Leanna Williams is a South African-Canadian, queer, multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Treaty 4 territory (Regina, Saskatchewan). Growing up as a cellist and vocalist with a background in ballet and contemporary, performance and storytelling has been a life-long love. She is most drawn to exploring themes of shame, guilt, generational patterns, the pursuit of joy, and the nuance within ourselves and others. She seeks to find richness and vulnerability in all her work through vigilance, play, and connection.
During her time at NTS, she has been immersed in many theatre practices and artistic forms including Laban movement, stage combat, neutral and expressive mask, dance, voice, music, improvisation, and collective creation, all under the guidance and mentorship of Canada’s leading artists such as Jackie Maxwell, Alisa Palmer, Mike Payette, Tim Welham, and Anita Nittoly.
Some of her most recent credits include Mary Swanson in Middletown (directed Jessica Carmichael), Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night (directed by Danielle Irvine), and Aphrodite/Oread in Metamorphoses (directed by Eda Holmes).
As a theatre creator, she finds fulfillment in the collaborative process of new work. She has had the honour to work alongside other emerging playwrights in new play development as part of the NTS’ 2023 New Words Festival. She also had the pleasure of bringing to life an original character mask as part of a devised theatre piece directed by Christine Quintana and Jivesh Parasram. Looking ahead, she is most excited to be participating in the Ottawa Fringe Festival as a co-producer, co-writer, and performer in a new one-act play, Perky.