Alexandra Simpson is an interdisciplinary theatre artist and mask builder with a background in dance, physical theatre, music and devised/collective creation. She holds a BFA in Performance Acting and an MFA in Documentary Media from Toronto Metropolitan University and a MA in Performance and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto. Alexandra has trained in clown with John Beale, John Turner, Martha Ross, Leah Cherniak and Deanna Fleysher. She is mask builder and in 2019, attended the International Workshop in Commedia dell’Arte led by Sarah and Paaola Sartori in Abano Terme, Italy with the support of the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Professional Development fund.
Recently, with the support of the Canada Arts Council worked with the Sartori’s and Felice Amato in Abano Terme on a new female mask collection that explores the relationship between women and mask, and attended Susan Bertoia’s Commedia dell’Arte training in Vancouver this summer. Alexandra also studied with Alessandra Faienza in Italy in mask building in worbla and leather nose with the support of the Ontario Arts Council Career Catalyst Grant.
Alexandra has built masks for productions with ATC, as well as Lisa Hamalainen’s There is No Word for Wilderness and Trellis Arts’ The Giving Tree. In addition to her work with ATC, Alexandra has experience in various creation projects including: Swallow-A-Bicycle’s Gargantuan Project, a collectively created mask work about the Alberta tar sands; Terra Incognita by the Terra Incognita Collective, a research based performance documentary about growth culture and the degrowth alternative; and as a performer and collaborator in Theatre by the Bay’s The Five Points, a documentary play written by Alex Dault and created by the collective, about Barrie Ontario’s downtown core.
Alexandra’s work as a playwright includes: Hiatus (Ryerson New Voices, 2013); Surviving Speares (Toronto Fringe, 2013); Pit Sublime (Alumnae Theatre, 2014); and Nexus (Animacy Theatre Works in Progress Double Bill, 2017). Her play Nexus, about the Line 9 pipeline and the humans and more than humans who live, work and crawl among it, was shortlisted for the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s 2017 Robert Beardsley Award and recently received support from the Toronto Arts Council for future development. Outside of ATC, Alexandra has experience as a producer as the Assistant Producer at Soulpepper (2015) and the SummerWorks Festival Producing Intern (2014/15). Alexandra was the DocNow Festival co-chair (2016) and is a board member for Common Boots Theatre (2015 – present).