Festival Staff & Support – 2017


Producer — Megan Andres

img_2194Megan is a Vancouver and Winnipeg based theatre performer, director, dramaturg, and most recently playwright. Megan has a BA in Theatre from the University of Manitoba and has trained and worked with various theatre companies including Prairie Theatre Exchange, Theatre Projects Manitoba, Theatre By the River, Sarasvàti Productions, Theatre Incarnate, Tara Players and others. In Winnipeg, Megan also worked as a support worker at an assisted independent living program for people living with mental illness, a drama instructor developing workshops for ages 5 to 14, and as a storyteller at the Manitoba Museum. Megan’s plays include Fracture (produced in the 2016 Brave New Play Rites Festival), only (just)… which was nominated for the Harry Rintoule Award for Best New Manitoban Play in 2014, her one woman show Catching Shadows and Antipode. Along with producing, Megan served as director and dramaturg for the Brave New Play Rites 2016 Staged Reading Series. Megan is a second year Joint Creative Writing and Theatre MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia.

Associate Producer — Liesl Lafferty

liesl-photoAs a playwright, dramaturg and director, Liesl has largely focused on creating and presenting new Canadian works. Her plays have been performed across the country and nominated for multiple Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. She received the Larry Lillo – Jessie Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play for House, by Daniel MacIvor. Another career highlight was directing and co-writing A Town Called Hockey at the Arts Club Theatre. From 2000-2004, Liesl was the Artistic Director for Theatre Terrific Society, where she did some groundbreaking work and rescued the company from a state of disrepair. For the 2009 Toronto Fringe and the 2010 Vancouver Fringe, Liesl wrote and directed Canary, a semi-autobiographical comedy about environmental illness. In January 2015, Re-Calculating, co-written with Lucas Foss, a Realwheels Theatre commission, was produced at CBC’s Studio 700. Also in 2015, with Albert Heide, she co-wrote and performed in a piece called Red and Blue, presented by Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture at the Vancity Culture Lab. Liesl is the President of the Board of Directors for Wet Ink Collective, a group of professional theatre women writing and developing new plays. In September 2016, Liesl began her MFA in Playwriting at UBC.

Creative Writing Faculty Advisor  —  Sara Graefe

sara-graefe-oct-2015Sara Graefe teaches stage play, screenplay and television writing in the UBC Creative Writing Program. An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, her plays – which  include Sadly As I Tie My Shoes, Dreamspyre, and Yellow on Thursdays – have been produced as far afield as Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Yukon’s Nakai Theatre, Australia’s Sydney Opera House, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her new play for young audiences, Worry Wart, is currently in development with Vancouver’s Green Thumb Theatre. An alumna of UBC’s joint MFA in playwriting, Sara directed Aquarium for Brave New Play Rites 1994, written by GG award-winning poet Stephanie Bolster. She is thrilled to be back for her fourth season as Brave New faculty advisor.


Adjudicator —Ramón Esquivel  

ramon-dp5Ramón Esquivel’s plays have been produced in theatres, universities, and schools in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Austin, Seattle, Vancouver BC, and elsewhere in North America. His play Aurora premiered at Brave New Play Rites 2015, and he was a festival producer for two years. Three plays—Luna, Nasty, and Nocturnal—are published by Dramatic Publishing. Ramón works with the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a writing centre for kids and teens, and is a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre Writers Group. He is completing his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

Adjudicator — Sasha Singer-Wilson

ss-1147bSasha Singer-Wilson is a Toronto bred and Vancouver based theatre artist. A graduate of the BFA Acting Conservatory at York University and an MFA Candidate in Playwriting at UBC, Sasha has trained and worked with companies including Soulpepper, SummerWorks, One Yellow Rabbit, Jumblies, Convergence Theatre, Theatre Gargantua and Theatre Passe Muraille. She co-runs the project based theatre company the blood projects. They make immersive performances in intimate places and re-imagine traditional theatre spaces.  www.sashasingerwilson.com


Lighting Designer (Program 1) — Michael Methot

icon-sizedMichael’s theatre experience consists of a wide range of productions over a 37 year career as a professional Technical Director, Lighting Designer, live audio mixer and tour transportation manager. In taking on the varied types of events, a knowledge and capacity has been acquired that always lets him enjoy helping make something beautiful. He has designed lighting and technically directed the Walking Fish and Neanderthal Festivals, Theatre BC North Shore Festival, and for Jericho Arts Centre. He also works with several local theatre groups in the region including Spectral Theatre, United Players, Deep Cove, North Van Players and many more. Michael’s love of communication through the arts is highly defined and a collaborative style that ensures every presentation is the best it can be. He is thrilled to be teaming up with everyone involved to help bring this festival to the stage.

Lighting Designer (Program 2) — Nicole Weismiller

dsc_6802Nicole is a lighting design student at the University of British Columbia. She has worked on various productions around Vancouver including: Much Ado About Nothing (Carousel), Dry Land (Tremors Festival: Rumble), Any Night, Wit, Holy Mo (Pacific Theatre), Cats, Facing East (Fighting Chance), Eurydice (Vancouver Fringe); she has also worked with Exit 22 and the Granville Island Cultural Society. Her usual theatre home has become Granville Island and Pacific Theatre, but can be spotted around the city.


Sound Designer (Program 1) — Jessica Keenan

jessicakeenanheadshot1-fall-2016Jessica is a Vancouver based multi-disciplinary theatre artist. Jessica is an emerging designer and stage manager passionate for collaborative theatre. Select credits include Apprentice Stage Manager, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Carousel Theatre for Young People), Set and Props Design, Not So Different (Gateway Theatre), Sound Designer, The Crowd (Green Thumb Theatre & Studio 58). Jessica is a graduate of Studio 58.


Sound Designer (Program 2) — Daniel Tessy

frankenstein1945-presskitDaniel is also a lighting designer and musician. A graduate of UBC Theatre, his specialty lies in the blend between sound design and original composition. Esteemed credits in this field include Hamlet (Blackspear Productions), Iceland (Dirt Road Productions), and Herm and Gertie (Brain Apple Productions), which he also co-wrote, produced, and lit. When he’s not working on theatre, you can find him playing with local bands Tesstopia and Fuzzy P.



Festival Stage Manager  — Nicole Janisch

nicole-janischA recent graduate of the University of the Fraser Valley’s Theatre department, Nicole is a current Executive Board member for the Chilliwack Players Guild. Nicole’s recent credits include acting and set design for the new Canadian play, Liberty (Winnipeg Fringe); production manager ‘The Emerging Directors’ Showcase (UFV); assistant scenographer Twelfth Night (UFV); and stage manager Julius Caesar (UFV). Nicole is excited to be a part of the Brave New Play Rites Festival.


Festival Assistant Stage Manager — Alex Henderson

20161207_200106Alex is an actor, director and interdisciplinary artist currently completing her Bachelor of Performing Arts at Douglas College. Recent projects include Undisclosed, a performance installation in partnership with the New West New Media Gallery. She’s excited to be returning to BNPR as Assistant Stage Manager, having previously worked with the festival as a director in 2016.



Backstage Runner (Program 1)Madelaine Walker

IMG_6792_ppMadelaine has held a life-long love of theatre, and has been working backstage since high school. She has stage managed a one-act festival for the Quimera Theatre Collective, worked as a stagehand on Fighting Chance Productions’ American Idiot, and taken on various roles with several UBC Players Club productions, most recently as a director for their one act festival. She looks forward to graduating in May and working more in the Vancouver theatre community, especially with her newfound love of directing. Ask her about Dungeons and Dragons.

Backstage Runner (Program 2)Olivia Etey

etey_olivia_-headshotOlivia Etey is a fifth year UBC student double majoring in Creative Writing and English Honours. Her produced works include Foreplay (2015), The Midnight Serenade (2015) and Living on the Grid (2016) which debuted at Vancouver’s FRINGE Festival as part of Only Animal’s Generation Hot Series. Last year, Oliva was the backstage runner for Brave New and had the amazing opportunity to eavesdrop on all the plays. She is ecstatic to join the festival again this year!


If you are interested in getting involved with Brave New 2017 please email bravenewplayrites@gmail.com