Conspiracy is pleased to welcome David Mesiha as our new artistic associate. Based in Toronto, David regularly works in Vancouver.
David was a key collaborator in the creation of Foreign Radical over five years – from conception through to the recent presentation at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. As well as creating original music and sound design, he has served as live camera operator, technical director and all-around-tech genius on tour. He also worked with us on the 2013 production of Extraction.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know David as an artist, a thinker and human being,” says Conspiracy AD Tim Carlson. “He’s the ultimate collaborator: a man of wide-ranging skills and knowledge, strong opinions, great generosity and questionable sense of humour. We look forward to supporting him as the leader of a new project and in deepening his involvement in the company.”
David will be developing Same Difference, an ambitious project that seeks to challenge how we relate to ourselves and others while also challenging perception of theatrical form and storytelling through immersing audiences in a visually dynamic environment where they are thrust into the action and are one with performers. The piece examines issues of how identity, belonging and sense of self evolve through sameness and difference of those around us. The piece directly involves and is constructed from interviews and experiences of immigrants and refugees across Canada.
“I’m honoured and thrilled to have been invited to formally join Theatre Conspiracy as artistic associate," says David.
"Over the past five years I have greatly enjoyed working with the company and Artistic Producer Tim Carlson. It is an amazing opportunity to continue what has been an incredibly educational and brilliantly rewarding collaboration. I hope to be able to contribute to Conspiracy’s success and interest in creating work that challenges the norms of theatrical form and storytelling while creating multi-dimensional experiences for audiences.”
ARYO KHAKPOUR (RESIDENCY & MENTORSHIP 2016-2017)
Aryo Khakpour is a Vancouver-based multidisciplinary performer, dramaturg and director. He was born and raised in Tehran, a city of high population, extreme poetry, deadly pollution, passionate friendships and political debates. There, he read a lot of plays, bought all the theatre theory books, watched plenty of films, and took some acting classes at Samandarian Institute.
He immigrated to Canada with his parents and his brother in 2005. In Vancouver, Aryo worked for a few years in warehouses and shops, and was involved in community theatre in Coquitlam (Stage 43). Later he took classes at Methodica Acting Studio and trained in corporeal mime with Dean Fogal at Tooba Physical Theatre. Inspired by his teachers at Tooba, all SFU graduates, Aryo signed up for the journey and now holds a BFA (Honours) in Theatre Performance from Simon Fraser University. At SFU Penelope Stella, DD Kugler and Stephen Hill mentored him.
Aryo has been involved in a number of theatre, dance and film productions. Recent performances include: battery opera’s M/Hotel, Justine Chambers’ Family Dinner (Canada Dance Festival), and Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical. Aryo co-founded The Biting School with his brother Arash. The Biting School has been presented at Dancing on the Edge Festival, Dance Days Victoria, rEvolver Festival and Dance in Vancouver over the past three years.
Aryo is strongly rooted in both physical devised theatre-making that defies text and the extraordinarily powerful plays that have inspired him since the beginning of his practice. Aryo is interested in the dynamics of power, implications of ideologies, repetition of mythologies, systems of patriarchy, and adaptation of cultures, which were reflected in Silk Road, his research project produced by and created with Hong Kong Exile, on Iranian passion plays in a Canadian context.
The mentorship was made possible through a B.C. Arts Council Early Career Development grant.
MILTON LIM (RESIDENT ARTIST, 2014-2015)
Emerging theatre director and multi-disciplinary artist, Milton Lim, joined Theatre Conspiracy as artist in residence for 2014-’15. A graduate of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, Milton is co-artistic director of Hong Kong Exile (HKX), an up-and-coming interdisciplinary company he founded with choreographer Natalie Tin Yin Gan and New Music composer Remy Siu.
“As a young artist investigating socio-cultural politics in an era of globalization, it’s very exciting to see Theatre Conspiracy’s ‘eye on the world’ as they confront important global issues." Milton collaborated on and played the part of The Host in Conspiracy's award-winning show Foreign Radical.
Tim Carlson and the Conspiracy team mentored Milton in building his career and company, and offered dramaturgical assistance for HKX’s eatingthegame, which Milton directed and created with fellow emerging theatre artist, Conor Wylie. eatingthegame premiered at Club PuSh 2015 (PuSh Festival).
The residency was made possible through a generous grant from the B.C. Arts Council's Early Career Development Program.
TANYA MARQUARDT (RESIDENT ARTIST, 2013-2014)
Tanya Marquardt developed Duets for One with Conspiracy artistic director Tim Carlson, a rock-based performance adaptation of Tanya's memoir about her years as a teen runaway. Duets for One premiered at Club PuSh 2014, directed by Mallory Catlett.
JEREMY WALLER (RESIDENT ARTIST, 2011-2013)
Jeremy Waller (Craning Neck Theatre) commissioned and developed the first production of Erik Ehn’s play Monster at Chapel Arts and a new version of Waller’s show Trunk at Club PuSh 2012. His residency was made possible through a grant from Canada Council’s professional development program.
QUINN HARRIS AND JAMES FOY (RESIDENCY & MENTORSHIP, 2009-2012)
Quinn Harris and James Foy (Gasheart Theatre) co-commissioned, workshopped and produced the first English translation of Heiner Müller’s Macbeth: nach Shakespeare in association with Theatre Conspiracy. Gasheart also created and presented NAPathy as part of Progress Lab’s HIVE 3 in 2010.
Made possible through a residency and mentorship grant from City of Vancouver Cultural Services.