fbpx

Staff

12 ALEXANDER STREET
TORONTO
M4Y 1B4

Box Office: 416-975-8555

BOX OFFICE HOURS

Thursday-Saturday
1-6PM

OFFICE HOURS

The administrative office is open 10AM-6PM, with some staff working remotely or at different hours. You can always reach us by e-mail at the contacts below.

QUICK CONTACTS

VOLUNTEERING
volunteer@buddiesinbadtimes.com

BOX OFFICE
tickets@buddiesinbadtimes.com

RENTAL INQUIRIES
rentals@buddiesinbadtimes.com

MEDIA REQUESTS
press@buddiesinbadtimes.com

STAFF

TED WITZEL // ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Get in touch

ERUM KHAN // ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE
Get in touch

KRISTINA LEMIEUX // INTERIM DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
kristina@buddiesinbadtimes.com

AIDAN MORISHITA-MIKI //  PRODUCER
aidan@buddiesinbadtimes.com

CONRAD MCLAREN // TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
conrad@buddiesinbadtimes.com

REBECCA VANDEVELDE // PRODUCTION MANAGER
rebecca@buddiesinbadtimes.com

KATHERINE TEED-ARTHUR // RENTALS COORDINATOR
katherine@buddiesinbadtimes.com

AL THOMAS-HALL // TALLULAH’S CABARET MANAGER
al@buddiesinbadtimes.com

PAUL THERRIEN // FACILITY MANAGER
paul@buddiesinbadtimes.com

MASON MCDONALD, SASKIA MULLER &  SEBASTIAN URMOM// HOSTING LEADS
mason@buddiesinbadtimes.com  saskia@buddiesinbadtimes.com

AIDAN McKENDRICK // HEAD OF SECURITY
aidan.mckendrick@buddiesinbadtimes.com

STEPHEN JACKMAN-TORKOFF // EMERGING CREATORS UNIT DIRECTOR
ecu@buddiesinbadtimes.com

JACOB LIN 林鴻恩 // COMMUNITY & EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING PRODUCER
jacob@buddiesinbadtimes.com

LEZLIE LEE KAM & USMAN KHAN // YOUTH/ELDERS FACILITATORS

BOX OFFICE + FRONT-OF-HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES
IFETAYO ALABI, CAMILLE MANKUMAH, NETA ROSE, SARAH ROWE,  MAIREAD STEWART, DIVINE MARKS-OWUSU, MACKENZIE MCCALLUM & DANNY SYLVAN

BAR PERSONNEL
RICHARD BELL, CHARLEE BOYES, ANDREW DESABRAIS, VISHMAYAA JEYAMOORTHY, RONNIE LÉGÈRE, DANIEL ROJAS, NETA ROSE + DANIEL HOANG

 

Ted has short blonde hair and wears a white tank top. His arms are wrapped below his chest. He has a long chain necklace, and a watch on one wrist and a pink bracelet on the other.
Artistic Director

ted witzel

Erum stands in front some shrubs and trees. She has short white hair, with dark roots, and wears a denim vest over a grey hoodie, with her hands in her pockets.
Artistic Associate

Erum Khan

Kristina stands against a grey wall looking to the right of the frame, with her hands by her sides. She wears a dark grey shirt with wide sleeves, and a red skirt.
Interim Director of Operations

Kristina Lemieux

Ludmylla wears a black shirt and pants and stands with one leg up on a stepping stool.
Rhubarb Festival Director

Ludmylla Reis

Aidan sitting outside on a bench wearing a pink shirt and holding a plant
Producer

Aidan Morishita-Miki

Headshot of Conrad Shead outside with a brick graphic wall behind him
Technical Director

Conrad McLaren

Headshot of Rebecca Vandevelde wearing a jean jacket with red lipstick and green hair streaks
Production Manager

Rebecca Vandevelde

headshot image of katherine. katherine is wearing a yellow bandana and black sleeveless turtleneck.
Rentals Coordinator

Katherine Teed-Arthur

Al is standing in a park, with grass and trees behind them. They wear sunglasses, a t-shirt, and a vest, with a fan unfolded in front of them. The fan reads "Shady Queen"
Tallulah's Cabaret Manager

Al Thomas-Hall

Paul Therrien outside wearing a construction safety hat and smiling in front of a construction site
Facility Manager

Paul Therrien

Stephen stand in a window sill with their arms at their sides. They wear a blue and black colour-blocked sweater, and jeans rolled at the cuffs. Behind and around them are streamers and balloon in different colours that say “Happy Birthday”
Emerging Creators Unit Director

Stephen Jackman-Torkoff

Headshot of Jacob Lin wearing Black sweater
Community & Educational Programming Producer

Jacob Lin 林鴻恩

Artistic Director

ted witzel

ted witzel (he/him) is a queer theatre-maker and artistic leader from toronto / tkaròn:to. primarily a director, ted is also variously a dramaturg, curator, teacher, writer, translator, designer, and performer. he has worked with theatres and cultural organizations across canada, the uk, germany, and italy.

fusing high-octane performance, rigorous dramaturgy, digital aesthetics, and poetic text, ted’s directing is located at the intersection between the personal and the political, and the (visceral, emotional, intellectual) frictions between them. 

ted was a guest curator for the 2023 edition of the summerworks festival and is a member of the theatre committee at the toronto arts council. he recently completed a four-year tenure as artistic associate and laboratory director at the stratford festival, where he oversaw the company’s research and development programs. these included a broad portfolio of new works in development, equity-focused systems change, artist residencies, and a collection of artistic explorations and programs that aim to help imagine the future orientation of the company.

ted holds a masters of arts management from SDA bocconi and an MFA in directing from york university and canadian stage. in 2018, he was selected as an artistic leadership resident at the national theatre school, and was a member of the banff centre’s 2019 cultural leadership cohort. he has been artist-in-residence at harbourfront centre, buddies in bad times (toronto) and institut für alles mögliche (berlin). ted also runs a project-based theatre company called the red light district. 

Artistic Associate

Erum Khan

Erum Khan (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist, infamously known for her devotion to cats despite her allergies. She was a recent recipient of the Urjo Kareda Research grant from Tarragon Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Queer Emerging Artist Award, and a selected artist for the inaugural edition of the Loughborough Lake Writer’s Retreat with Crow’s Theatre and Mongrel Media. She is a performer, film and theatre maker, youth facilitator, and film programmer. Her short films have premiered at The Toronto Queer Film Festival, Breakthroughs Festival, The Toronto Independent Film Festival and The Rendezvous With Madness Festival. She was a playwright with Nightwood Theatre’s Write From The Hip program, a co-facilitator of the TD Emerging Creators Unit at Paprika, as well as recently leading the Emerging Creators Unit & Emerging Artist Producers Series at Buddies. You can read more about her work here erumkhan.ca

Interim Director of Operations

Kristina Lemieux

Kristina Lemieux (she/her) is a contemporary dancer and accomplished arts manager with more than 20 years of professional experience across Canada. In all that she does, Kristina works to support independent artists across performing disciplines in finding ways to make art outside of the currently prescribed modes.

Raised in Treaty 6 territory (rural Alberta), Kristina graduated from the University of Alberta and has lived, worked, and played across Canada from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and most recently, Saint John. Her passion for the arts has driven collaboration, creation, and innovation in the national arts scene for over a decade. In 2016, Kristina made a move to Toronto to take on the role of Lead Producer of Generator. In her five years in this leadership role, Kristina coached over 100 artist-producers to strengthen their producing and financial acumen.

She is now based out of Saint John, New Brunswick, on the unceded traditional territory of Wolastogiyik, Mi’Kmaq, and Peskotomuhkati.

Rhubarb Festival Director

Ludmylla Reis

Ludmylla Reis ( they/them ) is a cultural leader, a theatre director, a filmmaker, a curator, and a producer with a BFA in acting and an MFA in directing, as well as an independent career in project management and cultural studies.

In Leadership, they have completed their Metcalf Foundation Internship with GCTC, NAC, and Black Theatre Workshop; they have been the Co-Artistic Producer at TACTICS and the Member & Organizations Liaison at DARC – Ottawa’s Media Arts Center. Currently, they are the Artistic Associate at Ottawa’s experimental lab, Theatre 4.669 and now the Festival Director at Buddies’ Rhubarb!

In Theatre, they are a Director, a Stratford’s Langham Workshop Alumni, a Cultural Dramaturg, a Deviser, and a Professor, having taught at uOttawa’s BFA for Acting and Scene Study classes.

Twice nominated for the Pauline McGibbons award as an Emerging Director, and Best Emerging BIPOC artist for the Ottawa Arts Council, they have received Awards from Ottawa Fringe for New Works and Prix Rideau for Best Directing.

In film, their first short film, Away, is currently being distributed at CFMDC and has been screened in Canada and abroad, receiving awards such as Best Cinematography. Ludmylla has also worked with the Mirror Mountain Film Festival as a jury member and is an alumnus of the WIFT-TO Mentorship program.

From Pindorama to Turtle Island, they are grateful to work in collective arts, as one can only see a corner of life alone.

Producer

Aidan Morishita-Miki

Aidan (he/him) is an arts administrator, stage manager, and plant dad. He’s worked in various capacities with companies including Red Dress Productions, Boys in Chairs Collective, Re:Current Theatre, Ars Mechanica, Hart House Theatre, and SummerWorks. Recently he also worked as a managing producer for FIXT POINT Arts and Media, coordinating various aspects of the company’s The Tale of a Town project. He started volunteering at Buddies in 2012 and has stuck around since.

What’s your favourite spot in the city?
There are lots but one is the east side of Riverdale Park up on Broadview. It’s been the site of first dates, a last date, and I also got baptized on the church at the top of the hill. Riverdale’s where my dad’s family first lived when they moved to Toronto, so it’s got a special place in my heart. It’s also one of the best views of the city skyline. Honourable mentions go to the capybara pen at High Park Zoo and Nirvana (RIP) at College and Bathurst.

What’s your earliest memory of Buddies
I think the first time I came to Buddies was at a club night as a hardly-out gay in my undergrads, with a couple of girls I was in a musical with. Mostly what I remember is that partway through the night, they asked me to point out “the type of guy I was into”. I pointed out a tall, handsome guy, and before I knew it they had brought him over to me. I was mortified. I don’t think I went back to Buddies as a club until after I started working here.

Email:aidan@buddiesinbadtimes.com

416-975-9130:ext. 40

Technical Director

Conrad McLaren

Conrad McLaren (he/they) is a queer theatre artist with a focus on the technical and logistical side of the creative process. They are starting their first season at Buddies at the beginning of the 22/23 season. He is responsible for the technical aspects, limitations, and coordination of production components within the main theatre space. They are a multi talented troubleshooter, tinkerer and locator of lost items. He has been actively reconnecting with his culture and relatives here in Canada, after living in the United States (Tucson and Chicago) for 14 years.

What’s a treasured queer artifact of yours?
My most treasured artifact is a book I received as a high school student from one of my extracurricular activities teacher. The Book is a first edition copy of The Color Purple By Alice Walker from 1982. I was 16 when I received this well read and worn copy. I have read it every few years as a reminder of the happy ending and the found family that was fostered within its pages. 

What’s your favourite spot in the city?
My favourite places always exist with context, vibes, and company. I have never had a favourite spot. I have been to too many places in the world and in this city to rank which spot in the city is my favourite. However I have spots that I love to go to at certain times of day and year. Trinity Bellwoods Park and High Park in autumn, during the early morning hours, when the sun changes the sky into an unimaginable array of colours that contrast with the different colours of the foliage. Kensington market before noon, anytime of year. The Lakefront on a winter’s day, clear skies, the snow and ice particles blowing over the frozen lake, my breath freezing on my eyelashes obscuring my view. 

Email:conrad@buddiesinbadtimes.com

416-975-9130:ext. 70

Production Manager

Rebecca Vandevelde

Rebecca Vandevelde (she/they) is an arts worker based in Toronto; working as a freelance lighting designer and production manager; often taking small indie shows on tour; and sometimes making/curating events, spaces and installation-based experiments with Art is Hard. Rebecca is a member of Means of Production, a collective of Production Managers and Technical Directors. Some highlights include: lighting/touring for Pandemic x Rumble x Theatre Passe Muraille Take D Milk, Nah?, PM/producer for Suvendrini Lena’s Theatre Centre Residency Project Here Are The Fragments., PM for Soundstreams x Signal Two Odysseys, lighting for Aluna Solitudes; PM/SM/touring for Quote Unquote x Why Not Theatre Mouthpiece; curator/lead artist for Theatre Passe Muraille’s Crapshoot Series; PM for the Fringe and Next Stage Theatre Festivals

Rentals Coordinator

Katherine Teed-Arthur

Katherine (she/her) is a theatre artist, producer, and administrator with experience as a performer, projection designer, playwright, and technician. Recent productions include Dead Name Theatre’s Into The Woods, and Friendly Bear Theatre’s Joan / Jehanne. She is also an alumni of the 2022-23 cohort of Nightwood Innovators. When she is not working, Katherine is usually singing show tunes, writing about vampires, and playing with her cat, Thesis.

What’s your earliest memory of Buddies?
I first found Buddies while planning to move back to the city. I was so excited to find out that there was a queer theatre with a deep history and I knew when I moved back that I wanted to find out more and see if I could get involved. I first worked here as a technician in March of 2022 and it was immediately one of my favourite places to work.

What’s your favourite spot in the city? 
Christie Pits – in the summer there’s an outdoor film festival, in the winter there’s sledding, in the fall there’s amazing leaves, and in the spring pretty flowers. It’s an all season spot with plenty of food and coffee and bookstores and other stuff nearby!

Tallulah's Cabaret Manager

Al Thomas-Hall

Al/Alison (they/any) is an interdisciplinary writer, designer, and artist based in Toronto. In 2022, they had the pleasure of sound designing two original musicals, Killing Time: A Gameshow Musical & Perfect Bowl of Pho and stage managing for the Just For Laughs comedy festival. They’re now excited to be creating and facilitating the boundary pushing of queer spaces today. They love working with new and emerging artists as well as getting to know all players, big and small, in Toronto’s queer performing arts scene.

What’s a treasured queer artifact of yours?

My most treasured queer artifacts are the ones I’ve inherited from queer elders from various aspects and times of my life. Over the years I’ve been extremely fortunate to inherit a small collection but my favourite has to be the pottery tools. I was lucky growing up that my parents’ social circle included a number of lesbian couples. The closest pair of whom I was the flower girl for their wedding in the early 2000s. Linda was a fellow non-profit/arts worker and lifelong potter and I was lucky to have her influence in my life in any capacity. When she died in 2019, her loss was felt by an entire community. I was incredibly lucky to inherit her personal pottery tools which I still use to this day. I like to think that they allow her to continue to influence me and my practice.

Who is one of your queer icons/heroes?

One of my biggest queer icons currently is Tanya Saunders, the woman who originally opened the cubby hole, a lesbian bar in New York. The story goes that her family fled nazi Germany and settled in New York in the thirties. Since it wasn’t safe to be out, she lived with her wife across the hall from a couple of gay men. They would switch apartments and partners whenever family or visitors came by. In the eighties she eventually went on to open this bar, creating the safe space she was missing and extending it to everyone she could. She was known for regularly buying pizza for her patrons and intentionally connecting new community members with elders, connections that are vital to the survival of our communities.

Facility Manager

Paul Therrien

Paul is a freelance musician, playing drums and percussion as an accompanist. With the advent of MP3’s, file sharing and the demise of CDs, he continues to play part time, but has shifted into work in building renovations, expanded into building technologies via George Brown College training and then into property management. He has spent the last fifteen years at Artscape supporting over a thousand artists by providing them with safe and affordable housing and creative spaces. Paul does volunteer work for some local Tenant Advocacy groups and, as a hobby, does tropical plant maintenance for himself and friends.

Emerging Creators Unit Director

Stephen Jackman-Torkoff

Stephen (they/them) is a wandering poet , travelling painter and a lover. They create poetic dreamscape odysseys and perform them in places big and small; From large theatres to living rooms. Stephen has acted in several productions including Fifteen Dogs at Crow’s Theatre, Trout Stanley at Factory theatre and as Richard in Richard II at the Stratford Festival. They are one of the creator/performers of Black Boys which premiered at Buddies in 2016 and then commenced a national tour. Stephen believes in you.

Community & Educational Programming Producer

Jacob Lin 林鴻恩

Jacob Lin 林鴻恩 (he/him) is a Taiwanese-Canadian theatre artist based in the Tkaronto Area. He specializes in Playwriting, Sound / Lighting Design and Producing. Jacob is an alumni of both the Foundry and Foremen at Factory Theatre, the Kitchen Creators Unit at fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre and TENT at Toronto Fringe. He has also worked with theatre companies such as Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Paprika Festival, Toronto Fringe, Crow’s Theatre, Aluna Theatre and Cahoots Theatre. Some credits include: Post-Democracy (Tarragon Theatre), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Crow’s Theatre) and Cast Iron (Factory Theatre). When Jacob is not working he enjoys finding space for new plants in his small room!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

board@buddiesinbadtimes.com

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Alexander Hutchison (Treasurer)

Alexander began his career in finance as a proprietary trader for a small hedge fund in Montreal, eventually moving to Toronto to work as a private wealth sales associate for one of the largest stockbrokers in Canada. He made the transition to a family office with the Blair + Adrian Wealth Advisory Team, where he specialized in insurance and financial planning. Most recently, Alexander became a Registered Retirement Consultant through the CIFP Retirement Institute so he can continue helping families achieve their financial goals. Additionally, Alexander runs a benefit consultancy firm called Growth Benefits Partners. Through this firm, he helps small and medium sized businesses attract and retain top talent in a tax effective manner.

Michael Man

Michael Man is a theatre artist with experience in arts administration. He served as the Business Manager of fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre company during which time he oversaw the co-production of a Canadian premiere presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, featuring cast and creatives of East Asian Canadian artists. As an actor, Michael performs on stage including three seasons at the Shaw Festival, Grand Theatre, Magnus Theatre, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Company, and Canadian Stage, with workshops at Soulpepper Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Gateway Theatre, and the Stratford Festival. Michael creates new works, most recently with ESP-I Performing Arts Group in Taiwan with an interdisciplinary collective with artists based in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan centering queer East Asian male experiences. He is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School and Queen’s University School of Business.

Sedina Fiati

Sedina Fiati is a multi award winning Toronto based performer, producer, director, creator and activist for stage and screen. Proudly Black, queer and femme, Sedina is deeply invested in artistic work that explores the intersection between art and activism, either in form or structure or ideally both. Sedina is the proud co-founder and Lead Producer of the Black Pledge – an initiative to dismantle anti-Black racism in live performance and also completed 3 years as Artist-Activist in Residence at Nightwood Theatre and 3 years at Generator, facilitating the Artist Producer Training Program. 

Alex Rand

Alex Rand is a curator and producer of events, performances, and public art, and is currently the Manager of Programming at The Bentway. From 2017 – 2022, he was the Producer, Artistic Programs at Luminato Festival Toronto, and in 2017, he was an Artistic Director of An Honest Farewell, the multidisciplinary festival, party, and community platform celebrating the legacy of Honest Ed’s. From 2010 – 2016, Alex was based in London, UK, where he had the opportunity to work as both as an artist and arts manager with organizations such as the Barbican Centre, National Theatre, VAULT Festival, and Ovalhouse, among others. Additionally, Alex and his husband, Craig Ruttan, are co-owners in a community-driven, co-housing project in Bloordale Village with four other civic leaders working across politics, education, and the arts. 

Anu Radha Verma

bio to come

Jesse Griffiths

Jesse is a Toronto-based casting director with a diverse portfolio spanning film, TV, video games, and theatre. His focus is, and will always be, to push for more inclusion and diversity in the casting process. He has been a guest lecturer and teacher at various training facilities and universities, he leads a monthly workshop for Toronto’s BIPOC community and is a mentor at the Canadian Film Centre. He is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA), serves on the Executive for the Casting Director’s Society of Canada (CDC), and is on the professional advisory committee for Seneca College, George Brown College, and Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). He is a graduate of TMU with a BFA in Theatre Performance. @jessegriffithscasting

Alexander Street Theatre Project

Alexander Hutchison (Treasurer)
Michael Man
Anu Radha Verma