Brian Postalian (Բրայն Փոսթալյան) is a theatre director, producer, and performance creator born and raised in Toronto/Tkaronto by way of Armenia, Ireland, Wales, and the Czech Republic. Brian is the founding Artistic Director of Re:Current Theatre, which produced the sold-out SummerWorks hit The Smile Off Your Face. Previously, he was the Artistic Producer of CRAPSHOOT! at Theatre Passe Muraille, and Compass Points Curator at Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.
“I create whimsical and visually imaginative work based in personal history, trauma, and humour. I’m always asking about how we connect to each other in a shared space.”
Brian is an alumni of the Artist Producer Training program (Generator), Young Creators Unit (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program (SummerWorks), Compass Points (Magnetic North Festival), and was a member of the inaugural Devised Theatre Lab at Common Boots Theatre. Brian has trained with The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, the Volcano Theatre Conservatory and was featured in Volcano’s Emerging Artist series along with his colleague Jackie Rowland for their work This is What I Know. Brian’s work has been featured on “Best of the Year” lists, received Outstanding Direction (NOW Magazine), Best Production (SummerWorks 2017), nomination for Outstanding Direction (MyEntertainmentWorld), and he has been described as “clearly unafraid to try just about anything”.
On his spare time, he likes to visit used book stores, ride his bicycle, volunteer and is learning how to draw and play the Armenian duduk. Brian currently lives in Vancouver, BC where he is completing an MFA at Simon Fraser University’s School of Contemporary Art in Theatre Game Design and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Brian produces with some of the most innovative theatre creators, companies, and arts administrators in Canada. He also provides dramaturgical services and freelance consulting/workshops on artistic and indie projects.
|Card Game||Re:Current Theatre||Creator||In Development|
|Boys In Chairs||Boys in Chairs Collective||Associate Director, Co-Creator||In Development|
|Master of Fine Arts||Simon Fraser University||Theatre as Game Design||In Process|
Boys in Chairs
Associate Director, Co-Creator
Cahoots Theatre (In development)
SummerWorks Lab (2017)
Created by Boys in Chairs Collective (Andrew Gurza, Frank Hull, Ken Harrower, Brian Postalian, Jonathan Seinen, and Debbie Patterson)
A fun, sexy, and honest exploration of three men’s experiences as queer disabled men. Andrew Gurza, Frank Hull and Ken Harrower have come together to speak to experiences that rarely, if ever, are seen on stage. Immediate and intimate, provocative and personal, Boys In Chairs brings a queer perspective to conversations around sex and disability.
Director and Creator
Re:Current Theatre/SFU (2018)
Created by Brian Postalian + and the Company (Tobias Macfarlane, Pascale Reiners, Amanda Sum, Montserrat Videla, Matt Winter, and Evan Medd)
An immersive theatre game
Welcome to Champion. You're invited to play a game based solely on your identity. Throughout the evening, champions will emerge. How you identify may help you win or lose. Your choices will determine the winner. Once we are liberated, will meritocracy rule?
"…all really inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of home."
Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space
Co-directed by Steven Hill and Rob Kitsos
Assistant direction: Brian Postalian
Dramaturgy: Jessica DelFierro
Choreography: Justine Chambers, Company 605, and Anya Saugstad, with Daisy Thompson
Music: Stefan Nazarevich
Media design: Tobias Macfarlane
Lighting design: Celeste English
Stage design: Paula Vitanen
Performed by SCA students in Dance, Theatre, Music, and Theatre Production & Design.
Simon Fraser University (2018)
Concept and direction by Patrick Blenkarn
Books is a performance with and about books. In collaboration with four performers, director Patrick Blenkarn uses books and bodies to sculpt an encounter of ideas ― chaos, order, labour, devotion, knowledge, and consumption. Mixing the durational and the visceral, Books opens a space for the spectator to witness and experience the all-too-human attempt to pursue and preserve stories and sense.
Choreography by Linnea Gwiazda
Performed by Brian Postalian, Nicola Rough, Montserrat Videla, and Johnny Wu
Lighting by Celeste English
Projection by Milton Lim
Sound by Sam Ferguson
The Smile Off Your Face
Blindfolded, hands tied, and sitting in a moving chair, one audience member at a time is guided through this immersive performance. The Smile Off Your Face invites you into a sensory experience, moving through a room of imaginative wonder. Surrounded by eight performers, embark on a one-of-a-kind journey that's all about you.
Best of Stage 2017 - Tapeworthy
"NNNN" - NOW Magazine
"Rating: (A)" - My Entertainment World
"One memorable experience" - Mooney on Theatre
"we strongly recommend this one-[at]-a-time bite-size adventure" - Torontoist
"OtM SummerWorks Recommendation ... A completely full sensory experience" - Outside the March, Mitchell Cushman
This Is What I Know
Director, Co-Creator, Producer
Re:Current Theatre, Toronto (2017)
In the Soil Arts Festival, St. Catharines (2017)
Created by Brian Postalian + Jackie Rowland
Jackie is sorting things out. She knows she likes women, and calls herself a lesbian, but she’s still attracted to men… she thinks. She’s not sure if she’s trying to hold onto something just to keep a grasp on reality. She wants to make visible what she can’t see, reveal what’s itching underneath, and blow it all apart.
Blending multimedia storytelling, live-art, and stand-up comedy, Jackie Rowland delivers a delicate otherworldly performance in This Is What I Know. A coming out story for the questioning and the unsure, this show delves deep into how we are defined by all of the things we aren't.
DIRECTOR/CO-CREATOR: Brian Postalian
PLAYWRIGHT/CO-CREATOR: Jackie Rowland
TECHNICAL DESIGN: Julia Howman
We would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of The Theatre Centre, Cabaret Company, Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve, and Theatre Passe Muraille.
Everything You've Always Wanted
Kitchener Waterloo Youth Theatre (2016)
Everything You've Always Wanted is a mockery and celebration of "the best years of your life." It’s about finding your identity and figuring out if there’s anyone else out there like you, feeling like you, looking like you. Built from the real life experiences, thoughts, and stories from a cast of 18 teenagers, it’s a party, it’s a riot, it’s a celebration of raw energy, it’s everything you’ve always wanted.
The Act of Remembering
Whitehorse Nuit Blanche / (Co)space (2016)
Created by Brian Postalian + Tatiana Carnevale
Performed by Brian Postalian
A four-hour interactive installation that invites audience members to help piece together the people and history that have shaped who they are. Inspired by my late grandparents – immigrants who fled from the Armenian genocide – this is an act of piecing together the people and history that I was bereft of. Through the act of collective remembering, can we (re)create the ancestors we never knew? I invite the audience to share a memory and see if there’s something that ties our ancestors together, and however briefly, gives them life again.
Theatre by Committee (2016)
by Kelley Anderson
Featuring Hannah Jack, Owen Fawcett, & Suzanne Crone
Sound Design by Shaun McPherson
Light & Costumes by Kelly Anderson
Stage Managed by Joshua Wiles
Ed and his sister Cara are sent to live on their aunt Lillian's farm after the collapse of their parents marriage. Years later, Ed struggles to reconnect with Lillian, all the while attempting to come to terms with the time they spent together, and the place Lillian took in his life.
Wild Duck Project
Director, Adaptor, Co-Producer
Re:Current Theatre (2015)
Adapted by The Company
Wild Duck Project is a contemporary adaptation, reimagining, and deconstruction from Henrik Ibsen’s cynical play ‘The Wild Duck’.
Lit entirely by the actors using four lamps and a set of flashlights, the performance is a mash-up of text from the play, personal testimonials from the performers, remixed classic pop and folks songs, and shadow puppetry. The project asks whether or not human beings can live their lives without telling a single lie.
DIRECTOR: Brian Postalian
FEATURING: Eliza Martin, Zachary Murphy, Victor Pokinko, and Alex Spyropoulos
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Joe Pagnan
ASSOCIATE DESIGN: Holly Meyer-Dymny
COSTUMES: Laura Delchiaro
PRODUCER: Michelle Yagi
STAGE MANAGEMENT: Heather Bellingham
DRAMATURGY: Adrian Beattie
"Director Brian Postalian is clearly unafraid to try just about anything" - Mooney on Theatre
"Thought provoking, moving, charming, and beautifully realized." - Audience
"An incredible and intimate show." - Audience
Co-Writer, Co-Director, Performer
EVN 24 Theatre / High Fest International Performing Arts Festival (2015)
co-written by Nina Romá Agvanian & Brian Postalian
Sasha doesn't feel comfortable in her own skin. Luke and Mariana don't know how to handle the rift in their relationship. Lilit wants to find peace. Everyone is connected in Sasha's death.
Something Broken was written and presented for EVN 24 Theatre. Given only a quote as a prompt, the play was written in under 12 hours (and rehearsed in the following 12 hours). The first performance was given at the High Fest International Performing Arts Festival (Yerevan, Armenia). The play was subsequently workshopped and presented a second time the following weekend at Studio 20 with Noemi Akopian, Sonya Armaghanyan, Nina Romá Agvanian and Brian Postalian. Co-directed by Nina Romá Agvanian and Brian Postalian.
Optional Forum: Where to Start?
Birthright Armenia (2015)
Created and Performed by Aram Atamian (USA), Brian Postalian (Canada), & Apo Yaghmourian (Jordan)
Three Armenian artists from the diaspora meet for the first time in Armenia. They are brought together to create a performance. Even at "home" in the motherland, something still feels unresolved. How do we define our relationship to what is missing from history?
CMTP Sheridan College (2015)
Created by Mitchell Cushman and Julie Tepperman
Brantwood is a groundbreaking musical theatre experience – the largest production of immersive, site-specific musical theatre in Canadian history. The talents of student in both of Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance and Technical Production for Theatre and Live Events programs were applauded for the masterful execution of such a vast production. Brantwood made further history by earning a Dora Mavor Moore Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production in 2015.
There Was and There Was Not
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Rhubarb Festival (2015)
Developed through Buddies' Young Creators Unit
Created and Performed by Brian Postalian
Directed by Brendan Healy
A man searches for something he feels he lost. He has a hole in his body the size of a fist. He is haunted by an Armenian folk tale, a story of a Genocide that was and was not. A presentation of a “failed” attempt at writing a play, Brian confronts the choices he did or didn’t make to find the answer to his sadness.
The Art of Building a Bunker
Factory Theatre (2014)
Created by Adam Lazarus and Guillermo Verdeccia
THE ART OF BUILDING A BUNKER is a viciously funny and tragic story recounting a week in the life of your average Elvis as he endures mandatory workplace sensitivity training. Elvis finds himself surrounded by a group of characters that is diversely bizarre and bizarrely diverse, all portrayed by Adam Lazarus with a sharp wit and comic genius. THE ART OF BUILDING A BUNKER is an equal opportunity satire where nothing is sacred and no one is spared.
Beck Festival (2013)
by Anton Chekhov
adapted + directed by Brian Postalian
Featuring Eliza Martin, Victor Pokinko, & Gregory Guzik
The widow Elena Popova is in the midst of a yearlong mourning when a broke landowner, Grigory Smirnov, interrupts her and demands she instantly fulfill an unpaid debt left from Popova’s late husband. They quarrel over money, love, men and women, and when they can stand it no more a duel of pistols ensues. With their lives on the line, suddenly, Popova and Smirnov fall instantly in love, while Luka, her servant, observes in unimaginable awe.
“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible”
– Anton Chekhov
Of a Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (2013)
Created by Alistair Newton
Performance legend Leigh Bowery hosts an irreverent musical devoted to of one of our most enigmatic and polarizing pop stars, Lady Gaga. Featuring a collection of the art world's greatest icons, this "dance floor dialectic" celebrates the place where high culture hooks up with low art.
Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread
Beck Festival 2012
by David Ives
Featuring Karyn McGibbon, Alex Spyropoulos, Victor Pokinko, & Adrian Beattie
Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread was initially written as a parody to satirize the acclaimed and distinguished work of Philip Glass. But the creative team of our production wanted to make the play much more than the wild and comical romp it lends itself to be. Instead we decided to use the play as a vehicle to explore themes of identity, perspective and (mis)representation. Pay close attention to the magic and potential verisimilitude that parallels our experience in the theatre.
“What is that unforgettable line?” – Samuel Beckett
How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Toronto Youth Theatre (2012)
University of Toronto Mississauga Drama Club (2012)
by Oscar Wilde
Kelsey Murphy, Adrian Beattie, Gevvy Sidhu, Eilish Waller, Aaron Schaefer, Bami Kuteyi, Brittany Miranda, Courtney Keir, Evan Williams, Hannah Ehman, Hannah Vanden Boomen, Jovan Kocic, Paige Falardeau, Samuel Turner, Sierra Callaghan, Siobhan O'Malley, Zoe Dunbar
Salomé is a testament to what extent we, as humans, as living, breathing, and thinking creatures, will go for the thing we desire. Every character in Wilde's well-crafted play longs for a particular kind of love. In the title character's case, she craves for the love and attention of Jokanaan (John the Baptist). She becomes pale and miserable without him and for a long time sits near his prison waiting for him to call out her name. Herod tries to appease her desires through material objects: jewels, fine clothing, exotic animals, but are all left in a state of discontent. Wilde wants us to question the "mystery of love" and he plays with our appetite for it by blending the material world with the abstract. The moon is no longer the moon but a platonic abstraction, it represents virginity, then a dead woman, then blood, and continues to change its form as the characters willingly descend into the depths of despair for love.
*Nominated for 4 U of T Drama Coalition Awards, including Best Direction, Best Set, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actress.