Joelle Peters is Anishinaabe and Miami. She lives in Toronto but heads home to Walpole Island First Nation a lot. Family is important to Joelle.
She acts, writes, and is unassumingly hilarious. Sometimes she is funny and you wonder to yourself if she knows she is being funny or if she is pulling one over on you. She’s kind of a grandpa like that.
Sometimes Joelle writes in the funeral parlour without realizing the inherent creepiness of it. (True story) Joelle is generous and she works hard. She loves theatre and engages in it in a way that you can tell she loves it. She has probably attended more zoom theatre presentations than anyone this past year. As a performer Joelle is unselfish, listens to her scene partner and takes better blocking notes than the stage manager. As a writer Joelle is genuine and has an original and authentic storytelling voice. This year Tara Beagan selected Joelle as her protégé for the Siminovitch Prize. So it looks like the secret is out and people are figuring out just how talented and amazing this woman is. I am proud to work with her and can’t wait to see what she does next.
-Written by Falen Johnson
Which ‘hood are you in?
I’m not sure if I’m technically in Leslieville, Riverside, or Riverdale…my roommate has always said we’re in between. Either way, I really like this pocket of the city. For a while I was subletting/cat-sitting at different places across the city and then I found myself starting to gravitate toward places in the east end. There are a few casting studios not too far from me (as an actor that’s a plus), and having grown up on an island, it’s comforting to know we’re fairly close to the water. The area has transformed quite a bit over the past couple years and as we all know more changes are on the way, but I still generally feel safe which is important for me as a young Indigenous woman.
What do you do?
Most artists wear a lot of different hats. I’m an actor and playwright, and I also work in box office and front of house. I’ve worked as a casting assistant, outside eye, a server (though this dream was short lived) and in the future I’d like to continue expanding my skillset and explore directing & dramaturgy.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing a coming-of-age play called Niish. It’s a comedy set on a reserve in Southwestern Ontario, it’s currently in development through Native Earth’s Animikiig Creator’s Unit and has been commissioned by the Blyth Festival.
Where can we find your work?
I’m one of the artists in Embodying Power and Place, a digital experience curated by New Harlem Productions and produced by Native Earth Performing Arts and Nightwood Theatre. There are 12 audio-visual works that seek to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Trans, and Two-Spirit people, written and performed by some really incredible and admirable Indigenous artists (including a piece written by Falen Johnson, who also wrote my bio here). I feel really honoured to have been part of this project. You can find more information here: https://www.embodyingpowerandplace.com/ . I tend to use Instagram to share upcoming work or projects I’m involved in!
Follow me: @joellepeters.jpg