I saw a Mixed Company Theatre presentation at the Ignite4Yout event for which I was one of the speakers. What they do impressed me so much I interviewed their Artistic Director Simon Malbogat for Journey To Success Radio.
Simon Malbogat has been a key player in Canada’s theatre scene for over 30 years now. He has studied with the some of the greatest contemporary popular theatre practitioners in the world, such as Augusto Boal, Jerzy Grotowski, Eugenio Barba and Yoshi Oida. He has blended Forum Theatre with the Sweet Medicine Teachings of the Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society, to create an innovative theatre and teaching approach. Simon has been the Artistic Director of Mixed Company Theatre for 25 years.
Simon has directed and acted in over 50 new Canadian works, many of which many are now seen as important benchmarks in the development of Canadian theatre. He has played key roles in numerous plays by the Chalmer’s award winner Rex Deverell. He has also played in David Fennario’s "On The Job," "Nothing to Lose" and "Banana Boots," the latter of which won the Montreal Gazette’s Best New Play, and "Joe Beef," which won the Pauline Julienne Award. Mixed Company has received many awards under his stewardship.
Simon has provided workshop creation, direction and facilitation for people of all ages, resulting in over 40 Forum Theatre plays. Other group projects have involved the Community Initiative Project, Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, the East End Community Health Centre, the Social Planning Council of Peel, and the Toronto West End Community. International shows and workshops have taken him to the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, Brazil, Turkey and India.
Simon has directed shows which have toured throughout Canada dealing with such topics such as bullying , harassment, assault, homelessness, homophobia and aging. Simon's brand of theatre incorporates the Masks of Manipulation, which he has created to identify what kind of manipulation is being used, why the manipulator manipulates, and how to deal with the manipulator.
Simon has brought his innovative theatre techniques to workplaces such as TD Bank, Toronto Community Housing, and Toronto Hydro to help create a HR policy and to work with staff to identify problems and help solve them.
Teaching credits include The University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, Queen’s and Brock University. In 1997, Simon created The Ripple Effect: 8th International Festival of the Theatre of the Oppressed, which presented 450 artists from over 22 countries. He also produced Canada's first fringe festival, The Open Stage, for Onstage 81, The Canadian Popular Theatre Alliance Festival, and From the Ground Up: The National Festival of Canadian Theatre.