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Announcing the Block P 2018 participants

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We are pleased to announce the participants in this year’s Block P (Producing): Diana Bang, Kris Fleerackers, Matthew Horrigan, Ian Kent, Lenore Rowntree, Maria Zarrillo, and our Fringe New Play Prize winners, Anais West and Sara Vickruck. Over the next six weeks these eight artists will be learning the ins and outs of indie producing with UpintheAir Theatre’s Daniel Martin and Dave Mott.

BIOS

Anais West
Anais is a queer actor and playwright as well as the current Associate Artistic Producer at Pi Theatre. She wrote and produced Kill Your Lovers (created with video-designer Shauna Griffin), which was presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s Rhubarb Festival in Toronto, and the Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City. She is a co-producer for the Virago Play Series, an initiative she began with Alexandra Lainfiesta, Carmela Sison, and Kayla Deorksen that develops and produces new work by female and femme playwrights. Virago’s first series of staged readings will be presented at the Firehall Arts Centre in 2018. Anais has performed with Rumble Theatre’s Tremors Festival, Carousel Theatre for Young People, the PuSh Festival, and the Arts Club. Next up, she will be appearing in the Only Animal’s production of SLIME in Vancouver and at the Banff Centre. Anais is a graduate of the acting program at Studio 58.

Diana Bang
Diana Bang was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. She is an actor and sketch comedian. Film credits include The Interview, Entanglement and The Master Cleanse. She is a founding member of Asian-Canadian sketch comedy group, Assaulted Fish. Currently, she performs with The Lady Show, a comedy show where they put the “joy” in “feminist killjoy”. She is also a member of Wet Ink Collective. Diana is working on producing a solo show, SELF-ish, written by Kuan Foo and directed and dramaturged by Dawn Milman to the Vancouver Fringe Festival. She is also writing and developing a solo show with the working title, Self-Possessed, that she hopes will see the light of day with the help of Block P.

Ian Kent
Ian first started producing theatre when his two children’s plays, The Kingship of NNNNorp! and Witches’ Brew: Carrot Stew were produced at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. More recently, he wrote, produced and directed the play Abattoir Morning for or; theatre (ortheatre.com). In India, Ian taught Shakespeare to Tibetan artists in exile and edited and contributed to Contact magazine. His poems have been published in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Prairie Journal, Scrivener Creative Review, Rhubarb and Contemporary Verse 2.His fiction has appeared in The Prairie Journal. His non-fiction has appeared in Rhubarb.

Maria Zarrillo
Maria Zarrillo is a graduate of Studio 58’s production program and works primarily as an Equity stage manager based in Vancouver. Since graduating, she has worked on a variety of shows such as Empire of the Son (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre), The Invisible Hand (Pi Theatre), L’Elisir D’Amore (Vancouver Opera) and Broken Tailbone (Nightswimming Theatre). Maria is currently the operations assistant for Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre as well as a producer on 食盡天下 (A Taste of Empire) with rice & beans theatre. She feels very fortunate to be working frequently in the arts and hopes to one day become the general manager of a local theatre company.

Matt Horrigan
Matthew Horrigan is a writer and composer from Barrhaven, Nepean, Ottawa, where he started his illustrious career by composing songs for a nameless high school grunge band.  His poems have subsequently appeared in a bunch of poetry journals including ditch, Steps, The Veg, Poetry Quarterly and Infinity’s Kitchen, as well as providing text for his musical compositions, of which 2015’s Kyrie and In the Minimal Senses won prizes at the 2016 SOCAN Foundation Young Composer Awards. Matthew holds a B.Mus in music composition from McGill and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University, where he has since taught computer music as a sessional instructor. In winter 2016 he travelled to Huddersfield University to research electroacoustic composition under the supervision of Pierre-Alexandre Tremblay, and he currently works on the Musebot musical metacreation project with Arne Eigenfeldt. As a sound designer and composer for dance and theatre Matthew’s work has appeared in performances throughout the BC lower mainland, most recently in the children’s play The Green Wanderer, directed by Julia Siedlanowska for King Matt Theatre (of which the eponymous Matt is not related). Matt’s best day during summer 2017 was June 23rd, when he presented his site-adaptive post-apocalyptic musical work Follow Turtle Chase Leaves with the Ecstatic Waves ensemble at 240 Northern Street, Vancouver and then ran down the street to the Fox Cabaret to play drums with the Harley Small band. He is now pursuing performances for his growing collection of theatre scripts, especially his play Farhaven, which tells the story of a dragon’s impact on a sheltered suburb. Matthew likes art best when it brings audiences together to celebrate the invigoratingly bizarre. To this end, he continues to integrate a multidisciplinary practice that values connections between text, music, technology and performative presence.

Sara Vickruck
Sara is a queer theatre artist and musician. She has recently performed in NeOn at the rEvolver Festival, Kill Your Lovers at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s Rhubarb Festival in Toronto and the Fresh Fruit Festival in New York, and Circle Game at the Firehall Arts Centre. Sara co-founded the all-female theatre company, Poiema Productions, which has toured across Canada multiple times with original works. Her debut album, Prologue, is available on iTunes, Spotify, and at saravickruck.ca. She is the winner of an Ovation Award for Best Female Performer (Love Bomb, Shameless Hussy Productions), and the E.V. Young Award for her portrayal of Anybodys in West Side Story (Theatre Under the Stars). Sara is a Grant MacEwan Graduate. Next up, Vickruck will be performing in Fun Home at the Arts Club Theatre.

Kris Fleerackers
Kris is a puppeteer living in Gibsons, BC. He has created and manipulated various types of puppets, from parade giants to miniature marionettes, and has performed with The Bread and Puppet Theatre in New York as well as at the Vancouver Olympics Cultural Olympiad, the European Festival, and other community events. In 2017, after a long career as a public television producer and video editor, he took the leap to make his life-long passion for performing objects his profession. His first major project was a puppet version of Henry Purcell’s baroque opera Dido and Aeneas, staged live with the singers and musicians of Vancouver’s Postmodern Camerata. Kris’ education includes Performance Studies at New York University, Theatre Studies at Antwerp University, puppetry intensives at The Banff Centre and Humber College, as well as workshops in puppetry, puppet construction, shadow, mask and object theatre, improv, and Pochinko clown.

Lenore Rowntree
Lenore is a lucky writer who lives in Vancouver and Gibsons—both are hard places to leave, something she thinks about on the ferry. Her most recent publications are Dovetail Joint and other stories (Quadra Books), and Cluck, a novel (Thistledown Press). She also co-edited the anthology  Hidden Lives: true stories from people who live with mental illness (Brindle & Glass), and her poetry is included in The Best of the Best of Canadian Poetry (Tightrope Books). She is currently working on the production of SRO documentary theatre conceived by her and written in conjunction with members of the Motivation, Power & Achievement Society, a group which supports people who live with mental illness. Although we hope there will be Standing Room Only for the production, SRO in this production means Single Room Occupancy. The typical SRO is a 10’ by 8’room, often in a sketchy part of town and often the person living there is someone with a disability.