The Curator Program is a new, experimental artistic programming initiative where five community leaders have curated showcases (get it? – Curator Program!) in primetime TOsketchfest schedule slots at The Theatre Centre, while mentoring artists throughout. These showcases will include drag, clown, ASL, musical theatre comedy, and exciting new takes on sketch comedy. Thank you to the Toronto Arts Council for supporting this program.
We are so happy to announce the five Curators are Candace Scott-Moore, Selena Vyle, Gaitrie Persaud, Rochelle Ellar and Goldy Goldberg with showcases starring Manifest Destiny’s Child, Tita Collective, Angëll Morana, Calling Mockery, Don Valley Girls, Emily Jeffers, Jelly, Passport to Madville, Stella Mongkok, Victoria Watson Sepejak and more!
The Curator Program facilitates the sharing of knowledge by highlighting both emerging and established artists, and pairing artists with targeted mentorship opportunities. The 2023 Curator Program mentors include Meg MacKay, Tom Hearn, Isaac Kessler and Ramesh Meyyappan.
This cross-section of notable community leaders are from a variety of artistic backgrounds with comedic passions that will breathe new life into the sketch comedy domain. They have a deep love and appreciation of comedy and have thoughtfully curated their showcases from the wider arts scene. The intention of the Curator Program is to elevate emerging artists, spotlight established artists, and to develop new audiences for all involved.
Candace stands outside in a bright green space. She smiles at the camera wearing a cool hat and a beaded medallion.
Candace Scott-Moore (Wilde) [Anishinaabe – Ojibwe Potawatomi] has 20+ years working in event production with selected career highlights including Producer of Tkaronto Music Festival, Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival 2022, imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival Awards and Special Events, Zaagidiwin & Built On Genocide for Luminato Festival Toronto, 2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards, and Taking Pulse Films for the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. She was an invited Creative Producer of Impulse Festival at Bundanon in New South Wales, Australia. Candace was the Associate Producer & Head Talent Coordinator of the Indspire Awards for over ten years. Artistic Associate at Planet IndigenUs, Host/Emcee at Message Stick Festival at Sydney Opera House. Her love of logistics lead to her Production Stage Management at: Tkaronto Music Festival, Indigenous Arts Festival, Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, IPAA’s InterTribal Gatherings, Six Nations Unity Festival, Ontario Contact Showcases, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Nuit Blanche, Aboriginal Pavilion at the Pan-Am Games, and Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, just to name a few.
Candace recently joined the team of Floor Directors for The Juno Awards. Candace has a strong connection to culture and community. She has produced and coordinated several large Community and Cultural Gatherings in First Nation communities. She has served on the Board of Directors with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Southwestern International Film Festival, Kettle & Stony Point Pow-Wow Committee, & her local Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point Mino Bimaadiziwin Optimist Club. Candace enjoys creating projects with the Wiiwkwedong Arts Collective & 50/50 Performing Arts Collective.
Curator Showcase: Candace Scott-Moore
Friday, March 10 at 8pm
Theatre Centre, Franco Boni
A sketch comedy showcase featuring 20 minute sets from celebrated fan favourites.
Featuring Manifest Destiny’s Child, Tita Collective, and Don Valley Girls with mentor Meg Mackay
Selena sits on her side in full bearded drag with large black wig, red lips and a striking purple and black latex look.
Selena Vyle is the world’s only Lebanese-Mexican bearded cabaret camp vamp of a certain age! This accomplished improv and sketch comedienne has been featured at comedy festivals such as Toronto Sketchfest, Just for Laughs Montreal, We’re Funny That Way. She’s a co-host of the Canadian Podcast Award winning Squirrel Talk Podcast and co-writer of the Canadian Comedy Award winning A Sketch Comedy Extravaganza Eleganza. She is the voice of Rosa Mel Paquete in Ubisoft’s Far Cry 6, and debuted her first visual album, Broken Hearted Girl at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2021 that nobody watched but did manage to earn TO Live’s Runner Up prize for the Digital Pivot Award. She performs regularly with the monthly improvised drag show Yaas & Vyle Present, the touring improv comedy troupe Werq The Mic, and hosts Drag Brunch weekly at Glad Day Bookshop and monthly at The Smith House. Oh, and she loves you very much.
Curator Showcase: Selena Vyle
Saturday, March 11 at 8pm
Theatre Centre, Franco Boni
A hilarious, high energy drag show featuring three dynamic drag performers.
Featuring Jelly, Angëll Morana, and Stella Mongkok with mentor Tom Hearn
Gaitrie looks at the camera with a smile. She wears stunning blue eyeliner, and curly hair.
A Tkaroto-based actor Gaitrie is theatremaker who develops facial expressions and body languages to bring Deaf/hearing actors to work together on the stage in physical theatre styles. Gaitrie continually seeks to challenge herself through new techniques and learning from her mentors who specialize in physical theatre styles.
She is the founder of Phoenix The Fire, a theatre.film hub that supports Deaf artists to discover their talents and to provide ASL theatre.film interpretation service. She has been strongly active in Tkaronto theatre community for almost 13 years.
Over the years, her solo performances and collaborations have toured nationally and internationally. Gaitrie has been involved in Nickelodeon JR show Blue’s Clues & You (the Deaf librarian Camila) and CBC kid show Silly Paws (Simmi). She is also news anchor with Sign1 News powered by CNN.
Curator Showcase: Gaitrie Persaud
Thursday, March 16 at 7pm
Theatre Centre, Incubator
A comedy show performed in ASL for both Deaf and hearing audiences featuring solo and duo scenes from two engaging artists.
Featuring Robert Haugton and Jaideep Goray with mentor Ramesh Meyyappan
Rochelle joyfully smiles at the camera, wearing glasses, a septum piercing and a black flower print shirt.
Rochelle Ellar (She, They) is a Canadian-Caribbean Black, femme queer, neurodivergent, Disabled, MAD, soft, intuitive artist. Actively and consciously coming from a trauma-informed framework, Rochelle is an atypical lyrical storyteller, multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary artist, producer, facilitator, and arts administrator. Her (artistic) practices include writing (literary and theatre), directing, dramaturgy, vocal, performing, and advocating for Black, Queer, Mad/Mentally Ill, and disabled communities. Prioritizing wellness through care and comfort, her writing and performance work often explore the use of magic realism in performance development. Rochelle’s work challenges western ideologies, exploring them through different styles, structures, and frameworks. Her professional practice significantly revolves around finding the strength and magic in the atypical. After completing an Honours BA in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph, she pursued additional training with Generator, Buddies in Bad Times, b current, Nightwood, Paprika Festival, Dance Immersion and many others. Currently working on several projects.
Curator Showcase: Rochelle Ellar
Friday, March 17 at 8pm
Theatre Centre, Franco Boni
A multidisciplinary collective creation about “Madness,” trauma, healing, and survival in a sometimes unforgiving world – all reimagined as a sketch comedy show.
Featuring Passport to Madville with Alexandra Floras-Matic, Andraya Sky Smith, Angela Sun, Isaac Cunningham, K. Zimmer, and Sivert Das with mentor Alia Rasul.
Goldy’s bearded face surrounded by white spirea flowers.
Goldy Goldberg is a rogue culinary school dropout who ran from the kitchens of George Brown College and ended up a 12-year veteran of the world of comedy and the radical expressive arts. He’s an award-winning clown and a former president of a socially anxious public speaking club. An official/unofficial caretaker of the much beloved “home for the ridiculous” Sweet Action theatre. A filmmaker who has enjoyed international smartphone filmfest success making a film about a guy trying to put themself into a trash can behind the Eaton Centre. He’s been a part of established festivals such as Reel Abilities and Rue Morgue’s Halloween. Starred, hosted, wrote, and danced in Toronto’s biggest and longest running adult circus variety show: The Lunacy Cabaret. And most recently, helped produce the cult favourite: 10 000 Digits of Pi showcased in the Toronto Fringe and ASSfest. Goldy is very honoured to be apart of this years Toronto Sketch festival, as an awkward recluse introvert goofball, it is a profound pleasure for him to have this chance to be able showcase his beloved endearing goofball companions, and the beautifully outlandish kind of work we’re all about at Sweet Action theatre.
Curator Showcase: Goldy Goldberg
Saturday, March 18 at 8pm
Theatre Centre, Franco Boni
A ridiculous comedy showcase featuring three outrageous clown acts.
Featuring Calling Mockery, Emily Jeffers, Victoria Watson Sepejak with mentor Isaac Kessler
But wait – maybe you want to see all FIVE Curator Program showcases? Don’t worry – we also have a limited number of passes for just $99!