Queen's University Logo

Joe Pagnan

Joe Pagnan

Term Adjunct


Term Adjunct: Introduction to Theatre Spaces

As a production designer, Joe has created for companies touring North and South America, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. They’ve included collaborations with Buddies in Bad Times, Obsidian Theatre, Stratford Festival with colored lights, LemonTree Collective, Sampradaya Dance Creations, Globe Theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Chemainus Theatre, and gosh, the list is long and ongoing, each incredible co-conspirators. From radical social opera with Loosetea Music Theatre to Sondheim at The Wintergarden and Elgin Theatres.  They are a resident artist with Talk Is Free Theatre and is project lead on ARIA: Augmented Reality for Immersive Accessibility. As the founding designer of The Highland Arts Theatre, the HAT recently introduced Radical Access, a new funding model for non-profit theatres in repurposed venues. Joe remains ex-officio on the board of directors for Frog in Hand: Stories that Move, a multidisciplinary contemporary dance company invested in revitalizing cast-away buildings and forgotten parklands. SAIB, Mississauga’s newest multi arts centre, was found due to the creative activism of Creative Hub 1352 with FIH which Joe was a founding designer and technical advisor.

Actively engaged in emerging performance practice and theory, Joe was an assistant curator of the 2011 Canadian National Exhibition for the Prague Quadrennial of Space and Design. They hold a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with honours from X University, an Associated Designer of Canada, and have since participated in master classes with Universität Weimar / Theatre Bauhaus, OWOW Project, and Rimini Protokoll, Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts, and others. A past nominee of the 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award, their work has been nominated for Dora Mavor Moore Awards and is recipient of the F Joseph Anderson Award for community impact.

Current research explores how we define performance space in an unstable or degenerative organic world; works specific to this include Covid Confessions: CompartmentsStill Life: Commodifying Erosion, and What She Burned, an immersive experience sharing Eastern European folklore, obscured by natural erosion on aging (45+ years!) radiological material. Will it be successful; only if we try and learn every time.  

They live with their partner and rescue “wolf” mix in a small Eastern Ontario hamlet, and if not exploring new woods, they masquerade as an illustrator for tabletop games. You will often see a dalek and icosahedron next to their lighting console. More can be found at www.joepagnan.ca.  (Photo by Chris Graham Photo. Globe Theatre, 2019.)