Young Company Participants 2015/16

Young Acting Company 2015/16


helen belayHelen Belay
After a long break from theatre, Helen Belay is more than honoured to have joined the Citadel’s 2015/2016 Young Acting Company.  A second year English student at the University of Alberta, Helen has always had a penchant for great tales and sharing them; whether this be through writing them or bringing them to life via performance.  Most recently, she was seen in Edmonton Musical Theatre’s From Hollywood to Broadway as Crystal and is eager to add more credits to the list!

Grace Bokenfohr.cropGrace Bokenfohr
Grace is honoured and delighted to return to the Citadel’s Young Company program for a second year. With a growing passion for theatre, she began working with St. Albert Children’s Theatre at the age of 8. She continued to work with them for five seasons. Grace has taken eleven consecutive years of voice lessons and is now under the wing of Kim Mattice Wanat. Citadel Theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet, A Christmas Carol, and The Sound of Music. Grace was most recently seen in last year’s Young Musical Company production of Measures. At Bellerose Composite High School, Grace is now attending grade 12, and eager to graduate. She has been exploring dance for the past six years and cannot wait to learn more. She is thrilled to continue learning and growing as a performer and artist.

ora burnsOra Burns
Ora is delighted to be a part of the Citadel Young Companies this year. She enjoys various forms of visual and performing arts and has had past experience with dance, music, and theatre. She looks forward to this opportunity to learn and grow as a performer. Her most recent performances include Legoland and Lunar Cycles.

jackson cardJackson Card
Pulsing with excitement, Jackson is primed and ready for his first year of Young Company training! Jackson was a late bloomer into theatre, only truly appreciating it upon entering high school. He is entering his third year at Blessed Oscar Romero High School, the site of discovery for his love of theatre. Jackson has performed in his school productions of The Curious Savage (Samuel Savage) and A Christmas Carol (Ebeneezer Scrooge), having been nominated for both Featured Actor and Outstanding Lead Actor respectively. Additionally, his high school improv team has been an excellent source of on-stage experience and fun.

patrick doverPatrick Dover
Patrick is very excited to begin training with the Citadel Young Acting Company! Now in Grade 12 at Lillian Osborne High School, Patrick has found a passion for everything theatre. Patrick has been most notably seen in Lillian Osborne’s 12 Angry Men as Juror 7. In the few spare moments Patrick finds outside of the theatre, he spends them pursuing his other interests, which include karate, competitive video games, biking and talking!

sarah emslieSarah Emslie
Sarah is thrilled to be part of this year’s Young Acting Company! Recently graduated from Strathcona High School, Sarah is currently taking her first year at the University of Alberta, studying drama. Her past credits include: In The Heights, Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Addams Family (for which she received the Cappie for Outstanding Female Dancer), all with Scona Theatre Co.. With The Citadel, Sarah has appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Christmas Carol. Most recently she was seen in American Idiot at the 34th annual Fringe festival this summer with the Strathcona Alumni Theatre Co. She was also the recent recipient of The Edmonton Public School Board Dance award. Sarah is beyond excited for this year and can’t wait to dive in!

teryn evansTeryn Evans
Teryn is very thankful to be a part of the Young Acting Company 2015/16.  The last play he performed was The Day Billy Lived where he played the character, William DeVie.  He co-directed and acted in a play for Suicide Prevention week in September 2014.  He has been out of high school for a year and is excited to grow more as an actor and build skills for his future career.

sam goertzSam Goertz
Sam is overjoyed and tremendously honoured to be a part of the Citadel Young Acting Company for the 2015/16 season. Sam is a recent graduate of Strathcona High School where he discovered his love for theatre and performing. He is thrilled to develop his talents with the Citadel, alongside such fantastic young actors and actresses. Sam was most recently seen as Doug in Gruesome Playground Injuries with the Strathcona Theatre Co. He was also seen as Kevin in Beginnings, a film from REACH Edmonton. He would like to sincerely thank his family, friends and teachers for their continual support.

marguerite lawlercropMarguerite Lawler
Marguerite is tickled pink to be a part of this year’s Young Acting Company. Marguerite is an actor, singer, and improviser, currently studying at the University of Alberta. Having recently graduated from JH Picard High School, Marguerite may have been seen in Amadeus (Salieri), Leader of the Pack (Ellie Greenwich), Blood Wedding (Leonardo’s Wife/Beggar Woman), In the Heights (Abuela Claudia), The Wiz (The Lion), Cabaret, and the premiere of Chris Craddock’s The Making of Something Awesome (Robin), a role later reprised at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was also thrilled to be a part of Two One Way Tickets to Broadway’s Jane Eyre, the Musical this past year. She loves learning to play new instruments, comedy, and delving into new musical soundtracks. An improviser with Rapid Fire Theatre, she can be seen every Friday night at the Citadel’s very own Zeidler Hall.

rizwan mohuddiuncropRizwan Mohiuddin
Rizwan has been doing theatre since he first discovered Drama class at Jasper Place High School. His past performances include Andrew – Age 5 in Why Do We Laugh (2011), Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist (2011), and John Proctor in The Crucible (2012). Currently he is in his fourth year of Marketing at the University of Alberta. He is excited to act.

liam stewart-kaniganLiam Stewart-Kanigan
Liam is fired up to be in the Citadel’s Young Acting Company this year. Acting and improvisation have been Liam’s passion from a young age and he is grateful to learn and gain experience from the program. On top of several Junior High school plays, his most recent role was in Victoria School’s Playworks piece Home Free starring as Lawrence. After a small hiatus from the world of theatre, Liam is eager to jump in headfirst and see what awaits!

sheldon stockdaleSheldon Stockdale
Sheldon is extremely excited for his first year to be a part of Young Companies. He is a graduate from W.P. Wagner and was very invested in its theatre programs. He was into improv ever since his first day at Wagner and continued with it for three
years. Sheldon Plans to pursue it  along with other types of theatre. He was also a part of multiple different productions at Wagner including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead playing Claudius and Never Swim Alone as Bill. Sheldon would like to continue with acting and improv for years to come and is so pleased to be a part of the program.

Malcolm_Vick_HeadshotMalcolm Vick
Malcolm is quite excited to be part of a Citadel Young Company for the first time. Last seen performing with the Citadel Foote Theatre School Summer Acting Intensive class, Malcolm’s notable performance’s include his portrayal of Guildenstern in WP Wagner High School’s production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard and C.R. Faber in Wagner’s production of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Both plays were nominated for best play by the Edmonton Cappies and Malcolm received the award Best Lead Actor for his performance in the former. Malcolm’s dramatic interests also include improvised theatre, performing many times throughout the Rapid Fire Theatre hosted NAIL, CIG, and Nosebowl events.


Young Musical Company 2015/16

ceris backstromCeris Backstrom
Ceris is pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Citadel Theatre 2015/16 Young Musical Company, and is excited to see what learning opportunities it has in store for her! She was last seen this summer, touring around Edmonton area daycares in Kompany Family Theatre’s Fairly Scary Fairy Tales. Other notable past credits include Anne of Green Gables (Horizon Players), This Is A Play (Harry Ainlay One-Act Festival), A Tale of two Cities: The Musical (Elope/Sherard), Lunar Cycles (One-Act Cities), Guards! Guards! (Harry Ainlay Production), The Sound of Music (The Citadel Theatre), and The Wizard of Oz (The Citadel Theatre). She has also recently completed her grade 8 RCM voice exam with First Class Honours. She’d like to send out a huge thank you to Elaine Dunbar, and wish everyone a blast this season!

melanie bahniukMelanie Bahniuk
Melanie cannot be more ecstatic to be apart of the 2015/2016 Young Musical Company! Melanie is a 2015 graduate of the MacEwan Theatre Arts program. Selected credits include Marcy in Ravenscroft (Walterdale), Catch Me If You Can, Jenny Hill in Big Fish, and Sondheim on Sondheim (MacEwan) as well as the one-act My Twenty-Something Sexcapades (Nextfest). She hopes to pursue more school in the upcoming years for her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and firmly believes this Young Companies program, and their training will help her reach her goal. Melanie cannot thank her family, friends, and mentors enough for their love and support, always believing in her, and shaping her into the person she is today! @melbahniuk

aniqa charaniaAniqa Charani
Aniqa has been exploring singing dancing and acting since she was a little girl. This is not the first time Aniqa has worked with the Citadel as she appeared in the 2012-2013 A Christmas Carol. Last year, Aniqa played a Lost Boy in Peter Pan with Alberta Ballet’s Edmonton Studio, as well as taking her grade 6 cecchetti exam, and working on the intermediate syllabus for the second semester. As a current student at Strathcona Highschool, she also appeared in a one act production of “Where did all the Lightning Bugs Go?” As well, this past year Aniqa participated in a scholarship class in the Edmonton Kiwanis festival for speech and drama, winning second place in provincials. She also completed her grade 9 speech and drama RCM exam, as well as her tech two exam. She is honored by the Young Musical Theater Company’s remarkable opportunity to combine these three important elements of her life into one art.

matt dejanovicMatt Dejanovic
After being dropped into the world of musical theatre a year ago, Matt (now in grade 12) has quickly taken a passion for it. During junior high school, he acted in several skits and 3 one acts where he forgot his lines in only one of the shows. He never thought he would wander towards the singing and dancing side of it though. The musical that started his trek was in grade 11, in Bellerose’s Monty Python’s Spamalot, where Matt learned his favorite move, the jazz square. He played Sir Lancelot and received a Cappie for Outstanding Performance by a Comic Actor in a Musical. Soon after he began his first show with St. Albert Children’s Theater in James and the Giant Peach. Now he looks forward to this year’s opportunity to work with the Young Companies and take full advantage of it

kirkland doironcropKirkland Doiron
Kirkland is very excited to be joining the Citadel Young Musical Company and relishes the opportunity to learn from such esteemed individuals. Some credits from this year include Mal in Strathcona theatre Co’s production of “The Addams Family”, Matt in Three Form Theatres “Calvin Berger” and Joshua in Scona Theatre Co’s Fringe production of “American Idiot”. He also has the pleasure of playing Rocky in Two-One way’s production of “Rocky Horror” this upcoming November. He hopes to challenge himself and soak up as much knowledge as he can while being a part of the company.

allison ferenceAllison Ference
Allison is excited to be attending Victoria School of the Arts and to be a part of the Young Musical Company for her grade twelve year. Throughout the years she has appeared in Oliver (Nancy), Fame (Iris), Alice in Wonderland (Alice), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Into The Woods (Little Red) and most recently, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie). Along with acting and singing, dance has played a huge role in shaping the performer she is today. She has travelled to Winnipeg, Russia and New York City to study dance. She has also performed in The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Rock of Ages (Sherrie) this past dance season. She was titled “Best Young Choreographer” at Wanna Dance? and took home an award for the overall top scoring senior dancer at their 2015 competition. Allison was a dance instructor for Keeping Time School of Dance and taught ages 4-19 this past year. She would like to thank her family for the endless amount of sacrifices they make for her, and for the limitless support they provide.

emi gusdalEmi Gusdal
Emi is thrilled and excited to be participating in this season of the Citadel Young Musical Company! She has been involved with musical theatre since the age of nine and can’t wait to take the next step in pursuing her passion.  She was last seen in The Sky’s the Limit Youth Theatre production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. as Belle She has been taking private voice lessons for the past 5 years and has sung with the Kokopelli choir association since the age of 10.  Past credits include Pirates of Penzance Jr., Roald Dahl’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Mikado Jr. and Into the Woods Jr.  Emi is currently in grade 11 and she is ecstatic about the prospect of growing as a performer through this program!

othello kietoJordy Kieto
Jordy is a rapper, actor, pop singer. Most recently he was seen on the stage of the Walterdale Theatre, in Six Degrees of Separation. Jordy is beyond thrilled to join the program, and hopes that he will be challenged and pushed by his peers and mentors. In his free time Jordy enjoys the company of his bestest pals. He’d also like to thank his mother, Lily for being so amazing. Please follow him @OthelloKieto

Bella KingBella King
Bella is delighted to be a part of the Young Companies this year! Having just graduated, she is terrified of real life, but excited to grow as a performer. Her past performances include One Good Marriage, Sex Lives of Superheroes, Guards! Guards!, and Perfect Score. She also directed This Is A Play, and was credited as an assisting director for Harry Ainlay’s student run production of Corpse Bride. On top of acting and singing, Bella enjoys critically analyzing young adult novels and pretending she can dance.

rochelle laplanteRochelle Laplante
Rochelle is extremely thrilled to be a part of this year’s Young Musical Company. She is a recent graduate of Victoria School of the Arts where she was seen in: The Mother of Jack the Ripper (2013), Babel Rap (2014), The Grapes of Wrath (2014), and Big Fish (2015). In 2015 she directed The Boor by Anton Checkhov as a part of PlayWorks Festival. When she was seven she found her passion for theatre in community classes and has been chasing her dreams ever since. Along with theatre she is a musician and a dancer. She is delighted to be a part of this opportunity to expand her knowledge of her art.

samantha mannSamantha Mann
Samantha has been involved with musical theatre for as long as she can remember. When younger Samantha took musical theatre classes, and then begun to branch into taking all forms of dance until the age of 16. She sung in choirs since elementary school as well. Samantha enjoys watching broadway shows on the Internet, eating chicken nuggets, and long naps in her bed. She would  like to thank kimyae (Kanye West and Kim Kardashian), 2chains and Jesus. Samantha’s credits include: Company Of Saints: The 39 Steps ( 2013), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ( 2014 ), How To Get Away With Murder (2015);  Cappies Chorus (2013-2015).

eric pinkertonEric Pinkerton
Eric is ecstatic to be a member of the Citadel’s Young Musical Company this season! As a recent high school graduate, he thinks that the Young Companies are a perfect opportunity to further himself as an artist before he heads off to university next year, where he will continue to pursue theatre. Most recently, Eric was seen in Anne of Green Gables with Horizon Players and Our Town with the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School. Other credits include The Bone House, One Good Marriage, and Guards! Guards! (Cappie Nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Play) He also had the chance to direct a show at his high school with Jacob Richmond’s Legoland. Eric thanks everyone who has been so supportive of him and his decision to follow his passion by venturing into the arts.

abbey schwartzAbbey Schwartz
Abbey is beyond excited to be a part of the Young Musical Theatre Company this season! She was last seen in Scona Alumni’s American Idiot at the 2015 Fringe, though has been doing musical theatre since she was seven years old. Her first show was North Saskatchewan Junior High’s production of Honk!, and she first discovered her passion there. Abbey’s most recent past few shows have been with Scona Theatre Co: Anything Goes (2013), In The Heights (2014), and Addams Family (2015), before her role with the Alumni company, and before that has worked on shows with Victoria School of the Arts, St. Albert Children’s Theatre, Eastglen High School, ect. She also has experience in technical theatre as well as improv. Abbey is currently working with Kim Mattice Wanat for vocals, and is hoping to audition for theatre schools out east come next year.


Young Playwriting Company 2015/16

Matthew GwozdMatthew Gwozd
Joining the Young Playwriting Company for his first year, Matthew Gwozd is incredibly excited to be a part of the 2015/2016 program! Having been a more closeted writer for most of his life, Matthew has only recently begun to showcase his talents and looks forward to developing his craft further with professionals. Matthew has performed a number of poetry readings and is currently an editor on The Green Medium, an environmental awareness blog he and his friends created. Strongly interested in many aspects of theatre, Matthew also acted in the productions of Anything Goes and In The Heights at Strathcona High School. Between working on his novel or cleaning up after his room mate, Matthew is honoured to be helped by and working with so many fantastic writers! 

taylor paskarTaylor Paskar
Taylor is thrilled to be returning to the Citadel’s Young Company program. Initially in the Young Musical Company in 2013/14, she is excited to continue expanding her arsenal of artistic skills. Primarily an actor, Taylor’s most recent show credits include The Rocky Horror Show (Two One-Way Tickets to Broadway) and Crossroads (Haven Theatre Society). She can also be seen in “36?” music video for their song “Summer 2011” (which, she assures us, was her first and only time being sacrificed by a cult…thus far). Taylor’s predominant focus in the arts has always been performance, however she has recently discovered a fervent passion for both writing and directing. She directed her Sylvia Plath inspired piece The Jar both at her high school one act festival with Strathcona, as well as at Nextfest in June of 2015.  Taylor is jazzed as heck to join this year’s Young Playwriting Company and is looking forward to developing her skills with the same theatre academy that initially sparked her interest in the arts when she was just a little girl.

michelleMichelle Robb
Michelle is happy as a clam to be joining the Citadel’s Young Playwriting Company this year. Since her major focus has previously been on the performance aspect of theatre, she is excited and ready to spend more time on her writing, which she normally keeps to herself. Michelle has spent the past year writing and directing a one act play called “Semblance”, alongside a close friend, which was performed at her high school one act festival in March, and a festival for emerging artists in Edmonton called Nextfest. She also spent a year as a Cappies critic and was fortunate enough to have some of her writing published on the Edmonton Journal website. With an interest in multiple areas of theatre, she thinks this season with the Young Playwriting Company will be quite swell!

Quick Links

Donate Now
50th Anniversary
Rapid Fire Theatre
Our Sponsors

Stay Connected

Stay informed with our weekly newsletter. Subscribe today!