About Us – À Propos

Project X Performance is a social issue theatre company, founded by Ilana Zackon and Shannon Leibinger in 2014. Every performance created by the company is based on a specific social issue and tied to a corresponding charity. We aim to raise awareness about stigmatized social issues through the development and presentation of original performances inspired by true stories. The material for each performance is gathered through the collection of personal stories donated to the company by the public, or the performers themselves, and can be done in any performance medium or mix of mediums that best suits the piece.

Projet X Performance est une nouvelle compagnie, fondée par Ilana Zackon et Shannon Leibinger en 2014. Chaque spectacle créé par la compagnie sera basé sur un problème social spécifique et lié à un organisme de bienfaisance correspondant. Nous espérons éveiller les consciences concernant les problèmes sociaux stigmatisés par le développement et la présentation de performances originales inspirées d’histoires vraies. Le matériel pour chaque performance sera recueilli grâce à la collecte d’histoires personnelles données à la compagnie par le public, ou les artistes eux-mêmes, et peut être fait avec tout support de performance ou mélange de médiums qui convient le mieux à la pièce.

Company Members

ILANA ZACKON (Artistic Director, Founder)

Ilana Zackon Headshot GINGER

A graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre Program, Ilana Zackon is a Canadian artist who enjoys wearing many hats. An actor, singer-songwriter, voice-over artist, director and yoga instructor, she has been involved in the performing arts since the age of three. Ilana was mentored in the Black Theatre Workshop Mentorship program (Montreal, QC) and recently toured across Canada with Tohu Bohu’s musical theatre children’s show The Magical Journey. Other selected theatre credits include Nuclear Sky (Title 66 Productions), Glory Dazed (Waterworks Company) and Under Milk Wood (JAC’N’Burgh, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013). Directing credits include: Betty’s Summer Vacation (Floor 13 Productions), Part I (Project X Performance) and  in / cognitō: a living art exhibit on mental health (Project X Performance). She can also be heard as the voice of Catalyst in Livelock (Tuque Games) and Katherina von Dernsbach in “Mordheim: City of the Damned” (Games Workshop). Ilana is incredibly passionate about using theatre as a platform to create awareness and empathy, worldwide. Ilana is currently an Artist in Residence at Presentation House in North Vancouver developing Project X Performance’s next piece. Click here for an interview Ilana had with Art With Impact about the company. To contact: izackon@projectxperformance.com


SHANNON LEIBINGER (Creative Advisor, Co-Founder)

Shannon Leibinger is a Toronto based artist and graduate of John Abbott’s Professional Theatre Program. She has been dancing for years and has had the pleasure to choreograph various productions including “Romeo and Juliet, “Under Milk Wood” and “Jitters” (JAC). Extremely passionate about expanding her creativity in the arts, she recently moved to Toronto, where she is completing a Musical Theatre program at Randolph Academy. Acting Credits include; Peggy (Jitters), Rose Baum (American Clock) and Lily Smalls in “Under Milk Wood” in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


BRITTANY DALFEN (Communications & Development Director)

Brittany Dalfen is a Concordia University student, majoring in sociology. Previously, she majored in psychology at Dawson College. From both her studies and personal experiences, she has seen how much stigma and shame surrounds mental health issues. In 2014, she started her own online company called “Sayfespace”. “Sayfespace” aims to create a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment where college and university students can talk to each other online, anonymously, about mental illnesses, disorders, or emotional stressors they are facing. bdalfen@projectxperformance.com


SARAH ESTRIN (Outreach Coordinator)

Sarah is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a BA in Sociology and Political Science and is now pursuing a graduate diploma in Addictions Casework. Sarah worked as a Volunteer Coordinator previously and has worked in outreach towards youth in regards to political action and politics. Realizing this is not the career she wants to pursue, Sarah is glad to join the team at Project X as her own affliction with Mental Health has brought her deeper understanding with stigmas and shame. Sarah is also working towards the creation of an online app for phones to help remove isolation that often occurs with individuals suffering a mental illness.


ELYSE QUESNEL (Technical Advisor)

Elyse Quesnel, originally from Montreal, is a freelance stage manager. Favorite Stage management credits include: In Search of Mrs Pirandello, 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived (Marybeth productions) which travelled to NYC, Stratford, and Winnipeg, Under Milk Wood(Jac’N’Burgh) at the Edinburgh Fringe, Spring Awakening: The Musical, Walnut Tree, Moby Dick (Persephone Productions), Edmond (Storefront Theatre). Billy (The Days of Howling)(Talisman Theatre), The Snow Queen (Theatre New Brunswick) and Orphans (Coal Mine Theatre). Favorite apprentice credits include: The Meeting (Black Theatre workshop), Top Girls(Segal Center for Performing Arts), Harry The King: The Famous Victories of Henry V(Repercussion Theatre), Lady from the SeaLithuania,  Engaged, Talk to Me Like The Rain and Let Me Listen  and Hello From Bertha (Shaw Festival). Elyse will be in Prescott, Ontario this summer stage managing at the St-Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and will be returning to Coal Mine for the 2017-2018 season.

carolyne-aubin-headshotCAROLYNE AUBIN (Social Media Coordinator)

An experienced social media manager and actress, Carolyne combines her knowledge of both fields in her work with Project X Performance.