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is a physical theatre company specializing in mask performance and visual storytelling. Their work is performed in full-face mask, a wordless, whimsical form which has been described as “Utter magic” (CBC) and “Powerful, surprising and moving” (The Globe and Mail). The co-founding ‘heads’ of WONDERHEADS are Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix, who came together in 2009 resolved to conjure a little magic and wonder into the world. Armed with their respective careers in the professional theatre and a shared background in the most curious of MFA degrees (Ensemble Based Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International) they set out to create their first show, Grim and Fischer, the story of a feisty grandmother who battles it out with the Grim Reaper himself. This show served as a launchpad for the company and over the past decade they have developed four original productions: Grim and Fischer, LOON, The Middle of Everywhere, and The Wilds, which they have toured to festivals and performing arts centres throughout Canada and the United States. In 2013 the company was named one of ten Scion Motivate finalists, a US national contest recognizing entrepreneurs in the creative arts. The WONDERHEADS also frequently engage in a variety of outreach and teaching activities including workshops, in-depth residencies, lecture demonstrations and master classes. When not the road, the WONDERHEADS call beautiful Victoria, BC home.

ABOUT US

WONDERHEADS is a physical theatre company specializing in mask performance and visual storytelling. Their work is performed in full-face mask, a wordless, whimsical form which has been described as “Utter magic” (CBC) and “Powerful, surprising and moving” (The Globe and Mail). The co-founding ‘heads’ of WONDERHEADS are Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix, who came together in 2009 resolved to conjure a little magic and wonder into the world. Armed with their respective careers in the professional theatre and a shared background in the most curious of MFA degrees (Ensemble Based Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International) they set out to create their first show, Grim and Fischer, the story of a feisty grandmother who battles it out with the Grim Reaper himself. This show served as a launchpad for the company and over the past decade they have developed four original productions: Grim and Fischer, LOON, The Middle of Everywhere, and The Wilds, which they have toured to festivals and performing arts centres throughout Canada and the United States. In 2013 the company was named one of ten Scion Motivate finalists, a US national contest recognizing entrepreneurs in the creative arts. The WONDERHEADS also frequently engage in a variety of outreach and teaching activities including workshops, in-depth residencies, lecture demonstrations and master classes. When not the road, the WONDERHEADS call beautiful Victoria, BC home.
Kate Braidwood, Co-Artistic Director of WONDERHEADS, a physical theatre company specializing in full-face mask performance

Kate Braidwood

 Co-Founding Artistic Director

Kate Braidwood, WONDERHEADS Co-Founding Artistic Director, is an actor, deviser, sound designer, director and mask maker. She has performed nationally and internationally, and her masks are used in WONDERHEADS’ own work as well as on stages and in classrooms around the world. Kate holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International where she trained as an actor-creator, studying the development of original, physically driven work created in ensemble. It was at Dell’Arte that her passion for mask was truly ignited and developed, during which time she trained in the Italian form of Commedia Dell’Arte, studied mask performance with Joan Schirle and Ronlin Foreman, studied mask design with Bruce Marrs and worked with Berlin-based mask company Familie Flöz. In 2009 she teamed up with fellow Dell’Arte graduate, Andrew Phoenix, to create the WONDERHEADS and has been busy touring their work since that time. Kate was named a 2015 Oregon Arts Commission Fellow, an initiative designed to recognize the achievements of outstanding Oregon artists.

Andrew Phoenix

Founding Co-Artistic Director

Andrew Phoenix, WONDERHEADS Co-Founding Artistic Director, is an actor, deviser, director and teacher. Andrew holds a BFA in Acting from Texas State University and has worked with Dallas Children’s Theatre, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center in New Jersey, and the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Driven by a longing to create original and innovative work on his feet and away from the page, Andrew completed his MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and went on to perform and teach in India with Clowns without Borders U.S.A., direct and teach at Intiman Theatre (Seattle, WA), and perform with the Dell’Arte Company (Blue Lake, CA) and Miracle Theatre (Portland, OR). In 2009 he joined forces with Kate Braidwood to create their first show, Grim and Fischer, and the WONDERHEADS were born. As a company they have created four award winning productions and tour their work to festivals and performing arts centres throughout Canada and the US and beyond. Andrew also has a background as a theatre technician, having served as Technical Director and Master Carpenter at Miracle Theatre in Portland, OR, and is responsible for many of the set and lighting designs for WONDERHEADS’ productions. When not on the road with WONDERHEADS, Andrew makes his home in Victoria, BC.
Andrew Phoenix, Co-Artistic Director of WONDERHEADS, a physical theatre company specializing in full-face mask performance
We are incredibly grateful to the funders and organizations below for their support, past and present:
Canada Council for the Arts Logo
Oregon Arts Commission LogoRACC Logo
DesignEgg LogoScion Logo
Betsy & Iya LogoPortland Actor's Conservatory Logo
Water in the Desert LogoWorking Artist Org Logo