About Nakai Theatre

Nakai Theatre Ensemble produces and presents high quality, uncommon theatre for Yukon audiences and develops local artists and their work.

Founded in 1979, Nakai has a rich history of theatre making in Whitehorse and beyond.

Current Team


Jacob Zimmer
Artistic Director

Born in Cape Breton, raised in Halifax, and trained in Vancouver, Jacob now lives in Whitehorse after 15 years in Toronto. Along with being the new Artistic Director of Nakai Theatre, he’s the founding director of Small Wooden Shoe Planning and Performance, a designer at Intervene Design and a past faculty member in Leadership Development at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. He also collaborates with Public RecordingsDancemakersSecret Theatre, and others. Jacob studied theatre at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts. He trained in Viewpoints and composition with Anne Bogart and SITI Company, interned with The Wooster Group, participated in creation workshops with Jonathan Burrows, and participated in many more curious activities.

As the founding director of Small Wooden Shoe, he has been independently producing and creating performance through collaboration and improvisation for over 10 years. Highlights include Dedicated to the Revolutions (Buddies in Bad Times, High Performance Rodeo, Super Nova, Magnetic North Festival), Perhaps in a Hundred Years (Hub 14, Summerworks, OFFTA), Life of Galileo (for Tracy Wright, Convocation Hall), Upper Toronto (Toronto Public Library, PARC etc...) and Antigone Dead People (Toronto, Tokyo).

Jenna Winter
Managing Producer

Jenna Winter is an arts administrator and producer based in Whitehorse, Yukon. From 2011-17, she was Managing Director and Artistic Associate at performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex, where she produced and co-led artistic projects with local communities (children, teenagers, refugees and senior citizens) in more than 20 cities in Canada and around the world. With a background in music and degrees in art history (B.A. Hons. McGill; M.A. York University), she has worked in theatre, music and the visual arts, including as Curatorial Assistant for the 2009 Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2018, she was selected as 1 of 5 Canadian Delegates for the Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum. Jenna currently works as General Manager of Gwaandak Theatre, in addition to being Nakai’s Managing Producer.

Zach McCann-Armitage
Office Manager / Associate Producer

Zach was born in the Yukon, and remembers as a younger human in the early 2000s watching rehearsals to Nakai performances while his dad worked at the arts centre. Now brisk from a stint in Toronto completing a Master's degree in Literature and working for the Toronto International Film Festival, Zach is excited to join the Nakai team in the role of Office Manager and Production Assistant. With him, he brings a background in writing, music, technical production, and an engagement and familiarity with the arts sector in the territory.

Board of Directors

President Shonagh McCrindle
Vice-President Denise Lamb
Secretary Kelly Scott
Treasurer Kim McMynn
Directors RP Singh, Aric Strong, Kaori Torigai, Jessica Westman

Values / Mandate / Mission / Vision


These values guide our actions and behaviours:

  • We work with curiosity, generosity and candour with collaborators and partners.

  • We are locally focused and globally aware

  • We foster a community-based, professional theatre practice

  • We are expert at connecting art, artists, and audiences

  • We foster excellence in theatrical storytelling and performance

  • We encourage and facilitate public engagement through theatre


To contribute to the healthy, sustainable development of a thriving Yukon Territory, where Indigenous peoples, settlers, and newcomers share the land, interpret our connections to the landscapes, and share our knowledge and experiences through theatre with each other and with the world.


To be an artistic catalyst and convener that helps chart a course for the development and production of theatre that can only be created in the Yukon.


Nakai is a professional theatre producer and presenter that supports theatre practice in the Yukon through exchange, training, and development.

Strategic Plan and Research

In the spring of 2018 Nakai board and staff partnered Inga Petri of Strategic Moves to complete a review of our context and articulate a new strategic plan for the years to come. In the interest of sharing and transparency, we’re happy to release public versions of the documents.


Canadian Revenue Agency
Charitable Number: 133955039RR0001