Organizational History

Stephanie Jones and Jason Cadieux

Before incorporating as a not-for-profit in 2006, ECT operated as a partnership between founders Jason Cadieux and Stephanie Jones (1998 to 2005).

Under the name “The Essential Players” the co-founders mounted three productions collaborating with a variety of theatre practitioners including Carol Bolt (One Night Stand), Michael Healey (Scenic View), and Sarah Stanley (17.5).

These projects and the artists who worked on them were extremely influential in the formation of our current mandate to create original works and present contemporary Canadian playwrights.

Upon incorporation in 2006, the company changed its name to Essential Collective Theatre and has continued to produce one to two full productions per year.

Monica Dufault (2006 – 2017)

In 2014, Artistic Director Monica Dufault launched into a “Season of Change” with ambitious growth moving ECT from a project-based model to a company with annual activities engaging professional artists under CAEA’s Independant Theatre Agreement (ITA).

For four seasons, she directed and programmed some of our most celebrated productions and established two annual education/outreach projects: Playwriting for Youth and Senior Stories. 

Rebecca Walsh and Colin Bruce Anthes

In 2018 Colin Bruce Anthes, with a career emphasizing new, innovative, and collaborative works became our Artistic Director.

Rebecca Walsh, an experienced arts management professional with a diverse career in production and general management, donor development, and community outreach became Managing Director.

Under this partnership, we have increased the hiring of emerging artists and expanded our playwriting development programs, community outreach initiatives, and audience engagement activities.

Collaborative Model

Our 2020/2021 season focused on collaboration, with individual projects and productions with different creative leaders under the overarching direction of a Managing Director.

Rebecca Walsh continues in this role by managing individual projects, productions, contract employees, fund development, marketing as well as the day-to-day operations of ECT.

Colin Anthes stepped down during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 from his part-time role as Artistic Director into a transitional role as an associate artist in new play development and dramaturgy for our playwriting residency and as a member of our creative path programming committee.

Creative Path Committee

Since 2021, ECT put a new focus on creative collaboration within our organizational structure to better reflect our core values and intent to give voice to our local community. Our programming was based on the recommendations of a diverse group of local artistic leaders and past artistic directors in a committee working with our board and managing director.

2021/2022 Members

Jason Cadieux

Stephanie Jones

Monica Dufault

Colin Bruce Anthes

Juan-Carlos Velis

Marcel Stewart

Roselyn Kaleda-Sedra

Sodienye Waboso-Amajor