Who We Are

 

Bryony Dixon Artistic Managing Producer   

Bryony Dixon is a multimedia artist, administrator, and researcher whose work stems from performance based practice. She holds a B.A. in Drama from Queen Mary University of London (UK) and a Master’s in Film Aesthetics from The University of Oxford (UK). Bryony has showcased numerous performance art projects with Guggenheim-winning artist Lois Weaver (London, 2012); performed in a sell-out physical theatre production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2011); assisted social practice visual artist, Susanne Lacy, with her Silver Action installation at the Tate Modern (2013); and has worked on diverse theatrical productions such as Punchdrunk Theatre’s immersive ‘The Crash of the Elysium’ (Manchester International Festival, 2011); Brecht’s ‘Caucasian Chalk Circle’ (Oxford Playhouse, 2014); Norm Foster’s ‘Self Help’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (Kimberly Summer Theatre, 2013). 

Now based in Nanaimo, Bryony has worked in the local non-profit Arts sector since 2018. She is committed to serving the artistic growth of her new community by championing experimentation and facilitating creative collaborations.

Tamara McCarthy – Associate Artistic Producer

Tamara is a professional director, producer, actor, and teacher. She has a deep passion for telling the stories of women.  A multiple Jessie Richardson Award nominated director and actor, Tamara’s select directing credits include The Double Axe Murders remount tour (Gateway/ Evergreen); Julius Caesar (Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival); A Brief History of Human Extinction (The Cultch/ upintheair); Into the Woods (Vancouver Island University); The Out Vigil (Theatre Newfoundland Labrador); La Bohème (Opera Nanaimo); The Double Axe Murders (Rusticate/ PHT); The Sea; A Doll’s House (Slamming Door); Gruesome Playground Injuries (Dark Matter); Between the Sheets; Reasons to be Pretty (Western Edge); James and the Giant Peach (Chemainus Theatre Festival); The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; A Beautiful View (Naked Goddess).  Recent appearances as an actor include world premieres, With Glowing Hearts (TheatreOne) and HELLO (Theatre Terrific/ Firehall).  Tamara served on the Pacific Coast Stage Company Board of Directors from 2017-2020.

Brianna Hamilton Chair, Board of Directors

Brianna is an actor, producer, writer, and director originally from Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. A graduate of the Bachelor of Performing Arts program at Capilano University, Brianna has spent more than a decade working in theatre and film in Vancouver and in 2017 made the move home to the island. Her collaborative spirit has driven the course of her career and she is always keen to work on new and devised pieces. This has lead her from stage to screen, and everywhere in between. Recent theatre credits include Kayleen in Gruesome Playground Injuries (Dark Matter), Marianne in Constellations (hapax), Teresa in Between The Sheets (Western Edge), Last Wife in Calling Home (SNAFU/Theatre Skam), Carly in Reasons to be Pretty (Western Edge) and Narrator in Hipstory (Spec Theatre). An advocate for women’s voices in comedy, Brianna is co-producer and co-writer of the award winning series Girls vs. The City from Telus Storyhive and Girl on Girl Humor Productions.

Nabil Sayes Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Nabil Avoon Sayes has been writing since he was ten years old in Yemen. Rejecting classic European theatre that was prevalent at the time, Sayes yearned to unleash his imagination and develop native Syrian talents, experiences and theatrical texts; writing his first play in 2005. Inspired by the concept of “Poor Theatre”, Sayes later wrote “The Circle”, which was performed in the Philadelphia Festival for University Theatre in Jordan, where it won two awards. After the festival, both Sayes and the director were arrested and interrogated for the use of symbolism depicting problems in a repressive society. They were later released and honoured by the University of Aleppo where Sayes began to work writing and directing plays exploring themes of poverty, pride, oppression, and revolution. 

Sayes wrote and directed his final play in Syria in 2012. After being arrested several times for demonstrating and filming demonstrations, he departed for Lebanon where he processed his experiences and observations into art. In 2016, Sayes and his three daughters started a new life in Nanaimo, where, with the help of his Canadian friends, he has collaborated on theatre workshops and dance training for children. He is eager to deepen his involvement in the arts and theatre community on Vancouver Island.

Sean Enns Treasurer, Board of Directors

Sean Enns (He/Him) is a playwright and writer of fiction, primarily focusing on Gothic and tragicomic stories founded in the myth, lore, and legends of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. He was born and raised on Vancouver Island, and has lived in Nanaimo for nearly 30 years.

Sean is passionate about building community capacity in the arts sector, particularly through collaboration with other organizations, and as an advocate for people facing barriers from mental health or disability.

Sean’s completed plays include Dispossessed, a one-act horror-comedy, and Famous Writers, a full-length play about substance abuse, love, and mental health. He’s currently working on a new anthology of ten-minute folk-plays inspired by his recent diagnosis of ADHD.

Ayla Harris – Secretary, Board of Directors

Ayla is a BBA student at VIU who additionally studies stagecraft, and previously studied interior design at the University of Calgary. She first discovered her passion for technical theatre in high school, and may now be found rushing around the lobby of Nanaimo’s Malaspina Theatre. Ayla is thrilled to be given opportunities to welcome audiences to engaging and inspiring theatre productions that she supports her peers, and other emerging artists, in taking from page to stage.

Nicolle Nattrass – Founding Member & Officer at Large, Board of Directors

Nicolle Nattrass is a Jessie nominated actress (CAEA / UBCP), playwright (Playwrights Guild of Canada), Director and Dramaturge.  She is currently Artistic Associate for Theatre One’s Emerging Voices where she has worked with over 40 new playwrights. Nicolle served as National Forum Representative for the Playwrights Guild of Canada in various capacities from 2011-2017. She is a graduate from the University of Victoria (1991) with a BFA in Theatre, Acting Specialization.

As an actress, Nicolle has performed for many regional theatres across Canada and worked in film/TV and radio including many Fringe Festivals! One of her best memories is touring the Fringe circuit across Canada. Nicolle has written 10 plays to date, you can see a full list at www.playwrightsguild.com . Current projects include: a new solo show, Suddenly 50, a new sketch conversation series, Death by Small Talk and promoting her new book, Just the Two of Us (a soft place for tender hearts to land) For more info www.nicollenattrass.com

Rachelle (Shelley) Stein-Wotten Board of Directors

Rachelle (Shelley) Stein-Wotten tends to laugh a lot and is suspicious of those who do not. A comedy writer and journalist with a background in communications and event production, she has produced live, multi-day sketch comedy shows, working closely with directors, writers, and actors; and coordinated large events with attendances of 200 individuals, managing volunteers and vendors, drafting budgets, and developing and executing publicity strategies.

Shelley has a degree in creative writing and journalism as well as a diploma in writing for film and television and has won awards for her creative non-fiction and screenwriting. She has adjudicated web series festival entries as well as fiction and screenplay competitions. She’s had the great pleasure of being a stage manager in the past and is a member of the Playwrights Theatre Centre and has been involved with Wet Ink Collective in Vancouver. In addition to writing sketch comedy and humour essays, she works as a freelance journalist and particularly enjoys covering the arts, sustainable living and policy-making, and environmental issues.

Melissa Kahan – Officer at Large, Board of Directors

Melissa Kahan has a variety of experiences in all aspects of the theatre.  Melissa attended the Canadian College of Performing Arts where she took classes in acting, musical theatre, jazz, tap, physical theatre, clowning, and stage combat.  Last year, she played the role of Anne Frank in Nanaimo Theatre Group’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank.  The production won the 2019 North Island Zone Drama Festival and went on to the Port Alberni Mainstage Festival where it was runner up and Melissa Kahan was awarded Best Actress.  Recently, Melissa has begun working as a voice actor.  She has voiced several children’s audiobooks with WikiEye, as well as done work for Scott Cawthon in the most recent Five Nights At Freddy’s game.