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Host an Artist or Writer.

Julie Marie Ainsworth

Arts de la scène
Theatre arts - Writing - Stagecraft


I graduated from York University with a BFA in Theatre (Creative Ensemble New Play Creation) and completed a B.Ed from Queens' University’s Artist in the Community program. Since graduating in 2006, I have founded Zeitgeist Theatre Collective and written, directed, and produced several plays in Toronto and Montréal including Vacancy, The Way (Summerworks Festival), Blight (Reflexions Urbains), Flights of Fancy (Centaur Children's Series) and recently, Unfit for Bears: Stories from Canada's Prison for Women (Canada Council Project Grant). I have participated in mentorships with Playwrights Workshop Montréal, the Quebec Writers Federation, and Theatre Gargantua. Excerpts of my plays have been read as part of the Playwrights Guild of Canada reading series.

As a playwright and director, I create new works based on real stories. I am inspired by the idea of telling stories and recognizing experiences that might otherwise remain unknown. Themes I have dealt with in my work include gender inequality, oppression, and social marginalization. It is my belief that theatre can be used as a vehicle to raise awareness and inspire forward thinking about these issues. My practice is collaborative and always involves a research process of speaking with real people about their experiences and working collectively with actors and other theatre practitioners through cycles of workshops culminating in a final production.

Proposed approach and type of activities

As a creative theatre practitioner dedicated to creating new works and giving voice to essential Canadian stories, I offer workshops that provide students the opportunity to learn how to tell their own stories through theatre. Using the skills and methods I employ in my own theatre practice will equip students with the tools, knowledge, and power to create theatrical pieces that represent their own lives. When students are empowered to use their own voices to dramatize their own stories, they feel a tremendous sense of investment and ownership over the work. Students will acquire a deeper awareness and understanding of themselves and the world around them and explore the tools necessary to creatively express their experiences through theatrical storytelling.

Students will use theatrical devices such as tableaux, mime, movement, monologues, dialogue, and physical movement to dramatize personal experiences or fictionalize a group experience. This workshop can be tailored to any age or grade level and could also incorporate a specific theme (oppression/power, struggle/bullying, friendship, changes, etc.) relevant to the group.

Other examples of activities

  • Ensemble play creation and performance using a selected theme.
  • Creation and performance of individual monologues.
  • Adaptation and performance of known creative work (play, novel, story, etc.) to cast new light on experiences shared by the group. (E.g., Romeo and Juliet set in rival high schools with modern dialogue).
  • Creation and performance of a site-specific theatre piece that makes use of the specific environment and tells stories related to that place (e.g., a theatre piece about a basketball team that takes place in the school gymnasium).
  • A Theatre of the Oppressed workshop dealing specifically with power dynamics and inequality. Using improvisation and basic Augusto Boal techniques, students share experiences of feeling powerless and explore non-violent approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Creative writing workshop exploring the art of dramatic writing including dialogue, creating character, monologues, stage directions, etc. Exercises will explore character voice, objectives, theme, plot, and more. Workshops culminate in a reading of students’ scenes.

Special conditions

Access to a large space or studio with room for students to move and work in groups.

For information

Julie Marie Ainsworth
Téléphone : 514 346-0354
Courriel :

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