Stage Door News

Toronto: Theatre Passe Muraille announces Majorie Chan as its new Artistic Director

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The board of directors of Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM) are proud to announce the appointment of Marjorie Chan as Artistic Director.

Chan has an established and rewarding relationship with Passe Muraille. She was the director of Adam Pottle’s play Ultrasound, a show exploring deaf culture, which was co-produced with Passe Muraille in 2016. In 2017 she directed John & Waleed, a show using music and stories from Sudan and Ontario to explore the intersection of cultures, which was collaboratively produced by Cahoots and Passe Muraille. She is now eager to bring her brand of leadership to her new role at Theatre Passe Muraille.

“I am ecstatic and humbled to be trusted with the artistic leadership of Theatre Passe Muraille, a company which has been at the forefront of collaborative and ground-breaking work for 50 years,” said incoming artistic director Chan. “At the beginning of the year, I heard disabled artist and activist, Annie Segarra (@annieelainey) speak about the hashtag she created: #futureisaccessible. Ever since then, I have been whispering this anthem to myself. ’The future is accessible.’ To me, it is the driving aspiration of the next 50 years at TPM. I am so optimistic about the possibilities. There is much work to do, and I am excited to get started.”

Marjorie Chan’s resume includes a variety of roles. She is a multi-award-winning actor, playwright, librettist, director, dramaturge, mentor, and artistic director. While Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre (2013-2019), accessibility and intersectionality were always at the forefront of Marjorie’s work. During her tenure, the company championed dozens of new plays, mentored artists through the Hot House Unit, collaborated in the creation of the Deaf Artists Theatre Toolkit, and resurrected Crossing Gibraltar- a training and performance program for new Canadian youth. Her stewardship also brought an increase in national profile and operating budget to the celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary season.

Since 1968 Passe Muraille has strived to create diverse and accessible art. In practice that has meant many different things. Diversity in form, content, and creation. Accessibility through presenting our work in ways that everyone can engage with regardless of their abilities, but also through giving opportunities to artists who may not have another place to showcase their talents.

Chan has been working professionally in Toronto for two decades and her work has constantly embodied these ideas. “I am beyond pleased that Marjorie Chan will be our next Artistic Director," said McKim. “I know that she will be bringing her progressive leadership skills, her boundless grace, her infectious humour and her big heart to this job.”

Managing Director Régine Cadet echoed the excitement about Chan’s appointment. “Marjorie has the same collaborative and inclusive values as TPM,” said Cadet. “Her inspiring vision for the theatre is perfectly aligned with our aspirations.”  

The Board of Directors at Passe Muraille is excited about the talent and vision Chan will bring to the company. After an extensive search – which involved a community survey asking for input on leadership and a Search Committee that included members from both Passe Muraille's Board of Directors and the community at large- the Board is pleased to appoint a person that so embodies the values, vision, and ideals of Passe Muraille.

“The search committee was thrilled with the amount of wonderful applications received from Canada’s top artistic talent, but Marjorie’s excellent application and presentation to the committee excited us the most,” said board Chair Jim Roe. ”We believe her artistic sensibilities, skill-set and experience perfectly position her for success as the best artistic leadership to take TPM into its next era. We are delighted to have her take the helm from Andy, who has served with passion and dedication during his tenure as Artistic Director.”

Marjorie will join the Theatre Passe Muraille team on July 15, 2019.

Photo: Marjorie Chan.