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2016-17 Staff Biographies

Kendra Fanconi is the Artistic Director of The Only Animal.  She has worked since 1994 as an actor, writer, director, theatre creator and producer of original, often site-specific work. As A.D. she works closely with the Board of Directors on planning, governance, and fundraising, sets artistic priorities and leads season planning, directs and produces professional creations, and provides vision and fierce dedication.  Kendra’s short play Finale has been produced in New York City, Chicago, Norway, Lithuania, Brighton U.K. Her production Nothing But Sky won the 2014 Jessie for Significant Artistic Achievement.  She created NiX, Canada's first theatre of snow and ice, which premiered at ATP's playRites Festival in Calgary and was a centrepiece production in the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad up in Whistler. She also wrote and directed the outdoor extravaganza Other Freds in 2005, also won a Jessie award for Expanding the Scope of Site-Specific Theatre.  That production featured 125 community members and 35 professional artists, including 7 roving musicians, a bicycle ballet, kayak stampede, and a cruise ship conga line.   Other credits include: The One that Got Away (playwright/performer, Winner: Outstanding Production 2002)  The Last Stand (co-writer/performer), Box2 (co-writer/performer, Winner: Best Actress)  Bonehouse, (playwright, adapted for CBC radio, Nomination: Outstanding Script) The Last Five Years (director, Nomination: Outstanding Director) , and Medea (director). She is also the recipient of the Sam Payne Award for Best Emerging Director.

Eric Rhys Miller is Artistic Producer of The Only Animal, the creation-based theatre company in Vancouver he co-founded with Kendra Fanconi, his partner in life and theatre.   He has worked professionally for 25 years in Canada and the U.S. as a performer, teacher, theatre maker, playwright & director. From 1999-2005 he was an artistic associate of Traveling Jewish Theatre, directing its Educational Training and Outreach Program, managing grants, and assisting with season and organizational planning.  For The Only Animal, he directs and produces youth and community arts programming, manages financial operations and reporting to the Board, directs advancement and granting, and works closely with the A.D. on strategic and annual planning, evaluation, marketing and communications.

Mr. Miller collaborated in various ways on all of The Only Animal’s original works including on the Jessie-award winning design team for Nothing But Sky.  He wrote and co-directed Sea of Sand, which premiered in 2011 on Spanish Banks Beach, and directed the intergenerational interspecies community-based multimedia storytelling project: Out On A Limb. Eric developed and directs the 2nd Story project mapping stories onto local places using mobile augmented reality technology. He also directs TOA’s mentoring program with Vancouver Fringe, whose DAREU! artists won the Artistic Risk Award in 2015.

Colin Cooper is the Operations Manager for The Only Animal.  He is also its Production Manager.  Mr. Cooper oversees financial operations, bookkeeping, facilities and infrastructure, venue design, production budgets, and all production personnel.  He lends administrative support to the Artistic Producer. Colin was Production Manager for Granville Island Cultural Society from 1999-2011. He has overseen productions and solved technical and logistical problems for the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Theatre Calgary, Theatre Replacement, PI Theatre, Carousel Theatre, and See Seven, among others.  Colin received his training from The Banff Centre and U.B.C’s Fine Arts program in Design/Technical Theatre.  His association with The Only Animal began with solving huge technical design problems for its 2005 inaugural production of Other Freds, including designing a 25’ long underwater steel bridge that satisfyingly and safely ‘defied the law of basic physics’ while allowing seven actors to hover in the waters of False Creek, Vancouver.  He was also roped into designing and constructing our dome-based theatre of snow and ice for NiX in Calgary and in Whistler, for the 2010 Cultural Olympiad, coordinating the production team for the living comic book Nothing But Sky, and designing production venues for Out On A Limb and 2nd Story in a public park and alleyway respectively.

The Only Animal creates cultivates and inspires theatre work that arises from a deep engagement with place.