Gyllian Raby

Associate Professor
Dramatic Arts

Department of Dramatic Arts, Chair

Office: MW 307
905 688 5550 x3221
graby@brocku.ca

Gyllian Raby is a Canadian theatre artist of Welsh origin. She was the founding artistic director of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre in Calgary (1981-88), chronicled in Martin Morrow’s book “Wild Theatre”. At OYR, she devised original work using a creative process of “contracting audiences with available light”. Her interests include theatre  a feminist prescriptive political exploration of social justice, the group dynamics of devising, theatre about Science culture, and adapting classics to contemporary contexts in a “writing back” process. As Artistic Director of Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton (1988-93), Gyllian collaborated with Ray Bradbury and Robert Lepage on large scale tours. Following this, she worked across Canada and in the USA as a freelance director, dramaturge, and playwright/adaptor. She has taught on faculty at University of Manitoba, University of King’s College, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University Ohio, and Queen’s University. At Brock University since 2001, her SSHRC-funded project Commotion resulted in a documentary film that received the Prestige gold medal film award for educational documentary film, 2015. Her adaptation of Nicolai Erdman’s The Suicide played in Cincinnati (U.S.) Cork (Ireland) and Florida (U.S.) and London (U.K.). Her plays The Ash Mouth Man (co-authored with Danielle Wilson) and We Who Know Nothing About Hiawatha Are Proud to Present Hiawatha (company devised) were produced by Ontario’s In The Soil Festival as was A Glass of Wine with Noam Chomsky (2019, with Fede Holten-Andersen).

Gyllian’s personal website

Deviser, Director, Project Leader: We Who Know Nothing About Hiawatha are Proud to Present Hiawatha. Production commissioned by In the Soil Arts Festival April 28-30 2018.

Director: Sabina’s Splendid Brain, by Carol Sinclair. Stolen Theatre Collective. Production commissioned by Luce Irigaray Philosophy Circle. MIW Theatre, Brock University, Jun. 15, and Sept. 09-22  2018.

Director: Sabina’s Splendid Brain, by Carol Sinclair. Stolen Theatre Collective. Public performances at MIW Theatre, Brock University,Sept. 14-18 and Sept. 20-23, 2018.

Dramaturge: The Welland Canal, by Kevin Hobbs. Jun-Aug. 2017. FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

Playwright, Director, Collaborator: The Ash Mouth Man. Stolen Theatre Collective and Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts, Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Sept. 15-24, 2016.

Playwright, Director, Collaborator: The Ash Mouth Man. Stolen Theatre at In the Soil Festival. Apr.  28- 29, 2017.

Dramaturge, Director: Somnambulists in Love, by Jason Cadieux. In the Soil Festival St. Catharines. Apr. 26-27, 2013.

Dramaturge, Director: Somnambulists in Love, by Jason Cadieux. Staged reading, 13th Street Winery. May 5, 2012.

Director, Choreographer: Advocate P. Americana by Linda Rodriguez-Guglielmoni, composed by Cecilia Castro Alonso. Atlantic Artists Centre USA, Doris Leeper Theater. June, 2008.

Dramaturge, Project Leader: R.S.V.P. Youth Devised Plays with Carousel Players Theatre and Brock University. Mad World, Inferno, I-Life. March-May 2007. Court House Theatre, St. Catharines.

Director, Dramaturge: Fingers and Toes: a jazz-tap musical. Ontario tour of ten theatres in two seasons; selected for Canadian Series by Community Cultural Impresarios of Ontario, 2004.2005. Blue Water Playhouse, Kincardine; Port Stanley Festival Theatre; Theatre Orangeville Opera Playhouse; Lighthouse Theatre, Port Dover; Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton; Circle in the Square Theatre, Kitchener; Markham Theatre; Heritage Theatre, Peterborough; Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock Centre for the Arts.

Dramaturge: Workshop for Fingers and Toes: a jazz-tap musical. Stratford Festival. Supported by Stratford Company workshop program and Stratford Ensemble actors. Tanya Moisevitch Rehearsal Studio. Oct.29, 2003.

Dramaturge: Workshop/Public Presentation of Fingers and Toes:a jazz-tap musical. New Script Series, Theatre Orangeville. The Opera House, Orangeville. Oct. 28 2002.

Director, Dramaturge, Videographer: Fingers and Toes:a jazz-tap musical . Showcase Presentation of Act One. Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University, (invitation to CCI conference). Jun. 05, 2002.

Director: Zoo Story, by Edward Albee. Sullivan-Mahoney Studio Theatre, Carousel Players    Community Outreach Production. May 16, 2003.

Director, Dramaturge: Quarry, by Mo Bock. Thousand Islands Playhouse, Gananoque. Aug. 30-Oct.16, 2001.

Dramaturge: Workshop for Quarry, by Mo Bock. Toronto Theatre Alliance Studio. Jul 06-Jul 13, 2001.      

Director. Dramaturge: Skirmishes, by Elizabeth Logan Harris. Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati. Jun. 08,2000.

Director: Moliere, by Sabina Berman, trans. Shelly Tepperman. National Theatre Centre, On  the Verge Festival, May 7-14, 2000.

Director, Dramaturge: Alice, by Maristella Roca. Young Peoples’ Theatre,Toronto. Mar-Aug. 2000.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL PRODCUTION
Raby, Gyllian, Co-devisor, Co-director Don’t Do It, Don’t Do It—Do It. Lyric Hyperion Theatre Los Angeles February 2019, Adelaide Comedy Festival March 2019.

Raby, Gyllian, Adaptor. Nicolai Erdman’s farce The Suicide. Cork School of Music, Ireland. Director Johnny Hanrahan. Stack Theatre, Cork. April 11-14, 2018.

Raby, Gyllian, Dramaturge. Fingers and Toes by Logan Medland. Merrygoround Theater, Auburn U.S. July-August 2012. Plaza Theatre Manalapan Palm Beach Florida US.Aug. 2014; Ivoryton Playhouse, Ivoryton Connecticut US. Jun. 2014.

UNIVERSITY PRODUCTION
Director: Len Falkenstein’s Lac Athabasca. Brock University 4F56 production. Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. December 02-04, 2018.

Director: Maria Irene Fornes’ Fefu and her Friends. Brock University 4F56 production. Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. Oct. 22-24, 2016.

Project Leader and co-director: Jennifer Haley’s Neighbourhood Three: Requisition of Doom. Brock University 4F56 production. Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Apr. 21-23, 2017.

Director: Will Eno’s The Flu Season. Brock University 4F56 production. Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. Apr. 16-19, 2016.

Director: Simon McBurney’s Mnemonic. Brock University 4F56 production. Marilyn I. Walker Theatre. Oct. 24-25, 2015.

Project Leader/Director: Fourth Year Devised Show, Awkward and Uncomfortable. Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts Studio Theatre production, St. Catharines. Apr.16,17 2015.

Adaptor, Director: Hannah Cowley’s The Belle’s Stratagem. Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, St. Catharines. Nov. 13-16, 2014.

Director: Jason Sherman’s An Acre of Time. Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts 4F56 Studio 107. Apr. 14-16, 2013.

Adaptor, Director: Nicolai Erdman’s The Suicide. Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, St. Catharines. Nov.11-13, 2012.

SSHRC Project: Devised Theatre with Niagara Youth R.S.V.P studying creativity in production with Commotion project. Projects include:

Project Leader: Commotion. Dramaturge Dealer’s Choice and Is This Thing On? two original dramatic works by Niagara youth. Produced in partnership with Carousel Players and T.A.L.K. (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids) Niagara. Sullivan-Mahoney Studio Theatre, St. Catharines. Dec. 8-10, 2011.

Project Leader: Commotion. Dramaturge Squawk: Flippin’ the Bird and On the Line, two original dramatic works by Niagara youth. Produced in partnership with Carousel Players and T.A.L.K. (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids) Niagara. Sullivan-Mahoney Studio Theatre, St. Catharines. December 9-12, 2010.

Project Leader: Commotion. Dramaturge Cutting Corners and Own It, two original dramatic works by Niagara youth. Produced in partnership with Carousel Players and T.A.L.K. Niagara. Sullivan-Mahoney Studio Theatre, St. Catharines. December 10-12, 2009.

Project Leader: Production Facilitator. Swell, an original dramatic work by students of DART 4F56. Studio 103 theatre. Apr. 12-14, 2011.

Pilot creative research projects for SSHRC application. Project Leader, Director, Co-creator. Inferno and I-Life, two original dramatic works by Niagara youth. Produced in partnership with Carousel Players and T.A.L.K. Niagara. May 2008.

Project Leader, Director, Co-creator: Spin Cycle. Co-venture with Carousel Players and T.A.L.K. Niagara. Sullivan Mahoney Theatre St. Catharines. March 20-23, 2006.

Project Leader, Director, Co-creator: Mad World, original dramatic work by students in DART 4F56. Produced in partnership with Carousel Players and T.A.L.K. Niagara. May 2008.

Director: Big Love, by Charles Mee, adaptated from Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women. Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, St. Catharines. Feb. 11-13, 2010.

Director: Jeffrey Hatcher’s Smash! adapted from Bernard Shaw’s novel An Un-Social Socialist. Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. Feb. 13-16, 2009.

Director: Kevin Kerr’s Unity, 1918. Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production. Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. Feb. 13-16, 2007.

Director: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in an Age of Terror. Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. Nov. 17-21, 2004.

Translator, Adaptor, Director: The Demi-Monde by Alexandre Dumas-fils. Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. Nov. 16-19, 2003.

Playwright: Workshop for The Demi-Monde by Alexandre Dumas-fils. Dramaturge: Kim Selody. Supported by Carousel Players, actors from the Shaw Festival Theatre and Brock Humanities Research Institute. Sullivan-Mahoney Studio Theatre. Sept. 28, 2003.

Director: Shelagh Stephenson’s Experiment with an Airpump. Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. Nov. 16-19, 2002.

Director, Adaptor: Aphra Behn’s The Rover. Department of Dramatic Arts Main Stage production, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Brock University. Nov. 16-19, 2001.

PUBLICATIONS ABOUT ARTISTIC WORK
Morrow, Martin. The History of Wild Theatre: The History of One Yellow Rabbit. Banff: Banff Centre Press, 2003.

BOOKS AND CHAPTERS CONTRIBUTED TO BOOKS
“Confounding the Circle of Expectation: Outwitting the Media Super-peer with Collaborative 

Dramaturgy”. The Visual and Performing Arts: An International Anthology Volume II. Athens: ATINER, 2012.

Raby, Gyllian. “From Pre-Luddites to the Human Genome: Smashing Frames in Shelagh Stephenson’s play An Experiment with An Airpump”. Images and Imagery: Frames, Borders, Limits: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Eds. Corrado Federici and Leslie Boldt-Irons. New York: Peter Lang: 2005.

Raby, Gyllian. “Character and Identity in the Aftermath of War”. Seneca in Performance. Swansea: University of Wales Classical Press, 2000. Pp 173-195.

Raby, Gyllian. “Conversation Killer”. Chosen Monologues 1996-1997 International Monologue Competition Chapbook. Toronto: Playwrights Union Press, 1997.

Raby, Gyllian, trans. Polygraph. R. Lepage and M. Brassard. Canadian Play Anthology. Ed. Jerry Wasserman. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1994. Also published in England and distributed as a film.

PAPERS
Raby, Gyllian. Contracting the Audience for Plays about Science. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, New Directions in Science and Performance. Eds. Dr. Careena Bartleet and Dr. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr.  Oxford University. August, 2014.

Raby, Gyllian. “Improvisation and Devising: the Circle of Expectation, the Invisible Hand, and RSVP”. Canadian Theatre Review, Toronto, Summer edition, 2010.

2019 – Banff Centre for the Arts Winter Writers Residency.
2016 – Walker Cultural Leadership Award, The Ash Mouth Man.
2014 – Prestige International Film Awards: Gold medal for educational documentary category, Silver medal for research documentary category.
2008 – Ontario Volunteer Recognition Award for Community Service.
2008 – Atlantic Artists Center USA Residency Award, May-June 2008.
2006 – Brock University Internal SSHRC, Laidlaw Foundation and T.A.L.K Niagara grants for studying RSVP Creative Process in Niagara schools.
2001 – Brock University Humanities Research Institute Award for translation and adaptation of The Demi Monde by A. Dumas fils.
2000 – Queen’s University Creative Scholarship Award for Faust and the Human Genome.
1998 – Cincinnati Critics’ citation for Best University production, “The Trojan Women” by Seneca.
1992 – Michael Lukovich Heritage Trust Award for Career Recognition
1991 – Chalmers New Play Award: translation of Polygraph by Robert Lepage and Marie Brassard.

Commotion, devised theatre with Niagara Youth, a project with Carousel Players and Four Grounds Media 2005-15

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Playwrights Guild Canada
  • Actors Equity Association Canada
  • Theatre and Performance research Association, UK
  • Council of Canadians Centre for Policy Alternatives