Marisa Vest

In 2004, the year that she earned her BFA, Marisa Vest was the Production Stage Manager for the Phoenix Theatre’s Studio Series, a selection of six short plays with small casts and modest production values. Just seven years later, she was a Stage Manager for the massive spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil.

Originally from Vernon, Marisa spent the years after graduating from UVic furthering her education and working with various theatre organizations across the country. The Production Design and Stage Management programs at the Banff Centre built upon the foundations of what she had learned at the University of Victoria, and her work within Opera companies in Ontario eventually led her to apprentice for two seasons at the prestigious Shaw Festival.

After working as a stage manager for the Torontonian theatre company Soul Pepper and the Nova Scotian theatre company Two Planks and a Passion, Marisa earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stage-manage for the 2011 North American tour of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion. The show, which employs a cast of over 50 Cirque performers and includes everything from “juggling infused with breakdancing and acrobatics” to “gravity-defying ballet,” was a massive leap forward from Marisa’s work at the Phoenix – and she couldn’t have been happier.

"One day I got the magic phone call," she said in a Times Colonist interview. "I [ran] away with the circus."