The Dinner Table

12 guests, many storYtellers, 1 home-cooked meal
New food & new stories of home every night. 


"The Dinner Table manages to turn the everyday into something a little extraordinary...I heard some wonderful stories, ate delicious food, made some connections with the unknown, and shared an experience of community and fellowship around a table, as we’ve done for thousands of years. And it made Toronto, and the Fringe Festival, feel even more like home." - Ilana Lucas (Mooney on Theatre)

"A truly special and intimate experience, delicious home-cooked meal that was tailored to the guest and a slew of incredible storytellers from the Toronto theatre community. If theatre, for you, is about connection and a sharing of stories, The Dinner Table is for you." - Hallie Seline (In The Green Room)

"The original and engaging form of this dinner was nothing short of inspiring...Artistically, it makes traditional theatre that much more difficult to stomach." - Lorenzo Pagnotta (My Entertainment World)

Photos: Neil Silcox
(Toronto Fringe Festival, July 2015, @ 918 Bathurst)

PHILIP MCKEE "I Thought Puglia Would Be Nice"  +  CLIVE MATHIBE "I An African"
NINA LEE AQUINO "Filipino Cowboy"+ MEL HAGUE "The Home Under My Skin"
 DAVID YEE"That Thing That Happened That One Time" + SUE MINER "Breakfast in Bed with Joey Champagne"
CLARA MCBRIDE "Accepting Permanence" + JUDITH THOMPSON"lice, mice, and the killer next door"
SKY GILBERT "My Home: Church Street" + MITCHELL CUSHMAN "Pet Project"
 JULIE TEPPERMAN "The Big Schlep" + HOLGER SYME "Home Truths" + COLE ALVIS "Gladys Good"

Philip McKee is a Toronto based director, performer and writer. He collaborates with other artists to create intimate, original performance work - sometimes based on classical texts. This includes: Bloody Family (The Theatre Centre), LEAR (World Stage, Harbourfront Centre/Magnetic North); Child Psychologist (SummerWorks); King Doubt (SummerWorks); Founders Day Party (Suburban Beast); Old Hag (Tanztage/Sophiensaele Berlin); Brothers (SummerWorks), Foster Child Play (SummerWorks), La Voix Humaine (ZooFest). Philip frequently Co-directs with Rose Plotek. Other collaborators are Clare Coulter, Tanja Jacobs, Liz Peterson, Amy Nostbakken, Ishan Davé, Norah Sadava, Kate Whitehead, James Bunton, Jordan Tannahill, Alicia Grant, Jeremy James, and Alex Napier. He is a graduate of the Directing Program at The National Theatre School of Canada. Philip is currently working on his next project: a satirical musical set in a private school for boys called The Pryce Academy. //

Clive Mathibe  is a Tshwane University of Technology Drama degree graduate who first made a name for himself as one of the most striking post-apartheid directors in South African theatre. The Sunday Times wrote that Mathibe was “…a youthful and fresh voice in theatre”. In 2013 he started writing and co-creating television dramas for SA television broadcast networks. He’s produced and directed a documentary for Action For Climate; a short documentary competition- where he was among international finalists whose videos where screened at Times Square. Clive was part of the writing team for the SA TV drama series, After 9, which was selected to be part of the acclaimed international TV conference, INPUT, in Helsinki. SO[U]LE, a play written by him is translated into Spanish as part of the Proyecto 34S Africa-Latin-American exchange program. He is in Toronto on an arts program initiated by SA NAC and Canadian Stage. Mathibe will be directing Cincinatti by Barney Simon at South Africa’s acclaimed Market Theatre in July 2015. 

Nina Lee Aquino is an award winning director and dramaturge. She was the former Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company and Cahoots Theatre Company and is now the current Artistic Director of Factory Theatre. She is the editor of Canada's first Asian-Canadian 2 Volume drama anthology love + relationships and the co-editor of the award winning New Essays On Canadian Theatre Volume One: Asian Canadian Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press). Awards for her work include: the Ken McDougall Award 2004, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize 2008 and two Dora Mavor Moore awards for Outstanding Direction.  

David Yee was born and raised in Toronto. He is currently the Artistic Director of fu-GEN Theatre Company. A Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated actor and playwright, his work has been produced internationally and at home. His play, lady in the red dress, was nominated for the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award and is published by Playwrights Canada Press. 

Mel Hague is a Toronto based dramaturge. Mel is the Rhubarb Festival Director and Company Dramaturge at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and the Artist Development Coordinator and Company Dramaturge at Obsidian Theatre Company. Previously Mel has worked with Factory Theatre, Banff Centre Playwrights Colony, bcurrent performing arts, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Queer Acts Festival, The Paprika Festival, and Mulgrave Road Theatre. Mel was invited as a Guest Panelist and Workshop Leader at the National Theatre School of Canada’s From Where I Stand: Canadian Theatre in Context Conference. Other theatre credits include Litmus Theatre’s Birth of Frankenstein (Dora Nomination – Outstanding New Play Independent Category).  

Sue Miner is a theatre director, actor and teacher. Originally from St Eustache, Quebec she moved to Montreal when she was 9 then Toronto briefly at 17. She returned to Montreal within the year after being accepted to the National Theatre School where she graduated from the acting section in 1983. At NTS she met her future husband and favourite playwright Mark Brownell and together have produced several plays with their company Pea Green Theatre Group. They now live in Toronto, have two children, an 18 year old cat and flowers on the balcony. The entire family (including the cat) have breakfast in bed everyday. They can see the balcony flowers from the bed. 

Clara McBride worked as a theatre and film artist in Paris for 17 years.  She trained with Ariane Mnouchkine at the Theatre du Soleil, Footsbarn Travelling Theatre and with Keith Johnstone.  She co-founded The Improfessionals, an improv company which performs regularly in France and European festivals.  She teaches at RADA in London and has directed dozens of productions with her own Company Et Alors! Clara has directed several short films, including Last Stop for Miles, a BravoFACT award winner in 2006.  In Toronto since 2014, she has directed for the Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival and teaches at the Second City.

Judith Thompson is of Canada's most highly regarded playwrights and the author of The Crackwalker, White Biting Dog, I Am Yours, Lion in the Streets, Sled, Perfect Pie, Habitat, Capture Me and Enoch Arden on Sorauren. She has written two feature films Lost and Delirious and Perfect Pie as well as television movies and radio drama. She has twice won the Governor General's Award and the Chalmers Award. She is professor of Drama at the University of Guelph and currently lives with her husband and five children in Toronto.

Sky Gilbert is a writer, director, and drag queen extraordinaire. He was co- founder and artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (North America’s largest gay and lesbian theatre) for 18 years. His novels GUILTY (1998),BROTHER DUMB (2007) and COME BACK (2012) were critically acclaimed. He has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards (recently for THE SITUATIONISTS) the Pauline McGibbon Award for theatre directing, The Margo Bindhardt Award (from the Toronto Arts Foundation), The Silver Ticket Award (from the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts), and the ReLit Award. His play ST. FRANCIS OF MILLBROOK was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press, and his autobiographical novel SAD OLD FAGGOT will be published by ECW Press next year. In August Sky will go to the New York City Fringe with his play NAKED HAMILTON. Dr. Gilbert holds a University Research Chair in Creative Writing and Theatre Studies at The School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. In November of 2014 the City of Toronto named a street after Sky: Sky Gilbert Lane.

Mitchell Cushman is a director, writer, producer, educator and storyteller. He is the founding Co-Artistic Director of Outside the March, one of Canada’s leading site-specific theatre companies. With OtM, Mitchell has staged such award-winning immersive theatrical experiences as Mr. Burns, Vitals, Terminus, Passion Play and Mr. Marmalade. He is also the Co-Founder of The Spoke, a monthly storytelling evening and podcast. As a director, Mitchell’s work has been seen on stages as large as the Royal Alexander Theatre, in spaces as intimate as a kindergarten classroom, and in locales as remote as Whitehorse and Munich. Mitchell has received numerous awards for his theatre work, including the Siminovitch protégé award, two Dora Awards, the Ken McDougal Award, and a Toronto Theatre Critics Award. This summer he is directing his first production at the Stratford Festival, Possible Worlds.  

Julie Tepperman is an actor, playwright and educator, as well as co-artistic director (with Aaron Willis) of Convergence Theatre, twice listed by NOW Magazine as the "Best Site-Specific Theatre Company in Toronto"Past immersive Convergence productions: AutoShow (one of NOW Magazine’s Top Ten Productions of 2006); The Gladstone Variations (4 Dora nominations; #2 in NOW Magazine’s Top Ten Toronto Productions of the Decade); YICHUD (Seclusion) (published by Playwrights Canada Press; Capital Critics’ Circle nomination for Outstanding Production); the Canadian premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play (with Outside the March and Sheep No Wool). Selected playwriting: YICHUD (Seclusion) (Convergence/Passe Muraille/Magnetic North), I Grow Old (as part of The Gladstone Variations); ROSY (as part of AutoShow); a re-imagining of the August Strindberg play The Father (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre). Julie was Playwright-In-Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille in 2010/11 with the support of the Canada Council. Selected acting:  Mary 2 in Passion Play (Dora award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble); The Audience Guide in Mr. Marmalade (Outside The March; Dora award for Outstanding Indie Production); Liza in Out The Window (The Theatre Centre); Rachel in YICHUD (Seclusion) (BroadwayWorld Toronto Best Actor nomination); two seasons at The Stratford Festival (All’s Well That Ends Well, Agamemnon, Electra, The Flies, The Swanne – Part Two).  Julie is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School and Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. Recently:  BRANTWOOD (created, written and directed with Mitchell Cushman as part of Sheridan’s Canadian Musical Theatre Project.) In-development: Julie is stoked to be developing a rock opera for teens with composer Christopher Thornborrow, as part of Tapestry Opera.

Holger Syme is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he chairs the Department of English and Drama on the Mississauga campus. His academic work focuses on the drama of Shakespeare’s time: he has published widely on questions of publication and theatre history, co-edited a volume of essays on the Queen’s Men, an important 16th-century acting company, and written a book on the performance cultures of early modern England, Theatre and Testimony in Shakespeare’s England (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Most recently, he has done extensive international research on modern productions on “classical” plays, especially in the English-speaking world and in Germany. He maintains a popular blog,, where he frequently discusses developments in the contemporary theatre world, in Canada and elsewhere. As a director, he has worked in theatre and film, and is currently collaborating with the Howland Company on an adaptation of Ödön von Horváth’s Casimir and Caroline, to be mounted in a workshop production this November.

Cole Alvis is proud of their Métis heritage from the Turtle Mountains in Manitobah. An acclaimed actor and theatre creator, they (gender neutral pronoun) were an Associate Festival Director for Rhubarb 2015 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Cole is an Artistic Producer at lemonTree creations and an Executive Director of the national arts service organization Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. Select credits include “outstanding performance” in Nelly Boy as well as “outstanding direction” of Row by T. Berto at the SummerWorks Festival (NNNN’s NOW), and creator / performer in the Dora-nominated Gorey Story (The Thistle Project).  Upcoming: Cole will be producing & performing in Body Politic by Nick Green, a coproduction between lemonTree creations and Buddies In Bad Times Theatre in their 2015/16 season.