director & designer
Howard J. Davis, aka HAUI, is a mixed multidisciplinary artist who defies categorization. To date he has worked in performance, directing, design and visual arts for theatre and film. A graduate of Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto in 2014, he has acted with companies such as the Shaw Festival of Canada, Native Earth Performing Arts, Cahoots Theatre, Paper Canoe Projects, Factory Theatre, Neptune Theatre as well as in film and television. As a director, he was recently invited to partake in the inaugural Bud's program to assistant direct as part of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction. He was an assistant director to associate director Estelle Shook and Peter Hinton at the National Arts Centre for the sesquicentennial production of the opera Louis Riel. He was a recipient of Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program to work as a directing/design intern at the Grand Theatre. As a video/projection designer, he has worked at The Shaw Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Black Theatre Workshop, Great Canadian Theatre Company, and Neptune Theatre. In the summer of 2020, he was slated to design the world premiere of Anne Marie MacDonald's play Hamlet 911 at the Stratford Festival of Canada. His work as a filmmaker emphasizes how the past can inform our current socio-political climate to build a practice in telling stories of his heritage, marginalized cultures, and original modern works that bridge classical, theatrical, and historical context to contemporary cinema and stage. Career highlights to date include: directing his short film C'EST MOI about the history Marie-Josèphe Angélique. The film screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, including Vues D'Afrique, Montreal and Hollywood's Black Film Festivals, Caribbean Tales, and The Black International Film Festival in the United Kingdom, where it was nominated for Best Short Film and won best short documentary at the Best Shorts Competition in Los Angeles. He assistant produced and did the stills photography and EPK working on Marie Clements feature film Red Snow. His photography has been published in Harpers Bazaar UK, Amina Magazine (Paris), Greystone Books and was commissioned and featured in the design for Canadian Opera Company's 2018 World Premiere of Rufus Wainwright's and Daniel McIvor's "Hadrian". Upcoming Howard is devising a new theatrical work about the history of Canadian singer Portia White. The show is currently in development through the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, National Ballet of Canada's Open Space Residency, and Caravan Farm National Playwright's Retreat. His award-winning feature-length film debut entitled MIXED↑ explores the isolation of being BIPOC and LGBTQ+ and demands that we celebrate what is unique about each of us. The film was co-produced with trans producer/filmmaker Jack Fox and premiered November 2020 on OUTtv and OUTtvGO network television and at Image+Nation LGBTQueer Film Festival. Howard is part of Wildseed Black Arts Residency in association with Black Lives Matter Toronto - a 20-month paid residency and space for interdisciplinary collaboration through arts and activism. He is a recipient of ByBlack's People's Choice Award for Best Director in 2018 and 2020. In 2020 he was nominated for a Montreal English Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre. He is also a member of ACTRA, CAEA and ADC.
"His insights and commitment to creativity and storytelling were invaluable to the continuity of the work we were doing."
Tantoo Cardinal, activist and actor
"Haui's voice is layered: as male, as queer, as mixed-race, as black, as curious. His scope is vast: as director, as actor, as visual artist, as interpreter....His questions are endless. We need his art, his artistry and his voice."
Kimberley Rampersad, Associate Artistic Director of Shaw Festival
“Haui Davis – Howard, or “Haui”, as he positions himself, is a highly intelligent,witty and talented young man with a huge repertoire of skills...this is an exceptionally professional young man who will make his name, and soon, with a vengeance. His talents are wide-ranging– and unique.”
Martha Henry; Order of Canada, Order of ON; Hon LLD, PhD, DHum, DFA.