Board of Directors
The range of expertise, diversity and enthusiasm for the development of Canadian theatre in our Board of Directors makes it a very supportive and effective governing body. Eleven dedicated members — among them playwrights, artists and members of the community — contribute their vision and talent to making PWM an inclusive and imaginative space for discovery.
Leah Jane Esau, Director
Leah Jane is an award-winning playwright and fiction writer. Her shows have been performed in various festivals, including the SummerWorks Performance Festival in Toronto. She is winner of the 2012 Tom Hendry Awards, and the 2012 Pam Dunn award for the play, Disappeared. Her fiction has appeared in Canadian, American and UK journals including The New Quarterly, Grain, PANK, Bodega, The South Dakota Review, The Dalhousie Review – among many others. In 2014, she was a finalist for the $10,000 Bronwen Wallace Award, with the Writer’s Trust of Canada. She teaches at the National Theatre School.
Ana-Luiza Georgescu, Director
Ana-Luiza holds a Bachelor of Law and a Graduate Diploma in Private Law from the University of Bucharest in Romania, a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England, and a Master of Laws from McGill University. Ana-Luiza is a Partner in the Tax Group with the accounting firm KPMG in Montreal. She often speaks and writes on tax topics pertaining to executive compensation.
Christopher Gobeil | President
Chris is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, and Financial Planner, and is a partner in Gobeil Dickison LLP, an accounting practice based in Hudson, QC. He has been a volunteer in the charity sector for many years. As a playwright/actor, he has also written, directed, and performed on stage, in radio, and in podcasts since the mid-1980s. Chris joined the board in 2009.
Tiffanie Guffroy, Vice-President
Having lived in more than five different countries in the past 15 years, Tiffanie has gained a wide range of academic and professional experiences in the cultural field. She is currently Partnership Manager for a non-profit social innovation organization called Exeko, whose mission is to create social transformation through culture and the arts. Tiffanie would like contribute her bit to society by doing what she does best: project management and fundraising. Tiffanie has learned from the best at the National Theatre School of Canada, through managing and fundraising for the program Theatre Engaging Communities. Tiffanie is also a musician and a theatre lover, and has directed two plays. Although this wasn’t enough to make a living, it helped her to understand those who make theatre the heart of their lives!
Caroline Lin, Treasurer
Caroline Lin is a Chartered Professional Accountant, currently working at DAVIDsTEA in finance. Previous professional experience includes finance, accounting and audit roles at Deloitte and Novartis Pharma, in Canada and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accountancy from Concordia University, as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from HEC Montreal. Caroline’s interest in theatre and the arts date from her time at FACE School, a fine arts school in Montreal, and she continues to pursue these interests today.
Jason Poirier Lavoie, Secretary
Jason is a Manager of Corporate Services at Aviation Strategies International, an international aerospace consulting firm based out of Montreal. He has formerly served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Military Engineer. Coming from the aviation industry, Jason Poirier Lavoie has worked in ground handling operations at Air Canada, and as a Technologist for the CSeries team at Bombardier Aerospace. Jason holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with distinction from Concordia University and a degree in Aircraft Maintenance from l’École nationale d’aerotechnique, Saint Hubert Campus of Collège Édouard-Montpetit. He is a licensed private pilot, as well as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and Professional Administrator (P.Adm.).
Irena Malyholowka, Director
Irena is a skilled communications professional who has worked primarily in the performing arts sector. Her career curve has spanned a generation of independent dance artists and small-scale dance companies to more established institutions such as the National Theatre School of Canada/École nationale de theatre du Canada (NTS-ÉNT), Place des Arts, Festival international de nouvelle danse and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. While dance has always been at the heart of her personal and professional life, she has also had a long-standing love affair with the theatre. Sensitive to the needs of patients undergoing cancer treatments, she volunteers for Hope and Cope at the Jewish General Hospital and is also available to young artists for mentoring.
Naïma Kristel Phillips | Vice-President
Naïma is a playwright, librettist, and stage director committed to finding innovative ways to portray human existence. A recipient of the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes, the Gloria Mitchell-Aleong Award, and the Shubert Presidential Fellowship, she was in the 2014-2016 Interdisciplinary Unit at Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal. She is currently directing the creation of High Z, an immersive performance exploring the 2011 Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the accelerating universe. Naïma is also writing the libretto for an opera with composer Margareta Jeric, with upcoming presentations at the Opera: Changing Worlds summit and Canadian Opera Company Four Seasons Centre. Her playwriting credits include Birthday Triage (Horace Mann Theater), My Artichoke Heart (Dream Up Festival), and Night Spell (Nextfest). Naïma practised vocal performance and choreographic theatre at Pantheatre and the Roy Hart Centre. Naïma holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.
Elisabet Ràfols-Sagués | Director
Elisabet has been a literary translator for over two decades, and is director of the Canadian theatre company Tant per Tant. Her working languages are Catalan, Spanish, French and English. Her translations into English or French are always collaborations, the first of which, in 1997, was Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres by Montserrat Roig with Governor General’s Award winner Anne Szumigalski. In 2016, her Catalan translation of Marie Clements’ play Burning Vision was part of the International Barcelona Grec Festival. Her most recent theatre translation is Ismene by Québécois playwright Carole Fréchette.
Jesse Stong | Director
Jesse is happy to be back for a third year designing and leading PWM’s Young Creators Unit. Jesse is a graduate of Playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada and is completing his Masters in Art Education at Concordia University. Jesse was recently assistant curator for the National Art’s Centre Disability Summit, and in 2016 received the Michaëlle Jean Foundation award for his innovative writing/puppetry workshops for schools and youth groups. Jesse is a proud member of the board of directors at Les Muses: Centre for dance and performance training, for people living with intellectual differences, as well as a writing facilitator for the Quebec Writers Federation.