Working the Scene in Rainbow

Jun 23, 2021, 7:00 PM Eastern Time

outACTRAto, ACTRA Toronto’s LGBTQ2S+ Committee, is proud to launch its first edition of Working the Scene in Rainbow. This initiative is an opportunity for queer writers to hear their work read aloud by queer ACTRA Toronto performers in front of a live audience of industry partners, friends and ACTRA members. Working the Scene in Rainbow is a safe space for queer artists to network and for industry professionals including casting directors, producers, directors and writers, to discover and watch queer actors perform roles they may have less opportunity to play in the industry at large.

Working the Scene in Rainbow builds on the work of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and BIPOC artists Jessica Meya and Louis Taylor’s original project Working the Scene in Colour. outACTRAto is humbled by their incredible work and generosity in helping to pave the way for the LGBTQ2S+ version of this important initiative that promotes authentic representation in the film and television industry.

This initiative is one of many that outACTRAto is leading in order to ensure queer actors are given a fair shot at work opportunities and especially to portray queer characters. Authentic onscreen representation in all of its diverse intersectionalities is crucial. Although anyone can appreciate and relate to LGBTQ2S+ stories, it can be life-changing and often life-saving for young queer and questioning folx to see themselves reflected in film and television. Queer artists have a burning desire to showcase their work, as was indicated by the overwhelming response to the Working the Scene in Rainbow call for writers and actors. It was challenging for the committee to select only a few of the amazing submissions but all applicants are encouraged to reapply for future editions. 

The first edition of Working the Scene in Rainbow will take place on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 7:00 PM ET on Zoom. The outACTRAto committee looks forward to presenting future editions in person and continuing to build community and opportunity for queer artists. Whether you identify as LGBTQ2S+ or an ally, you are encouraged to attend, celebrate Pride with us, and discover the diverse and inspiring talent!


Here are the performers!​

Ashley Samlall (they/them/she/her)

Azeem Nathoo (he/him)

Bessie Cheng (she/her)

Christopher Fowler  (he/him)

Chyann Garrick (she/her/they/them)

Cory Bertrand (he/him)

Gwyneth McFall-Gorman (she/her/they/them)

    Keegan MacNeil-Kettle  (he/him)

       Lani Billard  (she/her)

Marisa McDonald  (they/them)

 Michael Man  (he/him)

         Ray Jacildo  (he/him)

Here are the writers!​

Carly DeNure (she/her) Carly has written for the animated series Inspector Gadget, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Dorg Van Dango, Carmen Sandiego and Snoopy in Space. Television was a huge part of Carly’s coming out process, and she hopes to pay that forward in her career through queer representation, both on screen and behind the scenes.


Ganesh Thava (he/him) Ganesh’s play, Koli Kari, is currently being workshopped at Crow’s Theatre. His feature film, Man Abroad, is shortlisted for the Whistler Film Festival’s Screenwriters Lab. This summer, he will direct his short thriller, Bark. Ganesh’s goal is to create rich, challenging spaces for diverse voices to express their most profound, most complex truths.

Johnnie Walker (he/him) Johnnie’s solo show, Redheaded Stepchild, toured North America and his recent play, Shove It Down My Throat, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He wrote and directed the short film, Saturn Devours, and was featured in the CBC digital series Queer (Self) Portraits. Johnnie also writes and hosts shows for queer burlesque troupe BoylesqueTO.

Carolyn J. Wu (they/them) Carolyn’s short film, In My Mother’s Closet, screened at Wicked Queer Boston, NSI Online Short Film Festival and Toronto’s Reel Asian. Their short, Toe The Line, won Breakthroughs Film Festival’s 2019 Pitch Competition. Their short, Jo, has more than 7 million views on YouTube. Carolyn creates intimate genderbending relationship films from their POV as a Canto transmasc storyteller.

For more information or to get involved, visit the outACTRAto page on the ACTRA Toronto website.

– Written by Cory Bertrand (he/him) & Em McCourt (he/him/she/her)