Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives

Making a Scene Conference

Making a Scene 2021
2019 Archive
Making a Scene 2021
Making a Scene Forum text on red curtain background

2021 Making a Scene Forum: Seizing Opportunities

Register to join us online, June 22–24, 2021

What can post-pandemic, post-now look like? After more than a year of reacting, knowing what we know now, how do we step into possibilities and opportunities with intention?

The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance's annual conference has been re-imagined for 2021 as a digital forum. Join us for a series of Zoom sessions over the course of three days.

Panel sessions include:
  • Humour and Laughter in Storytelling and Community, with Cheyenne Rouleau, Debbie Courchene, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg. Moderated by Jivesh Parasram
  • Live + Live-Streaming: Hybrid Performance for Hybrid Audiences and the (@#$%^ Exciting!) Future of Vancouver Theatre with Adam Grant Warren, Christine Quintana, Derek Chan, and Keely O'Brien
  • Sharing Power, Sharing Leadership with Anjela Magpantay, Anoop Gill, and Sean Guist. Moderated by Chelsea Haberlin and Fay Nass
  • Community Caring for Community with Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen, jaye simpson, and Shanique Kelly. Moderated by Siobhan Barker
  • Access Needs: A conversation for all of us with Adam Grant Warren, Ladan Sahraei, and Siobhan Barker. Moderated by Amy Amantea
  • Performing Arts Town Hall on BC’s Restart Plan with Haley Miller, Project Director, Office of the Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health); Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health; Don Parman, Manager Performing Arts and Live Events, Actsafe Safety Association; and a representative from WorkSafeBC. Moderated by Kenji Maeda
  • The Future of Dramaturgy with Daniela Atiencia, Davey Samuel Calderon, Jessica Schacht, and Renae Morriseau
  • Theatre Marketing in the Digital World with Rick Chung and Sophia Cheng
  • Gesturing Beyond the House Modernity Built with Dr. Vanessa Andreotti and Azul Carolina Duque

Read session descriptions and review the schedule: 

Learn more about the speakers:

ASL interpretation and Zoom auto-captioning will be provided.

Eddy van Wyk (a.k.a xoma-leon phîlip babur)

BRAVE BODY (add-on workshop)

with Eddy van Wyk (a.k.a xoma-leon phîlip babur) 
Wednesday, June 23, 5:30–7:00pm
Additional $10.00 workshop fee; subsidies available
Limited space available. Requests for ASL interpretation for this workshop required by June 16.

Theatre is an action. It provokes, celebrates and disturbs stagnancy and destabilizes inefficient systems. The best theatre strikes a chord so deep, that we are compelled to burst free, bringing us to courage that changes lives beyond the moment. 
The theatre of fire, air, water, space and our earth each direct and become movement. Our bodies are made of these forces.

This workshop asks the human body to deliver itself to its embodiment. We bring ourselves into our heart when we can live in these bodies. Our personal theatre, our local theatre and global theatre needs our heart now and always. 

Participants of all abilities and levels are encouraged to show up desirous to be in the practise of embodiment, vulnerability, and bravery.

As this is a participatory workshop, participants of this session should be prepared to turn on their camera during the workshop. This session will not be recorded.


GVPTA is working to remove physical, social, and economic barriers to participation in our programs with an aim of making our activities accessible to all theatre artists and arts workers.

Registration covers all Forum sessions over three days with the exception of the add-on workshop BRAVE BODY (additional fee).

We are offering a sliding scale/variable pricing structure to accommodate a range of financial needs and reduce barriers to participation. Please select the option that you're comfortable paying.

Our hope is that those with the capacity to pay more will do so, and those that need to pay less based on their current circumstances and resources will feel welcome to do so.

Ticket price points are: $75 / $50 / $25 / $10 / Free. GST is applicable.

Visit our Making a Scene micro-site by clicking the button below for more details about sessions, presenters, and to register.

Learn More and Register

2021 Making a Scene Forum is supported by the following sponsors and funders:

Actsafe logo
Actsafe logo
BC Arts Council & Province of BC logo
City of Vancouver Cultural Services logo

Making a Scene Background

Since 2000, GVPTA has produced the annual Making a Scene conference, which has been essential to building and maintaining a community that fosters support, understanding and a common goal of strengthening the local theatre industry. Through presentations, working sessions and opportunities for social gathering, the conference has offered attendees the chance to delve into discussions with colleagues, friends and new acquaintances, all of whom are passionate about theatre.

Making a Scene typically happens each spring. Anyone who is interested about theatre and the performing arts is invited. Whatever your connection to theatre – on stage, back stage, or off stage – you are invited. Whether you are an arts administrator, thespian, artist of any kind, critic, technician, educator, theatre student, volunteer, or theatre enthusiast – you are ALL invited.
2019 Archive

2019 Making A Scene Conference Archive

Thank you to all of the conference delegates, presenters, panelists, moderators, facilitators, volunteers, programming partners, and supporters who joined us for GVPTA's 20th annual Making A Scene theatre conference! Over the course of three days, over 200 individuals from the theatre community took part in conference activities at SFU Woodward's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (May 28) and The Post at 750 (May 29 & 30).

Primary programming included a range of engaging, honest, and challenging panel discussions, presentations, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Many of you participated in conversations that were at times difficult, uncomfortable, and made you vulnerable, and we are grateful to all of those who took part and enabled these discussions to take place within a safe space. We look forward to continuing to work together with you all to explore these important issues further, and to support and strengthen our community and our sector. 

Standalone workshops on Intimacy Direction with Siobhan Richardson and Beginner's QLab at The Post at 750 were well-received, and we heard that many are interested in more of this type of professional development. 

Many thanks to all of those who attended our closing event Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party, presented in partnership with Rumble Theatre, Theatre Replacement, and SFU Library, to help create a time capsule for the performing arts that is now housed in SFU Library's Special Collections.

The 2019 event was co-hosted with SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs and sponsored by PACT, Front Row Insurance, and Ecclesiastical Insurance

We can't wait until next year's event! Have further feedback? Email Executive Director Kenji Maeda with your input. 

Conference Materials 

Kim Senklip Harvey's keynote helped set the tone for the conference and was one of the highlights of the event. Missed it, or want to review the content in its entirety? Kim has posted her full keynote to her blog here

A handout was provided at the panel "Working with Designers: Strengthening the Relationship Between Designers and Producers". Didn't get a copy? Download the Working With Designers Tips Sheet here

Check out some of the photos from the event at SFU Woodward's on our Facebook page (those images and the ones above credited to Alisha Weng), and while you're at it like our page so you view all of our news and updates in your Facebook feed. Do you have some great photos from the conference? Please share them and tag us on social media!

Primary Conference Programming

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | SFU Woodward's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

The conference kicked off with a keynote by director, playwright, and actor Kim Senklip Harvey from the Syilx, Tshilqot'in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations. Conference programming featured a diverse range of breakout sessions, workshops, and presentations, bringing up questions, conversations, and learning relevant for the theatre community. Check out the Programming page for full details. 

Following afternoon programming, appetizers were provided (courtesy of GVPTA) at the Charles Bar, prior to evening programming in the theatre. Yours, Mine, and Ours: Much Ado About Something (When Storytelling and Copyright Collide), was a panel discussion presented in partnership with Artists' Legal Outreach. Theatre artists Erin Pike and James Long (Theatre Replacement) were joined by lawyer Martha Rans and moderator Jivesh Parasram (Rumble Theatre) for a discussion on navigating art, copyright, and the threat of legal action. Free to delegates; tickets $10 for general public. See full details on the Programming page.

Special Activities & Add-On Conference Workshops

Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30, 2019 | The Post at 750

On May 29 and 30 we presented optional add-on workshops, including two Intimacy Direction Workshops with Siobhan Richardson (by application only; separate workshop registration required) and a Beginner's QLab Workshop (free to delegates; separate registration required. Limited space available). 

The conference closed with a wrap party on May 30, open to all; Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party was presented in partnership with Rumble Theatre, Theatre Replacement, and SFU. Free to attend. 

Intimacy Direction Workshop with Siobhan Richardson

Add-on / standalone workshops. Application required

Wednesday, May 29 - Directors & Choreographers 6-hour session (FULL); 9:30am–4:30pm; 1-hour lunch break on your own

Thursday, May 30 - Broadly open to directors (theatre, film & television), choreographers, actors, dancers, teachers 4-hour session; 9:30am–2:30pm; 1-hour lunch break on your own

We presented two Intimacy Direction workshops with Siobhan Richardson (with discounted rates for conference delegates). Participants gained a greater understanding of the role of an Intimacy Director and learned how to begin to incorporate best practices in rehearsal.

Beginner's QLab Workshop 

Add-on / standalone workshop

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 10:00am–12:00pm | The Post at 750

This interactive session introduced participants to the fundamentals of QLab software to run sound and video in theatre. Facilitators covered all the basic functions of the software, then create a showfile from scratch as they illustrate some of what is possible with this powerful tool. 

This beginner's workshop is ideal for anyone who is curious about the QLab software but hasn’t yet had the opportunity to try it or spend much time learning it.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own Apple Macbook with QLab 4 software installed (available for free download at and build the showfile along with facilitators, however computers are not required to participate in the workshop.

All theatre artists, including designers, directors, performers, stage managers and technical directors welcome.

Candelario Andrade, video designer 
Mishelle Cuttler, sound designer 

Workshop Fee:
Conference Delegate Rate: FREE (separate Eventbrite registration required). 
Standalone Workshop Rate: $20 
ADC / PGC / Equity / PACT / GVPTA Member Standalone Workshop Rate: $15
Limited to 20 participants. 

Not attending the conference? Limited space is available for non-conference delegates.

If cost is prohibitive, email to inquire about subsidy options.

Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party (Closing Event)

Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6:30–9:00pm (FREE)
The Post at 750

Performance is unique and ephemeral, to be experienced in the moment. But once it has passed, what remains? Many wish to retain some tangible trace of the experience, a narrative that serves as a memory of past events, an interpretation of what we’ve done and where we’ve been. What can we do with the material detritus that represents the path and process of our creative works, from initial idea to development to performance? The 2019 Making a Scene conference closed with snacks, drinks, and socializing, while creating a collective time capsule for the performing arts.
Following their successful event in 2018, Rumble Theatre and Theatre Replacement with Simon Fraser University partnered with GVPTA to present Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party. Celebrate, commemorate, and collectively tell the stories of our work, representing a moment in time and in the history of your organization. Share the traces of performances once present but now gone. 

Guided by Melissa Sarlin, Head of Special Collections and Rare Books at the SFU Library, members of the performing arts community were invited to create a paper trail contributing to a physical repository which will be incorporated into SFU’s Special Collections. As a group, we organized, structured, catalogued, and preserved detritus of past performances, celebrating our shared memories and our history.

In advance of this year’s event, Jiv Parasram, Artistic Director of Rumble Theatre, went to SFU's Special Collections to study the current Ephemera archive. You can read his thoughts and reflections on the 2018 collection, and his suggestions on how to frame the direction for this year’s gathering here.

As Jiv notes in his reflection, you can be part of the event by both being present and by bringing artefacts to the gathering: "[Bring] more artefacts. Things that speak to process by their existence. I’m also interested to see more artefacts that speak to what it is that’s most valued by artists – strange loaded items. So bring your process and creation bits, your weird thing kicking around your office that can provoke an imagined story; hell – bring your strategic plans and let’s see where we all think we’re headed. Bring your bad reviews. Please bring your bad reviews. We all have them. And beyond being hilarious in retrospect, they speak a lot about the landscape we’re creating in."