skip to Main Content

The 2022/23 Annual Women’s Caucus Meeting Panel Event took place on

Monday, March 13th at 12:00 pm PT/3:00 pm ET/4:00 pm AT on Zoom

The event was two-hours long and divided into two halves. For the first half,  we had a one-hour moderated panel presentation with a Q and A, entitled “Positively Difficult: Advocacy for Women Playwrights.” Our featured panelists were PGC members Yolanda Bonnell, Leanna Brodie, Sarena Parmar, Andrea Scott, and moderator, Christina Cook. They shared with us some of the ways that they have been “positively difficult” in order to advocate for themselves and their work. For the second hour, we broke into smaller groups for further discussion, pro tips, and networking. To wrap up, we reconvened in one large group to share a few learnings and action items before departing. In this way, we wrapped together advocacy, professional development, and socializing, which Women’s Caucus members had identified in a recent survey as the most desirous content for an annual meeting.

You can watch the  first half of this provocative, informative, and entertaining meeting after the fact.

About the Panelists

Yolanda Bonnell

Yolanda Bonnell (she/they) is a Bi/Queer, 2 Spirit, Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, South Asian mixed performer, playwright, and multidisciplinary creator/educator. Originally from Fort William First Nation, Ontario, her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille, while the published book (Scirocco Publishing, 2020) was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award. In 2022, her play White Girls in Moccasins, was produced at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as well as at the frank theatre on Coast Salish Territory. Yolanda was the first Indigenous artist recipient of the Jayu Arts for Human Rights Award for her work, and she won the PGC Tom Hendry Drama Award for her play, My Sister’s Rage, which was produced by Tarragon Theatre in 2022. Yolanda has taught/facilitated at schools like York University and Sheridan College and proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors.

Leanna Brodie’s The Vic, For Home and Country, The Book of Esther, and Schoolhouse are published by Talonbooks and regularly performed across Canada. She is also one of the most prolific translators of contemporary Québécois and Franco-Canadian plays into English, with two new books and four world premieres (including David Paquet’s Dora Award-winning Wildfire) over the past season alone. Brodie has been Playwright-in-Residence at the Blyth Festival, 4th Line Theatre, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, and Gateway Theatre. Ulla’s Odyssey – her Flourish Prize-winning opera with Anthony Young – toured the UK with OperaUpClose for over two years. Currently, Brodie is Assistant Professor of Playwriting at the UBC School of Creative Writing. She is collaborating with Jovanni Sy on Salesman in China for the Stratford Festival, which produced her translation of Rébecca Déraspe’s I Am William in 2021. Upcoming: Scirocco Drama is publishing her translation of David Paquet’s Governor General’s Award-winning Le poids des fourmis.


Christina Cook (she/they) is a theatre artist and therapist living, creating, and playing in Vancouver, British Columbia. When she was a kid, she either wanted to be a counsellor like the character Deanna Troi, on her favourite TV show, Star Trek; or she wanted to act alongside Deanna Troi, starring in her favourite TV show, Star Trek; Or she wanted to write more space adventures for Deanna Troi, on her favourite TV show, Star Trek. All grown up, they are  lucky they get to do versions of all three of these childhood aspirations. Born and raised in Vancouver, Christina moved to Montreal as a young adult, where she trained in theatre at Concordia University, and then onto England, where she trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LADMA). After working as a professional actor for several years, she completed a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She now divide her time between working as a coordinator of various research-based theatre projects at UBC, running a private counselling practice, and writing plays. Christina’s writing credits include The Better Parts of Mourning, presented at the Clean Sheets Festival (the frank theatre company); Strip, presented at Movin’ On Up (Staircase Theatre); Gerty – Live! In Concert! presented as part of the BC Buds Festival (Firehall Arts Centre); and Quick Bright Things (Persephone Theatre). As a therapist, Christina specializes in counselling members of the Trans and Queer communities. As a clinician-researcher, her research focuses on bringing theatre and therapy together. Whether through therapy or theatre, her goal is to engage your head, heart, and body.

Sarena Parmar is a playwright and actor. Originally from Kelowna BC, she is now based in Toronto. Her first full-length play, The Orchard (After Chekhov), premiered at the Shaw Festival and went onto a second production at the Arts Club Theatre. Her plays have been developed by Cahoots Theatre, Soulpepper, and Diaspora Dialogues. Sarena was also a participant of the Stratford Playwright’s Retreat. Currently, Sarena has plays in development with Tarragon Theatre and Theatre Northwest.  Sarena was selected for the inaugural HotDoc’s Podcast Bootcamp. Now she is working on her first “Play Companion Podcast” for her newest play, Hunger. As an actor, Sarena has performed with theatre companies across Canada, including the Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, and Bard on the Beach. On TV, Sarena appears in Pretty Hard Cases (CBC) and the upcoming season of Skymed (Paramount +). Sarena is an acting graduate of the National Theatre School and Birmingham Conservatory of Classical Theatre (Stratford Festival).

Andrea Scott’s play, Eating Pomegranates Naked, won the RBC Arts Professional Award, and was named Outstanding Production at the 2013 SummerWorks Festival. Better Angels: A Parable won the SummerWorks Award for Production and was published in 2018. Don’t Talk to Me Like I’m Your Wife won the Cayle Chernin Award for theatre and ran at SummerWorks in 2016.  In 2019, her co-written play with Nick Green, Every Day She Rose, wowed audiences at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her play about Viola Desmond, Controlled Damage, had its sold-out world premiere at Neptune Theatre in 2020 and will open at The Grand Theatre in 2023. Andrea won the Magee Diversity Screenwriter’s Award for her first TV script, Dust to Dust. Her dark comedy Bad Habits landed her a job as the Story Editor on The Porter (BET/CBC), which she followed up with snagging a spot pitching to Netflix with her supernatural drama, Cassidy Must Die. In 2021, she won $10,000 from Amazon and the Indigenous Screen Office, pitching her coming-of-age dramedy, DONE! Andrea just completed working in the writers room on the 16th season of Murdoch Mysteries.

Back To Top