• Let Us Introduce Ourselves

    Shadowpath Theatre Productions is a charitable organization and professional theatre company located in York Region, Ontario, Canada. We create new works in everyday site-specific spaces. This empowers us to deliver the performing arts in new ways for underserved communities.

  • What's Happening

    Industry SLAM Session

    June 24th, 8pm

    Featuring Trey Anthony!

    Shadowpath has held Industry Sessions with female-identifying arts leaders who are calling the shots, making decisions and pushing back against Canada’s gender parity issue.


    SLAM stands for She Leads an Arts Movement.


    A panel takes turns asking the SLAM’er one question about her art.


    Supported by the YEDI Micro Grant Program.



    APPLY to be on our panel

    Shadowpath Summer Skool

    Aug 10th - 16th

    8 minute daily express sessions

    culminating in an end-of-the-week Masterclass.

    Fine-tune your creative capabilities with daily artistic rituals and lead a lifestyle of inspiration, imagination & instigation!

    Heart Your Art!



    Summer 2020

    A new play that illuminates the journey of at-risk youth. In collaboration with a youth at 360 KIDS, Apartmental highlights issues that are often kept quiet behind closed doors.

    Supported by the York Region Arts Council's Micro Grant Program.




    Summer 2020

    Shadowpath seeks to build its roster of performers with an array of various upcoming performance opportunities. We PAY all performers and are ideally looking for those with ties to the York Region community.



    Play Reading Club

    June 28th, 5pm - Virtual Confab

    Shadowpath invites the public to read along as we unearth classical works from the 11th century to 1950. Share your thoughts as we select scripts to be featured at Shadowpath's 2021 festival of unknown classical plays:

    Theatre Out Of The Shadows

    Members read the plays AHEAD of time and join online to discuss the scripts.

    NOTE: We are NOT reading the plays together online.

    Supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

  • The Script Selection Committee

    Meet the team curating Theatre Out Of The Shadows

    A Festival of Unknown Classical Plays

    Coming Spring 2021

    Alex Karolyi

    Alex began as a performer training at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, York University and then the Randolph Academy. She created Shadowpath after performing at the magical 2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival which validated her artistic dreams. She then reinvented herself as an Artistic Director, producer and playwright and has received innovation, entrepreneur and leadership awards, fellowships and playwright residencies. Her plays have been produced in Toronto, Vancouver, Vermont and the UK. She recently collaborated with American playwrights to create Vermont’s first female-driven new play festival called The Stranger Play Fest which toured Vermont in 2019. Her 2018 short play, The Alley was published as part of New World Theater’s masterclass anthology of plays called Unparalleled. She has been a contributor at Intermission Magazine and writes a monthly performing arts column for the York Region Media Group. In 2017, Alex received a Leading Women Leading Girls Award from MPP Chris Ballard recognizing her work to advance and support female creative leadership.


    Chantal Forde

    A writer, director, performer and educator Chantal is a graduate of the Randolph Academy and was recently part of Shadowpath's Femme Five apprenticeship program. Recent writing credits include Table 7, (written in conjunction with the Shadowpath Femme5) and presented at the 2019 Toronto Fringe. GREY, which she wrote and co-directed was named as a Torontoist Highlight, Now’s Outstanding New Work and Outstanding Ensemble and won the Critic’s Pick Award for Outstanding Ensemble. Other writing includes Perceptions of Love in the Pursuit of Happiness, Quarterlife, and a variety of short plays. Recent directing credits include Statue of Limitations (Steven Elliot Jackson, Kingston Fringe 2019), Monkey Wrench (Shelley M. Hobbs Ergo Pink Fest 2019), The Line Between Truth and Justice (Tim Cadeny, Inkubation 2019), and And Then.. She Did! (Cat Bernardi, Toronto Fringe 2018). Chantal and her husband, Tim Cadeny, are the writing team behind seven years of Oakville's Holiday Pantomime, for which she also directs and choreographs. She is on the faculty at Sheridan College, teaching in the Performing Arts Preparation program and also teaches at Centre Stage Theatre School. Chantal was awarded Theatre Ontario’s 2019 Michael Spence Award, Shadowpath’s Artist of the Year in 2015, and won an Ovation Award for Outstanding New Musical in 2008.

    Dian Marie Bridge

    Dian Marie Bridge is an award winning Toronto-based freelance theatre maker and arts manager. She holds a degree in Theatre Arts and Dramatic Literature from Brock University and attended the University of Minnesota under the Theatre and Dance program. More than two decades of practice has afforded Dian to work with many arts organizations including Luminato Festival Toronto, Maison de Poivre Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, The Stratford Festival, Volcano, BAND Gallery, Obsidian Theatre, Canadian Stage, Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper Theatre, Playwrights Guild of Canada, and The Guthrie Theatre.


    Dian is the recipient of the inaugural Strombergs Family Realization Fund, through Nightwood Theatre, the Stratford Festival’s Elliott Hayes Guthrie Award for Playwriting, and SummerWorks’ RBC Professional Award. Dian was also a part of the Stratford Festival’s first Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, and has been an artist mentor through The Paprika Festival, The AMY Project, Speak Sudan, B Current’s RaizinArtz Program, Only One You workshops, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vancouver.

    Herbie Barnes

    Herbie Barnes, An Anishnabe from Aundeck Omni Kaning On Manitoulin Island. He is an Actor, Director, Writer and Teacher. Directing credits include Music Man (TIFT), Oliver the Musical (Bluff City Theatre), Inheritance (Alley and Touchstone Theatre) and Tales of an Urban Indian (Public Theater). He received a John Hersh Award nomination for his directing.

    Some of Herbie’s best-known stage roles include Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit, Norvel Morrisou in Copper Thunderbird and singing and dancing as a Wikershame Brother in Sussical The Musical.

    As a director he’s worked on large pieces such as The Remember (MTYP) and Someday (Native Earth) to one man shows Such as Tales Of An Urban Indian (Public Theatre NYC, Autry theatre LA) and Dinky (Native Earth). Herbie’s Play Russell’s World was honoured to be featured at the Magnetic North Festival.

    He is also known as a dramaturge working to develop a number of great plays and emerging playwrights. Herbie has additionally written for television shows including Buffalo Tracks, and Tipi Tales a show that also uses his performing talents as a puppeteer and voice talent.

    Maissa Bessada

    Maissa has worked with Shadowpath since 2013 - most recently in 2018 as an apprentice and went on to receive an Ontario Arts Council (OAC) recommender grant for writers to work on a novel she wrote about living in Egypt. She is also creating the third season of her audio drama, The Destiny of Special Agent Ace Galaksi, a sci-fi satire. Immigrating to Canada from Egypt, she is a person of two cultures, not quite at home in either. Her work is an ongoing quest to bridge cultures and experiences. As Ace’s writer and producer, she postulates that all beings far and wide are essentially the same thing - stuff of the recycling pile. Maissa was awarded Shadowpath’s Artist Of The Year 2019 for her multifaceted contributions in producing, writing, performing, directing, and podcast creation. In 2020 Maissa and her podcast team received a travel grant from the OAC to take their project to the world’s first audio drama convention in Halifax.

  • Podcasts

    A Kilometre In My Shoes
    A podcast featuring a youth at 360 Kids Richmond Hill who tells their story about being homeless and how art has made a difference.




    Listen to the podcast

    Read the report




    Transforming Everyday Places Into Creative Spaces



    'When everyone benefits, a whole community wins.'

    'When I started Shadowpath in 2002, I had no idea of its potential. I approached everyday spaces because I couldn't afford to rent the few regional theatres. That turned out to be the best thing for Shadowpath and now everyday spaces are our signature style of theatre producing. Businesses gain a creative boost and access to new customers, performers get a professional opportunity to work in alternative spaces, the community gets more arts and culture programming and Shadowpath gets connected to community partners and free space! Now that's winning! -Alex Karolyi


    Shadowpath Theatre Productions

    A not-for-profit charitable organization, shadowing playwrights by remounting their plays, and building new artistic paths for the creative citizen in all of us to emerge.


    To educate the public’s understanding and appreciation of Canadian theatre by:​

    1. Presenting dramatic performances

    2. Providing workshops for the benefit of the public
    on such topics as Canadian plays, new works and performance.


    To be leaders in innovative, location-driven theatre

    in York Region and beyond.

    Strategic Plan

    The Future Path: 1 - 3 years

    1 New site-specific play development in new venues
    2. Programming for specific demographics, i.e.: women, northern communities, new Canadians
    3. Training & Mentorship prioritizing female artists
    4. Securing space for a multi-use artist hub in York Region
    5. Developing advocacy initiatives, i.e: pregnant artists/new mothers, municipal support for artists




    1 Code of Conduct
    2. Copyright
    3. Equity
    4. Conflict of Interest
    5. Pregnant Artists

    6. Anti-Harassment




  • Our Team




    Maissa Bessada




    Jacquie Lazar, Chair


    Dexter Chew, Vice-Chair


    Michael Shuster, Board Member


    Georgia Fullerton, Board Member


    Opal Rowe, Board Member


    Shiqiang Peng, Board Member


    Tu Anh Lam, Board Member

  • FEMME 5


    Thanks to a Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Shadowpath expanded our creative team with sixteen apprentices from 2016 - 2019. These apprentices developed skills in creation, producing, arts admin and artistic direction increasing Shadowpath's community programming.


    Shadowpath Apprentices Today Are:

    Artistic Directors of theatre festivals

    Arts Administrators of arts councils

    New work creators

    Independant theatre producers

    Grant recipients

    Founders of their own performing arts companies

    and of course,

    Shadowpath collaborators and associate producers



    December 1, 2019
    HISTORY HIGHTLIGHTS 2010 - Shadowpath receives funding from the Department of Citizenship &...
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