poster for event


Occurs on Sunday March 12 2023

All Day Event


Morpheus Rehearsal Centre
3512 - 5th Avenue NW
Lower Level
Calgary AB T2N 0V7

Play Notes

× DIRECTING - The White Spaces Between the Black Marks

“Theatre is making the invisible, visible.” - Peter Brook

Whether you are new to directing, or have several shows under your belt, this workshop is for you! Vanessa will lead participants through the first stages of creating a vision for your production. Starting by reading & dreaming to explore what Vanessa calls the stage metaphor (roughly: the world of your presentation of the play). She will lead participants though exercizes to hone in on this stage metaphor, followed by how to bring it alive - creating the physical action.

Participants are asked to read Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte before attending - please contact the office to arrange.

This workshop is intended for ages 16+

A theatre maker with a strong history in new play development, Vanessa’s trajectory has expanded to include film, translation, prose, teaching, and a budding arts consultancy practice.

In spring/summer 2023, she finishes a semester of teaching in the School for Contemporary Arts at the University of Calgary; directs Richard III starting Bruce Horak at The Shakespeare Company; directs The Replacement at Senior Actors Lab; will shoot and edit her second short narrative film, Things I know To Be True; returns to UBC for her second summer in the MFA Creative Writing Program; and undertakes a research trip for her first novel, Hole in The Torso.

Recent seasons have included the founding of her film and media company, Cloche Films; her first short narrative film, Still Life; her first translation from French to English, September by Evelyne de la Chenelière, which was a commission from Canadian Stage; the creation and direction of The Yuletide Sessions, a concert film for Calgary Opera, and dramaturgy on The Cold Daughter by Michaela Jeffery.

Selected recent directing: the world premiere of Between Us by Meg Farhall and Michael Rolfe (Handsome Alice), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Calgary Opera); the world premiere of Bronte: The World Without by Jordi Mand (Stratford Festival); the world premiere of the English language version of To the Light by Evelyne de la Chenelière, translated by John Murrell (Alberta Theatre Projects); and The Humans at Theatre Calgary.

As an educator, Vanessa inaugurated You Are the Music While the Music Lasts, an Acting Intensive for Opera Singers, at Calgary Opera. She team taught an online delivery class on the actor-director relationship with Jordan Pettle for and has taught for Theatre Alberta, ArtsTrek, and Dramaworks among many organizations. For Nightswimming’s Pure Research program, Vanessa led an exploration of silence as a creative tool in the rehearsal process.

Favourite directing work includes the world premiere of Gracie by Joan MacLeod (Belfry Theatre/ATP); the world premiere of Cockroach by Jonathan Garfinkel, based on the novel by Rawi Hage (ATP), the English language world premiere of Christina The Girl King by Michel Marc Bouchard, translated by Linda Gaboriau (Stratford Festival), the English language world premiere of You Will Remember Me by François Archambault translated by Bobby Theodore (ATP), Red (Betty Mitchell Award, Directing, ATP), The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (ATP, Arts Club Theatre), When That I Was (Betty Mitchell Award, Directing, The Shakespeare Company), the world premieres of The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan (ATP, twice) and Pinocchio by The Old Trout Puppet Workshop (ATP, Magnetic North Theatre Festival), The Syringa Tree (ATP, twice, Thousand Islands Playhouse), and The Enchanted Child (L’enfant et les sortileges) (Calgary Opera).

From 2009 - 2017, Vanessa was Artistic Director at Alberta Theatre Projects, after working for a decade at the company as a dramaturg and member of the leadership team. As a new play dramaturg she has participated in the Banff Playwrights’ Lab (formerly the Banff Playwrights’ Colony) over fifteen times.

Vanessa is bilingual in English and French, speaks and reads Spanish, and reads music. She is a member of CAEA, LMDA, CGDC, and an individual member of PACT.

Sunday, March 12th (10:30 AM - 4:30 PM)

PRICE: $40

Morpheus Rehearsal Centre (3512 5 Avenue NW, Lower Level), Studio B

This workshop is sponsored by Theatre Alberta with funding from The Alberta Foundation for the Arts as part of the ‘Workshops by Request: Hometown Series’

This workshop is presented at this low cost in the spirit of community theatre.

Buy Tickets to this Event Directions