Panel Discussion Series



Join us for this brand new four-part series designed to inspire fresh perspectives and deeper dialogues on questions at the heart of our season. Admission is free and open to all. Venues are to be announced.


March 12, 2018 | 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Acclaimed journalist and activist Sally Armstrong, award-winning director and playwright Carey Perloff, and Toronto Star chief investigative reporter Kevin Donovan join us for a discussion of the complexities of ‘human rights’ versus ‘human wrongs,’ and the significance of sharing under-told stories on the stage to enlighten, humanize, and effect change.

RSVP online – March 12


Sally Armstrong

Sally Armstrong - Human rights activist, journalist, teacher, author

Sally Armstrong is an Amnesty International award winner and an officer of the Order of Canada. She has recently been appointed to the International Women’s Commission at the UN. Armstrong is a powerful and engaging speaker whose far-ranging career has given her a foundation for her message, which is inspirational for people in every walk of life.

Armstrong has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to Rwanda and Afghanistan, her eyewitness reports have earned her awards, including the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards foundation and the Author's Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters.

Her documentary works include They Fell From the Sky and The Daughters of Afghanistan. She is the author of three books -- Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan, The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, and the most recent, Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan's Women.

Carey Perloff

Carey Perloff - Original Director of A Thousand Splendid Suns

A vigorous proponent of unusual classical literature and a passionate advocate of new work and new theatrical forms, Perloff has been Artistic Director of the acclaimed American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco since 1993. Perloff has directed dozens of award-winning productions for A.C.T. including the American premieres of works by Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter, World Premieres of contemporary American work and new interpretations of Schiller, Webster, Euripides, Gorky, Gogol, Moliere and many more.

A devoted fan of Canadian theater, Perloff has directed across Canada (most recently John Gabriel Borkman at the Stratford Festival) and collaborated with Dennis Garnhum on The Tosca Project and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Perloff is the author of Kinship, Luminescence Dating, The Colossus of Rhodes, Higher, Waiting for the Flood, and The Fit. Perloff received a BA in Classics and Comparative Literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford University.

Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was Artistic Director of the Obie Award-winning Classic Stage Company in New York. She was recently honored with France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Her book Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater was published by City Lights Press.


Kevin Donovan

Kevin Donovan - Chief Investigative Reporter for the Toronto Star Kevin Donovan is an investigative reporter and editor at the Star. He has won three National Newspaper Awards, two Michener Awards and three Canadian Association of Journalists Awards. He is the author of numerous books, including Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation.



April 12, 2018 | 7:00pm

Bruce Sellery

What happens when you strive to be ‘the best?’ When you are at the top of your game where do you go from there? Join us for this Chariots of Fire-inspired conversation focusing on how pursuing excellence in any field shapes a person. Moderated by Bruce Sellery (Television Host). Speakers to be announced.


RSVP online – April 12

Panel Sponsor

Call us rTraction. Ellipsis Digital has always been a division of rTraction, created to support big change by community leaders like the Grand Theatre. It turns out this work is at the heart of rTraction’s purpose, so here we are...


Past Panels


October 4, 2017 | 7:00pm

Emma Donoghue

London arts leaders will discuss and debate challenges and opportunities facing them in our city. Speakers: Emma Donoghue (Internationally acclaimed Author, Academy Award-nominated Screenwriter), Andrew Chung (General Manager, Violinist, London Symphonia), Andrea Halwa (Executive Director, London Arts Council), and Kathy Navackas (Executive Producer, The London Fringe Theatre Festival).


January 11, 2018 | 7:00pm

Daniel MacIvor

The Grand launches its commitment to new work with the COMPASS, New Play Development Program. A dynamic group of playwrights and theatre creators discuss what sparks their creativity and why new plays matter in the larger cultural context.  Speakers: Leslie Arden (Performer, Director, Teacher, and Librettist), Trina Davies (Playwright), Dennis Garnhum (Artistic Director, Grand Theatre), and Daniel MacIvor (Playwright).

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