Artists Bios

Escape Artists I


Escape Artists II – The bios

Escape Artists I

The Artists

Kathy Parsons– Head Honcho – Escape Artists I
Kathy is back at the Fringe after dramaturging (is that a word?) and directing Tina Teeninga’s solo piece The Saddest Girl in the World at the Vancouver’s Fringe Festival last year.  Kathy has been writing, performing and directing theatre since before you were born (if you were born before, say, 1962).
She’s won some awards (including best screenplay at the 2007 Global ComedyFest for The Hitchhiker – but who’s bragging), she’s made some mistakes (no details here, sorry), but she’s happy to be doing this fun fire escape adventure with Joel and Kaitlin (the actors) and Martin (who’s Martin?  the guy doing the other fire escape show: Escape Artists II).
Besides thanking PTC, Kathy wants to thank her family – Bob, David, Emily and Thomas – because they (sappy part coming up) love her unconditionally.
What’s up next for this escape artist?  Well may you ask.  Kathy is currently collaborating with Jason Goode (amazing filmmaker at on a feature length, screw-ball comedy based on their Indie short film The Hitchhiker (see above – but who’s bragging) which will feature Gina Chiarelli and Aleks Paunovic.
If you need credentials: Kathy has a BFA in Theatre Studies from York University and is Literary Manager at Pacific Theatre.
We’re all impressed.

Kaitlin Williams is a graduate of the University of Victoria and has a BFA specializing in Acting. She has spent the past year working with Pacific Theatre as an apprentice. PT credits include Godspell, I Was Meant for the Stage and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Other credits include three summers acting with the Parliamentary Players in Victoria, as well as Medea, Dark of the Moon and Lionel (Phoenix Theatre); Disney’s Aladdin (Kaleidoscope); The Sinister Secret of Hatley Castle (Histrionics) Robin Hood and Grimm Tales (ITSAZOO). Her previous Fringe experience was a one-woman show entitled Orbit, for which she was nominated for favourite female performer at the 2008 Victoria Fringe Festival.

Joel Stephanson is very happy to be taking part in his first ever Vancouver Fringe show!  Previously, he was an acting apprentice at Pacific Theatre, appearing in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (school matinees), I Was Meant For The Stage (ensemble/musical direction), and Godspell. While studying world religions and international relations at the University of BC, he performed in a varied range of productions and places: Barkerville’s Theatre Royal, McLean Mill National Historic Site, Pacific Theatre (Hamlet, Problem Child, Less Ado About Nothing), and on a Western Canada school tour with The Klondike Rag, a production of Canadiana Musical Theatre Co.  As a musician, Joel also serenaded dinner guests and played string bass for Man of La Mancha in 2009 at Rosebud Theatre, Alberta.  In summer 2010, he will play Alan-a-Dale in ITSAZOO’s wild adaptation of Robin Hood. He hopes not to get sued for it.

Joel was mentored in writing by Kathy Parsons this past year, and is pleased to be in yet another show with Kaitlin Williams, whom he met when she was, like, 2 or something.



Escape  Artists II

The Artists

Joanna Garfinkel: Director
co-created and directed the pedicab adventure Tour for HIVE 3, co-produced by Universal Limited and the Electric Company, and part of the Cultural Olympiad.  Recent directing credits include The Glass Box in Victoria and Vancouver, and Jessie-nominated Letters from Lithuania for Mortal Coil in Stanley Park; she is also a dramaturg for the Playwrights’ Theatre Centre.  A graduate of UBC’s MFA, she directed The Skin of Our Teeth and Big Love for the mainstage there and garnered the Sidney Risk award in directing. She has trained with Anne Bogart and SITI Company in New York; Austin, Texas credits include co-creating the Bonfire Festival, directing Don’t Drown for the Rude Mechanicals, (nominated for two Austin Critics’ Table awards), and Honey for FronteraFest, (nominated for Best of Fest).

Martin Gover: Writer/producer
After many  false starts, Martin has managed  to write the full length plays  “Trains” , “Rainy Day” and “Missed Things” and some One Act pieces including “ The Tea Ceremony “, “Bitter Proposals” and “ Impossible Things” . And made valuable connections with the Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver (P.T.C.)
“ Missed Things” had a very successful staged reading at the 2008 Vancouver New Play Festival at P.T.C
In current production
Firehall Spring Festival –‘ Last Night’ .
‘Nigeria’ – July 21-25 at The Cultch/Neanderthal Festival.
Vancouver Fringe (Sept) –  2 ×20 minute pieces – site specific.

Niki Brown- Liz

Niki has worked with Pi Theatre, Felix Culpa, The Gateway and Presentation House. Her last appearance at the Fringe was as a monkey in blue spandex in Ashley Slater’s Blue Monkey Coconut Stench. A proud graduate of the UBC BFA acting program, Niki has also trained as a puppeteer with Old Trout Puppet Workshop. She was last seen in Felix Culpa’s show Skunk’d at HIVE3. Niki is delighted to be back at the Fringe working on the Escape Artists II.

Joel Grinke- Dave

Joel Grinke is an actor, musician and producer from Vancouver.   Joel also runs (along with BC Entertainment Hall of Famer Antony Holland) a theatre company which tours plays to small communities around BC. He also teaches drama to high school students around North Vancouver.  Favourite credits include Tony N Tina’s Wedding (Hoarse Raven Theatre), Jocasta (Studio 58) and Tuesdays with Morrie (No Bells and Whistles).  Joel was pleased and astonished to graduate from Studio 58 last year, and was honoured to receive the Sydney J. Risk award for excellence in acting.

Sarah Gover-Gwen

Sarah has recently graduated from the Acting for Stage and Screen program at Capilano University, where she was featured in plays such as The Ashgirl (Ashgirl), Fefu and her Friends (Cecilia) and Medea (Chorus). There she also made her directoral debut in a One Act festival with the play One Thing. Her film credits include “Serial Charlotte,” “Vlogs” and “Every 28 days.” which has just been accepted into Toronto International Film Festival Student Showcase.
Sarah has spent the summer filming a mini web series where she features as “the drunk girl.”

Fanta Sesay: Lisha

Fanta is a recent graduate of the Acting for Stage and Screen program at Capilano University. There, she took on such roles as Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Medea. This summer she was featured in two Walking Fish Festival plays, ‘Sea of Souls’ directed by Jeff Gladstone and Paul Griggs and the ‘Anarchist Banker’ directed by Ryan Swanson and Nicole DesLauriers. Her film credits include “Wine and Change”, The Hit” and “Every 28 days” which has just been accepted into Toronto International Film Festival Student Showcase.

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