Liza Balkan.

Liza is an actor, director, writer, librettist, educator and coach who has spent the past 35 years working in the theatre.

Liza joined ARC in 2015. Pomona marks her first show with the company.

Liza’s work as an actor and/or dancer has included productions at the National Arts Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Theatre Rusticle, Belfry Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, PTE, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Persephone Theatre, Blyth Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Elgin /Winter Garden, Thousand Islands Playhouse, The Kennedy Centre, Wash. DC and Theatre for the New City (NYC).

Recent tv/films credits include Atom Egoyan’s Remember, The Expanse and the upcoming sequel to The Kennedys:  After Camelot.   She received a Dora Award for her performance in Theresa Tova’s Still the Night (Theatre Passe Muraille/Tapestry/Tova Ent)  as we well as a nomination for Calgary’s Betty Mitchell Award during its subsequent cross Canada tour.

Her most recent directing work includes the Canadian Premiere of composer Louis Andriessen’s Anais Nin, at Koerner Hall in Toronto, starring mezzo – soprano Wallis Guinta, Dean Burry’s The Brothers Grimm for the Canadian Opera Company,

Mark Crawford’s Stag and Doe (Lighthouse Festival Theatre) Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas and Lucio Berio’s Folk Songs for The Royal Conservatory of Music/ Glenn Gould School, Bicycle Opera Project’s 2014 and 2015 summer tours as well as staging consultant for their performances at The 2016 Curiosity Festival.  She is director and dramaturge on Izad Etemadi’s hit solo show Love with Leila.

Liza has been a resident artist at The Theatre Centre.  There, she developed her documentary project Out the Window, about policing, accountability, use of force, mental health, witnessing and the law.  It played to sold out houses during its short run in 2012 and starred RH Thomson, David Ferry and Julie Tepperman.

Her work as a librettist includes the song cycle Looking at Spring, commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, composed by Lembit Beecher and produced by Scrag Mountain Music in Vermont in June 2014. With composer Glenn James she created Dustings for Canadianstage’s Festival of Ideas and Creations. A short work she created with composer Ivan Barbotin, (What Rhymes with) Azimuth, was included in Bicycle Opera’s 2014 tour. She also penned two songs on Barbotin’s  recent  album: Atom. She is presently developing a new work with Lembit, inspired by the Out The Window project. One of its songs will be performed in February in the upcoming Five Borough Song Book Festival in New York City.