From the awkward stage to the next stage!
Awkward Stage Productions Society is a registered charity and non-profit Society in operation since 2010. As an enduring and stable organization, Awkward Stage creates consistent, high quality, relevant and affordable theatre that excites audiences and provides both performance and production opportunities and training that young emerging artists (teens and young adults) need to transition through their awkward stages to the next stage of their artistic development.
Awkward Stage provides youth experience and education in all aspects of the theatrical production including performance (cast and musicians), technical work, stage management, directing, writing and producing under the direction and guidance of contracted professionals.
Awkward Stage Productions runs under the leadership of Artistic Director Andy Toth and Executive Director Sandra Herd. Together with a team of dedicated Artistic Associates they’re committed to bringing the high quality and relevant performance and production opportunities to youth in the Lower Mainland.
ANDY TOTH- Artistic Director, Founding Member
Andy has been directing, coaching, teaching and performing in Vancouver for 15 years. Directing credits include The Fantasticks, Assassins, and Last Call…a Post-Nuclear Cabaret with Quintessence Musicals, West Side Story with the Chilliwack Academy of Music, and Anne of Green Gables for the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. Andy also had the pleasure of directing Canadian Icon and CBC radio legend Jurgen Gothe in his hilarious wine show Up Your Glass… a wine entertainment.
As director of the Pre-Professional Musical Theatre Troupe at Arts Umbrella, Andy has directed Dear Edwina, Lucky Stiff, Pippin, Little Women and is directing the upcoming production of Bring It On.
Andy is also in demand as an adjudicator, workshop leader and coach for individuals and groups of professionals and community performers alike. He has been a guest speaker for auditions, courses and conferences at SFU, UBC, and Capilano University. Andy also served as Musical Director for the smash hit production of Spring Awakening at Studio 58. In all, its Andy’s dedication to the development of new talent in Vancouver’s theatre scene that has him thrilled to be serving as Awkward Stage’s Artistic Director.
SANDRA HERD- Executive Director, Publicist, Founding Member
Sandra has an Hon. BA and LLB from Western University and that training has come in surprisingly handy as a producer and publicist. She has been involved for years in many aspects of the production of school and community theatre productions, and with Awkward Stage she has helped lead and publicize all of its productions to life and success. Sandra frequently mentors Awkward alumni with their own independent productions – work near and dear to her heart. Favourite related accomplishments are the co-creation of puppets for Smile and other productions with Debbie Wiecke, the creation and coordination of a new Vancouver Fringe BYOV in 2013, and her service as a jury member for ArtsVest.
CORWIN FERGUSON- Artistic Associate, Founding Member
Corwin, based in Vancouver, works across Canada primarily as a video and projection designer. He currently holds nominations for two Jessie Richardson Awards a Betty Mitchell Award and an Elizabeth Sterling Award for his designs. Corwin has studied animation, instructs at The Arts Umbrella and works as a storyteller with Forbidden Vancouver Historic Walking Tours. In theatre, Corwin’s professional experience includes acting, directing, projection design, stage management, set design, graphic and props design. Corwin is a Studio 58 acting graduate and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts from Capilano University. Select company credits include: Alberta Theatre Projects, The Arts Club Theatre Company, Citadel Theatre, Ruby Slippers, Pacific Opera Victoria, Calgary Opera, The Virtual Stage, Studio 58, Théâtre la Seizième, Chemanius Theatre.
ERIKA BABINS- Artistic Associate
Erika Babins is a Vancouver based actor, writer, choreographer, producer and all around wearer of many hats. Upon graduation from Capilano University’s Musical Theatre program, Erika’s first post-school production was ASP’s Smile: the Musical for Fringe 2011. Favourite choreography credits include: TITUS: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus (Awkward Stage Productions), The IT Girl (DNP), and Bring It On: The Musical (Arts Umbrella). Some favourite performance credits include: Shrek: The Musical (Align Entertainment), Dracula: the Musical? (ASP), My Aim is True (2012 Fringe Tour), and the Gold Fever Follies in Rossland, BC. Erika also wrote, produced and directed Net, an original play that ran at Vancouver and Victoria Fringe Festivals. She is also a founding producer, writer and actor for KalamaTea Productions, a web content production company who’s projects “The Autobiography of Jane Eyre” and “All’s Fair Play” are available for viewing online.
MATTHEW FEDOROWICZ- Artistic Associate
Matthew hails from the small community of Manning, AB where he contributed to many productions including founding and running a children’s theatre summer drama program. In 2005 he produced and directed THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES with his kindergarten teacher in the cast. He graduated from Keyano College in 2005 with a Drama Diploma and soon afterward moved to Vancouver. In the past 10 years, he has worked with numerous theatre companies in acting, producing and volunteer coordinating including Metro Theatre, Raving Theatre, Hoarse Raven Theatre, Fighting Chance Productions and Theatre Under the Stars. Most recently, Matthew was seen as Uncle Fester in Align Entertainment’s THE ADDAMS FAMILY, where he was also volunteer coordinator, was Associate Producer for Jessie Award Nominated EDGES with Two Monkeys Productions and played Chiron in Awkward Stage Productions’s Pick of the Fringe winning TITUS: THE LIGHT AND DELIGHTFUL MUSICAL COMEDY OF TITUS ANDRONICUS. Since joining the Awkward Stage family with TITUS, he’s learned from and admired the team so much, that when he was approached to join, he absolutely had to. Matthew can’t wait to contribute to the company on a more broad scale.
SUSAN MIYAGISHIMA- Artistic Associate
Susan Miyagishima is a Vancouver-based theatre professional who divides her time between stage management, props, and wardrobe. She has worked with a number of excellent companies including Alley Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre, Théâtre la Seizième, The Virtual Stage, Carousel Theatre, The Electric Company, Neworld Theatre, Mitch and Murray Productions, Bard on the Beach, the Vancouver Playhouse, VACT, Gateway Theatre, Presentation House, Rumble Theatre, and Ruby Slippers. She has also worked as a venue coordinator for the wardrobe department of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and was the Set Decorator for the Canadian independent feature film Eadweard. She has received a Jessie Award Nomination for Outstanding Stage Management and is a graduate of Studio 58.
BRET ROACH- Artistic Associate
Bret trained at the Banff Centre for Performing Arts for the last three years, returning to Vancouver in late 2013. Studying both Technical Direction and Stage Carpentry he is now working for the largest theater company in Western Canada, The Arts Club Theatre Company. Bret works as a technical director for other theatre and dance companies around Vancouver; he also worked with Awkward Stage on a number of productions including TITUS and Dogfight. He’s honoured to join Awkward Stage and lend his skills as a new Artistic Associate.
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.”