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Announcing the Participants in the 2019 Block P

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We are pleased to announce the participants in this year’s Block P (Producing for Theatre): Mairy Beam, Kagan Goh, Rebecca Walters and Ilana Zackon, join the producer of the Fringe New Play Prize 2019 winning project (Mx) Shanae Sodhi.

Over the next six weeks these five artists will be learning the ins and outs of indie producing with UpintheAir Theatre’s Daniel Martin and Dave Mott.


Bios

Mairy Beam is a non-binary playwright and director who recently moved to Vancouver from southern Ontario.  Her latest play, Body Parts, will be produced in the New Ideas Festival in Toronto in March 2019. Her recent plays include Out and About produced in 2017 in Vancouver at the 4 x 3 Fest and in Toronto at Gelato Fest, The Next Mary which was included in PinkFest 2018 in Toronto, and Let Me In which was read as part of the 2018 Bodacious Series in North Vancouver. She has also directed several plays for Theatre Out of the Box in Toronto. Mairy was arrested as part of the KM protests and is currently working on a documentary theatre piece that will shine a light on that whole process.

Kagan Goh is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, published author, spoken word artist, mental health advocate and activist who uses writing, film and spoken word storytelling to educate the public about mental health issues and break the silence about the taboo of mental illness and fight the stigma against people with mental health challenges. Surviving Samsara is a 60-minute multimedia, multidisciplinary live theatrical production bringing together theatre, spoken word, music, film, audiovisuals, etc. Created by artist Kagan Goh based on his struggles with manic depression, this work breaks the taboo of silence about mental illness. Surviving Samsara traces his journey towards recovery, acceptance and unconditional self-love. The show spans two decades as Kagan struggles to survive the highs of mania and the lows of depression and offers intimate insights into an ‘insider’s’ experience of madness as a survivor. Kagan exposes the damaging effects of the stigma of mental illness and explores manic depression not only as a disorder but also as a spiritual emergence – a vehicle for personal growth, healing and transcendence.

Shanae Sodhi is a Vancouver-based producer and director. As one of the establishing members of The Student Diversity Committee at Studio 58, Shanae spearheaded work to give voice and strength to marginalized groups within the theatre community, while empowering students with the tools and knowledge to engage in conversations surrounding diversity. He was the recipient of the Studio 58 Diversity Award for increasing access and opportunities for diversity and inclusion within the program. Shanae assistant directed Genevieve Fleming’s Wilderness and Rachel Aberle’s I Know What I Saw at Studio 58, and will be assistant directing Anita Rochon on 4000 Miles at The Belfry Theatre in March. Currently he works as the Associate Producer Intern with Green Thumb Theatre, Associate Producer at Diwali in BC, and Ambassador for Visceral Visions’ DiverseTheatreBC. He is also honoured to serve as the Board President for Killjoy Theatre Company.

Rebecca Walters. Born in Vancouver BC, Rebecca has her BFA from UBC and her MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University. She has made theatre throughout the Lower Mainland and Washington DC. A core member of Ensemble Theatre Company, Rebecca has appeared in several of their shows, including The Farnsworth Invention, Dark Road and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Rebecca has recently added Associate Artistic Director to her list of credits, joining Peninsula Productions to help guide their 2019 season. She will be directing and co-producing Our Town, Peninsula’s inaugural production in their new black box theatre space.

Ilana Zackon is a Canadian artist who enjoys wearing many hats. An actor, singer, voice-over artist, writer, producer and director, she has been involved in the performing arts since the age of three. Selected theatre credits include So, How Should I Be? (Presentation House Theatre), a Canada-wide tour of the TYA musical The Magical Journey (Tohu Bohu Productions), Nuclear Sky (Title 66 Productions, Montreal) and Under Milk Wood (Edinburgh Fringe). She recently directed two plays at Speakeasy Theatre‘s Pull Festival as well as two productions for her social issue theatre company Project X PerformancePart I and in / cognitō. Ilana is passionate about using theatre as a platform to create awareness and empathy, worldwide. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Presentation House Theatre.