FemFest 2016: Transformation
Artist and Production Bios

Learn more about the talented artists and production team members of FemFest 2016. We’re featuring both local and national artists! We will continue to add biographical info as additional artists are confirmed but for now check out FemFest 2016 Bios:


Amy Nostbakken (Co-director, Artist, Mouthpiece)
Co-artistic director of Quote Unquote Collective and a core member of the international company Theatre Ad Infinitum. An award-winning playwright, performer and musician now based in Toronto, Amy graduated from Concordia University with a degree in Theatre Studies followed by two years at École Internationale de Théatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She has created numerous award-winning productions including the one-woman show, which she composed and performs The Big Smoke – Edinburgh 2011 followed by a three-month national tour of the UK and a North American debut at Factory Theatre. The Big Smoke was the winner of an Argus Angel Award, a Dora nomination for Outstanding Performance, Best Female Performer in Latest 7 Magazine UK and picked up the award for Best International show at the Solo United Festival award in New York City 2015. Since returning to Canada Amy has co-devised Everyday is a beautiful day/nichi nichi kore ko nichi (Cohort Theatre/ Rhubarb Festival 2012), performed in Erin Shield’s Barrel Crank (SummerWorks 2012) and Philip Mckee’s LEAR (Harbourfront’s World Stage 2013/Magnetic North 2014). She co-devised Ad Infinitum’s multi-award winning Ballad of the Burning Star which has toured all over the world including two National UK tours and a stop at Theatre Centre in Toronto. Amy directed, co-wrote, composed and performs in Mouthpiece, which premiered at The Theatre Centre 2015. Mouthpiece receive six Dora nominations and won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, and Outstanding Sound Composition/Design. Recently Mouthpiece began a Canadian National tour with stops in Dawson City, Whitehorse, Edmonton and Ottawa and will continue in January with performances in Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, California and a second run in Toronto this October. Currently Amy is developing Ad Infinitum’s Bucket List to premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and Quote Unquote’s next show – an all female Rock opera. Amy teaches theatre for both adults and young people and runs Master Classes for industry professionals.

Norah Sadava (Co-director, Artist, Mouthpiece)
Co-artistic director of Quote Unquote Collective, is a Toronto-based actor and creator with a background in devised physical theatre. A graduate of the MFA program at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California, she has been involved in the writing and creation of new work with numerous companies both in Canada and internationally. Upon completion of her MFA, Norah co-founded The Hinterlands Ensemble in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With The Hinterlands she co-wrote the acclaimed party/play Isaac Newton is Our DJ, and Manifest Destiny! (There was blood on the saddle). From there she moved to New York, where she collaborated with several companies including Mud/Bone Collective as a co-writer on Star Alarm, TeatroIATI on La Strada, and interned with PunchDrunk’s immersive smash it Sleep No More. Norah then went on to tour as a performer in Italy with Caravan Stage Theatre’s Uprising! and finally returned to Canada where she began to collaborate with several Toronto-based companies. Norah has assisted in co-creating 5-time Dora nominated The Double with BadNewDays (co-produced with the Tarragon Theatre, Toronto ON), Dora nominated The Tale of a T-Shirt with FIXTPoint Theatre (Toronto, ON), Bloody Family with Philip McKee (in association with The Theatre Centre, Toronto ON), The Stranger with DopoLavoro Teatrale (Summerworks 2014) and the Tale of a Town London and Ottawa with FIXTPoint Theatre. Norah co-wrote, created and performed in Mouthpiece which premiered at The Theatre Centre April 2015. Mouthpiece receive six Dora nominations and won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, and Outstanding Sound Composition/Design. Recently Mouthpiece began a Canadian National tour with stops in Dawson City, Whitehorse, Edmonton and Ottawa and will continue in January with performances in Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, California and a second run in Toronto this October. Currently Norah is developing Quote Unquote’s next show – an all female Rock opera. She also teaches music and movement for performers, and is a registered Yoga teacher.

Miss Understood

Carmen Alatorre (Costume Designer, Miss Understood)
Originally from Mexico City, Carmen Alatorre earned her MFA degree in Theatre Design at UBC and has worked as a theatre designer in Vancouver since 2006. Some of her local recent design credits include: Stickboy (Vancouver Opera); The King and I and Crazy For You (Gateway Theatre); The Tragical Comedy of Punch and Judy (Caravan Farm Theatre); Killer Joe and The Competition is Fierce (ITSAZOO); and Driving Miss Daisy (Arts Club). Carmen is a proud member of Associated Designers of Canada. See more of her work at

Candelario Andrade (Videographer, Miss Understood)
Born and raised in México, Candelario Andrade has a BA in Communication Sciences from the Universidad de La Salle and has studied Montage at the International School of TV and Film in Cuba. With more than 10 years of professional experience working in comics, radio broadcasting, and video, he has developed a special interest in designing and mixing visuals for performance in music, dance, and theatre. In Canada, Candelario collaborates with companies such as Theatre Replacement, Neworld Theatre, Rumble Productions, Leaky Heaven Circus and Theatre Conspiracy, mostly as a video designer. He also co-founded Rough House with Camille Gingras, and produced and designed Tiny Apocalypse (Tremors, Rumble’s Festival of Emerging Arts 2008). As a VJ, he has mixed visuals for Spoken World (International Writers Festival), nintendo-punk band Times Neue Roman and Ice Hockey: Canada vs. Sweden (International Jazz Festival). Sound design credits include numerous productions in México with San Banquito (for which he collaborated for 5 years) sound for video and interactive projects as well as La Luna Productions’ Stripped series I, II and III.
Malcolm Noel Dow (Sound Design and Composition, Miss Understood)
Malcolm Noel Dow has toured and recorded with bands, and also has a successful career as a Composer and Sound Designer for theatre. In 2010 Malcolm received a Jessie Award for shared composition in The Arts Club’s The Graduate (Best Original Score, Large Theatre). Since then he has worked on several different shows for different Vancouver theatre companies, expanding his resume and connections.

Noam Gagnon (Choreographer, Miss Understood)
Noam Gagnon is an acclaimed dance artist who, over the course of his career, has helped push Canadian dance into the forefront of international stage. For 16 years Noam was the Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of The Holy Body Tattoo. Now the Artistic Director of Vision Impure, which he founded in 2006, Noam continues to reshape the dance landscape with his achingly intimate and powerful works. For Vision Impure, Noam has created several full-length works including Thank You, You’re Not Welcome and The Vision Impure (winner of The Isadora Award for Excellence in Performance). Noam is regularly commissioned by dance artists and companies to create works, and has collaborated with such celebrated artists as Nigel Charnock, Daniel Léveillé, The Tiger Lillies, Steven Gilmore and William Morrison. Noam is an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre. He is also the Director of Noam Gagnon’s Wellness Center/Beyond Pilates Inc.

Dorothy Jenkins (Stage Manager, Miss Understood)
Dorothy Jenkins has worked as a stage manager for many years, in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and in the UK. She has toured across Canada several times with shows from many different theatre companies. This is her third show with the frank theatre company and she is delighted to be travelling with Miss Understood and taking part in FemFest.

Bryan Kenney (Set & Lighting Designer, Miss Understood)
Bryan Kenney is a Vancouver-based set and lighting designer originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has a strong foundation in technical theatre, where he worked first as a technician and a technical director. In 2008 he received his BA in Technical Scenography from Dalhousie University. In May of 2012 he graduated with an MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Victoria. At UVic he designed the lighting for the world premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s play, Inside, directed by Dora-winner David Ferry. Recently he designed the set and lighting for UVic’s remount of The Marowitz Hamlet, directed by Charles Marowitz himself. His other accomplishments include light designing the entire 2011/12 season at UVic and light designing Belfry Theatre’s world premiere of Michelle Riml’s on the edge in January 2012.

Antonette Rea (Playwright & Performer, Miss Understood)
Antonette Rea is a spoken word poet who has shared her work in various literary magazines, chapbooks and performance poetry. She has performed at poetry slams since 2008, and her poem Free Me From Anxiety won the 2009 Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree Writing Contest. She has recently compiled a manuscript of 86 of her poems and is seeking a publisher. She is part of the Thursdays Writing Collective – a group of writers from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, that Geist magazine has called “the biggest, boldest, and by far the most vital conspiracy of writers operating in Vancouver at present”. Antonette was recently the subject of Gwen Haworth’s documentary A Woman with a Past, currently on the international film fest circuit.

James Fagan Tait (Director & Playright, Miss Understood)
James Fagan Tait is a director, actor, and playwright. He directed his own adaptations of The Idiot (Neworld/VMT/UBC/PuSh), The Life Inside (The Belfry), Cyrano (The Arts Club), Old Goriot (Western Gold/PuSh/UBC), A Christmas Carol (The Vancouver Playhouse) and Crime and Punishment (Critics’ Innovation Award. Neworld/VMT/PuSh). He directed King Lear and Timon of Athens at Bard on the Beach and wrote Vassily the Luckless (Critic’s Innovation Award), The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces and Quasimodo for Boca Del Lupo. He has been nominated for 16 Jessie Richardson Awards as an actor, director, or playwright and has won two. He most recently acted in The Electric Company’s Tear the Curtain at The Arts Club and at Canadian Stage in Toronto. He studied acting and theatre at Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto and Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and singing and music at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Starlise Waschuk (Performer, Miss Understood)
Starlise Waschuk graduated from RDC in Alberta with a Theatre Diploma and a Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts. As she was allergic to all those horses on western sets, Starlise had to move to the gorgeous west coast – tough break. Starlise produce/acts/choreographs short films, web-series, theatre and is very active in the indie film scene. Her recent theatre roles include Meredith in “Five Women Wearing The Same Dress”, Natalie in “Where’s My Money”, and Ophelia in “Hamlet”. Starlise is in awe of the beautiful poetry written by Antonette, and just adores the entire “Miss Understood” family.

Morro and Jasp do Puberty

Heather Marie Annis (Playwright & Performer, Morro and Jasp do Puberty)
Heather is an actor, playwright, producer, theatrical and therapeutic clown, Co-Artistic Director of U.N.I.T. Productions, and “Morro” of the Dora Award and Canadian Comedy Award winning clown duo Morro and Jasp.
Heather has been writer in residence at Factory Theatre and Mixed Company Theatre as well as part of the Thundering Voices playwriting unit at Native Earth Performing Arts. Recent performing credits include the premier of Morro and Jasp: 9-5 (Factory Theatre), Emily’s Piano (Young Peoples Theatre), The Money Tree (Dora Nominated for Best Ensemble) (Roseneath), and Saving Hope (CTV).

Amy Lee (Playwright & Performer, Morro and Jasp do Puberty)
Amy is a Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based performer, playwright, producer and educator. She is Co-Artistic Director of Up your Nose and In your Toes (U.N.I.T.) Productions and plays Jasp in the Dora Award and Canadian Comedy Award-winning clown duo Morro and Jasp. She has performed with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and WJT and grew up in the classrooms of MTYP. She often collaborates as an actor or assistant director with Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Columbus, and Carousel Players. She was a writer-in-residence at Factory Theatre, and works as a Resident Artist Educator at YPT. Thanks to Mom and Dad for being the best.

Byron Laviolette (Director, Morro and Jasp do Puberty)
Byron is the director and dramaturg for the Dora award-winning Morro and Jasp clown series with U.N.I.T. Productions. He is also the Creative Director of The Mission Business, the Digi award-winning experience design agency whose clients include Microsoft, Autodesk, Starbucks and NASA. Byron hold a Ph. D. in Interactivity and Play Theory from York University. “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” – Willy Wonka

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