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. Most recent: 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: 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

Mike Gill is an emerging artist with a primary focus on acting. Born and raised in Regina, SK he fell into the arts through the Canadian Improv Games and Regina's Globe Theatre. He is a recipient of the Gertrude Langridge Memorial Scholarship at Studio 58 where he graduated. Past credits include Dead Metaphor (Firehall), Our Town (Caravan Theatre), Go Dog Go! (Carousel Theatre), A Date with the Night (Globe Theatre), Since You Left Us (Presentation House Theatre), Deer Harper (Pull Festival), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Innocence Lost, and Grease (Studio 58).

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.

the board of directors

Lauren Jackson, President

Raefell Imerman, Treasurer

Leslie Dos Remedios, Secretary

Josh Epstein

Kristin Whitworth