who’s your Dada (The Scandelles), Real Live Girl (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre), The Beauty Salon (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre), Queer Pride Festival (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre) The First LP and Shifting Edges (Alias Dance Projects), Mine and This Is Where We Live (Discord and Din).

Lighting and Sound Design for Gash! (Summer Works) Stage Manager for Fluency and Woven by Peter Chin (Tribal Crackling Wind). Technical Director for The Normal Heart and Clybourne Park remount 2013 (Studio 180). Production Manager for Once On This Island (Acting Up Stage Company), Cock (Studio 180), Master Harold and The Boys, Toronto Run (Obsidian Theatre/Shaw Festival), Passing Strange (Acting Up Stage and Obsidian Theatre), Strangers Babies (Theatre Panik), Technical Direction for The Toronto Dance Community Love In 2016, Production Manager/Technical Director for the Feminist Fuck It Festival (Store Front Theatre), Technical Director for What It’s Like touring version (Adelheid Dance Projects), Production Manager for Resonance (Human Body Experience).

Thank you Canadian Stage for arranging the venue for the event.

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