CTCA Members are Canada-based professionals in the field of theatre criticism and arts journalism. Below are biographies of our current membership: 

JENIVA BERGER (CTCA Honorary Board Member)

67606490-Jeniva_BergerJeniva Berger was born in Chicago, Illinois. She immigrated to Canada in 1957 and received a MA in Drama from the University of Toronto in 1976. She has been reviewing theatre on a regular basis since the late 1960s, writing on theatre and entertainment on a regular basis for such publications as Toronto Calendar magazine, the Canadian Jewish NewsScene Changes magazine — for which she served as editor from 1977 to 1982 — and Toronto Tonight. Other theatre pieces have appeared in The Guardian and Melody Maker (U.K.), the Canadian Theatre Review, the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Oxford Companion to Canadian Drama, and for the book Contemporary Canadian Theatre: New World Visions. She is the author of a handbook for theatre publicists, For Immediate Release. She was a regular columnist on Toronto theatre and arts events for The Buffalo News for six years. She is publisher, reviewer and webmaster for Scene Changes.

Jeniva is the co-founder (with Herbert Whittaker) and founding president of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association and served for many years as chair/coordinator of the Nathan Cohen Award for Excellence in Theatre Criticism.


RobinAn independent arts journalist with a publishing history spanning more than 40 years, Robin Breon’s reviews, articles and cultural essays have appeared in a wide range of media, including popular as well as academic journals. He was a founding member of the Toronto Drama Bench (1972) and over the years his work has appeared in Canadian Theatre ReviewTheatre History in CanadaAmerican Theatre magazine, Chronicle for Higher EducationThe Globe and MailThe Drama ReviewToronto StarOur Times and others. Robin is also the long-time Toronto critic for Aisle Say, an internet journal of theatre review and opinion. See his reviews at Aisle Say, Toronto

From 1981 to 1988, Breon was administrator and publicist for Black Theatre Canada and from 1988 to 2008 he was program administrator for the Museum Studies Program at University of Toronto. He has taught arts journalism for the U of T’s School of Continuing Studies and is currently on the acquisitions committee of Theatre Museum Canada. As a playwright, he wrote The African Roscius (Being the Life and Times of Ira Aldridge), produced by Vera Cudjoe at the Alumnae Theatre in 1986, and is currently at work on the libretto for a musical entitled Chappie Johnson and His (almost) All Colored All Stars with musical score by Joe Sealy.


Paula Citron is a Toronto-based freelance arts journalist and broadcaster. She is currently theatre and dance reviewer, as well as feature writer, for the online magazine Ludwig van Toronto. Her long career includes being senior dance writer for The Globe and Mail, arts reviewer for The New Classical 96.3 FM, dance previews contributor to Toronto Life magazine, and associate editor of Opera Canada magazine. Her articles, reviews, news stories, and features on theatre, dance, opera, film, classical music (and other topics) have appeared in a host of Canadian and international arts magazines. She has also contributed entries for the International Dictionary of Modern Dance, the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Dance, and the Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada. Her writings include repertoire notes, research articles and artists’ biographies for various souvenir books, house programs, information brochures, publicity kits, newspaper supplements, and websites. Her opera reviews, translated into Spanish, have appeared on the websites Una Voce Poco Fa (Blog Operístico Musical), based in the United States, and Opus Musica from Spain.

Ms. Citron also has a lively career as a guest lecturer, particularly on the role of the critic/reviewer, which has included annual visits to York University, the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University arts departments. She has also been engaged to give pre-concert talks, and host post-performance questions and answers for various Toronto arts series. Ms. Citron was a special guest of the Japanese and Danish governments, in 2000 and 2004 respectively, to report on culture in those two countries for Canadian audiences. She has also served on key arts juries such as the Governor General’s Awards, the City of Toronto Arts Awards, the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and the Juno Awards. She was a frequent juror for BRAVO! Fact, which distributed funds to arts filmmakers. Her popular website,, features reviews, interviews, and commentary on a wide range of current topics.


CushmanBorn in England, educated at Cambridge University, worked in professional theatre as director, writer and performer. Theatre critic, The Observer, 1973-84. Came to Canada 1987. Theatre critic for the National Post since its inception in 1999. Has also written for The Globe and MailSaturday NightToronto LifeNew York Times, and taught theatre at York University. Winner of eight Nathan Cohen Awards. A frequent broadcaster in Canada and the U.K., especially on musical theatre (Book, Music and Lyrics, BBC) and American popular song (Songbook, CBC).

PublicationsFifty Seasons at Stratford (2002). Produced for the Quantum Book Group by Madison Press Books, Toronto.


SteveFisherDetailOfAPhotoByCorbinSmithHalifax born, Ottawa raised, and now firmly Toronto located, Steve Fisher has been covering the arts and entertainment scenes in T.O. for over a decade; first as an independent blogger, with a mailing list of over 1,000 subscribers, and since 2010, for nearly a dozen different publications, including Torontoist, Post City, The A.V. Club and CBC Music. An alumnus of Ryerson University’s Theatre Acting program, his background as a former actor, improviser, and operetta singer fostered deep connections to Toronto’s performing arts scenes, and in his coverage of the city’s performing arts, he has consistently identified rising stars before their breakouts, including 2015 Emmy nominee Tatiana Maslany, Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder, and music acts like The Rural Alberta Advantage and The Elwins. When he’s not writing, or seeing shows 5-6 nights a week, Steve is a member of HMCS York, Toronto’s naval reserve unit, where he’s been commended and decorated.


Karen Fricker headshotKaren Fricker is theatre critic at the Toronto Star. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa. From 2007-2012 she was a lecturer in Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and holds a PhD in Drama and Theatre from Trinity College Dublin.

Karen started her arts writing and editing career in the 1990s as New York theatre correspondent for the Financial Times and an editor at Stagebill. From 1995-97 she was director of publications at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Joseph Papp Public Theater. She co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of Irish Theatre Magazine (1998-2005); was Ireland theatre critic for The Guardian (2003-2007); and reviewed for Variety from Dublin (1997-2007) and London (2007-2012). She has also written and broadcast about theatre and performance for The Irish Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the BBC, RTÉ, and the CBC. The work of her Brock theatre criticism students is published on, which she edits.

Karen’s academic research interests include contemporary theatre and globalization; contemporary Québec theatre and circus; Irish theatre; and theatre criticism. She is the author of Robert Lepage’s Original Stage Productions: Making Theatre Global (Manchester University Press, 2020) and co-edited Performing the New Europe: Identities, Feelings, and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest (with Milija Gluhovic; Palgrave, 2013).


Barbara Gabriel was born in London, England, and grew up in Winnipeg in the heyday of legendary Hungarian-Canadian theatre director, John Hirsch. She is currently a theatre reviewer for Capital Critics’ Circle and The Theatre Times as well as a scholar of Modernity and Memory. Her authored and co-edited books include Postmodernism and the Ethical Subject (McGill-Queen’s University Press) and Tainting History (Penumbra Press). She taught Film, Theatre, and Visual Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa, where she is Adjunct Research Professor in the Interdisciplinary doctorate, Cultural Mediations. Her essays and articles have appeared in books and journals such as Canadian Literature, The New Review, The Mime Journal, Essays in Canadian Literature, and France and the Americas. She is completing a book, Memory Work and the Angel of History, which draws on published essays as well as recent work presented in Australia, Poland, and Japan. She makes her home in London, Ontario.



James Hoffman is professor emeritus of theatre studies from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. His research specialty is the theatre history and culture of British Columbia. Now living in Victoria, he has been working at the University of Victoria Special Collections Library to organize and study Theatre Energy, an important Kootenay Theatre Company (1975-1995), whose papers he donated to the library.

He also donated his collected papers on the theatre history of British Columbia to the University of Victoria, and his papers on playwright George Ryga to the University of Calgary library. He is Ryga’s authorized biographer.

Recent activities include giving a presentation at the Preserving Performance in the Pacific Northwest conference at UVic in February 2020, and writing a chapter for the forthcoming book, Canadian Performance Documents and Debates (University of Alberta Press).

Other publications include co-editing Whose Culture Is It, Anyway? Community Engagement in Small Cities (New Star Books, 2014) and writing an essay, “Performing Community Action in the Small City: The REDress Project in Kamloops,” in the book, Animation of Public Space through the Arts, Toward More Sustainable Communities (Almedina, 2013).

In addition, he co-edited Playing the Pacific Province: An Anthology of British Columbia Plays, 1967-2000 (Playwrights Canada Press, 2001); co-edited Alan Filewod’s Performing Canada: The Nation Enacted in the Imagined Theatre (TSC Monographs, 2002), and edited George Ryga: The Other Plays (Talonbooks, 2004) and George Ryga: The Prairie Novels (Talonbooks, 2004).

A selection of other major publications includes: The Ecstasy of Resistance, A Biography of George Ryga (ECW Press, 1995); “Biocritical Essay” in The George Ryga Papers (University of Calgary Press, 1995); “Genre Contention at the New Play Centre,” in Theatre Research in Canada, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2; “Theatre” entry in The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 1999); “Subverting Modernisms in British Columbia: Christopher Dafoe at the Vancouver Sun, 1968-1975,” chapter in Establishing Our Boundaries: English Canadian Theatre Criticism (University of Toronto Press, 1999); and “Shedding the Colonial Past: Rethinking British Columbia Theatre,” in  B.C. Studies 137 (Spring 2003). He has also written program notes for numerous plays staged by Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops.


HuntStephen Hunt was an arts reporter and theatre critic at the Calgary Herald from 2006 to 2016. He is also an adjunct professor in the University of British Columbia’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, where he has taught playwriting in the optional residency program since 2007. Prior to joining the Herald, Stephen freelanced for many outlets, including The Globe and Mail, Los Angeles Times and Saturday Night Magazine.

His one man show, The White Guy, which he wrote and performed, was originally produced by the Public Theatre in New York, and subsequently published in Best American Short Plays 1997-98. Stephen sold the TV rights to Quincy Jones and Warners, later adapting the play into The White Guy: A Field Guide (Douglas & McIntyre). He’s a graduate of UBC’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and also has a BA in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg.


James Karas holds degrees in English literature and law from the University of Toronto. In addition to practising law and extensive community involvement, he has taught at Ryerson University and writes on theatre and opera for The Greek Press and reviews books for Hellenic Way.


Patricia Keeney has been an active and award-winning theatre critic since the 1980s, when she also served as Chair for the Toronto Drama Bench, later CTCA and as jury member on both the Chalmers and Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Her work has appeared in a variety of newspapers, magazines and journals including the Toronto Star, Canadian Forum, Canadian Theatre Review, Scene Changes and Maclean’s, as well as on CBC Radio. Between 1985 and 2000, Keeney served as a member of the Editorial Board and the Board of Directors for the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre. She regularly presents papers on theatrical subjects at international conferences and wrote the introduction to Linda Griffiths’ Selected Plays for Playwrights Canada Press. In 2012, she won the CTCA’s Nathan Cohen Award for critical writing in the Short Review category.

In addition to drama and literary criticism, Keeney is also a widely published poet and novelist with translations of her work published in France (winning the Prix Jean Paris), Mexico, China, Bulgaria and India. The distinguished Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote the introduction to her first Selected Poems (Oberon  1996). In 2012 she published a series of conversations and poems on national culture and personal belief entitled You Bring Me Wings with Mexican poet Ethel Krauze (Antares).

Keeney’s 10th volume of poetry, Orpheus in Our World (NeoPoisis 2016) connects the earliest Greek hymns with a postmodern theatrical dialogue. Her third novel, One Man Dancing (Inanna 2016), is based on the true story of a Ugandan actor working with Africa’s most experimental theatre company during the regime of dictator Idi Amin. It explores the role of human endurance and artistic risk in trying to make political change.

In addition to her creative work, Keeney is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at York University in Toronto where she offers courses on Canadian Literature, Women in Literature and conducts regular workshops in poetry and other genres including criticism. She shares the website with her husband, critic and theatre scholar Don Rubin.  


dk-colour-300Deirdre Kelly holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto. She has written on dance since 1985, starting as the award-winning dance critic for The Globe and Mail and continuing through today as dance correspondent for the Dance Gazette in London, Dance Magazine in New York and as resident dance critic for the Toronto-based arts e-zine, Since 2001, she has been The Globe and Mail’s Style reporter and interior design columnist, reporting on fashion and lifestyle trends from New York, Paris and Milan. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (2012) and the highly successful memoir, Paris Times Eight (2009), both best-sellers.

A contributor to the International Dictionary of Ballet (St. James Press) and AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds (2003), Deirdre has written articles for Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle, Dance, Chatelaine, House & Home, Zoomer, Nuvo, Flare, Fashion, Saturday Night, Style Advisor and Interview magazines, among other publications. She has won the Nathan Cohen Award twice, in 2014 and 2020. Married with two children, she lives in Toronto and is at work on her next book.

ILANA LUCAS (CTCA Vice-President)

Ilana Lucas is a professor of English in Centennial College’s School of Advancement. She holds a BA in English and Theatre from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramaturgy and Script Development from Columbia University, and serves as Princeton’s Alumni Schools Committee Chair for Western Ontario. She was Brit+Co’s weekly books columnist from 2016 to 2019, and has been a Senior Writer for Mooney on Theatre. Her most recent play, Let’s Talk, won the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival’s 24-Hour Playwriting Contest.

CARLY MAGA (CTCA Past President)

CarlyCarly is a former theatre critic for the Toronto Star, where she shared the post with Karen Fricker. Prior to that, she was a staff writer and critic for Torontoist, Carly was also was a contributor, columnist and critic for The Grid. She has covered theatre and music for The Globe and Mail, National Post, HazlittToronto StandardThe A.V. Club TorontoOpenFile Toronto, and more.

Carly has attended two Young Critics Workshops with the International Association of Theatre Critics, one in Bucharest, Romania and one in Beijing, China.


Colm Magner has worked in theatre, television and film, both in Canada and the U.S.A., as an actor, director and writer for over 30 years. A graduate of George Brown Theatre School as well as York University with a MFA in Theatre (Directing), Magner has worked at the Shaw Festival and with many of Canada’s preeminent theatre companies, including Da Da Kamera, DNA, Phyzical Theatre Co. and Theatre Columbus. Magner is a member of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada and has performed in all of his own plays, including Smoke, Dark Avenue, Inside Imogene and The Scavenger’s Daughter, which received two critically acclaimed productions in New York. He has taught playwriting, acting and drama at both York University and UPEI. He resides in Prince Edward Island with his wife Margaret, where he continues to teach, write, and serves as the theatre critic for The Guardian, P.E.I.’s largest newspaper.


Yana MeerzonYana Meerzon was trained as a professional theatre critic in Moscow at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS). She is a faculty member of the Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa, where she teaches theatre criticism. As a critic, she contributes to the Capital Critics’ Circle, Alt.Theatre and The Theatre Times sites. Her book publications include A Path of the Character: Michael Chekhov’s Inspired Acting and Theatre Semiotics (2005) and Performing Exile – Performing Self: Drama, Theatre, Film (2012).


SelfieMartin Morrow is a Toronto-based arts journalist and theatre critic, and a two-time winner of the Nathan Cohen Award. Martin began his career in Calgary, where he served as the Calgary Herald’s chief theatre critic from 1988 until 2000, and as the Arts, Books & Lifestyle Editor for Fast Forward, Calgary’s alternative weekly, from 2003 to 2006. He was a regular Western arts contributor to The Globe and Mail from 2000 to 2003; his writing has also appeared in Canadian Theatre Review, Avenue Magazine, the Montreal Gazette and the National Post.

Martin has a particular interest in experimental and avant-garde work and is the author of Wild Theatre: The History of One Yellow Rabbit, published by the Banff Centre Press (2003) and nominated for an Alberta Book Award. In Toronto, Martin has worked as an arts producer for and as a film and theatre columnist for The Grid. Since 2010 he has been The Globe and Mail’s second theatre critic and also is a contributor to Toronto Life, The Stage (U.K.) and other publications.


Originally from Baltimore, MD, Aisling Murphy is a critic and academic currently based in Toronto. She is the Senior Editor for Intermission Magazine, served as Arts & Culture Editor for uOttawa’s The Fulcrum, and was a co-editor of the December 2020 edition of Critical Stages. Aisling is also an occasional playwright: her first play, Feast, was developed with the Tarragon Theatre YPU in early 2020; a short case study on it will be featured in the upcoming Routledge publication, Undergraduate Research in Theatre (ed. Michelle Hayford)


J. Kelly Nestruck is The Globe and Mail’s chief theatre critic.


PageMalcolm Page is Professor Emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., and a past president of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research. He writes the Vancouver column for the British monthly, Plays International. His essay on Sharon Pollock’s early plays is reprinted in Sharon Pollock, ed. Anne F. Nothof (Guernica, 2000).

His essay, “14 Propositions about Theatre in British Columbia,” first published in Journal of Canadian Studies, was reprinted in Theatre in British Columbia (Playwrights Canada Press, 2006). His article, “New Voices – Canada,” in the Autumn/Winter 2014 issue of Plays International examines the work of eight younger dramatists. He is currently working on a recent history of theatre in Vancouver.


Jamie Portman has distinguished himself as one of the finest theatre critics in the country. Formerly the chief theatre critic for the Calgary Herald and the national arts correspondent for Southam News (now Postmedia), he is at present an Ottawa-based freelance critic, periodically writing reviews of theatre in Canada and in England for the Capital Critics’ Circle and  Postmedia. 


 Don Rubin YU Press 1Don Rubin has been a working theatre critic since the age of 16 when he began writing criticism for Show Business newspaper in New York City while still a student actor at the famed High School of Performing Arts.  After obtaining his BA and MA, he worked as a theatre critic for the New Haven (Conn.) Register and in 1968 was invited to become Nathan Cohen’s back-up critic at the Toronto Star. During the 1970s, he worked as CBC Radio’s theatre critic with numerous hosts, including Alex Trebek, and began Canada’s national theatre quarterly, the Canadian Theatre Review during this time. He later began CTR’s active book publishing program and served as editor of the archival series Canada on Stage from 1974 to 1982.

During the 1980s and into the 1990s he served as Executive Editor of UNESCO’s six-volume, $3-million World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre (Routledge). Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Toronto’s York University, he taught applied theatre criticism and theatre theory there for more than three decades, the only such criticism course then taught in Canada. His other areas of specialization are Canadian theatre history, modern world drama and African Theatre. Rubin’s essays and theatre criticism have been published in journals, magazines and newspapers worldwide and his volume Canadian Theatre History has been a standard work in the field.

A co-founder of the Toronto Drama Bench, the predecessor organization of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association, he served as President of CTCA for more than a decade and for many years as a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Theatre Critics. A founding editor of the IATC’s webjournal Critical Stages, since 2018 he has been CS’s Managing Editor and Book Reviews Editor. In 2020, he became President of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, an international organization which argues that the name “Shakespeare” was a pseudonym for one or more Elizabethan writers who, at the time, wished to remain anonymous. He has spoken regularly on the Shakespeare authorship question in North America and Europe. See as well as the website he shares with his wife, writer and critic Patricia Keeney,


1355791752Alvina Ruprecht was the regular theatre reviewer on the CBC Ottawa Morning show from 1981 to 2011. Now, she can be read on the Parisian critics’ website Théâtre du blog and on Scene Changes. She also contributes regularly to the IATC’s web journal Critical Stages. She is Professor Emeritus at Carleton University and currently adjunct professor in the theatre department of the University of Ottawa. She has published in Theatre Research in CanadaEssays in TheatreCanadian Theatre Review, and the Quebec theatre journals l’Annuaire theatral and Cahiers de theatre Jeu, as well as theatre journals abroad. Her book, Les Theatres francophones et creolophones de la Caraibe, (coll. Univers theatral, Paris l’Harmattan) was published in 2003.

Thanks to a recent SSHRC research grant, Alvina has been able to pursue her research on Francophone theatres in the Indian Ocean, in the South Pacific and in the francophone and creolophone spaces in the Caribbean and South America (Guyana). Her research website is another result of this SSHRC grant. She is currently engaged in a Caribbean theatre repertory project involving the English-, Spanish- and French-speaking countries of the region; she is preparing a book on the theatres of New Caledonia and Tahiti and a second publication on the origins of Guadeloupean theatre.


Caroline is an award-winning playwright who has written 30 plays which have had 60 productions across Canada and the U.S. She is a member and past vice-president of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She is published in five anthologies and her latest trilogy of plays, Palliser Suite, was published by Frontenac House Press. Caroline has adjudicated plays nationally for contests and publishing houses. She also served on the board of the Alberta Playwrights’ Network and currently represents Western Canada as ambassador for the Dramatists Guild of America. She co-wrote Strategies – The Business of being a Playwright in Canada (with Rose Scollard) published by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

As a theatre critic, Caroline has been a guest critic for the Calgary Sun. She is a freelance theatre reviewer for The Scene, a monthly arts publication in Calgary, and THE YYSCENE, an online arts magazine. She has served on juries for the Betty Mitchell Theatre Awards and the Calgary Theatre Critics Awards. In 2021, Caroline will start reviewing published plays from Playwrights Canada Press. Website:


New Jenna pic for webJenna Shummoogum is a communications and marketing associate by day and a freelance theatre and dance critic by night.

Her work has appeared in the Calgary Herald, Avenue Magazine Calgary and She also posts reviews on her website.

She was a member and lead organizer of the Calgary Theatre Critics Awards.


SingerRon Singer is the Toronto theatre critic for The AndyGram, a New York-based webmag. He has worked in theatre, film and television as an educator, producer, director, actor and playwright.

He was an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at York University (1973-2002), and was Associate Dean of Fine Arts – Director of the Graduate Program and Chairman of Theatre (1985-88); he is currently a Professor Emeritus at York.

His theatre production and direction credits include work with the National Arts Centre and Stratford Festival, and he also served as Artistic Director of the Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts (1992-2010).


Anton Wagner head shotAnton Wagner has edited 10 books on Canadian theatre and drama, including Contemporary Canadian Theatre: New World Visions (1985) and Establishing Our Boundaries: English-Canadian Theatre Criticism (University of Toronto Press, 1999). He was the director of research and managing editor of the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, published by Routledge. Anton has produced and directed over a dozen documentaries on the arts and war and peace issues and has just completed a PhD at York University on former Prime Minister Mackenzie King and Canadian artists.


Jerry Wasserman-newJerry Wasserman is professor of English and theatre at the University of British Columbia and editor of the two-volume anthology Modern Canadian Plays (Talonbooks), now in its fifth edition. He has published widely on Canadian drama and theatre, and he co-produced, hosted and wrote Modern Canadian Theatre, a 12-hour television series for B.C.’s Open Learning Agency.

 As an actor, Jerry has appeared on many of Vancouver’s professional stages and in more than 200 TV episodes, movies-of-the-week and feature films. He was the theatre critic for CBC Radio One’s The Afternoon Show in Vancouver from 1987 to 2004. He was theatre editor and critic for Vancouver’s Plus magazine, 1988-89, and has freelance reviewed for the Georgia Straight and Shaw TV. Since 2004, Jerry’s criticism has appeared on his website, which has registered over one million visitors, and since 2005 he has been freelance theatre critic for Vancouver’s Province newspaper.