Myrto Koumarianos

PhD Candidate


Working Dissertation


A Practice in Song: Performance & Prayer with the Open Program


Myrto Koumarianos (she/her) is a queer, inter-disciplinary, Greek-Canadian immigrant-settler, theatre and performance artist, working in Toronto and elsewhere as a writer, performer, and dramaturg. Myrto is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (CDTPS) and the Women and Gender Studies Institute (WGSI) at the University of Toronto. She holds an MA degree, from the same collaborative program between CDTPS and WGSI, and two undergraduate degrees, in psychology and in literature, from York University.

Her doctoral work pertains to her research and practice with the Open Program team of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Italy, New York, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 2011-2019. In the course of her apprenticeship with the Open Program, Myrto came to question whether (and how? when? where? why? on behalf of and with whom?) performance can be (experienced as? offered as? received as?) a kind of prayer. This research has been supported by a number of awards, including a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, as well as a SSHRC Connection Grant and two Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts grants for hosting two artistic residencies with the Open Program at CDTPS (2014 & 2018).

In her time at U of T, Myrto has taught courses in drama, theatre, and performance studies, women and gender studies, literature, and history across all three U of T campuses. In 2018, she also had the pleasure of designing and teaching a hybrid studio course at CDTPS, entitled “Grotowski intersections: theory and practice of the actor's craft." 

Myrto is currently preparing to defend her dissertation, collaborating in two Toronto Laboratory Theatre projects with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, cultivating a singing practice within her pandemic bubble, and pursuing collaborations online and in person (to the extent possible) with other immigrant and international women artists, especially as related to songs of tradition and traditions of women's mourning song and work.


MA, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies & Women and Gender Studies Institute, Collaborative Program, University of Toronto
Specialized Honours BA, English Literature, York University
Honours BA, Psychology, York University (One year @ University of Massachusetts, Boston)