Each project draws from a pool of top-notch actors, comedians, improvisors, musicians, technical directors, and designers.
Kirsten Van Ritzen - Artistic Director
Kirsten is a professional actor and comedienne who has received acclaim for her work in theatre, film, television and radio. She is also a writer, director, producer and teacher. She has worked across Canada and since moving to Victoria has made her mark on the vibrant local arts scene.
Kirsten has acted in more than fifty plays in theatres across the country.
Highlights include QUIET IN THE LAND (Blyth Festival), THE BUZ' GEM BLUES (Lighthouse Festival) , WHAT GIVES?/ALL EARS (Teatro la Quindicina), EXIT OTHELLO (Workshop West), I OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES (Sunshine Festival) and ALLEYCATS THE MUSICAL (Hoarse Raven) - Ovation Award Nomination Best Performance Female.
On Vancouver Island: THIS LITTLE LIGHT workshop (Belfry); STREAM, EMERGE staged readings (Theatre One); HOUSE AT POOH CORNER, THE GIVER, THE SECRET GARDEN (2014 & 2017), HANA’S SUITCASE (all Kaleidoscope Theatre), SMALLTOWN A PICKUP MUSICAL(Theatre Skam), eleven CHORUS/LINE CABARETS (Gotta Getta Gimmick) and the 2017 premiere of BLACKSTONES & BATHTUBS Musical (Razzle Dazzle) at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo.
She is represented for Film/TV by Lucas Talent, Canada's 2nd largest talent agency. She has played roles in REBOOT THE GUARDIAN CODE (Netflix/YTV), THE BRIDGE (Hallmark), GAME OF LOVE (UP TV), SO YOU SAID YES (Hallmark) , STRANGER IN THE HOUSE (Lifetime) and MARK & RUSSELL'S WILD RIDE (Disney). She recently starred in a thriller ROADKILL, a short film soon to play the festival circuit.
Kirsten has performed in hundreds of comedy variety & stand up shows. She was invited to perform at Orlando's inaugural CFL Sketch Comedy Festival (2019); Executive Produced/performed in SHE KILLS ME series for APTN-TV ; hosted/produced Victoria's 2014 FUNNY WOMEN FESTIVAL and THE MERRIDALE SHOWDOWN 2015 season. Nominated for a 2014 M Award "Top Comedian" her stand up is heard on CBC Radio's LAUGH OUT LOUD.
Kirsten is a founding member of Edmonton’s DIE-NASTY the Canadian Comedy Award- winning improv troupe. She starred in and co-produced five seasons of SIN CITY THE LIVE IMPROVISED SOAP OPERA at Toronto's The Second City. The troupe was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award and invited to the Chicago Improv Festival. a special aired on CBC-TV as LIQUID SOAPZ. Kirsten hosted the alt comedy show LUCILLE'S BALL as "Louise", headlined MARCH OF DAMES, did several one-woman sketch shows, and performed numerous improv comedy and variety shows in Toronto.
Kirsten is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. RADIOLAND '48 was selected for development at Lunchbox Theatre (Calgary)and Theatre One (Nanaimo). She has written and performed several solo plays: ALL MY DAY JOBS published in ONE FOR THE ROAD (Signature Editions) and THE KIRSTEN VAN RITZEN SHOW - for which she was named "Best Solo Comedy Artist". Her novel THE COMEDY DIVA DIARIES is available thru major book retailers. www.comedydivadiaries.com
Kirsten teaches workshops in acting and improv to both recreational and post-secondary students. She has taught at York University (dance), Randolph Academy, Vancouver Theatresports, St. Albert Children's Theatre, The Second City Training Workshop Centre, Pacific Film and New Media Academy, Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts and more.
Producer & Director
Ian has worked in the entertainment industry for three decades as a writer, producer and performer.
Ian is the author of two non-fiction books published in Fall 2019: THE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO B.C. (Heritage House); TRUDEAU ON TRUDEAU (Simon Schuster) and BEING CANADIAN (Douglas & McIntyre) to be released in 2021.
Ian previously won the 2004 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for his novel VILLAGE OF THE SMALL HOUSES and is co-author with brother Will Ferguson of the best- selling humour book HOW TO BE A CANADIAN: EVEN IF YOU ALREADY ARE ONE which was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal and won the CBA Libris Award for Best Non-fiction Book of 2002. Ian wrote and directed two dozen plays as Artistic Director of Edmonton's Union Theatre, as well as numerous sketch comedy shows such as SPRING THAW and P.S. YOU GOTTA WONDER.
Ian is the creator of the live improvised soap operas DIE-NASTY (Edmonton) and SIN CITY (Toronto) both Canadian Comedy Award nominees, as well as SIN CITY IMPROV SERIAL (Victoria). The five season run of SIN CITY Toronto included three years at The Second City where Ian taught improv for the SECOND CITY WORKSHOP Training Centre. Ian was co-executive producer and directed LIQUID SOAPZ (CBC-TV). He directed four pilot episodes of a sitcom, and thirteen episodes of SHE KILLS ME for APTN.
Ian is an award-winning playwright. He trained as an actor in the BFA program at University of Alberta, and holds an MFA in Theatre (Directing) from York University.
Ian has several TV projects in development. He wrote and directed GONE SOUTH a feature length documentary about Canadians in Hollywood which has screened at a number of North American Film Festivals. Ian sat on the board of the Greater Victoria Film Commission, and is a member of the Aboriginal Media Producers Association.