Artist Announcement: 2020 Emerging Creators Unit

We’re thrilled to be partnering again this year with b current performing arts for this year’s emerging creators unit, helmed by Catherine Hernandez. Our 2020 ECU Participants are Rochelle R, and Merlin Simard & Gabe Maharjan. Learn more about the Emerging Creators Unit here and look out for showing of their work at our 2020 Queer Pride Festival.

Rochelle R

Rochelle R is a theatre artist; Playwright, Director, and Performer, based in Toronto. She studied theatre at the University of Guelph, in addition, she participated in Nightwood Theatre’s Young Innovators Program and b current’s bcHUB. Rochelle just finished an internship with Piece of Mine Arts in participation with dance Immersion’s Legacy Leaders program.  She has also been a participant of Pat the Dog Theatre Creation and Sonderlust Theatre Collective’s Women’s Room for emerging playwrights. Rochelle is trained in burlesque and is currently exploring the use of magic-realism in the development of performance. Particularly delving into subjects pertaining to race/cultural identity, sexuality, gender, social change, and fantasy.


Merlin Simard & Gabe Maharjan

Merlin Simard is a bilingual (French/English), queer, non-binary/transfeminine (they/them) performer, playwright, and dramaturg originally from Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal) now based in Tkaronto (Toronto). Select theatre performance credits: The Flick (Crow’s Theatre/Outside The March), TapeEscape (Outside The March), FEAR OF MEN ((Staged Reading) Assembly Theatre) and Gruesome Playground Injuries (Playground Productions) TV/Film: Grand Army (Netflix), This Life (CBC) Playwriting: FEAR OF MEN (in development at Theatre Passe-Muraille). Merlin is so grateful to have a platform to share TGNC stories and for the privilege to create them with Gabe, Catherine and the rest of the ECU at Buddies In Bad Times.

Gabe Maharjan (they/them) is a performer and playwright. Having grown up in Tiotiá:ke/Montréal, they are an alumnus of the Dome, Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program, and Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators Unit. Gabe’s play Eva in Rio was developed with support from Playwrights’, Centaur Theatre, and Montréal Arts Interculturels. They are currently developing an adaptation of Siddhartha in residence at Imago Theatre, a TYA adaptation for Geordie Theatre, and taking part in the Playwrights’ Translation Mentorship. They are extremely excited to begin working in Tkaronto/Toronto with Merlin, Catherine, and the rest of the unit at Buddies. A selection of their performance credits include Robin in Cabal’s La Somnambule (META nominated for Outstanding Lead Performance), Jayne in Rhiannon Collett’s WASP (presented at the 40th Rhubarb Festival), Haemon in Raise the Stakes’ Antigone, and Tripp in Sermo Scomber’s Don’t Read the Comments. For more on Gabe visit gabemaharjan.com