Foote Theatre School Faculty

Joleen Ballendine

Joleen is an improviser, actor, and writer based in treaty 6 territories. She is the Director of Education at Rapid Fire Theatre, Canada’s third oldest improv company. She has been teaching improv, theatre, and comedy since 2006. Joleen founded Rapid Fire’s outreach program which is focused on teaching improv to underrepresented communities and she also co-runs the Sphinexs outreach program which aims to empower and employ female, trans, and non-binary improvisors by giving them the tools to teach improv and perform for marginalized groups within Edmonton. Joleen has traveled all over Canada, the U.S, and Europe teaching at festivals, to theatre companies, and international ensembles. Joleen has experience working with all ages and believes improv and theatre is for everyone. Whether you’re a tot as young as 3, a young child, teen, adult, or senior Joleen believes improv can change your life for the better. 

April Banigan

April is an Edmonton based actor, director, voice coach and arts educator. She has been performing in Canadian theatre for 25 years. Here, at the Citadel, she has appeared in The Constant Wife, A Christmas Carol, Death of a Salesman, The Silver Arrow; the Untold Story of Robin hood and Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Her film and TV credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, hosting Access Television’s Media Sense and the feature film A Louder Silence for which she received a Rosie Award nomination. April has voiced a variety of characters in video games and cartoons, including the Mass Effect Trilogy, Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights and Deltora Quest. She was the voice coach for the award-winning CBC docuseries: The Perfect Runner, The Great Human Odyssey and Equus; Story of the Horse. She runs Concrete Theatre’s school residency program and has taught nearly every age of student at The Foote Theatre School. April is co-founder of Dogheart Theatre, for which she performs, directs and produces.

Shannon Boyle

Shannon has been teaching acting and voice for more than twenty 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. 

Michael Bradley

Michael is a director and actor from Kingston, Ontario. He holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Alberta, and he trained as an actor at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.  Michael’s directing credits include Steve Martin’s Wasp and Liane Faulder's Walk for the 2018 Edmonton Fringe Festival, Paul Downs Collaizzo’s Really ReallyThe Lady from the SeaHamletA Moon for the Misbegotten, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Theatrical acting credits include Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, Danny in Grease, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as roles in MineThe Star Spangled Girl, Much Ado About NothingTroilus and Cressida, and Julius Caesar. Michael's television credits include Designated SurvivorIncorporatedReignMurdoch Mysteries, Copper, and Cracked.

Ashley Butler

Ashley Butler graduated twice from MacEwan University, from both the Early Childhood Development program and the Theatre Arts program. She has worked in the school system with special needs students since 2013, and is currently working in the classrooms of the Edmonton Public School District. Ashley has taught for the Foote Theatre School since 2009 with our younger students in the Acting and Music Discovery classes. Since 2014, Ashley is SO proud to have worked alongside an excellent team to develop and teach our I Can Pretend! program, which offers children on the autism spectrum an opportunity to play, connect and create in a supportive and enriched environment.   

Ellen Chorley

Ellen Chorley is an Edmonton-based playwright, producer, performer and arts educator. She is the current Festival Director of Nextfest, Edmonton’s annual emerging arts festival. As a playwright, Ellen has had her plays produced all over Canada, most recently her play “Everybody Loves Robbie” was produced by Edmonton’s Northern Light Theatre and nominated for an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Work. Ellen has a very long history with the Foote Theatre School: she started taking classes with Foote when she was nine years old, she started assisting teachers in their classroom when she was sixteen years old and she has been a teacher with the school for FIFTEEN YEARS- time sure flies when you are having fun! Currently Ellen teaches acting, musical theatre and playwrighting for Foote Theatre School. To learn more about Ellen and her other theatre adventures, visit her website at www.ellenchorley.com.

Dave Clarke

Dave is a musician, actor and writer. He has composed music and produced sound designs for radio, theatre, film, dance and multi-media for three decades. He has also created sound effects from scratch, and recently worked on audio drama and comedy. You might have experienced his work in the CBC Radio sketch comedy THE IRRELEVANT SHOW - as well as being a collaborator, he was the live sound guy, banging coconuts together to make horses hooves, and throwing wet oatmeal around to make the sound of volcanic lava. Recent Citadel Theatre shows he’s work on include THE TEMPEST, A BRIMFUL OF ASHA, and a new Indigenous and Métis version of MARY’S WEDDING. 

Sydney Cogan-Grahn

Sydney is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta, where she is majoring in Honours Psychology through the Faculty of Arts. Starting as young as three, she entered the arts scene through competitive dance, and eventually switched to acting; however, she loves to incorporate movement into acting performances. She loves to write plays, sing, dance, and act whenever she gets the chance. She’s worked with the Foote Theatre School for four years and she’s very grateful for the opportunities she’s been given.  

Quinn Contini

Quinn has been improvising for over 10 years. Teaching and performing have brought him from coast to coast in Canada and the United States, around Europe twice, and as far as Dubai. He is a member of Marv n’ Berry – Sketch Comedy, Offbook – The Improvised Musical, an alumni of Loose Moose Theatre, and is the co-founder of a new impro theatre company in Vancouver called Tightrope Impro Theatre! 

Althea Cunningham

Althea Cunningham, is a seasoned performer and graduate of the Theatre Arts Program at Grant MacEwan University. She is an established actor with appearances in theatres across Canada. She also does television and film. She is interarts and works in; writing, acting, producing and music.

Sunkiss To Death is the (full- length) version of Sunkiss. Sunkiss was produced in Chicago at the Snapshots 10 minute play Festival in the summer of 2017. Sweet An Nice, her other full- length work currently in development, has had two readings. The first reading was at DaPoPo Script Series in Halifax, and the second reading was at Script Salon in Edmonton in 2017.

Her short plays Brown Suga and Colour Blind have been produced by Workshop West Playwrights Theatre. Excerpts, from Sweet An Nice and The System have been produced by Sarasvati Productions in Winnipeg between 2017 and 2019. The System is a (one act) play the themes are marginalized youth and child care services. The System employs spoken- word poetry and hip hop as part of the narrative and is in development. Althea is also a contract playwriting and acting instructor.

2020 was the year of her first commissioned (2 Metres) play by Hip Hop In The Park. 2 Metres is about our global pandemic.

In 2010, she independently released a debut soul music ep On The Verge, it received international airplay and critical acclaim. You can visit her at nappyrootsconsolidated.ca

Steven Greenfield

Born and raised in Calgary, Steven is an Edmonton-based Jessie and OVATION! Award-winning music director, and actor, with credits that span over 85 productions across Canada. Credits include Into the Woods (MacEwan), A Christmas CarolRing of Fire and Once (Citadel), ‘Max’ in Lend Me a Tenor and Forever Plaid (Mayfield), The Comedy Company (Shadow), ‘Jerry Lee Lewis’ in Million Dollar Quartet (Arts Club), and ‘Cogsworth’ in Beauty and the Beast (TUTS). A graduate of MacEwan’s Theatre Arts program, he has been an instructor at Studio 58, Capilano University and his alma mater. Upcoming: The Wrong People Have Money (Shadow), Peter Pan Goes Wrong and ELVIS (Citadel). 

Crystal Hanson

Crystal holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and runs a private vocal studio in St. Albert. She is also certified in all 3 levels in CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music), Somatic Voicework, the LoVetri Method ®, through Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.  She has completed Level 1 of The One Voice Certificate Course in Integrative Studies in New York. 

Currently she is working on her Masters in Voice Pedagogy through the University of Wales. And has recently launched Voice Body Works offering somatic voice work and coaching to singers, actors and voice professionals. 

Crystal has been teaching musical theatre classes at the Foote Theatre School, Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for over 15 years.  She has toured throughout Western Canada in various musical productions and one production based out of Prague, Czech Republic.  She toured with the Alberta Opera for 4 seasons and played a large role in creating and directing the Alberta Opera’s Artist in Residency Program.   

She has written, produced and performed in many musical productions at the Edmonton, Winnipeg and Victoria Fringe Theatre Festivals. 

A freelance vocal coach, she is proud to have worked on 5 musical productions with Eastglen High School in Edmonton. (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Once Upon a Mattress, Grease, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Honk, Bye Bye Birdie, and 9 to 5 ) 

A busy entertainer, Crystal is a member of the local Edmonton show band The Scoundrels, Dash Rip Rock and the Crystal Hanson Trio. 

Brady Hughes

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

Sally Hunt is an Edmonton-based music director, educator and performer.   

She is a classically-trained musician who regularly performs as a pianist in concert, fundraising, and cabaret settings.  As a music director and conductor, favourite theatre projects include: Cabaret; next to normal; Sweeney Todd; The Threepenny Opera; The Wizard of Oz; and Wonderful Town (for Citadel Theatre’s Young Musical Company). 

Sally joined the faculty of the Foote Theatre School in 2010, and teaches students of all ages and experience levels. 

Binaifer Kapadia

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.

Sydney Keenan

Sydney is currently a student at the University of Alberta studying Drama and Education. She has spent time both on and off stage in various capacities and is always excited to learn new things. She started at the Foote Theatre School as a volunteer and is grateful for the opportunity and ability to teach and share her love of the arts.

Josh Languedoc

Josh Languedoc is an Anishinaabe playwright, theatre creator, and educator currently living in Amiskwaciywaskahigan and is a proud member of Saugeen First Nation. For the past 2 years, Josh has been touring his acclaimed solo show Rocko and Nakota: Tales From the Land across Canada. Other projects include: The Eyes Of Spirits (Dreamspeakers), CIVIL BLOOD: A Treaty Story (Thou Art Here Theatre), Feast (Tiny Bear Jaws) and IN-COR-RI-GI-BLE: The Legend of Thundervoice (Blyth Festival). Josh is currently a candidate at the University of Alberta’s MFA Theatre Practices program focusing on Indigenous playwriting. As an educator, Josh has taught theatre, acting, improvisation, and playwriting at the Citadel Theatre, Artstrek, and all throughout Edmonton Public Schools. Josh is currently the Youth Education and Outreach Coordinator for Workshop West Playwrights Theatre. 

Rochelle Laplante

Rochelle is an Edmonton raised actor, dancer, and musician. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. As an alumnus of the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School and the Young Musical Company, she excitedly joined the faculty to teach Acting and Musical Theatre classes. Some of her favourite roles include Rachel in Think Of The Children, Scilla in Serious Money and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Conrad Leibel

Conrad Leibel (he/him) is a poet, performer, essayist, and musician. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an MA in English Literature and holds a BA in English and Film Studies from the University of Alberta. He is currently completing an after-degree in French Language and Drama Education at the University of Alberta.

Annette Loiselle

Annette has been working in theatre as an actor, director, producer, writer and instructor for over 30 years and a teacher at the Foote Theatre School for 25 years. She’s also taught in various programs and workshops around the city and province including post-secondary at the University of Alberta and the Kings University College. She loves teaching at the Citadel because the focus is on learning and growing and the students come from all walks of life, but all are committed and passionate about the work/play. She enjoys delving into the stories, character, and text, finding emotional reality in the scenes and exercises with her students. She began teaching 4–6-year old’s at the Citadel and has taught 7-9, 10-12, teens and currently adults. She taught and directed the “Teen Acting Company” for 3 seasons where they presented their final work at the Citadel’s Teens at the Turn Festival 2006-2009. 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 the Artistic Director for SkirtsAfire, a theatre and multi-disciplinary arts festival featuring the work of women and non-binary artists. Annette is also currently teaching drama with the Edmonton School of Ballet at Vimy Ridge Academy and drama therapy through the Pathways program with Alberta Health Services.

Barb Mah

Barbara Mah is a director, actor, choreographer and playwright and has been active in the Edmonton arts scene for more than twenty-five years. She has taught musical theatre at the Foote school for over 14 years. Directing highlights include: Triangle Factory Fire, Ragtime, Titanic, Drowsy ChaperoneGypsy, 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.

Natércia Napoleao

Natércia (she/her) is a multifaceted Brazilian theatre artist and community advocate. Selected credits include: until the next breath (Catalyst Theatre/ NAC); Fado: The Saddest Music in the World (Puente Theatre/ Firehall Arts Centre); Cleave (Tiny Bear Jaws); frost flowers/ RHIZOME (Mile Zero Dance); Seed Savers (Workshop West Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors, Footloose (Mayfield Dinner Theatre); The Antyssey, CTRL-ALT-DEL, Are We There Yet? (Concrete Theatre); Duck Duck Bang! (Firefly Theatre); The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Winter’s Tale (Freewill Players). Natércia is a graduate from the University of Alberta's BFA Acting Program. Television credits include: Caution: May Contain Nuts and Tiny Plastic Men

Clayton Plamondon

Clayton Plamondon is a local improviser, actor, and writer. He's toured across Alberta with Kompany Family Theatre, is a writer for Blackout Sketch Comedy, and has recently written and acted in the show The Part which was recently produced for the ADFA one act festival in Edmonton. His recent credits include Bed Bug Bossa Nova by Gerald Osborne, and Cut by Lyle Victor Albert, which went on to compete in the ADFA provincials in Medicine Hat.

Rhys O'Donnell

Rhys is an Actor and Improviser with a long history at Foote Theatre School. After taking classes for several years, Rhys joined the Faculty and has been working since 2019. He has been in several school productions and many made by Foote theatre school. He is currently attending High school at Victoria School of the Arts

Andrew Ritchie

Andrew is a director, theatre maker, and teacher born and raised in Edmonton. He has been a faculty member with Foote Theatre School since 2011 and has taught at theatres, universities, and communities across Canada. He has an MFA in Directing & Creation from York University, a BA in Drama from the University of Alberta, and is a graduate from the Banff Centre/Citadel Theatre’s Professional Theatre Program. Andrew is artistic director of Thou Art Here Theatre, an independent Edmonton theatre company and is a co-founder of Common Ground Arts Society’s Found Festival. Recently he was the Sandbox Series Coordinator and Theatre School Director at Globe Theatre in Regina. Andrew has performed improv across North America including being an ensemble member with Hitchhikers Improv in Regina and Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton. Learn more about him and his upcoming projects at andrewritchie.net

Joyanne Rudiak

Joyanne graduated from the University of Alberta’s BA (Hons) Drama program and also holds two ARCT Diplomas in Speech Arts and Drama from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has performed as an actor and singer, and taught in various capacities in Edmonton, Dublin, and Ottawa. Currently, you can find Joyanne doing a great many things, from teaching Musical Theatre at the Foote Theatre School and helping her students in Beaumont create their own plays, to co-directing a children's choir in Vegreville and ministering to youth in her home parish. She is also one half of the musical theatre duo, The Besties, and performs as part of the Edmonton Opera Chorus. 

Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan (she/her) has been an artist, teacher and theatre maker for over 25 years here in Edmonton (Amiskwaciwâskahikan). A graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program, Kate has been creating and performing with many wonderful artists theatre companies locally and nationally over the years. She has received Sterling Awards for her acting and directing as well as an AMPIA for Leading Actress in film. She is also honored to receive the 2019 Michelle Dias Award for Community Service. 

As a teaching artist and director, Kate has loved working with students-to give them a space where they feel included, valued and encouraged. The desire to create is a positive experience and helps drive everything we do. 

Kate has taught and directed at the Citadel Theatre's Young Musical Theatre Company and Foote Theatre School as well as MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts program. She also teaches and performs puppetry and is the Director of local musical theatre company Plain Jane Theatre.

Liana Shannon

Liana Shannon is a professional actor and acting instructor in both film and theatre and is a member of ACTRA and Actor’s Equity. She is seen regularly in film and television spots and on stage and has been teaching acting for many years at The Citadel and elsewhere. 

Before beginning her career as an actor and acting coach, Liana trained extensively.  She holds an MA and a BA in drama and has studied across Canada and in L.A. both in film and in theatre.  Some of Liana’s favorite TV appearances include: JANN (S 1-2) on CTV, Winter in Vail on Hallmark, Fortunate Son on CBC, Fear Itself on NBC and Blackstone on APTN (S 3-5), as well as other film, documentary, commercial and voice over projects.  Some of her favorite theatre appearances include: ConstellationsBravo, and Becoming Sharp (Shadow Theatre), Gideon’s Knot (Chorus Prod.), Encounters and Metamorphoses (The Citadel Theatre), The National Elevator Project II (Theatre Yes), Clean House and Ashes to Ashes (Trunk Theatre), Werewolves (PI Theatre Vancouver), Afterplay and Molly Sweeney (Blarney) and others. 

Liana’s other passion is teaching acting.  Her classes have a positive atmosphere that allows the students to learn the dramatic process, explore their creativity, connect with others and challenge themselves to go beyond their expectations. 

Linette Smith

Linette J. Smith is a theatre and improv teacher at Strathcona High school and artistic director for the Scona Alumni Theatre Co. Smith is a freelance director/choreographer in Edmonton where she can be found as a part of The Vanguard Theatre Collective and the choreographer for the Cappies Chorus for Cappies of Greater Edmonton. She is president of the Zone 8 One Act Festival for Edmonton and St. Albert High School theatres. Smith coaches four high school improv teams and she tries to incorporate improv into each day. (life is short do improv). Select credits include direction and choreography for the world premiere of The Killing Jar; the Edmonton premiere of Lizzie The Musical (Uniform Theatre); and directing and choreography credits for XanaduHeathersDogfightHedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot, RENT (Edmonton Fringe); directing the Canadian premier of Calvin Berger (three-form theatre); Singin’ in the Rain (Festival Place); Big Fish, NevermoreIn the Heights, Les Miserables, West Side Story (Scona Theatre Co.); Rocky Horror, Jane EyreAvenue Q, Chicago, Cabaret (TOWTTB). @lsmithonyourtoes

Eileen Sproule

 Originally from Montreal, where she trained as an actor & director, Eileen has an MA in Uses of Theatre & Directing from the University of Leeds. Edmonton-based since 1990, she has worked in every province and territory except P.E.I. Known as the Joke Improver, the Diva Wrangler and The Knife for her work as a director/dramaturg, much of her energy has gone into her Foote Theatre classes since ... we can’t remember. 2004? Certainly longer than many of our students have been alive! 

Julie Sucie

Julie is currently working towards her Bachelor of Education with a major in drama at the University of Alberta. Recently she has performed at the Flying Canoe Festival and in ABBEDAM's production of Welcome to Thebes. She has also performed in the Citadel's Young Company production of The Drowsy Chaperone, and Scona Theatre Co.'s Footloose, Bring It On, and 13 the Musical. Julie is passionate about education and loves to share her joy for theatre with others.