Our fearless leaders: the coop co-artistic directors Lesandra Dodson (left) and Lisa Anne Ross
LESANDRA DODSON- Co-Artistic Director, the coop
Currently residing in Fredericton, Vancouver native Lesandra Dodson has been involved in dance since the age of four. Her formative training began at Simon Fraser University, followed by the Professional
Program of the School of Contemporary Dance in Winnipeg. After graduating she danced professionally with Le Groupe Dance Lab (Ottawa), Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, Trip Dance Company (founding
member), and various independent choreographers. Over the past 20 years, Lesandra’s interest in choreography and the marriage of different artistic mediums has generated several multidisciplinary
video/film productions and commissioned works that have been performed at Theatres and Festivals nation-wide. She also acts as a choreographic mentor to help facilitate emerging creators in their creative process, and continues to work and collaborate with established choreographers and theatre artists, bringing her unique insight and direction to the works. As a choreographer, she is committed to increasing her vocabulary through hands-on experience, and enjoys the challenge of learning new and exciting modes of creation. Lesandra’s curiosity leads her to seek new ways of generating authentic movement. She prefers to draw inspiration from individual performers, working collaboratively to find different means and perspectives of approaching theatrical ideas and themes. Lesandra earned her BFA Honors in Theatre/Dance (Gold medal Award), is a recipient of the KM Hunter Artists Award (Ontario Arts Council), studied Architecture through the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and is a passionate advocate for the arts. Lesandra was Executive Director of the Charlotte Street ArtsCentre in Fredericton for the past two years, initiating Platform 732, a multi-disciplinary, exploratory presentation series, a comprehensive Artist-in-Residence program and performance intensives for youths.
LISA ANNE ROSS- Co-Artistic Director, the coop
Lisa Ann Ross is a performer, creator, educator and community arts practitioner. Lisa began her studies at Dalhousie University, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in the Acting Program and went on to study physical theatre forms at the Dell’arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California. She completed her Master’s in Environmental Studies from York University, where she examined theatre as a tool for social change. Lisa has also studied clown with Master Clown Teachers such as Sue Morrison, Mump & Smoot. Lisa has had the opportunity to perform and tour with theatre companies across Canada including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, The National Arts Centre, Neptune Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick, Sudbury Theatre Centre and Mermaid Theatre. Lisa has performed her own work in numerous festivals, including a number of arduous cross Canada Fringe Tours, The Hysteria Festival, SummerWorks, The Rhubarb Festival and RED. Lisa helped to create and spent four years as the co-artistic of Clown Hall, which was a performance space/theatre company dedicated to the creation of physically based work and to fostering Toronto’s clown community.
In 2004 Lisa founded the theatre company Solo Chicken Productions, now operating in Fredericton, that produces original works but also aims to support community arts projects and educational programming. Solo Chicken Productions original works have included the puppet musical Comfort & Cozy, which premiered at the Hysteria Festival and received further workshops at HUB 14 and Feather & Bill that was collaboratively created with dance artist Sylvie Bouchard and performed at Series 8:08 and in the 2009 Cooking Fire Festival. The most recent production, Engorged, (a one woman cabaret about motherhood) which was written and performed by Lisa, premiered at the Museum of Motherhood in New York City in the Spring of 2013. The core of Solo Chicken Productions community arts work began with the Nunavik Theatre Arts Program. This program ran for 10 years and offered Inuit youth in the Arctic community of Inukjuak a safe, personally affirming creative space in which to share their voices. Most recently, Solo Chicken Productions concluded the multi-year project, Animating Rabbit-town, which explored the historical neighbourhood of Rabbit-town in Fredericton. The project featured workshops, walking tours, free drawing and circus classes and the creation of the blog www.rabbit-town.com and culminated in the production of Rabbit-town, an original play co-written by Lisa Anne Ross and Ryan Griffith that was performed in Rabbit-town at the historic train station. Lisa’s teaching experience has ranged from work with budding theatre artists to helping homeless youth find their voice. In Toronto teaching highlights include; The Etobicoke School for the Arts, The Toronto Film School (International Academy of Art & Design) and York University. In Fredericton she has taught at Leo Hayes High School, Oromocto First Nations, Theatre New Brunswick, The Silver Wave Festival, Artemis Dance School, Connaught Street School, St. Mary’s F irst Nation and is currently teaching theatre at St Thomas University.
the coop is a wing of Solo Chicken Productions.