Alexandra Simpson


Alexandra Simpson (she/her) lives in Tkaronto in Treaty 13 and is an interdisciplinary artist and actor with a background in dance, music, mask (building, performance and facilitating), directing and playwriting. She has a BFA in Performance Acting (2009-13) and a MFA in Documentary Media (2014-16) from X University (formerly Ryerson University) and an MA in Environmental and Performance Studies from University of Toronto. Alexandra is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University with a research focus on (un)masking as a performance strategy and theoretical intervention in pipeline politics to explore issues of (in)visibility. Alexandra has trained in Pochinko style clown with John Turner at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, and in mask performance with Sonia Norris, Martha Ross, and Perry Schniederman. In 2018, Alexandra studied mask building at the International Laboratory for the Art of the Mask in Commedia dell’Arte with support from the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Professional Development Award. She has built masks for a variety of productions including Finding Home (2021), Pest Me Pet Me (2020), Upstream Downtown (2018), There is No Word for Wilderness (2018), The Giving Tree (2018) and Terra Incognita (2016). She is the co-artistic leader of Animacy Theatre Collective (ATC), a collective that creates research based and devised plays about themes of social and environmental justice. In addition to her original works with ATC, Alexandra’s work as a playwright includes: Hiatus (Ryerson New Voices, 2013); Surviving Speares (Toronto Fringe, 2013); Pit Sublime (Alumnae Theatre, 2014); and Nexus (Animacy Theatre Works in Progress Double Bill, 2017). Alexandra recently received a Canada Arts Council (CAC) International Residency grant for an international research and creation project with researcher and artist Felice Amato and mask builders Sarah and Paola-Piizi Sartori and a CAC Professional Development grant to study commedia performance with Susan Bertoia in Vancouver this summer 2022. Alexandra has been a collaborator on the Woman and Mask Conference at Boston University and is very excited to have this opportunity to share ATC’s work with other mask lovers!