Since Donna has taken on the role of Artistic Director in 2013, VACT has garnered 6 Jessie nominations, for Ga Ting and Empire of the Son. Donna was awarded the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award at the 2016 Jessies for outstanding leadership in developing works by 3 Asian Canadian playwrights in The Cultch's 2015-16 season. She was also the UBCP/ACTRA Women's Committee International Women's Day 2016 Honouree in recognition of outstanding contribution to causes of social justice.
Artist in Residence
Called the “the voice of our Azn generation” by Ricepaper magazine, Tetsuro was the first person-of-color to host a daily national radio program in Canada for CBC Radio. A former writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Tetsuro now writes for The Huffington Post. Tetsuro can be seen on Spike TV’s reality program The Deadliest Warrior, where he talks smack and kills Vikings. He’s now a PhD student at UBC. Follow him at @tweetsuro.
Annie graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BFA in Theatre Production & Design in 2009 and has worked with several theatre companies in Vancouver as a freelance stage manager. Annie joined the VACT family in 2010 and could not be more ecstatic about the great things in store for the company. Outside of VACT, Annie is the Marketing & Administrative Coordinator at Touchstone Theatre.
Laara is a professional actor having performed in theatres across Canada. She was nominated for a Jessie award for her role in Golden Child and for a Sterling award for Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl. Other credits include The Yoko Ono Project, A Season in Purgatory and Yellow Fever. It has been a privilege for her to be a part of VACT, working beside such visionaries to see it become a major presence in the Vancouver arts scene.
Bahareh was born and raised in Tehran, but has lived all over the world. As a result, she speaks Farsi, Turkish, French and English fluently. She has produced a feature-length film, and several music videos for Persian recording artists that have been seen internationally. She is currently an Artistic Associate with VACT, served as Artistic Associate for Empire of the Son, Dirty Old Woman, and as production manager in numerous theatre development workshops with VACT.
MSG Lab Guest Curator
Derek Chan is a theatre maker and translator. Born and raised in colonial Hong Kong, Derek lived in Norway for two years before relocating to Vancouver. After graduating from SFU, he founded rice & beans theatre with Pedro Chamale, and has been creating and producing for the company as co-artistic director since. In 2015, Derek won the Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize. In 2016, Derek received a Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac, hosted by Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal.
VACT Board of Directors
Tiffany is a professional communicator with more than 15 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies, academia, non-profits, hospitals and governments around the globe.
She is currently a principal at Centrifuge Media Lab, where she helps scientific and medical organizations communicate in a way that educates, stimulates and catalyzes change.
Andrea is a local actor, theatre producer, and arts administrator. She most recently played Lauren Yee in King of the Yees, (Gateway Theatre in October 2016 and National Arts Centre in October and November 2017). Andrea's work in the theatre has mostly centred around diversity and equity, with much of this work being done through VACT as well as an administrator for Boca del Lupo's 3.7% Initiative. She is a graduate of Studio 58.
Sandy Tanaka is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) who brings extensive corporate and non-profit knowledge to VACT's board, including more than 18 years of senior management experience in finance, IT and strategic planning. Sandy is currently the Assistant Dean & Director of Finance and IT at the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business and a member of the PALS Autism Society Adult Advisory Committee. She spent 10 years volunteering and fundraising with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of BC and in 2015 she was the recipient of the Graeme A.G. Stamp Community Project Award for her fundraising work with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Penny Tham is a retired corporate securities lawyer. She has extensive experience working in senior positions with international financial institutions around the world. After 25 years of living in Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Singapore and London she returned to Vancouver where she grew up. She is an enthusiastic theatre goer.
Belle comes from a background in arts administration, communications, and live event management, having worked with various local arts and culture groups on initiatives ranging from affordable studio spaces to large-scale private events. Belle is also a professional stage manager and a member of the Canadian Actor's Equity Association. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at UBC, where she also works as a program manager for two special degree programs in the Faculty of Arts.