Carmen Aguirre, Core Artist
Kim Collier, Core Artist & Founding Member
Kevin Kerr, Core Artist & Founding Member
Jonathon Young, Core Artist & Founding Member
David Hudgins, Founding Member
Carla Ritchie, Managing Director
Natalie LeFebvre Gnam, Managing Producer
Jennifer Swan, Financial Manager
Valeria Ascolese, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Justin Francis Lee, Associate Producer
Emira Mears, President
Brian Paterson, Vice President
Tania Lo, Treasurer
Katie Wyka, Co-Secretary
Tara Rasmussen, Co-Secretary
Samantha Jo Simmonds, Director
Michael Fergusson, Director
Susan Washington, Director
Cheri Hessami, Director
Dr. Amie Wolf, Director
If you are interested in joining the Electric Company Theatre Board of Directors, or a committee – please contact us at email@example.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 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, 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 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. 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 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 professor in the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing. Originally from Kamloops, BC, Kevin studied theatre at UBC and acting Vancouver’s Studio 58. After co-founding Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre in 1996, he has worked with ECT as a writer, actor, and director, as well as serving as Artistic Director. His work with Electric Company emphasizes spectacular physical and visual imagery, cinematic vocabulary, and the quest for authentic connection in an accelerated culture. In 2002, Kevin received the Governor General’s Literary Award for his play Unity (1918). He is also a four-time recipient of the Jessie Award for Outstanding Original Script. Kevin was writer or co-writer of Brilliant!, The Wake, The Score, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, The Fall, and Studies in Motion. Other Works include Skydive and Spine (Both for Realwheels), and Secret World of Og for Carousel Theatre. Kevin was the lead writer on the adaptation of The Score, a feature film for CBC Television, produced by Screen Siren Pictures. With Jonathon Young and Kim Collier, he co-wrote Tear the Curtain! a film/theatre hybrid, presented in October 2012 at Canadian Stage in Toronto. He now lives in Victoria with his wife, the most excellent poet Marita Dachsel, and their three young children.
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 three dance/theatre projects: Betroffenheit, The Statement and Revisor. 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 for Best Male Performance 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. The production toured Victoria, Ottawa, Toronto, Chapel Hill in North Carolina, Montreal, St. John’s Newfoundland, London, and Amsterdam. Revisor is touring Europe in 2022.
Jonathon has worked as a writer and/or performer in most Electric Company productions, including: Tear the Curtain! (a film/theatre hybrid for Arts Club Theatre and Canadian Stage), No Exit (a re-working of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play performed across Canada and in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theatre) Studies in Motion (Vancouver Playhouse, Yukon Arts Centre, Edmonton Citadel, Alberta Theatre Projects, Canadian Stage) Brilliant! (Firehall Arts Centre, Magnetic North Festival Edmonton, NAC Ottawa, Edinburgh Fringe, San Jose Stage, Belfry Theatre Victoria,) Palace Grand (The Cultch, PuSh Festival).
As a freelance actor, Jonathon has worked across Canada. Recent theatre projects include: 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 Festival, Vancouver) This (Canadian Stage, Toronto) The Invisible Life of Joseph Finch (Centaur, Montreal).
Carla Ritchie (she/her) is so excited to join the Electric Company and lead them through a brave new world living with COVID, and continue to innovate and bring a unique voice to Canadian theatre. She has been a massive fan of the Electric Company since seeing Studies in Motion and No Exit in Calgary in the early 2000s. Carla has been working in theatre for over twenty years and has been lucky enough to have done shows from Victoria to Halifax! For the past three years, she has led the events team at Artscape and supported Artscape’s big creative entrepreneurship centre – Artscape Daniels Launchpad.
She is an accomplished Arts Leader, Production/Stage Manager, Technical Director, set, light, and video designer. Carla has lived and worked across Canada, mainly in Toronto, Calgary, Regina, Manitoulin Island and now the fantastic city of Vancouver! She has toured across Canada, the USA, and China twice. Carla has worked with some of the heaviest hitters in Canadian Theatre and is ready to bring her breadth of expertise to the Electric Company. Her favourite companies include; Ghost River Theatre, Red Sky Performance, Theatre Calgary, The Globe Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, One Yellow Rabbit, Debajehmujig-Storytellers, The National Arts Centre, Sage Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Canadian Stage, and Artscape.
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 in Victoria, and has also worked in administration for the Belfry Theatre. She is currently based in Victoria, working as a stage manager for the Belfry and freelancing across the country.
She studied dance at L’École supérieure de danse du Québec and Le Cégep du Vieux Montréal in Tiohtià: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 excellence in performance 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).