Tamara Podemski is an Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts where she studied dance, theatre and music throughout its 10-year program.
For over 25 years, her work has spanned across all mediums with such credits as DANCE ME OUTSIDE, THE REZ, READY OR NOT, NORTH OF 60, RABBIT FALL, HEARTLAND, CRACKED, numerous theatre productions, most notably as a member of the Original Canadian Cast of RENT, as well as playing Maureen in the Broadway Company of RENT. She made her biggest mark in 2007 at the Sundance Film Festival when she received the Special Jury Prize for Acting for her role in Sterlin Harjo’s FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND. The same role won her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, which she proudly lost to fellow nominee, Cate Blanchett. In 2011, Tamara was nominated for a Jessie Theatre Award for her performance in Marie Clements’ play THE EDWARD CURTIS PROJECT and in 2012, she returned to the big screen opposite Benjamin Bratt in Anita Doron’s THE LESSER BLESSED. Her most recent performance in Colleen Wagner’s Governor General Award-Winning play THE MONUMENT was hailed as one of the “10 Best Theatre Productions of 2018” by the Globe and Mail.
As a community worker, Tamara has travelled to three different continents sharing her cultural and creative experiences through hands-on workshops, keynote addresses and panel discussions. She is a passionate teacher and advocate for the arts, developing programs to empower the voices of youth and women through songwriting, dancing and storytelling. Having grandparents who are both Holocaust survivors and Residential School survivors, she speaks openly about issues of intergenerational trauma, reconciliation, inherited legacies and the importance of creating safe spaces for dialogue, education and collaboration. Tamara is the writer and story producer of the television documentary series FUTURE HISTORY, which celebrates the reclamation and revitalization of Indigenous Knowledge.
In 2020, she will return to the stage to star in Keith Barker’s THIS IS HOW WE GOT HERE, which was nominated for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award in Drama.