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The Cafe Writers

Kelsey Kanatan Wavey (they/them) is a non binary multidisciplinary artist currently based in so-called Vancouver. Kelsey was born and raised in Treaty 1, Winnipeg, and is a proud member of Tataskweyak Cree Nation. Kelsey attended Studio 58 to study acting, and has been working as an actor, writer, director, and curator since graduating in 2019. Kelsey is a singer and is working on self-releasing their work with their Indigenous indie pop duo “EVERB0DY”, as well as sings with an all femme drumming group “M’girl”. Some of their recent theatre acting work includes The Rez Sisters, Women of the Fur Trade (MTC) and Break Horizons: a Concert Documentary (Urban Ink and The Cultch). You may have seen their recent directing work in Cerulean Blue (Studio 58) and Gather: Stories in Nature (Neworld and Pacific Theatre).

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50 Cent Lemonade
by Kelsey Kanatan Wavey

Mango Cake
by Amy Lee Lavoie & Omari Newton

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Amy Lee Lavoie is an award-winning playwright and a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Playwriting Program. Her first play, Rabbit Rabbit, received its premiere production with Infinitheatre, earning Amy Lee two MECCA’s for Best Text and the Revelation Award. Rabbit Rabbit has since been produced across Canada and in the US. Other plays include Me Happy (co-written with Matthew Mackenzie/Summerworks Festival), Stopheart (Factory Theatre) Genetic Drift (Pi Theatre/Boca del Lupo) My Tom (Railtown Lab Series), Scout’s Honour (Radio Play/Imago Theatre) and C’mon, Angie! (Touchstone Theatre/Leroy Street Theatre) which was hailed as “visceral, important, life-changing theatre.” Amy Lee was also the Head Digital Writer for the CBC drama Strange Empire, which won a Gracie Award (Women’s Alliance Media) for Best Website in recognition of its interactive Storytelling. Up next, Redbone Coonhound will receive a rolling premiere at the Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver), Tarragon Theatre (Toronto) and Imago Theatre (Montreal) in the 2022/23 season.

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Omari Newton is an award-winning professional actor, writer, director and producer. As a writer, his original Hip Hop theater piece Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and multiple productions, including a recent presentation at Canada’s National Arts Center. He has been commissioned by Black Theater Workshop (BTW) in Montreal to write a companion piece to Sal Capone entitled Black & Blue Matters. Omari and his wife, fellow professional playwright Amy Lee Lavoie, have received commissions from The Arts Club Theatre to co-write a new play: Redbone Coonhound.  A bold and innovative satirical comedy that confronts instances of systemic racism in the past, present and future. Omari is Co-directing the first in a series of rolling world premiere at The Arts Club Theatre in October of 2022. The play will then open in Montreal (Imago Theatre) & then Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. The husband and wife duo also just completed "Black Fly," an satirical adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus that centers Aaron and Lavinia. Newton’s work in Speakeasy Theatre's production of Young Jean Lee's The Shipment earned him a 2017-2018 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, as well as a nomination for Best Direction. He has recently completed directing critically acclaimed productions of "The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall, and "Pass Over" by Antoinette Nwandu.  Notable film & TV credits include: Lucas Ingram on Showcase’s Continuum, Larry Summers on Blue Mountain State and lending his voice to the Black Panther in multiple animated projects (Marvel). Most recently, Omari has a recurring role as Nate on Corner Gas (the animated series) and a recurring role as Corvus of Netflix’s hit new animated series The Dragon Prince.

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