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About

Theatre Terrific

Theatre Terrific pioneers inclusive opportunities for artists of all abilities to develop performance skills and collaborate in the production of theatrical works. Through its work, Theatre Terrific challenges audiences to be open to the impact of thought provoking art.

All of Theatre Terrific’s classes, workshops, community, and professional productions are made up of people of all colors, abilities, genders, and backgrounds. This means that at any given time, a cast or class may include people who may have mental health issues, developmental challenges, physical challenges, or simply practicing actors who want to learn new methods of inclusive theatre development.

 

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Our History

Theatre Terrific is Western Canada’s longest running inclusive theatre company, established in 1985. It has undergone numerous transformations through the decades. Presently, the company operates out of an office in the Woodwards Heritage Building at 111 Hasting Street in Vancouver, centrally the company serves as a portal into professional theatre performance for artists of all abilities. What this means is that those who may have difficulties fitting into the curriculum or requirements of a post-secondary theatre school can find rigorous, risky and demanding voice, movement and ensemble theatre work with Theatre Terrific. Regular classes and workshops are led by practicing professionals throughout the Lower Mainland and also provincially in Kelowna, Powell River, Prince George and beyond. The company has also produced over thirty Vancouver Fringe Festival productions and seven large cast site-specific works. Theatre Terrific has shown works in London England, workshops in Barcelona Spain, all across Canada including Alberta, Toronto, Maritimes, and of course, British Columbia. These productions serve as a conduit for those wishing to pursue professional work. Also the work explored in these inclusive collaborative theatre works brings to light innovative processes, methods and means that would otherwise never find expression in traditional theatre practice. That said, Theatre Terrific has developed a reputation for its demanding and yet accessible inclusive cast production.

 

Theatre Terrific has produced professional productions that address a wide swath of universal issues; often with tongue in cheek, song, surreal set-up and never a straight paved road but rather the bumpy risky goat trail. Topics have encompassed everything from sex, to myth, to belief systems, to unique friendships and families. Performances have taken place throughout the Lower Mainland, in local theatre setting, parks, on the street, province wide, and as far as Warwick, England.

Recent Awards

Nominated for Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition, 2020

Angelo Moroni and Mary Jane Paquette were nominated by the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for Outstanding Sound Design or Original Theatre Composition, Small Theatre for their work on Theatre Terrific's production of HELLO. 

Finalist- Artistic Risk Award, 2018

The Vancouver Fringe's Board of Directors awards this prize for risk-taking in Fringe theatre to the artist or group of artists who best pushes the boundaries of theatre.

Nightswimming Pure Research Award, 2011

to Susanna Uchatius and James Coomber under the banner of Theatre Terrific by Nightswimming, Toronto and SFU School for Contemporary Arts in order to support inclusive voice exploration.  The subsequent online publication of Experiencing Sprechgesang  – Theatre’s Forgotten Instrument online at Nightswimming: Pure Research Archive.   

Inclusion Through Innovation Award, 2013

Celebrating diversity, innovation, equality and accessibility in Metro Vancouver BC was awarded to Artistic Director Susanna Uchatius for the inclusive theatre practice lived and produced by Theatre Terrific.

 

EGNI’S EYE, 2014

Professional production was chosen by the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick for scene presentation at the International Federation of Theatre Research International Conference.

 

Jessie Nomination, 2016

Theatre Terrific - NOW Representation and Inclusion Award – For persistent and ongoing commitment to inclusive casting and creative processes. One of five finalists.

Our Team

Susanna Uchatius- Artistic Director (retired)

Susanna Uchatius has worked for over 35 years directing, writing, acting and teaching theatre. Her theatre BFA is from SFU School for Contemporary Arts, voice at the Banff Centre for the Arts with Richard Armstrong, the UBC National Voice Intensive, and work with Anne Bogart of Siti Theatre NY to name a few.  She is an Equity, CAEA member and also a member of IFTR (International Federation of Theatre Research). Susanna has been the Artistic Director of Theatre Terrific, Western Canada’s longest running inclusive theatre company for artists of all abilities in Vancouver, since 2005. She has written, directed and collaboratively developed over 22 professional, community and site-specific productions. She has pioneered an accessible respectful, rigorous and risk-taking theatre ensemble process, that collaboratively includes Equity and emerging actors of all abilities in the creation of high quality productions that take on universal human issues.  Professional productions include, Naked Oranges, doGs, Dirty White, The Secret Son, The Glass Box, Egni’s Eye, I Love Mondays, HELLO and Being With: ELDERS.   Vancouver Fringe Festival productions include All Sorts, Waiting for Go., Slowrunning, workin’,Ugly, Wordwear, Pantaloon’s Pawnshop, A Truck Full of Chickens, Portraits, Stuffed, Breath-Ahhh and also site specific works with large puppetry such as BEING ANIMAL and Hidden Stories; which were also performed in the Heart of the City Festival. Partnering with Vancouver Parks Board, Susanna collaboratively directed and wrote the large cast site specific musical works The Bread Project and WATER.  She directed the groundbreaking DTES Opera Condemned for the Heart of the City Festival. She received the Nightswimming Pure Research Award for voice exploration, Metro Vancouver Inclusion Through Innovation Award and the company was nominated for a Jessie for Vancouver NOW 2016 “For persistent and ongoing commitment to inclusive casting and creative processes.” Theatre Terrific’s professional production of The Glass Box was published in Playwrights Canada Press and scenes from Egni’s Eye were juried to perform in the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick. Susanna continues to collaboratively create inclusive theatre that  supports the voices, unique perceptions and stories of humanity in all it’s diverse mosaic wonder.  

Bill Beauregarde- Artist in Residence

Bill Beauregarde is a Cree/Métis/ artist from the Enoch Nation who has been a practicing theatre artist and technician since his youth. His technical skills include creative set design, detailed mask making in multiple forms, puppet construction and engineering, First Nations drum making, woodcarving skills and teaching in clown, stilt walking and mask. He was based in Alberta, with Green Fools Theatre working on many productions including Dancing on Water and ISIS: to name a couple. He also worked as set designer/technical /puppet creator for Old Trout Puppets Co. touring Famous Puppet Death Scenes. He did technical and set design for numerous companies including the Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Alberta Lyric Theatre’s flagship production Love According to John at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and many other’s such as: Edmonton Opera, Loose Moose Theatre Company, Alberta Theatre Projects, Stage West Theatre, the Cirque Du Soleil, Ghost River Theatre to name a few.

 

He has studied with Jacques Lecoq at Ecole nationale de cirque in Montreal and Dean Bearham in Calgary. He moved to Vancouver from Calgary Alberta in 2011 and since then has worked with Heart of the City Festival, Theatre Terrific in set design and puppet construction along with applying his talent as Coordinator of cultural and community programs for the Aboriginal Front Door Society in Vancouver.

Angelo Moroni- Artist in Residence

Angelo has been practicing and exploring the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) for 15 years, and trained with Theatre for Living. He studied classical theatre at UNAM University, Mexico City, 2008. Angelo has adapted the techniques of TO for children focusing on social skills and creative expression; including, working with the mentally diverse and the visually impaired communities. He has given extensive workshops in Mexico City and Vancouver - facilitating TO to kids, teens, adults/seniors and Newcomers living Canada at Neighbourhood Houses, Community Centers, and with a variety of Universities and organizations; which include, Amnesty International, UBC and SFU. As an actor/performer/musician he has collaborated with an array of theatre, modern dance and performance artists and companies in Mexico and in Vancouver. He also has credits as a musician/composer in 6 CD productions of Jazzorca Records. He has co-designed a children's program that focuses social skills, problem solving and creative expression at Kitshouse. Plus, he currently collaborates with Theatre Terrific as a musician/composer. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of SITE Theatre, and has presented original work at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (2017), Museum of Anthropology, UBC (2017) and the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza (2018).Plus, Angelo has finished his studies in Addictions Counselling (VCC, 2018). Lastly, he continues giving Theatre of the Oppressed workshops to help community members find solutions to difficult social issues. Burnaby Family Life (April/Sept. 2018), Cross Border Conference (2018).

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Cheryl Olvera- Artist in Residence

Cheryl Olvera is a Vancouver-based vocalist, choral teacher, voice coach, and composer. She holds a Music Diploma in Voice Performance from Red Deer College, AB and a BFA Music Composition degree at SFU. She has taught previous choral classes for Theatre Terrific and also worked on their collaborative 2018 Fringe show Roy & Janet. Cheryl has dabbled in performing many genres—from opera to electronica—and is currently into writing musical theatre and short film scores. In addition to music, Cheryl has a multitude of interests including drinking coffee, sewing and designing clothes, making jewelry, baking layer cakes, and running marathons.

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Kevin Jesuino- Artist in Residence

Kevin Jesuino is a first-generation settler multi-disciplinary performer, director, educator, movement coach, arts facilitator, LGBTQ+ activist, and community organizer of Portuguese heritage. His work is oftentimes collaborative, site-specific, participatory, and process-oriented. His practice explores relationality, the stories within our bodies, and the queer joy of uncertainty. He draws from research in queer performance, queer ecology, body memory, improvisation, community & participatory art practices, placemaking, and site adaptive/responsive performance.  His community-embedded projects engage participants in performative actions, discussions, creative interventions, activations, and other forms of organizing.This is Kevin’s debut with Theatre Terrific. For more information about Kevin please visit www.kevinjesuino.com 

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Laen Hershler- Artist in Residence

Laen Hershler is a second-generation Jewish settler to Vancouver who grew up attuned to the rhythms of the stal̕əw̓ (Fraser River) and the dense forests of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. His formative years in these landscapes have infused his work with a spirit of exploration and reverence for diverse narratives. Laen's work is deeply influenced by his years in collective creation, forum theatre, and playback theatre. His aim is to craft performances that are not only aesthetically evocative and intellectually provocative but also infused with a passion for innovation and pushing beyond the traditional boundaries of theatre. A proponent of radically inclusive practices, he views theatre not merely as entertainment but as a potent force for social change and understanding. Laen's expertise has been shared on national and international stages, and through development workshops that leverage theatre's transformative power. His recent work includes REMNANTS (2023), a one-man show based on Holocaust survivor stories; Alone in the Ring (2020-2023), co-created to explore the lives of health professionals with disabilities; and Don’t Rock the Boat (2020) a play he directed that delves into student-supervisor relationships. Laen has been a recurring sessional instructor at UBC, teaching performance and theatre education since 2011. He recently began his doctoral studies in Research-Based Theatre at UBC. Laen is also honored to have spent five years as an artist in residence at Theatre Terrific, where he has taught theatre creation classes and collaborated on numerous productions.

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Christian Ching- Resident Production Manager

Christian Ching is an emerging producer, lighting designer, and scenographer with interest in design and biological systems. He is a graduate of Simon Fraser University (2021) with a double degree in Theatre Production and Design and the Biological Sciences. Originally from the Philippines, he is currently based in the unceded Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations (also known as Vancouver) and works in theatre, dance, and interdisciplinary work. His practice aims to revolve around collaboration and consider ecological aspects of design. In his free time, he likes to run RPGs, draw, and make music.

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Johanne Ascoli- Managing Director

Johanne Ascoli is an expressive arts therapist and facilitator (https://expressyourheart.com/). She joined Theatre Terrific in May 2023. She brings over twenty years of experience managing organizations and projects, big and small. Before becoming an expressive arts therapist, she worked at various levels of government - federal and provincial - as a strategic public policy advisor and analyst. She also worked as chief of staff and legislative advisor in the NDP Opposition in Ottawa for several years. She managed election campaigns and events, worked in central budget agencies, on grants from both the funder and funded perspective, and in service of survivors of violent crimes with the BC government. Originally from Montreal, ancestral land of the Kanyen'kehà:ka, she currently works on the ancestral Coast Salish territories stolen from the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations (also known as Vancouver) and shares her time between those lands and those of the Cheam, Sts’ailes, Sq’éwlets and Seabird Island people where she resides at Abundance Community Farm.

Board Members

Bill Archer- President


Bill has been involved in music for much of his life. He performed in the orchestra for several productions in greater Vancouver and still finds time to write his own music for the piano. Although drawn to the performing arts, Bill focused his attention on business and technology and currently works full time in marketing and strategy for TELUS. Bill uses the MBA he obtained at Royal Roads University, along with his love of the arts, and his business experience, to help manage the challenges of running an arts organization. Having been involved with Theatre Terrific since 2014, Bill remains as committed and excited as ever to contribute to the growth and sustainability of this wonderful organization.

Agnes Choy- Treasurer (former)


Agnes Choy is a Chartered Professional Accountant who has worked with small to medium size businesses in the past 20 years. She takes pride in her track record of reliability and integrity throughout her career. In addition to offering her expertise in Finance and Accounting as a Financial Controller; her leadership role lends her in guiding and overseeing numerous Accounting and Operational systems integration and implementation projects to their successful on-time, on-budget completion. Agnes has been well recognized by her colleagues and direct reports as an outstanding team player and mentor. Outside of her professional career, she finds personal fulfillment in volunteering her time with diverse groups and cultures.

Seema Tripathi- Secretary

Seema Tripathi is the Director of Employment and Innovative Services with UNITI, a not for profit organization which empowers and supports people with diversabilities in all spheres of life. Seema holds a Masters degree in Social Sciences with specialization in Urban and Rural community Development.

Seema has extensive experience and knowledge in the field of community service and continues to work passionately towards empowering people to have control and choice in their lives, helping them to have a spectrum of experiences which would help them to have a richer and fuller life.

Having raised her two daughters into beautiful, intelligent and independent women, Seema now has the time to dedicate to do more meaningful work in the community. She enjoys good music and very often one would find her busy trying out something fancy in the kitchen or enjoying a cup of coffee reading a book!

Adrienne Dodge- Director at Large
 

Adrienne came to Theatre Terrific Society in 2007 when we were still located at Jericho Arts Centre as an administrative support volunteer. She continued volunteering for the society until 2014 and eventually became a member of the board. She remembers holding board meetings in peoples' homes fostering community and friendship as the society grew and eventually moved into the 'new' office at the Woodward's Centre in the heart of downtown. Her favourite productions are the outdoor shows The Water Project and Being Animal. Adrienne is excited to return to Theatre Terrific as a member of the Marketing Committee and Board Member at Large in 2021. She looks forward to checking out the next Theatre Terrific project, and maybe even taking a workshop.

Anne Hamilton- Director at Large
 

Anne joined the Board of the Theatre Terrific Society in November 2023. Now semi-retired, Anne brings a unique combination of experiences from across many industries such as: healthcare, community services, TV and film production, technology, marketing, communications and fundraising. Whether as a Founding Board member, key leadership volunteer or as a senior employee - Anne could always be counted on for her clarity, creativity, tenacity and putting her shoulder to the wheel. Anne lives in Maple Ridge with her neuro-diverse daughter. She enjoys crafting, cultural explorations, holistic healing, creative writing, and is fascinated by the natural world. She says of Theatre Terrific, ”I am deeply moved to see the level of engagement, social development and pure enjoyment that class participants experience; and I have great admiration for the skills of the Creative Team. I’m very glad to be joining the crew!”

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