Svetlana Zylin was a director, dramaturg, Artistic Director, playwright, performer, administrator, and a champion of women’s rights.
She was a graduate of UBC’s directing program, where she and her colleagues co-founded Vancouver’s first contemporary feminist theatre company, the Women’s Theatre Cooperative (WTC). WTC was funded by an Opportunities for Youth grant, produced two seasons, and played in and around Vancouver and the province of BC in the summer of 1973 and 1974.
In the following years, Zylin worked as a freelance director all across the country, with stints at Theatre Passe Muraille, the Theatre Centre , The Great Canadian Theatre Company, and the Vancouver Playhouse .
Zylin established The Ritz Cafe Theatre Society in Toronto and served as its Artistic Director, providing a venue for Toronto’s more adventurous performing artists, where she wrote and produced a play "The Christmas Box" specifically for the space, and was actively involved in generating and producing original work. After the demise of the Ritz, she produced some of that work in other venues in Toronto .
Zylin was also a President of the Board of Directors at The Theatre Centre, represented theatre companies on the P.A.C.T. Board, the Quebec Drama Federation, and was President of the Board at Playwrights Workshop Montreal.
Her film and television work included being the Associate Producer of ‘’Canada: True North,’’ a four-part P.B.S./N.F.B. documentary series aired throughout the world .
As a former Artistic Associate with P.O.V, a Montreal theatre company dedicated to innovative theatre, Zylin directed and produced new work by Montreal artists. She was also the Artistic Coordinator of Hit and Run Theatre, which produced feminist work .
Zylin’s final job was an arts officer at the Manitoba Arts Council .
Svetlana Zylin passed away in Winnipeg on July 15, 2002.