Facilitators, experts, amateur playwrights

Facilitators for the OLi-works Shakespeare series

Meg Barker

The founder of OLi-works, Meg Barker, is directing this workshop series. Meg’s early, extramural training was in youth acting at the Manitoba School for the Arts, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for four years. A move to Kelowna, British Columbia meant a switch to high school drama, and performance of youth plays for five years, sometimes in other towns of the Okanagan Valley. However when choices had to be made for university, Meg pursued a career in the natural sciences, social sciences, public policy and international affairs. More about her usual professional background is here. As part of this career path Meg became trained in the facilitation of on-line communities and remains an enthusiast. 

As for theatre, Meg continued with this interest in an informal manner outside of work. She was part of the Wakefield Players, a community theatre company in La Pêche, Québec at the time of its founding. Meg also launched an on-line theatre and review club in the mid-2000’s called DaphneUnbound, designed for anyone with an interest in theatre and film, and who wished to develop their film review skills through peer-peer learning. At this time in Canada, it was possible to subscribe to film rental services that sent CDs, which subscribers returned after a set period of time. All of the films produced by a given company and director could be ordered, or, all of the film versions of Hamlet that had been released by different studios and licensed to CD-based companies could be obtained.

Presently, Meg seeks interconnections between the worlds of science, power and international intrigue in certain artistic and literary works. Writers and producers with a science background have traditionally not been mainstream, and likewise women’s literary contributions as playwrights and creators have been missing.  Happily, this gap is narrowing in the 21st century.

To support the development of women playwrights of diverse backgrounds Meg has volunteered as a Board Member of the International Centre of Women Playwrights. She is also a supporting member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Meg was able to attend one of the conferences of Women Playwrights International (WPI), when it was held in Mumbai, India, in 2009. 

Graham Todd

Already a veteran of church Christmas pageants and amateur-taped audio dramas, it was in sixth grade, as the eponymous co-star of the long-running production “The Vampire Who Stole Christmas,” that  Graham stole the show, delighted and terrified the first, second and third graders and discovered his need to invent imaginary characters and pretend to be them.  Sublimating this desire for decades, he now embraces these multiple selves under the stage name Greumach Taghta.

Helen Wilson

(Helen is yet another Prairie performer, trained in music, theatre, communications and French. Her theatre bio is pending.)

Back to OLI-works Shakespeare page.