Martine Dennewald

Co-Executive Director and Co-Artistic Director

© Hamza Abouelouafaa

After studying dramaturgy (Leipzig, Germany) and cultural management (London, UK), Martine Dennewald began her career at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) and went on to work at Kortárs Drámafesztivál in Budapest and at Schauspielhaus in Zurich. She then served as curator for the “Young Directors Project” at the Salzburg Festival from 2006 to 2011, and later joined Niels Ewerbeck as dramaturg at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, serving as acting co-director of the venue for a year, along with Marcus Dross and Martina Leitner.

From 2014 to 2020, she was the artistic director of Festival Theaterformen, held by turns in the German cities of Hanover and Braunschweig. Founded in 1989, this international performing arts festival boasts a strong non-European programme and explores a different contemporary issue every year. In 2016, Dennewald thus focused on translation and intercultural mediation, with emphasis on artistic work from five major Asian cities, followed by a 2017 edition dedicated entirely to female directors and choreographers. In 2018, the festival programme investigated the artistic and structural challenges facing the postcolonial world.

At the head of Festival Theaterformen, Martine Dennewald developed a vast global network, particularly in Europe and in Eastern and South-East Asia. Fluent in eight languages, she takes an active interest in global cultural policies.

From 2019 to 2021, Martine Dennewald served as vice-president of the International Theatre Institute, which oversees Theater der Welt, the largest international theatre festival in Germany. She also shared her passion for the visual arts with the public by volunteering as a gallery guide at the Kestnergesellschaft contemporary art museum in Hanover.

In July 2021, together with Jessie Mill, she took the helm of Festival TransAmériques in Montréal as co-artistic director.


Jessie Mill

Co-Artistic Director

© Hamza Abouelouafaa

As a dramaturge and artistic advisor for Festival TransAmériques from 2014 to 2021, Jessie Mill has developed a sophisticated understanding of Quebec’s dance and theatre practises as well as their ties to the global performing arts scene, which she has followed closely over the past fifteen years. In June 2021, driven by a collective endeavour, together with Martine Dennewald, she became co-artistic director of FTA.

Passionate about contemporary writing, she served as the international projects advisor at the Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) from 2010 to 2014. Head of foreign programming for four editions of Dramaturgies en dialogue, she was also in charge of the centre’s translation activities.  

Along with Martin Faucher, who invited her to join the FTA team in 2014, she developed the FTA Playgrounds, and created the FTA Clinics in 2016. This artistic support programme designed to benefit the local theatre and dance communities quickly went global (France, Germany, Italy, Flanders), bringing together a large international community of dramaturges. In 2020, Mill co-created and hosted the FTA-produced podcast Habiter la vie. She also co-edited the book FTA : Nos jours de fête, published with Somme toute in 2018, and is currently working on a dramaturgy handbook, a joint publication forthcoming in 2022.

Fostering close ties with local artistic communities, Jessie Mill supports various theatre and dance projects as a dramaturge. She has also published several essays on the performing arts, namely in the cultural journal Liberté, where she serves on the editorial board. She occasionally works as a visiting instructor, course lecturer, or mentor at the University of Ottawa, at the National Theatre School of Canada, and at the Université du Québec à Montréal, in addition to offering cross-disciplinary workshops on dramaturgy. She has been a long-time collaborator of the pan-African festival Les Récréâtrales, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where she provides guidance to young artists as part of the LABO ELAN programme. She hopes to build bridges between her two favourite festivals.


Sandra O’Connor

Co-Executive Director and Administrative Director

O’Connor has devoted almost 20 years to working in the cultural and community sectors, including various leadership positions. She is a manager who is attentive to artists’ needs and possesses extensive knowledge of cultural and social issues in Quebec, along with practical experience in the political sector, which will be a valuable asset to the Festival and its communities.  

After working at TOHU and the Regroupement québécois de la danse, O’Connor managed marketing and communications departments at large organizations such as Culture Montréal, Moisson Montréal, Foundation of Greater Montreal, and the National Theatre School of Canada.

In 2016, she was appointed as director of Monument-National, a heritage performing arts venue located in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. In 2020, she joined the office of Quebec’s Minister of Tourism, where she was notably in charge of “sustainable development of tourism.” In this role, she led the development of the first Plan d’action pour un tourisme responsable et durable (“Action Plan for Responsible and Sustainable Tourism”). Since October 2022, she has been a political advisor on mental health and homelessness for Lionel Carmant, Quebec’s Minister Responsible for Social Services.

O’Connor is actively involved in the arts community, serving as a member of various boards of directors over the past 15 years for organizations such as the dance company Parbleux, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Le Grand Costumier, and, more recently, the theatre company Les 2 Mondes.