MARY FRANCIS MOORE
An award-winning director, actor, playwright and dramaturg, Mary Francis Moore was appointed Artist Director of Theatre Aquarius in July 2021. She has brought her distinctive artistic vision to theatres across Canada and the international stage, most recently as Associate Artistic Director at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown for five years and as the Artistic Curator of Junior International Children’s Festival at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto for four years.
Mary Francis is excited to return to Theatre Aquarius where she directed Hairspray: The Broadway Musical and You Fancy Yourself. She also taught for a number of years at the Theatre Aquarius School.
Well-known for championing and developing new works, Mary Francis has created an exciting array of innovative, imaginative and commercially successful programming. She has dramaturged and directed numerous plays that have toured across Canada, the United States and the UK. She has also developed several new musicals with established recording artists Johnny Reid, Amy Sky, Twin Flames and the estate of Rita MacNeil.
Inclusion lies at the root of Mary Francis’ work. As a leader in both artistic and operational contexts, she empowers everyone around her with her passion for cultivating healthy, safe, inclusive and respectful creative environments.
Her experience and success as a playwright and performer have greatly strengthened her artistic practices. With her fellow collaborators, Annabel Fitzsimmons and Alison Lawrence, Mary Francis co-wrote: the smash-hit play Bittergirl, produced across Canada (including at Theatre Aquarius), in London, England, and showcased in NYC; the book Bittergirl: Getting Over Getting Dumped (published by Penguin Canada, Plume US and Distribudora Brazil); and Bittergirl: The Musical, produced by The Vancouver Arts Club, The Globe, The Citadel Theatre, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and The Charlottetown Festival.
As Artistic Producer of The Dreamcatcher Project, a Canada150 Signature Project that travelled to every province and territory, Mary Francis collaborated with Mi’kmaq visual artist Nick Huard and Mohawk carver Watio Splicer. In addition to providing artistic direction, she led cross-country workshops and community outreach throughout the tour. She also wrote the original verbatim musical The Dreamcatchers, which was performed to sold-out audiences across Canada in such venues as The Canadian Museum of Human Rights, The Canadian Museum of History and culminated in a performance for Grand Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Mary Francis has a long history of artistic mentorship and a deep love of teaching. With the support of the Ontario Arts Council, she co-created and facilitated the Voices of Young Women project which ran for over a decade in Ontario schools. Holding a BFA degree (specialization Drama in Education) from Concordia University, she has taught at elementary schools, universities, theatres, detention centres, and community outreach initiatives for over 25 years.
Mary Francis currently sits on the board of Diva Day International, is a member of the PACT Artistic Practices Committee and has been a guest speaker at the National Conference on the Welfare of the Child.