the team

kayvon khoshkam

Artistic Director

Kayvon Khoshkam is an Iranian/Irish-Canadian, born and raised in Saskatoon, SK. He graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts with a focus on playwriting. In 2010 himself and Joel Bernbaum started Sum Theatre, and began work on their play My Rabbi, working closely with Michael Shemata in its development. They would eventually take this piece on an international tour including the Edinburgh Fringe, and garner nominations in multiple cities. In 2012 Joel Bernbaum moved to Saskatoon and opened the Saskatoon chapter of Sum Theatre, while Kayvon launched the Pull Festival with the Vancouver chapter. Pull Festival is a ten-minute play festival which fosters new work, and emerging artists; it is going into its 8th year running. Kayvon remains an active performer in Vancouver and across Canada, and he has been nominated five times in the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for his work over the years. In 2015 Kayvon was selected as the only British Columbian member of the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting ensemble. In that time he had the opportunity to work closely with this countries leading artists. In 2016 Kayvon dissolved Sum Theatre (Vancouver) in order to take over as Artistic Director of Speakeasy Theatre.

markian tarasiuk

General Manager

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Markian moved to Vancouver to study in the acting program at Studio 58. It is here that he met his classmates Mike Gill, Olivia Hutt and Tom Krushkowski. Together they formed SpeakEasy Theatre in early 2015. SpeakEasy Theatre premiered its inaugural production of  Chris Craddock's and Nathan Cuckow's "3...2...1" to high praise at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Following that run, the show made its premiere in Vancouver in November of 2015. Fun! Fun! Vancouver! stated "SpeakEasy Theatre Explodes onto the Vancouver theatre scene" and Vancouverscape said: "You're in for a roller coaster ride here as Tarasiuk & Kruskowski are highly talented young actors on the rise". In 2016, Markian stepped down as Artistic Director of SpeakEasy Theatre and now remains with the company as General Manager and Producer. Markian has been the lead producer of Pull Festival since Pull Festival V and most recently SpeakEasy’s hit production of The Shipment. Markian was also the publisher and designer of The Pull Festival Anthology Vol.1. Outside of producing theatre, Markian has been seen on stages across the country. Selected Theatre: Billy Elliot (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre) 3...2...1 (SpeakEasy Theatre), Vincent River (Osimous Theatre), Scratch (Theatre Plexus), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kosmic Mambo, Innocence Lost, Grease, Karaoke the Musical (Studio 58), A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Footloose, The Full Monty (Rainbow Stage), Spring Awakening (Winnipeg Studio Theatre), Over the Tavern (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). Film/Tv: The Murders (CityTV), Take Two (ABC), The Magicians (SyFy), Project Mc2 (Netflix), Shut Eye (Hulu), Status Update (Brightlight, Voltage), Britney Forever After (Lifetime), A Time to Dance (Hallmark), iZombie (The CW), The Terry Sawchuk Origin Story (Boomtalk Prod.), Bunks (Disney).

mike gill

Artistic Associate

Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Mike is a Vancouver based actor and producer and a graduate of Studio 58. Mike has worked with several companies throughout his career including Arts Club, Caravan Farm Theatre, Firehall arts centre, Green Thumb Theatre, Carousel Theatre, Presentation House, as well as Curtain Razors and The Globe Theatre in Regina. New work is what excites him and in the past he has been part of the creation process for such shows as A Date With the Night (Globe Theatre), Old Man and the Sea (Studio 58), and most recently Carmen Angel (Curtain Razors). With SpeakEasy Theatre, Mike’s most passionate about the yearly production of the Pull Festival and the thrilling work of the emerging artists involved.

olivia hutt

Artistic Associate

Olivia is originally from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and hold a bachelor of Arts in the Social Sciences at Western University and is a graduate of Studio 58. Olivia’s roles at Studio 58 include Isabelle LeBourdais, of Innocence Lost, the world premier of Kosmic Mambo, Oklahoma! and Elbow Room Café: The Musical. Olivia is a Studio 58 scholarship recipient of the Earl Klein Scholarship (2014), the Antony Holland Scholarship (2015), as well as a English Theatre nominee for the Hnatyshyn Foundation “Young Artist Grant” (2014). Past Credits: Jeeves Intervenes (Chemainus Festival), the world premiere of Still/Falling (Green Thumb Theatre).

omari newton

Community and Diversity Co-Ordinator & Artistic Associate

Montreal-born artist Omari Newton is a professional actor, writer, poet and MC whose work can be seen on television, film and stage or heard on CBC and independent radio. His stage work in Québec has earned him a number of favorable reviews and awards. Some career highlights include a best supporting actor nomination for his work in the Centaur Theatre’s production of Joe Penhal’s Blue Orange (soirée des masques). The play also went on to win best English language production. He is a Graduate of Concordia University’s Communication Studies and the recipient of a DEC from John Abbott College’s Liberal arts program. Acting credits include Aaron in Vancouver’s Bard On The Beach Shakespeare festival. Television roles include Lucas Ingram on the Showcase hit Continuum, Larry Summers on Blue Mountain State (Spike TV) and Remy on CBC/ABC’s sitcom Sophie. His original Play Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and numerous productions, including this upcoming presentation at the National Arts Centre in 2018. He has been commissioned by Black Theatre Workshop to write a companion piece, Black & Blue Matters, a Hip Hop Musical that deals with police brutality from the POV of a black female police officer and her male Jewish partner implicated in the shooting of an unarmed black man.

Pippa Mackie

Writer in Residence

Pippa Mackie is an award-winning Vancouver based actor, writer and producer. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada’s Acting Program in 2009, Pippa has worked with: Arts Club, Gateway Theatre, Belfry Theatre, Pi Theatre, Rumble Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Delinquent Theatre, Greenthumb theatre and many more. Most recently, Pippa originated the role of ‘Leap’ in Rumble Theatre’s The Society of the Destitute presents: Titus Bouffonius written by Colleen Murphy, which earned her and the ensemble a Jessie Richardson award for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble’. She was also the Vancouver Sun’s and the Georgia Straight’s ‘Artist to Watch’. A select number of her film/tv credits include: Supernatural (CW), Van Helsing (Sci-Fi), Hell on Wheels (AMC), Roadies (Showtime), and supporting lead roles in feature films #Roxy and Christmas Solo. As a writer, Pippa’s work has been featured and performed on stages and at festivals all over Vancouver and across Canada. She works primarily in the style of what she calls ‘reclamation comedy’. She is particularly interested in the re-imagining of women’s stories through satire. By reclamation, she means incorporation. Her dark comedy Deer Harper was part of the 5th Annual Pull Festival as well as the Shift Festival in Vancouver and has since been published as part of Pull Festival Anthology. She is also adapting her one-woman dark comedy Ketchup, about unfair sex laws in the US, into a feature length screenplay under the mentorship of the Wet Ink Collective. Pippa is a true collaborator, having co-created and performed two Fringe Festival hits including The Progressive Polygamists (with Emmelia Gordon) which has been performed across Canada over 100 times to sold out houses everywhere, won 3 Pick of the Fringe Awards and was part of the 2015 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. Her other fringe hit Industry: the Food Must Go Out, won the Vancouver Fringe Festival Award for Innovation. Also, Pippa is working with Monster Theatre’s Artistic Director Ryan Gladstone on a show titled JULIET, which will premiere the summer of 2019, of which she will perform as well. Most recently, Pippa has teamed up with award-winning UK writer/performer Kit Redstone (Testosterone), as they are developing a show which will have it’s world premiered in Vancouver with Speakeasy Theatre in 2020. She is the former artistic associate with Pi theatre, the current co-artistic director of Speakeasy Theatre’s Pull Festival, a contributor to the Cultch, as well as the Associate Producer of Upintheair Theatre.

the board of directors

Lauren Jackson, President

Raefell Imerman, Treasurer

Leslie Dos Remedios, Secretary

Josh Epstein

Kristin Whitworth