Based in British Columbia, Canada – where she is grateful to live and create on the traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples (Songhees and Esquimalt Nations) – Julie is reshaping and revitalizing the stories we sing on stage. With attention to the complex history of the land on which we live, and the diverse composition of the local community, she is a force for change in twenty-first century opera & theatre, staging and creating new works for today’s audiences.
Of French, Scottish/Irish and Scandinavian ancestry, Julie is a stage director, dramaturg, playwright/librettist and multi-instrumentalist. She earned her Master’s degree in Theatre from the University of York (UK) and is also a graduate of Carleton University (Music) and the Canadian College of Performing Arts (Theatre Performance; Playwriting). A four-time Jessie award nominee, she has appeared on stages throughout Western Canada, including productions at the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, the Belfry, the Citadel, Carousel Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Fugue Theatre, Théâtre la Seizième, Twenty Something Theatre, and the Chemainus Theatre Festival. She is an Associate Artist with Firepot Performance, a founding member of the Honest Fishmongers (Critics’ Choice Innovation award nomination, 2012) and in 2019 was named inaugural Director/Dramaturg-in-Residence at the Canadian Opera Company (COC).
As part of her COC residency, Julie was director and dramaturg of Fantasma, a new commission by former COC Composer-in-Residence Ian Cusson with libretto by Colleen Murphy, which had its critically-acclaimed world premiere in Toronto in March 2022. As Artist-in-Residence at Pacific Opera Victoria (2016-2018), Julie staged Le nozze di Figaro for Opera Studio (Victoria Conservatory of Music) and created an original series of opera presentations for young audiences, staging excerpts from The Magic Flute, Jenůfa and La bohème. Working alongside Atom Egoyan, Maria Lamont and Peter Hinton, she assisted on new productions of Jenůfa, La bohème, and the 2017 world premiere of Missing (City Opera Vancouver & Pacific Opera Victoria). Other opera: stage director of the world premiere of Beauty’s Beast (East Van Opera), associate director of Paola Prestini & Royce Vavrek’s Silent Light (Banff Centre), assistant director of Hansel and Gretel (COC) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (COSI). Upcoming: associate director of Atom Egoyan’s Death in Venice (Pacific Opera Victoria).
Other directing credits include the workshop and premiere of the award-winning slam poetry musical Poly Queer Love Ballad, the world premiere of My Rabbi (Sum Theatre), the award-winning West Coast premiere of The Exquisite Hour (Relephant Theatre; Playhouse Fringe Award), Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Dancing Monkey Presents), Ordinary Days (Relephant), Little Women, Harvey, Pride & Prejudice and Little Women (Chemainus Theatre Festival), and the workshop production of Sis Ne’ Bi-Yiz: Mother Bear Speaks at the 2019 Heart of the City Festival (Vancouver Moving Theatre / Firehall Arts Centre).
Julie is honoured to be Associate Director of Corey Payette’s ground-breaking hit musical Children of God which has travelled to cities across Canada – including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa – and will continue touring in future seasons. In 2018, Julie, Corey and production designer Marshall McMahen followed this community-engaged collaboration with the new musical Les Filles du Roi. Performed in English, French and Kanien’kéha (Mohawk), the Vancouver premiere of this beautiful and ambitious reimagining of Canada’s history won 4 Jessie awards and the BroadwayWorld Vancouver award for Best New Work. Click here for details on the upcoming feature film adaptation of Les Filles du Roi with screenplay by McIsaac and Payette.
Julie’s first play The Out Vigil – developed with Firepot Performance (formerly Twenty Something Theatre) – was featured in the 2015 New American Voices Festival in London’s West End; the first Canadian production (Firehall Arts Centre, 2016) received 5 Jessie award nominations, including Outstanding Production. As Musical Director, Composer/Arranger and Co-Sound Designer, Julie and collaborator Jay Clift took home the 2016 Jessie award for Outstanding Sound Design / Original Composition. The production was revived at the Evergreen Cultural Centre and received an all-new staging in 2017 at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Julie’s one-act play Two Thirds was presented in 2016 as part of Theatre One’s Emerging Voices and Twenty Something Theatre’s Fall Play Reading Series. She is the co-bookwriter & co-lyricist of Les Filles du Roi – 2018 BroadwayWorld Vancouver award for Best New Work – and is now collaborating with the Vancouver chapter of the international dance company Shot of Scotch to create Wilt Thou Go.