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Keith Alessi - Writer and performer, Tomatoes Tried to Kill me but Banjos Saved my Life

Before taking to the stage, Keith was well known as a successful public company CEO and entrepreneur. He has lead companies in both Canada and the United States.

Encouraged by others to tell his personal story of challenges and triumph, Keith wrote Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me and performed it in Chicago, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Roanoke, and Floyd, Virginia last year.

This year, the show will be performed at many Fringe Festivals. February we kicked off in New York City, following that will be Brighton, England, Orlando, Florida  and Windsor, Ontario this spring, and rounding off the summer and fall will be Regina, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Edmonton, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia.

A dual Canadian/US citizen, Keith splits his time between Vancouver, British Columbia and Roanoke, Virginia. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is currently an adjunct Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University Law School in Lexington, Virginia. In his free time, he pursues his passions of flying and banjos!

Here's his LinkedIn page to learn about what he did in life before the music started. 

I love this city

Erika Conway - Producer/Dramaturge: Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life

Erika Conway, a Canadian actress, writer, and producer is no stranger to the stage. Her 25 year career has included acting in multiple roles both on stage and in film/ t.v. including: Anne Frank: The Diary of Anne Frank, Beatrice: Much Ado About Nothing, Alma: Summer And Smoke, Mother: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Dr. Lambert: Blackstone, and most recently Nyx in the new Canadian webseries Necessary Evil which premiered at the Edmonton International Film Festival in September 2018, won Best Web Series in The Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival, and will be travelling to festivals in Houston, Sicily, and Germany in 2019.

Theater has always been Erika’s first love and although acting has been a major part of her career and life, she has been more recently honing her writing and dramaturg skills.

In 2016, Erika wrote and produced a one woman show for the Edmonton Fringe Festival called Confessions of a Middle-Aged Drama Queen and was surprised to discover how much she enjoyed the producing side which has ultimately lead her to work on Keith’s one man show Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life. She is thrilled to be working alongside Keith in his journey with this beautiful and inspiring story that he has to share and is moved by the people it has been touching.

As Erika continues to pursue her career in acting, writing and producing, she is constantly reminded how lucky she is to be doing this as it is her greatest belief that creating art is one of the most profound gifts we all have inside of us. Everyone deserves to have a voice.  

Here is her IMDB Page to find out more about her career in film.