Production Bios & Headshots
HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show
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BUD ABBOTT / CO-DIRECTOR
John Chase is the Artistic Director of Merlyn Productions Theatre Company, and also the Adult Theatre Instructor at its theatre school. As a Winnipeg actor and director, he has produced, directed, stage managed or performed in more than ninety productions on stage and radio.
John worked extensively in children's theatre with Fantasy Theatre for Children, both on and behind the FTC mainstage for twenty seasons (1991 - 2011). He directed multiple shows for G.D. Productions (FTC's adult arm), and is an alumnus of The Theatre School, where he obtained five years of formal training under Tony Frost in the early-to-mid 1990s.
As one half of Chase & Hamill on the local comedy scene, John can be found portraying quintessential straight man Bud Abbott of Abbott & Costello fame, alongside performing partner Kevin Hamill (Lou Costello).
John had a fantastic time performing “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the MTC Mainstage during the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and is thrilled to be able to revive the show for one more run alongside its original supporting cast!
LOU COSTELLO / CO-DIRECTOR
Kevin Hamill has been performing on local stages for over fifteen years. He has served as Technical Director on the Merlyn Productions Company Staff since 2009, and was seen playing Death in “The Game”, when the company presented its Morality Plays triple-feature last October.
Kevin's beginnings were in 1996 with local children's theatre company Fantasy Theatre for Children. Today, as one half of Chase & Hamill on the local comedy scene, Kevin can be found portraying funny man Lou Costello of Abbott & Costello fame, alongside performing partner John Chase (Bud Abbott). Their most recent hit was “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, where Kevin also directed “LAW & ORDER: Nursery Rhyme Unit” for HamDad Productions at the Kids Venue.
Behind the scenes, Kevin has also stage managed for Fantasy Theatre, C.G. Productions, and RGI International; however his passion remains acting.
Kevin had a fantastic time performing “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the MTC Mainstage during the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and is thrilled to be able to revive the show for one more run alongside its original supporting cast!
THE ANNOUNCER & OTHER CHARACTERS
Ian Peters is making his fifth appearance with Merlyn Productions. Ian appeared as John in “Confessional”, when the company presented its Morality Plays triple-feature last October, and was also seen playing the Red King in “Through The Looking Glass” in December.
Other appearances include performing at the Park Theatre in StrindbergFest 2011, and creating multiple characters with Chase & Hamill in “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe.
Since 2006, Ian has trained at the Actors Training Centre of Manitoba (ATCMB) with Jeff Skinner and Darcy Fehr.
Ian grew up in Steinbach, and moved to Winnipeg in 2001. He loves the creative process, and working with others to bring a story to life.
SOUBRETTE & OTHER CHARACTERS
Rachell Hodgins is making her ninth appearance with Merlyn Productions. Last season, she starred as Alice in “Through The Looking Glass”, reprised the role of Mabel in “Suppressed Desires” at Gimli Summer Theatre in August, and also appeared as Berta in February's run of “Sunday Costs Five Pesos”.
Rachell's theatre beginnings were at Manitoba Theatre for Young People, which led to the Junior High drama program at John Pritchard School, followed by two years in the Kodiak Moments Theatre Ensemble at River East Collegiate.
Outside of Merlyn Productions, Rachell has appeared with Chase & Hamill at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival for the last three consecutive years.
When not acting, she can still be found onstage, having been a singer for various bands since age 16.
Tim Beaudry is making his tenth appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was recently seen playing The Clerk in “Augustus Does His Bit” for ShawFest2012.
Since his theatrical début as Warden Holt in the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Festival production of “THE VALIANT”, Tim has performed regularly with the company. Recent roles include Uncle James in both the Ellice Theatre and Thaw Festival runs of “The Boy Comes Home”, and Robert Baldwin in “Confessional”, when the company presented its Morality Plays triple-feature last October. Both shows received critical acclaim on The Uniter's “Top Ten Theatre Productions of the 2010/2011 Season”.
Tim appeared with Chase & Hamill in “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and he recently performed with the BS Comedy Players at the PTE Mainstage in May 2012.
Offstage, Tim is an accomplished photographer, and has been part of the Winnipeg Folk Festival Photo Crew for 12 years. He enjoys paddling competitively with his dragon boat team, “Boogie’s Draggin Butt”, and has helped them win two Championship trophies, among others.
THE MESSENGER & THE COP
Brian Dougherty is making his fourth appearance on the Merlyn Productions mainstage. He recently played Philip Norton in “The Curtain”, when the company presented its Morality Plays triple-feature last October, and then wood-worked a train for his role as the Engine-Driver in “Through The Looking Glass” in December.
After once venturing briefly onto the stage with a self-written solo comedy routine for the local “Free Laughs Comedy Series”, Brian decided to pursue theatre in earnest. He enrolled in the Spring 2011 session of “STAGE ONE: Adult Theatre” at Merlyn Productions, and performed with the class in Dramatic Showcase 2011.
Brian's first major community theatre production was with Chase & Hamill, creating multiple characters in “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Behind the scenes, Brian has been very active in contributing his carpentry talents to the scenic departments of several productions, and was also the Rehearsal Stage Manager for the company's ShawFest2012 production of “Augustus Does His Bit”.
MULTIPLE CRAZY CHARACTERS
Sam Kowaluk is making his third appearance with Merlyn Productions. He has performed with the company since the 2010 Season, and most recently played Humpty Dumpty in “Through The Looking Glass” last December.
Last summer, Sam appeared at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in both “LAW & ORDER: Nursery Rhyme Unit” with HamDad Productions, and “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” with Chase & Hamill, in addition to working on a couple of local film sets.
Sam is an alumnus of The Theatre School at Fantasy Theatre for Children, where he also appeared in more than 30 mainstage productions over seven years, including: “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, and – a personal favourite – “Max and the Grinch”.
Sam is in his second year at the University of Winnipeg studying theatre and film, and served as Assistant Director for Dakota Collegiate's production “The Wizard of Oz” in December 2011.
He hopes you enjoy the show!
THE OPERATOR / STAGE MANAGER
Anna Woodward is making her seventh appearance with Merlyn Productions. She has worked with the company as an actress and a Stage Manager since the 2010 Season, and recently appeared as the Red Queen in “Through The Looking Glass” last December.
Anna also took part in two Winnipeg Fringe Festival shows last Summer: “LAW & ORDER: Nursery Rhyme Unit” with HamDad Productions, and “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” with Chase & Hamill.
Anna started acting in Grade 5, when she played Little Red Riding Hood. Her other recent stage appearances have been in “Fiddler on the Roof” with the Victorian Operatic Society, and “Sweeney Todd” with the Belleville Theatre Guild. As a military brat with her father in the Armed Forces, she has acted from Comox, B.C., to Belleville, Ontario.
In addition to stage acting, she has taken six years of vocal lessons, and is currently enrolled in a beginner jazz class.
Outside the arts, Anna is working as an ECE II, and holds a Social Service Worker Diploma.
See Also: Playbill & Credits