Imago’s free mentorship program for young women.

ARTISTA builds and empowers a community of Montreal young women and supports them through the early stages of their careers, whatever those may be. Artistic independence and confidence, as well as increased knowledge in artistic craftsmanship are acquired through mentorship, creative collaboration and performance training.


ARTISTA participants and mentors meet once a week from January to May on Monday nights, for dinner, theatre training, and creation. Dinner time is an opportunity for participants, mentors, and special guests, invited professionals hailing from various fields, to chat, encounter one another, and collectively turn our minds toward the world.

After dinner, we enter the workshop portion of the evening which lasts three hours. Workshops are led by mentors and invited guest teachers and offer skills training in movement, voice, text creation, mask, and other performance disciplines. During this time, mentors support participants in crafting stories and performances.

ARTISTA mentors also take participants out to see professional productions in various performance venues around Montreal. ARTISTA culminates in a performance of the collectively created work, presented to friends, family and the professional theatre community. Imago’s safe learning environment support participants in building skill in leadership, self-confidence, listening, physical confidence, vocal confidence and empathy.

Utmost care is placed on creating a supportive, brave environment for students to explore these life-lessons.

Upcoming Artista Session | January 21st – May 16th, 2019

Applications for the 2019 session are now available HERE.
Apply by January 4, 2019.

Our ARTISTA OUTCOME will take place at the Georges-Vanier Cultural Centre on May 16, 2019 For more information contact ARTISTA’s Program Director, Joy Ross-Jones at

photos by Louise Verdonne

JOY ROSS-JONES | Program Director                                           LORENA TRIGOS | Associate Program Director       

Joy Ross-Jones_Headshot                                                      

Joy is an actor, puppeteer, improviser and theatre educator from Venezuela. She has been living in Montreal for 11 years. Her university studies include McGill University and Concordia University were she studied as Theatre and Theatre for Social Change, and an active Masters in Art Education at Concordia, which she aims to tie up in June of 2018. Joy loves being a part of the Imago Theatre team where she worked as Artistic and Administrative Associate (2013 – 2016), and is Program Director of ARTISTA, Imago’s free theatre mentorship program for young women that has been growing and expanding since 2014. As a performer, Joy enjoys creating her own work and is currently focussing on Elsewhere, an original one-person show that uses mask and storytelling to share the stories 6 lives affected by the current crisis in Venezuela (Segal Centre Award Winner, Fringe 2017). Elsewhere will be touring during the 2018-2019 cultural season. Joy performs regularly at Montreal Improv and relishes the opportunity to dip into the dark art of bouffon in Sermo Scomber’s immersive production, Don’t Read the Comments. She is proud to be on the team at Haus of Marc where she is represented by Marc Elias.


Lorena is a set and costume designer. She graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 2015. She has since been working in Montreal designing costumes for la Roullotte directed by Isabelle Leblanc, El buen vestir and Khatomique by Productions Ondinnok, and Minuit directed by Lili Bergeron. During her time with PLAN B in Brussels, she specialized in puppets and masks. Since then, she has facilitated several workshops using mask, corporal expression and meditation as mediums for non-verbal communication and expression for vulnerable groups. Her workshops tie in Augusto Boal’s theatre for the oppressed and Peter Klein’s art therapy techniques. She has collaborated with several organizations like Centre des femmes the Montréal, Centre France terre d’ asile in Paris and the UN ACNUR Agency for refugees in Mexico City specializing in psychosocial intervention through art. This will be her second year working with Imago theatre as an Assistant Program Director for ARTISTA.

2019 Mentors:

MARIE BARLIZO | Artista Mentor                               DAYNA McLEOD | Artista Mentor               


MARIE LEOFELI ROMERO BARLIZO is a Filipino-Chinese playwright and dramaturg who was born in the Philippines but grew up in Montreal. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Optional-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program and holds a BFA in Theatre from Concordia University. She is the first visible minority to graduate from the National Theatre School’s Playwriting Program. Marie interned at Nightswimming Theatre, courtesy of the Metcalf Foundation Grant for Professional Development (2009) in dramaturgy. As a dramaturg, she has also worked at Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company (Toronto), Out Productions and Centaur Theatre. Her plays have been showcased at Playwrights Theatre Centre’s New Play Festival in Vancouver, fu-Gen Asian-Canadian Theatre Company’s Annual Potluck Festival (Toronto), Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Teesri Duniya Theatre (Montreal) and at Factory Theatre’s CrossCurrent Festival (Toronto). She is the playwriting mentor at Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program and will be teaching at National Theatre School this fall. Her play, Unang Pasko Sa Montreal (First Christmas in Montreal) was part of Urban Tales Series at the Centaur Theatre. She is presenting her play Lucky at the Next Stage Theatre Festival in Toronto in January 2019, which was developed at the 2017 Banff Playwrights Retreat and produced at the 2018 Montreal Fringe Festival. She is Canada Council’s 2018-2019 Playwright-in-Residence at Imago Theatre developing her play Lola.

DAYNA McLEOD‘s work uses humour and capitalizes on exploiting the body’s social and material conditions using cabaret, duration, single channel video, and installation practices. My interests of artistic and theoretical research are in sexual identity construction, gender, feminism, anti-feminist backlash, homophobia, and media representations of sexuality, queer identity, and the female body as public property. She is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture at Concordia University pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Humanities that combines studies in performance art, feminism, queer theory, age, and research-creation, and centres her art practice. Her work can be found at

Our 2019 guest artists will be announced soon!



Olivia Dhepaganon Bruna Florio Sarah Lapointe Tiernan Cornford Katherine Chou


Ajah Richards Adriana Cignola Destiny Gregoire Nickisha Thomas Caitlin Heiligmann Anouk Matte Amanda Coochey


Violette Kay Xin Shu Samantha Bitonti Jedidah Nabwangu Phoebe Thompson Cicely Austin Victoria Hall Avleen Mokha Cayla Clarkson Jayati Samar Amanda Marra Rilla Kingston Alicia Fayet Mercedeh Baroque Esmée Cook


Lucy Nappatuk Camille Deslauriers Ménard Aya Elba Mariia Bashmakova Amelle Margarin Abigail Drach Laura Hernandez-Restrepo Luyao Bella Jennifer Nguyen Maria Jimenez Yuan Kelly Gaelle Elma Christina-Andrea Cretu Hanin Fakih Nicola Hanchet Joanne Margetis

Click on the pictures to learn more.
ARTISTA is supported by: