About the Monsters
Here Be Monsters is dedicated to furthering the artistic practice of ensemble creation in theatre and performance.
We realize that collective ensembles need a support system to explore challenges, share experiences, and learn from each other. We believe that each play, and each ensemble is unique and has different needs. Rather than present a model of what all creations should be, we look at each ensemble, what they are seeking to express, and offer resources and mentorship to help them accomplish their goals.
What We Do
Our annual Here Be Monsters Festival features new play creation, performance, community and artist workshops, forums, mentorship, networking and opportunities for theatre artists to collaborate with artists of other disciplines.
Who Are These Monsters?
Jeff founded Here Be Monsters Festival in 2005 with Heather and Ryan and some other talented Monsters: France, Fitz and Jenny. We’ve been through five festivals, three venues, hundreds of artists, and many changes since then… but it remains an ever-growing family where artists from the fringes can come to try new skills, create new work, or just be monstrous.
Jeff is a multi-faceted theatre artist living in Vancouver and working across Canada. With a passion for creating new works he has appeared in new plays The Wars (Theatre Calgary/Vancouver Playhouse), Beggars Would Ride (Wild Excursions Performance/PuSh Festival), Back To You: The Life and Music of Lucille Starr (Musical TheatreWorks/Firehall Arts Centre/Gateway Theatre/Prairie Theatre Exchange). Jeff is also a playwright who’s operetta Out Like Flynn premiered in Vancouver in 2007, and is currently working on a piece about the infamous Canadian guitar legend, The Wings of Lenny Breau. Jeff is also an improviser and teacher with Vancouver TheatreSports League, and Co-Artistic Director of The Life Game created by Keith Johnstone coming to Studio 1398 on November 6th. For details visit www.thelifegamevancouver.com.
HEATHER LINDSAY – Artistic Producer
Heather Lindsay is a producer, production manager, performer and creative developer. Recent credits include: The Virtual Stage’s Repair Man (Production Manager, 100 hour film race), SNAFU Dance Theatre’s Pretty Little Instincts (Performer, SummerWorks, TO), Caravan Farm Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Production Manager), Monster Creative’s Gang!Bang! (Co-creator/ Choreographer Bridge Mix), Joy Mullen & Heather Lindsay’s Swan Sisters (Co‐creator/Performer, Interplay Projects & created at Brief Encounters), Tomorrow Collective’s Brief Encounters (Curator/Host), Heather Lindsay Productions/an ethical bacon film Alchemy and Other Imperfections (Producer/Executive Producer, Crazy8s), PuSh International Performing Arts Festival’s Club PuSh (Managing Producer) and Rumble Production’s Tremors Festival.
Heather is undeniably proud to be Artistic Producer of Monster Creative’s Here Be Monsters Festival & Theatre Under the Gun, and loves her monsters with all her heart.
ANGIE DESCALZI – Associate Producer
A graduate from the Arts and Entertainment Management program at Capilano University, Angie first joined the Monster Creative family in early 2011 as an intern and never looked back! Her first encounter with the Monster crew was last year during the Vancouver International Fringe Festival when she saw Ryan Gladstone’s Freud vs his Ego, it was her favourite show of the festival! She once again saw the monsters at the 2010 Here Be Monsters Festival and was blown away by their artistic talent, unique vision and innovative thinking. Once on the team, she worked closely with Tara Travis creating promotional videos for their Monster Theatre shows. During the summer, she was part of Monster Creative’s piece Gang Bang! for BridgeMix and co-organized Monster Hash with Jeff Gladstone and the amazing monster team, it was a lot of fun! Now, the 6th Annual Here Be Monster Festival is on it’s way, and she feels so honoured and proud to be working with such a great and loving group of people. She loves theatre, she loves the arts, but most importantly, she loves the Monsters!!!MICHELLE FIELD – Resident Stage Manager
Michelle has been with Here Be Monsters since the beginning as a co-producer and resident stage manager. She was a writer/performer with various companies over the past ten years and is also the resident stage manager of Monster Theatre. Most recently she reprised her role as Lucinda in This is Cancer at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. She is very excited to see what year 6 brings for the monsters!
RYAN GLADSTONE – Associate Producer
Ryan is one of the founding members of Here Be Monsters and has been involved in every festival since. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Monster Theatre and has created 16 original plays with them and continues to tour around North America. Shows include Every Story Ever Told, Freud vs. his Ego, The Shakespeare Show, The Seven Lives of Louis Riel, Confessions of a Class CLown an The Canada Show. Ryan’s next project is The Life Game, an exciting theatrical improv format which creates sometimes hilarious and always touching theatre out of true stories from an audience member’s life, playing at Studio 1398 monthly starting November 6.
JESSE TOSO – Videographer & Associate Producer
Carpenter by day, Artist by night. www.jessetoso.com
TARA TRAVIS – Associate Producer
Tara is thrilled to be jumping on board with the amazing Here Be Monsters team for their 6th Festival! Tara is an actor-writer-puppeteer and the Artistic Producer of Monster Theatre. Select stage credits include Houdini’s Last Escape, Lavinia: A Modern Fairy Tale of Gigantic Proportions, The Shakespeare Show and Mini Masterpieces (Monster Theatre), Leading Ladies (The Gateway Theatre), Volpone (United Players), Buss-A-Move (Performance Kitchen Theatre), and Werewolves (Pi Theatre). She is a co-founder and artistic director of Sticky Fingers Productions, with whom she has co-created and performed in Down the Drain (a puppet traumedy), Swamp Lake: a stormy puppet ballet and Fluffy 10th Street. She has animated Snuggle the softener bear, and was a Puppet Supervisor and screenwriter on the PBS show Mustard Pancakes.
WILL WELLS – Technical Director
MELANIE WICKES – Associate Producer
Melanie was pleased to become a Monster in January 2011. She became a fan of Jeff Gladstone when he directed a play she wrote for the 2010 Walking Fish Festival and an admirer of Heather Lindsay due to her mad skills at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival. Now she is a love junkie for all of the Monsters and the important work they do. Her other chosen family is the wonderful people of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company where she manages education programs and speaks the language of social media; she is certain that her B.A. in English and Theatre is being put to good use. Melanie is very serious about arts advocacy, alter-egos and playing dress-up.