Aimee Poulin (She/Her) is an actor, puppeteer, stage manager and artistic producer, who was born in Sudbury, Ontario. After moving around Canada a lot as a child, she spent her formative years in Montreal, Quebec.
Her professional experience includes: Crow’s Theatre’s Cross Training Program in the summer of 2018, which led to her role as Production Assistant role in The Wedding Party, by Kristen Thompson, directed by Chris Abraham and stage managed by the incomparable Melissa Rood.
After that, she worked with Little Red Theatre, a theatre company which tours shows in English and French to schools all over Ontario. As a bilingual artist, Aimee knew this was an ideal job for her. She auditioned and was cast in the touring production of The Snow Queen/La Reine des Neiges. After a 5 day rehearsal process (the shortest one Aimee has ever been a part of), they went on the road, performing the show over 100 times in 3 months! That milestone of performing the same show 100 times was something that Aimee thought was reserved for Broadway actors, and Stratford veterans, and she was extremely excited to reach that milestone so early in her career.
Once that tour was complete, Aimee participated in the Paprika Festival, as a Festival Administrator. The Paprika Festival is an inclusive, accessible program for emerging artists to hone their skill with the support of working professionals, and they are encouraged to take risks, and essentially run the festival. This experience was very valuable for Aimee, she developed very useful skills as well as connections with people in the industry that have lasted until now.
During the program, she continued auditioning, and landed the role of Mama Bear in the Barenstain Bears On Stage, produced by TBD Theatre in Guelph, another touring production for young audiences. She was thrilled to be able to find another longer term contract (this one was actually for one whole year). Starting in the fall of 2019, they went on the road travelling through Ontario and Quebec.
That same winter, Aimee was fortunate to be asked back to Crow’s Theatre to work as a puppeteer on the production of Stars: Together. The Canadian punk-pop band Stars, worked with Chris Abrahams to create a theatrical concert experience for their fans, which included two puppets built out of Microphone stands. The band is based in Montreal, and Aimee’s professor from John Abbot, Zach Fraser was actually hired as the puppet builder for the project. She jumped on this piece only 6 days before the first preview, which meant she had to learn how to manipulate the puppet before it was even installed in the theatre. Another short turn around, which is a staple of Canadian Theatre. This production was very special to Aimee, since it included people who were not involved in theatre usually. It was wonderful to see them experience the magic of theatre that gets lost so easily in the fast ‘go-go-go’ pace of the self-employed world.
At the start of 2020, Aimee was continuing to tour with the Barenstain Bears, and gearing up to re-start auditioning for other productions as this contract wrapped up. We all know what happened in March 2020, leading this tour to grind to a halt, along with the rest of the world. Aimee transitioned to seeking work online, and faced the severe consequences of the closures, as did many sectors during the pandemic.
During her job search in May 2020, Aimee found a posting for Crane Creations Theatre Company’s Summer Ensemble program, a summer training program for emerging artists where they learn about the industry, not only in a creative way, but technically, financially, logistically and from an international perspective. She applied right away, knowing that this could be a great opportunity to connect with other artists and learn from people she had not connected with before. She got into the program, and had a great time, learning about international theatre, and the business of theatre in Canada, how it really looks financially to be an artist here. After that program, which ended in August 2020, she decided to stick around to help out Andreja, and the rest of the team.
Since then she has worked as an artistic producer on Bridges Festival 2021, Summer Ensemble 2021, Mirror (the creation of a puppetry play for kids, 2021), Terror – An Interactive Courtroom Drama (2021), and is helping to plan Bridges Festival 2022.
Aimee was always interested in all sorts of things, and definitely was always a type A over-achiever. She was always a creative and active youth, making short films with her friends after school, playing pretend with her brother, and attending a drama summer camp for 5 years in a row in the summer. Fun fact, she was also a provincial level badminton player for 2 years in college, and at one point trained 5 days a week.
She also speaks three languages; English, French and Spanish.She attended an International Baccalaureate high school program at College Saint-Louis (grades 7-11) which focused much more on academics (math and sciences), while she continued to do musical theatre outside of school. As part of a fundraising initiative for a school trip to Costa Rica, a group of students (including Aimee) worked as background performers on À Vos Marques Party 2 (an excellent Quebecois comedy about an international swimming competition). That was her first experience on a movie set, and she was completely mesmerized by everything, how it all seemed so real on camera but was so easily faked in reality (the size of the crowds, the timing, the spacing, etc.). Her favourite part of watching any movie was searching for behind the scenes extras on dvds which showed how the movies were made, and how the actors were when they were not in character. She started to think about a career in the arts at this point, but was definitely intimidated by all of the challenges that a job in the field could pose.
She decided to continue a higher education program in Arts and Sciences, at College Bois-de-Boulogne, refusing to close any doors, since she was interested in all sorts of subjects in school.
As that program was coming to an end, she decided that she had to give theatre a try, and applied to a variety of post-secondary acting program in Quebec. She successfully got into one; John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre Acting program. She says herself that this program was life changing for her; it empowered her take initiative, and take concrete steps to build a career in the arts. She learned from exceptional teachers such as Anana Rydvald, Rea Nolan, Terry Donald, Zach Fraser, Tracy-Leigh Campbell and others. The productions chosen by her main acting teacher Terry, were classic American pieces, such as The American Clock by Arthur Miller, Hot L Baltimore by Lanford Wilson, Our Town by Thorton Wilder, and she also got to play Cordelia in King Lear.
Upon graduation, she decided that she wanted to re-locate to Toronto, where there seemed to be more opportunities for theatre artists, and she attended the Randolph College for the Performing Arts, which gave her a keen sense of the industry in Toronto, how competitive and commercial it is, and how difficult it would be to achieve her goals as an artist in Canada. She graduated from that program in 2017. She performed in two plays: The Weavers (an adaptation of Die Weber by Gerhart Hauptmann), directed by Michael Reinhart, and The Drowsy Chaperone, directed by Dayna Tekatch, with musical direction by David Atkinson.
Other than theatre, Aimee has always been lucky when it comes to jobs. She worked as a lifeguard and a summer camp councillor growing up, and then has worked at restaurants such as Jukebox Burgers (in Montreal) and Snakes and Lattes (in Toronto). She has also worked at Crows Theatre as a box office attendant and a bartender, as well as Koerner Hall as an usher. She has also worked as a background performer on many television shows and movies such as: The Boys (Season 1 and 2), The Coroner, Ginny and Georgia (season 1) and The Hardy Boys. She has worked on student films.
Theatre for Aimee has always been equally introspective, as it has been an opportunity to learn about people. As a very emotional person, it has been therapeutic for her to explore emotions in this way, but it is also, even more so, an opportunity to really get into other people’s skin, and learn about their opinions, their experiences and how they perceive the world. Theatre in the 21st century is, for Aimee, a means of connection and re-building trust in each other as citizens. As our world becomes increasingly connected, it is important to remember that each person is simply doing their best with what they know, and rarely is someone striking out simply because they want to. There is lots of hurt in the world, and Aimee hopes theatre can create space for this hurt to be released, and slowly heal, bit by bit.
Aimee is beyond excited to be part of the core team at Crane Creations, helping to grow this company, and help artists to understand that the precarious nature of the theatre industry is uniquely North American, something she learned thanks to artistic director Andreja Kovac. She is excited to build stability for artists and become a part of the international theatre community.
Crane creations has allowed me to understand that my training, talent and experience are deserving of a real wage. They gave me a real experience, working full time, as an actor. This stability allows artists to explore, grew and create in much more effective way. Just ask our designer Aditi Sharma!