The SExT Creatives:
A group of professionals dedicated to the project
Creator, Facilitator, and Director
Shira Taylor is a performer, director, producer, and doctoral candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. For her dissertation, she is exploring the use of theatre for sexual health education among youth in a priority area of Toronto. At Queen’s University, she performed in and later co-directed the social action theatre program Existere, performed for incoming students at Queen’s by their peers, to educate them in a creative and engaging manner concerning the wide-ranging issues facing university students. Shira was commissioned by the Dean of Student Affairs to co-found and co-direct Excetera, an extension of Existere that engages Queen’s students throughout the entire academic year. Shira ran the drama program at Camp B’nai Brith Ottawa for two summers with youth aged 6-16. She also and worked as a “Sexpert” at Kingston’s Sexual Health Resource Centre. Shira has produced/directed/choreographed and performed in a large scale flash mob and video for World AIDS day at Dundas Square in Toronto, for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and the CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention (SRC). Shira worked in the North West Territories this past summer as Evaluator and Drama Facilitator with arts-based sex ed non-profit FOXY. She performs with the multiple award winning theatre company Shakey-Shake and Friends, which uses puppets and popular culture references to make Shakespeare accessible to young audiences. Shira is a CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention Trainee, and is working as the research coordinator for SickKids on the cross-Canada Arts for Social Change (ASC!) project, working closely with professional artists and change-makers across the country to further the use of the arts in social justice agendas.
Photo credit Michael Cooper
Creative Facilitator & Blog Editor
Elena is an award-winning actress and singer for film, TV, and stage. She played the role of Nicola in Mirvish's Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra Theatre and also played Dr. Scarlet McWhinnie on Open Heart which aired on YTV, TeenNick, ABC Spark, and Netflix International. Other stage credits include understudying Éponine in Les Misérables (Mirvish) and leading roles in I Love You Because, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Vancouver Playhouse - Jessie Award for Best Actress), Miss Saigon (Drayton), and Snow White and the Group of Seven (Dora Nomination - Best Actress) among other shows across the country. Elena is also a singer-songwriter that released her debut album Beyond This Line on International Women’s Day last year. Elena attended Queen's University and graduated with B.A.H. in Drama and Women's Studies. Elena is thrilled to be involved in the creative process with such a talented and empowering group of performers who are changing the world every day through “SExT” and to mentor budding writers via the SExT blog. Special thanks to my wifey, Shira, for having me on board this important and exciting project!
Instagram & Twitter: @elenajuatco
Instagram & Twitter: @elenajuatco
Sarah Bruckschwaiger - Website Design
Sarah is an award winning director, writer, academic, and educator who has toured shows nationally and abroad, working with diverse companies from various countries. She received her Masters in Drama from the University of Toronto and will receive her Bachelor of Education from York University this spring. Her areas of interest include Solo Audience Member Theatre (theatre with just one audience member!) and children's theatre, including years of work with the multi-award-winning puppet Shakespeare company for young audiences, Shakey Shake and Friends. She is excited to be a part of the SExT team, a company dedicated to arts-based education, with accessibility and equity at the core of its mandate. Congratulations to our incredible youth performers whose passion and bravery make all of this possible!
Debora is a voice/text coach, singing teacher, actor, singer, and director. She has been a member of Canadian Actor’s Equity(CAEA) and Actra for many years. As a voice coach, she has worked on over 60 plays, including productions at the George Brown Theatre School, Theatre by the Bay(Barrie) and with Pamela Sinha’s Dora award-winning show, Crash. She has also taught voice workshops for Soulpepper, Elevated Grounds, and with Workman Arts, a not-for-profit arts company working in partnership with the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health. A Tyrone Guthrie award winner, Debora spent many seasons performing at the Stratford Festival and toured with the company to Broadway and the Old Vic in London, England. She has directed and acted in many professional productions across Canada, and continues to love every second of it! “Huge thanks to Nicole Buscema and Shira Taylor for inviting me to work with this brave and talented company!”