Theatre SKAM is planning for the future.
Co-founder and current Artistic and Managing Producer Matthew Payne will hand over the artistic leadership of the company by 2025.
“When I took over the leadership of the company in 2007, my goal was to move the company to year-round operations, generate stable funding income, and create attractive administrative jobs. That mission is accomplished. Theatre SKAM was founded by four 20-somethings and I for one really miss the voices of those risk-taking theatre mavericks. Now it is time to return the artistic leadership to younger braver voices.”
As part of a Succession Plan, the four artists spotlighted on this page have been recruited to research co-leadership models and consider a new artistic direction for the company. This cohort is Hannah Mariko Bell, Pedro Siquiera, Logan Swain, and Olivia Wheeler. They have been working with SKAM on a variety of projects for the last several years. Now they are chatting with IBPOC leaders across the country. They are taking stock of any gaps in their skill sets and are spending time with Matthew and General Manager Anne Taylor. They are considering their potential place with the company and SKAM’s place within the national ecology. They will build upon our successes to date and will prepare the company for its next iteration. The projects of these four artists, and one or two by Matthew, will make up the programming for the next two or three years.
We’re not exactly sure what the future holds, but we know it won’t be boring.
We thank the BC Arts Council Pivot Program for supporting the work of this artistic cohort.
The Theatre SKAM Cohort
Hannah Mariko Bell (She/Her) – Artistic Associate
Hannah is a proud fourth generation Japanese Canadian and a recent graduate of the University of Victoria’s theatre program (BFA with Distinction, 2019) where she took a comprehensive approach to her theatre education. Her first production, Kansha, was produced as a part of Intrepid Theatre’s YOU Show 2018-2019 season with support from the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and the National Association of Japanese Canadians Young Leader Fund.
Hannah was born and raised in Treaty 7 Territory which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Calgary, Alberta). She grew up going to a school specialized for students with learning disabilities, as she herself has ADHD. Hannah also is a part of the Queer community as she identifies as pansexual. Her intersectional identities allow her to bring the understanding and the nuance needed to work with and advocate for marginalized communities.
Hannah previously worked for Theatre SKAM as a Production Intern (2019), an Assistant to the General Manager (2020) and a Dramaturg (2020). As the Accessibility and Outreach Coordinator, Hannah is committed to working closely with marginalized communities in Victoria to ensure that they are represented with Theatre SKAM.
Pedro M. Siqueria (He/Him) – Artistic Associate
Pedro [he/him] is a Brazilian multi-skilled performer, creator, and producer based in Victoria BC. Pedro’s curiosity is the ground from which he leaps into the unknown. He ignites the imagination to illuminate the path to artistic realization. Since his graduation from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in February of 2020, Pedro has been assisting the theatre community in Victoria to find ways to keep developing, producing, and creating during these challenging times.
Logan Swain (He/Him) – Artistic Associate
Logan is passionate about bringing live performance to the stage while helping the work of his fellow artists reach its highest artistic potential. He specializes in Theatrical Production & Design, and also works as an Arts Administrator.
Logan is an avid outdoorsman with Métis heritage and hails for the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. His creative interests include verbatim theatre, immersive design, 3D ambisonic audio, and exploring the use of new technology in theatre making. He pursued a comprehensive theatre education at the University of Victoria (BFA, 2021) where he designed seven productions at the Phoenix Theatre. Select Sound Design credits include Trojan Women (Main Stage, 2019) and The Madwoman of Chaillot (Main Stage, 2017). Logan was the Set Designer (with Conor Farrell) for the Phoenix’s first ever production of Othello (Main Stage, 2019).
Logan also works independently as a Producer, Designer, and Creator. He runs Bucket Head Theatre with fellow UVic grad Andrew Fraser and is a Board Member for Story Theatre.
Olivia Wheeler (She/Her) – Artistic Associate
Olivia [she/her] is a queer mixed-race, Chinese Canadian performance designer, composer, theatre technician and multi-disciplinary creator from Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ territory. She recently graduated with a degree in theatre and minor in music from the University of Victoria. Her work specializes in sound design, composition, technical theatre, immersive performance design and puppetry.
She has worn multiple different hats during her time with SKAM, including co-producer for SKAMpede (2020), production designer for multiple SKAM Young Company productions (Backliners, End of Term, and The Fates), and puppet design, director and lead artist for the Halloween Pop-Up Theatre. She has been involved in productions, workshops, and initiatives with companies across the country such as SNAFU Dance Theatre Society, Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival, Alberta Theatre Projects, Vertigo Theatre, Red Betty Theatre, and the STEPS Initiative. Some of her most recent work include the research, creation, and design of EVOKE (BFA Project), the creation of Hey Girl through the conVERGE Residency (Intrepid Theatre & Puente Theatre), and sound designer for Liberated Feminist Futures (Nightwood Theatre).