PWM’s Young Creators Unit is now in its 8th year, featuring an exciting group of Montréal theatre artists.
With a focus on building a home for artistic risk and discovery, these nine creators have enriched the YCU experience, and will continue to do so in 2023.
You can go into greater detail about each cohort member by expanding the information beneath their names. As the work progresses towards their year-end showcase, these profiles will tell you more about each artist, their practice, and what they’re moving through in developing their material. Stay tuned for more information on the YCU and the Showcase, taking place during the last weekend of May.
VALÉRIE BOISVERTshow more
Valérie (she/her) is a recent graduate of the Dawson College Professional Theatre program. Upon graduating, she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play, Down the Rabbit Hole, which was produced at the 2022 Montreal Fringe Festival. This creation sparked her interest in all aspects of theatre making. She comes into the Young Creators Unit with a desire to find her process as a playwright and creator. Having been admitted into the 2023 Fringe Festival, Valérie will use this opportunity to craft a piece that speaks true to her (she doesn’t know what that means just yet). She is so grateful for the guidance and mentorship that Leila brings to her life, and she is thrilled to be part of such a brilliant team of emerging artists. She is excited for all the creative conversations, workshops, and feedback, and she expects this year to bring inspiration and enlightenment along her artistic journey.
ARASH EBRAHIMIshow more
Arash Ebrahimi (he/him) is a Montreal based actor, singer and an upcoming playwright. He is an alumnus of the theatre program at Dawson College (Dome), where he was the recipient of the Victor Knight Memorial Scholarship for Perseverance.
Arash was exposed to theatre at a very young age in Iran. It was then that he understood his love and newfound passion for the stage was inevitable. He immersed himself in being a part of the theatre community in Iran. However, he soon realized the political obstacles of becoming a performer in Iran. He saw the barriers that every Persian artist faced and how limited his future would have been if he stayed in Iran.
He made a tough decision of leaving his family behind to come to Montreal to pursue his passion at a very young age. Although difficult, it was clear for him that he made the right choice. He found the Montreal theatre community very welcoming and it did not take him long to feel home.
Selected performance credits include Fernan Gomez in After Fuenteovejuna (Dawson Theatre), Timothee in Douche Ex Machine (Theatre Sainte-Catherine), Menachem in Our Class (Dawson Theatre) and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dawson Theatre).
When not performing, Arash teaches theatre to some theatre loving kids at Stagecoach. He is also interning at Geordie Theatre School to soon become a permanent teacher. Arash thinks of theatre as a way of expressing human emotions and connecting with others and he strives to share this experience with others.
CASEY ECKERshow more
Casey Marie Ecker (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist with many feathers in various caps. Born in Manhattan, New York, her love of the arts was generational. Her mother, a classical trained singer, had Casey in ballet classes at 4 years old. Later on, she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia for Visual Arts. Casey had a love of musical theater and went on to study at AMDA NY. Since moving to Montreal, Casey has acted in two plays during the Fringe Festival and worked on numerous commercials. During the pandemic, she turned to writing as a form of therapy. Her bread and butter is introspective dark comedies in a slice of life setting. She is beyond grateful to be a part of such an intimate community of creators at YCU! If you’d like to see her act, she will be starring in Contact Theater’s production of “Reefer Madness” in April 2023.
TYSON FRALEIGHshow more
Tyson Fraleigh (they/them) is a writer, playwright, and theatre educator based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Their work is primarily in horror, exploring questions of the nature of the terrifying realities we live through every day, and finding the hope to continue on.
Their past writing credits include Foolish Endeavours production of The Mentorship for the St. Ambroise Fringe Festival, and ACT Concordia’s productions of Swimming Solo, Carry On, and Only Human. Tyson is also a voice actor, giving life to characters on October Jones & Fish with Legs, Sidequesting, and The Rook & The Rascal.
KAY KOMIZARAshow more
Kay Komizara (she/her) is an improviser and theatre creator who has directed, produced, acted and written shows of her own since 2013. Raised on the west coast, Kay moved to Tio’Tia: Ke in 2017 to pursue her obsessions of storytelling and games by working in the video games industry. With no formal education, Kay Komizara educated herself by creating shows, taking workshops with individuals from across the country, and by working with institutions like Teesri Duniya Theatre and now Playwright Workshop Montreal’s Young Creator’s Unit. Kay is highly motivated by her Anarchist leaning politics and looks to more unconventional narrative mediums like advertising to understand how her storytelling can be made more effective. In the end every one of Kay’s works have the same goal, to create stories that inspire others to forge their own. Kay is currently working on her most ambitious play yet, After the Orgy: A Hyper-Real Tragedy.
CORBEAU SANDOVALshow more
Born and raised in Montreal (the unceded traditional territory of the Kanien’kehà:ka known as Tiohtiá:ke), Corbeau Sandoval (he/they) has been an artist at heart from the beginning. From music to drawing to animation and now to the stage, they’ve explored many ways of artistic expression that have propelled them to solidify themself as a theatrical artist through their stay at Dawson College. Most notably, they’ve had the chance to play as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, compose original music for the production of After Fuenteovejuna, and present a snippet of a piece at their end of year graduate showcase.
At this point in their budding career, they’re ready to put their pen to paper and allow their storytelling ideas to come to life with jubilance through their first theatre piece, It Sticks to the Ryver.
KATHARINE DOS SANTOSshow more
Katharine dos Santos (she/her) is a 2nd generation immigrant of mixed ancestry, currently making a home in Montréal, Québec (Tiotià:ke). Born and raised in southern Ontario, she first began exploring live performance through acting and directing. A curious reader, she earned her BA in English Literature from Western University and also had the privilege of taking several performance creation courses at Concordia University. More recently, her love for nature and concern for food security led her to immerse herself in regenerative agricultural projects across Canada. She is now back in the city and ready to flex her storytelling muscles; she is particularly interested in exploring ritual, the theme of forgiveness as an active process, and how we might express authenticity through movement. Her current work-in-progress, “The Land of Lost Things”, is a non-linear exploration of dispossession, grief, and community. Thanks to the entire team at PWM as well as Leila and the YCU cohort for making so much possible and bringing joy and genuine connection into this process.
JEONG UNG SONG — 부천송씨show more
Jeong Ung Song (he/him) is a director, playwright and producer from Edmonton (amiskwaciwâskahikan) based in Montreal (Tiohtià:ke) who aims to capture authenticity in theatre. As a writer, Jeong Ung has been fascinated with exploring his heritage as a Korean immigrant to Canada. This means telling stories based on familial relationships and personal experience, which reach into history to discover our present. In his spare time, Jeong Ung studies neuroscience at McGill.
Through YCU he will explore the script of Miso. Miso tells the story of a Korean-American woman named Miso who is living in LA during the LA riots of 1992. We witness the event of the riots through Miso’s interpersonal interaction with her black boyfriend and her overprotective mother. Throughout the play we see Miso’s evolution as a character as she experiences love, regret, outrage and triumph.
ELLA WILLIAMSshow more
Ella (she/her) is an interdisciplinary theatre artist interested in dramaturgy, playwriting, new play development, sound design, and somatic theatre practices. She studied playwriting at The Theatre School at DePaul University where her work was produced as part of the Wrights of Spring Festival. In 2021 she graduated from Concordia University where she worked as a research assistant on the Performative Urbanism Lab’s Feminist Performance Creation and the City Project. Ella is excited to learn more about what it means to write a play, how arts organizations can serve communities, and how performance can be useful. She was born outside of Philadelphia, grew up in central Vermont, and is happy to be in Montreal!
Headshots by Emelia Hellman.