An Award-Winning, World-Class Theatre Company
Axis’ productions are performed in theatres and schools, enriching curriculum, drawing children into stories and giving them access to ideas in new ways. Their 57 original works have earned 24 Jessie Richardson Awards, A Betty Mitchell Award and a Drama Desk Nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience.
Lin Bennett, Wendy Gorling, Elizabeth Murray-Byers and Wayne Specht, who became the founding Artistic Director, came together as a group in 1973-74. Each member trained at either Etienne Decroux or L’Ecole Lecoq and were eager to promote their chosen art form. The Axis Mime Theatre Society incorporated in May 1975 as the next step to access financial support to create the structure needed to administer their activities on a consistent, professional level. Over 40 years later, Axis Theatre Company continues to create original physical theatre productions for the young and young at heart.
Meet the Crew
Chris McGregor Artistic Director
Chris McGregor has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Bishop’s University and a Masters in Theatre in Directing from the University of British Columbia. Chris has taught physical theatre, Commedia dell’arte, mask and Red Nose Clown at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Bishop’s University and Studio 58. He has directed more than 60 productions across Canada and has won four Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and nominated for four Ovation Awards for directing. Chris began as the Artistic Associate with Axis Theatre Company in 2013 and was appointed Artistic Director in 2015.
Chris has directed the Axis Theatre's touring production of Hamelin: A New Fable, Robinson Crusoe + Friday and the world premiere of Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.
Daune Campbell General Manager
Daune (and her alter ego Duane) became the Tour Coordinator at Axis Theatre in 2011. In 2013, she accepted the General Manager position. Before coming to Axis, Daune spent ten years as Managing Co-Artistic Director of Shameless Hussy Productions. She also spent many years performing at schools and theatres across North America. Daune is a graduate of Studio 58 and is on the Board of Directors for the 149 Arts Society. She is thrilled to be at the centre of the evolution here at Axis Theatre Company.
Shelby Bushell Tour Coordinator
Shelby Bushell graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014 with a double major Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Production and English Literature. Shelby has been working in Vancouver's vibrant theatre community as a stage manager, director and designer. She joined the Axis team as Tour Coordinator in the fall of 2015 and continues to follow her passion for directing and stage managing live theatre and film productions. Now in her second year, Shelby is thrilled to be a part of the work Axis Theatre is doing, introducing young minds to theatre.
Next up - Shelby will be the Stage Manager for the National Tour of Hamelin: A New Fable.
Mika Laulainen Artistic Associate
Axis is thrilled to welcome Mika as the Artistic Associate here at Axis for the 2016-17 season. She is a Vancouver based theatre maker and manages her own collective, star theatre. Mika holds a degree in Theatre from the University of Victoria with a specialization in Direction (BFA 12). She has further trained with The Old Trout Puppet Workshop at the Banff Puppet Intensive and Emmanuelle Delpech of Pig Iron Theatre Company. A director, playwright, puppeteer, and producer, highlights from her past works include her plays Wild/Society (CAFF 2016) and Runaway (Theatre SKAM 2015), direction for Kolejka (rEvolver Fest 2016) and Simon Stephens’ Pornography (Dramatic Works Series 2015), and performing in Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (Axis Theatre 2016).
Axis Theatre was founded in 1975 by Lin Bennett, Wendy Gorling, Elizabeth Murray-Byers and Wayne Specht. Through the vision of Wayne Specht, Artistic Director for 38 years, the company developed into a world-class, original theatre company. Axis relies heavily on his support and feedback in our transition of artistic leadership - one of a kind, Waynewill always be known as the 'mime' upon which Axis was built.
Grant Tufts spent many years with Axis Theatre, holding the place together. Technical savvy, graphics magic and acute accounting combined with his knowledge and humour have left us with very large boots to fill. All the best in your retirement, Grant!
Board of Directors
Janice Beley President
Dennis Nielsen Vice President
Keith Elliott Treasurer
Geri Guemos Secretary
Gerald Longson Past President
Debby Meyer Director
Pauline Funston Director
Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)
Alliance for Arts and Culture (AAC)
Arts in Education Council of BC
BC Touring Council (BCTC)
Canada Council for the Arts
Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT)
Axis Theatre engages, under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement, professional artists who are members of Canadian Actors' Equity Association.