Developing Mr. Hatch!

Our performers do an excellent job of bringing Mr. Hatch’s world to life, a world written and imagined by Eileen Spinelli. However, this puppet show would not be possible without the efforts of Artistic Director, Chris McGregor, who adapted the show from the popular storybook. The show wouldn’t truly feel alive without Stephen Bulat’s sound design. And the show would definitely feel incomplete without our star puppet, Mr. Hatch, designed by Frank Radar and costume design by Barbara Clayden.

Chris McGregor

chris-mcgregorChris McGregor is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Axis Theatre Company. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Drama) from Bishop’s University and a Masters in Theatre (Directing) from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He has directed more than 100 productions across Canada and has been nominated for three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and four Ovation Awards for his directing. For Axis Theatre he directed the BC touring production of Hamelin: A New Fable and the world premiere of Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. Chris has taught physical theatre, mask (Commedia d’ell Arte) and Red Nose Clown at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Bishop’s University and Studio 58.

Stephen Bulat

Pic 3Stephen has been active in the Vancouver theatre and music scene for over 20 years. Theatre companies he has worked for include The Arts Club Theatre, Bard on the Beach, The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Shameless Hussy Productions and Hoarse Raven Theatre. Stephen has worked as a producer, composer, sound designer, lighting designer, technician, musical director and musician. He has musically directed such shows as “The Rocky Horror Show”, “West Side Story” and the Vancouver premiere of “Hedwig & The Angry Inch” which was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award as a “Hot Ass Band”. As a sound engineer and music producer, Stephen has recorded a diverse range of ensembles including “Realtime A Cappella Quartet”, “The Melodious Mandolins” and “The Vancouver Cast Recording of The Rocky Horror Show.” He has also composed and written original music for various documentaries and films, including the feature films Bar None & Sub Human. For Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, Stephen created the sound design, giving Mr.Hatch’s world a lilting flair.

Frank Rader

frankFrank Rader is currently teaching Art and Drama at Semiahmoo Secondary School in Surrey, B.C. There he teaches grades 8 through 12 including International Baccalaureate Art, a two-year advanced level art program. His work as a mask maker has offered him the opportunity to work with many talented performers, teachers and other artists including Donato Sartori in Padua, Italy, who taught Frank the art of leather mask making. Theatre educators in Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, U.S.A and England work with Frank’s masks. His masks are also in numerous private collections. As a puppet maker Frank has been designing puppets for over 10 years for a variety of  companies including Theatre Bagger and Mortal Coil Performance Society, both of Vancouver. His puppet designs for the acclaimed children’s show The Little Old Man were nominated for a 2009 Jessie Richardson award. He designed and built the puppets for Mortal Coil Performance Society’s highly acclaimed show The Fairy Play at The Sharing Farm last summer. Frank created the star puppet of our show, Mr. Hatch!

Barbara Clayden

unnamed.jpgBarbara Clayden has been a theatre artist for over 30 years, designing costumes for various theatre and dance companies around Vancouver including the Arts Club Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Blackbird Theatre, Carousel Theatre, Electric Company, the Firehall Arts Centre, Neworld Theatre, Presentation House, Pi Theatre, Rumble, Studio 58 and Theatre Replacement. She has been nominated for numerous Jessie Awards and won a few along the way. Sometimes she likes to design costumes for puppets, like our favourite Mr. Hatch!


Come and see Mr. Hatch’s world come to life!
The world premier is happening this May.
Coming to the Kay Meek Centre on May 16/17 at 11am and 1pm +
the Gateway Theatre on May 18/19 at 10am and 1pm.
Tickets are only $12.50 a seat.

To book tickets to the Kay Meek Centre, call 604-669-0631.
To book tickets to the Gateway Theatre, visit

About Mr. Hatch’s World!

Mr. Hatch is a tall, thin man that lives a simple, routine life. Until one day, a special package arrives in the mail with a note “SOMEBODY LOVES YOU!” Since then, we realize there are lots of people waiting to become Mr. Hatch’s friends. Our three talented performers, Jeny, Sarah-May, and Mika imaginatively transform every day objects into characters in Mr. Hatch’s world. I asked them a few questions to see what they love about Somebody Loves You, Mr Hatch and here’s what I got to know!

Mr Hatch Image.JPG

What is one quality you adore about Mr. Hatch?

I love how Mr. Hatch comes out of his shell, changing his tie and his demeanour without minding what people might think. His enthusiasm is contagious! – Sarah May

I appreciate Mr. Hatch’s unassuming nature. He doesn’t expect anything of others, and is always receptive toward the appreciations he receives. – Mika

I love Mr. Hatch’s crisp daily routine. He’s just so tidy and organized! I’d like to have a bit more of that quality in my own life. – Jeny

What is your favourite part in the show and why?

I like it when Mr. Hatch decides to bake brownies and have a picnic in his backyard with music and dancing. I wish we could really bake brownies during the show, but it’s fun that we can really play music and maybe people will really want to dance as well! – Sarah May

I like the walking. All the physical bits are so fun, especially with such memorable music! – Mika

I love it when Mr. Hatch interacts with us as the other characters in the story – I’m always so thrilled when puppets and humans play in the same world together. – Jeny

What is your favourite prop and why?

My favourite prop is the dust cloth that whispers somebody loves you to Mr. Hatch when he is trying to dust his house. – Sarah May

The harmonica is my favourite prop because I get to play it and it is a challenge. It is my Everest! – Mika

We haven’t worked with it yet… but I’m most looking forward to working with Mr. Hatch’s hat. I think it will play a great part in helping Mr. Hatch find different expressions throughout the play. – Jeny

Why did you choose to be a part of Mr. Hatch’s world?

I love puppets and working with Chris at Axis Theatre. This is really a very sweet story and I love playing with Jeny and Mika to make Mr. Hatch and his world come alive one puppet step at a time! – Sarah May

I love puppetry and knew this would be a sweet and fun puppet experience. Not to mention how lucky I am to be working with Jeny and Sarah – they are the best! – Mika

It’s such an honour to be a part of workshopping and developing a new play. This play has so much heart – and told with simplicity and honesty. There’s a truth and sweetness to this tale, and performing in that world well, what a lovely place to be as an actor, puppeteer and human being. – Jeny

Why don’t you come and be a part of Mr. Hatch’s world?
The world premier is happening this May.
Coming to the Kay Meek Centre on May 16/17 at 11am and 1pm +
the Gateway Theatre on May 18/19 at 10am and 1pm.
Tickets are only $12.50 a seat.

To book tickets to the Kay Meek Centre, call 604-669-0631.
To book tickets to the Gateway Theatre, visit