Donna-Michelle St. Bernard
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, aka Belladonna the Blest, is an emcee, playwright, and arts administrator.
She was the 2016 Playwright in Residence at lemonTree creations, and is Emcee in Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille. Her works for the stage include A Man A Fish, Cake, The House You Build, Salome’s Clothes, and Gas Girls. DM’s work has been recognized with a SATA nomination, Herman Voaden Playwriting Award, Enbridge PlayRites Award, Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and a nomination for Governor General’s Literary Award. Interdisciplinary co-creation includes 501:Toronto in Transit with Bob Naismith and Justin Manyfingers, Bag of Stones with Clare Preuss, and On The Hill with Pulga Muchochoma and Vivine Scarlett. She has contributed as a director to Yvette Nolan’s Job’s Wife and Perfect Storm, Wanda Fitzgerald’s Practising Art and Fall From Grace, and John Feld’s OOPS!; as a dramaturge to Keith Barker’s The Hours That Remain, Tyler Pennock’s Al and the Snake, and Joseph Tisiga’s Evening with Grey Owl. Independently released recordings include All Riot on the Western Front (with the Red Menace), off my chest, and the bridge/is over. DM has performed at such events as the Western Canadian Music Awards (Moosejaw), Bayimba International Festival (Kampala, Uganda), Summerworks Theatre Festival (Toronto), Arcane Freestyle Competition (New Jersey), Vancouver Folk Festival, and Scream in High Park Literary Festival. She is honoured to have been a playwright in residence at Obsidian Theatre Company, Dynamo Theatre, and the National Arts Centre, a participant in the Stratford Festival’s playwrights’ retreat, the Banff Centre’s 2014 Playwrights’ Colony, and the 2015 Spoken Word Program, as well as a 2010 DiverseCity Fellow with the Maytree Foundation/Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance. Publications include contributions to Eric Walters’ Tell Me Why: How Young People Can Change the World (Penguin), Refractions: Solo co-edited with Yvette Nolan for Playwrights Canada Press, various published plays and articles for alt.theatre magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, and NOW Magazine.
In her ongoing efforts to advance dialogues on diversity, DM has partnered with Ad Hoc Assembly, Stratford Festival, Impact Festival, Prismatic Festival, Summerworks Festival, Toronto Fringe, and Diaspora Dialogues. Donna-Michelle St. Bernard is the former general manager of Native Earth Performing Arts, artistic director of New Harlem Productions, and a vocalist with folk/funk/hip hop trio ergo sum. She is a true believer.
Donna-Michelle is a Short Form 2009 mentee and worked with Marjorie Chan.