We are beyond thrilled to announce that Liza Paul has been promoted to the role of Associate Artistic Director at The Theatre Centre! Anyone who has ever met or worked with Liza will understand why we are so happy—we think the entire community has much to celebrate.
Since joining our team in 2017, Liza has brought her unique energy, programming vision, and absolutely infectious laugh to The Theatre Centre. In addition to serving up some truly delectable cocktails, Liza introduced many successful events in the café, parties on the rooftop, and more jams in every space in between. She has programmed events centred on up-and-coming deejays, worked with Emancipation Arts in support of their inaugural (and now annual) FreeUp! Emancipation Day event, salsa parties, and more—if it had flavour, she was down to put it on.
Paul’s commitment to the comedy community has remained steadfast (she herself is a performer and stand-up comedian) and she’s provided space, and money, to comedians, especially BIPOC and female performers. Jokes, Guy; Goodmorning, Tonight; Amigas Cheetahs; and Comedy as a Second Language are just a few of the shows Liza has programmed while at The Theatre Centre. This initiative culminated in her programming the hugely successful Comedy is Art festival which featured over 40 artists in 9 shows over 5 days.
“I’m so happy to be finally sharing this news! I remember when we first hired Liza as our Café/Bar Curator & Manager. I had reached out to ask if she was interested in the role, and she said ‘I’ve never managed a café before!’ I said, ‘send me an email and tell me what you’d do with the job if you had it’. Within a day or two, she essentially sent me a manifesto of what our café/bar could and should be to our community and how she would see that realised, given the opportunity. Hired. Since then the role has grown and changed along with Liza’s skills and interests, very much in the same way that my own role was allowed to grow and change with me at The Theatre Centre.
“Liza’s leadership of last year’s week-long Comedy is Art festival was remarkable to witness— and not just the incredible performers she programmed, but the way our entire team was galvanized in support of making this event the massive success that it was. Liza’s spirit, imagination, and perspective are all things that make us a better team, and a better organization. We talk a lot about inventing the future at The Theatre Centre, and I am so looking forward to continuing to work closely with Liza as we invent our way forward in this time.” —Aislinn Rose, Artistic Director
“This new role is a dream, an honour, and a privilege in one glorious package, and the thrill and the gratitude run deeper than words can possibly express. I am so lucky to work with this team and to have this magical opportunity to support art and art making in all its shapes and sizes. I am really looking forward to working alongside Aislinn. We’ve already had lots of opportunities to collaborate, and while we see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, we also aren’t afraid to challenge one another and I think that’s a really special combination. I really hope to see you all in the building again one day soon. But until that time comes, please know that I will be hard at work scheming and dreaming on a future that serves us all— and planning the most epic rum punch and reggae-fueled welcome aaallla unno* back bashment (surprise, Aislinn!) The Theatre Centre has ever seen.” *all of you
—Liza Paul, Associate Artistic Director
Though our doors may be closed, the work continues behind the scenes, and we are looking forward to sharing all of that information with you in the coming months. It’s important to us that you know we are working to understand how we can support artists differently during this time, and that means not making assumptions about what we think artists need.
We are currently conducting interviews with Residency applicants, asking how we can support the development of new works and ideas without physical space, and are excited to be announcing a new intake of Residency artists soon. Our Creative Producers-in-Training Rachel Penny and Sascha Cole are conducting interviews and consultations—with recent Residency applicants, artists we’ve worked with, and those who’ve never applied to the program—to find out what artists need and how we can better serve our community. We continue in phase three of the Metcalf Foundation Staging Change program with EmcArts to hone our ability to be responsive and adaptive; and truly – what better time to be engaged in that work, and with our question, how can we be more reckless with our generosity?