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 is made possible through a BC Arts Council Early Career Development grant.
MILTON LIM (RESIDENT ARTIST 2014-2015)
Emerging theatre director and multi-disciplinary artist, Milton Lim recently joined Theatre Conspiracy as artist in residence for 2014-’15. A recent 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. I look forward to collaborating on Foreign Radical, becoming a better integrated part of the team, and being exposed to the creation process of a successful theatre company, which I will be able to immediately put to practice in my own projects. I’m very excited to be joining the team as Conspiracy’s artist-in-residence and I have no doubt that we have many exciting things to offer one another for the coming year and beyond.”
Along with mentorship from Tim Carlson and the Conspiracy team as he builds his career and company in the next year, we are offering dramaturgical assistance for HKX’s eatingthegame, which Milton is directing and creating with fellow emerging theatre artist, Conor Wylie.
“I’ve been having an excellent ongoing conversation and a lot of laughs with Milton over the past year as I got to know him through his volunteer work with Conspiracy on Secret Spaces and Extraction,” says Carlson. “It’s a pleasure to have his talent and insight in the room as an actor and creative mind on the development of Foreign Radical and the HKX perspective has a lot in common with Conspiracy’s worldview.”
Hong Kong Exile creates theatrical, experimental work inspired by cultural politics in an era of globalization. HKX aims to be an internationally engaged arts company, to produce vital and innovative work locally and globally, and to connect and question Eastern and Western traditions. The company investigates: The relationship between the “East” and the “West”; Chinese identity within a Canadian context; the formal and aesthetic traditions within Dance, Theatre, and New Music.
The residency is made possible through a generous grant from the B.C. Arts Councils’ Early Career Development Program.
TANYA MARQUARDT (RESIDENT ARTIST 2013-2014)
Tanya Marquardt developed Duets for One with Conspiracy artistic director Tim Carlson. Presented at Club PuSh, 2014.
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. 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 Shakespearein 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.