Rob SalernoArtistic and General Director
Rob is a playwright, actor, director, producer, and freelance journalist who's been called a "theatrical rabble rouser" by The Globe and Mail. He holds a Joint-Honours BA from McGill University (Cultural Studies/Political Science) and an MA (Drama) from University of Toronto. He founded Ten Foot Pole Productions in 2007 initially as a home for his playwriting, but eventually expanded it to include producing work by local creators who share his passion for making great and challenging art. His five plays Balls, Fucking Stephen Harper, Big in Germany, RAW, and First Day Back have been seen at festivals across Canada and overseas and have earned critical acclaim and multiple awards. In 2009, Rob completed a residency with the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Young Creators’ Unit and a stint as the Literary Programs Intern at Canadian Stage Company. His other stage credits include shows at the New Ideas Festival (Alumnae), the Rhubarb Festival (Buddies), and Buzzfest (TPM), and the Festival of Original Theatre (UofT).
His journalism has appeared in magazines and blogs across Canada. His news writing is great practice for telling stories and has given him insight into public relations and communications strategies.
Interests and Inspirations: justice, politics, cycling, martial arts, urban design, Toronto, news media, childhood, screwball comedies, Canadiana, trains.
Mikaela DykeArtistic Associate
Originally from Newfoundland, Mikaela is a writer and performer who now makes her home in Toronto. An improviser for over a decade, Mikaela has training in solo improvisation, mask, Commedia dell’Arte, clown, storytelling and Alexander technique.
Having performed with companies all over Canada and the US, her recent theatre credits include: Arm’s Length (Summerworks festival); A Rustling (Playwrights of Spring Festival); Sky (Rabbittown Theatre Productions); Buried Child (Beothuck Street Players); Comedy of Errors (SBTS); My Name is Rachel Corrie (Forest Productions) and Reflections on Giving Birth to a Squid (Parent Productions). She is currently touring with her verbatim theatre show Dying Hard (Forest Productions), which won awards for Outstanding Performance and Best Female Performance at the London Fringe.
After obtaining her BA from Memorial University, she attended the University of Toronto where she completed her MA in Drama. In the past year she has appeared in Thanospa at both the Edmonton and Queens, NY international film festivals. She has also finished working in the ensemble for the sketch comedy pilot 6 Billion Degrees and as the female lead opposite Canadian rockers Slim Twig and Gord Downie in Sight Unseen, a feature film.
Mikaela has an extensive comedy resume including a variety of sketch comedy, stand-up and improv. She has workshopped and played with many of Canada’s top improv troupes and, in 2008, hosted the prestigious Stephen Leacock Debate. She is an active member both of the improv duo Space School, and the 2010 Improv Cagematch champions The Bea Arthurs.
Her recent producing experience includes serving as the Regional Director for the Newfoundland tournament of the Canadian Improv Games (2005-2007), co-producing My Name is Rachel Corrie (St. John’s, Feb 2010) and her 2010-11 festival tour of Dying Hard.