Leslie Bertin, producer

Leslie is a graduate of the University of Windsor and the National Theatre School. Is currently a candidate for her Masters at York University. She has produced various types of theatre and other arts events. She last worked as Assistant Producer with Shadowpath Theatre Productions and Artistic Producer for the Newmarket Group of Artists. Leslie is committed to building communities of artists, and telling Canadian stories.

Maissa Bessada

From the time I was a small child there was nothing I loved more than performing in plays. There was no question in my mind, I was going to become an actor. My second favourite thing was writing. After university I got a job voicing pre-recorded telephone horoscopes. Phone-in horoscopes were such a success the company wanted to launch a Call Santa line, only they didn’t have any content. After writing and producing the Call Santa series I met up with the Easter Bunny and did the same for him. Then I started writing ads for Talking Yellow Pages. Before I realized I’d completely switched from my first career choice to my second I was writing and producing ads for cable television.

About ten years ago I moved to Cairo for two years. While living there I helped create, workshop and produce an improv comedy show for ART (Arab Radio and Television Network). The pilot was picked up for five 60 minute episodes. I also co-wrote KISSMA: The Search for Diana, a full-length motion picture that was showcased in the Toronto and Cairo film festivals. Back in Canada I started writing and producing corporate videos and also wrote a few (as yet unpublished) novels.

As much as I enjoyed writing books I never loved it the way I used to love theatre. When I thought about the path I ended up taking I always thought I’d left the thing I was most passionate about behind when I stopped performing. Then a couple of years ago a friend of mine decided to host a salon called Pandora’s Box every couple of months to showcase music, dance and theatre in the Aurora community. Knowing my background she asked me to perform the part of Pandora for the first salon. When we realized the myth wasn’t also a play she asked me to write one – and direct it. I had no idea that in the process I’d discover something I loved even more than performing – play writing. After 47 years I’d finally discovered my greatest passion, setting scenes, creating situations and storylines through dialogue! I’ve since written and produced a second play for the Pandora’s Box Salon.

My main interest in The Destiny of Special Agent Ace Galaksi is not to give myself an avenue to perform; it’s the opportunity to write and produce a satirical, thought provoking podcast that people will look forward to tuning into week after week.