Five Artists. Four Plays. We are delighted to introduce the members of Chromatic Theatre’s 2021 IBPOC Playwrights Unit!
Maezy Dennie– Hang In There: And Other Idiotic Idioms From The Mental Health Industry
Maezy Dennie is a young emerging artist, born and raised in Calgary. For her whole life, she’s been raised by artists, in art communities. Her whole life is based in and around art, both consumption and creation. She has always been a writer. Since elementary school, teachers have encouraged her to keep writing and develop her voice. Short stories, poetry, and anecdotes grew into monologues, plays, and short films. She fell in love with drama and technical theatre in High School. Since then she has just fallen more and more in love with the art form and the community. Over the years, Maezy was diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, and Psychosis. She was hospitalized towards the end of 2019. Mental Health plays a major role in her life and always has. She plans on using her ability with words to bring light to the inner workings and flaws of the mental health field.
Toyin Lamas – Father’s Heart
Toyin Lamas is an experienced performing artist, curator and arts administrator with a demonstrated history of excellence in programming, community engagement, event planning and production. Her experience is rooted in combining the arts with community spaces, which she strives to make connective, inclusive and vibrant through collaborative strategies. Toyin consults for cultural and arts organizations and advocates for immigrant artists. She founded the Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation (ICAI) in 2019 and is currently the organization’s Executive Director.
While promoting social change through inclusivity and mentorship in the arts, she also finds the time to create artistic projects and perform. Through working with artists from different backgrounds and creative styles, she gained experience in diverse art forms. Toyin prides herself in her ability to unearth the story in any situation and share it with the world in the most beautiful way – art is not just an expression, it is a voice that keeps speaking long after you are dead and gone!
Bianca Miranda – Kisapmata
Born and raised in the Philippines, Bianca Miranda (She/Her) is a Filipino-Canadian performer, theatre-maker, and arts administrator based in Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary AB). She is also the Artistic Associate at Handsome Alice Theatre.
She has co-written and will perform in the world premiere of “The F Word” (‘f as in fat’) with Keshia Cheesman – soon; stay tuned! Thanks to Chromatic Theatre’s IBPOC Playwrights Unit – she is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about her individual artistic practice and process as a playwright, explore, and experiment different themes, and other forms of storytelling in these nine months. @TheBiancanator @TheFWord_Show
Barry Bilinsky and Bill Yong –
Red Leather, Yellow Leather
Barry Bilinsky is a professional theatre creator of Metis, Cree and Ukrainian heritage. Based in Alberta, he has worked as a director, curator, performing artist, stage manager, and technical/production manager across Canada with projects centred primarily around the proliferation of Indigenous arts, artists, and collaborations. He has studied Drama and English at the University of Alberta, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2012. Barry is an Artistic Associate with Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival as well as having been involved in many capacities with: Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts; The Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society; Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society (REDx Talks); Fool Spectrum Theatre; among others. Barry is committed to developing honest, respectful, and purposefully compassionate creations that challenge the overarching cultural assumptions we often face in the performing arts community.
Bill Yong 容偉彪 (he/him) is a theatre artist and drama therapist currently based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). His family is originally from 新会 and 鹤山, 廣東. Born and raised in Amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton) Bill has anchored both his artistic and clinical research around cultural expression, positionality and ancestral resilience/resistance. He is a dancer, choreographer, playwright, clown and theatre performer and has worked across Canada and the United States. Bill is also part of Third Space Playback based in Amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton) investigating socio-political perspectives through storytelling and community building. When he is not working as an artist, he works as a drama therapist at an addiction outpatient centre and within the English Montreal School Board.
At Chromatic Theatre we are dedicated to developing and supporting work by and for the wide breadth of cultural diversity that exists in our province. We are excited for the second iteration of our Playwrights Unit that will bring together IBPOC playwrights from across the province of Alberta, with the aim of strengthening our community, and investing in new Canadian plays. We look forward to seeing what these playwrights develop over the course of the next year!