Playwrights

PTC is home to some of the finest creative voices in the country. We collaborate with emerging and established Canadian playwrights from first idea to first production. Because we believe in the definition of playwright as play + wright (“wright” deriving from the Old English word “wryhta”, meaning a worker or maker), we work with playmakers of all kinds, from writers to actors to producers. Our playwrights bring us fresh ideas for performance. We dig into each play in conversation with the writer, designing a process that will help them reach the furthest extent of their imagination. Through mentorship, dramaturgical collaboration, readings, workshops and production support, we reimagine theatre in new and inspiring ways.


Playwrights:

  • Photo of Wendy Judith Cutler
    Wendy Judith Cutler

    Wendy Judith Cutler is a radical teacher, writer and Jewish lesbian feminist activist. She co-authored the book Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection and edited and contributed to Finding Home: Collected Stories from Salt Spring Island Circles of Women. Her essay “Dear Mom and Dad” was included in the first lesbian coming-out anthology, The Coming Out Stories. She was a fellow in Lambda Literacy’s Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. She gratefully lives (with her lovergirl Corrie, dog Rosey, cats Lotus and Luna and their constellation of intimates) on the unsurrendered and stolen traditional lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, specifically the Tsawout First Nation (Salt Spring Island), where she guides sacred circles of women and queers writing together. She is currently writing her first play, An UnDutiful Daughter. 

  • Photo of Leah Abramson
    Leah Abramson

    Leah Abramson is a songwriter, composer, and instructor from Vancouver, B.C. After touring internationally with indie rock and folk bands, Leah released her fourth album of original material, Songs For a Lost Pod.

    Songs For a Lost Pod—a collaboration with Pacific Northwest orcas that turns whale vocalizations into beats, and scientific research on marine mammals into lyrical and narrative fodder—is under development as an interdisciplinary stage show, to be produced in 2021.

    Along with her MFA in Creative Writing (focus on lyrics) at the University of British Columbia, Leah has studied classical music at Capilano University, and traditional Appalachian balladry.

  • Photo of Barbara Adler
    Barbara Adler

    Barbara Adler is an interdisciplinary artist whose work brings together literary performance, composition, event making and design. Her work has been presented through multiple solo and band albums, publication in spoken word anthologies and performances at major music and literary festivals. Recent collaborators include choreographer Lesley Telford (Ballet BC/Inverso), composer Leah Abramson, documentary filmmaker Jan Foukal and theatre artist Kyla Gardiner. In 2016, she joined Cole Schmidt and James Meger to launch Sawdust Collector, a weekly performance series presenting new, experimental and improvised works by established and emerging artists in an interdisciplinary context.

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    Barbara’s work frequently addresses artifice within the natural world, nostalgia, and commodity culture, with a particular focus on the intersections between outdoor recreation, fashion and marketing. Current research interests include North American duck decoys and Dutch eendenkooi, Floridian mermaids and orchid smuggling, feminist taxidermy and the colour, Millennial Pink. Though her heroes tend to be marginally successful side-hustlers with excellent fake eyelashes, Barbara is empathically anti-whimsy. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a BA in Art and Cultural Studies, both from Simon Fraser University.

    Website: tenthousandwolves.com
    FB: facebook.com/tenthousandwolves
    Instagram: @tenthousandwolves
    Pinterest: 10000wolves
    Sawdust Collector: sawdustcollector.com

  • Photo of Carmen Aguirre
    Carmen Aguirre

    Carmen is a best-selling author, actor, and playwright. She was born in Santiago, Chile to parents who were teachers and activists. After spending much of her teenage years and early adulthood in South America working for the underground resistance movement against the Pinochet dictatorship, Carmen returned to Vancouver in 1990 to attend Studio 58. It was while attending theatre school that she wrote her first play, In a Land Called I Don’t Remember. Since then, much of her writing has been autobiographical and unabashedly left wing, exploring themes of exile, loss, alienation, and isolation. Carmen has written and co-written twenty-five plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Refugee Hotel, The Trigger, Blue Box, and adaptations for the stage of Eduardo Galeano’s, Jorge Amado’s, and Julio Cortazar’s work.

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    She adapted and starred in Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands with the Electric Company. Currently, Carmen is touring her one-woman show Broken Tailbone, writing a new play entitled Anywhere But Here, adapting Euripides’ Medea for Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre and Moliere’s The Learned Ladies for Toronto’s Factory Theatre. She is the author of two bestselling memoirs: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (winner of Canada Reads 2012) and Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution. Carmen is the recipient of the Hispanic Business Alliance’s 2014 Ten Most Influential Hispanics in Canada Award, Latincouver’s 2014 Most Inspirational Latin Award, the 2014 Betty Mitchell Outstanding Actor Award for her work in Alberta Theatre Projects’ The Motherfucker with The Hat, the 2012 Langara College Outstanding Alumna Award, the 2011 Union of B.C. Performers’ Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award, and the 2002 New Play Centre Award for Best New Play, for The Refugee Hotel. She has over eighty film, tv, and stage acting credits. Carmen is currently a core artist with The Electric Company. Read more about Carmen’s work at carmenaguirre.ca

  • Photo of Carmen Alatorre
    Carmen Alatorre

    Originally from Mexico, Carmen Alatorre is a Latinx artist who earned her MFA degree in Theatre Design at UBC (2010) and lives in the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver) since 2006. Some of her recent design credits include companies such as: Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, Globe Theatre Regina, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre and Electric Company. Carmen has taught at UBC and is currently a sessional instructor at UVic. She is also a recipient of three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.

  • Photo of Elaine Avila
    Elaine Avila

    Elaine Avila, a Canadian playwright of Azorean/Portuguese descent, has a passion for exploring untold stories. Frequently incorporating music, politics and humor, her work is described as “bold, intelligent, forthright, spirited, compassionate… inviting, wide-ranging” (Caridad Svich), “open, generous” (Erik Ehn) and “a wonderful writer, tremendously gifted, reliable, and innovative.” (Suzan-Lori Parks).

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    Her plays have premiered in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, New York City, Seattle, New Mexico, Lisbon, Portugal and London, England. Recent/upcoming work: Jane Austen, Action Figure; Kitimat; Quality: the Shoe Play, Lieutenant Nun, Burn Gloom, La Frontera/The Border, Lost and Found in Fado. Awards: Victoria Critic’s Circle for Best New Play, Audience Favorite Festival de Cocos, Panama City; Winner, Disquiet International Short Play Competition, Lisbon; Canada Council (numerous). She has taught in universities from British Columbia to Tasmania, China to Panama. Publications include: NoPassport Press (Jane Austen, Action Figure and other Plays, in 24 Gun Control Plays), Howlround, Canadian Theatre Review, American Theater, Café Onda, TCG Circles (Artistry and Innovation, Crossing Borders) Contemporary Theatre Review, Lusitania. She is the Playwright in Residence at Pomona College in Los Angeles and was recently distinguished as a descendentes notáveis (Notable Descendant) for her theatre work by the Government of the Azores, Portugal.”

  • Photo of Mercedes Bátiz-Benét
    Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

    Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (she/her) is a Mexican-born multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winning director, privileged and grateful to live, work, and create on the unceded traditional territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən,  WSÁNEĆ, and Wyomilth peoples of the Coast Salish Nation. Known for her emotionally potent and surrealist style, she has written, co-written, and directed numerous plays that have toured nationally and internationally. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival in Toronto with her play El Jinete – A Mariachi Opera. In 2015 she was chosen as the Distinguished Alumna of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria, and in 2020 she directed Fado, The Saddest Music in the World by Elaine Avila (Firehall/Puente), which won the JAYMAC Award for Outstanding Production at the Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre where her mission is to advocate for the inclusion, representation, and development of immigrant, IBPOC, and culturally diverse voices.

  • Photo of Molly Beatrice
    Molly Beatrice

    Molly Beatrice (she/her) is a queer theatre artist living and creating in Vancouver, Canada: the traditional, unceded, and occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She is a recent graduate of the Phoenix Theatre and primarily works as a director, deviser, puppeteer, and producer. Recent directing credits include Prey (Belfry Theatre’s Incubator Program 2020), Home (Impulse Theatre’s Peek Show 8), The Children (Belfry Theatre, Assistant Director 2019), The Lonelies (Belfry Theatre SPARK Mini Plays 2019), and Ernie and Bethy (Victoria Fringe 2018). Some favourite producing credits include serving as the Peek Fest Associate Producer (Impulse Theatre), BC Culture Days Ambassador, and Travelling Puppet Show Coordinator (IslandLink Library Federation). Molly is grateful to be able to develop her writing skills alongside the Block A winter cohort.

  • Photo of Santana Berryman
    Santana Berryman

    Santana Berryman was born in Whitehorse, Yukon, traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nations and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. Trained initially as an actor, Santana has gone on to work and train as an emerging director and creator. Her artistic practise focuses on equitable collaboration, game-ifying work and delving into the uncomfortable. Currently, she works as an Associate Instructor with Carousel Theatre for Young People. Santana has been working with youth for over 10 years, and holds a TEFL: Performance and Play certificate from Educo Italia. Acting credits include Peter and The Starcatcher (Cap U Theatre), The Shape of Things (The Guild), and a cross-Canada tour of Map of The Land, Map of The Stars. (Gwaandak Theatre). Santana’s directing credits include Society of Transformative Zoology (IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival) and co-direction of The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Vancouver Fringe).

  • Photo of Larissa Blokhuis
    Larissa Blokhuis

    Larissa‘s parents each immigrated to Canada as children, from Nederland and Jamaica. They met and married in Toronto (Treaty 13A), then moved to Calgary (Treaty 7), where Larissa was born and raised. Larissa completed her BFA (glass) at AUA (formerly ACAD). In 2009, she moved to Vancouver (illegally occupied) and began pursuing visual arts opportunities, including public art, creating interactive arts events, curation, and exhibitions. In 2019, Larissa gave herself terrifying improv classes for her birthday, and found a welcoming community to explore. She has performed a handful of times, and is now developing her writing.

  • Photo of Leanna Brodie
    Leanna Brodie

    Leanna Brodie is a playwright, actor, and translator. The Vic, For Home and Country, The Book of Esther, and Schoolhouse, published by Talon Books, are regularly performed across Canada. Ulla’s Odyssey, her award-winning opera with Anthony Young, has toured the UK. She has translated numerous Québec playwrights, including Hélène Ducharme of Théâtre Motus and Christian Bégin. She has been playwright-in-residence at the Blyth Festival, 4th Line Theatre, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, and currently, the Gateway Theatre. Other residencies have included PTC’s Colony, Banff Playwrights Colony, Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, and Glassco Translation Residency. Ruby Slippers premiered her translation of Catherine Léger’s I Lost My Husband! at the Gateway in March 2018. leannabrodie.com

  • Photo of Britney (Mocca) Buren
    Britney (Mocca) Buren

    Britney (Mocca) Buren is a Vancouver artist who enjoys teaching, performing and creating new works. She has gained many of these skills through her completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts, an Associates Degree in Psychology and a Musical Theatre Diploma from Capilano University. Her recent performance work includes Trudeaumania! at Vancouver’s 2020 Fringe festival and choreographer on the crazy 8’s film Tryst. In addition to working as a performer Britney has been working on developing a screenplay, poetry and movement based on a collective reflection of the last two years. She aims to elevate her practices by incorporating historical and cultural material into her work and sharing it with her community.

  • Photo of Scott Button
    Scott Button

    Scott (he/his) is a creator working in film, television and theatre. His TV pilot script NIGHT PASSING is a semi-finalist in the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship (2020) and the Diverse Voices Competition (2020), it is also a “Second-Rounder” in the prestigious Austin Film Festival. Recently, his quarantine-themed film/theatre hybrid DESIREE AMA was commissioned by Upintheair Theatre. Scott is the lead writer at the Research-Based Theatre Collaborative at the University of British Columbia. With the Collaborative, he is currently writing and producing ROCK THE BOAT, a series of films that explore fraught student and faculty relationships. His plays VIVA (Theatre BC Playwriting Award-Best One Act), THE HUNGER ROOM & DESIRE(E) have received local production, and DESIRE(E) has been published in an anthology of new work. He is an inaugural member of the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Emerging Playwrights Unit. Scott’s writing often features multi-faceted LGBTQIA2S+ lead characters. Upcoming: Night Passing podcast (Arts Club Theatre), and a play for youth with Green Thumb Theatre. These days, he is grateful to be spending the pandemic with his wonderful husband, Chris.

  • Photo of Tim Carlson
    Tim Carlson

    Tim Carlson is a playwright, dramaturg, curator and the artistic producer of Theatre Conspiracy. He led the creation of Foreign Radical which won the 2015 Jessie Award Critics Choice Innovation prize and a 2017 Edinburgh Fringe First Award. He was researcher/ interviewer for Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll’s latest show, Top Secret International, seen at the 2017 Under the Radar Festival in New York. His new documentary play, Victim Impact, premiered at The Cultch in Vancouver in June 2018. The show Extraction, won the 2013 Rio Tinto Alcan Award, Canada’s largest prize for new play development.

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    Other credits include: co-creator/performer in Stray with Tanya Marquardt and Mallory Catlett (Club PuSh Vancouver and Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 2014), and dramaturgy for Best Before (Rimini Protokoll, @ PuSh Festival 2010) and 100% Vancouver (Rimini Protokoll / Theatre Replacement, @ PuSh 2011). His play Omniscience (Talonbooks, 2007) was produced in Vancouver, Berlin, Lisbon and Chicago. He founded Club PuSh with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver and served as co-curator along with Veda Hille and Norman Armour from 2009 to 2016. As a journalist, he worked on staff at the Halifax Daily News, Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight. He holds an English degree from University of Regina, a journalism degree from University of King’s College, Halifax, and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

  • Photo of Pedro Chamale
    Pedro Chamale

    Pedro Chamale is a Latinx-Canadian theatre artist, born and raised in Chetwynd, British Columbia. He received his BFA in Theatre Performance from SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. He then went on to form rice & beans theatre with Derek Chan. Pedro is a director, playwright, and performer and was the Artistic Resident at Neworld Theatre in 2014, guest curator of the 2018 rEvolver Festival and one of the playwrights in the 2019 Playwright’s Lab at the Banff Centre. Pedro was also part of the second cohort of Banff’s Arts and Culture Leadership program in partnership with NTS in 2019.  He is a co-founder of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Alliance and part of the Latinx Theatre Commons. Pedro has also worked behind the scenes with local Vancouver theatre companies including: Full Circle First Nations Performance, Leaky Heaven, Boca del Lupo, Neworld Theatre and The Only Animal. Some of Pedro’s plays include Mis Papás and Small Town Hoser Spic. Pedro premiered Made in Canada: an agricultural song cycle in 2021 and is currently working on his new play Peace Countrywith PTC’s Heidi Taylor as dramaturg. With Peace Country, Pedro is exploring cultural intersections, friendships and environmentalism in BC’s small towns.

  • Photo of Derek Chan
    Derek Chan

    Derek Chan (陳嘉昊) grew up in colonial Hong Kong, studied in Norway, and currently lives in Vancouver. He received his BFA in theatre performance from Simon Fraser University. A playwright, director, performer, translator, and producer, Derek has been co-artistic director of rice & beans theatre since 2010. He has also worked with Playwrights Theatre Centre (artistic director apprentice), Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (associate artistic producer), and the rEvolver Festival (guest curator).

    In 2015, Derek was awarded the Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize with Starstuff: per aspera ad astra. At the 2016 Glassco Translation Residency hosted by Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, Derek translated Jovanni Sy’s A Taste of Empire (Cantonese title: 食盡天下/Sik Zeon Tin Haa). The play was subsequently nominated for a Dora Award (Best Touring Production) in 2018. His play, Chicken Girl (2019/20), won the Sydney Risk Award for Outstanding Original Play by an Emerging Playwright, and was nominated for Outstanding Original Script at the Jessies. Derek was part of the 2020 Banff Playwrights Lab, and has been a National Arts Centre English Theatre Artist in Residence (19/20) with yellow objects, a new play about the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

    Derek has also worked on: tonight, just the two of us (writer, fu-GEN/The Transformation Project); Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave (assistant director, Arts Club); No Foreigners (performer/translator, Hong Kong Exile/fu-GEN); Pick a Number (co-writer/performer, Boca del Lupo/FUSE). With rice & beans: Loomings; or The Whale (playwright/director), Mis Papás (performer), Last Train In (director); and Sik Zeon Tin Haa/A Taste of Empire (translator/performer, with Gateway Theatre’s Pacific Festival (2016) and Cahoots Theatre (2018).

     

  • Photo of Arthi Chandra
    Arthi Chandra

    Arthi Chandra (she/they) is a Vancouver based director, writer, and performer. She studied contemporary theatre performance and directing at Simon Fraser University. Her practice is based on text-based devising, and adapting canonical work. Select performance credits include Maria von Trapp in Bombogenesis (SFU), Clytemnestra in Agamemnon (Stone’s Throw Productions), and herself in Where the Quiet Queers Are (Amplify Choral Theatre). Most recently, Arthi directed and adapted John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger. Select devising credits include Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, directed by Cole Lewis, and Bombogenesis directed by Steven Hill. Arthi is interested in work that confronts politics, engages with queerness, and explores the concept of radical empathy. She’s currently alternating between an adaptation of King Lear, which centres on the trauma between mothers and daughters, and a YA novel about magic sort of things and detectives.

  • Photo of Jasmine Chehil
    Jasmine Chehil

    Jasmine writes from a first generation Canadian/ancient Punjabi/contemporary Sikh/ female perspective in her hometown of Vancouver. Her work seeks to explore the construction of identities as praxis and how these may be influenced by cross-cultural, cross-spiritual theatre production from lenses of indigeneity.

  • Photo of Monique Flynn Coe
    Monique Flynn Coe

    Monique Flynn Coe is an interdisciplinary artist of Cayuga and European descent. Monique is a storyteller whose work focuses on topics of culture, identity, class, gender, and art as a vehicle for education and creative change. Her work incorporates spoken word, song, dance, video, photography, and installations created from everyday materials. Monique asks her audience to bear witness to the intimate stories she shares as she creates space for community, collective healing, and sociopolitical dialogue. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York, Albany.

  • Photo of Karla Comanda
    Karla Comanda

    Karla (she/they) is a poet, editor, translator, educator, and arts administrator. Born and raised in the Philippines, she is spending her quarantine listening to Tito music, aka middle-of-the-road, soft rock music that should’ve been left in the 1970s but enjoys an enduring popularity in the Philippines. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Contemporary Verse 2, filling station, Room Magazine, Poetry is Dead, among others. She thinks that wearing dresses and skirts exclusively is a personality trait. In 2019, she hosted the Sinag-Araw Writing Workshop, a poetry workshop series created for Filipino youth in the diaspora. Do not get on her bad side or she will put a hex on you in her poetry.

  • Photo of Howard Dai
    Howard Dai

    Howard Dai is a Taiwanese-Canadian theatre-maker; who works and lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories belonging to the Qayqayt, Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Skxwú7mesh), Tsleil-Waututh(səl̓ilwətaɁɬ) Nation. He is a recent graduate of the BFA in Theatre Performance program at Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts. As a theatre artist, Howard is interested in works that break through the barrier of architecture to become more accessible and immersive for a wider audience. He also writes music sometimes, and is dipping his toes in design and coding. He kind of does a bit of everything, but wishes he is actually good at something.

  • Photo of Jan Derbyshire
    Jan Derbyshire

    Jan Derbyshire (JD) is an established multi-disciplinary artist, producer, inclusive designer and educator. She specializes in the design a facilitation and delivery of playful, inclusive, interactive, and participatory experiences that push forward ideas of diversity, belonging and interdependent communities.

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    A self-motivated, enthusiastic communicator she is able to express ideas both in public presentations and writing with over 20 years experience working in professional and community arts and in issue based collaborations with non-profits, educational institutes and corporations. She draws from a background of stand-up comedy, playwriting, devised theatre, storytelling, interactive installation, game design, essay writing, and stage directing. She has produced projects locally, nationally and internationally. Jan Holds a Masters in Inclusive Design form OCAD University in Toronto.

     

  • Photo of Dave Deveau
    Dave Deveau

    Dave Deveau is an award-winning writer and performer whose work has been produced across North America and in Europe. He is the Playwright in Residence for Vancouver’s Zee Zee Theatre who produced his plays Nelly BoyTiny Replicas, the critically-acclaimed My Funny Valentine (Sydney Risk Prize, Jessie Nomination, Oscar Wilde Nomination – Dublin), Lowest Common Denominator and Elbow Room Café: The Musical (with Anton Lipovetsky). His first three theatre for young audiences plays were all commissioned and premiered with Green Thumb Theatre, and have subsequently continued into other productions: Out in the Open, tagged (Dora nomination) and Celestial Being (Jessie Nomination).

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    He is currently working on new commissions for Green Thumb Theatre, Zee Zee Theatre, The Belfry, Arts Club and Nashville Children’s Theatre. In total, his plays have been nominated for 21 Jessie Awards, 4 Ovation Awards and 4 Dora Awards. His newest play for young audiences entitled Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, about a transgender child just toured Ontario for two seasons with Roseneath Theatre. He is hugely devoted to developing intelligent, theatrical plays for young people that foster conversation, and is currently the Associate Artistic & Executive Director at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival.  He is represented by Marquis Literary.

  • Photo of Francis Dowlatabadi
    Francis Dowlatabadi

    Francis Dowlatabadi is a Persian-Canadian artist dedicated to work that gives voice to unheard stories and attempts to uplift humanity. Francis’ previous credits as an actor include the roles of The Man in Hello (Theatre Terrific), David Garrick in Mr. Foote’s Other Leg, Oswald in Ghosts (United Players), Ray in Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Leo Irving in In the Next Room (Ensemble Theatre Company). He was also assistant director on She Kills Monsters (UBC), providing D&D insight from his experience as a DM. He holds a BFA in Acting from UBC where he was awarded the John Emerson Memorial Scholarship for promise in musical theatre. Hello holds a special place in Francis’ heart for bringing new light to hidden parts of history.

  • Photo of Sean Enns
    Sean Enns

    Sean  (He/Him) is a playwright who engages audiences through dark and tragicomic stories, drawing on his deep knowledge of classic myth, lore, and legend from around the world to create modern-day fairy tales for the stage. He lives on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, where he’s been his whole life, except for that one time he tried and failed at living in Mackenzie. Sean’s completed plays include Dispossessed, a one-act horror-comedy which was selected two years in a row for Western Edge Theatre’s New Waves Festival for emerging artists, and his newest work: Famous Writers, a full-length play about substance abuse, love and mental health which he completed in 2020 during quarantine. He’s currently working on a new anthology of ten-minute folk-plays inspired by his recent diagnosis of ADHD.

  • Photo of Sarvin Esmaeili
    Sarvin Esmaeili

    Sarvin Esmaeili is an Iranian-Canadian actress, writer, progressive activist and storyteller. Sarvin will be graduating from Studio 58’s acting program in December.  She is a recipient of the 2019 BC Arts Council Scholarship. Sarvin is a co-creator/star of Can We Fix It?, One of a Kind, One of a Kind Too and Doors of Choice. She recently directed a virtual play called, Papa Records Everything as NTS’s Art Apart. Sarvin is  the co-head coordinator and head facilitator of Studio 58’s Diversity committee. Sarvin’s next project is performing at East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland, a web pilot and her one woman show at Studio 58.

  • Photo of Kendra Fanconi
    Kendra Fanconi

    Kendra Fanconi has worked since 1994 as an actor, writer, director, theatre creator and producer of original, often site-specific work. She has created plays in swimming pools, treetops, elevators, on False Creek, and in a theatre built of snow and ice.  Kendra is the Artistic Director of The Only Animal.  Kendra’s short play Finale has been produced in New York City, Chicago, Norway, Lithuania, Brighton U.K. Her production Nothing But Sky won the 2014 Jessie for Significant Artistic Achievement. She created NiX, Canada’s first theatre of snow and ice, which premiered at ATP’s playRites Festival in Calgary and was a centrepiece production in the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad up in Whistler.

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    She also wrote and directed the outdoor extravaganza Other Freds in 2005, also won a Jessie award for Expanding the Scope of Site-Specific Theatre. That production featured 125 community members and 35 professional artists, including 7 roving musicians, a bicycle ballet, kayak stampede, and a cruise ship conga line. Other credits include: The One that Got Away (playwright/performer, Winner: Outstanding Production 2002), The Last Stand (co-writer/performer), Box2 (co-writer/performer, Winner: Best Actress), Bonehouse, (playwright, adapted for CBC radio, Nomination: Outstanding Script), The Last Five Years (director, Nomination: Outstanding Director), and Medea (director). She is also the recipient of the Sam Payne Award for Best Emerging Director. Over the last few years she has mentored 30 companies in creating original site specific premieres for the Fringe Festival. She trained at Ecole du Phillipe du Gaulier, Central School of Speech and Drama, and University of Oregon.

  • Photo of Alexander Forsyth
    Alexander Forsyth

    Alex is a multidisciplinary settler creator born on Treaty 6 land and now based in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations. An actor, playwright, and producer, he is the founder of K.I.A. Productions, performing his plays in collaboration with his wife and co-artistic director Keltie Forsyth on stages across Canada. Alex holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from East 15 (London, UK) and a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Creative Writing from the University of Alberta.

  • Photo of Allyson Fournier
    Allyson Fournier

    Allyson is an award-winning director and writer from Kelowna. Directing credits include East of Berlin, Boy (Dalliance Theatre Collective), The Diary of Anne Frank, Posh (Fighting Chance), Seven Minutes in Heaven (Eternal Theatre Collective), and Gridlock (UBC Brave New Play Rites). Playwriting credits include An Assertive Girl (Quand Même Festival, Pull Festival) and Carrots, Baby (Tomo Suru Players). Allyson holds a bachelor’s degree in Motion Picture Arts from Capilano University and by day works at a talent agency in the animation and voice-over department.

  • Photo of June Fukumura
    June Fukumura

    June is a Japanese-Canadian inter-disciplinary theatre artist with a BFA in Theatre Performance and a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Simon Fraser University. June is the Co-Founder of New(to)Town Collective, an artist collective with a mandate to create new experimental works, provide ongoing accessible physical theatre training and experimental research workshops called Training Jams. June is also the Co-Artistic Director of Popcorn Galaxies, an experimental theatre company interested in re-enchanting the everyday through unconventional site-responsive and site-specific works. Popcorn Galaxies has produced over eleven independent productions in seven years and has been presented at Centre A Gallery, Vancouver Fringe Festival, BC Culture Days, rEvolver Festival, The Array: First Contact, and will be presenting a new work at PuShOFF 2021.

    Additionally, she was the Assistant Dramaturg at the Playwrights Lab at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2019 – 2020 and the Emerging Dramaturg for Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s MSG program in 2019. She independently produces the Nikkei Artist Mixer, the Emerging Dramaturg Mixer, and is the founder of Dyslexic Players Canada. Her artistic practice includes: experimental theatre creation, acting for theatre/film, performance, clown, dramaturgy, directing, producing, curating, Japanese language translation and language coaching, and cultural leadership.

  • Photo of Rosemary Georgeson
    Rosemary Georgeson

    Rosemary Georgeson  is  a Coast Salish/Sahtu Dene artist, storyteller and writer from Galiano Island. Born and raised in the commercial fishing industry, and with a background in the Culinary Arts, she was the Aboriginal Storyteller at the Vancouver Public Library and has worked as an artist and community liaison for Vancouver Moving Theatre and urban ink productions.  She co-wrote We’re All In this Together and Storyweaving.

  • Photo of Kagan Goh
    Kagan Goh

    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. The work 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.

  • Photo of Taryn Goodwin
    Taryn Goodwin

    Taryn Goodwin (she/her) is a queer, inter-disciplinary, social practice artist and community organizer invested in supporting connections that celebrate and center well-being, leadership, and re-imagining mental health and community-care in learning ecologies and educational politics.  Across all her works, Goodwin highlights and addresses The Body of Knowledge as a value-based practice. Using collaborative structures, critical pedagogy, interviews, and empathy as tools for gathering, learning, slowing down, and meaning-making she examines the pivotal possibilities of the post-pandemic world as a vital form of recovery and examination. Experimenting with the realms of attendance, participation, and disability justice Goodwin uses the reach of online mediums and community training as models for dialogue, participation and systems change to shape her work, as they translate to the stage.

  • Photo of Tai Amy Grauman
    Tai Amy Grauman

    Tai Amy Grauman is Metis, Cree and Haudenosaunee from Ardrossan, Alberta. She has a BFA in Acting from UBC with a minor in First Nations Studies.  Tai recently received this year’s Jessie Richardson award for most promising newcomer.  She was also Vancouver’s Mayor’s Emerging Theatre Artist of 2015, nominated by Margo Kane. Tai is currently Savage Society’s Artist in Residence. She is also working with Nightswimming on a commission of a new play which will be developed over the next five years called Her name is Marie. Over this upcoming season, she will also be developing her play You used to call me Marie. Her name is Marie and You used to call me Marie are companion pieces which centre the history of the creation of Treaty 6 through the perspective of Marie Callihoo. Tai is also co-creating a play called And she fell from the Sky… for YPT’s Leaps and Bound initiative. Recent acting credits include: Thanks For Giving (Arts Club), THOWXIYA (Axis Theatre), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Carousel Theatre) and Weaving Reconciliation (Vancouver Moving Theatre).  Tai also wrote and directed Her name was Mary at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival. She was recently in Lytton as Kevin Loring’s assistant director for Savage Society’s play The council of Spider, Ant and Fly. Upcoming Tai will be participating in Native Earth’s Weesageechak Festival as part of the acting company and with her play You used to call me Marie.

  • Photo of Jenn Griffin
    Jenn Griffin

    Originally from Alberta, Jenn is grateful to live, work and play on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples. As a playwright, Jenn was awarded the Sydney Risk award in 1999 for best emerging playwright with her first play Drinking with Persephone. She is a former Associate at Playwrights Theatre Centre where she created a multi-disciplinary play, The Long Call. In 2017, Jenn received an Arts Club Silver Commission for a new comedy entitled House and Home, which premiered at the Firehall Arts Centre in January 2020. As an actor, Jenn recently performed the role of Elizabeth Stockman in The Enemy at the Firehall Arts Centre, the role of “Vi,” in Western Gold’s production of Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone, and was part of the ensemble cast in Theatre Conspiracy’s Victim Impact at The Cultch. Jenn will be playing  Jenn has been honored with several Jessie Richardson Theatre awards and nominations for writing and performing. She has also worked regularly in film and television and was nominated for a Leo award as “Maeve,” in Marshall Axani’s feature, The Cannon. Jenn also provides comic commentary for modern dance at “BLOOM,” Mascall Dance.

  • Photo of Emmett Hanly
    Emmett Hanly

    Emmett Hanly (he/him) is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia and a recent graduate of Trinity Western University’s BFA-Acting program. Selected acting credits include Kevin in The Snow Queen, Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, and Niels Bohr in Copenhagen (SAMC Theatre), Ethan in It’s a Glorious, Wonderful Life (Morrow’s Lark Theatre), and Eduardo in disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words (Dark Glass Theatre)Emmett is an aspiring playwright, having co-written two short plays with his brother Samuel Hanly: The Wake of Leroy McGuinness (Gallery 7 Theatre) and Reach (SAMC Theatre). Emmett is passionate about creating genre-bending theatre that is both surreal and politically engaged, specifically focusing on topics such as queerness, religious trauma, and decolonization. Emmett also writes his own music ranging from acoustic ballads to punk anthems and spends his free time nerding out about Dungeons and Dragons.

  • Photo of Shanti Harris
    Shanti Harris

    Shanti Harris (she/they) is an actor and writer living on the traditional, unceded, and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Shanti is a recent graduate of X University, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting and found her love for writing in many forms. She is excited about boundary-pushing, gut wrenching theatre that strives to explore all aspects of the human experience. Recent playwriting credits include a workshopped production of Juice at the New Voices Festival. Select acting credits include Rabbit Hole (XU, Nina Lee Aquino), Love and Information (XU, Dustin Wills), and The Duchess of Malfi (XU, James Wallis). Shanti wants to continue to explore many performance forms including Shakespeare, clown, film, and comedy. She is grateful to Block A for presenting an opportunity to spark her imagination and to write, write, write!

  • Photo of Fairlith Harvey
    Fairlith Harvey

    A graduate of New York’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Fairlith has been directing, writing, and performing professionally for over a decade.

    Fairlith has appeared in, directed, written, publicized, produced (and toured with) Geekenders shows including A Nude Hope: A Sci-Fi Burlesque Adventure (and its sequels, The Empire Strips Back, Reveal of the Jedi, and The Force is Shakin), The Wizard of Bras, and Not the Bees: A Burlesque Tribute to Nicolas Cage, as well as all-ages offerings like Portal 2: The (Unauthorized) Musical, A Halloween Night at Wayne Manor, Jurassic Parody: The Musical! and Galaxy News Radio Live!.

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    Fairlith has created programming for Barkerville Historic Town, selling out the hotels of both Wells and Barkerville in the shoulder season with the now institutional Steampunk Weekend. Fairlith also created the new script for Barkerville’s school program, as well as discourses on hurdy-gurdy dancers and the ghostly side of Barkerville. She has extensive experience and training as a historical interpreter. Fairlith also created programming and trained actors for Fright Nights at Playland’s inaugural season of running the haunt instead of bringing in an outside company, and New York’s Times Square dining experience, Mars 2112.

    She has choreographed for Geekenders, Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society, and Kitty Nights West, and taught burlesque movement at Capilano University. She is the founder of New York City’s ‘Company 1B’ theatrical troupe. She has created costumes for Fighting Chance Productions’ CATS (for which she won an Ovation Award), Hycroft Manor’s A Halloween Night at Wayne Manor, Metro Theatre’s Cinderella, numerous Geekenders shows, and for herself as a cabaret performer.

    Other notable performing credits include but are not limited to, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Shape of Things, and Cinderella.

    “People like Fairlith Harvey of Geekenders are taking the ropes and giving opportunities for females to be cast in non-traditional, male-dominated spaces. In doing so, they’re changing the fandom for the better while remaining true to its roots.” (Cecilia Lu in Living Myth Magazine). 

  • Photo of Arno Kamolika
    Arno Kamolika

    Arno is a Vancouver-based Bharatanatyam dance artist and instructor. She has studied Bharatanatyam and Manipuri under esteemed Gurus in Bangladesh, India and Canada including C.V. Chandrasekhar, Jai Govinda, Bragha Bessel, Sharmila Banerjee and Belayet Hossain. A graduate in Architecture, her experience and training in various art disciplines and dance styles like music, mime, theatre and other contemporary dance forms, has complemented her work as a dancer. Over the past few years, Arno has been an integral part of Mandala Arts as an instructor and as a solo performer. Arno’s rich repertoires of performances have taken her across the globe at various festivals in USA, Germany, India and Bangladesh. She is currently working on projects that create a bridge between the traditional framework of Bharatanatyam and Bengali poetry and music of Rabindranath Tagore.

  • Photo of Hiro Kanagawa
    Hiro Kanagawa

    Like many Canadian artists Hiro has forged a career wearing many hats: actor, playwright, screenwriter, teacher. His plays range from the war crimes drama Tiger of Malaya (Factory Theatre, National Arts Centre, Gateway Theatre) to the Christmas fable The Patron Saint of Stanley Park (Arts Club, Halifax Theatre for Young People, Theatre NorthWest) to the Puccini sequel Tom Pinkerton: The Ballad of Butterfly’s Son with music by David MacIntyre (short-listed for the 2012 Playwrights Guild of Canada New Musical Award).

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    His play Indian Arm won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary for Drama. Hiro’s screen credits include work as both an actor and story editor on the critically-acclaimed series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Intelligence, and Blackstone, and recurring guest star roles on iZombie, Dark Matter, Heroes Reborn, and The Man in the High Castle. He teaches playwriting at Capilano University and is a youth football coach.

  • Photo of Ayush Kathuria
    Ayush Kathuria

    Ayush is currently a student at UBC Vancouver majoring in Psychology. His past experience is mostly related to writing a couple of street plays. His work seeks to provide modern adaptation to age-old folk tales, revisiting past historical figures through a different perspective and shedding new light on old tales.

  • Photo of khattieQ
    khattieQ

    khattieQ is a musician and performer from Puerto Rico. She has played as a professional musician with over 20 bands, notably touring as lead drummer for queer femme core band The Tuna Helpers. She was the creator of punk band BLXPLTN, and served as lead vocalist from 2013 to 2015.

  • Photo of Anthony Kit Lee
    Anthony Kit Lee

    Anthony Kit Lee is a Vancouver-based filmmaker, theatre-maker and educator from Hong Kong. His interdisciplinary practices involves film and immersive theatre, and is keen to speak for cultural diaspora and post-colonial Hong Kong anarchism. A graduate of the film production program at Simon Fraser University, Anthony has worked with numerous film and theatre companies including Progress Lab 1422, Radix, Rumble, rice & beans theatre, the Cinematheque,Vancouver Asian Film Festival, and Noema production. He is currently looking for a pot of sundews for his micro backyard. GFHG SDGM

  • Photo of Taran Kootenhayo
    Taran Kootenhayo

    Taran is a Denésuliné and Nakoda Sioux actor, spoken word poet and playwright. Born in Cold Lake, AB (1993), he is now based out of Vancouver, BC. He received his Acting for Stage & Screen diploma from Capilano University in 2015, is signed with Premiere Talent Management, and is in Full Circle’s First Nations Performance Ensemble. Past written projects have included work with the SOAR Aboriginal Arts Program, Cuywsti and Tom Cone’s Sacred Space Festival.

  • Photo of Jenny Larson
    Jenny Larson

    Jenny Larson is an interdisciplinary theatre artist. She is a director, devising artists, and performer. She has an MFA from the University of British Columbia. Credits include: From the Pig Pile by Sibyl Kempson, with the Rude Mechs and Salvage Vanguard Theater, Guest by Courtesy, devised with Hannah Kenah, has played Fusebox Festival, SHE MAKES THEATER festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Brooklyn Yard.

  • Photo of Robert Leveroos
    Robert Leveroos

    Robert Leveroos is a multidisciplinary artist and insatiable tinkerer. Using elements of live art, animation, and handmade objects, he aims to strike imaginations and skew perceptions by exploring worlds where weight is given to the minute, the understated and overlooked to uncover something recognizably human.

    Under the moniker macromatter, Robert creates original performance pieces for all ages that have been presented in festivals and venues locally and otherwise. He also collaborates as a performer and scenographer with a number of Vancouver and Canadian companies. For ten years he trained with The Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from The National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal (acting 2008). Robert served three seasons as Youth Program Manager at The Cultch in East Vancouver, and continues to work with young artists. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University.

  • Photo of Andie Lloyd
    Andie Lloyd

    Andie Lloyd is a queer interdisciplinary artist and community advocate. A member of Chimerik似不像 Collective since 2018, Andie has worked with a multitude of disciplines including production management, lighting design, projection design, programming for interactive new media and a variety of visual art mediums. She has recently worked with companies such as Ouro Collective and Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver, and toured to Berlin, Taipei and Gwangju for a vast array of projects. More recently, Andie has been exploring writing and frontline activism to promote freedom of speech and perspectives of the decolonial left. Her two current projects, radically separate from each other, are KTV: an interactive exploration of international karaoke culture, a play which she will develop while in the Block A cohort, and Du Li Bubble Tea, a small business venture inspired by the pandemic and an obsessive passion for bubble tea.

  • Photo of J.K. Malmgren
    J.K. Malmgren

    J.K. Malmgren has been a writer and creator across a multiple of mediums for many years. Recents stints on the stage and zoom sparked a renewed interest in both performance and playwriting, and confirmation of the immense power of the play as a thing. Borne out of COVID and a deadline, a one-act play emerged. The product was far less interesting than the process – he looks forward to the emersion into that world that Block A will bring.

  • Photo of Sydney Marino
    Sydney Marino

    Sydney Marino is a playwright and educator based on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Squamish (Skxwú7mesh), Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), and Tsleil-Waututh (Səl̓ilwətaɁɬ) Nations. Her plays have been produced by the Brave New Play Rites Festival and Killarney Theatre, and one has received a staged reading as part of the LEAP playwriting intensive. Sydney is also a theatre and writing educator, teaching classes at Arts Umbrella and the Arts Club Theatre Company. She is a recent graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing BFA program. Sydney is excited to develop her writing with her Block A cohort.

  • Photo of Tanya Marquardt
    Tanya Marquardt

    TANYA MARQUARDT is a genderqueer writer and performer, whose book Stray: Memoir of a Runaway was published in 2018 and named a Best Queer History & Bio in LGBTQI2S+ Magazine The Advocate. The performance version, commissioned by Theatre Conspiracy and written with Tim Carlson, toured both Canada and the US. Their play Transmission was published in the Canadian Theatre Review, and Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep, about Tanya’s life as a sleeptalker, was the subject of an NPR Invisibila podcast. Their essays have appeared in Medium, Huffpost, Howl Round, GrainDanceGeist, and Plentitude Magazine. Tanya has performed with Jerome Bel, Mabou Mines, Jess Barbagallo, Ballez, the only animal, radix theatre, and the Leaky Heaven Circus. Their theatre works have been presented at Dixon Place, BAX, PuSh, VIDF, Dancing on the Edge, The Tank, Summerworks, foldA, PIVOT Festival, the Collapsable Hole and the Brooklyn Museum. They graduated with a BFA in Theatre from Simon Fraser University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College and are grateful to live and dream on the lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and Skwxwú7mesh Nations of the Coast Salish peoples, and in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenni-Lenape people. Currently, Tanya dances in their kitchen, writes memoir, and sends you all queer love during this strange, strange time.  IG: @tanya.marquardt

  • Photo of Jenna Masuhara
    Jenna Masuhara

    Jenna currently is the Operations Coordinator for Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre and also volunteers for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival as the Community Partner Liaison. They’ve written a CBC Radio Story and co-wrote the play Good To Go as part to the 2013 Edge Project with Green Thumb Theatre presented at the PuSh Festival. Jenna graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 2018 with minors in Business, Dialogue and Publishing.

  • Photo of Eli Morris
    Eli Morris

    Eli Morris is a non-binary film and theatre human from Gadigal country (Sydney, Australia). They immigrated to unceded Coast Salish territories in 2016 after winning Best Picture at the No Small Stories Film Festival for their short film Carded. Eli holds a BA in Acting for Screen and Stage and an MA in Public Relations and Advertising. Their short film Ember was a 2020 Crazy8s Top 12 finalist. Eli is currently writing Don’t Put Me In A Box, a multi-disciplinary theatrical work about gender and sexuality which has received support from the Canada Council of the Arts.

  • Photo of Renae Morriseau
    Renae Morriseau

    Renae Morriseau  is Cree and Saulteaux from Manitoba. She works across Canada and the US in theatre, film, television and music. Recently, Renae toured internationally with her singing group M’Girl; served as Aboriginal Storyteller at the Vancouver Public Library and directed Down2Earth, an APTN TV Series on green-energy developments and sustainability projects in Maori (New Zealand) and First Nations (Canada) communities.  Community building projects include the winter outdoor production Contest of the Winds with Caravan Farm Theatre, the community play Tuwitames with Splatsin Language Program (Secwepemc Nation)/Runaway Moon Theatre, and  co-writing In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play and Storyweaving with Vancouver Moving Theatre.

  • Photo of Mily Mumford
    Mily Mumford

    Mily Mumford (they/them) is a queer femme and trans immersive theatre creator and playwright, filmmaker and screenwriter based in unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory (“Vancouver”). Their work often explores the intersections of science, technology and social justice, and aims to elevate voices pushed to the margins through a science fiction lens. Recent work includes The Cinephiles (producer/performer/projection artist)a film/drag queer multimedia series; and the local award-winning short films (writer/director) Gemini (2018), First Bite (2019), and Operation Gingham (2020). Upcoming works include the pod-play The Void, produced as a part of It’s Not a Box Theatre’s Isolata Series, and Controller, a choose-your-own-adventure play developed as part of Mumford’s participation in the inaugural Arts Club Emerging Playwright’s Unit in 2019.  In addition to creative work, Mumford is a MSc. candidate at Simon Fraser University in Interactive Technology, where they research reality based mental health support for long-term space travel.

  • Photo of Keely O’Brien
    Keely O’Brien

    Keely O’Brien is an interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, BC, on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Her art practice incorporates intricately handmade objects with immersive, innovative theatre creation. Devoted to a thoroughly handmade, DIY process, Keely’s work includes puppetry in miniature and enormous scales, immersive installations, imaginative ephemera, and interactive experiences. As a community engaged arts educator Keely creates and facilitates participatory and collaborative artwork with community members and organizations. Deeply site-responsive and engaged with questions of place, home, and belonging, Keely’s work aims to celebrate the potential for creativity and community in the place and people around her. Keely is Co-Artistic Director of experimental theatre company Popcorn Galaxies. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Simon Fraser University.

  • Photo of Abigail Padilla
    Abigail Padilla

    Abigail Padilla is a Vancouver-based Filipino-Canadian emerging filmmaker and theatre actor. Behind the scenes, she has worked in research, development and technical work for documentaries, MOWs and corporate videos. Her directorial debut in short filmmaking earned her work “Thank You Mila” a finalist spot on Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon 2020. On stage, she has performed with Kathara, a Filipino indigenous dance group, and promoted Filipino folk dance and culture in various festivals such as Talking Sticks, Vine Arts and Surrey Fusion. A current Studio 58 student, she advocates for respectful diverse cultural collaboration.

  • Photo of Kayla Papania
    Kayla Papania

    Kayla Papania is an aspiring actor and writer based in Vancouver, BC. Recently graduated from an international school in Bali, Indonesia, she is taking a gap year to strengthen her writing skills and begin her path in the film and performing arts industry. Her passion for performing began at age six with her first dance class. Since then she has been building her skills and knowledge in areas such as: acting, dancing, singing and writing, in hopes of one day working in the industry. Within the past year Kayla has written a short novel, six songs and produced an independent short film while studying film, literature and theatre. She has been involved with programs including but not limited to: Arts Umbrella Junior and Senior Troup, Theatre Under The Stars, VADA, Vancouver Young Actors School, and Carousel Theatre for Young People. This year she will be working on editing and publishing her music and short novels while participating in Block A’s writing program.

  • Photo of Jack Paterson
    Jack Paterson

    Jack (he/him) is a Vancouver launched devisor, director, dramaturg, translator, and theatre maker. Projects have ranged from contemporary devising, cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual events to main stage and classical theatre in contemporary form across Canada, UK, Europe and Indonesia. He is the co-founder of Mad Duck Theatre Collective (Vancouver – 2002-2009), Bouche Theatre Collective (Vancouver), and Global Hive Labs., a network of international independent artists working together in shared practice. Jack Trained at Circlein the Square (NYC, USA), GITIS (Moscow, RU), SENI (Denpasar, IND) and received his MFA in Direction from East15 (London, UK.

  • Photo of Louisa Phung
    Louisa Phung

    Louisa is a director and writer based in Vancouver, BC. A graduate of Capilano’s Bachelor of Performing Arts program, Louisa is a multi-disciplinary artist, successfully working in the BC film and television industry for over a decade. Her short film Hope and Grace had its world premiere this past October at the Edmonton International Film Festival, and she recently produced and directed a production of Beirut by Alan Bowne as part of the 2020 Vancouver Fringe Festival Dramatic Works Series.

  • Photo of Zahida Rahemtulla
    Zahida Rahemtulla

    Zahida Rahemtulla is an emerging writer of fiction and theatre. Her first plays, The Wrong Bashir and The Frontliners, are in development. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre in Alberta and Millay Colony for the Arts in New York. Her plays have been shortlisted for the Playwrights Guild of Canada Surefire! Lists, the Canadian Playwriting Competition (Theatre BC), the Ellen Ross Stuart Playwriting Prize (Tarragon Theatre & Ontario Arts Foundation), and won a 2020 Silk Road Emerging Artist Award. She is so excited to have a play headed for premiere through Playwrights Theatre Centre’s New Play in Development Prize, which will develop The Frontliners as its 2022 play. She also writes short fiction and is at work on a humour novel for kids. She has worked for several years in Vancouver’s immigrant and refugee nonprofit sector in the areas of housing, employment, and literacy.

     

  • Photo of Amal Rana
    Amal Rana

    Amal Rana is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet and queer Muslim futurist whose work been published and performed widely. Amongst other creative projects, they co-founded Breaking the Fast, an interdisciplinary arts showcase featuring queer, trans and gender marginalized Muslim artists. Amal also co-created Tomorrow Is Ours, one of the first creative writing series on BIPOC futurisms in the city. In 2019, she completed an arts residency with Carnegie Community Centre. As part of the residency, they co-wrote and directed a play about gentrification and decolonial futures with DTES community members. Amal’s art practice is grounded in a long cultural tradition of poets as both witnesses and catalysts for change.

  • Photo of Iris Rhian
    Iris Rhian

    Iris Rhian is a theater maker and artistic collaborator. She holds a BFA in Drama with Honors from New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, and a Minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology from NYU Stern/Tisch. She specializes in acting, playwriting, and directing. When not making theater, you can find her attempting to learn a variety of musical instruments, reading the latest Booker Prize winning novel, or seeking out nature.

  • Photo of Lili Robinson
    Lili Robinson

    Lili (she/they) is a playwright, poet, actor and community organizer based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Lili is passionate about centring voices at the intersections of queerness, Black diaspora, socio-economic diversity and femme identity in her work. Having completed a year as the Artistic Producing Intern at Theatre Replacement in 2019, Lili is currently the Emerging Playwright in Residence at Rumble Theatre, and a part of the Emerging Playwrights’ Unit at the Arts Club. Beyond playwriting, their recent projects include: the role of Alejandra in Rumble’s online production of B by Guillermo Calderón; writing for Theatre Replacement’s sound installation project Speaker A; and co-organizing Rest and Resilience, a series of events creating space for the Black Queer community to connect this past summer. Mx, Lili’s debut play, was the recipient of the Fringe New Play Prize in 2019. Mx went on to win the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, earning the show a spot in the Cultch’s upcoming 2021 spring season.

  • Photo of Chlöe Rowat
    Chlöe Rowat

    Chlöe Rowat is a UBC undergrad student studying English and Creative Writing. She recently finished her Associate’s Degree in Creative Writing at Douglas College, and while attending was a First Reader for Event magazine. She is also a theatre educator and has developed two musical theatre programs for youth and teens across Metro Vancouver. Chlöe spends her spare time directing plays, song-writing, and is currently learning to spreche Deutsch. She also enjoys (re)watching television shows with subtitles.

  • Photo of Mannu Sandhu
    Mannu Sandhu

    Mannu Sandhu is a Canadian actress/ model now residing in Mumbai to pursue her career in Indian Cinema as an actress. She studied political science and criminology from Douglas Collage and the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She then pursued her career in acting and starting coaching at the Actors Foundary, Vancouver. Her first Canadian Feature Film was Footsteps into Gangland, a topic which is of high importance in Canadian households today. The film was about a teenager living in a foster home and getting sexually abused at home and influenced by the drug dealers of Vancouver on the streets. She gives high importance to topics that bring awareness to her community. She has done five feature films so far and is working on new projects in India. She also holds the title of Miss Universe Canada Miss Humanitarian for her ongoing community work in Canada. She has been spearheading the most prominent South Asian Film Festival in the City of Vancouver for the past five years and she has become a force between India and Canada to help join the two countries in the Entertainment Sector.

     

     

  • Photo of Ishan Sandhu
    Ishan Sandhu

    Ishan is an actor and writer who currently resides on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories belonging to the Squamish (Skxwú7mesh), Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Tsleil-Waututh(səl̓ilwətaɁɬ) Nations. He came here to pursue his higher education and recently graduated with a BFA in Acting and BA in Economics from UBC. Some of his favourite acting credits are: The Wars (Sergeant Singh), Commedia Dell’arte (Arlecchino), The Changeling (Antonio). Ishan discovered his passion for story telling at a very young age, when he would often find himself fabricating stories to escape punishments from his parents. As a theatre artist Ishan is interested in creating contemporary work. He loves to structure his stories around the barriers that Race, Income and Sex create in our society. He is currently working on writing scenes centred around the theme of ‘lovers during the pandemic’.

  • Photo of Kamila Sediego
    Kamila Sediego

    Kamila Sediego (she/her/siya) is a first-generation Filipinx settler and playwright, privileged and grateful to live on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her work is a celebration of the richness of her culture, the dramas of family dynamics, and the complexities of the Filipinx diaspora. Her favourite thing is to weave humour and magic with the tragedies of every day. It is only with the care and support of many around her that she is expanding her skills into dramaturgy and currently developing two of her shows, Homecoming and Engkanto. Over the years, she has graciously worked closely with Urban Ink, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, PTC, and incredible mentors like Corey Payette, Reneltta Arluk, Joanna Garfinkel, Hazel Venzon, Rachel Ditor, and many more. If she isn’t writing, she’s drinking bubble tea and/or convincing her baby niece to say “tita.” Find Kamila on Instagram: @kamilasediego   Photo: Noelle Sediego, @ncsed on Instagram

  • Photo of Tetsuro Shigematsu
    Tetsuro Shigematsu

    For more than twenty years, Tetsuro Shigematsu has been telling stories across an array of media. He is a playwright, actor, scholar, broadcaster, author, filmmaker, and theatre artist. At the age of 19, he became the youngest playwright to compete in the history of the Quebec Drama Festival. Originally trained in the fine arts, he found a similar creative outlet writing for CBC Television’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Then in 2004, he became the first person-of-colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Roundup on CBC Radio, where he co-wrote and co-produced nearly a thousand hours of network programming. His most recent theatre work, 1 Hour Photo garnered five Jessie nominations, including best original script.

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    His solo work, Empire of the Son was nominated for six Jessie awards – also for best original script – and was described by Colin Thomas as, “One of the best shows ever to come out of Vancouver. Ever…” Empire continues to tour throughout Canada and across the world. Tetsuro’s award-winning body of work in film, television, radio, new media, and theatre continues to be taught in Canadian and American universities as examples of cultural possibility.

  • Photo of Shanae Sodhi
    Shanae Sodhi

    Shanae is excited to be working with DiverseTheatreBC to help racialized voices find a greater presence in theatre. As one of the establishing members of Studio 58’s Student Diversity Committee, Shanae spearheaded it’s work to give voice and strength to marginalized groups within the theatre community, while empowering students with the tools and knowledge to engage the conversations of diversity around them. This experience helped him discover his love for producing work that helps the stories of marginalized voices find a more prominent place in our society. Shanae currently works as the Associate Producer Intern at Green Thumb Theatre Company, while also producing Mx by Lili Robinson (winner of PTC’s Fringe New Play Prize) for the Fringe Festival in September, and assistant directing with Anita Rochon on 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog at The Belfry Theatre.

  • Photo of Quelemia Sparrow
    Quelemia Sparrow

    Quelemia Sparrow is busy on a variety of new play projects. With PTC, she developed O’wet/Lost Lagoon, co-produced by Alley Theatre and Full Circle: First Nations Performance, originally commissioned by Full Circle: First Nations Performance.

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    O’wet/Lost Lagoon was in workshop in February, April and late May/June, 2016 with a production launching at the Firehall Arts Centre, June 21-25, 2016, opening on National Aboriginal Day. Quelemia is a First Nations actor and writer from the Musqueam Nation. Select acting credits: Our Town (Osimous Theatre), The Edward Curtis Project (GCTC/NAC), The Penelopiad (Arts Club Theatre), Where the Blood Mixes (Playhouse/WCT) and The Fall (Electric Company). Writing credits: Ashes on the Water (Neworld Theatre/Raven Spirit Dance). Short screenplays: Love, The Girl in the Green Beret and Mosquitoes; for which she won an award for her unique voice. Various Film and T.V: Fringe, Blackstone, Cable Beach, The Letter, Da Vinci’s City Hall, V, Unnatural and Accidental, and Da Vinci’s Inquest which she won a Leo Award for Best Female Guest Appearance. She is currently playwright-in-residence with Full Circle: First Nations Performance writing The Women of Papiyek, a project delving into the living history of Xway Xway (Stanley Park); co-creating a children’s show called Salmon Girl with Raven Spirit Dance, premiering at Presentation House in 2017, and also working in collaboration with ITSAZOO and Savage Society on The Pipeline Project, which premieres at The Gateway (Richmond) in 2017.  Quelemia is a graduate of Studio 58.  Currently she is writer in residence with Full Circle and an associate artist with Urban Ink Productions.

  • Photo of Alexander Steele Zonjic
    Alexander Steele Zonjic

    Alexander is an actor and playwright, born and proudly raised in the Rose City of Windsor, Ontario.  The work he is exploring on paper, is the work he is exploring day to day. Endeavouring to engage in uncomfortable conversations in the name of truth and growth. Practicing vulnerability in his thoughts and feelings and being brave enough to have his mind changed in public, and potentially say the wrong thing. Embracing the ugly and the honest, Alexander hopes to create work that inspires transformative justice, empathy and a will to live together.

    Alexander is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School where he was awarded the Lou Taube Memorial Award for excellence in, and dedication to theatre, and has also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and Ecole Philippe Gaulier. His debut play ENOLA_GAY earned him the Robert Beardsley Award for Emerging Playwrights from the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

  • Photo of Jovanni Sy
    Jovanni Sy

    Jovanni Sy is a playwright, director, performer and the artistic director of Gateway Theatre. As an actor, Jovanni has performed with companies from Whitehorse to St. John’s. His most recent Vancouver roles were in King of the Yees (Gateway), Dead Metaphor (Firehall), and A Taste of Empire (Boca del Lupo). Jovanni directed Closer Than EverValley Song, and Harvest at Gateway. He also directed God of CarnageAntigone, and Blackbird for Theatre du Pif in Hong Kong and Stitch for Native Earth in Toronto. Jovanni’s most recent play Nine Dragons premiered at Vertigo Theatre in Calgary in 2017 and subsequently transferred to Winnipeg’s Royal MTC and Gateway Theatre.  Nine Dragons was nominated for a Betty Award and a Jessie Award for Outstanding New Play.  Jovanni’s earlier play A Taste of Empire has been performed in Toronto and Vancouver in both English and Cantonese. Both these plays have been published by Talonbooks.

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    Avery Taylor

    As an aspiring actor and director, Avery is forever grateful and humbled to experience and work on the Coast Salish lands in which she grew up, believing they assisted her journey to discovering her love of writing. Many summers outside led to many notebooks filled with half-finished stories, finding inspiration in the trees and natural treasures of the land. After recently graduating with a BFA in Theatre performance, she has been working with UBC, directing their radio production of Little Women. Avery continues to hone her craft of writing whenever she can, through songs, short stories, and plays, hoping to finally finish something.

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    José Teodoro

    José Teodoro’s plays include Mote, The Tourist and Cloudless, which was recently adapted into an audio-drama presented by Canadian Stage. José is co-author, with Mexican artist Laura Barrón, of Cathedral, a bilingual 3.5-metre-long book of text and image. The Rusted Floor, José’s recent essay about dreams, ghosts, architecture and the pandemic, appeared in Brick 106. José is also a culture writer, contributing essays, interviews and reviews to publications such as The Globe & Mail, Film Comment and The Literary Review of Canada. José’s current projects include a book of conversations with filmmaker Peter Mettler, a screen adaptation of Cloudless for producer Hugh Gibson, a book-length work of literary nonfiction, and new performance works, such as Island, which was developed as part of PTC’s WrightSpace program and the Banff Playwrights Retreat, and Binary Star, which he’ll be developing as a PTC Associate.

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    SJ Valiquette

    SJ Valiquette is a queer white settler living and working on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. She is an actor, an internationally published poet and photographer, and the creator and curator of the (re)markable project. She has a BFA from the University of Victoria and has studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Favourite theatre credits include The Quiet Environmentalist at the Victoria Fringe Festival,  Macbeth at the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival, and Open Face Beholding at the Fifty Fifty Arts Collective.

  • Photo of Thule van den Dam
    Thule van den Dam

    Thule van den Dam is an interdisciplinary artist from the Netherlands, currently based in Vancouver on unceded Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh territories. She completed a BA in Human Ecology at the College of the Atlantic as a David Scholar, with a concentration in international environmental policy, critical theory, and theatre. She has trained with Double Edge Theatre and Jodi Baker and is an artistic associate with Canadian-German theatre company Mammalian Diving Reflex.

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    Sara Vickruck

    Sara Vickruck is a queer theatre artist and musician. She has recently performed in This Here with Babelle Theatre, Fun Home at the Arts Club, NeOn at rEvolver Festival, Kill Your Lovers at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s Rhubarb Festival, and Circle Game at the Firehall Arts Centre. Sara co-founded the all-female theatre company, Poiema Productions, with whom she created, produced, and toured three plays. Sara also self-produced her album Prologue, available on iTunes, Spotify and saravickruck.ca. She’s 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’s a Grant MacEwan Graduate.

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    Savannah Walling

    Savannah Walling, born in Oklahoma, USA, is a first generation immigrant to Canada and twelfth generation descendent of refugees from Europe; her tangled bloodlines travel further than she has concrete knowledge. A writer/theatre artist trained in dance, mime and music, Savannah is co-founder /artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre, with whom she has toured four continents; created a series of community-engaged productions for/with/and about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; and served as associate artistic director of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival. She collaborates with artists of many genres, traditions and cultures to create productions that interweave localized content with accessible storytelling, spectacle and live music. She co-wrote Storyweaving with Rosemary Georgeson and Renae Morriseau.

  • Photo of Nicola Wanless
    Nicola Wanless

    Nicola Wanless is a Vancouver based writer, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. They have been involved with theatre for almost ten years, in a number of roles both artistically and technically. Their past theatrical writing credits include two self-produced Fringe Festival shows, and a staged production at UBC’s 2018 Brave New Playrites festival. They are currently writing and co-producing an ongoing podcast called The Rest is Electric. For more information about them and their future projects google “local disaster warnings”.

  • Photo of Veronique West
    Veronique West

    Veronique is a playwright, dramaturg and educator of Polish descent, based on unceded Coast Salish territories (also known as Vancouver). Her work is informed by her lived experience of mental health issues, as well as her interest in the intersections of mental health, politics and identity. She is an Associate at Playwrights Theatre Centre, the Resident Emerging Artist at Boca del Lupo, the Devised Writing Teacher at Green Room Theatre and the LEAP Assistant at the Arts Club. Previously, she has been the Literary Assistant at the Arts Club and a Playwriting Instructor at Gateway Theatre. Her plays include: Intrusion (winner of Tarragon Theatre’s 20/20 Playwriting Competition), Marrow (Resounding Scream Theatre/Alley Theatre) and Where the Devil Can’t Go (in development with PTC). As a dramaturg, she has worked for the Arts Club, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Neworld Theatre, South Asian Arts Society, Alley Theatre, Resounding Scream Theatre, rEvolver festival and festiVALT. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas. In addition to her artistic practice, she provides peer support to people recovering from eating disorders through the Looking Glass Foundation’s Hand in Hand program.

  • Photo of Anais West
    Anais West

    Anais is a queer writer, actor and producer of Polish descent, as well as a settler on occupied Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories (colonially called Vancouver). Anais’ work merges theatre with other art forms to examine the multiplicitous natures of desire, identity, and culture. Her projects include the video-play hybrid Kill Your Lovers, (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre’s Rhubarb Festival, Toronto, and the Fresh Fruit Festival, NYC) and the slam poetry musical Poly Queer Love Ballad, co-written with Sara Vickruck. Poly Queer Love Ballad won PTC’s Fringe in Play Prize and the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award, then went on to be nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards including Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Production in Musical Theatre. The show toured Turtle Island (Canada) in 2019, with presentations at the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver, the SkirtsAfire Festival in Edmonton, and Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. Anais is currently writing Underground Absolute Fiction (UAF), an interdisciplinary performance that combines monologues, music videos and queer ‘zines. UAF was presented as a reading at the Queer Arts Festival and as a short film at Rumble Theatre’s Tremors Festival in 2020. As an actor, Anais has worked with Theatre la Seizieme, the Only Animal, Rumble Theatre’s Tremors Festival, the Arts Club and more. She is the frank theatre company’s Operations Manager & Associate Producer, where she most recently produced She Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHunt by d’bi young anitrafrika at the 2020 PuSh Festival. Photo by Kimberly Ho.

  • Photo of Adrienne Wong
    Adrienne Wong

    Adrienne Wong asks audiences to “re-see” the familiar and reimagine the everyday. Works include a series of site-specific audio plays (PodPlays, developed with Martin Kinch), a participatory show for kids about city planning (Me On The Map, created with Jan Derbyshire), an SMS show performed simultaneously in two cities (Landline, created with Dustin Harvey), and an analogue version of Facebook (Placebook, created with Mirae Rosner and Marcus Youssef ). Adrienne is a Associate Artist at both Neworld Theatre and SpiderWebShow.ca. She has two kids and no plants.

  • Photo of Sangeeta Wylie
    Sangeeta Wylie

    Sangeeta Wylie is an emerging playwright, and actor in film, television and theatre. A ‘closet-writer’ since she could hold a pencil, Sangeeta worked with Heidi Taylor (Playwrights Theatre Centre, in collaboration with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre) on her first full-length play, we the same, in development since 2017 and inspired by a true story of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with PTC on a new play. Sangeeta acts on the Board of Directors for the Cultch, plays classical piano, and holds degrees in Chemistry with a Music Minor and Dentistry.