The Importance of Intersectionality in Theatre and Beyond

Dawn Jani Birley created the 1S1 Theatre company with the goal of educating and entertaining while challenging audiences’ perceptions of Deafness. In collaboration with Why Not Theatre’s SHARE stream of activities, Birley’s company examines the intersections between the Deaf and hearing worlds, creating work that speaks to both audiences, told from a Deaf-led perspective. What are they working on now? I Am Puff is a digital children’s series and a labour of love, made possible by an intersectional and international team of artists. Birley stars as Puff, a vibrant and colourful character determined to explore the hearing world and teach the people who live there about his own. Here, Birley chats with Intermission‘s Jessica Watson and Why Not Theatre Producer Michelle Yagi about 1S1 Theatre, Puff, and the need for intersectionality in theatre—and beyond.

To learn more about 1S1 Theatre, or to watch episodes of I Am Puff, click here.


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Interview by

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Intermission, as well as a writer, classically-trained actor, and plant enthusiast. Since graduating from LAMDA in the UK with her MA in acting, you can often find her writing screenplays and short plays in the park, writing extensive lists of plant care tips, or working on stage and screen (though she uses a stage name). Jessica freelances with various companies across Canada, but her passion lies in working with theatre artists and enthusiasts.

Video by

Jill is a Toronto-based theatre director with a film degree. She is the co-founder of Cue6 Theatre. She directs lots of indie shows, both for Cue6 and for other companies around town, but she still manages to find enough film work to subsidize her love of eating on a regular basis.