Electrics

CORE ARTISTS

Carmen Aguirre, Core Artist
Kevin Kerr, Core Artist & Founding Member
Jonathon Young, Core Artist & Founding Member
Kim Collier, Founding Member
David Hudgins, Founding Member

STAFF

Natalie LeFebvre Gnam, Managing Producer
Jennifer Swan, Financial Manager
Valeria Ascolese, Communications & Marketing Coordinator 
Davis Heslep, Development Support
Justin Francis LeeAssociate Producer
Jack Chipman, Technologist 

BOARD MEMBERS

Emira Mears President
Susan Washington Vice President
Marco Esccer Treasurer
Katie Wyka Secretary
Samantha Jo Simmonds Director
Adrienne Nye Director

If you are interested in joining the Electric Company Theatre Board of Directors, or a committee – please contact us at info@electriccompanytheatre.com.


Electric Company Theatre was originally formed as a collective in 1996 by Kim Collier (Siminovitch Prize winner for theatre direction), David Hudgins, Jonathon Young (Olivier Award winner for Best New Dance Production) and Kevin Kerr (Governor General’s Award winner in playwriting), who met while training at Vancouver’s Studio 58.


 

Carmen Aguirre (she/her) is an award-winning theatre artist and bestselling author. 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, where she was in the same class as The Electric Company. 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 over twenty-five plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Refugee Hotel, The Trigger, Blue Box, Broken Tailbone, Anywhere But Here, and adaptations for the stage of Eduardo Galeano’s and Julio Cortazar’s work. She co-adapted and starred in Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands with the Electric Company. Currently, Carmen is adapting Euripides’ Medea at Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach and Moliere’s The Learned Ladies, which was commissioned by Toronto’s Factory Theatre. Her new play with Electric Company Fire Never Dies: The Tina Modotti Project will premiere at the 2024 Chutzpah! Festival. She is the author of the international bestseller Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (winner of Canada Reads 2012) and its bestselling sequel 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, and is a 2020 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre finalist. She has over eighty films, TV, and stage acting credits. Click here to read more about Carmen’s work.

 

Kim Collier (she/her) is a Director, Creator, Teacher, Actress and the co-founder of Electric Company Theatre where she was Artistic Producer for 15 years and continues to work as the Artistic Director.  With Electric Company she was the co-creator / director of a large body of work that toured nationally including: Tear The Curtain, Studies in Motion, The Score, The One That Got Away, Brilliant and No Exit; a live film adaptation of Sartre’s classic play. The work has been presented at Canadian Stage, FTA, The National Arts Centre, American Conservatory Theatre, San Jose Rep, Theatre Calgary, The Citadel Theatre and beyond. Kim directed a film version of their play The Score ( Screen Siren Pictures, CBC) which touring film festivals internationally. Locally she has co-created and directed such notable projects as  The Wake, The Fall, At Home with Dick and Jane. Last few years she was Resident Artist at Canadian Stage and the inaugural director of their new MFA in Directing with York University.  Recently she directed Angels in America: Millennium and Perestroika (Arts Club Theatre) a new interpretation of Sweeney Todd for Vancouver Opera, Saint Joan (Arts Club Theatre), The Great Gatsby (Theatre Calgary), Titus, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet (Bard on the Beach) and Red (Canadian Stage, Vancouver Playhouse, Citadel Theatre). Kim was honored to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Thompson Rivers University.  Kim is the recipient of the prestigious Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize for Directing; 4 Jessie Richardson awards and a Sterling Award for Direction. She is the recipient of the Vancouver Mayors Arts Award and is a Graduate of Studio 58 as an Actress.

 

David Hudgins (he/him) is proud to be a founder at ECT. After more than two decades with this innovative company, he has won numerous Jessie Awards. David received his BA Honours in English Literature at McGill University and a PDP Diploma in Education from Simon Fraser University. He now teaches acting at Studio 58 and has directed nine shows there, including two Ovation-Award winning productions: Guys & Dolls (2007) and Spring Awakening (2012). The homegrown musical The Park (2010) which he directed and helped to dramaturge garnered five nominations. David tries to find time to be a dad and adventure, too. His 5-year orchestral / physical-theatre hybrid experiment odyssey called Flee, with composer Peggy Lee, found its legs at the Fox Cabaret with Electric Company and Studio 58 in 2016.

 

Kevin Kerr (he/him)  is a founding member of Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre with whom he’s collaborated on the creation of more than a dozen full-length productions, including Brilliant!, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Studies in Motion, Tear the Curtain! and You Are Very Star. A four-time recipient of the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Play, Kevin’s other works include Skydive, Spine (both for Realwheels Theatre), The Remittance Man (Sunshine Theatre), Secret World of Og (Carousel Theatre for Young People), and The Night’s Mare (Caravan Farm Theatre). He received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Unity (1918), which originally premiered with Touchstone Theatre in 2001. New Media projects include writing the dialogue for Stan Douglas’ augmented reality app and interactive installation Circa 1948 produced by the NFB; and in 2019 he wrote and directed a suite of three Virtual Reality Installations as companion pieces to Electric Company’s production of The Full Light of Day. He lives with poet Marita Dachsel and their three children on the territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən people (Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations) and teaches playwriting at the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing. He’s currently developing, Epigone, a new play for Electric Company about a scapegoat’s vengeful return from exile.

 

Canadian theatre artist Jonathon Young (he/him) graduated from the acting program at Vancouver’s Studio 58 in 1996. The same year he formed Electric Company Theatre with fellow alumni Kim Collier, David Hudgins and Kevin Kerr. Jonathon took the helm of the company as Artistic Director between 2014 and 2017. He is currently a Playwright-in-Residence at Kidd Pivot, the internationally renowned dance company led by choreographer Crystal Pite.  Together, Jonathon and Crystal have created four projects: Betroffenheit, The Statement, Revisor, and Assembly Hall. The Statement was created for Nederlands Dans Theater in 2016, toured Europe and was performed in the U.S. at New York City Centre and the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. Betroffenheit was performed in 32 cities across 15 countries and received an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. For his performance in Betroffenheit, Jonathon won the UK National Dance Award in 2017. Betroffenheit was filmed by the BBC and received two prestigious European prizes: The Golden Prague and the Rose d’Or Award in Berlin. Revisor premiered in Vancouver in February 2019, toured internationally, and received an Olivier Award in 2022. Jonathon has worked as a writer and/or performer in most Electric Company productions, including An Undeveloped Sound (2023), Flee (2015), All the Way Home (2012), Tear the Curtain! (2010), No Exit (2008), Palace Grand (2004). As a freelance actor, Jonathon has worked on stages across Canada, including King Lear (Soulpepper Theatre), Infinity (Volcano Theatre), Knives in Hens (Coalmine), The Full Light of Day (ECT, Luminato Festival,) All But Gone – a Beckett Rhapsody (Necessary Angel), The Great Gatsby (Theatre Calgary), Hamlet (Bard on the Beach), This (Canadian Stage), The Invisible Life of Joseph Finch (Centaur).

 

Jen Swan (she/her) joined Electric Company Theatre in 2008, as Company and Financial Manager. Prior to that she was the General Manager of Theatre SKAM, and has also worked in administration for the Belfry Theatre. She is very happily based on Lekwungen territory (Victoria). After 20+ years working as a Stage Manager across the country, last year she moved into a fulltime position as Finance Officer at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. She also works with emerging stage managers as the SM Mentor at both CCPA and the University of Victoria.

 

Natalie LeFebvre Gnam (she/elle) is a dance artist, producer, teacher, curator, performance maker and mother of two, originally from Lheidli T’enneh (colonially known as Prince George), now living on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territory (colonially, Vancouver). She studied dance at L’École supérieure de danse du Québec and Le Cégep du Vieux Montréal in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal) and arts management at Capilano University, whose campuses are located on the unceded lands of the Lil’wat, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Shíshálh (Sechelt), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Natalie has performed with companies and artists across Turtle Island including, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Coleman Lemieux & Co., The Vancouver Opera. Since 2003, she has the privilege of co-imagining and collaborating in the projects of plastic orchid factory as Artistic Producer, alongside her life and art partner, James Gnam. As a producer, Natalie has worked across disciplines and language with DanceHouse, The Cultch, Théâtre la Seizième and Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret. In 2009, she was awarded the Isadora Award for performance excellence and with James Gnam, was nominated by the late Lola Maclaughlin for the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Dance. Active in her community at large, Natalie is a committee member for the Indigenous Learning Program at École Secondaire Jules Verne, the chair of francophone theatre company, productions 4par4, and chaired the Training Society of Vancouver from 2009-2020. In 2017, Natalie led plastic orchid factory’s work in establishing Left of Main, a creator hub for the live arts in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown. Natalie feels incredibly fortunate to be returning to the Electric Company family as Managing Producer, working alongside a stellar team of artists and producers.

 

Valeria Ascolese (she/her) is a Peruvian-Italian multidisciplinary artist and educator born in Lima, Peru. A graduate of Capilano University, she has collaborated with theatre companies like Electric Company Theatre, rice&beans theatre, Rumble Theatre, Bard on the Beach, and Pacific Theatre, while simultaneously working in film and TV. As a teaching artist, she works at Bard on the Beach, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Lights Up Musical Theatre Schools, North Van Arts, and other schools across the city. Valeria holds a TEFL-PP certificate from Educo Italy, after spending the summer of 2021 touring as a Teaching Artist in Italy. In addition, she is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition (CALTAC).

 

Davis Heslep is mixed-race arts administrator, educator, producer, and media artist from Somba Ké (Yellowknife), NT Canada. From 2010 – 2022, Davis worked as programming and out-reach director for the non-profit media arts organisation Western Arctic Moving Pictures (WAMP). In 2014, Davis developed the travelling workshop Hackspace NT which aimed to develop the digital skills of young northerners through hands-on workshops on VR/360 video, game design, modular synth building, 3d modelling/printing, and other forms of digital fabrication. Davis was the representative for WAMP’s partnerships with The Initiative for Indigenous Futures (Concordia, Quebec), Inuit Futures (Concordia,Quebec), and Dechı̨ta Nàowo (Yellowknives Dene First Nation, NT/University of the Fraser Valley). In 2021, Davis was instrumental in hosting the 4th Symposium of the Future Imaginary for the Initiative for Indigenous futures and the exhibition Rooted and Ascending. As a media artist, Davis incorporates the use of both discarded and contemporary technologies as a way to create experimental work. Davis has been apart of solo and collaborative exhibitions at the Vector Festival (Toronto, Canada) ArtArctica Festival (Helsinki, Finland), Imaginative Film Festival (Toronto, Canada) Fantasia Film Festival (Montreal, Canada), VIVO (Vancouver, Canada), and more.

 

Justin Francis Lee (he/him) is a playwright, filmmaker, and sailor. Intent on spearheading a closer relationship between the Canadian theatre and film industries, he hopes to make quality art more accessible through intersecting subcultures and collaboration between entertainment mediums. Previously a research assistant for core artist Kevin Kerr. He’s excited to continue working at ECT as an emerging artist and producer. Recent Credits: Belfry Theatre’s Serving Elizabeth (videographer), Theatre SKAM’s Fall Pop-Up Shows (director), SKAMpede’s The Open Gate (writer), SATCo Theatre’s Ngaii Duk (director and writer) and the audio drama A Way Out (Showrunner). For film in various roles mostly  directing, assistant directing and in the camera department: Smile for Me, The Man on the Bus, My Name is Arnold, The Batshits, Dream Book, Bubba Lou, and All In Madonna.

 

Jack Chipman (he/him) is a Vancouver-based projection/lighting designer and technologist. His work integrates digital elements into physical spaces through the use of cameras, digital props, and image filtering. Jack’s past credits include Romeo and Juliet (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Precursor Lab), Dance Craft (Joe Ink), and Ghost Forest (Simon Fraser University). (photo credit: selfie)