Staff Profile – Miriam Fernandes, Education Assistant
How long have you been at Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what you do.
I first became involved with Soulpepper in 2005 when I participated in a Youth Outreach program called The Opening Night Club. At the time Soulpepper was still operating on a Summer Season out of Harbourfront Centre. After that summer, I was invited back to participate in a new program that they were starting called the Youth Leadership Program which was led by Martha Burns and Paula Wing. Over two years our group created two shows as well as curated a Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with the inaugural Luminato Festival in 2007. After that I continued to work with the Education Department as a Program Assistant for the Youth Mentorship Program and the March Break Program. For the past two years I’ve been part of the Young Leaders Council where we have worked on creating community partnerships, teaching, and programming a Cabaret of young artists. Now I’m working as the Education Assistant!
What has your job consisted of lately?
We have a LOT of youth programs during the summer months! Lately I’ve been teaching the Summer Alumni Program with Guillermo Verdecchia, as well as making sure our other programs (Mainstage Men and the Youth Mentorship Program) are stocked and supported.
What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in outside of work?
Outside of Soulpepper I am an independent actor and writer. I am the Playwright in Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille where I am developing a one-woman show. I will be acting in Soliciting Temptation in the Tarragon Theatre’s next season, and I am on the Board of Directors for Volcano Theatre. I also started my own arts education initiative called The Pomegranate Project which connects students from Toronto, Canada to students in Mumbai, India through film-making (www.thepomegranateproject.org) . I also work with Why Not Theatre with whom I’m currently developing a few new pieces. And I’m a yoga teacher!
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
Riding my bike, having picnics in the park, teaching/practicing yoga, and traveling as much as I can.
What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?
I love the community at Soulpepper. I kind of feel like I’ve grown up here – I’ve been around since I was a teenager and while my role has changed, the sense of community has not. The fact that all the staff know all the youth around the building, and that the youth know the artists makes it a pretty special place to be.