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Dad’s Garage Theatre Hires Kevin Gillese as Artistic Director

Dad’s Garage Theatre Company has hired a new artistic director. Here’s the announcement, released today:

Dad’s Garage is thrilled to announce the appointment of its new artistic director – Kevin Gillese! Gillese comes from our Canadian sister thearer – the critically acclaimed Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton, AL, Canada – where he currently serves as artistic director. His background includes improvisation, theater and video work and his core strengths include ensemble growth and development, collaborative creation and the production of new and original work across multiple disciplines.
“In addition to Kevin’s talent and intellect, he’s a whole lot of fun to be around,” said Managing Director, Lena Carstens. “In a time when we are presenting all new and original work, we’ll benefit from having fresh perspective from someone who’s already in the Dad’s family…even if he has been a distant cousin north of the border.”
Gillese plans to focus on strengthening and expanding the current ensemble-based infrastructure of the theatre while exploring and incorporating more new media into the vision of what the company creates. Gillese’s hire comes as a result of an international artistic director search and on the heels of the creation of a strategic plan, which took over the course of a year and included over 100 people. His experience in writing and developing shows, touring, and teaching fits well within our strategies, which include the development and production of original artistic work, the expansion of our education program and giving a life to our work outside the theatre.
Gillese is no stranger to Dad’s Garage Theatre or what the contributing factors to its success have been. Ten years ago as a young improviser, Kevin got his first taste of international performance at the theatre’s World Domination TheatreSports Tournament and has continued to return year after year.
“There has always been a dynamic at Dad’s Garage that I am both inspired by and comfortable in. We just seem to gravitate towards similar artistic aesthetics, which explains why we’ve had such a long and positive relationship,” said Gillese. “I really value the chance to work with an organization that embraces an independent spirit, and an environment where artistic creation, development and collaboration are prioritized. I can’t wait to get started.”
Gillese officially dives in to the artistic director position in January of 2010 after a six-week European tour with Scratch, a long-form improv format co-developed by Kevin that has become the most toured improv act across the globe.

More about Kevin:
Kevin Gillese started his career at Rapid Fire Theatre at the age of fifteen after winning the Nosebowl (RFT’s high school tournament at the time), and although his prize was just one night of stage time, that experience sparked the next twelve years of studying, teaching, performing, directing, and improvising which led him to the Artistic Directorship at top of the company.
During his time at Rapid Fire, Kevin created the wildly successful improv duo Scratch with Arlen Konopaki, which has gone on to tour all over the world. When not on the road with Scratch, Kevin was involved in a number of multi-disciplinary projects including: writing, directing, and touring a production of Hip-Hop 4 Dumeez, a two-man comedy about hip hop culture; directing and performing in Turnbuckle, a full-length video mocumentary about wrestling featuring Colin Mochrie; directing A Watched Pot Never Boyles, a narrative based sketch comedy show which will appear at the Edmonton Fringe Festival; and even writing and performing in the solo show Wisdom Teeth, which was met with rave reviews at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
In addition to a wide array of accomplishments, Gillese also has a strong educational background. As an undergraduate, Kevin studied Theatre and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta before going on to complete the Post-Graduate Comedy Writing and Performance program at Humber College in Toronto. Now, he’s looking forward to simultaneously schooling and getting schooled by his friends in Atlanta.

About Dad’s Garage Theatre Company:
Founded in 1995, Dad’s Garage Theatre Company has grown from a small volunteer led organization to a thriving mid-size theatre led by professional artistic and administrative staff that includes over 300 volunteers and performers. We now entertain more than 30,000 people each year at our two-theatre facility in Inman Park, public events across the state, and at improv festivals across the continent. In addition to outrageous original productions, Dad’s Garage produces improv shows 52 weeks per year, educates young improvisers in a year-round high school outreach program, and facilitates onsite classes and workshops for the general public. Dad’s Garage is committed to elevating the awareness of the arts in the Atlanta community through the production of original theatrical works, education, and the creative outlets found through improvisation.

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