Jonathan Seinen

Assistant Professor

Office: RC 273
Phone: 306-585-5265
Fax: 306-585-5599
Pronoun(s): (he/him)

Research interests

Devised Theatre/Collective Creation, New Play Development, 20th Century Realism, Shakespeare, Greek Drama, Adaptations, Postdramatic Theatre, Queer Theory, LGBTQ+ Performance.

Jonathan Seinen is an award-winning theatre artist, primarily a director of new plays, reimagined classics, and devised collaborative theatre works with an emphasis on environmental and identity topics and based on field research, autobiography, and the body. His most recent directing credits include a remount of Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho)’s Governor General Literary Awards Finalist Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) at Theatre Passe Muraille, an adaptation from Euripides commissioned by Saga Collectif and nominated for seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 2019, and Zizi Majid’s How To Gild An Eagle at Columbia University in New York City. He was also director and co-creator on Saga Collectif’s Black Boys, Boys In Chairs Collective’s Access Me, and acted in Architect Theatre’s first collective creation, Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show. Favourite directing credits include: Hamlet in a community hall in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood, Deathwatch by Jean Genet in an art gallery basement on Ossington Street in Toronto, and an undergrad production of The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Assistant Directing credits include: Richard Wagner’s Tristan Und Isolde with Anne Bogart at the Croatian National Theatre, Timon of Athens at the Stratford Festival of Canada with Stephen Ouimette, and The Sound of Music at Canada’s National Arts Centre with Joey Tremblay.

He also works as an actor, appearing in new works such as lemonTree creations’ Body Politic by Nick Green at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, which was won the Dora Award for Outstanding New Play, Theatre Calgary’s premiere production of Liberation Days by David van Belle, and Sean Dixon’s A God In Need Of Help at the Tarragon Theatre. He also appeared in Studio 180’s production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart and Citadel Theatre’s As You Like It. His Regina debut was Ekstatika Stage & Screen’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee at the Artesian on 13th.

 Jonathan won the John Hirsch Prize for Directing from the Canada Council for the Arts in 2020, was a participate in the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Directing at the Stratford Festival, was in Canadian Stage’s RBC Emerging Artist Program: Director Development Residency, and in the Banff Centre/Citadel Theatre’s Professional Theatre Training Program. His devised theatre work has been primarily through Architect Theatre (Co-Artistic Producer), lemonTree Creations (Artistic Associate 2008-2017), Saga Collectif (Founding Member), and Boys in Chairs Collective (Founding Member).

 He joined the University of Regina in 2022 from SUNY Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York, where he was Assistant Professor of Directing, and is joining the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance as the Theatre Department launches an innovative BFA in Devised Performance and Theatre Creation.


MFA (Columbia University, 2020)

Acting Certificate (National Theatre School of Canada, 2007)

BA (Hons) (University of Alberta, 2004)


 Directing [selected] 

  • 2022 How To Gild An Eagle by Zizi Majid (Columbia University)
  • 2022 The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Buffalo State College)
  • 2022 Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) by Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho) (Digital) (Theatre Passe Muraille/Saga Collectif/Architect Theatre) – Finalist, 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award; Recipient, 2019 Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best New Canadian Play; Nominee, 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production, Direction, New Play, Performance, Lighting, Costume, and Sound Design
  • 2020 Mother C by Ansley Valentine (Digital) (Buffalo State College)
  • 2019 Cabaret by John Kander & Fred Ebb (MFA Thesis Production) (Columbia University)
  • 2017 Boys In Chairs by Andrew Gurza, Ken Harrower, Frank Hull, Debbie Patterson, Brian Postalian, and Jonathan Seinen (Workshop Presentation) (SummerWorks Performance Festival) – Recipient, Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award For Performance
  • 2016/2017 Black Boys by Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Thomas Olajide, Tawiah M’Carthy with Virgilia Griffith and Jonathan Seinen (Saga Collectif/Buddies In Bad Times Theatre/Tour) – Nominee, Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Ensemble
  • 2015 Charisma Furs by Mx. Katie Sly and Jonathan Seinen (SummerWorks Performance Festival)  
  • 2014 Unknown Soldier by Jonathan Seinen (SummerWorks Performance Festival)
  • 2009 Deathwatch by Jean Genet (Pride Toronto)                                 
  • 2008 Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Architect Theatre/Swallow-A-Bicycle Performance Co-op)
  • 2003 The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt (University of Alberta)

Acting [selected]

  • 2022 Nick, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee, Directed by Jaron Francis (Ekstatika/Artesian on 13th)
  • 2016 Calvin, Body Politic by Nick Green, Directed by Alisa Palmer (Buddies in Bad Times/lemonTree Creations) – Recipient, 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play; Nominee, Outstanding Production
  • 2015 Jonathan, Like There’s No Tomorrow by ___, Directed by Anita Rochon (SummerWorks Performance Festival) – Honourable Mention, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Vanguard Award for Risk & Innovation
  • 2014/2015 Jan van Egmond, Liberation Days by David van Belle, Directed by Daryl Cloran (Theatre Calgary/Western Canadian Theatre)
  • 2014 Rafal, A God In Need Of Help by Sean Dixon, Directed by Richard Rose (Tarragon Theatre)
  • 2011/2 Tommy Boatwright, The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, Directed by Joel Greenberg (Studio 180 Theatre/Buddies In Bad Times Theatre)
  • 2011 Steve, Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show by ___, Directed by Charlotte Corbeil Coleman (Architect Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille)
  • 2010 LeBeau, As You Like It by William Shakespeare, Directed by James MacDonald (Citadel Theatre)
  • 2006 Orlando, You Like It. by ___, Directed by Darrah Teitel (SummerWorks Performance Festival)

Playwriting [selected] 

  • 2021 - Present à la façon du pays A time-travelling, multidisciplinary public performance of the very private, imagining a personal relationship as it may have been during the Fur Trade, and what has changed since then between Indigenous women and white men on this land. A collaboration with PJ Prudat; In Residency at the Theatre Centre, Toronto, since January 2021.
  • 2014 Unknown Soldier A solo performance script inspired by the case of Chelsea Manning, the US Army Whistleblower who was charged with leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. Produced at the 2014 SummerWorks Performance Festival, supported by grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the National Theatre School’s Theatre Engaging Communities (TEC) program. Outstanding New Play, Production, Performance, Design, and Direction (NOW Magazine); Honourable Mention, SummerWorks Spotlight Award for Performance for actor Jeff Ho.
  • [ice land] In a destitute post-war future Canada, three men surviving in a basement on the prairies are visited by a young woman with a mysterious past who changes their world. Premiered at the New Works Festival at Edmonton’s Walterdale Theatre in 2003, directed by Michael Cowie; subsequently produced at St. Thomas University in 2016, directed by Danielle Chiasson.


  • 2023 Black Boys. (With Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Thomas Olajide, Tawiah M’Carthy and Virgilia Griffith). (Playwrights Canada Press), forthcoming.
  • 2022 “Forward.” Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone: 方 by Ho Ka Kei. (Playwrights Canada Press).
  • 2022 “Access Me by Boys In Chairs Collective.” (With Andrew Gurza, Ken Harrower, Frank Hull, Debbie Patterson, and Brian Postalian) Interdependent Magic: Disability Performance in Canada. Ed. Jessica Watkin. (Playwrights Canada Press), 2021, 61 – 116.
  • 2021 “‘Room for failure was abundant’: A Personal Account of SummerWorks, 2006-2017.” Canadian Theatre Review, Summer 2021. Eds. Dalbir Singh and Chris Dupuis. (University of Toronto Press), Summer 2021, 42 – 46.
  • 2019 “Toronto.” Theatre Passe Muraille: A Collective History. Martin Julien & Samantha Series with Rae Johnson. (Playwrights Canada Press), 2019, 142 – 143.
  • 2018 “Charisma Furs.” (With Katie Sly), Q2Q: Queer Canadian Performance Texts. Peter Dickinson, C.E. Gatchalian, Kathleen Oliver & Dalbir Singh. (Playwrights Canada Press), 33 – 59. Nominated for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Anthology.
  • 2014 “Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show (Excerpt),” Beautiful Destruction. Ed. Louis Helbig. (Rocky Mountain Books), 204 – 205.
  • 2011 “Going South with Highway 63,” theatre 9.1, 10 – 15.
  • 2008 “[ice land].” Hot Thespian Action! 10 Premiere Plays from Walterdale Playhouse. Ed. Robin Whittaker. (Athabasca UP), 2008, 412 – 456.

Conference Presentations 

  • 2022 Session Co-Coordinator (with Associate Professor Ansley Valentine, Indiana University Bloomington), “Adaptation as Reclamation: A Panel Discussion on Adaptations of Western ‘Canonical’ Texts for the Stage by BIPOC or Queer Creators,” ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Annual Conference, Detroit, Michigan, July 2022.
  • 2021 “What Would You Do?": A Queer Utopian Vision of Cabaret,” ATHE Annual Conference, Virtual, August 2021.
  • 2016 “A Festival Of Disassembly: Queer Devised Theatre,” Queer Theatre and Performance in Canada: Taking Stock, Simon Fraser University, co-sponsored by the frank theatre company, Vancouver, July 2016.
  • 2016 Panel Member for “It’s Nearly 2017: Female Futures In Canadian Theatre”, Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon, June 2016. Panelists included Sherry Yoon, Brenda Leadlay, Nadia Ross, and Jani Lauzon, moderated by Joyce Rosario.