On Friday, May 13th, 2011 we held Mixed Company Theatre’s 2nd Annual STARS Awards Gala.  The event was an opportunity to celebrate the important contributions of Forum Theatre in the broader community, as well as bestowing Recognition Awards to community activists striving to bring about positive social change in their local community.


Gala Emcee – Ms. La Toya Rodney

These days, LaToya Rodney considers herself “a resource hustler” for kids who want to break the cycle of violence in their lives. She knows the cycle well, having broken it herself after multiple expulsions from school, joining a gang and going to jail, where she says she developed post-traumatic depression. But after two of her brothers were shot as a result of gang violence LaToya decided her life had to turn around.

“Growing up, the only resource I had was the Driftwood Community Centre,” LaToya said during the afternoon panel discussion, where five young men and women recounted their experiences and offered their own perspectives on finding solutions to youth violence. “We had no anti-bullying workshops, no counselling, no diversity programs.”

* Gala Emcee – Ms. La Toya Rodney (From left to right: Mr. Ryan Weeks – President of the Board of Directors, Ms. La Toya Rodney, Ms. Charlotte Sobolewski – Vice-President of the Board of Directors)


Afternoon Performance


As seen on T.O. Tix’s citySPECIAL, Mixed Company offered an afternoon performance of DISS open to the public.

Doors open at 3:00pm

Performance start at 3:30pm

* Pay What You Can

For more information & tickets contact Mixed Company Theatre at 416-515-8080.


**Proceeds from this Performance will go towards supporting Mixed Company Theatre’s 2012 Annual Community Initiative Project.

Special thanks to…


Award Winners

The Rising Star Award Winner: Ms. Janie Pinard

The Rising Star Award – Individual Youth
Presented to a youth (25 and under) who has demonstrated a commitment to educating, engaging, and empowering his/her peers and community to create positive solutions to challenging issues in community, schools, or workplace.

* Ms. Janie Pinard: The Rising Star Award Winner (From left to right: Janie Pinard, Simon Malbogat, Catherine Maunsell – selection committee member, and the Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett – selection committee member)

The Shooting Star Award Winner: The Regional Municipality of York, Community and Health Services Department, Healthy Living Division.

The Shooting Star Award – Organization
Presented to a Mixed Company partner from community, government, or business partner that has demonstrated a commitment to Forum Theatre initiatives and demonstrates a long-term and embedded passion for educating, engaging, and empowering its stakeholders through all of its actions.

* The Regional Municipality of York, Community and Health Services Department, Healthy Living Division: The Shooting Star Award Winners (From left to right: the Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett – selection committee member, Ms. Zemeen Kabani – Public Health Nurse, Injury and Substance Misuse Prevention, Ms. Pat Chiappetta – Public Health Nurse, Secondary School Services, Ms. Tina Russo – Public Health Nurse, Injury and Substance Misuse Prevention, Ms. Wendy Kirkos, Manager, Secondary School Services, and Catherine Maunsell – selection committee member)


The Shining Star Award – Individual/Organization
Presented to a person or organization that has used the power of art in any form to educate, engage, and empower communities for positive change.


* Ms. Judy Fantham: The Shooting Star Award Winners (From left to right: Ms. Marcia Wilson – representing the award on behalf of Ms. Judy Fantham in her absence, Simon Malbogat, and Catherine Maunsell – selection committee member)


Presentations include

An interactive play on the risks in choosing where you belong

For Grade 9-12

Written by Rex Deverell

Developed in partnership with the Toronto Police Service and youth with gang experience, DISS presents the worst-case scenarios of gang involvement, catalyzing audience members to speak-up and make a change in their lives and communities.

After a successful Spring 2010 tour to priority neighbourhood schools, DISS returns in 2011 thanks to the generous support of the Toronto Police Services Board.

Incorporating a mixture of ethnically-diverse prfessional actors and community performers with previous gang experience, DISS bridges the gap between the theatrical and real.  As a multi-disciplinary production – weaving hip hop and beat boxing into a forum theatre play – DISS captures Mixed Company’s mandate of creating theatre for social change, giving voice to otherwise unheard individuals.


Bees’ Knees Dance offers Swing Dance lessons in Toronto and specializes in teaching adults with absolutely no experience how to dance.  Founded in 1999 on the principle that anyone can dance, Mandi Gould and the Bees’ Knees team are committed to creating opportunities for beginner adults to take their first dance steps. They create an environment that is unintimidating, patient and comfortable. “The Bee’s Knees” is 1920’s slang used to describe a terrific dancer and no matter your age, shape, size, gender, race or colour the Bees’ Knees will get you dancing in no time!

Danielle & Heather


Event Sponsors

– Cally Yap, Photographer