On Stepping Down As Instant Theatre's Co-Artistic Director

So, after two and a half years, Briana Rayner and myself have announced that we are stepping down as Co-Artistic Directors of Instant Theatre. It was a hard decision, for many reasons. We initially took up the position because of our love for the company and what it represents. Even today, we still provide something different and unique to the improv landscape of Vancouver, and we want to see that continue to thrive and expand, which we’ve come to understand might happen best with new blood at the helm. 2018 was a crazy year for me, and I only wish I had the time to devote to all the things I wish I could contribute to the company and to the community at large. My hope is by stepping down from this position I’ll have the ability to do more playing to my strengths and will be able to support a new team and set them up for success.

This is all to say that I’m not going anywhere (well, I am going on my honeymoon in June, but I’ll be back!) and am excited to continue with my current commitments to the company: As a cast member of Shakespeare After Dark and Fistful of Kicks, as a regular player in EVIL and as the director of whatever shows might need my talents: I’m delighted to be playing in our upcoming Twilight Zone show, and will be casting and directing a Firefly based show shortly. So yeah, no lack of improv in my life for the foreseeable future.

Also, even with a new team, I’ll be around helping out and doing a bunch of tasks. I still love the company and frankly, you can’t get rid of me that easy.

But, I do have a lot of thank yous, and I might as well get them out of the way: Of course, thank you to Briana, for being an excellent partner and a good counter-balance to my bad ideas. I’ve gained much through my experience working as co-AD, but getting to know Briana better and having her as a wall to bounce ideas off of, a shoulder to lean on and a friend has been an invaluable addition to my life. Improv is a collaborative art form and I couldn’t ask for a better scene partner.

Thank you to the Instant show producers: Ese and Geoff with EVIL, Zach and Patrick with Shakespeare, Curt with Fistful, Allie Patrick and Travis with Actor’s Nightmare, Julia with Off-Key, and the many producers of the literally hundreds of shows Instant programs each year. You’ve made amazing shows that we are proud to have under the Instant umbrella. You’ve also done the hard work of creating something and maintaining it over the years which is no small feat.

To the Instant cast, especially the folks who are almost always there to throw their hat in the ring at the last minute, thank you. Carolyn, Tia, Kai, Steve, Vivian, Maddy, Andrew- You’ve been the core of so many shows and have been reliable in ways that have removed so much potential stress from my life.

A huge thanks to my wife Amanda, who has been ever so patient with all the time that Instant has required of me.

Of course, I need to also thank the past and present management team at Instant: Chelsey, Nikolai, Mike, Graham: You were and are the beating heart of the company and keep all the parts moving. Without your hard work, there would be no company at all.

And finally, thank you to Alistair Cook for giving Briana and I a chance to keep his baby going. 2019 is 25 years of Instant, so here’s to 25 more.

If you’re interested in applying for the AD position with Instant (we’re looking for teams of at least 2 to take over the role), applications are being accepted until April 5th right here. I’m looking forward to seeing the applications!

Thank you Austin!

And so the 2019 Improvised Play Festival comes to the close. The Fistful of Kicks team had a fantastic time at the Hideout and we loved our time in Austin. BBQ, Tacos, Electric Scooters and Beer: We feel like we got a whole lot of the city in during our far-too-brief stay.

Huge thank you to to Quinn Buckner for putting together such a fantastic festival and showing us such an amazing time. Another thank you to Roy Janik for hosting the festival at his fantastic theatre. The Hideout is a must-see in Austin, and that’s a city with a lot to see and do. Hope to be back again soon!