Tanisha Taitt

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Tanisha Taitt is a director, actor, playwright, ​teacher, activist and accidental essayist who has worked with ​theatre organizations including Obsidian Theatre, Nightwood Theatre​​​​, National Arts Centre, ​Toronto Youth Theatre, Workman Arts, Buddies In Bad Times, Toronto Fringe, SummerWorks and Soulpepper Theatre, and spent two seasons as a Resident Artist-Educator with Young People's Theatre, where she has taught on the Drama School summer faculty. She has been Artistic Mentor for the Paprika Festival Creators' Unit and Program Director for The Musical Stage Company's youth training initiative One Song Glory, in addition to being a theatre director for the program. She has taught young people ages 2 to 25, including three years as a preschool arts teacher for the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. She is a Drama​ ​mentor for tdsbCreates, a TDSB/Toronto Arts Council initiative that brings professional artists into classrooms to facilitate artistic expression in students and creative development of teachers. Known by her peers for her fierce commitment to inclusion and racial/cultural representation in theatre, Tanisha works as a director and Anti-Oppression educator for the award-winning Children's Peace Theatre, an organization which engages the arts to teach young people about conflict transformation and ​creating a culture of peace. A longtime anti-VAW activist, Tanisha spent seven years as the Toronto and then the Canadian producer for V-Day /One Billion Rising -- the global movement to end violence against women and girls, during which time she also served as Director of​ 11​​ of its ​stage productions.

Also a singer/songwriter, Tanisha has a catalogue of over 800 original songs and released one independent album, Overflow, in 2007. While a student at the Harris Institute for the Arts, from which she graduated with an Honours double-major in Recording Arts Business Management and Audio Production, she was a recipient of the Canadian Music Publishers Association Songwriters Award & Scholarship for excellence in achievement in songwriting. She was pursuing a career as a recording artist and songwriter when her life took an unexpected detour into theatre -- fell deeply in love -- and never looked back. Despite the many artistic hats which she adores wearing as a theatre artist, she still considers herself a songwriter first.

Tanisha has served on arts council and playwriting juries, and recently sat on the Program Advisory Committee for the creation of the new Arts Education and Community Engagement post-graduate program at Centennial College.​ She was "Harolded" in 2013 and ​​in 2015, critic Lynn Slotkin bestowed upon her an inaugural “Tootsie” Award in the “They Can Do Anything” category. Her play Keeper was published by Scirocco Drama ​the following year. In 2016 she helmed a hugely successful staging of the musical Sister Act for the Lower Ossington Theatre, which became at the time the most culturally diverse production in the history of the company. Tanisha was cited for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction by NOW Magazine for her directorial vision of The Seat Next To King, by Steven Elliott Jackson, which received a coveted 5Ns from critic Glenn Sumi and garnered multiple rave reviews. It became the most successful production in the 2017 Toronto Fringe. She has been nominated as a director for the Pauline McGibbon Award for Unique Talents, and currently teaches 1st Year Contemporary Scene Study at George Brown Theatre School. Tanisha was recently chosen to be the keynote speaker for the inaugural Canadian Theatre Educators' Conference. She is a two-time YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee for her commitment to artistic excellence and social justice.