Raised by gregarious Danish immigrants, Ingrid loves talking to strangers. Ingrid Hansen trained first as a dancer, then as an actor, until she turned to the dark side and became a puppeteer.
~ FILM & TV ~
On television between 2008-2011, Ingrid Hansen performed as a lead puppeteer on the television series Tiga Talk, puppeteering and voicing the role of “Gertie The Gopher” for four seasons, forty-three episodes, plus an interactive speech therapy app. Tiga Talk is produced by the Aboriginal People’s Television Network and directed by Hilary Pryor, who is the recipient of Hollywood’s Humanitas Prize, the US Wilbur Award, and several Gemini and Leo awards.
Hansen performed the lead puppet character “Safety Bear Sally” as well as the Villian “Beamer The Moon Monster” on the show Princess Sparkly Butt and the Hot Dog Kid, an hour-long television special on Teletoon which won "Best Family Short Feature Film" at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival. Hansen also performed puppetry on the children’s television series Miss Persona alongside Canadian television’s most recognized faces including Kimberly Persona, Fred Penner (star of Fred Penner’s Place), Alyson Court (star of Big Comfy Couch), and WWE Superstar Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella). Miss Persona airs now on Treehouse TV, and is nominated for a Youth Media Alliance Award of Excellence.
In 2018, Hansen was invited to perform as the star puppet character Twyla on Tongue Twisters with Twyla, and also guest star in an episode of Caitie’s Classroom for Super Simple TV, a YouTube channel with over 150 million views, creators of the original “Baby Shark” video which has become an international viral sensation.
~ THEATRE ~
Hansen’s plays, which she co-creates, performs in, and produces through their theatre company SNAFU, have been presented hundreds of times at events all across Canada, including events curated by The Belfry Theatre, the Next Stage Festival, the Gabriola Theatre Festival, the SummerWorks Festival, The Great Canadian Theatre Centre, The Centaur Theatre, Theatre Direct, The Evergreen Cultural Centre, the National Arts Centre, the PUSH Festival, and more. In addition to performing with her company SNAFU, she has performed with Corpus Theatre, Story Theatre, Theatre Direct, Theatre SKAM, Shakespeare in the Ruff, Architect Theatre, Atomic Vaudeville, The Prague Quadrennial, and Suddenly Dance Theatre, with shows in Canada, Europe and Japan.
She earned her BFA Degree in Theatre at the University of Victoria. In 2006, Hansen co-founded SNAFU Dance Theatre Society in Victoria, British Columbia. SNAFU’s premiere production, Riyoku, was invited for a special encore performance hosted by Intrepid Theatre, Victoria’s leading presenter of cutting-edge performing arts. SNAFU’s next piece, BLiNK, won “Best Physical Show” in the 2007 Victoria International Fringe Festival and the Monday Magazine Award for “Victoria’s Favourite Dance Piece of 2007.” The company was invited to perform BLiNK at the ROMP International Festival of Independent Dance. Hansen presented SNAFU's third creation Pretty Little Instincts to sold-out crowds at the Victoria Fringe Festival in 2009, winning a Victoria Critic’s Choice Award, plus Monday Magazine Awards for “Victoria’s Favourite Choreographer,” “Best Dance/Physical Show” and “Most Innovative Show.” This acclaim prompted two special encore performances and an invitation to tour Pretty Little Instincts to Toronto’s SummerWorks Performance Festival.
During Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics, Ingrid joined Theatre SKAM to perform at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad as part of HIVE, a giant interactive performance installation in Vancouver, BC. In 2011, Ingrid studied with clown master Sue Morrison at the Toronto Theatre Resource Centre. At the Banff National Arts Centre Ingrid trained in puppetry with the internationally-acclaimed Old Trout Puppet Workshop. For the 2011 Prague Quadrennial festival of international performance design, Ingrid travelled to Prague. There she and a team of artists from around the world collaborated with Czech theatre director Pavel Stourac to create and perform The First Act. This sold-out physical theatre and puppetry installation took place in Prague’s Franciscan gardens of the Church of Our Lady of the Snow.
The following season brought new awards for Ingrid’s solo puppetry show, Little Orange Man, including winning “Pick-of-the-Fringe” at the Victoria International Fringe Festival in 2011. Little Orange Man then scooped the awards for “Pick of the Fringe” in Vancouver as well as “The Vancouver Playhouse Award,” which came with a performance contract with The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre. During a sold-out tour the following summer, Little Orange Man was awarded “Most Outstanding Overall Production” at the 2012 Ottawa Fringe Festival. The following year Little Orange Man was awarded “Best English Theatre Production” at the Montreal Fringe Festival, an honor that included a contract to be presented by the Centaur Theatre at their 2014 Wildside Festival. Critics called the show, “Well written and performed expertly, it’s easy to lose yourself in Kitt’s [Hansen’s character] world. Little Orange Man is a must see performance.” - Monday Magazine, Aug. 31, 2011. The Montreal Gazette recommended Little Orange Man as “Charming, inventive, hilarious and touching.” (Pat Donnely, Montreal Gazette, June 16, 2013)
Moving forward, Ingrid co-wrote and co-starred in Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future, a play that was celebrated winner of “Best New Play” in Victoria’s Critic’s Choice Awards in 2012, and the Vancouver Playwright’s Centre “New Play Prize.”
Teaming up with musician Elliott Loran, puppeteer Andrew G. Young and director Ginette Mohr, they created a show called Snack Music. This puppetry-dance-music-mashup premiered at Toronto’s Next Stage Festival, and toured to sold-out houses at the Montreal Fringe Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, and The Edge of the Woods Festival. This success prompted an invitation to perform the Undercurrents Festival in Ottawa in 2018. The show received rave reviews, including Five Stars from CBC’s Kaj Hasselriis, who wrote, “Andrew G. Young, Ingrid Hansen and Elliott Loran...SNAFU Dance Theatre's trio of energetic actors are ultra-creative improvisers and puppeteers who use musical instruments and everyday objects to bring all the stories to life. From start to finish, Snack Music is the ultimate festival experience.”
Soon afterwards the Snack Music team was commissioned by the Dora-Award-Winning company Theatre Direct to create a new puppetry piece which they premiered in 2015 at the Weefestival, English-Canada’s most prestigious international festival of theatre for Early Years. This piece, titled Table Top Tales, was invited to Canada’s National Arts Centre. Ingrid also puppeteered for Theatre Direct’s Dora-Award-Winning puppetry piece The Old Man and the River, which they toured to theatres across Canada.
In 2017, Hansen began a new creative partnership with international touring artist Stéphanie Morin-Robert to co-create and co-star in their duo show, The Merkin Sisters. This no-holds-barred physical comedy show was a smash hit, touring to thirteen festivals with critical acclaim. In one of their 5 STAR reviews, critic Kass Mitchell wrote “Ingrid Hansen and Stéphanie Morin-Robert are experts at their craft, captivating the audience with their intangible energy.” - Vue Weekly Magazine, August 20, 2017.
Also in 2017, Hansen's new solo puppetry show Interstellar Elder won “Best Solo Show” and “Best Performance” at the Victoria International Fringe Festival, and toured to sold-out crowds across eleven North American festivals. In Toronto Interstellar Elder was also nominated for “Best Solo Performance in all of 2017” by the My Entertainment World Critic’s Choice Awards.
For the past twelve years, Hansen has been directing, performing, and co-producing plays behind bars with the prisoners at William Head on Stage, the only prison theatre company in Canada that performs for the public. Her work with the prisoners at William Head on Stage has been featured in the book, Working in the Margins of Community-Based Adult Learning, and also featured in alt.theatre magazine, Canada’s only professional journal examining the intersections between politics, cultural plurality, social activism, and the stage.
Hansen also teaches workshops in puppetry and physical theatre.
"I was blown away by Little Orange Man so when I learned that Ingrid was offering a masterclass in Toronto I just had to fly across the country to participate. I was not disappointed. If Ionesco knew how to stage chairs, Ingrid had us wrangle them! But I particularly liked how we explored dramatizing aspects of ourselves through objects, how we developed story sequences and worked with feedback from the group to enhance them. I had expected getting to animate objects, but I really appreciated working on story development, both individually and with others. Plus, Ingrid is such an inspiring ball of energy and enthusiasm. No wonder she can raise the dead, um, objects..." - Kris Fleerackers, student at the Humber College Puppetry Masterclass