We are SO jazzed to bring Montreal Improv’s Vance Gillis and his show 50/50 to Ottawa. The show, which pairs up actors who have memorized lines with improvisers who definitely have not, has played to sellout crowds at Montreal Improv and Just For Laughs.
Here are some of the wonderful performers you’ll be seeing!
Ray Besharah is a creator and performer of theatre and film. He’s dabbled in improv (a 5-time Crush Improv ‘Bout Time winner), but he’s always felt far more comfortable with a script. He’s also a long-standing volunteer bartender for the OIF and various other Ottawa arts organizations. He has a beautiful wife (Laura Hall), and a jerk cat that’s he’s kind of in love with (Keaton).
Maryse Malazdrewicz Fernandes is an Ottawa based actor. She attended the National Theatre School of Canada’s acting program. Some of her favourite projects to have been a part of recently have been Girls!Girls!Girls! with Cart Before The Horse (Ottawa), Love’s Labour’s Lost with Dauntless City Theatre (Toronto), Servant of Two Masters with Odyssey Theatre, and workshopping a new translation of Jacinto Benevente’s The Bonds Of Interest, a co-production with King’s College London, for Odyssey Theatre (Ottawa). She also recently performed in The Team, by Michael Kras, at the Voaden Playwriting awards in Kingston through Thousand Islands Playhouse.
Allison Harris is an Ottawa-based actor, musician and Creator. Alli is Toasted’s musical accompanist for Lauren and Amanda Do It. Credits include: Badges (Fresh Meat 2017), Rhythm and Burgundy: The Comeback Tour (creator and performer), Lauren and Amanda Do it (Ottawa and Winnipeg Fringe) (Toasted Theatre), Little Shop Of Horrors (Theatre Kraken), Romantic Poetry (Black Sheep Theatre), Getting Odd (Toronto Fringe). Alli is one half of the musical comedy duo Rhythm and Burgundy, twitter: @rhythmburgundy. Catch Alli’s first solo musical show this coming spring at the Ottawa Fringe Festival: High School High.
Jamie Hegland is an Ottawa-based actor. His most recent endeavors include playing Eric Birling in Ottawa Little Theatre’s An Inspector Calls, Max in Kanata Theatre’s A Year in the Death of Eddie Jester and Ezekiel Hazard in Kanata Theatre’s Treasure Island. Jamie also has three-plus years of experience in improv comedy where he served as the vice president external and, the following year, captain of the Carleton Improv Association while also competing in many improv competitions within Ontario/Quebec and performing shows in the Ottawa region.
Since graduating from the University of Ottawa’s theatre department in 2005, Matt Miwa has been working professionally in theatre for the last 10 years. Matt was most recently featured in Evolution Theatre’s production of Little Martyrs. Other credits include Swiss Cheese in the NAC English Theatre production of Mother Courage and the Stranger in Théâtre de l’île’s production of La soif de l’or. Besides theatre work, Matt is also a short-narrative video maker and a performance artist. He has completed one short-narrative video, Captain Sorelski and the Women in Search of Spacegold and is at work completing his second short-narrative, Murder at the Circus with his co-creator Lesley Marshall. His performance practice incorporates a mixture of drag, singing and gymastics. He was one of the performers at The 7th White Ecosexual Wedding of Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle and he was most recently invited to perform at the 2015 season launch of Toronto’s Video Fag.
Kelley Oliver has been acting for 7 years doing independent film and commercials. He starred in the short film The Buckley Brothers which won Best Comedy at the Lady Filmaker’s Film Festival in Beverly Hills. The film went on to compete nationally on television in the 2016 edition of CBC’s Short Film Face-Off! He is a current member of the Live History Theatre Company which has been shortlisted for a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.
Mekdes Teshome @mektesh is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a double major in Theatre and Sociology. This actor-director has appeared in If We Were Birds (University of Ottawa), Disillusion (Ottawa Fringe Festival), The Amazing Adventures of Pericles (A Company of Fools), and Romeo and Juliet REDUX (The Gladstone). Furthermore, she has directed Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (University of Ottawa) and Begin A Game (Toronto Fringe Festival). She can not wait to step into the world of film with her company Holy President Productions.
And which improvisers will be joining them? We’ve got a very talented crew:
Matt Barrow (member of Trevor Comedy, in Saturday’s late show)
Sara Burns (member of Big Bang, in Friday’s late show)
Matt Folliott (member of K$M, in Friday’s early show)
Daphney Joseph (member of Coko & Daphney, in Friday’s late show)
Dave Sawyer (member of Big Bang, in Friday’s late show)
Sachin Sinha (member of Outtake Improv, in Thursday’s show)
Colleen Wang (member of Quest Friends Forever, in Friday’s early show)