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Talent Agency PLAY Management Turns 10, Expands to USA

The Vancouver-based talent agency that recently saw one of its youngest clients, Jacob Tremblay (ROOM), shine at the Oscars and the Canadian Screen Awards, is taking its business model to Atlanta, Georgia.

10 years ago, PLAY Management was founded in Vancouver by partners Vickie Petronio-King, Trina Allen-Abt and Lena Lees-Heidt. The agents, who describe their management style as a “full management" approach, represent a wide range of Canadian and US film and television actors, voice talents and directors.

Their roster includes Sarah Jeffrey, series regular of NBC’s Shades of Blue, Amanda Crew, series regular of HBO’s Silicon Valley, Tricia Helfer, series lead of SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica as well as Brendan Penny and Warren Christie, series regulars of CTV’s Motive.

Petronio-King says understanding the needs, goals and vision of each client is what drives them.

"I think what we do best is we treat every client differently. Everybody has their own needs and goals. Because we maintain a small roster of clients, we have a tight relationship with all of them," she says, describing their services from the nitty-gritty of picking headshots and reading dozens of screenplays, to finding work and negotiating deals.

Allen-Abt moved to busy film hot spot Atlanta, Georgia, two years ago to expand Canadian-US relationships and to capitalize on the vast opportunities in the area.

Last January, the company officially opened a local office, PLAY Talent Agency, helmed by Allen and manager Render Hocker.

"Georgia is very busy in terms of filming right now, it's been gradually picking up speed over the last 10 years. It's sort of similar to what Vancouver was 15 years ago," says Petronio-King. "We really saw an opportunity there. Last year alone, the state of Georgia reported a $ 5.1 billion economic impact with the film industry."

In spite of the exceptional growth in the film industry due to tax credits, the region has recently made headlines as industry giants Disney and Marvel threaten to boycott the "religious liberty bill," which would allow business to refuse to provide service to same-sex couples.

By Katja De Bock
Key photo by Tamara Mcgill (from left: Lena Lees-Heidt, Vickie Petronio-King and Trina Allen-Abt)

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