Andy is a multi-award winning producer, writer, actor, director, video designer and filmmaker based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is the founding Artistic & Managing Director of The Virtual Stage, a Vancouver-based theatre company dedicated to the investigation of emerging technologies in theatre.
Andy was born and raised in Chilliwack, British Columbia. After graduating from Sardis Senior Secondary School with honours in science (with a special emphasis on physics and math), taking the advice of his mother he changed his plans to immediately become an engineer and spent his scholarship money to study arts at what was then called Fraser Valley College (now The University of the Fraser Valley).
Under the guidance of theatre professor Ian Fenwick, Andy was afforded several opportunities to perform in plays at the college level and soon decided that acting was the most fun he had ever had. He spoke with a college career counsellor about what an acting career might look like. The counsellor told Andy that actors manage to make a living acting about 10% of the time. The odds sounded great!
After three years at Fraser Valley College, he got accepted to the professional acting training programs at both Studio 58 and the National Theatre School. After a period of youthful indecision and a stint in both programs, Andy settled back in Studio 58 and studied the craft of acting for three years. To put himself through school, Andy worked with people challenged with mental disabilities and illnesses: a line of work that Andy considers to have greatly influenced the development of his personal skill set and level of community engagement.
A couple of years after graduation from Studio 58, Andy made his professional theatre debut playing Nikola Tesla in the acclaimed production of Brilliant! with The Electric Company. Since then he has worked regularly in theatre, film and television as an actor. In the year 2000 he founded The Virtual Stage and began broadening his horizons in playwriting, directing and video design.
Andy has been nominated for a total of 8 Jessie awards as an actor, director, writer and designer. Thompson wrote, directed and produced several hit shows in the past few years: the smart-phone enabled, roving theatre adventures The Zombie Syndrome (2012), The Zombie Syndrome: On Death Island (2013), and On Death’s Door: Plague of The Zombie Syndrome (2014), Broken Sex Doll (five productions in four cities across Canada in 2013-2014), which was acclaimed by critics and hailed as “the next Big Thing in Canadian Theatre”. Broken Sex Doll has been nominated for a total of 13 awards, most recently winning Vancouver’s musical theater Ovation Award for Outstanding New Work.
His film writing, directing and producing credits include the short film Cruel & Unusual (official selection: 2012 Vancouver Short Film Festival), Repair Man (3rd place overall and top-ranking Canadian film: 2011 International 100-Hour Film Race), The Provider (Grand Prize winner: 2010 Bloodshots 48-Hour Horror Filmmaking Competition and ‘Coup de Coeur’ distinction: 2011 Cannes Film Festival) and Mayor Mulligan (Best Writing Award: 2010 24-Hour Vancouver Film Race).
Recent film and television acting credits include roles in Arrow, Supernatural, Finding Mrs. Claus, Fringe, Level Up, True Justice and the feature film Cruel & Unusual.
Photo by Michael Julian Berz.