the frank staff

Fay Nass | Artistic Director
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Fay Nass is a queer theatre-maker, director, writer, curator, producer, educator, scholar, innovator and tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion. Her practice is dedicated to creating artful, truthful interpretations of gender, race, diaspora and cultural identity.  

Fay’s work has been presented locally, nationally and internationally.

In 2017 Fay worked with The Frank Theatre as a consultant and curated the intersecting conference in Toronto with the POC artists who were involved with the 2016 Q2Q symposium. She also directed and presented Kill Your Lovers at Rhubarb Festival in Toronto as well as Fresh Fruit Festival in New York, and her play Unveiled was presented at Shift Festival in Vancouver and SummerWorks Festival in Toronto. She is currently the artist in residence at Neworld theatre.

Fay’s theatre journey began as a child in Iran, at age ten to be exact. Having grown up in a family involved in Persian and French art and theatre, her introduction to performance came early, as did her love for it. After moving to Vancouver in 2000, she started her academic theatre training at University of Victoria, obtaining a degree in theatre directing as well as film studies.

After a few years of directing text-based, established plays, she began to see the lack of published plays written by marginalized voices. This is when she decided to focus on creating spaces for liminal stories, by working to change both the content of stories and the forms of storytelling we use to tell them.

During her Masters studies at SFU, Fay focused on the devised process, combining her passion for dance and cinema with theories of phenomenology. Her Masters thesis project, Aphotic Dream, and her final thesis “The Visibility of the Invisible:Toward a Phenomenology of Darkness in the Theatre”, represents untold experiences of danger and extreme vulnerability contained in transculturalism and immigration by using synesthetic effects. Spoiler alert: much of the play takes place in darkness.

Fay Nass is thrilled to be the Artistic Director of The Frank Company and to continue creating exciting, thought-provoking work. Fay Nass is also the founder and Artistic Director of Aphotic Theatre, a company focused on innovating ways of telling women’s stories, written by women, through performance.

Anais West | Operations Manager/Associate Producer
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Anais is a queer actor, playwright and theatre producer. She was Pi Theatre’s 2017-2018 Associate Artistic Producer, and is a co-producer for Killjoy Theatre, a company that develops and produces plays work by female and non-binary artists. Killjoy will premiere three new works at the 2019 rEvolver Festival: The Way You Carry On, Burqa Boutique and Fireflies. Anais’ work as a playwright includes Kill Your Lovers, which was presented at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre’s Rhubarb Festival in Toronto and the Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City and Poly Queer Love Ballad, a new slam poetry musical co-written with Sara Vickruck. Poly Queer Love Ballad is the winner of PTC’s Fringe New Play Prize, the Georgia Straight Critics Choice Award, the Volunteer Choice Award and Pick of the Fringe. It received its professional premiere in March 2019, co-produced by Queer Arts Festival, co-presented by Zee Zee Theatre and the Frank Theatre, and toured to Edmonton’s SkirtsAfire Festival March 13th-17th 2019. As an actor, Anais has worked with the Only Animal, Rumble Theatre’s Tremors Festival, Carousel Theatre for Young People, PuSh Festival and the Arts Club. Anais is a graduate of Studio 58.

Jan Derbyshire | Artistic Associate
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Jan Derbyshire is a performer, playwright, theatre maker, director, teacher, and comedian. Her work involves solo performance, community and artist collaboration, traditional playwriting, experimental storytelling, video, words on paper, event creation, and stand-up comedy. A prolific writer, Jan’s other plays include Dog of My Understanding, Audition of The Embarrassed Woman, The Opposite of Everything is True, Under The Big Top and A Modern Woman’s Guide to Female Impersonation, just to name a few. She has been Artist in Residence with The National Film Board of Canada, the Firehall Arts Centre and Montreal’s Playwright’s Centre. Currently she is an Artistic Associate with PTC (Playwright’s Theatre Centre) in Vancouver. She has performed stand-up comedy on A&E, CBC, CTV. Creation companies include Loco Motion, Squid Theatre, Myth Universe and Human Writes. Recent recipient of Remarkable Women Award 2012- The City of Vancouver.

James Fagan Tait | Artistic Associate
Pronouns: he/him/his

Actor, Writer and Director James Fagan Tait is a native of Cornwall, Ontario. He trained at Ryerson Theatre School and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he worked as an actor and director for several years. He also studied theatre at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris where he worked as an actor and director for four years. He is one of Vancouver’s busiest actors / writers / directors, creating, directing, and/or performing in shows for numerous professional and community-based companies, including Neworld Theatre, Boca del Lupo, Western Gold, the Vancouver Playhouse, Caravan Farm Theatre, Vancouver Moving Theatre, the Electric Company, Runaway Moon, Bard on the Beach and many others. As the frank‘s Playwright-in-Residence he developed a new play called The Explanation.