Stage Door News
Toronto: The Guild Festival Theatre announces its new co-artistic directors
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Guild Festival Theatre (GFT) is delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Juvonen and Tyler J. Seguin as Co-Artistic Directors of the company. The announcement was made on Saturday night prior to the closing night performance of the GFT’s eighth season.
Juvonen and Seguin have a long history with the Guild Festival Theatre. Seguin performed in the company’s second season production Clouds Over T.O. and then joined the Board of Directors for two seasons. Juvonen was assistant director to GFT founder Sten Eirik on The Misanthrope in 2013. This year Juvonen & Seguin co-directed Anne to critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences.
“We’re thrilled to have Helen & Tyler take on the leadership of the Guild Festival Theatre,” says Janet Heise, Producer and Board member for GFT. “Not only are they exceptional artists, but we’re also excited to be working with a team that is so passionate about the company and the entire Guildwood community!”
Juvonen is an actor, director, writer, and producer as well as founder and Artistic Director of the independent theatre company Thought For Food. She grew up in Scarborough and continues to live in the east end. As an actor she has performed in a wide variety of shows from Shakespeare to new Canadian plays, with companies including Sudbury Theatre Centre, The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and several independent theatres. She has recently branched out into screenwriting, with three short films produced and a web series in development. She is the recipient of the 2019 Cayle Chernin Award for Media Arts Development. She is also a Jeopardy! champion.
Seguin is an actor, director, writer and producer who recently spent two seasons at the Stratford Festival as part of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction. Last season he assisted Antoni Cimolino on The Tempest. He has worked across the country with companies such as Theatre New Brunswick, Sudbury Theatre Centre, The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, and the Old Trout Puppet Workshop.
Together Juvonen & Seguin have produced numerous shows through Thought For Food, including the Canadian premiere of The Memo; a critically-acclaimed all-female production of Measure for Measure; and the world premiere of Dark Heart, which was included in the Toronto Star’s list of top theatre productions of 2018.
“It is a great honour to be offered the Artistic Director position at the Guild Festival Theatre,” says Juvonen. “Growing up in Scarborough there was very little access to local professional theatre. When I first heard about the company I was incredibly excited and it was a pleasure working with Sten on his production of The Misanthrope. Returning this year to work on Anne felt like coming home. I’m so thankful to the Board and to Jamie Robinson for growing the company since Sten’s passing and I look forward to guiding the GFT into its next phase.”
“Guild Park is one of the most beautiful locations in Toronto. To be able to work and create theatre here is an unbelievable gift,” says Seguin. “I’ve never worked for a company with so much community enthusiasm. Guildwood residents are passionate supporters of the arts. I’m looking forward to building on the company’s past successes and working towards a future that sees the Guild Festival Theatre grow and flourish.”
About Guild Festival Theatre (GFT)
Since its first production in 2011, Guild Festival Theatre has revitalized Toronto’s historic Guild Park with popular open-air performances at the Greek Theatre. GFT’s productions include Pygmalion, She Stoops to Conquer, Romeo & Juliet, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Cherry Orchard.
This year’s production of Anne is GFT’s eighth season of presenting live theatre in this destination park in Scarborough.
GFT is a nationally-registered charitable organization and winner of the Urban Hero Award for community contributions. It performs at Guild Park, 201 Guildwood Pkwy., Toronto. M1E 1P5. For more information about GFT, visit www.guildfestivaltheatre.ca.
Photo: Helen Juvonen and Tyler J. Seguin. © 2019 Barry Scheffler.