Welcome to Zee Zee
Small Stories Big Impact
Welcome to our eleventh season. We have stepped into a third lifecycle for this little company that could, and has, and is. Working alongside a hugely devoted board of directors, our incredible donors and our Playwright in Residence, we have found a way to offer programming throughout the year despite not having operational funding as a company. Is it insane? Certainly, but there are too many stories that need to be told.
Only with the kind of insight that comes from ten years under our belt can we look back and see how important honouring our elders (still with us and those that are departed) truly is to our sense of identity and place in the world. It is this belief in the positive effects of intergenerational relationships that can be seen woven throughout our eleven seasons. This season is no exception, as after four years of development we finally bring Dead People’s Things, which examines the story told by the things we leave behind, to the stage.
None of our play development would ever be possible without the support of our community of donors and patrons. As we come to the end of this latest creation, we start the initial research phase for the next: a collaboration with incredible playwright/comedian JD Derbyshire cracking open trans-exclusionary radical feminism called TERF Wars . The play is so of the here and now of conversations being had in our community, and we look forward to beginning the sharing process next season.
This season includes partnerships with like-minded organizations who have helped us get to this decade of celebration. Organizations like The Cultch and the Vancouver Public Library who have become part of the fabric of who we are and what we do. And the frank theatre, who we first partnered with in our second season for Playwright in Residence Dave Deveau’s Nelly Boy. Theatre is an alchemy of artistry and relationships and we are so deeply grateful to continue fostering our practice alongside these organizations.
Thank you for continuing to be in conversation with us. We look forward to many more.
Cameron Mackenzie, Managing Artistic Director
Vision & Mission
Zee Zee Theatre believes in individual stories that provoke and inspire us, and that foster common understanding and empathy across our diverse human experiences.
We are devoted to telling diverse stories and amplifying the voices of those on the margins. Zee Zee explores intimate moments through which the infinite complexity of human character can be revealed.
Founded in 2008 by Cameron Mackenzie, Zee Zee Theatre has shared small stories by amplifying the voices of those on the margins for more than a decade. Named after Mackenzie’s Godmother, Maria José (Zee) Dias Da Silva Catarino Velloza, the company strives to live up to her memory and continue her work of building community and sharing stories from those we don’t often hear from. From our first production in 2009, Whale Riding Weather, to 2016’s huge hit, Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical, Zee Zee continues to drive conversations with diverse audiences on stages across Vancouver. We foster original artistic voices, and engage new and diverse audiences by developing performance in non-traditional spaces. We believe that theatre is for everyone, and that performance can encompass more than mainstream voices on large stages.
Through signature productions like My Funny Valentine, the company has established itself as having unique and provocative conversations with diverse audiences, offering recognizable situations with poignancy and building a connection with our surrounding community in order to inspire unity in shared human experience.
The company is devoted to paying all artists professional living wages and has relied on substantial fundraising, grant writing and community building in order to stick to that belief. But it remains true to the overall vision of the company: we simply cannot tell our stories if we are not supported.
- 10 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominations
- The Georgia Straight Cover Story for Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical
- Outstanding Original Script by Emerging Playwright
- Outstanding Body of Work by Emerging Director
- The Georgia Straight’s 2014 Spring Preview Critics Pick
- Gay Vancouver 2011 Theatre Top Ten List
- Gay Vancouver 2010 Theatre Top Ten List
Managing Artistic Director
Originally from South Africa, Cameron is a Vancouver-based director, producer and drag queen. He produces and curates Club PuSh for the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and is founder and Managing Artistic Director of Zee Zee Theatre currently celebrating their eleventh season. Direction for Zee Zee: Elbow Room Café: The Musical (Phase 1 & 2), 5@50, Lowest Common Denominator, My Funny Valentine (2011, 2013, 2018), Tiny Replicas, Nelly Boy, Whale Riding Weather. Other directing credits include: Angels in AmericaPart 1 & 2, (Assistant, Arts Club), Pauline (Assistant, City Opera Vancouver), Hamlet (Assistant, Bard on the Beach), Karaoke: The Musical (Studio 58), Three SistersAssistant, The Only Child Equity Co-op), In Absentia (Assistant, Centaur Theatre), La Cage aux Folles (Associate, Vancouver Playhouse). A recipient of the Ray Michal Award for Outstanding Body of Work by an Emerging Director for the 2014/2015 season, he has also been nominated for Outstanding Direction atThe Jessie Richardson Awards in 2014 for his work on Lowest Common Denominator. He is a graduate of Studio 58 and has further trained with Pochinko clown master, John Turner. His drag alter ego Isolde N. Barron along with husband/wife/drag daughter Peach Cobblah aka Dave Deveau will be premiering a brand new drag show for children commissioned by and appearing at The Vancouver International Children’s Festival called Parents Are A Drag, as well as remounting our drag history show Tucked & Plucked, focussing on Vancouver’s Indigenous drag history at the recently reimagined Magnetic North Theatre Festival this summer. Upcoming Cameron will direct Antony & Cleopatra for Studio 58 as well as Holiday at the Elbow Room Cafe for Zee Zee & The Cultch.
Playwright in Residence / Associate Producer
Dave Deveau is an award-winning writer and performer whose plays and operas have been performed across Canada and in Europe. Plays for Zee Zee include: My Funny Valentine, Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, Lowest Common Denominator, Dead People’s Things and Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical. He has also worked with Green Thumb Theatre, Theatre la Seizieme, Theatre Direct, Tapestry New Opera Works, Buddies in Bad Times, Roseneath Theatre, the PuSh Festival and the Vancouver International Children’s Festival. He has won the Sydney Risk Prize, the Gordon Armstrong Playwrights’ Rent Award, and his plays have been nominated for 21 Jessies, 4 Ovation Awards and 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. He is currently working on new commissions for Zee Zee, Arts Club, Green Thumb, Nashville Children’s Theatre and the Belfry Theatre. His first collection of plays will be published in the spring through Talonbooks. His drag alter-ego Peach Cobblah can be seen hosting politics-forward drag events across the Lower Mainland. He is a graduate of York University and UBC’s MFA Playwriting program.
Board of Directors
|Jennifer Scott (President)|
|Ken Manning (Vice President)|
|Shawn Sorensen (Treasurer)|
|Bonnie Sun (Secretary)|