DiscoverStage Advice with Jillian Keiley
Stage Advice with Jillian Keiley
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Stage Advice with Jillian Keiley

Author: Canada's National Arts Centre

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What are some of the most intriguing challenges that Artistic Directors face every day? Join NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley as she chats with Artistic Directors and Directors about the daily dilemmas, tough questions and thorny challenges that come with the job. When your job is bringing people together, how do you keep from falling apart?
9 Episodes
Jillian speaks with directing supernova Julie Taymor about pushing theatricality in cinema and innovating cinematic language in the theatre. Also: playing with idiographs across scale, the poetry of transitions, gender in Shakespeare, and working with your life partner.
Robert Lepage

Robert Lepage


Jillian speaks with singular international theatre maker and Artistic Director of Quebec City’s Ex Machina, Robert Lepage, about stretching rehearsal schedules to make space for the “rendering farm”, creating the conditions which optimize creative agency, and technicians as brilliant puppeteers. Also: collaborating with one’s critics, and the galvanizing power of subtitles.
Jillian speaks with Soulpepper Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha about the crucial vitality of bringing your whole unabashed self as a director, radical gestures of welcome, and theatre as a sacred space. Also: individual and collective responsibility for centering the marginalized, and not making assumptions about your audience.
Jillian speaks with internationally acclaimed director Yaël Farber about the rehearsal room as a sacred ecosystem where the civic and the spiritual collide, vulnerability is nurtured, and unpredictability is welcomed as the kernel of transformation for both artists and audience. Also: the actor as activist and the wholeness required for sustainable truth-telling.
Jillian speaks with Daniel Brooks, one of Canada’s foremost directors and inaugural Siminovitch Prize laureate, about his expansive and unyielding devotion to process and his ethos (with longtime collaborator Daniel MacIvor) of maximum preparedness, maximum spontaneity. Also: trusting the intuition of your body as a director.
Jillian speaks with Jivesh Parasram, Artistic Director of Rumble Theatre and Artistic Producer of Pandemic Theatre, about creating safe spaces for artists, getting past fragility, and the responsibility owed to the subjects of documentary theatre. Also: insta-pots and rehearsing in a garbage room.
Jillian speaks with Stratford Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino about balancing the loyalty owed to past collaborators with the vital inclusion of new voices, the privilege of mentorship, and the danger of one’s ego overcoming its better angels. Also: an homage to Richard Monette and making friends with your board.
In this episode, Jillian speaks with Factory Theatre Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino about wellness corners, saying no with love, and persistence and courage in the face of white audiences’ expectations. How much should we be helping them to lean in? Canada may be prismatic, but change is hard and slow.
Jillian speaks with Christian Barry, Artistic Co-director of Halifax’s 2b theatre company, about the solitariness of directing, complicated relationships with Canadian humility and shame, and the politics of sharing credit, asking the question “who’s brave enough to be bold?” Land acknowledgements and first day rituals also make an appearance.
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