Production Bios & Headshots

Wind of a Thousand Tales

Forrest Nickerson Theatre, December 26 to 30, 2017

See Also: Playbill & Credits


Jump To:  Lexie DuboisAlison KolisnykJensen GloverHeather ForgieTim SayeauDakota NickelsCara RobinsonMark WallCora FastDaniel GilmourSandy MarieRobert Hewitt KingAl ShpellerAriel LeoBrent BruchanskiChrystal VerobaKendra BauerLinda McNeillMargaret KeastJohn Chase

Headshot for Lexie Dubois

Lexie Dubois

KIMBERLY-KAY

Lexie Dubois is making her third appearance with Merlyn Productions. She was previously seen as Elf #1 in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December 2015, and at the 2016 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Lexie is in her third year of classes as a Junior Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School. Born and raised in Winnipeg, she decided she wanted to be an actor after once seeing a local children's production of “The Cat in the Hat”.

Lexie enjoys playing football, spending time with her sisters and parents, and spending time at the lake.

She hopes you enjoy the show!

Headshot for Alison Kolisnyk

Alison Kolisnyk

KIMBERLY-KAY'S MOTHER / MARIA / KIKUSHYO'S MOTHER / JANOS' MOTHER

Alison Kolisnyk is making her fifth appearance with Merlyn Productions.

Alison was first seen as the historical Alice Liddell in “Through the Looking-Glass (And What Alice Found There)” in December 2014. She played the Shoemaker's Wife in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in 2015 and at the 2016 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, then made her Master Playwright Festival début as Mum in “Ernie's Incredible Illucinations” for AyckbournFest 2016.

In 2015 Alison joined R-G Productions, making her Winnipeg Fringe Festival début as Kokum/Narrator in “Breadcrumbs”. Other R-G shows include “Spider’s Web” for ChristieFest 2017, and “Desdemona” for both the 2017 Winnipeg Fringe Festival and the 2016 A-Spire Theatre Festival in Gimli, to which she returned this August in “The Savannah Sipping Society”.

Alison began studying acting, musical theatre, and dance as hobbies in her adult years. Recently, dance has been her primary recreational activity, and she has taken classes in various styles including jazz, tap, hip hop, modern, and African.

Offstage, Alison's “real world” revolves around hospitality, coordinating her front desk team in one of Winnipeg's upscale Polo Park hotels. Her other interests include travel, photography, horseback riding, and Zumba.

Headshot for Jensen Glover

Jensen Glover

BRISA / ENSEMBLE

Jensen Glover is making her third appearance with Merlyn Productions. She made her community theatre début in “The World of the Brothers Grimm” in 2015, returning to the stage for the 2016 Winnipeg Fringe Festival run.

From a young age, Jensen has been involved in musical theatre, jazz, tap, ballet, singing and piano. She has a keen interest in theatre, loves being on stage, and is an eager participant in all her school's productions.

When she can find spare time, Jensen loves reading, drawing, music, and of course, cats.

Headshot for Heather Forgie

Heather Forgie

NUSHI / JUANITA / ENSEMBLE

Heather Forgie became the Property Mistress at Merlyn Productions in 2014. This production marks her ninth onstage appearance with the company – the first of which was in “Wind of a Thousand Tales” in December 2012!

Heather's other appearances include “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “The World of The Brothers Grimm”, “Ming Lee and the Magic Tree”, and “Through the Looking-Glass”. She stage managed for the first time while working on “The Anniversary” for ChekhovFest 2014.

In addition to being an actress, Heather is a playwright and 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!

Headshot for Tim Sayeau

Tim Sayeau

BLUSTER / JUAN / ENSEMBLE

Tim Sayeau is making his fourth appearance with Merlyn Productions. He was most recently seen as The Announcer in “The Princess and the Pea” in October.

Tim previously played multiple roles in “Ernie's Incredible Illucinations” for AyckbournFest 2016, and appeared as a Director of the Bank in “The Anniversary” for ChekhovFest 2014.

In 2014/15, he took a year of Adult Acting classes at the Winnipeg Theatre School, with which he played both a layabout and a philanthropist in Dramatic Showcase 2015.

Tim's previous experience included being a page in a grade 1 production of “Cinderella”, and a lobster salesman in the film “Exiles”.

Headshot for Dakota Nickels

Dakota Nickels

CARLOS / PRINCE ONE, TWO, THREE / ENSEMBLE

Dakota Nickels is making his second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was previously seen as Matthew Charisma (“the handsome man”) in “And Then There Was One” for ChristieFest 2017.

Dakota was born in California, and having once played Big Jule in his high school's musical theatre production of “Guys and Dolls”, his ambition remains to be an actor in theatre and film.

As a young performer he took many theatre, film, and improv classes at MTYP and PTE, as well as four years of hip hop and break dance at the Manitoba Conservatory of Dance, and performed musical theatre with drama class all through high school.

Dakota played the lead role of Mark in the short film “Second Opinions”. He is currently taking classes at The Acting Studio Winnipeg, and will be performing in the upcoming play “Italian American Reconciliation” with Broken Record Productions in February.

Headshot for Cara Robinson

Cara Robinson

CORAZÓN / ENSEMBLE

Cara Robinson is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions.

Hailing from Ontario, her previous credits include Jesus in “Godspell” (St. Andrew’s Players), Millie in “Picnic” (Scarborough Theatre Guild), Rosalie in “The Children’s Hour” (Encore Entertainment), and Howard in “Inherit the Wind” (Scarborough Players).

Cara trained for five years in the Triple Threat Kids Program at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She spent two summers at the Stratford Festival’s Shakespeare School, as well as one summer at Young People’s Theatre Drama School in Toronto.

Cara has dance training in ballet, jazz, and hip hop, and has sung in choirs in church and school. She is currently in her last year of high school at Argyle Alternative High School in Winnipeg.

Headshot for Mark Wall

Mark Wall

KIKUSHYO / THE MAYOR / ENSEMBLE

Mark Wall is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions.

Mark has participated in the 24/7 playwriting and acting workshop for two years at the U of W: once directing, and once acting.

He has also been a part of numerous short films over the past few years, even as recently as last month.

This Spring, Mark will graduate with a BA in Theatre and Film from the University of Winnipeg.

In his spare time, he likes to read, play games (both board and video), and fantasise about space.

Headshot for Cora Fast

Cora Fast

KIYOMI / ENSEMBLE

Cora Fast is making her fifth appearance with Merlyn Productions. Previously this year, she played the title roles in “The Princess and the Pea” in October, and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” for Spring Break!

Recently, Cora helped to establish a small theatre company based in Steinbach, which performed “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged” in the 2016 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Cora is a graduate of Providence University College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre, and was also a finalist in the 2012 MAP Scirocco Drama Manitoba Highschool Playwriting Competition. She is an experienced improviser, and has been a performing member of the Crosseyed Rascals since April.

On screen, Cora has appeared in student films at the University of Winnipeg, and has done a fair amount of extra work. This year, she landed larger roles in a couple of True Crime Documentaries, as well as a couple of upcoming web series. One of her favourite roles remains that of a girl-gamer in the pilot episode of a mini-series mockumentary, “Into the League”.

Offstage, Cora is a waitress/bartender, and on occasion a nanny as well. She enjoys reading, singing, and virtually any sort of brain-teaser or puzzle that you can throw at her.

Headshot for Daniel Gilmour

Daniel Gilmour

JANOS THE PEASANT / ENSEMBLE

Daniel Gilmour is excited to be back onstage for a seventh appearance with Merlyn Productions, in “Wind of a Thousand Tales”!

He was first seen in “A Tragedian In Spite of Himself” for ChekhovFest 2014. Since then, he has played an ogre, a heroic side-kick, and all the male characters in two productions of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.

Other credits from around Winnipeg include “Radio Night” (2017) and “And Then There Were None” (ChristieFest 2017) with Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre; “Table Manners” (AyckbourneFest 2016) with Broken Record Productions; and “Arcadia” with Theatre Incarnate (StoppardFest 2007).

Daniel also played a recurring role as grumpy teacher Mr Morgan for three seasons on ShawTV's award-winning series, “Millworth”. He received his training at the University of Manitoba, where he was a proud member of the Black Hole Theatre Company.

Offstage, Daniel is an Early Childhood Educator and looks after chases a gaggle of toddlers all day. He is an avid board game player, possibly-too-obsessive sports fan, wannabe Karaoke star, and enjoys taking naps.

Daniel thanks his friends and family for all the support.

Headshot for Sandy Marie

Sandy Marie

PRINCESS ANNA / ENSEMBLE

Sandy Marie is making her second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was previously seen as Delores Biggs (“the actress”) in “And Then There Was One” for ChristieFest 2017. She is currently a third year Adult Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School.

As a child, Sandy was always ready to put on a show with extravagant self-made costumes, starring her siblings and friends. Their most popular production, “The Phantom of the Opry” spoof, was a parody of a parody of the famous musical.

Sandy has a passion for musical theatre, and in addition to her acting classes, is also taking vocal and piano lessons. Her other skills include gymnastics, Irish tap dancing, and skating.

Coming from a family of musicians, Sandy's dad calls her his “little globe-trotter”, as she is always ready to pack and go on a new adventure. Her favourite destination is New York City: the dream place for theatre lovers.

Headshot for Robert Hewitt King

Robert Hewitt King

THE KING / ENSEMBLE

Robert Hewitt King is making his third appearance with Merlyn Productions.

He was previously seen as Inspector Horatio Miles in “And Then There Was One” for ChristieFest 2017, and in “The Princess and the Pea” in October.

We Three Kings – King Handsome of “Princess-and-the-Pea” Land; King, The, of middle Europe; and King, Robert, actor of Winnipeg – welcome you to Merlyn's holiday production of “Wind of a Thousand Tales”!

Headshot for Al Shpeller

Al Shpeller

PEPE / THE EXECUTIONER / ENSEMBLE

Al Shpeller is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions. Actually, this will be his first appearance anywhere!

Al's theatre background consists of local acting classes over the past 2 years – most recently as an Adult Intro to Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School.

He is thrilled to join the Merlyn team and be part of the fun!

Headshot for Ariel Leo

Ariel Leo

WOMAN ONE, TWO / ENSEMBLE

Ariel Leo is making her second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was previously seen in “Puss in Boots” at the 2014 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Born in Winnipeg, Ariel has loved acting since the age of 13, when she played a witch from “Macbeth” for the Drama Club in Junior High. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Film from the University of Winnipeg, and has been taking Film Acting classes at The Acting Studio Winnipeg.

Ariel has been in various films, including “All The Cool Kids Are Doing It”. On stage, you may have seen her as the quirky, romantic Roxy Ducharme in “The Last Night of the World” at the 2017 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. She was also at the Haunted Forest event this year – mostly as Rosalyn Dracula Vampire.

Ariel also practices French, make-up artistry, dancing, and singing – but the one thing that she wants to do more than anything else (besides acting) is to travel, see the world, and have a number of adventures. This is the reason for getting involved in a story like “Wind Of A Thousand Tales”: it's a great way to imagine yourself travelling to a place you have never been before!

Headshot for Brent Bruchanski

Brent Bruchanski

JOSÉ / SPIRIT / HAROLD THE HERALD / ENSEMBLE

Brent Bruchanski is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions.

Brent is a new up and coming actor that has finally decided to put his life into the art. Throughout his life he has been committed to other paths, but ultimately they have led him to the theatre and film.

He worked with Manitoba Theatre and Playwrights last year with the finalists for screen-writing, and has done a number of films with Black Ice 140 productions. You can find some of his work on Facebook.

With two years of training and dedication so far, he still has a long way to go on his path!

Headshot for Chrystal Veroba

Chrystal Veroba

AMERICAN GIRL / A VOICE / ENSEMBLE

Chrystal Veroba is making her acting début in “Wind of a Thousand Tales” with Merlyn Productions.

Chrystal usually seems to find herself working creatively behind the scenes, but has decided to see what it's like on the “other side” of the stage.

Currently, Chrystal is a musical theatre student at PTE, and works as a full time commercial radio producer and voice-talent.

Headshot for Kendra Bauer

Kendra Bauer

INKEEPER'S DAUGHTER / GIRL / ENSEMBLE

Kendra Bauer is making her second appearance with Merlyn Productions. You might remember her as the librarian screaming “Mr Oats! Mr Oats!” in “Ernie's Incredible Illucinations” during AyckbournFest 2015.

She has been an Adult Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School for the past 4 years, and is overjoyed to be doing a full production with her theatre buddy Sandy Marie (Princess Anna).

Kendra has had a dream to be an actress since she was a small child, and later doing three musicals in high school.

Besides acting, she is also a co-animal trainer/handler, and takes singing lessons at Tauber Music School.

Kendra is delighted to be on stage once again!

Headshot for Linda McNeill

Linda McNeill

INNKEEPER / ENSEMBLE

Linda McNeill is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions.

Her first role on stage was as a tree in Bethlehem – near a stable – so she decided that it was hurricane season and enlarged her role considerably!

Fast forwarding more than 40 years, her second role was in the Herman Foote play “A Trip to Bountiful” playing Mrs Carrie Watts. She had so much fun and learning enjoyment that she stayed with Trilight Theatre in Kenora, Ontario for a number of years in various roles, both onstage and backstage.

Wind of a Thousand Tales” is Linda's first since moving to Winnipeg a year ago, and she hopes it is not her last!

Headshot for Margaret Keast

Margaret Keast

STAGE MANAGER

Margaret Keast is a new member of Merlyn Productions and is a relative newcomer to theatrical enterprise, but has made her mark on each of the shows for which she has served as stage manager or assistant stage manager.

Her first production had her calling cues for an outdoor act at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival: a thirty-minute act with fifty different sound cues to learn. She is proud of not having missed a sound cue since “the one”.

Margaret also served as Assistant Stage Manager for an under-a-tent-in- a-park rendition of Romeo and Juliet (during which her skills as a teen-wrangler became evident and valued). She assisted stage management for a one-act play, “Kreskinned” which went on to win best play at the Saskatchewan one act festival, and has worked on a production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe”.

Margaret looks forward to adding whatever she can to “Wind of a Thousand Tales”.

Headshot for John Chase

John Chase

DIRECTOR

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 has worked on more than 120 local productions to date.

John is a veteran of theatre for young audiences, having produced classic children's titles for the past eight years, and worked extensively in children's theatre with Fantasy Theatre for Children 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 1990s.

John founded Merlyn Productions after his Co-Artistic Director at C.G. Productions departed Winnipeg in 2000, and has produced a full season of plays locally each year since 2009. As one half of the critically-acclaimed Chase & Hamill act, John is also known for portraying quintessential straight man Bud Abbott of Abbott & Costello fame, alongside Kevin Hamill (Lou Costello).

Having been connected to this play and its sequel since their original Winnipeg runs in the 1990s, John is delighted to return “Wind of a Thousand Tales” to the Forrest Nickerson Theatre once more!


See Also: Playbill & Credits

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