The METAs is managed by a volunteer Committee (the METAC) of active members of the theatre community from varying disciplines who are committed to guiding and fulfilling the METAs mandate, ensuring its integrity as a project “by the community and for the community”.
The METAC’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Jury renewal and oversight of jury process;
- Determining awards criteria, including special awards;
- Liaising with theatre companies and producers;
- Organizing and producing the Awards Ceremony;
- Fundraising and Public Relations;
- Fiscal responsibility;
- Ensuring the successful continuance of the METAs.
Jessica Abdallah (Co-Jury Liason)
Jessica Abdallah is a Montreal-based director, teacher, and theatre creator who has been bringing stories to life for almost 20 years. She is a graduate of John Abbott College’s Acting program, Concordia University’s Theatre & Development program, and the MFA in Directing at the University of Alberta. Favourite directing credits include The One (Hopegrown Productions), a staged reading of What Rough Beast (Centaur Theatre), the French and English versions of TUMIT (Akpik Theatre), Sedna: Goddess of the Sea – which she also wrote (Tableau D’Hôte Theatre), Rapture! (Everything is OK Productions) and Annie Mae’s Movement (UofA). Jessica is Artistic Associate at Geordie Theatre where she also runs the Geordie Theatre School. Jessica served on the 2016-17 and 2017-18 METAs Jury
Michaela Di Cesare (Outgoing Ceremony Liason)
Michaela is a playwright/performer with a Master’s Degree in Drama from the University of Toronto. Upon graduation, Michaela received the University’s Launchpad award for her solo play 8 Ways my Mother was Conceived. 8 Ways was presented in Toronto, Montreal, New York City, Ottawa, Hudson, Winnipeg and Stratford. Michaela wrote and performed in In Search of Mrs. Pirandello in the 2016 Wildside Festival (Centaur Theatre Company). Michaela’s relationship with Centaur continued with a mainstage production of her play Successions in the 2017/2018 season (Outstanding New Text, METAs 2018). Her play Extra/Beautiful/U won first place (Pam Dunn Award) in the 2017 Write on Q competition presented by Infinitheatre. Her latest play, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) will premiere with Geordie Productions in September 2019. In development are a new solo show Cult of Progeny and Terroni: A “Spaghetti” Western.
As an actor, theatre credits include Gratitude (Oren Safdie/MainLine Theatre), A Bear Awake in Winter (Next Stage Theatre Festival/Factory Theatre), Birds of a Feather (Roseneath Theatre), Urban Tales (Centaur Theatre/Urbi et Orbi), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Humber River Shakespeare) and State of Denial (Teesri Duniya Theatre). Film & TV credits include Mafia INC, The Bold Type, Mike, Fatal Vows, Psych Out, A Stranger in My Home, Sex & Ethnicity.
Kym Dominique-Ferguson (Communications)
Kym Dominique-Ferguson is a Montreal-based actor, spoken word artist and a producer. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Madpoetix Productions and created three annual and monthly spoken word events in the city: The Art of Performing Aural Sex, the Phenomenal 5IVE and the Madpoetix Soirée Open Mic. Kym trained as an actor at the Edna Manley College: School of Drama in Kingston, Jamaica. He returned to Montreal and studied Cinema at Dawson College, then Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema after which he threw himself headfirst into spoken word poetry, performing and producing. Feeling the call to return to theatre, Kym joined the Montreal theatre community through Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program 2015-16 ensemble and sharpened up his acting skills. He is currently writing his play the #DearBlackMan project which has been commissioned by BTW.
Karine Kerr-Gillespie (Co-Chair / Sponsorship & Fundraising)
Holding a BFA from Concordia University and a graduate diploma in Public Relations Management from McGill University, Karine’s career path took her to managing non-for-profit art organizations. Currently the Executive Director of Main Film, she was previously at the helm of Repercussion Theatre, Montreal’s beloved Shakespeare-in-the-Park company. She hopes to continue to be part of this beautiful community.
Danielle Laurin (Co-Jury Liaison)
Danielle is a stage manager and theatre artist based in Montreal. She completed her BFA in Design for the Theatre at Concordia University, after which she apprenticed at the Portland Playhouse in Portland, Oregon. Later, she earned her MFA in Stage Management from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. In 2017, she interned at the Public Theatre in New York on David Byrne’s rock musical Joan of Arc: Into the Fire. In Montreal, she has worked with several theatre companies including Repercussion Theatre, The Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Centaur Theatre Company, Geordie Theatre, Imago Theatre and Tableau D’Hôte Theatre.
Orlando López (Co-Chair / Communications)
Orlando started his theatre journey with Brave New Productions, when he took on the role of stage manager in their inaugural play “Fairy’s Tale” at the Montreal Fringe Festival in 2003. Since then, he’s worked on and off stage in all their productions, as well as continued to work with other Montreal theatre companies, including Theatre Plant (Triple Cross), Infinithéâtre (Trench Patterns), Teesri Duniya Theatre (The Refugee Hotel), and most recently with The Silk Road Foundation in 2018 (The Domestic Crusaders). His Social Media skills have been put to good use for various organizations, including Tourisme Montréal, and Centaur Theatre Company. He served in the 2016-2017 METAs Jury, and is very humbled to be part of the METAC!
Elaine Normandeau (Treasurer)
Elaine works as a stage manager and assistant director in both English and French theatre as well as in opera. A few career highlights: Belles-Sœurs the Musical directed by René Richard Cyr, Old Wicked Songs directed by Martin Faucher, Waiting for the Barbarians and Amadeus directed by Alexandre Marine and Top Girls directed by Micheline Chevrier, Le Wild West Show de Gabriel Dumont directed by Mani Soleymanlou, En attendant Godot, Der Fliegende Holländer and Siegfried directed by François Girard, Intérieur directed by Denis Marleau, Vol au-dessus d’un nid de coucou and Le misanthrope directed by Michel Monty. Elaine was the language coordinator for François Girard’s film Hochelaga, Land of Souls and has a separate career as a translator and surtitle creator.
Johanne Pomrenski (Secretary / Trophy Coordinator)
Stephen Maclean Rogers (Company Liaison)
Stephen Maclean Rogers emerged from a forest almost 6 years ago and decided to make Montreal his artistic home. He has since been working full time at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts as Company Manager and Rentals Coordinator while performing in various theatre productions and film projects (English/French), writing for theatre blogs (Bloody Underrated), and taking it all in. He recently formed To the Hilt Productions, which presented its inaugural piece, Dear Jax (nominated for Centaur Theatre’s Best English Production and winner of the Freestanding Room Award for Making Big Things Happen in Small Places), at the 2019 Montreal Fringe Festival. He feels privileged to be helping to honour the fine artists and creatives of Montreal as part of the METAC.
The METAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of retired METAC members:
Eloi ArchamBaudoin, Deena Aziz, Trevor Barrete, Adèle Benoit, Tau S. Bui, Davide Chiazzese, Danielle Desormeaux, Andrea Elalouf, Bonnie Feigenbaum, Alain Goulem, Shauna Janssen, Amanda Kellock, Tristan D. Lalla, Jacky Lalonde, Erin Lindsay, Dayane Ntibarikure, Leni Parker, Vanessa Rigaux, Peter Roberts, Danielle Skene, and Kathryn Westoll.