Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal Welcomes New Managing Director Anne-Sophie Grenier

PWM is delighted to announce that our Board of Directors and hiring committee have appointed Anne-Sophie Grenier as our new Managing Director.

Anne-Sophie Grenier is a performer, writer, curator, and arts administrator. She is excited to be returning to her home town of Montreal after having served as the Executive Director of Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre in Kingston, Ontario for the past 3.5 years. Her career has also included documentary film production, festival management, and international development. Anne-Sophie holds a Masters of International Arts Management from HEC Montreal and Southern Methodist University, as well as a B.A., Communications Studies from Concordia University. She is passionate about creating innovative opportunities for artists at the local, national and international level and is very much looking forward to collaborating with fellow creators in Montreal’s vibrant theatre community.

Anne-Sophie is appointed to the position following the departure of former Managing Director Lesley Bramhill, who was an integral part of the PWM team for five and a half years. Given Anne-Sophie’s education in arts management, leadership experience, and her artistic practice we are excited for the impact she will make at the organization and in the Montréal theatre community at large.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the choice of Anne-Sophie Grenier as our new Managing Director at Playwrights Workshop Montréal. Building on her experience as Executive Director at Modern Fuel, she has a solid, strategic understanding of the interrelations between operations, finances and core activities. Anne-Sophie brings a wealth of management experience as well as a passion for creating supportive spaces for artists. She demonstrates a strong commitment to applying approaches to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and decolonization. We look forward to witnessing what promises to be a strong and stimulating co-leadership between Anne-Sophie and Sarah.”

Naïma Kristel Phillips, President of the Board of Directors at PWM

Last year, in collaboration with Arts Consulting Group, we shifted our organizational structure to better support our internal leadership and honour our spirit of collaboration. The new structure of our organization supports a co-leadership between the Artistic and Managing Directors.

“I am thrilled to welcome Anne-Sophie to the team and look forward to co-leading PWM with her.  Anne-Sophie is experienced in collaborative leadership and arts management and is dedicated to supporting artists- I’m excited for us to meet the future together!”

Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Artistic Director of PWM

After a year of transitions and adaptations to the pandemic context, we look hopefully to the future of our organization under the new co-leadership team of Sarah and Anne-Sophie. This new chapter will yield fruitful collaborations and creative processes that we are excited to realize!

“I am honored by the trust that the Board and hiring committee have placed in me to be the new Managing Director in co-leadership with Sarah. Most recently, I was working in the visual arts while maintaining my own writing and acting practice; theatre has been my greatest love and truest friend, and I am happy to be able to bring my experience and passion to the role of Managing Director. I am excited about collaborating with the wonderful team here and the larger Montreal theatre community, putting my managerial and leadership experience towards supporting the important work done by everyone involved with PWM.” 

– Anne-Sophie Grenier, Managing Director of PWM

A PDF of this announcement can be found here:

PWM announces the upcoming departure of Lesley Bramhill

Image of Lesley Bramhill

It is with gratitude for her dedication to our community that the Board of Directors announces Lesley Bramhill’s departure from her position as the Managing Director of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal.

“The announcement of Lesley’s departure leaves us with many emotions: the sadness to see her go, the gratitude for her continuous work at PWM and commitment to the arts, as much as the excitement for her as she starts a new amazing opportunity.” – Tiffanie Guffroy, Treasurer of PWM 

Lesley stepped into the role of General Manager with PWM in 2016. Collaborating with former Executive and Artistic Director Emma Tibaldo, Lesley impacted PWM’s sphere greatly. Her accomplishments include helping to move the organization into its location at 7250 Clark, helping to double the organization’s operating budget, and collaborating on expanding PWM’s programming and operations. She also collaborated with her colleagues in arts advocacy in Quebec and Montreal to help advance the English language arts sector.  In 2019, she was awarded the Unsung Hero of the Theatre award at the META’s, specifically for this work.

“Thank you. Over the last five and a half years, I have learned so much from PWM’s staff, board, artists and community. I am really excited for my next adventure, and will miss all of you dearly.

It has been an honour to help grow PWM to where it is today, and I am proud of the new co-leadership model I am leaving behind. I know the organization’s future is strong, with our current board, staff and Sarah’s leadership in place. ”

-Lesley Bramhill

Image of Lesley Bramhill

In 2021, after five years as the General Manager at Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, Lesley was appointed Managing Director, creating the first co-leadership team with Artistic Director Fatma Sarah Elkashef. On Lesley’s time at PWM, Sarah notes that: 

“Lesley’s work has helped transform PWM in profound ways over the past 5.5 years. I am sad to see my co-leader go but very grateful to her and the Board for creating this new dynamic structure for PWM. Lesley’s positive impact will be felt for a long time to come. We will miss you and wish you all good things, Lesley!”   -Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Artistic Director of PWM. 

Lesley’s presence, leadership, and passion will be deeply missed by her colleagues, our Board of Directors, and the Montréal theatre community as a whole. We would like to extend the warmest thank you to Lesley for her role in advancing artistic practice at PWM.

Lesley’s last day at PWM is on February 18, 2022. Our team and board are already working towards the recruitment of a new Managing Director, who will work alongside Fatma Sarah Elkashef. We are confident that this new chapter for PWM will be fruitful and are excited for the artistic collaborations and creations to come. 

You can view the job posting for Managing Director here.

A PDF version of this announcement can be found here.

Board and Staff Changes at PWM

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This past year, we have undergone many changes at PWM! We transitioned into a co-leadership structure between our Artistic Director, Fatma Sarah Elkashef, and Managing Director, Lesley Bramhill; and we welcomed new staff and board members to the PWM team!

Staff Changes at PWM

PWM would like to thank both Juan Velasquez and Danielle Eyer for their work at PWM this year. Juan Velasquez stepped in as our Interim Communications Manager from July to October 2021; while Danielle continued her work as Data and Archival Associate during the summer and fall. Thank you both for the commitment and creativity you brought to your work at PWM!

Welcome Christine ML Lee and Erika Squires

Christine ML Lee is PWM’s new Office Manager and Program Coordinator (for our Young Creators Unit and New Stories Project.) You can read Christine’s bio here.

Black and white headshot of Christine Lee.

“I’m so excited to be working at PWM and to be supporting the Young Creators’ Unit (YCU) as well as the New Stories Project (NSP). Having previously been a part of the YCU, I am thrilled to contribute to the development of these incredible two programs that foster new and underrepresented voices!”

-Christine ML Lee

Erika Squires is PWM’s new Communications Manager! You can read Erika’s bio here.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate on the development of new theatre through this role at PWM. This organization does so much important work, and I look forward to highlighting dramaturgical process as the new Communications Manager at PWM!”

-Erika Squires

Black and white headshot of Erika Squires.

Board Changes at PWM

We would like to extend the warmest thank you to former board members Caroline Lin and Amir Sám Nakhjavani who have stepped down from their respective positions at PWM. As we look to the future, we are grateful for the tireless effort, work and commitment our past board members have offered to our organization. Caroline and Amir, thank you for your contributions to PWM and to our community.

Welcome Géraldine Émile

Géraldine is PWM’s newest member of the Board of Directors.

Geraldine is a lawyer currently working in the financial field with an extensive experience in Compliance and Estate law. She possesses a Bachelor’s in Law along with a Masters in Common Law and International Law from Sherbrooke University. Raised in Haiti, from a young age, Geraldine has always had a passion for the arts and has practiced various types such as learning to play the piano and various styles of dancing. One of her most recent art-related projects consisted of organizing of a photo exhibition showcasing the island of Haiti and it’s culture and beauty. On her spare times she enjoys running, boxing and attending plays, opera and ballet shows. She has also participated in interactive seminars to develop her public speaking skills.

Learn more about our board of directors here.

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal Welcomes New Artistic Director Fatma Sarah Elkashef

Blue banner with text which reads: PWM NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, Fatma Sarah Elkashef.

After an extended leadership search, led by our board of directors and hiring committee, PWM is delighted to announce that Fatma Sarah Elkashef has been appointed as our new Artistic Director.

As a longstanding dramaturg with Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, and an outstanding theatre artist in our community, Sarah will shape the future of our organization with passion and advance dramaturgical practice at a national level. 

Sarah’s role as Artistic Director also establishes a new organizational structure for Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, creating a co-leadership team between Fatma Sarah Elkashef as Artistic Director and Lesley Bramhill as the newly-appointed Managing Director.

Fatma Sarah Elkashef

is a dramaturg and theatre maker with a practise in new play development and interdisciplinary creation. Born and raised in the U.K. to Egyptian and Dutch parents, Sarah has been based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal since 2011. Previously she was the senior reader at Soho Theatre in London and worked in New York City for eleven years as a producer, company manager, literary associate and director. Sarah is a graduate of Warwick University in English Literature and Theatre (U.K.), has an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College (CUNY, NYC), and a Graduate Diploma in Communications from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). At PWM she founded the Interdisciplinary Writers’ Lab to explore non-text centered approaches to making performance and the remote Writers’ Room to foster solidarity amongst playwrights during the pandemic. Since 2012 Sarah has worked across programs at the National Theatre School of Canada as a dramaturg, creator, mentor, and teacher. Read more about Sarah.

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of PWM’s incredible work and for the time and care taken by the Board and committee during this process. I am excited to create more opportunities for thoughtful collaborative work across practises and cultures, and to welcome new voices and approaches to the organization. PWM has always encouraged my curiosity and dramaturgical exploration and I want to offer that support to emerging dramaturgs while shining a light on process in general.

Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Artistic Director of PWM

Following the departure of Emma Tibaldo, after fourteen influential years at the helm of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal in the position of Executive and Artistic Director, we look hopefully to the future of our organization under new leadership.

As a nationally-mandated theatre development centre, we’re thrilled to welcome such a visionary leader. It’s rare that you get the combination of a broad international background with a track record of engagement on the local and national stage. Fatma Sarah Elkashef brings that along with a breadth of experience in artistic creation, production, and management. Her passion for and breadth of knowledge in dramaturgy as well as her deep commitment to artists and the theatre community make her the ideal person to shepherd PWM into the future.

Naïma Kristel Phillips, President of the Board of Directors at PWM

In collaboration with Arts Consulting Group, and our board of directors, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal has shifted our organizational structure to better support our internal leadership.

In addition to the appointment of Fatma Sarah Elkashef as Artistic Director, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal is delighted that Lesley Bramhill, our former General Manager, will be moving forward with our organization in the role of Managing Director.

The establishment of this new co-leadership team honours PWM’s spirit of collaboration and we are excited to see how Sarah and Lesley will shape the future of our organization.

Image of Lesley Bramhill sitting on a stool.

I am grateful for the attention and care our board of directors gave to PWM’s succession process that has culminated in this new leadership structure. It is a new chapter of the organization that I am proud to be a part of. Together with the board, I look forward to working with Sarah on continuing to strengthen the organization.

Lesley Bramhill, Managing Director of PWM

Access to a downloadable PDF of this press release is available here:

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal announces the upcoming departure of Executive & Artistic Director Emma Tibaldo

It is with gratitude for her dedication to the organization and the theatre community, that our Board of Directors announces the upcoming departure of long-standing Executive and Artistic Director Emma Tibaldo. After 13 years at the helm of the organization pushing the boundaries of dramaturgy, Emma will make way for a new generation of leadership.

“Emma’s impact on the Canadian theatre stage is immeasurable. At Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, she has collaborated with hundreds of artists and spearheaded the development of innovative works across the nation. Her tireless dedication to supporting artists and bringing unheard stories to life is a true inspiration,” says Board President Naïma Kristel Phillips. “I particularly appreciate Emma’s ability to build community and make artists feel at home. Along with the team at PWM, she has created a space that welcomes and celebrates the voices of creators who might otherwise be overlooked. We see this leadership transition as an opportunity to build on Emma’s legacy and continue to delve deeper as PWM leaps into the future.”

Emma stepped into the Executive and Artistic Director role in early 2008. During her time at PWM, she successfully transformed the organization from a member-based service organization to a nationally-mandated theatre development centre, further expanding its mandate to support interdisciplinary performance. Emma has worked with playwrights from across the country, building lasting dramaturgical relationships, and bringing countless new Canadian works to life. She continued to grow PWM into an organization dedicated to discovery and experimentation. 

As Artistic Director, Emma established the Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency, in collaboration with the CEAD, bringing French and English playwrights together to write, dream, share and create, and the EstérELLE residency, focused on the development of new plays by English Language Québec female playwrights. Emma is a staunch supporter of theatre translation, further developing the Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac which, to date, translated 63 plays for the stage, and launching the Cole Foundation Mentorship for Emerging Translators, set up to identify and mentor the next generation of translators. 

“Sometimes you just need to leap into the unknown—now is that time for me.” Emma says, “I made this decision knowing that the organization was ready for new leadership. The company has grown, the process of dramaturgy has deepened, and the studio has finally come to completion. The relationships I have developed while at PWM have inspired and sustained me. I am incredibly grateful to our General Manager Lesley Bramhill, Dramaturgs Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Jesse Stong, and Maureen Labonté, our incredible staff-current and past, tireless board, and the innumerable artists and community members who have all carried PWM with me. Thank you. Deeply. PWM is the sum of the incredible humans who have called it home. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Magic exists, because creators dare to dream.”

Just last year, Emma was the recipient of the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy. This prestigious accolade demonstrates that the international community, too, took notice of the work she accomplished during her tenure at PWM.

On Emma’s time at the organization, Lesley Bramhill, PWM’s General Manager says: “Emma’s dedication for emerging and established artists alike is remarkable. I will continue to be inspired by her leadership, passion and care. As PWM’s GM, I witnessed the impact she made on our local and national theatre community. The organization Emma nurtured for over a decade is growing strong, and we at PWM are so grateful and honoured to continue the legacy of her work.”

Further details about the next stage of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal’s leadership will be announced in the coming weeks. A leadership search is currently scheduled for late spring-summer 2021. The Board of Directors is working together with Emma on a transition plan taking into account her current dramaturgical relationships at PWM, and providing for moments for her to return as a dramaturg in 2021-2022, and beyond. 

In the meantime, a huge thank you to Emma and the staff for their commitment to PWM, their accomplishments, and the growth we experienced under her leadership. She has all of our love to carry into the next chapter of her career.