Kevin Gillese

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Kevin Gillese (born 24 December 1980)[1] is a Canadian actor, writer and improvisor from Edmonton, Alberta.


Gillese started as a performer with the improv company Rapid Fire Theatre and also works regularly with the Atomic Improv and performs annually at the Die-Nasty Soap-A-Thon. He was the Associate Artistic Director of Rapid Fire Theatre from 2005-2007, then Artistic Director until December 2009. In January 2010, Gillese began his term as Artistic Director of Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia.[1][2]

Gillese left college to take up improv.[2] In 2004, he was nominated for an AMPIA award for best director for his first film Turnbuckle.[citation needed] He performed a spoken-word show "Wisdom Teeth" directed by Chris Craddock at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in 2009[3] and hosted a cabaret night at the fringe with Amy Shostak.[4]

Gillese has toured across Canada and internationally with the show Hip Hop 101,[citation needed] as well as with his improv show: Scratch, which played twice weekly in Edmonton when not touring. He appeared with Arlen Konopaki in Scratch at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in 2008,[5] and they toured Europe for six weeks at the end of 2009.[1] In 2010, they wrote "Fairy Tales Scratched", a modern surreal take on fairy tales.[6]

Gillese is the co-writer, co-creator, and executive producer of the short series Hart of America.[7] The series was a product of Gillese's long time collaboration with Arlen Konopaki, and was based on their long-form improv format developed through their show Scratch. Hart of America also stars his wife, Amber Nash.[8] Additionally, Gillese co-wrote and directed the show Battle Space Wars, also based on his Scratch shows, in February 2015.[9]

Gillese is known as an arts leader that promotes diversity initiatives in theatre, specifically those that empower women.[10]

When Atlanta theatre company Dad's Garage lost its long-term base in 2013, Gillese led the search for and acquisition of a new home for the company.[11] The initiative coalesced around the renovation and rezoning of an old church. Part of the funding for the move and renovations was derived from a successful Crowdfunding campaign that mobilized Dad's Garage's fanbase and supporters.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Holman, Curt (24 October 2009). "Speakeasy with Kevin Gillese". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Brock, Wendell (13 January 2010). "Kevin Gillese brings energy to Dad's Garage". Access Atlanta. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  3. ^ Mayes, Alison (19 July 2009). "Wisdom Teeth". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  4. ^ Ross, Mike (18 August 2009). "A mixed bag of mixed nuts nightly". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  5. ^ Maida, David (30 April 2008). "Comedy career more than a laugh". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  6. ^ MacLean, Colin (18 August 2010). "Fairy Tales Scratched — 4 out of 5". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Home". Hart Of America. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  8. ^ "'Hart of America' Showcases 3 Dad's Garage Talents". Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  9. ^ "battle-space-wars_dads-garage". AMERICAN THEATRE. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Dad's Garage's Kevin Gillese and Lara Smith talk all things funny". Busking At The Seams. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Born Again: Dad's Garage Theater converts a church - Atlanta Magazine". Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2015.