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July 30, 2015

Staff Profile: Michelle Yagi – Development Coordinator


How long have you worked at Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what your job consisted of lately.
I’ve been at Soulpepper for a little over a year now! My job as Development Coordinator consists of lots of different things including work on our annual campaign, donation processing, donor e-communications and event coordination. I also act as the recording secretary for our Board of Directors – sitting in on those conversations has really been an incredible learning opportunity. Lately, I’ve been working on revamping SoulsNotes, our donor e- newsletter, adding new curated content from Soulpepper artists. It’s been a relatively quiet summer for the department due to the programming hiatus around the PanAm/ParapanAm Games, but once September comes we’ll have our hands full again with four new Soulpepper shows opening and plenty of donor cultivation events.

What projects do you have on the go outside of work?
In addition to my role at Soulpepper, I also work as the General Manager of the Paprika Festival – a performing arts festival dedicated to the mentorship and artistic development of young theatre artists. We pair participants from all of our programs with professional artistic mentors and arts facilitators, give them the resources to develop their creative ideas over the course of six months, and provide a number of training workshops along the way. All of this culminates in an annual festival of new work in the spring, and – new this past year – a full-day conference for emerging artists. We’re currently heading into our 15th season, marking the beginning of a two-year partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts and expanded community arts engagement in Regent Park. I’m also producing a show with Re: Current Theatre, a new theatre collective currently in residence at Hub14. It keeps me busy!

When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
Well I try to see as much theatre as possible, for starters! I’m glad I got the chance to catch a bunch of the Panamania programming while it was here and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season at Summerworks. I love being a part of the theatre community in Toronto… it’s such a small world but there’s so many talented people working in this city and a lot of interesting new work out there. When I’m not dragging my friends to shows, I try to make time for reading, writing and music whenever possible.

What do you love about working at Soulpepper?
Soulpepper is a pretty special place. The company’s success stories are easy to understand when you meet the incredible staff and artists who work here, and it’s such a supportive environment. There are also a lot of very exciting, very ambitious plans for the future floating around this building, and I’m looking forward to seeing them come to life!