Chelsea Haberlin (BFA’07)

Graduating from UVic’s Department of Theatre with an Applied Theatre specialization in 2007, Chelsea has focused her career on directing, and it’s been a great choice too! At the 2013 Jessie Richardson Awards in Vancouver, Chelsea was named Most Promising New Director and given the Ray Michal Award.

In 2004 while still at UVic, Chelsea teamed up with other alumni to create the theatre company ITSAZOO Productions, for which she is still the Co-Artistic Director and General Manager. Other alumni that are at the heart of ITSAZOO are Sebastien Archibald (BFA’06), Co-Artistic Director and Playwright in Residence, and Colby Wilson (BFA’06), and actor and also Co-Artistic Director. After graduating, the company moved to Vancouver and was shortly after named the city’s “Favourite New Theatre Company”.

Right from the beginning ITSAZOO’s mandate has been to offer progressive theatre, particularly where that theatre is produced in venues outside the traditional playhouse setting. As such, they have presented works in gardens, parks, a parkade, a heritage museum, on top of a bridge, along False Creek, and in various areas inside a community hall.  Chelsea’s favourite ITSAZOO directing credits include Mojo, Chairs: A Parable, Robin Hood, The Road to Canterbury, Grimm Tales, Death of a Clown (which was remounted for the Phoenix Theatre’s Spotlight on Alumni in 2010) and The Zoo Story.  In 2013, Mojo was nominated for three Jessie Awards for small theatre, winning Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Chelsea has also completed the National Voice Intensive and in 2013, earned her MFA in Directing from UBC.  In 2012 Chelsea received the Sydney J Risk Award for direction and she is currently the dramaturgy intern for the Arts Club Theatre Company.
Other directing projects include Featuring Loretta & Criminal Genius (Vancouver Fringe Festival), Faust is Dead (UBC), The Ends of the Earth with Medical students at UBC, The Scarecrow for Spectral theatre and an adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm with inmates at the William Head Penitentiary.

She has also been the Assistant Director for The Idiot (PuSh Festival), Burnt By the Sun and London Assurance (United Players) and My Turquoise Years (Arts Club Theatre Company) as well as the Apprentice Director for Elizabeth Rex (Bard on the Beach).