Coleen MacPherson

Coleen is an international theatre artist, based in Toronto. She trained at physical theatre school Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and founded a company called Open Heart Surgery Theatre. As a half Parsi-Indian and half Irish theatre maker in Canada her work engages with ideas of cross-cultural collaboration and experiments with multiple languages on stage. She has worked with international touring theatre company, Wet Picnic, in the UK creating outdoor theatre productions; and developed work in Northern Ireland (Prime Cut Productions, TinderBox) and in France (Théâtre de L’Enfumeraie). With her company Open Heart Surgery Theatre, her play First Draft held a European premiere at Camden People’s Theatre, then at The Mimetic Festival (The Vaults) and finally went on to Cairo, Egypt where it was in Arabic and English and performed on the national stage (Falaki Theatre / StudioZAT). She directed and devised This Is Why We Live, which toured to France, UK and Poland; it will be going to La MaMa in NYC in 2019. Coleen has developed work in Canada with Bad New Days, Why Not Theatre, Theatre Smith-Gilmour, MT Space, Onelight Theatre and Jumblies Theatre. She held a Theatre Ontario mentorship in Directing with director Daniel Brooks and worked on Necessary Angel Theatre's Divisadero (by Michael Ondaatje, writer of The English Patient) and a work-in-development, Civility. She co-translated a play by Pier Paolo Pasolini (Pylade) with Adam Paolozza which was performed by the Great Jones Repertory Company at La MaMa (Off Broadway) in 2015 and held a European tour. Coleen has taught workshops on Playwriting in Movement and Devised Theatre Creation in the UK, USA, Egypt and at the University of Toronto. She is currently developing several new works, including Meat (Epsilon Productions, UK); a new play inspired by Glenn Gould through Factory Theatre’s Natural Resources Program; and a devised creation based on two female painters in Mexico with playwright Martha Ross and a team of seven women.