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Panic Squad & Friends, and the launch of our 2014/2015 "Refined by Fire" theatre season, is tomorrow! If you haven't ordered your tickets yet, it's time to do so. Like now. Don't wait until the last minute! Earlier this week, we introduced you to four of the Improv Super Agents who will be taking to the stage in tomorrow night's mad-cap show of hilarity. Today, we'd like to introduce you to the final three. Enjoy!

 

 

Elijah TademaElijah Tadema: Elijah brings a fresh energy and extraordinary musical talent to the team. His improv songs and ability to play just about any instrument you put in front of him (including his mouth if you include beat boxing) has been a great asset to The Squad. Elijah claims he first began doing improv as a toddler as a way to get out of spankings. He began doing improv legitimately with friends in high school. They would gather at Elijah's home and just start doing games from Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

 

Elijah's first experience with The Panic Squad was also Elijah's first date. He took a young lady to see a Panic Squad show in Lynden, WA. We all think that was a pretty smart idea. Elijah began training with the Panic Squad a few years later. He reached Elite Agent status and officially joined the roster in 2003.
Elijah currently lives in Mount Vernon, WA with his wife Katie Brooke and children Delayne, Cliff and Harrison. When not performing comedy with The Panic Squad, Elijah can also be found performing some great music with his band, Into Light. Check out www.intolightband.com.

 

 

 

John Voth

John Voth: John has been performing with The Panic Squad since 2010 and is an exceptional actor who excels in adding great character development and strong story lines to scenes he is a part of. Having studied acting at Trinity Western University and performed in a number of roles with a variety of respected theatre companies, including Pacific Theatre, the Vancouver Arts Club and Bard on the Beach, John has some serious acting skills. He has also been a stand-out player in Trinity's Improv League, 11:07, and Vancouver Theatre Sports Rookie League.

 

John also speaks fluent German so he can talk about the rest of the team without them understanding. Sad thing is, no one else on the team speaks German, so he can only talk to himself. John currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. He talks to himself a lot...in German.

 

 

 

Dann Warrick

Dann Warrick: Dann is Mr. Random Funniness. You never know what Dann is going to say or do next. Dann got into improv while living in Southern California. He toured Hollywood Clubs with a sketch and improv group called Center Stage, then later joined up with L.A. Connection and finally Ventura Theater Sports. While Dann loved the acting, the competitive nature began to bother him: "It was all about who might be in the audience, everyone had their headshots and resumes ready after the show." Dann wasn't into improv for his acting career...he just wanted to have fun.

 

Dann started performing with The Panic Squad in 2005. He currently lives in Lynden, WA with his wife Abby and fuzzy faced baby, Bella (their cat).

 

 


ImprovSecretsPanic Squad & Friends plays one night only on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 7:30 PM at Gallery 7 Theatre's new performance venue, the Abbotsford Arts Centre. Tickets are available through in-person or by-phone at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford, 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828 or online here.

 

 

 

This Friday, Panic Squad & Friends explodes on to our stage with a one-of-a-kind, not-to-be-seen-anywhere-in-Canada show that'll have you in stiches all-night long. This year, Panic Squad will feature a roster of 7, count them, 7! highly-entertaining, super-talented Improv Super Agents. We'd like to introduce to you the first four...enjoy!

 

Andrew BrightAndrew Bright: One of the founding members of The Panic Squad, Andrew is Mr. Physical Comedy and loves to bend his face and body into anything the scene calls for. Andrew discovered his love for improv at Trinity Western University, where he became part of the university's comedy improv league, 11:07. According to Andrew: "After watching and wishing I could do improv for months, I finally gave it a shot. Five minutes on stage and I knew I was home...Hopefully we all find the niche God designed us for, like I did that evening on stage."

 

Graduation didn't seem like a good enough reason to stop doing improv so in 1996 Andrew started The Panic Squad with Dave, Scott and some other improvisers from TWU. The rest is history. In 2001 The Panic Squad became a full-time venture. Andrew, his wife Karla, daughter Katelyn, and twins Alyssa and Luke, live in Lynden, WA.

 

Mike De BoerMike de Boer: Mike is an all-around acting machine, and he can sing, too. Mike began his theatre experience in high school. According to Mike, he was a fairly introverted student, until he and a friend tried their hand at some acting and comedy. Like we all do when we find our niche, Mike excelled and says he really came out of his shell. He starred in numerous high school productions and ended up taking theater at the University of Victoria in BC.

 

Following university, Mike decided he had to get a real job, but, "I just couldn't stay away." Mike ended up in productions at Vancouver's Pacific Theatre and began taking improv workshops. The Panic Squad caught wind of Mike through Pacific Theatre, and began auditioning/training him. He reached elite agent status and joined The Squad in 2006. Mike currently lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife Rebecca and daughter, Lilia.

 

StevenKrajnyakSteve Krajnyak: Steve has been performing with The Panic Squad for three years and is a barista for Starbucks when not performing with the team. He lives in Vancouver and is extremely quick-witted and quirky.

 

Frank NickelFrank Nickel: Frank started acting and doing improv in high school and took further training at Simon Fraser University. Frank is currently the production manager for Pacific Theatre. While working at Pacific Theatre, Frank was given charge of their annual improv series, Side Show, where he plays as well.

 

If you live in Western Canada, you've probably seen Frank getting hit in the head with a football, and other antics, for Shaw Canada commercials. Frank and his wife, Karina, currently live in Richmond, BC.

 


ImprovSecretsPanic Squad & Friends plays one night only on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 7:30 PM at Gallery 7 Theatre's new performance venue, the Abbotsford Arts Centre. Tickets are available through in-person or by-phone at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford, 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828 or online here.

tiani_foster_2_smMeet Tiani Foster, AKA Rachel Lynde in our current production of Anne (of Green Gables) Tiani has been actively involved with G7 over the years, but this is her first appearance on our stage. Like our other performers in the show, Tiani took some time to repsond to some questions so we could get to know her a bit better...

 

Gallery 7 (G7): Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Tiani Foster (T.F.) My first play was a musical version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas when I was twelve years old. My school had an extracurricular drama class that was just something simple and short, I think only 6 weeks, and our set consisted of two chairs and a room divider. Nonetheless, I was hooked! I've loved theatre ever since.

 

G7: When you're not theatre-making, what keeps you busy?

 

T.F.: I work part-time as an accounting/administration clerk right now, take a few classes at a local community college, and also keep busy by working with kids at my church.

 

G7: What do you like most about the process of creating a character? What do you find most challenging?

 

T.F.: I find it fun to imagine the details of a character, like what items they might have in their pockets or what kind of games they might enjoy. Something I always find to be a challenge is what to do with my hands. I've been told (read: mocked to no end) that I speak with my hands quite a bit, so I try to tame it down to a less distracting level when I am on stage. However, I often don't notice when I'm flailing my arms about. So, I try to be intentional about sticking to a few specific gestures, but it's hard to keep my hands still at times, let me tell you.

 

G7: What's the most frightening thing about being an actor? What's the coolest part about being an actor?

 

T.F.: Practically speaking, something I worry about when performing is losing my voice. It happens to me quite often (right now, for instance), so that is always a concern. One of my favourite things about performing is the costumes. I simply love being in costume. If it were socially acceptable to wear gowns from the turn of the century on a day-to-day basis, I would be all over that.

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

T.F.: I have loved Anne of Green Gables ever since I was small. My friends and I would play dress-up for hours, pretending to live in the story. It has a very special place in my heart. So, when I saw that Galley 7 would be performing the play, I just knew I wanted to be involved in some way.

 

G7: Can you relate to your character? If so, in what ways?

 

T.F.: Well, I can be quite a Nosy Nellie at times, so I can definitely relate to her in that way! Rachel Lynde and I are pretty different in personality though, as well as being at very different points in our lives. It has been an interesting challenge, and a fun one, to step into her shoes.

 

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G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?

 

T.F.: I would love if our audience, in experiencing this story, was reminded of things they've loved in their own stories. I think when Anne comes to Avonlea, she challenges everyone around her to see and appreciate the world in a greater way, and I hope that we can pass along that same sense of wonder and appreciation for the small joys in life to each person who comes out.

 

G7: What's something that people wouldn't necessarily know about you?

 

T.F.: Let's see....well, I love to travel, and have put it on my bucket list to visit all seven continents during my life. So far, I have three down and four to go!

 

G7: Anne is in part a coming-of-age story. Can you share about a defining moment in your childhood that helped shape who you are today in a positive way?

 

T.F.: The most defining thing in my childhood was becoming a Christian when I was eight years old. I was attending a girls' club at a local church when I learned of who Jesus is, and of His unfathomable love. My faith means everything to me, and that is when my journey with Christ began.

 

G7: What's a favourite memory from elementary school?

 

T.F.: Growing up, I was on a soccer team for several years. I loved the game, and still do. One of my treasured memories is of being in our final tournament, in the game for silver. We had gone through overtime, and were in a shoot-out. All the other girls had taken their shots, and we were still tied at zero. Then, it was my turn. I gave it all I had, and watched as the ball sneaked past the keeper and into the net. I scored! I will never forget that moment of being swarmed by my teammates as we all shrieked with triumph.

 

G7: Was there a favourite role-playing game you played as a kid?

 

T.F.: Absolutely! I loved to create a story of my own (usually something extraordinarily melodramatic involving me being an orphan), or to re-enact characters from one of my favourite books: Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, The Boxcar Children...I was never happier than when I was playing make-believe.

 

G7: What's your favorite saying or life's motto?

 

T.F.: I don't know if you can call it a life motto, exactly, but one of my favourite quotes lately is actually from Anne of Green Gables: "I'm so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers." It is such a simple, yet delightful statement of finding the joy and beauty in life that I just adore. I try to challenge myself to think this way more often, saying it about other things I love: anything from gelato to Christmas to Tchaikovsky.

 

 


 

Anne_of_Green_Gables

Anne (of Green Gables) runs June 13 & 14, 19 - 21, 26 - 28, 2014 @ 7:30 PM with discount matiness on June 14, 21 & 28 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. To purchase tickets in person or by phone, contact House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford  or call 604-852-3701. To purchase tickets online, or for more details, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com.

corryn_dyck_smWe're nearing the end of our production run of Anne (of Green Gables), but we wanted to introduce you to another member of the cast, Corryn Dyck, aka Ruby Gillis. Corryn has appeared on stage with us in the past, namely productions of The Outsiders and The Matchmaker. Pull up a chair and enjoy this little chat with Corryn...

 

Gallery 7 (G7): Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Corryn Dyck (C.D.): When I was young, our church would put on large Christmas performances and one day I said to my mom, "I want to do that". And the rest is history. I began theatre and acting classes and then started to audition for shows where I could in my church, school, community.

 

G7: What do you like most about the process of creating a character? What do you find most challenging?

 

C.D.: I love discovering the character: their likes, dislikes, what makes them laugh and cry. When you start to discover who they are, they really come alive in you. There are many challenges with creating a character: not letting your own intuition in or how you would do it is always something to remember. You always have to think of them. You almost have to leave yourself at the door and just play with this new character in you.

 

G7: Can you relate to your character, Ruby? If so, in what ways?

 

C.D.: Oh, Ruby. She is so cute and loveable. She sees the good in everyone and just loves life and the love there is in life. There are parts of her in which I can relate: I love to be loved and to give love. Ruby does a great job at this.

 

G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?

 

C.D.: I want the audience to be able to go back to their childhood and remember playing outside, making life -long friends, getting their clothes dirty and climbing fences. Those were the best times in my life and remembering them always bring a smile to my face.

 

G7: What's something that people wouldn't necessarily know about you?

 

C.D.: I love to do errands: grocery shopping, picking up, dropping off, returning... it's just the best. A dream job would be a personal errand runner!

 

anne-6300G7: Anne is in part a coming-of-age story. Can you share about a defining moment in your child-hood that helped shape who you are today in a positive way?

 

C.D.: I was the younger sister growing up. I wanted to dress like my sister, be around her, the typical little sister. We didn't have a close relationship. Around grade 11, we really started to bond. We became friends and enjoyed being together and having one another around. I think it came with maturity, but also just a change in who I was. I was growing up and our likes were becoming similar. To this day, she is my best friend and I love her with all my heart.

 

G7: What's a favourite memory from elementary school?

 

C.D.: Actually, it's funny. We use to play a game called "orphans" at lunch time. We always had a mean lady that took care of us and we had to do chores and find food. I look back now and it must have looked terrible.

 

G7: Share about your bestest friend in elementary school. What made him/her great? Did you have a nemesis that later became a friend? How did you become friends?

 

C.D.: My first best friend was named Katie. She was a couple years older but we had the best of time together. We played craft fair, post office, BARBIES (the best ever), house, wedding... You name it and we played it! It was fun because so much of our childhood was make believe. We would create these stories, or dances, or characters to play. It was such an imaginative childhood and I truly miss that now in my life. Katie and I are still friends and see each other now and then when we can. She is a wonderful woman!

 

G7: Was there a favourite role-playing game you played as a kid?

 

C.D.: We played so many games as kids. Wedding was probably one of the best. There was a bride, groom, pastor, maid of honour and mother of the bride mostly. And of course, the bride wore the latest fashion of a paper dress we would create.

 

G7: What's your most embarrassing moment from childhood?

 

C.D.: When tare-a-way pants came into fashion I wanted some so bad. My mom bought some for me and I was so excited to wear them that night to my baseball practice. I think I was so excited about them I forgot to wear shorts under! While running to first base my finger got caught in the snaps and whoosh, the all tore off. I don't think I ever wore them ever again and let's hope they never come back in fashion.

 

G7: What's your favorite saying or life's motto?

 

C.D.: "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." My dad told me this as a young kid and I believe it to this day.

 


Anne_of_Green_Gables

Anne (of Green Gables) runs June 13 & 14, 19 - 21, 26 - 28, 2014 @ 7:30 PM with discount matiness on June 14, 21 & 28 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. To purchase tickets in person or by phone, contact House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford  or call 604-852-3701. To purchase tickets online, or for more details, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com.

catrina_jackson_smFor today's performer highlight, we'd like to introduce you to Catrina Jackson. You've seen a lot of Catrina's work on-stage through her wonderful costume designs (Having Hope at Home, Mary's Wedding), but this is the first time in a much too long while that Catrina has performed on our stage. As a matter of fact, Catrina played Dianna Barry in our first production of Anne back in 2007. Enjoy this little 'chat' as Catrina shares about what she does to relax, what her favourite memory from elementary school was and something you may not know about her.

 

Gallery 7 (G7): What's your favourite way to relax?

 

 

Catrina Jackson (C.J.): My favourite way to relax is with a mojito or sangria on the beach in Cancun, but since that doesn't get to happen very often, my favourite way to relax is to break out the video games while sitting on my couch with my hubby.

 

G7: What's something that people wouldn't necessarily know about you?

 

C.J.: I have my 1st degree black belt in TaeKwonDo. I'm G7's Wardrobe Manager. I interned in Bard on the Beach's wardrobe department last year... those are a few.

 

G7: Anne is in part a coming-of-age story. Can you share about a defining moment in your child-hood that helped shape who you are today in a positive way?

 

C.J.: When I was in grade 7, I had an awesome teacher. There wasn't a defining moment for me really, just my whole grade 7 experience. It's the most awkward time of life when you can't fit properly into your own skin. My grade 7 teacher encouraged me to be okay in my skin and that it really was okay to pursue the arts.

 

G7: What's a favourite memory from elementary school?

 

C.J.: In grade 1, a kid in my class ate a glue stick.

 

G7: Share about your bestest friend in elementary school. What made him/her great? Did you have a nemesis that later became a friend? How did you become friends?

 

C.J.: My bestest friend in elementary school was my neighbour, Kevin. He was great because I was a tom boy and we got to do cool stuff like put salt on slugs, magnify ants, and wrestle. Also my sister was my best friend in elementary school - we played a LOT of Lego.

 

Anne-publicity-7836_smG7: Was there a favourite role-playing game you played as a kid?

 

C.J.: When I was really little, I would pretend to be a cat. For like months on end. My mom ended up getting concerned. She read in a book something about kids pretending to be animals for a week at a time, maybe longer, but for me it was months.

 

G7: What's your most embarrassing moment from childhood?

 

C.J.: This is a horrible story... When I was 13, one of my teachers at school was telling us about a relative that was passing away and, while doing so unintentionally, quoted Monty Python. Without thinking, I started to laugh, but it turned into one of those terrible, snort-laughs. He got real mad at me (I don't blame him, it was awful), but to top it off one of my friends tried to explain to my teacher in front of the whole class why I laughed, which just made my teacher more angry.

 

G7: What's the best book you've read and why? Worst book?

 

C.J.: The best book I've read is probably The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis. It's a terribly haunting illustration of spiritual warfare. As a Christian, it was quite eye-opening. Worst Book: I read a few chapters of Twilight once.

 

G7: Favourite colour and why?

 

C.J.: I like light blueish green. Why? I don't know. I wear blues well.

 

G7: What's your favorite saying or life's motto?

 

C.J.: If you panic, panic gently.

 


Anne_of_Green_Gables

Anne (of Green Gables) runs June 13 & 14, 19 - 21, 26 - 28, 2014 @ 7:30 PM with discount matiness on June 14, 21 & 28 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. To purchase tickets in person or by phone, contact House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford  or call 604-852-3701. To purchase tickets online, or for more details, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com.