Production Bios & Headshots
See Also: Playbill & Credits
ANDREY ANDREYEVITCH SHIPUCHIN
Dean Duncan is making his fifth appearance with Merlyn Productions in “The Anniversary”.
During the 2011 Season, Dean appeared as Lestrande in “The Curtain”, when the company presented its Morality Plays triple-feature. He made multiple character appearances in “Dramatic Showcase 2012”, and has also performed in “The Wraith of Wrath” and “Wind of a Thousand Tales”.
Backstage, Dean took on the position of Assistant Stage Manger for the Ellice Theatre re-mount of Chase & Hamill's “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show”.
Outside of Merlyn, Dean has had speaking roles in local independent film and television productions, including “Rob What” and “Dark Corners”.
Born in Winnipeg and growing up in Churchill, Dean returned almost a decade ago to explore broader horizons. After years of unexpressed interest in theatre and a brief foray into stand-up comedy, he auditioned for Merlyn Productions in Autumn 2011.
Offstage, Dean enjoys reading, cooking, and sarcastic observations on life, in general.
Rachel Hiebert is making her third appearance with Merlyn Productions in “The Anniversary”. She previously played Kiyomi in “Wind of a Thousand Tales” during the 2012 Season, and the Chorus in “Ming Lee and The Magic Tree” at the 2013 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Most recently, Rachel was seen as Puck in a re-conceptualised version of “A Midsummer Night's Dream” with R-G Productions at Gimli Summer Theatre, and also does a Transylvanian science show at Six Pines Haunted Attractions, where it is very easy being green!
She has been acting since her grade 5 appearance as Martha Sew-wart in “Home for the Holidays”, and is currently studying Theatre at the University of Winnipeg.
Alongside her acting studies, Rachel brings with her 15 years of dance training in jazz, tap, and hip hop, as well as 10 years of vocal training in Classical, Jazz, and Musical Theatre styles.
KUSMA NICOLAIEVITCH KHIRIN
Tim Beaudry is making his fourteenth appearance with Merlyn Productions in “The Anniversary”. He was seen as The Clerk in “Augustus Does His Bit” for the ShawFest2012 Master Playwright Festival, and most recently appeared in December 2012 as Bluster in “Wind of a Thousand Tales”.
Since his theatrical début as Warden Holt in the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Festival production of “THE VALIANT”, Tim has performed regularly with the company. Other 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. 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 also with the BS Comedy Players at the PTE Mainstage in May 2012.
Offstage, Tim is an accomplished photographer. He enjoys paddling competitively with his dragon boat team, “Boogie's Draggin Butt”, and has helped them win two Championship trophies, among others.
NASTASYA FYODOROVNA MERCHUTKINA
Ardyth Johnson is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions in “The Anniversary”, and is currently co- Artistic Director of Theatre Incarnate based in Winnipeg.
Ardyth trained with mime artist Adrian Pecknold at the Manitoba Theatre School in Winnipeg, and received a scholarship from the Manitoba Theatre Centre to further her studies with Mime Unlimited School of Physical Theatre (Jacque Le Coq) in Toronto.
She is a graduate of both the Mime Unlimited School of Physical Theatre and Second City Conservatory, and also holds a B.A. in theatre studies from the University of Winnipeg. Other studies have included master clown and buffoon with Philippe Gaulier, and other masters of mime, slap stick, and comedy.
Ardyth has toured throughout North America with Mime Unlimited, Theatre Beyond Words, and many other companies. When not performing, she is busy teaching physical theatre, improvisation, and slapstick workshops all over Canada and internationally.
John G. Hansen
DIRECTOR OF THE DEPUTATION
John Hansen is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions in “The Anniversary”.
John has acted on a short film called “The Shopping Cart” and also had a role as Uncle Joe in a full length low-budget film called “The Tan Man”, in addition to having done a lot of extra and featured extra work.
Currently, John is acting in two short films being shot by students at the University of Winnipeg: “Katnapped” and “The Snow Angel”.
Previous training includes classes at the Prairie Theatre Exchange and the Winnipeg Film Group.
Outside of the theatre, John enjoys playing classical guitar, drawing, painting, and practising tai chi.
IVAN IVANOVITCH NYUKHIN
Tim Webster is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions in the solo performance piece “On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco”.
Tim has been performing for over thirty years, starting with the children's television show “Follow Me” in 1977. He moved on to stage work in 1984, and once his degree was in his hand he immediately began eking out a living in a variety of ways – as most theatre majors must, or starve.
Tim performed educational theatre with Phoenix Productions (1994 - 2000), produced liturgical sketches for Riverwood Church Community (1999 - 2010), and taught Drama to Junior and Senior High students at The King's School (2003 – 2011). He still joins both the BS Comedy Players for political satire and the Crosseyed Rascals for improvisational comedy, as he has since 2001.
Tim currently works for the Faculty of Medicine and the Medical Council of Canada, for whom he trains people to portray symptoms of various illnesses.
He would also like to take this opportunity to deny the completely unfounded rumour that he has had elective plastic surgery to crop his naturally-pointed ears.
John Chase is the Artistic Director of Merlyn Productions Theatre Company, and an acting instructor at the Winnipeg Theatre School. As a Winnipeg actor, director, producer and stage manager, he marked his 100th local production with “Wind of a Thousand Tales” in 2012.
John is a veteran of theatre for young audiences, having produced multiple Kids Fringe best-sellers, staged 2011's “Through the Looking-Glass”, and 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.
John founded Merlyn Productions after his Co-Artistic Director at C.G. Productions departed Winnipeg in 2000, and has produced full seasons of plays at the Ellice Theatre, Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and other local venues since 2009. As one half of Chase & Hamill on the local comedy scene, John can also be found portraying quintessential straight man Bud Abbott of Abbott & Costello fame, alongside performing partner Kevin Hamill (Lou Costello).
John's introduction to Anton Chekhov was playing Lomov in “A Marriage Proposal” while studying theatre in the 1990s, and is honoured to have the opportunity to direct four of the playwright's seven one-act works in this year's festival!
Heather Forgie is stage managing for the first time with Merlyn Productions, and has made three appearances with the company during the last two seasons in “Wind of a Thousand Tales”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, and “Ming Lee and the Magic Tree”.
In addition to being an actress, Heather is a playwright, and occasional director. Recently, she became the artistic director of fellow local theatre company R-G Productions.
Heather is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg's theatre and dramatic arts program, and is currently employed as a high school Drama and English teacher.
Having once upon a time taken a few years off from the acting scene to have children and establish herself as a teacher, Heather is now back full-force. She looks forward to many further creative endeavours with the company!
See Also: Playbill & Credits