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. Twelve 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.

Playwrights' Workshop Montréal Board of Director_Chris Gobeil
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.

Naïma Kristel Phillips Headshot
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. 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. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.

Playwrights' Workshop Montréal Board of Director_ Tiffanie Guffroy
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!

Playwrights' Workshop Montréal Board of Director_Caroline Lin
Caroline Lin, Treasurer

Caroline is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 15 years of experience in finance, accounting and management. She is currently Senior Director of Financial Strategy and Partnerships at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. Prior experience includes various management and analyst roles in financial reporting, business planning, audit and consulting at DAVIDsTEA, Novartis and Deloitte Canada and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accountancy from the John Molson School of Business of 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 and she continues to pursue these interests today.

Playwrights' Workshop Montréal Board of Director_Jason Poirier Lavoie
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 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.).

Caroline Bélair
Caroline Bélair, Director

Caroline is a lawyer who provides business and employment law services to small and medium sized companies. Prior to entering the legal profession, Caroline studied biology and worked as a project manager for a non-profit land conservation organization. Caroline enjoys supporting the arts and attending theater performances in her spare time.

Nahka Bertrand, Director

Nahka is the daughter of a Dene father and Quebecois mother. She was raised under a midnight sky in the Northwest Territories, and near the river in Lévis, Québec. Today, she lives in Montreal, where she’s studied modern languages, theatre, English Literature, Creative Writing, and Journalism. She has been involved with the Indigenous community in Montreal through her artistic practices in writing, song, and theatre, and through her work for over fifteen years. She drums and sings with Odaya, a non-profit organization that brings awareness to the wider public and gives back to the Indigenous community in Montreal.

Corrina Hodgson
Corrina Hodgson, Director

Corrina is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced on stages across Canada and in the United States, as well as on CBC Radio One. A graduate of UBC’s MFA in Creative Writing, Corrina has been playwright in residence at the University of Lethbridge, as well as having been on numerous playwriting units including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Nightwood Theatre. Since arriving in Montreal, Corrina has co-founded The Rose Festival / Le festival Rose, Montreal’s multidisciplinary festival for queer creators, and OBITTS, a playwriting unit for women over 40. Corrina also derives great joy from her side gig teaching piano. As a woman with mobility issues, Corrina is interested in exploring and discovering platforms available to artists with disabilities.

Playwrights' Workshop Montréal Board of Director_ Irena Malyholowka
Irena Malyholowka, Director

A skilled communications professional, Irena worked primarily in the performing arts sector until her retirement in May 2014. Her career curve 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. Since her retirement from the NTS-ÉNT, she occasionally mentors young theatre theatre artists and communications novices. She also volunteers for Hope and Cope, an organization that helps cancer patients and their families through their radiation and chemo therapies at the Jewish General Hospital.

Amir Nakhjavani's headshot picture
Amir Sám Nakhjavani, Director

Amir is an artist and erstwhile lawyer. After making a permanent transition towards the arts in 2016, he has performed professionally on screen, on stage and in games and participated in the DémART-Mtl program at the Conseil des arts de Montréal in 2019, in collaboration with Centaur Theatre, as well as Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program in 2016-2017. He was awarded a Quebec Writers’ Federation Fresh Pages Initiative scholarship in 2019. His playwriting credit is Mon Main-Man (Festival tout’ tout court), with several other writing projects currently under development. His future playwriting credits are too extensive to list, in fact.

Playwrights' Workshop Montréal Board of Director_ Elisabet Ràfols
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
Jesse Stong, Director

Jesse Stong is a Graduate of Playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada and received his Master’s in Art Education from Concordia University. He is an award-winning artist, dramaturge, and educator.

In the past six years, he has supported over 100 emerging Canadian storytellers as director of our Young Creators Unit. He also organizes support for artists with intellectual differences through our New Stories Project.

Jesse is an occasional content creator/editor for Moment Factory, and was recently Manager of Children’s Programming for, Associate Curator for the National Arts Centre Disability Summit, and Host of the Montreal English Theatre Awards. His play Winter’s Daughter was produced in 2019 at the Segal Centre for the Arts, and he is currently developing an Indigiqueer theatre piece for the MAI | Montréal, arts interculturels, programmed for March 2020. He continues to be the festival director of Centaur Theatre’s Queer Reading Series, and his work for young audiences have had record-breaking school tours with Geordie Productions Montreal.