Chris Tolley & Laura Mullin
Chris Tolley is a writer, director and producer, and the Co-Artistic Director of Expect Theatre. After graduating from York University he teamed up with Laura Mullin, and together they have created award-winning multi-disciplinary productions that have toured across Canada and the US.
Chris’ work has been nominated for five Dora Awards in the General Theatre category, and has been shortlisted twice for the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards. In 2006 both Chis and Laura won Harbourfront Centre’s inaugural FreshGround commissioning award.
His most notable works include Romeo/Juliet REMIXED (Toronto and Philadelphia), STATIC (World Stage Festival) and AWAKE (Next Stage Festival). Other work with Mullin include the CBC Radio drama, The Tunnel Runners, and the short film, AWAKE.
Most recently, Chris and Laura launched PlayME, a national digital theatre dedicated to producing Canada’s most innovative theatre works distributed globally via podcasts.
Outside of theatre, Chris is also very active in national politics. In 2015, Chris ran in the federal election as the Green Party’s candidate in Toronto-Danforth, advocating for the cultural issues he is passionate about. His campaign resulted in the best showing for the Green Party in the GTA and surrounding area, and was recognized as one of the strongest campaigns run nationally.
Laura Mullin is a playwright, director and producer, and the Co-Artistic Director of Expect Theatre and The Spark Collective. She graduated from York University with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre before forming Expect and Spark with Chris Tolley. She has created and produced several highly acclaimed productions with Tolley that have toured nationally and internationally.
Selected writing and directing credits: Romeo/Juliet Remixed (5 Dora award nominations, winner of Outstanding Choreography), EXPECT/ Spark; Tunnel Runners, CBC Radio; STATIC, Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage Festival; AWAKE, Next Stage Festival; AWAKE The Short Film; Rapid Eye Movement & To The Kid That I was, Nuit Blanche; One Sleepless Night, International Festival of Authors; Allowance (in development); Burusera, Watermark Theatre (national 21 city tour & to be published in the Playwright’s Guild Short Play Anthology); History of Visual Sources (short story).
Awards & Commissions: Toronto Arts Foundation Award (short listed 2009 & 2013); Harbourfront Centre’s inaugural Fresh Ground Commissioning Award; Dora Award nomination for Outstanding Production for Romeo / Juliet Remixed (General Theatre category), Ontario Arts Council’s Creator’s Reserve from Nightwood Theatre (2013) and Crow’s Theatre (2015) for Allowance, Watermark Theatre Commission of Burusera for Canada 300’s national tour (2015).
Roshanak Jaberi is an independent multi-disciplinary performer, choreographer and producer, and a graduate of York University with an honours degree in music. She joined Expect Theatre in 2009, working on some of the company’s most notable projects. She is currently a member of the Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee and the Canadian Dance Assembly Pluralism Committee, and has served as a juror with the Canadian Dora Awards and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2013, Roshanak was shortlisted as a top three finalist for the Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards. She has been an invited panelist and moderator for various conferences and events such as: the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) in Toronto, The Dance Debates: Choreographing Our Future by the Toronto Arts Council, and the annual on the MOVE Dance Conference. She has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and is former co-host of Evi-Dance Radio. Her choreographic work has been supported by all three arts councils; and has been presented in Canada, US and Europe.