Geordie Productions is thrilled to announce its appointment of the company’s third Artistic Director. Accomplished local actor, director, producer, co-founder and Artistic Director of Tableau D’Hôte Theatre, Artist Mentorship Program Director and Assistant Artistic Director of Black Theatre Workshop and recipient of the 2015 Montreal English Theatre Award for Outstanding Director…please join us in welcoming Mike Payette to the Geordie family!
“I met Mike when he was a teenager and I’ve watched him grow as an artist and as a person. He is thoughtful, caring, imaginative and courageous. He has a history with the company just as I did when Elsa asked me to become the Artistic Director and so I know he understands the importance of this company in the landscape of this city and the country. I believe he will do much more than just take care it. I’m proud that the committee made Mike their choice to be the next leader of Geordie and I’m incredibly excited to see the work he’ll create and the conversations he’ll start in the years to come.”
-Dean Patrick Fleming
Following in the footsteps of the company’s founder, Order of Canada appointed Elsa Bolam who helmed the company for 25 years, as well as her successor, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awarded Dean Patrick Fleming who ends his decade-long tenure this season, Mike is supported by an enthusiastic artistic community, a devoted staff and dedicated board of directors.
“As President of the Board, I know that I speak for the entire Board in saying that we are very excited to have Mike Payette become Geordie’s third Artistic Director in this our 36th year. After a comprehensive and lengthy search across Canada, we are thrilled to have found someone of his calibre. Mike is young, has great energy and also has the administrative and artistic experience we were searching for. We look forward to having Mike take over and infuse the organization with all that he brings; exciting times ahead!”
Audiences in Montreal, indeed across most of Eastern Canada, who’ve come to count on Geordie’s plays as a means of introducing theatre to children and of enjoying live performing arts in their communities, will all get a chance to appreciate the artistry and sensibility that has contributed to Payette’s rising star.
“I have been – along with countless others – directly influenced by the power and passion of Geordie since the first moment one of their shows (the beautiful landmark production of A Promise Is A Promise, which auspiciously featured a young Dean Patrick Fleming) was brought to my school over twenty years ago. The introduction of the arts and theatre, and the endless magical possibilities to be found within them have shaped not only myself, but also given weight to the idea that family, community and the world mean so many different things to so many people; but it is through the lens and perspective of the young person that fuels us to try to be greater within each sphere. For these reasons, Geordie rests among one of the most important theatre companies in Montreal, and in the country, and I am both humbled and honoured to be a part of its continued evolution in presenting our theatre – for all ages, for all people.
I would like to offer my deepest appreciation to the search committee and the Board of Directors for making a brave and empowering choice in having me steer Geordie’s artistic vision. To the staff at Geordie whose inestimable work over the years and during this transition have kept them among some of the best people working in theatre. Thank you Elsa and Dean for creating a vision and platform from which young people from across the country and elsewhere can see stories about them unfold before their eyes; presented with the highest quality and professionalism, care, enchantment and incredible dignity. To my extended family at Tableau D’Hôte Theatre and Black Theatre Workshop for their tireless support and to my mother who has illustrated the definition of strength through adversity with grace, humour, and style. And finally, my partner Warona and her beautiful daughter Khaya from whom I look forward to dreaming as big with Geordie as they do in their lives.