Our Artistic Director Zach Fraser

Zach is an award-winning theatre artist: director, actor, puppeteer, puppet designer and teacher. Born and raised in the Maritimes, Zach found his way to Montréal via London and Paris. A graduate of the Acting Program at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Zach went on to train at the internationally renowned École Philippe Gaulier in London and Paris before returning to Canada via extensive touring in the United States with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. In 2011, Zach completed the unique specialized program in contemporary puppetry at UQÀM.

Throughout the years, Zach has had an ongoing passion for creating new works, occasionally founding new theatre companies along the way. In 1999, he co-founded Bunnies-in-the-Headlights Theatre in Halifax as a platform to devise original works. The company, now known as 2B Theatre, has gone on to international success. In 2003, he co-founded Compagnie ZaClaMa!, a collective creation company which continues to produce works in France and Luxembourg. In 2007, he co-founded RustWerk ReFinery with Attila Clemann. The company created original works inspired by historic events and real people, and has toured successfully throughout Canada and the USA.

Zach loves the challenge of adapting world-class writing for the stage. Some of his favourite stage adaptation projects include Blindness by José Saramago and Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, which he conceived and directed for John Abbott College. For Talisman Theatre, Zach designed and built a full cast of puppets for his production of The Aeneid by Virgil, reimagined by Olivier Kemeid. The play won Outstanding Independent Production at the METAs in 2014.

Most recently, Zach directed Paul Van Dyck’s King of Canada for Infinithéâtre, live-streamed to audiences across the continent and beyond, but still awaiting its first live audience when health regulations allow. Other recent directing credits include Indra’s Web, an original creation at the National Theatre School of Canada, and The Water Chronicles (Geordie Theatre), which won Outstanding PACT Production at the 2020 METAs. His award-winning Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Stage Play (RustWerk ReFinery), based on Chester Brown’s graphic novel, continues to tour across the country. Other directing credits include Love, Child (Infinithéâtre), ...and stockings for the ladies (RustWerk ReFinery), and Coma Unplugged (Talisman Theatre).

Recent performances include Mémoire de Lou (Théâtre de l’Avant-Pays), Province (Talisman Theatre / The Other Theatre), Trench Patterns (Infinithéâtre) and The Game of Love & Chance (Canadian Stage / Centaur Theatre).

Zach loves the hands-on work of designing and building puppets which remind him of the theatrical potential ever-present, yet often forgotten in live theatre. Highlight puppet designs include Stars: Together (Crow’s Theatre, Toronto), Astéroïde B-612 (La Roulotte), MacBeth – Walking Shadows (Shakespeare in the Ruff, Toronto), The Nisei & the Narnauks (Persephone Productions, META 2015, Outstanding Contribution to Theatre for puppet design), and The Heretics of Bohemia (Scapegoat Carnivale / Segal Centre). Zach was creating a series of puppets for Infinithéâtre’s 2020 production of Fight On! when the production was cancelled as the Covid 19 pandemic shut down theatres the world over.