Intermission Magazine

Spotlight: Weyni Mengesha

By Bahia Watson 

ARTICLE EXCERPT: The evidence is in the listening. Where most people listen only long enough to inspire and prepare a performance of their own, Weyni actually listens. When you speak, she follows your words like a map, as though she expects you to be profound, as though she believes that the next word you say might hold the key to an elusive treasure. It’s like she’s perched at the edge of herself, focus fixed outward, forward, searching for the answer to some great wonder she has.

Thrust into the big leagues straight out of York University’s director program with the successes of trey anthony’s da kink in my hair and d’bi young anitafrika’s blood claat, the professional opportunities that take most artists years to access came in the earliest days of her career and she soon found her name appearing on award nomination lists alongside colleagues with sometimes decades more experience. Weyni came into the game strong, and has stayed dependably so. She’s one of our country’s most trusted directors, consistently mounting and remounting productions with all the major players, from Mirvish to the Stratford Festival. Still, her passion for new works keeps her involved in fertile circuits like SummerWorks and Fringe.