Fire Never Dies: The Tina Modotti Project Creative Team

Carmen Aguirre – Writer & Director

Carmen Aguirre (she/her) Carmen Aguirre is a Chilean-Canadian Vancouver-based Theatre Artist and Author who has written and co-written over twenty-five plays and two bestselling memoirs, including the #1 international bestseller Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter. She is a Core Artist at Electric Company Theatre and a 2020 Siminovitch Prize Finalist. 

Carmen Alatorre – Costume Designer

Originally from Mexico, Carmen has a Licenciatura (BFA) degree in Art History and earned her MFA degree in Theatre Design at the University of British Columbia (2010). She is currently based in lək̓ʷəŋən and WSÁNEĆ Territories (Victoria, BC). With over 90 design credits, some of her recent costume designs were seen in companies such as: Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, Globe Theatre Regina, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Milwaukee Rep Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Carmen is an Assistant Professor in Performance Design at the University of Victoria. She is also a recipient of four Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. For more information visit: 

Candelario Andrade – Media Designer
Bio and photo coming soon…

Valeria Ascolese – Actor 

Valeria Ascolese (she/her) is a Peruvian-Italian multidisciplinary artist, educator, and administrator 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, Axis Theatre Company, Carousel Theatre for Young People, and Western Canada Theatre while simultaneously working in film and TV. Valeria is also a theatre teacher who works for a number of companies and schools creating drama curricula. She holds a TEFL-PP certificate, and frequently teaches in Italy. (Photo credit: Karolina Turek)

Columpa Bobb – Photography Consultant 

Columpa Bobb has been working in theatre for 35 years and has been lifelong training in Indigenous story-making and orality. Her work has taken her across Kanata and the globe.  Her last completely oral work was a theatre piece created and performed by her and her late Mother, Siyam Lee Maracle in Hamilton, Aotearoa, 2019. She has been a freelance photographer for over 25 years. Although originally brought to photography via her love of landscape and abstract, her bread and butter works have consisted primarily of artist headshots, documentary style event, photojournalism and wedding photography. Currently, she is working on a photo/poetry book with her Sister Tania Carter in honour of their late Mother. (Photo credit: Columpa C Bobb)

Justine A. Chambers – Co-choreographer

Justine A. Chambers is a choreographer, dancer and educator living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances that are already there – the choreographies present in the everyday. Her work has been hosted by galleries, theatres and festivals locally, nationally and internationally. She is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother. (Photo credit: Rachel Topham)

Gina Chiarelli – Actor 

Gina Chiarelli is a multi-award winning actress, producer and acting coach, working in film, television and theatre for more than 25 years. Nominated for Best Actress for the Academy of Canadian film Genie Award for the multi-award winning feature film See Grace Fly, as well as winning Best Actress at the Leo Awards, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Women in film Award.  Recently she Produced and was Cinematographer of the Film Noir films, Watercolours In Rain, and Red Rose Interrupted, winning multiple awards at International film festivals in 2022/2023.Chiarelli is an eight time Best Actress Nominee, and three time, Best Actress Winner of the Jesse Richardson Award for Theatre.

Jack Chipman – Media Integration

Jack is a Vancouver based projection designer and technologist. His work integrates physical elements into digital spaces through the use of cameras, digital props, and image filtering. He is excited by the merging of different mediums to create an immersive experience. Jack’s past credits include The Flying Dutchman (Vancouver Opera), The Door Project (plastic orchid factory), An Undeveloped Sound (Electric Company Theatre), Szepty/Whispers (Rumble Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Dance Craft (Joe Ink), and Ghost Forest (Simon Fraser University) (Photo credit: Selfie)

Jan Hodgson – Stage Manager 

Jan is a Vancouver based Theatre and Dance Stage Manager.  Her previous shows for Electric Company Theatre include Undeveloped Sound, Betroffenheit (Kidd Pivot), Reframed, Tear The Curtain!, Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge, You Are Very Star, Palace Grand, No Exit and The Valet, The One That Got Away, Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla, Everyone, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. (Photo credit: Cody Clyburn)

Shizuka Kai – Scenography Designer

Shizuka is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on set design and puppetry, some work in tv/film puppeteering, illustration & graphic design, directing, and jewelry making. She has worked with many theatre companies including Arts Club, Théâtre la Seizième, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Rumble, Neworld, Boca del Lupo, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, and others. Shiz is a five-time Jessie Richardson Award winner with multiple nominations, Ovation Award winner, the recipient of the Earl Klein Memorial Scholarship and Steven B Jung Award, and a graduate of Studio 58. Portfolio website:

Carlos Rivera Martinez – Actor 

Carlos is a director, choreographer, actor, and a dancer, originally from Mexico City. He graduated from the Indigenous Residency Program at National Theatre School in 2018 and recently graduated from the MFA in Directing for Theatre Program at the University of Ottawa. Carlos has worked and collaborated with several performing arts companies across Canada including Red Sky Performance (Toronto), Globe Theatre (Regina), Raven Spirit Dance (Vancouver), MT Space (Kitchener), Puente Theatre (Victoria), Qaggiavuut (Iqaliut), Les Productions Ondinnok (Montreal) Lemon Tree Creations (Toronto) Micro-Scope Productions (Montreal) Vancouver Opera Company, among others. He is continuously working on numerous artistic projects in dance, film, theatre, and performance. (Photo credit: Maxime Cote)

Chirag Naik – Actor 
Bio and photo coming soon…

Melissa Oei – Actor 

Melissa is an accomplished actor and emerging director who has worked with theatre companies across Western Canada. Most recent credits include A Doll’s House Part 2 (Western Gold), Unexpecting (Zee Zee), The Café (Itsazoo/Aphotic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bard on the Beach), Beautiful Man and Lampedusa (Pi Theatre), The Twelve Dates of Christmas (Arts Club), and Like it or Not (Green Thumb). Upcoming projects include Division Infinity Saves the World (Neworld), Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Gateway), and directing Munsch Ado About Nothing (Project X). Melissa is grateful and honoured to be bringing this story to the stage on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. (Photo credit: Reznek Creative)

Aldana Padron – Assistant Stage Manager 

Aldana, a recent graduate from the University of Victoria, is thrilled to be working alongside everyone on the workshop of Fire Never Dies: The Tina Modotti Project. Her previous experience includes Every Brilliant Thing (Caravan Farm Theatre), and Mojada (Phoenix Theatre). Aldana would like to thank her family, friends, and mentors for supporting her on journey. (Photo credit: Megan Farrell @meganfarrellfotos)

Joelysa Pankanea – Sound Designer

Joelysa is a multiple award-winning composer and sound designer with over two decades of experience. Her original music has been featured in multiple short films, podcasts, theatre productions, chamber orchestras, choral works, and more. Recent credits include The Mousetrap (Theatre Calgary) and Rolling Hills (Sunny Drake Productions) Upcoming: HUSK: An Exploration of Technology in Humans (Musica Intima) and a feature documentary film about the mass exodus of Indians who fled from Uganda in 1972 titled: Exodus 72. Instagram: @joelysa_composer Website: (Photo credit: Shain Roe)

Paulo Ribeiro – Actor 

From EastVan, lifelong resident on unceded Coast Salish lands, Paulo is a graduate of SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts. An actor, dramaturg and director, favourite roles include Victor in Thir$ty (Headlines) and Orson Welles in War of the Worlds (Rumble), for which he received a Jessie nomination. Also a collaborator on numerous site specific works: acting in pitch black, dramaturgy in the trees and directing/creating a parkade show that radically altered perspective. After a few years struggling with hearing loss and inner ear surgeries, Paulo is ecstatic to be back on stage with this dream team. (Photo credit: Selfie)

Sofia Rodriguez – Actor 

Sofía Rodríguez (they/she) was born and raised in Monterrey, México. They are a queer, neuro-divergent, multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto; the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Selected theatre credits include: Peace Country (Rice & Beans), Mi Casa de Incienso (Soulpepper Queer Cabaret) mientras tanto//缺口 (Rhubarb Festival), The Solitudes (Aluna/ Nightwood), Half-Life (Tarragon), Beautiful Man (Factory , Theatre), La Maleta (Roseneath), In The Heights (We Are Here). (Photo credit: Mark Binks)

Amanda Testini – Co-choreographer 

Amanda Testini (she/her) is an Italian-Canadian performer, choreographer and director based on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Amanda has worked with Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, the Cultch, Theatre Replacement, Firehall Arts Centre, Belfry Theatre, Opera Kelowna, Gateway Theatre, Savage Society, Theatre Under the Stars, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, Carousel Theatre for Young People, shameless hussy productions, Neworld Theatre, Speakeasy Theatre, Studio 58, TheatreUBC, Electric Company,  Vancouver Opera, Axis Theatre, the Glimmerglass Festival, and Edmonton Opera. For more information check out (Photo credit: Kristine Cofsky)

Emma Tibaldo – Dramaturg

Emma is Artist in Residence at Concordia University, Theatre Department. She is a freelance Director and Dramaturg and Associate Artist with Poverty Cove Theatre. She is the former AED of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal (PWM), where for fourteen years, she dramaturgically collaborated on many plays, including Mizushōbai by Julie Tamiko Manning, Thy Woman’s Weeds by Erin Shields, Jabber by Marcus Youssef, Squawk by Megan Coles, Instant by Erin Shields, Refuge by Mary Vingoe, and Behaviour by Darrah Teitel. She is a recipient of LMDA’s Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy. Emma has directed new Canadian plays across the country.  She is member of the interdisciplinary company, The Bakery. 

John Webber – Lighting Designer & Assistant/Associate Set Designer

John is honoured to be working with such a wonderful group of artists and also to be back working with the Electrics. A long time designer of both Sets and Lighting he has had the privilege of working with some of Canada’s most talented and adventurous artists. Past credits for The Electric Company Theatre include: Hive 2, No Exit, and Palace Grand. Past favorite credits include: Kinky Boots, Onegin, and Angels in America Part 1 and 2,for the Arts Club Theatre Company. The Sound of Music, Chelsea Hotel, Wizard of Oz for Western Canada Theatre.  Rigoletto and Marriage of Figaro for Vancouver Opera.

Shervin Zarkalam Captions 

Shervin Zarkalam is an Iranian interdisciplinary dramaturg, performer, and performance-maker, currently based in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil- Waututh Nations. Shervin is primarily interested in lecture performance, dance dramaturgy, meta-dramaturgy, sound-based performances, No-input mixers, Analog video feedback and real-time composition. His performances range from postdramatic theatre to performance art and autobiographical lecture performance.