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professional readiness©  for every performer ::: facilitating research & training for all abilities

"Practice is what makes a talented  person into a compelling performer."

PREP > facilitating research of  wants and needs of Toronto performers creating in inclusive communities - to keep prepared for the gig tomorrow, next week, next year.

P.R.E.P. facilitates workshops, discussions, and practice in performance and creation for all abilities in response to the evolving ecologies we live and make art in. 

The circle of contributors includes performers, directors, choreographers and other creators and interpreters dedicated to advancing integrated performance within main-stream performance.

master classes
Challenging Work Challenging Artists ::: practicing inclusive arts practice
all ages, abilities and histories
March 2020  

An evening of performance and in-depth discussion of works-in-development in studio with movement artists whose work dances on the edges of their learned forms.


with Dipanita (Dipa) Talukder, Lo Bil, Peter Kelly, Thalia Gonzalez Kane, Meek, Sukruti Tirupattur, Arwyn Carpenter

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Dipanita (Dipa) Talukder


Started training in the beautiful art form Kathak at the age of six and has never stopped dancing since. Her first teacher was Ms. Salina Ahmed Jharna. Since then, Dipa has had the honour to study under Alokparna Guha (from Calcutta), Hemant and Vaishali Panwar, Pali Chandra, Pandit Shri Rajendra Gangani (head of the Jaipur Gharana), and currently Smt. Sandhya Desai. Although she grew up in Canada, her passion has always been Indian music and dance. Dipa’s dream is to encourage Canadian youths to learn classical Indian dance.

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Lo Bil 


"A practiced-based performance artist, my aesthetic incorporates how my body responds to audience witness. I channel emotional and energetic flows through movement. I work speculatively with unconscious utterance. I let the psychic space between performer and audience direct me. I allow failure to open up the potential for magic. " 



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Peter Kelly


Performs, produces and creates. He dances with Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT), also Hannah Kiel, Darryl Hoskins, Marie Lambin-Gagnon and is Artistic Director of New Blue Emerging Dance. As Suede & Company, Peter explores/creates interdisciplinary works that aim to tackle barriers associated with sexual identity and queer culture.




Thalia Gonzalez Kane


Is an Ecuadorian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist. She has worked as a performer, writer, director, designer, choreographer, and producer in Canada, New York, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, and will be touring Australia in 2021. She holds an MA in Theatre Practice from University College Dublin and the Gaiety School of Acting. her query is "Body in Absentia".

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Sukruti Tirupattur


Is a Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher from Bangalore, India now living in Toronto. She firmly believes in the knowledge and secrets passed on through tradition. She likes to experience and explore the essence of the traditional dance form of Bharatanatyam by working in different settings with various artists who contribute to this process in a healthy way. As a Bharatanatyam performer, Sukruti likes to alter the perception that Indian classical dance is un-relatable due to its complexity. She likes to do this by keeping her performances exploratory in nature and playful within contexts that are relatable. She enjoys taking Bharatanatyam to audiences that are unfamiliar with it.


Websites: &

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Arwyn Carpenter 


“Hi. I teach 350 kids each week to dig deep into their personal expression and create dance theatre at Perth Public School in Toronto. The students are 5-12 years old and learning themes emphasize Indigeneity and Reconciliation. I also dance with Triple C Community Dancers, and performed Julia Aplin's Mandala last summer and Carol Anderson's Garden Dances for the two summers before that. "Madame" (title in development) explores "auto-biological" material through story-telling and movement on the challenges of fat shame, fat acceptance and being a French teacher."




Is an interdisciplinary artist taking influence from the abstract, absurd, and experimental. His work ranges from strange and quirky to bold and intimate. Blending performance art, movement, installation, music and more, Meek's work provokes questions and ignites conversation on topics that are often uncomfortable but critical. He is also an organizer working with various art and media organizations such as Long Winter, Indie Week, and TIFF. Do not mess with his spreadsheets.


Master Classes with Extraordinary People :: practicing inclusive arts practice
for people of all ages, abilities and histories 
Autumn 2018 
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Syrus Marcus Ware Master Class: Our Activist Sewing Circle

Artist and activist Syrus Marcus Ware led an exploration of activist aesthetics through the creation of textile banners themed around disability justice and the movement for black lives.


We discussed processes for creating activist inspired art practices while creating a series of new collaborative works for use in direct action.

Inspired by the Toni Cade Bambara quote about the role of the cultural worker from marginalized groups to make revolution irresistible, the beautiful textile pieces addressed disability arts large scale. 



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Alex Bulmer : listening, hearing, and communicating with all voices


Theatre Artist Alex Bullmer shared her expertise in text and voice coaching and her experiences in how she has managed her creative life and career in the precarious world of performing arts. 


Vocalizers of all forms brought a monologue, poem, text to a popular or children's song you know well.  Togehter we explored how to express meaning and expression that is within the words and sounds, how we listen and receive a speech, ways to give feedback in groups and rehearsal environments, and discuss a life in the arts.

About the Artists

Alex Bulmer Award-winning writer, director, performer, teacher, Alex divides her time working in Canada & Europe. Alex is co-Artistic Director of Common Boots Theatre in Toronto, Artistic Director of Invisible Flash UK, Artistic Director of Toronto’s Cripping The Stage, & co-founder of Picasso Project, a ground-breaking disability arts initiative.


Alex applies her knowledge & sensitivities to coach performers with all voices. She has taught at The Central School of Speech & Drama London UK, The National Theatre School of Canada, George Brown College, & Ryerson University. 


In 2014, Alex was named one of the most influential disabled artists by UK’s Power Magazine. She recently shared a best actress award with co-lead Margot Carghill at the 2017 Moscow International Disability Film Festival for her performance in Awake. Alex was a UK Aria Prize finalist for her 2017 song driven radio feature Sounds Like She, & writer of the stage play SMUDGE, which earned two Best New Play nominations in Canada, & Time Out Magazine’s Critics Choice during its UK premiere.  


Companies she has worked with include The Royal Court Theatre UK, Graeae (UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company) Buddies In Bad Times, The National Arts Centre of Canada, The Boy Choir of Lesbos, London 2012 Olympics, Toronto Drag Kings, BBC radio (winning an AMI award for her adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Common Boots Theatre & Channel 4 series Cast Offs  (nominated for BAFTA & Royal Television Society Awards).


Syrus Marcus Ware, Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator & educator, Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks & black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including at the Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, Art Gallery of Windsor & the curated content at Nuit Blanche 2017 (The Stolen People; Wont Back Down). Performance works have been in festivals across Canada, including Cripping The Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). 


Syrus is part of the PDA (Performance Disability Art) Collective, co-programmed Crip Your World: An Intergalactic Queer/POC Sick & Disabled Extravaganza at Mayworks 2014. He is part of the Black Triangle Arts Collective (BTAC), a visual arts collective dedicated to exploring disability, racial & economic justice. Syrus' recent curatorial projects include That’s So Gay: On the Edge, TSG: Fall to Pieces, TSG: Come Together (Gladstone Hotel, 2016, 2015 & 2014), Re:Purpose (Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2014), The Church Street Mural Project (Church-Wellesley Village, 2013). He is also co-curator of The Cycle, a two-year disability arts performance initiative of the National Arts Centre.


Syrus is a facilitator/designer at The Banff Centre & for 12 years Coordinator of Youth Programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth. He was the inaugural Daniel’s Spectrum Artist-in-Residence (2016/17). He is a member of Black Lives Matter-Toronto & Blackness Yes!/Blockorama. Honours include the TD Diversity Award (2017), “Best Queer Activist” NOW Magazine (2005) & the Steinert & Ferreiro Award for LGBT community leadership & activism (2012). Syrus is working on a PhD at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies.

PREP Master Classes & Perform platforms are facilitated by Maxine Heppner & MIchelle Silagy. 

Across Oceans Arts has been producing platforms to deepen open & inclusive expression through the arts & humanities for over 25 years.


Across Oceans Arts Pilot Research leading to PREP has been supported by the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council’s Open Doors program.

soundings workshops

Since August 2017 P.R.E.P. has conducted one-on-one discussions with performers, directors, choreographers and other creators and performers who are working in integrated and/or ability-specific performance.   By talking about how to practice what, where, when and with whom, the artists have voiced and clarified needs and desires. Individualities and commonalitities continue to surface. These soundings are guiding the research pathways that are leading to devising workshops and studio practicums. 

We invite you to email if you want to add you voice and experience to these soundings that are ongoing. 
Contact :


Facilitating: Maxine Heppner (lead), Michelle Silagy (2017-19)

1st Rounds (2017-18): Melisa Webster-Addison, Adam Wilkinson, Brian Solomon, Max Tepper, Rose Jacobson/PicassoPro, Dan Watson/Ahuri Theatre

2nd Rounds (2017-19): Ken Harrower, Spirit Synott, Max Tepper, David Connoly, Luke Anderson, Eliza Chandler, Frank Hull, Barak Ade Soleil, Dan Watson (Ahuri Theatre), Marjorie Chan (Cahoots Theatre), Cara Spooner (Workman Arts), Rose Jacobson (Picasso Pro), Ravi Jain (WhyNot Theatre), Fides Krucker, Peggy Baker, Jonathan Seinen, Katherine Duncanson, Lawrence Shapiro, Syrus Marcus Ware,  Alex Bulmer, all who have dedicated histories in disablilty and/or inclusive arts. 

3rd Rounds (2018-19): Luke Anderson, Ken Harrower, Spirit Synott,  Max Tepper, David Connolly, Suzanne Liska, Takako Segawa, 

Theatre for Dramatic Change ensemble.

4th Rounds (2020): Lo Bil, Dipanita Taliktur, Peter Kelly, Meek, Arwyn Carpenter, Thalia Gonzales Kane, Sukruti Tirupatur




sessions were led by the group, individuals taking directorial roles according to their expertise


What does a performer do?

What does a performer practice?

What is a script?


Seeing and being seen

Proximity, interactivity

Breathe, mobility

Observe, identify

Differences in Time

Impulse into Action

Idea into communication


PLATFORMS for PRACTICE:  2021 PROPOSE to show work at> PREP challenging works challenging artists

                                              To join in the planning circle contact :

                                              Email to propose a session, to recommend a workshop leader


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