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2021 Emerge Artists

Emerge 2021 is presented with generous support from the RBC Foundation.

Welcome to the Emerge 2021 Artist page! You may scroll through the artist headshots and short bios below. To see self-tapes and/or download artist headshots and resumés click the link in the bottom left-hand corner of each listing. To filter this list by artist self-designations check the categories listed below and hit the search button. To clear the filter simply click on the 'Clear' link.

Keisha Wright

Actor

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My name is Keisha Wright, and I am an actor from Calgary. I'm excited to take on the Alberta acting scene and learn more about the craft along the way!

Galen Hite

Lighting Designer, Playwright, Stage Manager, Technician

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Galen Hite is a passionate emerging theatre professional based in Edmonton. He primarily SMs, but is also a skilled tech and aspiring LX designer.

Emma Abbott

Actor

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Emma Abbott is an Edmonton based performer, soprano singer with training from Renée Brad, and an actress heavily involved in musical theatre.

Mackenzie McDonald

Actor, Composer, Director, Playwright

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In my work, I love exploring darker themes that make the viewer question their self-perception. I hone my storytelling skills through art and D&D.

Shayleigh Sihlis

Actor, Singer, Sound Designer

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Shayleigh hails from Calgary and is a Fellow of Rosebud School of the Arts in Theatre Arts. She is a singer, musician, actor, and sound designer.

Lauren Brady

Actor

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Lauren is known as an actor, dancer, clown, and choreographer, who loves physically embodying characters and taking them to any extreme.

Christina Nguyen

Actor

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Christina is a mixed race artist hailing from amiskwaciwâskahikan (colonially known as Edmonton). She is a graduate of the BFA Acting class of 2020.

Meegan Sweet

Actor

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Meegan is a queer emerging artist who strives in pushing the boundaries of physical expression and variety beyond the first impression. They pride themselves in powerful presence on stage as well as authenticity with vulnerability and attention to subtlety. Meegan is also a 2020 graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Alberta as well as a 2016 graduate of the Theatre Performance and Creation Diploma at Red Deer College. Recent credits include, Invisible Thread Episodes 1 & 3 (Dancer/Creator - The Hidden Neighbourhood - Nextfest 2021), Onion V.S. The C-Lownavirus (All - Play the Fool International Short Film Festival 2021), Anonymous (Lex - IGNITE! Festival 2020), Suspension (Witness, Hayley Moorhouse - Edmonton International Fringe Festival 2019, Skirtsafire Festival 2020 & Alberta Queer Calendar Project). In their free time Meegan is a florist to make money so their cats can live a good life.

Julia van Dam

Actor

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Julia van Dam (she/her) is a Dutch artist and immigrant to Turtle Island currently based out of Treaty 6 territory. She began singing at an early age and it was the joy of musical theatre classes in high school that catapulted her into studying two years in the Performance and Creation program at Red Deer College. Here she was introduced to the Meisner technique quickly going on to study the practice with William Esper and Barbara Marchant at William Esper Studio in New York. This led to her being cast in a 6 month touring experience with Theatrino in Italy with a 250 show run. Eventually being drawn to further her training and abilities she enrolled in the BFA Acting program at the University of Alberta where she has just completed 3 years of training. Favourite credits include Dracula (Dracula, Studio Theatre), Some Girls (Bobbi, Central Alberta Theatre), Alice Through the Looking Glass (Alice, MainStage RDC) and her lead role in the short film, Nasty Weird Bird (Steph, Vital Only Films)

Hanna Loh

Administrator/Producer, Stage Manager, Technician

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Hanna Loh is a recent graduate of the BFA in Production: Stage Management program at the University of Alberta. Throughout her degree, Hanna worked on many productions in various roles within the theatre community to gain a strong understanding of all aspects that come together to produce a show. In the summer time, she discovered a passion as well for large scale events when she works as an assistant in the programming department of the Calgary Stampede. Hanna has a strong desire to continue her work in both theatre and events to continue to collaborate on content that makes guests leave with a smile on their face. While the pandemic put a halt on live events and theatre, Hanna is eager to get back into the swing of things and welcome guests back into the world of live entertainment!

Laura Mena

Actor

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Hi! My name is Laura Mena. I come from a tiny country in South America called Venezuela. Through Theatre I want to be able to tell our own stories and show representation, so the next Latinx generation feel that they also belong in the theatre space. Currently I am working with the Hispanic Arts Society to create a space/platform for Hispanic Artists to tell their stories and showcase their work!

Logan Lawrence

Actor

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Logan is an actor based in Calgary, Alberta. Most recently trained at Company of Rogues Actors Studio for New York style acting, with a focus on Meisner technique and film workshops. Previously trained with Dan Libman at Calgary Actors Studio, and graduate of the Performing and Visual Arts Program at Central Memorial High School in the theatre department.

Josh Olson

Actor

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My name is Josh Olson, I use he/him pronouns, I am a graduate of the University of Calgary with a BFA in Drama. My love for theatre and acting grew an incredible amount during my degree, and even more so afterward when I was in a position where they were not in my everyday routine. I am excited to be taking the next steps in my career and to be able to share it with anyone who is watching. I have always considered myself more of a comedic actor but after my time working on the play 'Carried Away on the Crest of Wave' I have found myself being drawn to more serious and dramatic characters. I am truly excited to finally be a part of Theatre Alberta's Emerge, and I cannot wait for what lies for me ahead. Thank you.

Rebbekah Ogden

Actor

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Rebbekah is a multiracial theatre/visual artist from the little town of Invermay Saskatchewan who has recently made Calgary her home. She has an FRSA in Theatre Arts from Rosebud School of the Arts. Select acting credits include: Comedy Of Errors (SBTB/Theatre Calgary), An Ocean in my Soul (AOIMS Productions), Salt-Water Moon (Creating Genesis) A Christmas Story, The Kite, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol (Rosebud Theatre), A Comedy of Errors, A L.M. Montgomery Christmas (RSA).

Alexa McGinn

Actor

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Alexa is a Mohkinstsis (Calgary) based actor, coming out of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary, leaving with a BFA in Drama and a Minor in Women's Studies. She enjoys physical theatre, devising, and contemporary theatre. Some of her work includes becoming a part of the ensemble for Machinal and The Fairy Queen at the University of Calgary, and more recently working with Ignite! Emerging Artists Festival for Tia Christoffersen's play Mythical Creatures. Looking to the future, Alexa is focused on developing her skills in voice-over, reuniting with the stage, and developing her own work.

Jackson Card

Actor

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Jackson Card is an Edmonton born-and-raised performer with a passion for guitar, singing, comedy and action. His time at the UofA ignited a love for stage-combat, singing, and the intricacies of what a live performance can be (for both the actors and the audience). Recent theatre credits include Major Barbara as Charles Lomax (UofA BLT), Chrysothemis as King Agamemnon (Studio Theatre), Lysander/Demetrius (Lodestar Theatre). Recent independent film credits include Sam in Muses and Tom in Looking Back from Here (She From the Sea Productions). Jackson is based in Central Edmonton.

Joel Braun

Actor, Administrator/Producer, Playwright, Technician

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I believe the power of stories can change the world. That is why I create. I am a heart forward actor who loves to bring compassion and humanity to each character I bring to life. Years of carpentry work have given my craftsman's hands a love to build and create. If acting opportunities dry up, I intend to again harness my producer skills and make whatever show I want to share happen. If that show isn't out there yet... I will write it! Before my theatre life, I lived in the world of remote Northern BC. I worked in the trades, as a paramedic and firefighter, even as an executive for a successful startup. I enjoyed hiking, camping and canoeing the vast wilderness. My rich life experience deeply impacts who I am as an artist allowing me to bring a truthful piece of who I am to whatever art I create.

Maya Baker

Actor

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Maya is an Edmonton-based singer, actor and dancer who is a 2020 graduate of the Theatre Arts Program at MacEwan University. She has been recently seen in Songs To No One (Dammitammy Productions), and Until the Next Breath (Catalyst Theatre). Other recent credits would be, Legally Blonde (MacEwan University), The Crucible (MacEwan University), and Pippin (MacEwan University). She is honoured to be a part of Emerge this year and is looking forward to more on-screen, and live theatre again.

Amelia Daneils

Actor, Model, Stage Manager

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Amelia is a multidisciplinary artist with a fascination for good stories and puzzles. Eager to get involved with work in any capacity, she is powerful both on and off stage. She finds enjoyment connecting with others through the audience and with her coworkers. Amelia is known as hard working and determined while creating a warm and uplifting environment. Previous theatre credits as an actor, stage manager and marketer include work for Rosebud Theatre, Medicine Hat Musical Theatre, Rosebud School of the Arts, Opia Theatre Productions, Creating Genesis and H2/4H Productions. Her desire and insight into directing and modelling prove a drive to continue moving forward in the theatre and film industry.

Thomas Kassian

Actor

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Thomas Kassian is an Edmonton-based stage and film actor who recently graduated from the BFA Acting program at the University of Alberta with the class of 2021. Thomas is also a graduate of the Citadel's Young Musical Company program in 2017.

While he is expertly trained in theatre, he also thrives in film acting. Across Alberta, Thomas has acted in films from Edmonton, to Calgary, to Lethbridge, ranging from small indie projects to larger Telus STORYHIVE funded features. He has a passion for film and filmmaking and is directing his own Telus STORYHIVE documentary set to release this year. When not acting or in school, Thomas spends time instructing performing arts programs at Festival Place in Sherwood Park. He cannot wait to collaborate with other artists in Alberta.

Abigail LaForest

Actor

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Abigail is an Edmonton-based actor, musician and dancer. Favourite credits include: The Mask (Walterdale Theatre), Vivienne Kensington (Legally Blonde, MacEwan University), Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible, MacEwan University), Ensemble (Pippin, MacEwan University), Wednesday Addams (The Addams Family, River Valley Players), Hérisson un de porcupine (lՎtoile, U of A Opera). They have interned with Thou Art Here theatre in collaboration with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival. They enjoy songwriting and have opened for Sean McCann (Great Big Sea), Derina Harvey Band, and Mudmen; as well as busked for Citadel's production of Johnny Cash: The Musical and Once.

Carson Walliser

Actor, Costume Designer, Director

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Carson is a recent graduate of MacEwan University's Theatre Arts Program, and also holds a BA in acting from The University of Regina. He currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Carson started acting when he was ten years old and has also worked as an assistant stage manager, writer, producer, lighting designer, fly man, production assistant, set designer, and costume designer. While at MacEwan he worked on projects such as The Laramie Project, Spring Awakening, Pippin, The Crucible, and Legally Blonde. Carson is also one of the founding members of the Women's Company, and is an adjudicator for the Saskatchewan Drama Association.

Olivia Bunge

Technician

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Graduated Student of MacEwan Theatre Production Program.

Interested in pursuing the entertainment and live event industry through carpentry, audio and lighting.

Holly Donovan

Actor

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Holly Donovan is very excited to be given this opportunity to be apart of Theatre Alberta's up and coming emerging artist program this year. She recently worked with Grid View Theatre on Team Building Day. Holly has studied at Company of Rogues Actor's Studio and completed her two year master program.

Nathan Crockett

Actor

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Hey there! Name's Nathan and I am a general nerdy and goofy guy, sorta awkward... like a lot but that's okay! I just finished my program at Company of Rogues Actors Studio (2 Year Masterclass) and am currently in a production with Morpheus Theatre (No Sex Please, We're British) Trying to pursue that actor life, working in the kitchen by day and grinding acting during the evening. I'm interested in all forms of storytelling (Film, Theatre, VO) and I want to do it all and hopefully make a living at it too! Play loads of DnD and Arkham Horror when I have the free time too, which isn't too often these days but that's alright. Busy is good and I like to stay that way!

Anja Darien

Actor, Musician

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Anja Darien has adopted the lifestyle of a classic bard. Skipping from story to story, singing, acting, or illustrating the adventures that take place every day. Anja comes from a large and creative family and currently lives in Rosebud, Alberta with her husband. Anja is curious about the earthy intensity of emotion, the bright life that thrives in play, and the rhythm that connects those two ideas together. Whether it is an adventure, a healing journey, a call to action, or an escape from reality, Anja believes in the gift that is theatre.

Sophie Healey

Actor

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Sophie May Healey is a Canadian performer of Japanese and British descent. She strives to tell honest and meaningful stories through her work as an actor, singer, dancer, and writer, exploring ideas of gender, neurodivergence, and identity.

At the University of Alberta, Sophie devoted much of her time to the art of self-created performance. She fell in love with devised work, clown, comedy, satire, and physical theatre, and has since had her original clown and bouffon work featured in festivals and showcases such as NextFest and the Play the Fool Online Film Festival. She hopes to continue to perform and work in the clown spirit of truth, comedy, and 'going into the fear.'

Sophie hopes to use her talents in the worlds of theatre, film, and voice over performance. She is looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for her, and can't wait to continue the journey.

Jessica Schnell

Actor

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Hello! My name is Jessica Schnell, and I graduated from the Theatre Arts Diploma Program at Macewan in 2020. Prior to my time at Macewan, I competed in every music festival I could and also spent several years working towards various RCM certifications and exams, finishing with honours on my Grade 9 Voice and Advanced Rudiments in 2018. My graduating class (along with the rest of the world) was thrown a curveball when our final mainstage show, 'Legally Blonde' which was set to open March 25, 2020, was cancelled before it saw the stage due to the global pandemic. Although heartbreaking, I've come to appreciate the uniqueness of my University experience. Amongst all the madness that ensued last spring, I emerged from Theatre School as an Artist with a passion for live performance burning even hotter than it had before the shutdown. I am so excited to finally be participating in Emerge, and sharing stories with all of you again. I hope you enjoy!

Martina Laird-Westib

Actor

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Martina is an actor, writer and artist living and working in Calgary, Alberta. She is a 2021 graduate of the Company of Rogues Actors' Studio Masterclass Program, and the Completely Ridiculous Productions Spring Conservatory Program. Her first in-person live performance after pandemic restrictions lifted, was in The Comedy of Errors (InsideOut Theatre) as Solina, Emilia, Courtesan, Balthasar and 2nd Merchant, where she mastered the art of quick-change. At the 2021 Ignite Festival (Sage Theatre) she played Hildegard in Mythical Creatures. During COVID lockdown she performed in two live online productions, as Christine, in The Book Club and Team Building Day (Grid View Theatre). Martina has a BFA in fine art, has lived extensively abroad and is fluent in German. Now she is busy auditioning, writing a horror screenplay, and practicing in weekly improv sessions under the tutelage of visionary Ralf Jean-Pierre.

Zachary Strom

Actor

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Zachary Strom is a queer theatre artist currently based in Mohkinstis. Having just graduated from the University of Alberta's BFA in Acting program, he is eager and excited to meet new stages and sets, with a particular interest in new and developing work. Select performance credits include The Comedy of Errors (Theatre Calgary), The Birds, Dracula, The Glass Menagerie, The Secret in the Wings, and The Merry Wives of Windsor (University of Alberta), Mary's Wedding (Shattered Glass Theatre), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Primestock Theatre), and Torpor Temper (Art Apart).

Kaeley Jade Wiebe

Actor, Director, Musician, Playwright, Singer

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Kaeley Jade Wiebe is a Métis multidisciplinary artist based out of Amiskwaciwâskahikan/Edmonton, Alberta. A recent graduate of the BFA Acting Program at the University of Alberta, Kaeley is most drawn to exploring the complexity of human relationships within her art. Select theatre credits: Chrysothemis, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Studio Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Theatre Calgary/The Shakespeare Company). Select film credits: Smile: It's Only the End of the World (Guerrilla Motion Pictures), No Apology (Link to the Past Productions).

Alongside her theatre and film careers, Kaeley has also been making waves as a folk-pop singer/songwriter under the name, 'Kaeley Jade'. An alumnus of RBCxMusic's First Up Program and Indigenous Music's Market Builder Residency, her music has been played on radio stations across North America and has been featured in editorial playlists across streaming platforms, in several film and television productions, and in publications from around the world.

Emily Bergeron

Actor

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Emily Bergeron is a 2020 MacEwan University Theatre Arts Graduate. Past credits include Legally Blonde, The Crucible, Pippin, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sondheim on Sondheim, and Sideshow. Emily was a participant in the Citadel Theatres Musical Young Company (2016-2017 and 2018-2019). For the past 10 years Emily has been in vocal training. Emily looks forward to participating in live theatre again.

Chelo Ledesma

Actor

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Chelo Ledesma trained as a pop singer at the Center for Pop Music Philippines when she was younger before transitioning into a Musical Theatre performer. She was active in her high school's drama club and competed and won multiple awards for bagging Champion titles for speech choir competitions. Chelo also enjoyed performing for the De La Salle University-Dasmarinas' non-profit theatre organization and as well as volunteering in outreach programs. She also appeared in local theatre festivals at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines. As she moved to Canada last 2017, she started training once again at Resonate Music School and Citadel Foote Theatre School to prepare for Macewan's Music Theatre Program which she eventually got accepted into during the year of 2018, and graduated on 2020 and received the Theatre Arts Dance Scholarship.

Ethan Handford

Actor

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Ethan is an exceptionally talented actor who has been in many productions over the course of his life. He often feels most at home in theatre environments and can often be found singing and doing impressions in his free time. In addition, Ethan has attended the Artstrek camps program as many years as he could, as well as being a musical household from a young age. His ambitions are often theatre-based, his university program, as well as many productions over his high school years have only furthered his passion for the arts. Emerge would not only be a valuable asset in his portfolio, but a welcome and exciting experience in the wider world of theatre.

Holly Wandler

Actor

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Holly Wandler is an emerging actor and theatre artist born and raised in St. Albert, Alberta. She recently graduated from the University of Alberta's BFA Acting program in 2020 and now currently resides in Edmonton, on Treaty 6 territory. Over the past year, Holly has been fortunate enough to have gotten opportunities to perform both online and in person. Recent credits include Invisible Thread (The Hidden Neighbourhood), Suspension (Cardiac Theatre), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.; Chrysothemis (Studio Theatre), and Matt & Ben (Next Stage Productions).

Peter Yung

Actor

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I am an artist that is always looking to improve. I have recently graduated from the University of Calgary Class 2021 and have been intermittently been involved in theatre since the 2nd grade. As I grew I always desired to improve in my craft and see what stories can be told by the smallest choices. From relevant to irrelevant choices they all guide me to create the "me" that may stand before you.

Rebecca Orion

Actor, Administrator/Producer, Director, Playwright

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Rebecca is a writer, director, and actor based in Mahkinstsis (Calgary). She is currently a candidate to become a Fellow of Rosebud School of the Arts Guild in Theatre Arts. Her production company Incendiary Festival recently closed it's show Agape to glowing reviews. Rebecca strives to make art that is extravagant in its truth telling, beauty, and fun. With a focus on poetic language, innovative use of space, and opportunities for all, her creativity is the sort that pulls others along with her. She aspires to sink her teeth into devised work, site specific shows, and immersive theatre, forever blurring the lines between the audience's day to day life and their experience within the stories Rebecca tells. Select credits include: Agape, Mokita, NorthWest (Incendiary Festival), Unity (1918), Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Follow the Sun (RSA) and Grip of a Knot (Naked Thieves Creative Collective)

Trevor Loman

Actor

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Trevor Loman is an emerging Canadian actor currently based out of Southern Alberta. Originally from Lethbridge, Trevor has performed in a variety of stage plays, and short films. He has just recently received his BFA from The University of Lethbridge's Dramatic Arts Program in Theatre and Performance (2020). Known for his portrayals of Jonas in Carnaticum ( TheatreXtra, 2018), Malcolm in Macbeth (The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society, 2019), Sid Myers in Daisy (The Playgoers of Lethbridge, 2020), The Gryphon in ALICE: A Devised Adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (2019), and Bassianus in Titus Andronicus (2019).

Andrea Greening

Actor

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Andrea Greening (she/her/elle), a native of Newfoundland, Canada, completed the Company of Rogues Actors' Studio 2-year full time Master Class Program in May. She studied Improv at Dad's Garage, Atlanta and Clown with Jon Davison and Christopher Bayes. Andrea is a 25+ year Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as a multiple Canadian skydiving champion and world record holder. She lives in Airdrie, AB with her husband and three cats. She is represented by RJ Talent.

Oliver Bailey

Actor, Administrator/Producer, Playwright, Stage Manager

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Oliver Bailey (he/they) is an emerging actor & playwright based in Calgary, Alberta. He also has stage management experience and is interested in arts administration. In 2021, he graduated from the University of Calgary with a BFA in Drama.

Oliver's artistic practice is inspired by themes of autonomy, agency, gender and sexuality, mental health, and identity. He brings a grounding presence and dedicated capability to the room, and is eager to collaborate and share stories.

Prior experience includes Crave, The Fairy Queen, Pierrot's Gender Reveal Party, antigone lives* (UCalgary); Much Ado About Nothing (DIY Theatre); and several local readings of new work with Alberta Theatre Projects, Sage Theatre, and UCalgary.

In his free time, Oliver enjoys drawing, painting, and spending time with his partner, family, and friends.

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