VANCOUVER, B.C. — Electric Company Theatre announced today one of its original members is returning to Vancouver to helm the organization as Artistic Director. With operations tripling in the past three years, Electric Company is a well-recognized player in Vancouver’s vibrant independent arts scene. With a combination of artistic rigour, wild imagination, and a highly collaborative creative process, Electric Company remains on the leading edge of Vancouver’s site-specific theatre movement.
"Our origins as a collective have always allowed for the company to fluidly shift in organizational models which provides for the health of the company as well as the individual members,” said Kevin Kerr. “I’m looking forward to returning to continue collaborating with my great friends, while providing an opportunity for them to have more creative space after three years of carrying the weight of leading the company so tremendously. And my family and I are so happy to be returning to the vibrant theatre community of Vancouver, a city that I love and call home."
“Kevin has remained a remarkable force within the Electric Company’s creative work and his return will make the shift of duties quite seamless,” acknowledged Karen Berkhout. Electric Company President. “Kim and Jonathon will be missed in their current roles, however, they are leaving us in good stead; their impact on what’s currently on tap and what will follow permeates the work. We look forward to the part they will continue to play in with the company, including our tours throughout this season.” Ms. Collier was recently named as a finalist for the Siminovitch Prize, Canada's largest award for theatre artists.
Mr. Kerr joins Managing Producer Nathan Medd in steering an organization that has built a national presence of late. With a number of large-scale tours on the go, the company has appeared on major stages around Canada, including three visits to Alberta in the past 18 months, and three to Ontario in four years. Electric Company was featured in three projects in the recent Cultural Olympiad: Tear the Curtain!, HIVE, and Palace Grand.
In 2010-11, the Electrics will play for a month on one of North America’s leading theatrical stages, the 1000-seat American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco (No Exit). This fall the company embarks on its second Canadian tour of Studies in Motion, ending in Toronto in November and December at Canadian Stage. Until October 10, the company is on stage in Vancouver for the world premiere of Tear the Curtain!, a hybrid film and live theatre event at the Stanley Theatre, produced by Arts Club Theatre Company in association with Electric Company. Audacious and inventive, the piece was co-written by Mr. Young and Mr. Kerr, inspired by the dual history of the Stanley as both a cinema and playhouse.
Among his accomplishments, Mr. Kerr was the recipient of a Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2002, for his play Unity (1918). In 2007 he was named as the University of Alberta’s Lee Playwright in Residence, serving a three-year term. Mr. Kerr has co-written numerous plays with Electric Company including The Wake, The Score, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Flop, The Fall, and Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla. In 2005 he co-wrote the feature-length screen adaptation of The Score for CBC Television. Between 1996 and 2007 he served as co-artistic director. Other works of Mr. Kerr’s include Skydive (Realwheels), Studies in Motion (Electric Company), and an adaptation of Pierre Berton’s children’s classic, The Secret World of Og, which premiered in Vancouver with Carousel Theatre in April 2009. His play SPINE was featured last winter in the inaugural program of SFU Woodward’s as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Originally from Kamloops, BC, Mr. Kerr studied theatre at the University of British Columbia and at Vancouver’s Studio 58 acting program. His plays have been produced across Canada, in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and France.
Electric Company receives ongoing support from the City of Vancouver, the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Vancouver Foundation, and the Eric Hamber Foundation.