Joleen Ballendine is an actor, improviser, writer and instructor. In 2007, she joined Rapid Fire Theatre and now acts as a senior performer. Her noted troupes include DotDotDot, Rå Power, Z Said and Off Book the Improvised Musical. Joleen is Rapid Fire Theatre’s Associate Director of Education; she runs the Out-Reach Program. Joleen also leads the co-production of The Kidprovisors, run through the Foote Theatre School and Rapid Fire Theatre. She’s a writer and performer in the hit sketch comedy show Caution May Contain Nuts.
April has been performing in theatre and film/television for 20 years. She was the host of Media Sense on Access Television and also voices characters for cartoons (Deltora Quest) and video games (Mass Effect Trilogy, Dragon Age). At the Citadel, she’s appeared in The Constant Wife, Death of a Salesman, and A Christmas Carol. April runs Concrete Theatre’s school residency program in elementary schools throughout Alberta.
After graduating from MacEwan’s Theatre Arts program, Mhairi received a Master of Arts in Musical Theatre Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her passion for the arts really grew when she began taking classes at the Foote Theatre School as a child - she was one of the founding members of the Young Musical Company. Mhairi is a part of Grindstone Theatre’s improvised musical the 11 O’Clock Number. Mhairi also enjoys songwriting and recently released her first EP.
Shannon has been teaching acting and voice for more than 20 years in universities, colleges, conservatories, and her private studio. Shannon holds her Master’s Degree in Theatre Voice Pedagogy, a BFA in Acting from U of A, and a BMus in performance, as well as her Certificate of Figure Proficiency in Estill Voice Training (TM). Shannon’s recent performances include Ana in The Clean House, and regular performances with The Greenwood Singers.
Ashley holds diplomas from MacEwan University in Early Childhood Development and Theatre Arts. She hass a Mental Health First Aid certification for adults who interact with youth, has completed the Tattered Teddies Workshop: Suicide Prevention and Intervention for children under 12, and is certified by the Little Warriors in Sexual Abuse Prevention and in the Mandt System in conflict resolution and healthy relationships. She’s taught for the Foote Theatre School since 2009, and volunteers for children’s programs at the Canadian Mental Health Association, as well as for ABC Head Start: Early Literacy Programs.
Tracy has worked as a director, dramaturg, youth theatre programmer, and producer for over 20 years, including as Artistic Associate for Alberta Playwrights' Network and Artistic Associate the Citadel Theatre, where she co-created and directed KidsPlay. She's the co-creator and director of Peep Show! at the SkirtsAfire Festival, where she has helped in the development of 19 plays. Dramaturgy credits include The Mommy Monologues (SkirtsAfire), The Book of Ashes (St Albert Children’s Festival), and The Invention of Romance by Conni Massing and An Almost Perfect Thing (Workshop West).
Ellen Chorley is a producer, playwright, performer, and theatre instructor. She’s the Founder/Artistic Director of Promise Productions, which produces the Snow Globe Festival of Children’s Theatre. Ellen is also the Co-Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Send in the Girls Burlesque. She’s the Artistic Associate for Northern Light Theatre, works as a Drama Group Leader at the Autism Society of Edmonton, is the High School Curator for Nextfest, and sits on the steering committee for the Theatre Edmonton Project. Ellen was named one of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 and is the recipient of the Nextfest Emerging Artist Award.
Quinn cut his teeth improvising at Loose Moose Theatre in Calgary. In 2014, he joined the ranks of Rapid Fire Theatre, and is currently one of two workshop instructors for the University Improv Group. He has improvised in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Wurzburg (Germany), as well as many rural Albertan towns. Quinn is working on a degree in entrepreneurship and family business with the hopes of one day opening up his own improvisational theatre in the mountains.
Sophie graduated from the University of Alberta with an honours degree in theatre. Previously, Sophie has worked with l’UniThéâtre, the Francophone theatre in Edmonton, as an actor, educator, creator, director, etc. and the Foote Theatre School as a teaching assistant and summer programs assistant with students of all ages. Currently, she is working with la Girandole, a Francophone dance company, as well as being a French-English bilingual educator at the Art Gallery of Alberta. She also works with The Orange Girls, a devised theatre company.
Matt Graham is a graduate of MacEwan University’s new music degree program. A singer and instrumentalist, Matt’s passion is musical theatre direction. Recent favourite projects include musical direction for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and In The Heights at Strathcona High school, Coraline at Avalon Junior, and Rent with the Scona Alumni Theatre Co. at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.
Crystal has taught Musical Theatre at the Foote Theatre School for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree and runs her own vocal studio. She’s toured throughout Western Canada in various musical productions. Crystal toured with Alberta Opera for four seasons and played a large role in creating and directing the Alberta Opera’s Artist in Residency Program. A freelance vocal coach, she is proud to have worked on four productions with Eastglen High School. Crystal is a member of the local Edmonton show band Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the Crystal Hanson Trio.
Brady Hughes works as an interventionist with the Centre for Autism Services Alberta. He’s also a third-year Recreational Therapy student at the University of Alberta. He discovered Drama in high school and joined his hometown’s community theatre group after graduation. Over the years, he has tried his hand at many aspects of theatre production.
Sally Hunt is a classically-trained musician who regularly performs as a pianist in concert, fundraising, and cabaret settings. She has an extensive theatre background, and has worked with a variety of companies including Studio Theatre, Walterdale Playhouse, ELOPE Musical Theatre, and Festival Players. Favourite projects as a music director include Sweeney Todd, Chess, Nine, The Threepenny Opera, Seussical Jr., The Wizard of Oz, and Wonderful Town (Citadel Theatre Young Musical Company). Sally joined the Faculty of the Foote Theatre School in 2010.
Steven Hurst is a local improviser and teacher. He has been performing with Rapid Fire Theatre and teaching with Edmonton Public Schools for three years. He started improvising with the University of Alberta Improv Group and has since had the opportunity to perform and teach in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Melbourne, Australia. He has experience teaching improv through the Kidprovisers program, as well as through the Foote Theatre School. Improv and teaching are Steven’s passions and to see them collide brings him great joy!
Binaifer is a Canadian musician, composer, performer, and instructor with theatre, radio drama and film credits. She graduated from the University of Alberta Bachelor of Music program, and has music directed, conducted, performed in, and been commissioned to write music for multiple theatres. She’s the recipient of three Sterling Awards, and a co-recipient for a Solicitor General of Canada Crime Prevention Special Recognition Award. She’s worked alongside other artists to co-produce and compose music for new works, including films and radio dramas for CBC. She has been an instructor at Arts Trek, and a guest artist at various schools.
Neil has a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta. In 2011, he founded Edmonton’s only site-specific Shakespeare company, Thou Art Here. Favourite Thou Art Here roles include: Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, Prince Hal in The Falstaff Project, and Falstaff in Kill Shakespeare. Neil is also a Corporate Liaison for Grindstone Theatre, for which he also performs regularly as a member of their improvised musical. Theatre credits include: Bonecage, Suburban Motel Series, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Threepenny Opera. He received the Universiade ’83 award for excellence in Fine Arts.
Josh is a playwright, improviser, director, and actor from St. Albert. A substitute teacher by day, Josh has acted with many companies including Walterdale Theatre, ELOPE Musical Theatre, Kompany Family Theatre, Theatre Prospero, and his own company, Go 4 Broke Productions. Josh directs the new youth troupe KidLibs. His play, Starlight Tours, was produced by Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre at the Rubaboo Festival and his one-man show, In-Cor-Rig-ible: The Legend of Thundervoice, was at Native Earth Theatre’s 2016 Weesageechak Festival in Toronto.
Annette has been a professional actor in Edmonton for more than 25 years and a teacher at the Foote Theatre School for 20 years. She’s also taught in various programs and workshops around the city and province, plus post-secondary at the University of Alberta and the Kings University College. She is a founder of the Freewill Shakespeare Festival and was an Artistic Associate for 25 years, as well as Director of their Youth Programming. She is also a founder and is currently the Festival Director for SkirtsAfire, HerArts Festival.
Joey is a senior performer with Rapid Fire Theatre, now in his 11th season. Joey also spent three seasons working as a principle cast member on YTV’s Gemini nominated series That’s So Weird (2009-2012). The series earned him a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Performance by a Television Ensemble. He has instructed students through the Foote Theatre School, Rapid Fire Public Workshops, Rapid Fire Theatre’s Youth Outreach Program, and as a guest artist for Edmonton Public Schools. Currently, he is working on his Combined BA/BEd degree at the University of Alberta, specializing in Drama and minoring in Social Studies.
Barbara Mah is a director, actor, choreographer and playwright and has been active in the Edmonton arts scene for more than 25 years. She has taught musical theatre at the Foote school for over 10 years. Directing highlights include: Ragtime, Titanic, Drowsy Chaperone, A Little Night Music, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, and Sweet Charity. Performance highlights include: The Laramie Project, Broadway Babies, A Chorus Line, Rocky Horror Show, The Wiz, The World Goes Round, and Grapes of Wrath. She’s also an Arts Development Consultant (theatre) for the Arts Branch and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Suzie holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Alberta, where she also won a teaching award in 2015. She is currently very busy assistant directing for both of Concrete Theatre’s upcoming tours of Paper Song and Consent. Other directing work includes: Over Her Dead Body (Small Matters/FTA); Shakespeare in Love (Assistant director, Citadel/RMTC); Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi (Manitoba Underground Opera); God’s Ear (Studio Theatre); The Object of Constellations (Small Matters); The Importance of Being Earnest, Betrayal (U of A); The Cherry Orchard (Theatre by the River & little ECHO theatre); Artichoke Heart, The Gas Heart (Theatre Outgrabe/Winnipeg Fringe).
Conni Massing is an award-winning writer working in theatre, film and television. Recent projects include her play The Invention of Romance, produced by Workshop West Theatre, and the premiere of her short film Voila!. She has taught playwriting for many institutions and organizations, including the National Theatre School, University of Alberta, Red Deer College, Alberta Playwrights Network, Theatre Alberta and the Citadel Theatre.
Clayton Plamondon is a local actor who got his start in Theatre for younger audiences. He toured across Alberta with Kompany Family theatre for years, and made his way into the Edmonton film industry. Clayton has performed in many Edmonton productions including Cut!, Solemn Frostx, and Bed Bug Bossa Nova.
Liana Shannon is an actor and acting coach in theatre and film. Liana’s theatre training came from the Etobicoke School of the Arts, the Academy of Theatre Arts, the University of Guelph, (BA and MA in Drama), and countless workshops. She trained in film acting in Vancouver, and L.A. Acting credits include: Metamorphoses, Afterplay, Ashes to Ashes, Double Double, Fear Itself on NBC and Blackstone on APTN. She’s taught acting at Foote Theatre School for nine years and has also taught at Arts Trek, at The U of A drama department, and with the Concrete Theatre Artist in Residency Program.
Jennifer Spencer is an actor, voice/text coach, director, playwright and theatre Educator. She is member of the faculty of the Theatre Arts Program at MacEwan University, where she teaches Voice and Speech, Scene Study, and Acting Skills as well as directing their Mainstage Productions.
Eileen has been an instructor at the Foote Theatre School for the last 10 years. She developed a week-long camp, Comedy & Laughter, which sees students returning over and over again. She has created 55 original shows with students. A graduate of the University of Leeds (M.A.) and Concordia University, Eileen has directed theatre in Western Canada since 1989, when she became the Associate Artistic Director at Regina’s Globe Theatre. Edmonton-based since 1990, she has also been active in Calgary, notably with the Green Fools. Fringe-goers will remember her work with generic theatre and Cowgirl Opera, amongst others.