Press Kit


Sid: The Handsome Bum

Written by: Ira Cooper

Directed by: Kayla Deorksen

Performed by: Joanna Rannelli

Sid: The Handsome Bum is a one-woman show that invites an audience to listen to Sid, a homeless person who lives on the streets of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. Sid accidentally walks into a theatre, thinking it is nothing more than a dry and warm place to sleep for the night. Once she realizes where she is and that people are listening, Sid begins an immersive storytelling experience, telling humour-laden tales of a life struggling with poverty, drugs and mental issues. The play deals with many prevalent issues that inflict the Downtown Eastside. It talks directly about the shutting down of the Riverview Mental Facility, the city looking the other way at homelessness and Robert Pickton. Sid touches on relationships of the homeless, their happiness and their desires.  One of their biggest desires is to simply be heard. This might be Sid’s only chance.

Spec Theatre was founded in 2014 by three UBC theatre graduates, Joanna Rannelli, Hilary Fillier and Ira Cooper, with a mandate is to create original, accessible and inviting theatre for all.



Twitter: @spectheatre1 


PDF Press Kit: 

What people are saying:

“…a cleverly written play backed by a strong performer.” – Alison (Vancouver, BC)


“Sid the Handsome Bum rips a veil of privilege from the audience. Those

silenced in our community are empowered, given winged voices that

must be heard.” – Elisabeth (Vancouver, BC)


You lose the stage and fall victim to empathy. Whatever your stance or preconceptions, you feel what Sid feels and I implore everyone to experience the tragedy and comedy.” -Shawn (Mission, BC)


“Sid forces us to confront something we’re all used to ignoring everyday,

and that alone made it worth seeing.” – Brian (Vancouver, BC) 


“Rarely do you see a show so powerful. An intimate look into the life of

someone on the streets. You will laugh and cry. You will leave feeling you

should do more, ignore less.” – Louise (Vancouver, BC)



Joanna Rannelli – Sid
Joanna attended the BFA Acting Program at UBC where her highlights included King Richard and His Women, LaRonde, Beautiful Thing, Big Love, Life After God, and Mother Courage.  Upon graduation she worked with Untamable Shrews, UBC Theatre, Seven Tyrants, BC Buds Festival, Enlightenment Theatre, and Ashwood Theatre Society.  Along with performing, Joanna also produced this production and is a co-founder of Spec Theatre.  She is thrilled to be performing in this one women show.  Joanna sends special thanks to Kayla for her continued support and endless laughter along this journey, to Ira and Hilary for making this all possible, and to you the audience.  Enjoy the show.
 “Art is written on the wind” – Peter Brook
Kayla Deorksen – Director
imageAfter graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada, Kayla returned home to Vancouver where she has been acting professionally ever since.  She has worked with such companies as Axis Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre, (r)evolution theatre, Seven Tyrants Theatre, Touchstone Theatre and Bard on the Beach.  Kayla is extremely grateful for this opportunity to venture into the world of directing and admires this talented group of collaborators for their tireless work and devotion to telling this story.
Ira J Cooper – Writer, Stage Manager
IraCooperphotoIra is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s BFA program and co-founder of Spec Theatre. He is fortunate enough to have worked with The Nelson Historical Theatre Society, Delinquent Theatre, MITACS, Miranda Productions and Beijing’s White Nights. He is looking forward to working on the next, the next and the next show with Spec Theatre. Ira is extremely indebted to the amazing people on this team who were willing to collaborate with him to bring Sid’s story to full fruition.  “Want to collaborate, convene, communicate ideas, wade through thick as mud plots, reinvent the square? Reanimate Artaud or Bunuel? Consider the step beyond the fringes? Please contact me.”
Hilary Fillier – Props Manager
Hil2Hilary is a graduate of the UBC BFA Acting Program. Among writing, acting, and newly stage-managing, Hilary is also a co-founder of Spec Theatre. Some of the highlights of her career include: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mother Courage, and the numerous dirty Haikus she can’t help but write. Hilary is thrilled to be a part of Spec Theatre’s first show and looks forward to Spec’s exciting upcoming projects. She would like to thank Kayla, Joanna and Ira for all of their hard work and creativity in bringing this project to the stage.  She would also like to thank her partner Babak Ghaffari for being an amazing co-parent to their fur-baby girl, PicklePuss Valentine Fillier-Ghaffari.



Sid: The Handsome Bum will be at the Victoria Fringe 2015. The show will be performed at Fringe Venue 5:

St. Andrews Elementary -1002 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC

The dates are as follows:

August 29th, 2:00pm

August 30th, 7:30pm

September 1st, 6:00pm

September 2nd, 9:30pm

September 3rd, 5:30pm

September 5th, 5:00pm


For all inquiries please contact Ira Cooper or Joanna Rannelli at



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