The Future of Performing Arts


August 19, 2020


Live music and theatre are two of the oldest modes of cultural production, artistic expression, and storytelling. During the COVID-19 pandemic, audiences around the world began experiencing the performing arts in a whole new way: online. As Toronto begins to reopen, leaders from performing arts organizations will discuss how they adapted their programming for the pandemic, and what they see as the future of the performing arts as we move forward into the “new normal.”

The Future of Performing Arts is a two-part panel discussion on the Virtual J platform. On Monday, August 17 we will discuss the theatrical productions and on Monday, August 24 our focus will shift to live music and musical performances.

A Conversation on the Future of Theatre with:

David Eisner is an accomplished actor and 40-year veteran of the entertainment industry who has an impressive resume of more than 100 television, film and theatre credits over the span of his career in Canada and the U.S. David has acted and directed in several of the HGJTC Productions. David most recently finished shooting the feature film about Rob Ford called Run This Town and Mrs. America for F/X. David is the co- founder and co- artistic director of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company along with Avery Saltzman. Now in its 13th Season, with 2,500 subscribers. Our Home is the Greenwin Theatre, seating 300, at the Meridian Arts Centre.

Born in Toronto to settlers from Hong Kong, Marjorie Chan is the Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille. As an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, she primarily identifies as a writer with specific interest in contemporary opera and collective forms, while also maintaining an active practice as a dramaturge and director.

Emma Stenning is the Executive Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company. Previously, Emma was the Chief Executive of Bristol Old Vic, where she led the company, in partnership with Artistic Director Tom Morris, for nine years.  Under her tenure, the organisation delivered a £25m redevelopment of its historic theatre, transformed its business model and re-established its profile on the regional, national and international stage. Emma was also Head of Producing at Manchester International Festival, Head of Theatre for the London region of Arts Council England, a Cultural Programme Advisor for the 2012 Olympic Games, and Executive Director at Battersea Arts Centre. Emma is a 2005 Clore Fellow, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Bristol University, Winner of the Clore Prize, and recognized by the Cultural Leadership Programme as a ‘Woman to Watch’. Emma has written about the importance of mentorship and embracing risk and innovation. Emma was chosen by the Search Committee for her collaborative leadership style, demonstrated ability to build relationships, and her breadth of experience with helping to elevate a local company to new global heights.

Click here to watch the video on the Virtual J

Presented in partnership with the Schwartz Reisman Centre, Prosserman JCC, Kultura Collective, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Miles Nadal JCC, Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Soulpepper Theatre Company and Theatre Passe Muraille.

A Conversation on the Future of Music with:

Jonathan Campbell is the Head of Programs at Small World Music. After spending a decade in Beijing drumming, as well as writing and promoting music, he wrote Red Rock: The Long Strange March of Chinese Rock and Roll. He has worked with many of Toronto’s major cultural institutions in communications, outreach, and programming, and was a recent APAP Leadership Fellow.

Born in Guyana, Menon Dwarka returned to Canada after almost 20 years in New York City, serving as Music Program Director for the 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts and Greenwich House. Since his arrival in 2013, Menon has contributed greatly to Toronto’s cultural ecology by serving on many boards of Canadian arts institutions. He is the former artistic director of Arts Etobicoke and Managing Director of 918 Bathurst. Menon is currently the Artistic Director at Soundstreams.

Carol Kehoe is an accomplished arts leader with more than 30 years of management experience in the arts and media sectors. She has worked with regional orchestras, theatre, museums and arts councils, as well as the private sector. She is committed to presenting art as an experience and connector for the wellbeing of communities, providing artists with a space for creativity. Carol Kehoe is the Executive Director of Tafelmusik.

Eric Stein is an award-winning mandolinist, bassist, bandleader, artistic director and producer, and has been a prominent figure in Canada’s folk, world, and Jewish-roots music scenes for over 20 years. Eric performs in a variety of musical styles, from Klezmer and Brazilian music to classic rock and folk, with such groups as Beyond the Pale, Tio Chorinho, the Ger Mandolin Orchestra, King Harvest and Eat a Peach. Eric is the Artistic Director of the Ashkenaz Festival, one of the world’s largest celebrations of Jewish music and culture.

Click here to watch the recording on the Virtual J!

Presented in partnership with the Schwartz Reisman Centre, Prosserman JCC, Kultura Collective, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Miles Nadal JCC, Ashkenaz Festival, Tafelmusik, Soundstreams and Small World Music.

Register your FREE account on Virtual JCC.

Step 1: Visit and fill in your information into the Create a free account now section.

Step 2: Go to Live Stream section and look for the session you are interested in watching. If you can’t find it, go to the top right search tool.

Step 3: Click on stream and wait for it to begin. Use the chat box to ask questions.

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