Image: A blue, white and purple graphic. The white text reads “Claiming Space” and just above it to the right is a stylized lioness

Image: A blue, white and purple graphic. The white text reads “Claiming Space” and just above it to the right is a stylized lioness

Mar 25 – Panel: Claiming Space – 3pm

Show Rating:
  • Family

    Absolutely suitable for all ages.
  • March 25, 2021 - 3:00pm

Claiming Space is a panel featuring comedy creators who are forging ahead to make space for community and craft in their city.

Hosted by Liza Paul, Associate Artistic Director at The Theatre Centre, Claiming Space will feature panelists including Nikki Bailey (Los Angeles), Surer Deria (Toronto), Shannon DeVido (Philadelphia), Alia Rasul (Toronto), and Rachel Strauss-Muniz (New York).

Claiming Space will include a moderated Q&A.

A photo grid with six photos. Top Row: Liza Paul, Nikki Bailey, Surer Deria Bottom row: Shannon DeVido, Alia Rasul, and Rachel Strauss-Muniz

A photo grid with six photos. Top Row: Liza Paul, Nikki Bailey, Surer Deria
Bottom row: Shannon DeVido, Alia Rasul, and Rachel Strauss-Muniz


Liza Paul
liza paul is a storyteller, comedian, curator and producer who loves laughter, life, music, family, stories, all things bashment, impromptu dancehall-flavoured a cappella street jams, and pum-related non sequiturs. she has trained at the second city as part of their improv conservatory program and the 2017 bob curry fellowship program. she is also the co-creator, co-director, co-producer, and co-star of pomme is french for apple (best of fringe 2012, toronto), which has played in toronto, winnipeg, edinburgh, and new york city. these days, she and her pomme partner in crime, bahia watson, are continuing to develop a variety show called MASHUP. she has worked with soulpepper theatre company, anitafrika! dub theatre, bCurrent theatre, and the watah theatre, and is currently the associate artistic director at the theatre centre, where she curated the inaugural comedy is art festival in 2019 and is working to continue to program as many comedy shows by women of colour as she possibly can.

Nikki Bailey
Nikki Bailey is a Performer, Author, and Emmy Nominated Producer, with a Master of Divinity, a ton of Sparkle, and now with her own podcast: Fun, Faith, & Fuckery. Nikki is the creator of Fatch Comedy: The Fat Sketch Show which features a cast of fat and fabulous funny ladies who’ve sold out shows at UCB in Los Angeles and San Francisco SketchFest.

Surer Qaly
Surer Qaly is a comedian, writer and performer based in Toronto. She co-hosts a monthly comedy hour, The Blackity Black Show, with Bethlehem Mariam and is one half of the “Do They Deserve Love” podcast, a podcast that explores the joys of romantic comedies.

Shannon DeVido
BAFTA Breakthrough actress and ViacomCBS Showcase 2021 participant Shannon DeVido is best known for her roles in Hulu’s Difficult People, Netflix’s Insatiable, Comedy Central’s Delco Proper, and Law and Order: SVU, as well as appearances on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and Sesame Street. Shannon starred in the world premieres of Michael Lew’s dark comedy Teenage Dick at the Public Theater and Samuel D. Hunter’s The Healing. Shannon has also acquired a dedicated following on her disability-focused comedy YouTube channel “Stare at Shannon.” She leads the cast of the full-length independent feature film Best Summer Ever, an award-winning musical comedy which will screen at SXSW in 2021.

Alia Ceniza Rasul
Alia is an award-winning artist based in Toronto. On her mother’s side of the family she is Bisaya, from Dumaguete. On her father’s side she is Tausug, from Jolo, Sulu. She identifies as a Filipina muslim. She was born in the Philippines but grew up in the Middle East, spending most of her childhood in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She officially became a Canadian immigrant after completing her Economics and Psychology degree at McGill University in Montreal. 

With a passion for telling stories about the Filipin* diaspora, Alia has created, produced and starred in multiple award winning projects including Tawa and Island Womxn Rise, annual, sold-out Filipin* comedy festivals, Kwento, a performance of improvised Filipin* folktale, the sketch comedy revue Tita Jokes, and her play, Tang Ina. Alia is a co-founder and alumnus of the Tita Collective, an internationally renowned sisterhood of Filipina theatre artists. Additionally, she works with Bespoke Collective, a creative consultancy at the intersection of culture, public good and the future. She is a big fan of disabled artist Ophira Calof’s work. For more information about her work, visit www.aliarasul.com

Rachel Strauss-Muniz
Rachel Strauss-Muniz is an actor, producer, comedienne, podcaster, VO artist and writer. She is a producer and member of sketch comedy troupes Room 28, and The HERlarious Show. Rachel is also the host of the multiple award-winning Latinos Out Loud podcast, now on the Sonoro Podcast network.

Streaming now on Peacock TV, you can catch Rachel alongside Room 28, the multicultural sketch comedy troupe, on NBC’s “Bring the Funny”. Rachel is currently signed on for 8-episodes as the voice of a LatinX mom on the animated series, “The Tuttle Twins” now in production.