Dark Nights is a movement focused on the re-cultivation of community among local creators and those interested in being artistic facilitators of social change (activators).
Through ongoing conversations surrounding success, creative philosophy and the deconstruction of commercial hierarchies, Dark Nights is a space for frank discussion, brutal honesty and the excavation of our current socio-political landscape.
At Dark Nights we encourage individuals from all artistic backgrounds and personal identities to stand with us as we continue to establish a container where creative youth are highlighted and empowered, failure is a tool for growth, and we discuss life in the arts both truthfully and realistically.
Dark Nights came from co-creators Luke Reece and Wayne Burns’ desire to observe the intersectionality between creative mediums, unite young-in-craft artists through facilitation and peer mentorship, and ultimately archive the talent that resides in our country. Since 2015, we have carefully curated over 35 (and growing) intimate conversations with creators throughout Canada.
This year, Dark Nights will be expanding our network through exclusive one-on-one conversations and the new short film series, Food for Thought, which will focus on discussions related to personal integrity, identity and empowerment over home-cooked meals.
We will also stay true to our roots by hosting conversations throughout the province, collaborating with selected arts organizations, and facilitating our first round of workshops on creative sustainability and the business of being an artist.
Where will you be?
Who We Are
Luke Reece, Co-Creator & Operations Manager
In a failed attempt to escape Presto, Luke left his hometown of Mississauga under the guise of becoming a Toronto-based artist. He strives to share authentic and engaging stories with audiences through his work as a producer, playwright, poet and educator. Along with being the Co-Creator and Operations Manager of Dark Nights, Luke is the Producer for Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company, Obsidian Theatre. He continually seeks opportunities to empower and support young-in-craft artists with his collective Little Black Afro Theatre, creating spaces for artists to develop work with and for their communities. After becoming the Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) Grand Champion in 2017, Luke went on to captain the 2017 TPS team that competed at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and placed first in the country. He has facilitated workshops, performed, and hosted events for Young People’s Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, The Paprika Festival, CANVAS Arts Action Programs, Union Station, Playwrights Guild of Canada and the International Festival of Authors. Luke is looking forward to connecting Dark Nights with some of Canada’s premier arts organizations this season, and of course, bringing these conversations to you.
Wayne Burns, Co-Creator & Experience Architect
Hailing from Truro, Nova Scotia, Wayne is a performer, producer and creator most recognized for his work on Syfy’s Original Series, Olympus, as Lykos, the Prince of Athens. Chosen as a 2017 Breakthrough Artist by NOW Magazine, he is interested in exploring work that focuses on transformation, the deconstruction of identity politics and challenging traditional performer/audience relationships through mixed media. His work has been featured at theatres throughout Atlantic Canada, such as Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Factory Theatre, Unit 102 Actors Company, Neptune Theatre, Shakespeare in the Ruff and The Bus Stop Theatre, to name a few. As a facilitator and creative leader in the Toronto arts scene, Wayne has had the pleasure of collaborating with organizations such as Theatre Ontario, SummerWorks, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, The Gladstone Hotel and The Theatre Centre. Along with being the Co-Creator and Experience Architect of Dark Nights, Wayne continues to cultivate and produce work through his production company, Dresser Drawer, where a selection of his films have gone on to screen at internationally renowned festivals. A champion of community-based projects, peer mentorship and social entrepreneurship, Wayne is excited for what conversations lay ahead for this season.
Joss MacNeil, Associate Producer & Social Media Coordinator
After moving from Brockville, Ontario, Joss has spent her time in Toronto absorbing artistic life in every way she can. She continues to indulge her musical theatre roots through a variety of cabarets around the city; Cabs Have Been Frostbite (Small But Mighty Theatre Co.), I Heart BoyBands (Waycik Productions), Stupid Little Love Songs, and has recently started exploring stand up comedy by opening for Tracey Hamilton. Joss has also participated in events such as Comedy Brawl, Truth or Dare and Danger Zone. Joss continues to lead discussions surrounding feminism, comedy, and body positivity, a previous member of Theatre Ontario’s Youth Advisory Committee, she is beyond stoked to be producing Dark Nights for the second year in a row. Along with being Social Media Coordinator, Joss will be hosting the exclusive series Food for Thought which tackles discussions around empowerment, sustainability and integrity with local creators over home-cooked meals.
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