Our Team

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Donna Yamamoto

Producing Artistic Director

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Since Donna has taken on the role of Producing Artistic Director in 2013, vAct has garnered 12 Jessie nominations, for Ga Ting and Empire of the Son, One Hour Photo and The Ones We Leave Behind and won 1 Jessie for One Hour Photo and 1 for The Ones We Leave Behind. Donna was awarded the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award at the 2016 Jessies for outstanding leadership in developing works by 3 Asian Canadian playwrights in The Cultch’s 2015-16 season. She was also the UBCP/ACTRA Women’s Committee International Women’s Day 2016 Honouree in recognition of outstanding contribution to causes of social justice.

Annie Jang

General Manager

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Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Annie graduated from UBC with a BFA in Theatre Production & Design in 2009. Over the past decade, she worked as a freelance stage manager before moving into arts administration full-time. She was most recently the Operations Coordinator for Touchstone Theatre. Annie first joined the vAct family as a volunteer in 2010. Since then she has weaved in and out of vAct in various capacities and now, as the General Manager, she could not be more ecstatic about the great things in store for the company.

Jenna Masuhara

Operations Coordinator

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Jenna graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 2018. Ever since she was little she’s been attending plays and in her grade 12 year co-wrote a play for her high school production as part of the Edge Festival for Green Thumb Theatre. In 2015 she joined the Vancouver Asian Film Festival as the Community Partner Liaison. Jenna joined the vAct family in 2018 and is excited to help continue promoting diversity along with getting back into the theatre world.

Anjela Magpantay

Associate Producing Artistic Director

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Anjela is a first generation Canadian originating from the Philippines and graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Theatre Performance specializing in devising and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is an actor, clown, teacher, co-founder of New(to)Town Collective and formally the Producing intern for Playwrights Theatre Centre. Recent acting credits include Foreign Radical (Theatre Conspiracy), 12 Minute Madness (Centre for Embodied Performance), The Wolves (Withaspoon Theatre), Mis Papás (Rice&Beans Theatre) and Harvey (Western Gold Theatre). She currently lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Laara Ong

Artistic Associate

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Laara is a professional actor having performed in theatres across Canada. She was nominated for a Jessie award for her role in Golden Child and for a Sterling award for Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl. Other credits include The Yoko Ono Project, A Season in Purgatory and Yellow Fever. It has been a privilege for her to be a part of vAct, working beside such visionaries to see it become a major presence in the Vancouver arts scene.

Bahareh Shigematsu

Artistic Associate

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Bahareh was born and raised in Tehran, but has lived all over the world. As a result, she speaks Farsi, Turkish, French and English fluently. She has produced a feature-length film, and several music videos for Persian recording artists that have been seen internationally. She is currently an Artistic Associate with vAct, served as Artistic Associate for Empire of the Son, Dirty Old Woman, and as production manager in numerous theatre development workshops with vAct.

Estefania Millan

Sauder Co-op Student

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Estefania is currently a third-year undergraduate student at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. She was born in Chile but has since lived in various places around North and South America. Her experience sparked her appreciation for diversity and learning about how different cultures work together. Through her involvement in drama classes at school, she learned the importance of expression in theatre. As the newest addition to the vAct team, she is eager to support and learn more about the Asian Canadian community.

Penny Tham

President

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Penny Tham is a retired corporate securities lawyer.  She has extensive experience working in senior positions with international financial institutions around the world. After 25 years of living in Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Singapore and London she returned to Vancouver where she grew up. She is an enthusiastic theatre goer.

Sandy Tanaka

Treasurer

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Sandy Tanaka is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) who brings extensive corporate and non-profit knowledge to vAct’s board, including more than 18 years of senior management experience in finance, IT and strategic planning. Sandy is currently the Assistant Dean & Director of Finance and IT at the UBC Sauder School of Business and a member of the PALS Autism Society Adult Advisory Committee. In 2015 received the Graeme A.G. Stamp Community Project Award for her work with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Kenton Low

Director

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Kenton brings leadership and marketing expertise to the vAct Board. He has worked in several industries including entertainment where he served as a senior executive at the Walt Disney Company and Universal Studios.

Belle Cheung

Director

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Belle comes from a background in arts administration and is a professional trained stage manager for theatre, opera, and live events. She is currently a Social/Cultural Planner part of the Chinatown Transformation Team with the City of Vancouver, part of a specialized team working towards UNESCO World Heritage Status for Chinatown. Belle’s work sits at the intersection of arts and culture, and advocates for race, cultural histories, and representation as important factors in arts and cultural policies in order to accurately represent Canada’s demographics.

Wendy Lee

Director

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Wendy is a partner of Koffman Kalef LLP, Business Lawyers and has practiced corporate and securities law since 1985.  She is an avid theatregoer and supporter of various performing arts groups around Vancouver.  Wendy had been involved in providing support and advice to vAct “behind the scenes” for many years before joining the Board in June 2019. She is currently also a member of the Finance Committee and of the Nominations Committee at The University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft and previously served on the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch Women Lawyers Forum for six years.

Claire Sakaki

Advisory Committee Member

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Claire is the Executive Director of Bard on the Beach and has worked at Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company. Claire is a graduate of Georgetown University (Non-Profit Executive Program), Queen’s University (BAH Psychology), and the Income Manager’s Program (University of Waterloo). Claire received the John Hobday Award in Arts Management, sits on the Board of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, and is a member of the Labour Relations Committee for PACT and the Vancouver Cultural Services External Advisory Committee.

Stan Hamilton

Advisory Committee Member

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Dr. Stanley Hamilton (OBC) is an emeritus professor at UBC Sauder School of Business. After retiring from UBC, Stan served for seven years on the board of directors of the Arts Club Theatre Company including a term as Chair, on the BC Arts Council for seven years, four as Chair and as Project Manager for the BMO Theatre Centre for two years. Stan currently serves as a director of the Stanley Theatre Society and a board member of Ballet BC. We are honoured to have Stan on the vAct Advisory Committee.

Terry Whitehead

Advisory Committee Member

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Terry is the Managing Partner of Alexander Whitehead Executive Search, a Vancouver-based firm specializing in senior executive search in natural resources and the not-for-profit sectors. Previously, he worked in professional theatre for 15 years as a fund development professional with the Arts Club and Theatre Calgary. Terry is a member of the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Writers Fest and the Vancouver International Film Festival.

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