Introduced by their (adored) mutual friend, Cristiana Ripeanu and Gillian Clare formed Exact Resemblance with the goal of bringing compelling, clever, provocative, laugh-and-then-cry theatre to Vancouver stages.When the show they had originally planned fell through, Cristiana asked Gillian what plays she wanted to tackle. Gillian came back with a few options, secretly hoping Cristiana would pick one in particular (she did). As the maxim goes, when one author turns down your gender-bending adaptation, do a different play. Thus began the endeavour to co-produce work together.
What does 'exact resemblance' mean anyway?
Exact resemblance is a phrase coined by Gertrude Stein in her poem "If I Told Him, A Completed Poem of Picasso". Choosing our name wasn't easy. We wanted something quirky, punchy, and with some of the self-deprecating humour we enjoy. We liked the consonant sounds in the phrase. We liked the oxymoron, we liked the irony, we liked that it was written by a woman.
We aim to promote the voices of professional artists from underserved communities, including women, emerging artists, immigrant artists, and refugee artists.
When we come into the room, we bring professionalism, detail, and discernment.
We create cross-sectoral collaboration by building bridges between the arts and community stakeholders.
Who We Are
Meet our co-founders
Cristiana Ripeanu (she/her)
Cristiana is a Romanian-Canadian theatre director and educator. Her work has been staged at several state theatres in Romania and performed in multiple languages at festivals across Europe, such as Balkan Theatre Festival, International Theatre School Festivals (Greece, Netherlands, Albania), and Freistil Festival (Germany). In Canada and Germany, Cristiana has worked as an acting teacher and director for independent theatre companies and organizations. She also works in community-building and social outreach programs with sociocultural organizations in Germany. After spending the last 14 years in Germany, Cristiana has now relocated to Vancouver, where she looks to join other creators in the effort of enriching the Canadian theatre scene.
Gillian Clare (she/her)
Gillian is a French and English-speaking actor, dancer, and writer. Having trained in the US in classical ballet and modern dance, she went to theatre school in Toronto before returning to her hometown of Vancouver. Some favourite theatre credits include Ruth in Blithe Spirit, Myrrha in Metamorphoses, and Olivia in Twelfth Night, and appearing with the Riotous Youth at Bard on the Beach and the Guerrilla Ruff Squad at Shakespeare in the Ruff. Now primarily working in film and TV, she will next be seen in the upcoming series 'The Last Stand of Ellen Cole'. She is repped by Helen Campbell at Webster Talent. Find her here.
Past and Present Collaborators
Jacob Machin (he/him)
Jacob's career started in pantomime before finding a brief but successful calling in stand-up comedy, winning the 2007 Melbourne International Comedy Festival's 'Class Clowns' competition. Jacob went on to various theatre productions such as Death Of A Salesman, Next To Normal, Young and Jackson, directed by Wayne Harrison, August: Osage County, and Much Ado About Nothing with Melbourne Shakespeare Company. Now based in Vancouver, Jacob has recently appeared in ‘Big Sky,' 'Supernatural,' and 'Twilight Zone.’ Find him on IMDb.
Victoria Bell (she/they)
Victoria (V) is a Vancouver based scenographer (lighting, sound, set, and projection designer), technical director and Studio 58 graduate. Victoria is an ADC and IATSE 118 member. She is also a Stir recognized "Game Changer" in this year's fall arts guide.
She sees her work as focusing on the depth in shadow and its necessity to show detail in the light. Working between vibrant colours and muted tones, while using Physical structure to fully infuse her designs into the world of the piece. Using physical structures on stage with the performance creates a more literal connection to the lights, she very specifically doesn't want to just work in the grid "above" the performance, she is entangled with the performance as a whole, not just its outward final presentation. She wishes her designs to be objects wielded by and into the metaphor of the text.
Akshaya Pattanayak (he/him)
Akshaya (meaning “never ending”) is an actor and teacher based in Vancouver. He was born in Montreal but raised in different parts of India. He has an MFA in Acting from the University of Southern California and currently teaches acting at the Vancouver Film School. Notable theatre credits include Bad Hamlet, Milkcrate Monologues, Macbeth and 90 days. Film and TV credits include ‘Last Bite’ and ‘Digby and Glass’. Next, he will be starring in the short film ‘Wellington’ and will be featured in an upcoming TBA television show.