Donna Spencer is the Artistic Producer of the Firehall Arts Centre and was one of the Firehall’s founding directors. She is the winner of the Jessie Richardson Outstanding Direction Award for Urinetown, the Musical and for Reading Hebron and her many theatre directorial credits include REFUGE, Social Studies, Vimy, Stuff Happens, Einstein’s Gift, Golden Child, Menopositive The Musical!, The Yoko Ono Project, Wawatay, The Unnatural and Accidental Women, Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe and many others. Spencer has collaboratively created three plays – Walking the Tightrope, Mainstream and Opening Doors as well as writing the contemporary adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. She is currently working on the collaborative creation of a new musical, Gold Mountain/Turtle Island. She is the recipient of a Jessie Richardson Award for Multicultural Innovation in the Theatre and the Jessie Richardson Career Achievement Award. She was awarded the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for Theatre in 2012 and recognized by the B.C. Achievement Foundation for her theatre and dance works. She is a member of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. Ms. Spencer is, also, the Producer of the annual Dancing on the Edge Festival of Contemporary Dance, which will celebrate its 30th festival in July 2018.
Susan Shank’s love of theatre and the arts has spanned her entire life. Soon after securing her BA from Simon Fraser University, with a concentration in Theatre, she became the producer of a multidisciplinary festival for Development Arts Society (DAS), which ran for five years. Shank’s next role was Fine Arts Programmer at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, where she held the position for seven years before accepting her most creative and challenging job to date: motherhood. During this sleep-deprived time, Susan honed her bookkeeping and administrative skills, and worked part-time with such organizations as Touchstone Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Theatre for Living, and the Firehall Arts Centre. Now that Susan’s children are teenagers, she is excited to be immersing herself at the Firehall Arts Centre as the venue’s General Manager.
Assistant to the General Manager
Manager of Very Good Dogs
A dedicated worker and even more dedicated walk-taker, Wookie brings an unlimited amount of love and tail wags to the Firehall team. Wookie practices meditation in the form of long naps in the doorway of Donna’s office. Her long list of skills includes sits, paw-shakes, and therapeutic snuggles with the actors.
Alistair is an Actor, Producer, Comedian, Sound Designer, Technician, Technical Director, and Australian. Alistair moved to Canada in February 2018 and within 3 weeks he was working full time at the Firehall Arts Centre. He is so pleased and honoured (and relieved) to be working with the creative teams at the Firehall to create some truly excellent and important works.
Alistair graduated from Actors Centre Australia in 2010 and is an artistic associate and technical director of pantsguys Productions, producing theatre in Sydney including On the Shore of the Wide World, Mr Kolpert, and Punk Rock (winner, Best Independent Production, Sydney Theatre Awards 2012). Alistair’s sound design credits include: No End of Blame (Sport For Jove), The Mystery of Love and Sex, Ride/Fourplay (Darlinghurst Theatre Co), Odd Man Out, Barefoot in the Park, A History of Falling Things, Jack of Hearts, Blood Bank (Ensemble) and Jerusalem – nominated Best Independent Sound Design, Sydney Theatre Awards 2013.
Originally hailing from Denver, Colorado, Michael’s love of live performance started in elementary school after attending the local high school production of “Guys and Dolls”. Having awakened the actor within, Michael convinced his parents that all of his classes were offering extra credit if he watched movie musicals (his amateur acting chops weren’t good enough to convince his parents of attending live theatre). His love of theatre eventually grew into a career in the arts which, in turn, landed him at the Firehall Arts Centre. After working for various different theatre companies in Colorado and Vancouver, Michael is absolutely delighted to be back with a not-for-profit, community oriented theatre.
Customer Services and Facility Coordinator
Jessica is a bit of a nomad in the arts and tourism industry, having done museum work in the past at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, then navigating in customer service at the Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. What she enjoys most about working in customer service is being able to share the spaces she loves with visitors and patrons. She was very excited to join the Firehall team, not only to work more in the arts and with such a close-knit team, but to be a part of a unique non-profit that is such a pinnacle of community theatre in the city.