BREAKING VELOCITY – Bios, Creative Team:
MEGAN PHILLIPS (creator, writer, and actor): Megan holds a BA (Music Hons) from the University of Western Ontario, and an MA (Musical Theatre Performance) from Mountview Academy in London, England. Megan has studied musical theatre in the Summer Program at the critically acclaimed Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. Select theatre performances include: Evelyn in Homecoming King (world premiere, 30 Below Theatre), Fay in Here on the Flight Path (Metro Theatre), Gertie in Oklahoma! (Theatre Under the Stars), Helena in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Applause), Diana in Nine (Pipedream Society), Georgeanne in 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress (BR Productions), and Celia in As You Like It (Mountview).
She co-stars in the comedic web series 1-800-Dirty-Talk, which she also co-wrote and co-produced –parked at www.1800dirtytalk.com. Megan is a back-up vocalist for Vancouver-based soul artist Jessi Nicholson, and is undergoing weekly long-form Improv Comedy classes with the Conservatory Program at Instant Theatre in Vancouver, BC. She coaches private lessons in both vocal and performance technique, is a certified mind/body healing Practitioner in The JourneyTM, and is an Independent Arbonne Consultant with Arbonne International. More available at www.meganphillips.com
JESSI NICHOLSON & GLEN HAMILTON (music producers, arrangers, & co-composers): Jessi has been teaching and performing since she was 15 years old and has always known her calling. She has worked with “Stage Craft”, “Arts Umbrella”, “Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach”, “Uncle Randy Productions”, “UBC’s Take To The Stage Childrens’ Theatre” and “Youth Association of Watson Lake, Yukon”. She is currently working on her own inaugural EP. Glen spent his youth playing bass, singing, producing and performing music and has been working as a project manager in the video game industry for over a decade. Together, they create a dynamic musical partnership for recording, producing, and mentoring fresh sounds & artists on the Vancouver music scene. Check out www.lightthestage.ca for more info!
ERNEST JOHNS (director) – From 2000 to 2006, Ernest was the Associate Artistic Director at the Jean Cocteau Repertory, an Off-Broadway resident ensemble in New York City. In the six years he was at the Cocteau, he directed critically acclaimed productions of Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day, Arms and the Man, Dona Rosita the Spinster, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Maids. In the spring of 2009 he was invited to direct The Re-theatre’s well-received production of Much Ado About Nothing in Portland, Oregon. For many years he was an Artistic Associate at the Open Eye New Stagings, an Off-Broadway resident company founded by mythologist Joseph Campbell and choreographer Jean Erdman. His directing credits for the Open Eye included A Women Called Truth, Bocón!, A Midsummer Nights Dream, As You Like It, and Killer. From 1980 to 1989 he served as the Artistic Director for Pen to Stage Productions, an award-winning New York City theatre company dedicated to the development and production of new works. Other New York area theatres where he has worked include Lincoln Center Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, MCC Theatre, and George Street Theatre. He has taught on the faculties of Brooklyn College, Queens College, Marymount College, and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (New York City Campus). Ernie holds an MFA from Brooklyn College, where he was awarded the first Joel Zwick award for Directing, and a BFA in Acting from Virginia Commonwealth University.
LOUIE PEARLMAN (stage manager & publicity – NYC) is a comedic performer, educator and song-writer living in Queens, NY. He is a producer, director, puppeteer and performer with the nationally-recognized entertainment company The Story Pirates. He produces and directs the monthly improv/music show Beauty Love Truth through the production company Sparkle Television and performs improv with his duo, Buckshot N Benny. He also teaches a series of popular improv classes for teenagers.
Favorite past projects include playing J. Jonah Jameson in The Spidey Project, appearing in the music video for Tom Tom Club’s Downtown Rockers and DJing Where The Action Is! A monthly sixties music night with Allison Boron.
VANESSA COLEY-DONOHUE (choreography & movement) – Vanessa started dancing at age three and continues to work at becoming a balanced performer. She is a versatile dancer, singer, actor and teacher: she teaches dance and musical theatre five days a week at schools all over the Lower Mainlasnd, and rehearses for at least one show at a time—usually two. Recent performance projects include Annie (Gateway Theatre), Don Giovanni (Burnaby Lyric Opera) and 42nd Street (Metro Theatre). She is thrilled to be involved in Breaking Velocity.
MELISSA OEI (assistant director) – Melissa is a Vancouver based performer and acting teacher, but her work has taken her to various locations including Victoria, Edmonton and even as far away as Greece. Melissa is a graduate of the esteemed theatre acting program at Studio 58, the Langara Film Arts Program, and she also completed the Canadian National Voice Intensive and the Banff Citadel Professional Training Program as part of her many years of acting training. Some of her favourite roles include Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (Studio 58), Lady M in Macbeth (Kaleidoscope Theatre), Queen Anne in The Three Musketeers (Citadel Theatre), Ado Annie in Guys and Dolls (TUTS), Myra Arundel in Hay Fever (UP), and her many seasons with Carousel Theatre as a performer and an instructor. Most recently Melissa was nominated for a Jessie Award along with her ridiculously talented cast for Carousel Theatre’s Aesop’s Fables. This is Melissa’s first foray into stage management and she couldn’t be happier to be on this journey with her good friend Megan. Melissa lives in a cozy one bedroom apartment in North Vancouver with her amazing boyfriend Gaelan.