It is with great urgency that our present culture needs the live experience to connect, question and remember why we are alive. SpeakEasy Theatre is committed to creating an environment where communities come together to celebrate around subject matter that is necessary. We are driven to foster stories created by diverse artists who are immediate, honest and unforgiving.
In 2012, Markian Tarasiuk, Mike Gill, Olivia Hutt and Tom Krushkowski met at the acting training program at Studio 58 in Vancouver, BC. The four spent nearly three years together at the school collaborating and working closely with one another. After their graduation in 2014, the group wanted to continue their artistic relationship, which, in the late stages of 2014 became SpeakEasy Theatre Company Society.
With an initial self-funding campaign, the company began to grow and fulfill its artistic mandate. SpeakEasy Theatre launched its programming with 3…2…1, directed by Kayvon Khoshkam. The show played to audiences in Winnipeg and Vancouver, garnering critical praise. Vancouver presents said “Perhaps it is Tarasiuk, Krushkowski, and Kelly’s real-life upbringing on the Prairies that helps keep the intensity grounded, and in making Clint and Kyle real... It is, at times, as uncomfortable as it is compelling.” And with a five star review, the Winnipeg Free Press called 3…2…1 “Riveting”.
After working together on 3…2…1, the working partnership between Kayvon Khoshkam, and SpeakEasy Theatre began to grow. Kayvon, the Artistic Director of Sum Theatre, teamed up with the company to produce the Fifth Annual Pull Festival: Vancouver’s 10-minute play festival. The fifth installment of the festival played at Studio 1398 in the spring of 2016. Soon after, SpeakEasy Theatre named Kayvon the new Artistic Director of the company. With the amalgamation of Sum and SpeakEasy Theatre, its creative team has a wealth of performance and producing experience including the cross Canada tour of the Jessie award nominated My Rabbi by Kayvon Khoshkam and Joel Burnbaum. SpeakEasy has continued to bring exciting events and productions to the Vancouver stages including The Shipment by Young Jean Lee: A Reading (October 2016), A Workshop of the Studio 58 Fourplay Festival hit: The Classroom by Markian Tarasiuk (November 2017) and the wildly popular Alternative Facts: Untruth Your Learning (February 2017). In March of 2017, SpeakEasy Theatre produced the seventh annual Pull Festival at Little Mountain Gallery and will continue to produce the annual play festival for years to come. In the fall of 2017, SpeakEasy Theatre produced Young Jean Lee’s provocative play: The Shipment. The Shipment ran to completely sell out audiences at the Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch from Nov 22- Dec 2, 2017. Critics and audiences were enamoured with the production. Colin Thomas said: “We should all thank Speakeasy Theatre for bringing this cutting-edge script to Vancouver and for giving The Shipment such a solid production.” The show has gathered five Jessie Richardson Award Nominations including Outstanding Small Theatre Production, Outstanding Direction ( Omari Newton & Kayvon Kshokam), Outstanding Actor (Omari Newton), Outstanding Costume Design (Markian Tarasiuk) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Itai Erdel). SpeakEasy has plans to remount the production in 2019.
SpeakEasy Theatre will be producing two world premieres this upcoming season: Markian Tarasiuk's The Classroom in the fall of 2018 at The Cultch and Meghan Gardiner's Gross Misconduct at The Gateway Theatre in March 2019.