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Owais Lightwala

Owais is the Managing Director of Why Not Theatre (based in Toronto, Canada), and is a passionate lover of analogies. 

Owais Lightwala is a theatre producer, and currently the Managing Director of Why Not Theatre. Over the last 6 years working for Why Not, he has produced sold-out runs of award-winning new works, national and international tours, presentations from around the world, and co-helmed the creation of innovative new producing models like the RISER Project. He advises many arts organizations (including theatre and dance companies, music presenters, film festivals and more) as a strategic consultant, particularly on finding better ways of doing things, changing who’s on stage and in the audience, and anything to do with numbers. He also dabbles in theatre making as an artist, and is a prolific web and graphic designer. A lifelong learner, he was selected for the Impact Program for Arts Leaders (Stanford Graduate School of Business), has completed the CORe program (Harvard Business School), was a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow (CivicAction), in the 2018 Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council/Banff Centre), and a graduate of York University’s Theatre program.

actors onstage
Can a Theatre Company Lead Change?
Essay

Can a Theatre Company Lead Change?

22 April 2019

Owais Lightwala talks about how Toronto’s Why Not Theatre grew from a scrappy startup to an institution in their own right—which came with a greater responsibility to tackle some of Toronto theatres’s biggest challenges: space, childcare, and diversity.