ARTSTREK: 2016 Curriculum Team

Artstrek Instructors include some of Alberta’s finest theatre artists & educators.
This dedicated team of theatre professionals is responsible for developing and instructing a challenging theatre arts curriculum for Artstrek 2016 with In the Heights as its focus.

Marie Gynane-Willis
 Theatre Alberta Artstrek Director

Marie

Marie has worked in the Alberta arts community as a theatre administrator, programmer, and educator for more than 30 years. She was the Executive Director of Theatre Alberta from 2003 to 2010, an Arts Branch Consultant for Alberta Culture for a decade, and the Director of the Foote Theatre School at The Citadel Theatre. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Arts Administration and an Alberta Centennial Medal for Contribution to the Arts. Marie is a graduate of the University of Alberta and the University of London’s Drama Centre (UK).

Karen Johnson-Diamond
Administrative Director

Karen

Karen is a Calgary based actor, improviser and educator. She is the 2014/2015 RBC Emerging Director at Lunchbox Theatre, and has spent 17 years with Quest Theatre’s Artist in Residency program. She is the co-founder/producer of the improvisational theatre company Dirty Laundry, and as has appeared on many stages including most recently, Downstage Theatre, Vertigo Theatre and Verb Theatre. Karen is the Administrative director for Artstrek, a summer drama camp for teens (ASK HER ABOUT IT!!!) In 2009, Karen received the inaugural Duval Lang Theatre for Young Audiences Award. This summer, Karen will be directing ‘Forsooth, My Lovely’ for Hoodlum Theatre.

Glenda Stirling
Curriculum Director

Glend_Stirling

Glenda is based in Calgary, has worked her way across the country, directing, choreographing and writing. She has had the pleasure of working at Ship’s Company in Nova Scotia, The Shaw Festival in Ontario, The Calgary Opera and Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary, and many others in between. On the way she has earned an Masters in Fine Arts (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and C.M.A. (Certified Movement Analyst, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, NY). She is also the former Artistic Director of Lunchbox Theatre and the playwright of the Shopaholic series. She has been involved with Artstrek since 2002, and loves it more every year!

 

Instructors

 

Alyson Connolly

Alyson Connolly has degrees in BFA Acting and MFA Theatre Voice Pedagogy from the University of Alberta. She has worked in many theatres across Canada and most memorable credits are Noise Off, Mirandolina, and Girl’s in the Gang. With her company Dramatic Learning, she travelled Alberta offering musical theatre and creative drama school residencies. She taught drama and musical theatre at the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School from 1989-2005. She was the drama facilitator at the Glenrose Rehabilitation hospital in Edmonton from 2008-2012, developing the Words of Courage program and the drama group The My Life is Not a Tragedy Players.
Every year Alyson runs a children’s summer musical theatre program with performances in the Edmonton Fringe. Currently, she offers Painless Public Speaking workshops to businesses and one on one speech coaching to executives. alysonconnolly.com Twitter: @alysonjconnolly

Braden Griffiths

Braden Griffiths

Braden Griffiths is a performer, playwright and arts educator who has been working in the Calgary area for the last ten years. Quest Theatre gave him his start, and he continues to teach as part of Quest’s Artists in School Residency and Summer Camp programs to this day. He has also both directed and designed multiple productions for Calgary Young People’s Theatre. Over the years, he has been nominated for multiple Betty Mitchell Awards for both acting and playwriting, taking home a 2015 Betty Mitchell Award for his performance in ATP/Ghost River’s production of The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst.

Caitlin Gallichan-Lowe

Caitlin Gallichan-Lowe

Caitlin Gallichan-Lowe has been teaching drama for ten years in Calgary and beyond. She is honoured to be the drama teacher and program coordinator at Western Canada High School. Selected directing credits include The Laramie Project, My Name is Rachel Corrie, Legoland, Marat/Sade, Macbeth, The Trojan Women, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Caitlin is particularly excited about creating new work and is delighted to be exploring how to push the form of theatre forward with her students. She has recently co-created two new plays with her students which are part of her teenage party triptych (the critically acclaimed Art For Teenage Boys and Girls and Everything and Nothing) and is looking forward to where the third installation will take her. Caitlin is delighted to be a part of the journey of young theatre artists.

Jessica Nottell

Jessica Nottell

Jessica Nottell – BFA, BEd, is a drama, dance and stage combatant instructor and choreographer. She is an Advance Actor Combatant through Fight Directors Canada and has been educating in the arts for thirteen years. Jessica has had the opportunity to choreograph and teach on projects such as East Side dance competitions, How I Met Your Grandmother, Forbidden Phoenix and Evil Dead the Musical. She has worked with Port Moody School of Dance, Premiere Dance Academy, Terpsichore Dance and multiple arts programs at schools around Calgary. Jessica is thrilled to be a part of Artstrek 2016 and is excited to see students igniting their passion for the arts.

Jordan Mah

Jordan Mah

Jordan Mah is a Toronto based actor from Edmonton. He has spent the past year performing and training in Toronto. Currently, Jordan is a guest artist with Shumka and frequently travels back to perform with them. He has taught dance, choreographed and directed musicals for four years in Edmonton. Jordan is a proud alumnus of the Grant MacEwan theatre arts program.  Selected Credits: Dogfight, RENT (Scona Alumni Theatre), Shumka at 50! (China/National tour), In the Heights, Legally Blonde (Assistant Director/Choreographer). Upcoming: West Side Story (Citadel Theatre). Connect with Jordan @Djmah5 

 

Julia Wasilewski

Julia Wasilewski

Julia Wasilewski is a Calgary-based set, light and costume designer. You can find her during the year at her role as the Properties Master at the University of Calgary, where she is also an instructor in technical theatre. She has taught at a variety of theatre programs around Calgary working with students of all ages. She has had the pleasure of working as a designer with many theatre companies across the province including Lunchbox Theatre, Sage Theatre, Calgary Opera, One Yellow Rabbit, Ghost River Theatre, Urban Curvz, Ground Zero Theatre, Forte Musical Theatre, New West Theatre, and Keyano College.

 

Linette Smith

Linette Smith

Linette J. Smith is the founder and artistic director of the award winning Scona Theatre Co. and Scona Alumni Theatre Co. She teaches drama, improv and musical theatre at Strathcona High School and the teen acting intensive at the Citadel Foote Theatre School. As well as teaching at Scona, Smith is a freelance director and choreographer in Edmonton. Credits include: American Idiot (Edmonton Fringe 2015) directing the Canadian premier of Calvin Berger (Three Form Theatre), choreography for Miss Saigon (TOWTTB), In the Heights, Les Miserables, West Side Story (Scona Theatre Co.)  The Rocky Horror Show, Forbidden Broadway, Avenue Q, Chicago (TOWTTB), Dogfight, RENT and Spring Awakening (Scona Alumni). Smith looks forward to directing RENT for both TOWTTB and the Scona Theatre Co later this season which will include a visit from Adam Pascal, original cast member of RENT on Broadway. She also enjoys traveling the world for dance and improv and is doing a intensive with the Upright Citizens Brigade January 2016 in New York. 

Ryan Sigurdson

Ryan Sigurdson

Ryan Sigurdson currently teaches song interpretation at the University of Cincinnati. He completed a Master of Music (Orchestral Conducting) there, and holds a diploma in Musical Theatre from MacEwan University. Ryan studied at Canada’s National Voice Intensive and the Goodspeed Music Directing Intensive. An award winning music director, he has worked at many Edmonton theatres including the Citadel Theatre, Concrete Theatre, Teatro La Quindicina, Catalyst Theatre, The Mayfield Dinner Theatre and Opera NUOVA.  Teaching credits include Artstrek and the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program. Ryan is an award-winning musical theatre composer and a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.

Simon Mallett

Simon Mallett

Simon Mallett is a Calgary-based, Betty Mitchell Award-winning director and theatre maker and is the Artistic Director of Downstage, a company dedicated to producing theatre that creates conversation around social issues (www.downstage.ca). Both at Downstage and as a freelance artist, Simon has worked on a number of musicals including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Theatre Calgary), The Astonishing Adventures of Awesome Girl and Radical Boy (Centre Stage Theatre) and The Piper (Downstage). 2016 will mark Simon’s fourth consecutive year as part of the Artstrek curriculum team, and he is very excited to explore In the Heights with hundreds of passionate and talented teens!

Valmai Goggin

Valmai Goggin

Valmai Goggin is delighted to be back at Artstrek! She is a Calgary-based director, instructor, producer, and Maritimer. Teaching credits: University of Calgary, Evergreen Theatre, Storybook Theatre, Pumphouse Theatre, South Fish Creek, and Neptune Theatre School. Valmai has directed for Evergreen Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Keyano Theatre, Theatre Transit, Calgary Opera School Program, and Stage West for Kids, among a great many other fond memories. Favourite musical credits include Chicago, Billy Bishop Goes To War, and MARS!. She holds an MFA Directing (University of Calgary). She was the 2012-13 Emerging Director at Lunchbox Theatre and the 2014 Graduate in Residence at Mount Allison University. Valmai is a founding member of Theatre Transit and is Artistic Producer for Evergreen Theatre.