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Online Press Kit

Broadleaf Theatre – The Chemical Valley Project

Presented by Public Energy Performing Arts

Located in Sarnia, the Aamjiwnaang First Nations reserve is smothered by one of Canada’s largest petrochemical corridors: the Chemical Valley. Vanessa Gray and Beze Gray have dedicated their lives to fighting the pollution that threatens their community’s health and future. Theatre makers Julia Howman and Kevin Matthew Wong document their vital activism as land defenders and water protectors. Through an innovative blend of design, object puppetry, and performance, The Chemical Valley Project sparks conversations on Canadian environmental policy, treaty rights and Indigenous relations, and of Canadian identity and values. NOW Magazine Critics’ Pick at the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival, honourable mention for the Theatre Centre Emerging Artists Award, winner of Theatre Passe Muraille’s Crapshoot in fall of 2016.

The Chemical Valley Project is being presented as a Relaxed Performance. Relaxed Performances are designed to make theatre spaces more comfortable and welcoming to audience members with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders or learning disabilities. Other audience members who benefit from Relaxed Performances include parents with toddlers, people with Tourette’s syndrome, people who experience anxiety or people who are not comfortable with the conventions of a traditional theatre setting. This performance will also feature full ASL interpretation, with interpreters signing during the show and at the box office. 

Media Release

Click here to download The Chemical Valley Project media release


Bill Kimball Phone: 705-745-1788 / Email:


Photo: Julia Howman

Photo: Dahlia Katz 

Photo: Dahlia Katz 

Photo: Graham Isador

Photo: Graham Isador

Photo: Graham Isador

Photo: Graham Isador

Photo: Graham Isador 

Photo: Dahlia Katz

Photo: Dahlia Katz

Photo: Dahlia Katz 


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Public Energy presents a season of contemporary dance, theatre and interdisciplinary performance, while hosting workshops, talks and professional development opportunities for local artists. Public Energy Performing Arts supports the creation, touring, and presentation of innovative contemporary performing arts. PE is dedicated to providing inclusive spaces where risk-taking artists and diverse audiences meet.  Our vision is to be a cultural catalyst which inspires and empowers people through performance.



Since graduating from Trent University in 1980 with a degree in Cultural Studies, Bill Kimball has been involved in many aspects of the Peterborough arts community, particularly in the areas of contemporary dance and theatre. He has contributed to the creation of live performance spaces in Peterborough, beginning with City Stage, a performance space operated by Artspace in the early 1980’s and continuing to the present with various renovations and improvements to the Market Hall. In 1994, Bill created a nationally recognized dance presenting program called Peterborough New Dance, and later expanded the mandate to theatre and other forms of performance while changing the name to Public Energy, a name which reflects his desire for the arts to be integrated into public life as much as possible. Bill is currently the Executive Director at Public Energy.


Victoria Mohr-Blakeney is a curator and writer with a focus on curating contemporary dance and performance. She has curated/ co-curated performance work in gallery, theatre, and site-specific settings including Harbourfront Centre, CB Gallery, Edward Day Gallery, Artspace, Art Gallery of Ontario, The Citadel, George Brown School of Design, Scotiabank Studio Theatre, Nuit Blanche, and Artsweek Peterborough. Victoria has worked alongside Bridget Moser, Ame Henderson, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Dance Collection Danse. She holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. She has published work in Kapsula Magazine, The Dance Current, Toronto Standard, Volume, Peterborough This Week, and the Literary Review of Canada. Victoria is the recipient of the 2015 President’s Medal in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. She has presented her research on performance in Canada, India, and New Zealand.


Eva Fisher is Public Energy’s Administrator and Marketing Director. She also works as a food columnist for She comes to us with a love of performance first fostered in the role of “Jamie at 6” in the 4th Line Theatre’s 1993 production of The Moodie Traill. Nowadays she is more comfortable in front of a spreadsheet than an audience. Eva has honed her management and event production skills through her role as General Manager of Kawartha Country Wines and the Kawartha Store. She holds a BScH in Earth Systems Science with a minor in English from Queen’s University.


A headshot of Eryn Lidster.

Eryn Lidster is an emerging producer and technical designer and a proud member of Peterborough’s artistic community. Since first operating tech for a production in 2015, Lidster has been involved in the production of over 30 theatrical projects. Her work, Invisible and Rejoinder, premiered at Peterborough’s Precarious and Precarious2 ArtsWORK Festivals in 2016 and 2019 respectively; Lidster developed Rejoinder as a participant of Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program. Lidster’s work focuses on originating performance from a technical perspective within a collaborative process. She recently graduated from Trent University, receiving an Honors BA in Cultural Studies with a Specialization in Image, Sound and Performance. In pursuit of this degree Lidster has expanded her artistic practice to new media, including work in experimental film for which she was twice awarded Trent University’s Gregory R. Frith Memorial Prize and shortlisted for acceptance into the Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths Program in 2018.


Patti Shaughnessy is a proud activist, actor, director, and artistic producer of a range of theatre and multi-arts projects over the past decade. With an academic background in Indigenous Studies at Trent University (Peterborough) and formal theater training from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (Toronto), Patti is co-founder of the O’Kaadenigan Wiingashk Collective (OKW) – a Peterborough-based Indigenous arts collective that has presented and organized workshops and master classes with several internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists as part of an annual Ode’min Giizis (Strawberry Moon) Festival (2008-2012). International theatre directing credits include, Ananna A/S (Casa Matriz); Rosa Marie-p tiquartikkaluarnera (The Occupation of Heather Rose); and Arnatsialaat, The Rez Sisters – all part of Patti’s work over the past 5 years as director, instructor, and tour leader for the National Theatre of Greenland. Patti will be making her Canadian directing debut with Drew Hayden Taylor’s play, Cottagers and Indians, commissioned by Tarragon Theatre. Hailing from the great nation of the Mchi Saagiig Anishnaabe of Curve Lake First Nation #35, Patti is also born 5th generation Irish. Patti currently lives part-time in Douro-Dummer township, where she rejuvenates and creates at her ancestral home and research laboratory.

Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2023-24 Season Funders and Sponsors.

Season Sponsors & Funders

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