Martha Ross

Sessional Lecturer



Martha Ross trained at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris over 30 years ago. Upon her return to Canada she joined creative forces with another Lecoq graduate, Leah Cherniak, at which point they created the Toronto-based theatre company, Theatre Columbus. Their distinctive theatre style, which was physical, funny, serious, imaginative, sometimes anarchic, but always identifiable to the human story, quickly earned them a national reputation. Their passion for creation helped to foster the interest and growth in Canada for devised theatre. Martha and Leah received the 2009 George Luscombe award for Mentorship.

For her company Martha created numerous award-winning plays collectively and collaboratively: The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine (Dora Award); Paranoia (Dora award); Fertility (Dora Award); The Betrayal (Chalmers Award for Best New Play); The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls (Dora Award); Hotel Loopy; to name just a few. As a solo writer for Theatre Columbus Martha wrote Porch PeopleDr.Dapertutto (Chalmers nomination); Ratbag; (with John Millard); And Up They Flew and The Story. (Directed by Jennifer Brewin at the BrickWorks.) For other companies Martha wrote The Crack(Rumble Theatre in Vancouver); The Dog and the Angel; (Caravan Theatre, Theatre Columbus) The Bog, (for HomeTown, Blyth Festival Theatre 2011). In Ottawa, she directed Skin, a collective creation by Deluxe Hot Sauce (nominated for a Rideau Award for Outstanding New Creation) for the 2013 undercurrents festival at Great Canadian Theatre Company.

Martha is currently directing Kristina Watt (100 Watt Theatre, Ottawa) in the creation of a play inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel, The Waves, that will be part of the Undercurrents festival in 2016. Martha teaches the Lecoq method of creation at universities across Canada, most recently at University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and McMaster School of the Arts. In private studios across the country she also offers her workshop for theatre writers, “What’s the Big Idea?”