IMAGO Theatre’s Free Mentorship Program


Collective Empowerment through Theatrical Experimentation

ARTISTA is Imago Theatre’s free mentorship program for women and non-binary people, ages 16-21, with or without previous theatre training. This is ARTISTA’s 8th year and these sessions will be held in-person.

ARTISTA empowers participants to tell their own stories and share these stories with the world. Participants explore performance creation through theatrical experimentation under the mentorship of professional artists, with the objective of building independence and confidence in themselves and their artistic craftsmanship.

Imago Theatre’s supportive and brave learning environment encourages participants to develop self-confidence, artistic vocabulary, and gain a sense of community.

“I grew as an individual, as a friend and as an artist.” — Nerea Dezac, ARTISTA 2021

Each session is an opportunity for participants, mentors, and special guests – invited accomplished artists with diverse practices – to gather, share, discuss, and collectively turn their minds toward the world. In these sessions, participants bravely engage in creation workshops focusing on a variety of theatre practices. At the end of the sessions, there will be a public presentation of the outcome of the participants’ creations.

“It gave me a space to explore my voice.” — Delia Clark-Bautista, ARTISTA 2021

This year’s mentor team is Joy Ross-Jones (actor, creator, improviser), Gabe Maharjan (performance creator), Anne-Marie Saheb (actor), and Program Director Kathleen Stavert (actor).

Joy Ross-Jones is an actor, creator, improviser, and theatre facilitator from Venezuela and Canada, living in Montreal since 2006. Her university studies include McGill University and Concordia University were she studied as Theatre and Theatre for Social Change. Joy completed a Masters in Art Education at Concordia in 2018. She is proud to be an Associate Artist with Imago Theatre as Program Director of ARTISTA, Imago’s free theatre mentorship program for young women. She performs regularly with improv troupe, Colour Outside the Lines, and delights in practicing Pochenko clown and performing bouffon (grotesque clown). Recent theatre credits include Don’t Read the Comments (Sarah Segal-Lazar, Semo Scomber – Segal Centre Award Winner), Thy Women’s Weeds by Erin Shields (staged reading, Repercussion Theatre), and Elsewhere (Odd Stumble, Segal Centre Award Winner), which was presented by Imago Theatre at the Centaur Theatre in January 2019.

Gabe Maharjan is a multi-disciplinary performance creator born and raised in Tio’tià:ke/Montréal. As a co-founder of bigT, Gabe creates socially engaged work focused on trans/GNC narratives. They’ve developed an interest in governance while chairing QDF’s advocacy committee, and they recently stepped up as co-president of the board. Gabe has worked on stages across the country; credits include Centaur’s upcoming All I Want for Christmas, Theaturtle’s touring solo-show Alphonse in the Park, Sermo Scomber’s award-winning bouffon clown show Don’t Read the Comments, and Cabal’s fully immersive La Somnambule (META nominated – Lead Performance). You can catch them in Mattias Graham’s new short film Bleach, and their voice can be heard on Netflix and Ubisoft projects. Gabe co-created E-TRANSFERS as part of the Buddies ECU; their play, Eva in Rio, was shortlisted for the 2020 PGC Emerging Playwright Award; and they recently published Our Tree as part of Centaur/Boca del Lupo’s P2P@H series. This spring, Geordie Theatre will be premiering Gabe’s adaptation of Kai Cheng Thom’s popular Canadian children’s book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea.

Anne-Marie Saheb is French-Canadian-Egyptian, having learned English and Spanish while living in Honduras. Since graduating the Dawson College Professional Theatre Program, she has performed in over 60 theatre, film and television productions in both English and French. Most recently seen at Hudson Village Theatre in Strawberries In January by Evelyne de la Chenelière, translated by Morwyn Brebner and directed by Dean Patrick Fleming; she was also heard during Imago Theatre’s Tuning In broadcast of 3 new Canadian plays including Scout’s Honour by Amy Lee Lavoie, directed by Micheline Chevrier and Alessandra Tom; toured Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare-In-The-Park production of Measure for Measure, directed by Amanda Kellock; and played in Centaur’s The Last Wife written by Kate Hennig, directed by Eda Holmes, for which Anne-Marie received a 2019 META nomination for Outstanding Supporting Performance. Having been part of Black Theatre Workshop’s 2015-2016 Artist Mentorship Program, Anne-Marie is thrilled to be joining Imago’s Artista family and working with this crew of artists, both emerging and established.

Kathleen Stavert is a bilingual actor based in Montreal. She is active in theatre, film/tv and voice. Kathleen holds an M.A. in Classical Acting from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK as well as B.F.A. Specialization in Theatre Performance from Concordia University. You can catch her as a regular character this spring in the TV series Le Temps des Framboises directed by Philipe Falardeau and written by Florence Longpré. In recent years she has appeared on CBC Gem,, TV shows such as Toute la Vie (, Fatal Vows (CMJ) and Broken Trust (Investigation Discovery channel) and numerous TV ads, as well as short and feature films such as the Oscar nominated film Arrival (Denis Villeneuve). She is a familiar voice in radio advertisements and videogames. In London she won the UK Monologue Slam L.A. edition for her performance in a self-penned monologue entitled The Fernsdale Wyoming Spelling Bee Competition and was flown to LA and caught the attention of casting directors and management there. Selected theatre credits include Imago Theatre’s production of Other People’s Children (Imago Theatre, Centaur Theatre) directed by Micheline Chevrier and written by Hanna Moscovitch. Clean Slate directed by Leslie Baker (Talisman Theatre), Me & You (Talisman Theatre). In Europe she completed the Austrian tour of Molière’s L’École Des Femmes (Vienna’s English Theatre), and played the role of Imogen in Cymbeline (Les Foules, UK).

Dates and Locations
Time: Mondays, 5:00pm-9:00pm
Dates: January – May 2022 (15 sessions in total)
Location: Centre Culturel Georges Vanier, 2450 Rue Workman, Montréal

Eligibility and How To Apply
To be eligible to participate in ARTISTA, applicants must be between the ages of 16 to 21 and residing within Montreal. This is a program for women and non-binary people, who are comfortable in a space that centres the experiences of women. ARTISTA is committed to keeping participants and mentors safe throughout by strictly abiding by sanitary rules and regulations due to Covid-19. A vaccination passport is required.

Interested parties can submit their application at before January 3, 2022.

ARTISTA is 100% free to participants because Imago Theatre believes that theatre should be accessible to everyone.

The program costs up to $2000 per participant and donations will go directly towards the fees that make ARTISTA powerful, engaging, and beneficial to the participants in ways such as: working with our mentors and invited guest artists, attending performances, and having a free meal at each session.

Help them reach the fundraising goal of $7000 by January 31, 2022 by donating at

Imago Theatre is a catalyst for conversation, an advocate for equal representation, and a hub for stories about unstoppable women.

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