Isabel Cisterna

Isabel Cisterna

Isabel Cisterna immigrated to Waterloo, Ontario in 1991. The talented actor-producer-director-playwright’s initial experiences were pure frustration: she couldn’t find work in her chosen profession because of her accent.

In 1998, after years of working jobs that didn’t feed her soul she took destiny into her own hands and gave a performance of one of the many one-woman plays she’d written since immigrating called “My Name is Isabel”. It was a smash and, as a result, Isabel found herself meeting more and more members of the local arts and multi-cultural community. In 2001 she was struck with inspiration: why not produce a show to introduce Waterloo Region to its wealth of new Canadian talent, bring cultures together to learn from each other and create powerful nights of entertainment.

One-woman plays include: Me llamo Isabel, the 12 step recovery program (how to recuperate from cultural shock), Angel, Mariela in the desert.

Theatre Experience include: Death and the Maiden (Waterloo Stage) No Exit (KW Little Theatre) El Invitado (University of Toronto) I call myself Isabel (Theatre and Co.)

Film: Sleeping Dogs (2006) Pocketful of Change (2008)

In addition, Isabel is a very powerful Story teller, Activist for Inclusion and diversity from way back when it wasn’t cool to talk about DIVERSITY.


Two KW Arts Awards for Mentor of the Year - for Isabel Cisterna (2008) and for The Arpillera Projet (2009); a Waterloo Region Record 40 under 40 award for leadership (2009); an award from the Government of Chile for Isabel's achievements as a CHilean living abroad; and a nomination for the Ministry of Culture's Who Inspires You Award for our involvement with the youth of the Academia of Music of Puerto Varas;  Neruda's has received funding from the Trillium Foundation.  We have also presented a number of successful and sold-out concerts, festivals and workshops, including an inspiring performance in 2008 at the Centre in teh Square, born out of our youth cultural exchange program.  Isabel was recognized as the Woman of the Year for Arts and Entertainment by the KW Oktoberfest in 2010.