Nikki Shaffeeullah

Nikki Shaffeeullah is a Toronto-based facilitator, director, performer and community-engaged artist who supports people in telling their own stories and facilitates the development of creative communities. Her current roles include serving as artistic director of The AMY Project, a theatre devising and arts mentorship program for young women and non-binary youth; assistant artistic director of the community arts company Jumblies Theatre, and half of the community-engaged puppetry and music duo Sea Lettuce. She is currently deepening her facilitation practice as a fellow in Training for Change’s Judith C. Jones Fellowship for Trainers of Colour. Recent projects include directing the marionnette show “Robin and the Timeless Forest” (Runaway Moon Theatre, BC), and forthcoming include co-directing the AMY Project’s 2017 devised show (SummerWorks Festival 2017) and starring in the independent feature film “The Lower Plateau” (Cinema LaVox productions). Nikki founded the Edmonton-based artist-activist collective Undercurrent Theatre, which produced community-engaged performance projects such as Escape Velocity and Other Works, a week-long arts festival that explored how gender-based violence intersects with race, culture, and media. She is an accomplished improviser who has been a cast member with companies across Canada, including Edmonton’s Canadian Comedy Award-winning troupe Rapid Fire Theatre. For four years she was editor-in-chief of alt.theatre magazine, Canada’s only professional journal dedicated to the intersections of politics, cultural plurality, social activism, and the stage. Nikki holds an MFA in Community-Engaged Theatre from the University of Alberta and her thesis Staging Diversity: A Decolonial Praxis of Intercultural Feminist Theatre Creation won the 2013 Canadian Association for Theatre Research in Intercultural Theatre. She trained in puppetry at Humber College, and has studied various politically-engaged theatre creation forms with the Belarus Free Theatre, the Makhampom Foundation in Thailand, and Teatro Yuyachkani in Peru. Nikki believes art should disrupt the status quo; centre the margins; engage with the ancient; dream of the future; and be for everyone. Her artistic and facilitation work is informed by 15+ years of anti-racist organizing, 10+ years of feminist and queer organizing; a family who loves music, food, and justice; and an inherited love of puns.