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President: Kevin Hobbs

Kevin Hobbs is an actor, writer, researcher and educator. He employs narrative theory, performance and other artistic methodologies in his research and educational work. Presently he is pursuing his PhD in Curriculum Studies, exploring how performance pedagogies enhance healthcare education. He is co-recipient of the 2010 Alan Blizzard Award for “exemplary collaborative projects that improve student learning.” His Masters in Social Justice and Equity research used a Playbuilding methodology to explore how person-centred care is achieved in medicine. The subsequent thesis received the ARTS Graduate Research Award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Education.

Artistic Director: Joe Norris

Joe Norris, professor emeritus, Brock University is recipient of the 2015 Tom Barone Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts Based Educational Research from the Arts Based Educational Research SIG of American Educational Research Association (AERA). He has focused his teaching and research in drama in education, applied theatre, curriculum theory, and research methods in fostering a playful, creative, participatory, and socially aware stance toward self and Other. His award-winning book, Playbuilding as Qualitative Research: A Participatory Arts-based Approach, is based upon his extensive work with cast members of Mirror Theatre who devise performance/workshops that address a wide range of social issues using as applied theatre approach. Supported by his 2011 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development grant entitled, Reuniting Form and Content: Generating, Mediating, & Disseminating Social Science Research & Arts-based Performance Genres through Digital Media, Joe disseminates many of his collaborative performative inquiry projects. His and Rick Sawyer’s pioneering book, Understanding Qualitative Research: Duoethnography, was chosen as the 2015 AERA Division D’s Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award. Joe continues to conduct research, devise plays, write and teach.

Secretary: Bernadette Kahnert

Bernadette Kahnert is a Drama teacher and actor from Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from Brock University with Honours in Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts and Bachelor of Education. She has been an actor/researcher/creator with Mirror Theatre since 2013, with her most prominent projects being Person-Centred Care and He-ART-istic Journeys. Bernadette’s research interests are the use of Drama in Education and Applied Theatre techniques within various settings to implement differentiated instruction into the daily lives of everyone she educates in formal and informal settings. She believes that everyone can benefit from experiential learning that encourages individuals to explore and ask/attempt to answer thought provoking questions through role.

Treasurer: Rosa Torres

Rosa Torres is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s degree in Psychology. She has been an actor, writer, and researcher at Mirror Theatre since 2020 contributing to projects/workshops including He-ART-istic Journeys and Cultural Humility. She is passionate about encouraging open-mindedness and introspection using arts-based methods. Thus, she highly values being involved in knowledge mobilization and using qualitative research to bring awareness to a variety of health and social issues as part of Mirror Theatre.

Assistant Artistic Director: Dr. Sheila O'Keefe-McCarthy

Dr. Sheila O’Keefe-McCarthy is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, in the Department of Nursing at Brock University. She is a Registered Nurse, nationally Certified Expert in Cardiovascular Critical Care and holds the National Research Director for the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses. Sheila is a Cardiovascular and Pain Scientist at the Centre for Research Across the Life Span and the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Wellbeing in St. Catharines, Ontario. Sheila’s Heart Innovation Research Program contains three inter-related areas of focus: to examine and describe cardiovascular disease related pain and associated symptoms; through the use of digital health technology, design, develop, and evaluate interventions to screen for and/or manage pain and other symptoms; and create meaningful education and knowledge mobilization through use of integrated arts-based approaches to research and learning. Sheila was awarded the Excellence in Research Award in Cardiovascular Nursing by the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses in 2018 and was recognized by the America Heart Association with the Marie Cowan Young Investigator – Early Career Award. Dr O’Keefe-McCarthy is dedicated to transformative ways of learning and was honoured by the Registered Nurses of Ontario being the recipient of the Nursing Education Leadership Award

Director-At-Large

Abby Rollo has academic qualifications in Visual Arts, Drama, and Education. Her passions consist of lifelong learning and teaching with a lens focused on mindfulness and critical thinking in hopes to teach self-regulation, open-mindedness, and problem-solving skills through the enjoyment of the Arts. Abby has been an ongoing actor, researcher, and teacher in Mirror Theatre since 2014. She admires the freedom of expression, the playful and accepting atmosphere, as well as the insightful learning opportunities Mirror Theatre creates.

Past Board Members

Click the link below to see a full list of our previous boards!