Neworld Theatre creates, produces, and tours new plays and performance events. We tell stories that are as complicated and contradictory as the enormously small country we live in. Historically, our work is rooted in an experience of ethnic and cultural diversity. While diversity remains a core value, our programming now asks a broader range of questions about political responsibility, identity, and difference.
Artistic and organizational collaboration are central to our ethic and the way we work; this allows for programming choices that can adapt to opportunities as they arise. We are not tied to a particular aesthetic or genre, and instead encourage formal experimentation. Humour is one of the key strategies we employ to engage audiences with complex or experimental content. We ask artists and audiences to embrace work which challenges assumptions about the nature of theatre and its function in the world.
Our work is designed to respond to the creative interests of Neworld’s core artists, issues that seem central to the city we live in, and opportunities that emerge in relationship to our collaborative community. Our motto is “plays well with others.” Collaboration is central to the way we work. We measure the company’s impact through our ability to juggle development of new work, productions of various types, presentations, partnerships, mentorship, community engagement and advocacy.
Marcus Youssef, Artistic Director (on admin leave, 18/19 Season)
Marcus’ fifteen or so plays (about half co-written with pals) span a wide range of forms and styles, from drama and satire to theatre for teens to Pantos (!) and more experimental devised work and collaborations with neurodiverse artists. They have been performed in a half-dozen languages at dozens of theatres, festivals, school gyms and community centre basements across North America, Europe and Asia, including the Brighton Festival, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, GRIPS & Berliner Festspiele (Berlin), Soho Rep (off-Broadway), the Dublin Theatre Festival, Wooly Mammoth (Washington, DC), On the Boards (Seattle), the Aarhus Festival (Denmark), Ca’Foscari and Terni Festival (Italy) and LOKAL (Reykjavik). His awards include the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, the Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, the Chalmers’ Canadian Play award, the Vancouver Critics’ Choice Award (three times), the Canada Council Staunch-Lynton Award and, recently, a nomination for Berlin, Germany’s Icarus Prize. Marcus has been artistic director of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre since 2005, where in 2009 he co-founded the collaborative artist-run production centre Progress Lab 1422. He is also currently International Associate Artist at Farnham Maltings (UK), an artistic advisor to the National Arts Centre English Theatre and an editorial advisor to Canadian Theatre Review.
Matthew Moreau, Managing Producer
Matt Moreau was an actor and founding member of Shakespeare In The Ruins (SIR), performers of promenade-style Shakespeare in and around the monastery ruins of St. Norbert, south of Winnipeg. After five seasons with SIR, including shows at Prairie Theatre Exchange, Manitoba Theatre Centre and Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, he moved to Vancouver, working for the Playhouse and PI Theatre. In 2004 he received a Diploma in Broadcast Television from BCIT before joining the Motion Capture team at Electronic Arts. Returning to theatre and to Winnipeg in 2010, he became the General Manager of his former company, SIR. In 2015 he became Managing Producer for Neworld Theatre.
Chelsea Haberlin, Interim Artistic Director (18/19 Season)
Chelsea is Interim Artistic Director of Neworld Theatre and Co-Artistic Producer of ITSAZOO Productions. Favourite ITSAZOO directing credits include: Wet, The Pipeline Project, Hidden, The Competition is Fierce, Killer Joe (Jessie Richardson Award winner for Outstanding Production), The Flick, Mojo, Chairs: A Parable, Robin Hood, Grimm Tales and Death of a Clown. Favourite Neworld directing projects include: Incognito Mode, Niall and Marcus Talk about Sh!t Niall Likes, An Awkward and Embarrassing Conversation, Jabber (co- produced with Green Thumb Theatre) and Doost (co-directed with Camyar Chai). Other directing projects include: The Tempest (Victoria Shakespeare Society), The Day Before Christmas (Arts Club Theatre), Shop Talk (Theatre SKAM), Dead Metaphor (Firehall), The Dining Room (Western Gold Theatre), The North Plan (Upintheair Theatre), Stationary (Delinquent Theatre), Mr. Marmalade (Latchkey Coop), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Pacific Theatre), Rhinoceros (UBC Masters Thesis project) and Faust is Dead (UBC). Chelsea has an MFA in directing from the University of British Columbia and a BFA with a specialization in Applied Theatre from the University of Victoria. She is the recipient of the Sydney J Risk award in directing, the Ray Michal award for outstanding body of work by an emerging director and a two-time winner and four-time Jessie Richardson Award nominee for Outstanding Direction. She is also an adjunct professor at UBC in the department of film and theatre.
Sandra Henderson, Producer
Sandra Henderson is a transplant from Toronto where she spent 15 years developing her practice in the arts. She has worked as a producer, production manager, director, tour coordinator, lighting designer, stage manager, rehearsal director, performer and technician. As you might suspect, Sandra values many parts of the creative process and strives to eliminate the perceived distance between what’s technical and what’s artistic. She has toured around the globe with experimental choreography in Slovenia, Croatia and Japan; outdoor surrealist dance in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands; theatre for young audiences across remote parts of Canada from the likes of Haida Gwaii to Rainy River; and large-scale works of theatre and dance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques, the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and on the Louisiana bayou. Sandra spent two years apiece as tour and production manager for Red Sky Performance (2008-2010) and Necessary Angel Theatre Company (2011-2013); three seasons as festival production manager for the Toronto Fringe Festival (2014-2016); and was an Associate Artist with Public Recordings Performance Projects from 2013-2017. Sandra comes to Neworld from Why Not Theatre, where she was the inaugural Associate Producer in 2017-2018.
Corinna Hagel, Communications & Operations Coordinator
Corinna has spent the past 15 years working with still and moving images. As a visual researcher, she worked on dozens of independent documentaries including The Corporation (feature), Second City (CBC), Weird Sex and Snowshoes (feature), Shameless: The ART of Disability (NFB), The Leading Edge (Knowledge Network), Greenpeace: Making a Stand (Global) and Raised to Be Heroes (NFB). In the decade spent at Omnifilm Entertainment as Development Manager (and, eventually, Director of Marketing & Communications), Corinna contributed to various television docs and series including Ice Pilots NWT (History), Pyros (Discovery), Arctic Air (CBC), Word Travels (Nat Geo), CannaBiz (CBC), Primeval: New World (Space), and System Crash (CLT) among many others. Prior to her career in docs and TV, Corinna spent four years at McGill University Libraries, primarily working in the Rare Books Division and the Digital Collections Program helping to create online digital archives. She has a degree in Cultural Studies from McGill.
Camyar Chai, Founding Artistic Producer (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Recent Acting Credits: The Adventures of Ali and Ali (Neworld Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Vancouver Playhouse), Intelligence (television, recurring role), Masters of Science Fiction (television), Everything’s Gone Green (Film), Hedda Gabler (Rumble Productions), Zadie’s Shoes (Arts Club Theatre), Favourite Directing Credits: Mother Courage And Her Children (UBC), Adrift On The Nile (Neworld Theatre), Bringing It All Back Home, King Richard And His Women (UBC) Writing Credits: Eljijah’s Kite (Opera libretto composed by James Rolfe – premiered at the Manhattan School for Music and and Rideux Hall by invitation of the Governor General), The Adventures of Ali and Ali (with Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef), Asylum of the Universe. Selected Awards: University Graduate Fellowship (Masters Of Fine Arts – Theatre Directing), Ray Michal Award for Most Promising New Director, two Jessie Richardson Awards for writing and a Jessie Richardson Award for Acting (with the ensemble of Western Theatre Conspiracy’s Mojo.)
Adrienne Wong, Associate Artist
Adrienne Wong creates, performs and produces new work for theatre and radio. Projects for Neworld since joining the company in 2004 include commissioning, developing and producing eleven Podplays (site specific audio plays created for specific geographies in Vancouver); performing in The Idiot; performing in Peter Panties; performing in the cross-national co-production of My Name is Rachel Corrie (with Teesri Duniya Theatre, Montreal); co-creating three pieces for three HIVEs; and performing in the first draft of Adrift on the Nile. Adrienne is an inveterate collaborator, and has worked with Pi Theatre, Electric Company, Caravan Farm Theatre, battery opera, Shakti Dance Collective, Theatre Replacement, Firehall Arts Centre, and Vancouver Moving Theatre among others. Career highlights to date include performing in the former Vancouver Morgue, recording a radio play via satellite with the BBC World Service, facilitating Placebook – an analogue version of Facebook – at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s overnight FUSE, devising a miniature play for Box Theatre, co-writing on the Downtown Eastside Community Play, playing Scrabble over the radio (North by Northwest, CBC Radio One), and creating interactive letter-writing projects. Upcoming projects include collaboration with Toronto’s Fu-Gen Theatre on The Sex Tape Project, a collection of three audio plays experienced while peeping into a hotel room across the street, and Landline, with Halifax’s Secret Theatre, another series of audio plays, but these ones are performed simultaneously in Halifax and Vancouver. Adrienne is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts and plays the ukulele.
Politburo (Board of Directors)
Linda Gorrie, Heather Tanaka, Bill Hood, Ellie O’Day, Kelsey Blair, Kieran Sequoia.