Production Bios & Headshots
An Evening of Drama
See Also: Playbill & Credits
Jump To: Brian Dougherty, Renée Hodgins, Makrenna Sterdan, Dean Duncan, Ken Stone, Tim Beaudry, Judy Arnason, Ian Peters, Barbara Zaleski, David King, Carolynn Primeau, Kevin Hamill, Eric Rae, Elizabeth Whitbread
PHILIP NORTON ("THE CURTAIN")
Brian Dougherty is making his first appearance on the Merlyn Productions mainstage.
After 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.
“MORALITY PLAYS” marks Brian's second major community theatre production. His first was with Chase & Hamill, creating multiple characters in “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
RUTH ("THE CURTAIN")
Renée Hodgins is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions, having just moved to Winnipeg from Montreal.
Renée has dabbled in all-things-theatre for more than 20 years. Some of her favourite roles to date include Dora in “The Just Assassins”, Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker”, Little Sally in “Urinetown”, and Sally Bowles in “Cabaret”.
Renée has a not-so-secret love for musicals-with-substance. While this love has pushed her to sometimes complain about jukebox musicals, it has also motivated her to do things like direct “Kiss of the Spider Woman” at McGill University.
In her spare time, Renée likes to make puns and laugh at her own jokes. Also, she has never had coffee and is afraid of turtles.
SADE ("THE CURTAIN") / THE MAID ("CONFESSIONAL")
Makrenna Sterdan is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions.
Makrenna recently graduated from Sisler High School, where she studied Drama for three years. In those years, she performed an original comedic monologue for the 2011 Talent Show, recited her poem “Picture on the Wall” for Sisler's first annual poetry slam, and landed the role of Lady Brockhurst in the musical production of “The Boyfriend”.
Currently, Makrenna is in her first year of studies at the University of Winnipeg, and aiming to major in Playwriting.
LESTRANDE ("THE CURTAIN")
Dean Duncan is making his adult theatrical début with Merlyn Productions.
Dean played Frank Gilbreth in his high school's production of “Cheaper by the Dozen”. After years of unexpressed interest in theatre and a brief foray into stand-up comedy, he auditioned for Merlyn Productions in Autumn 2011.
Born in Winnipeg and growing up in Churchill, Dean returned almost a decade ago to explore broader horizons.
Offstage, Dean enjoys reading, cooking, and sarcastic observations on life, in general.
POLICEMAN ("THE CURTAIN")
Ken Stone is making his theatrical début with Merlyn Productions.
Since 2010, Ken has taken classes at the Actors Training Centre of Manitoba (ATCMB) with Nancy Drake and Jeff Skinner.
He has always had a strong passion for the arts in their various forms, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this production. His other interests include photography and travel.
Ken offers his special thanks to family, friends, cast and crew for their support.
ROBERT BALDWIN ("CONFESSIONAL")
Tim Beaudry is making his seventh appearance with Merlyn Productions.
Since his theatrical début as Warden Holt in the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Festival production of “THE VALIANT”, Tim has performed regularly with the company. His most recent appearances were as Uncle James in both the Ellice Theatre and Thaw Festival runs of “The Boy Comes Home”, and in the “Hearts and Flowers” melodrama at Dramatic Showcase 2011.
This Summer, Tim appeared with Chase & Hamill in “HEY ABBOTT! - Another Classic Comedy Tribute Show” at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
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.
Judy Arnason is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions.
Judy's other theatre experience was with Fantasy Theatre for Children, where she played the Fairy Godmother in a recent production of “Cinderella”.
On the film and TV scene, she has worked on numerous productions – including “Less Than Kind”, “Men With Brooms”, “Cashing In”, “The Don Cherry Story”, “Faces In The Crowd”, “Capote”, “The Assassination of Jesse James”, and “A Bear Named Winnie” – and also appeared in a couple of commercials.
Judy has trained at the Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE), as well as the Actors Training Centre of Manitoba (ATCMB).
“May All Your Dreams Come True!”
Ian Peters is making his third appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was most recently seen playing our hero in the “Hearts and Flowers” melodrama at Dramatic Showcase 2011.
Other recent 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.
Barbara Zaleski is thrilled to be making her first appearance on the Merlyn Productions mainstage. Previously, she performed with the company's “STAGE ONE: Adult Theatre” class in Dramatic Showcase 2011.
Born into an artistic family, Barbara grew up with a love for drawing, writing, and the stage, studying dance and musical theatre as a child. This early interest in theatre also inspired her to join her high school's improv team.
Barbara later became a multi-disciplinary artist and a young entrepreneur in digital art design, travelling to Canada's ancient rainforest to become a nature-photographer.
Her plans for the future include world travel, and continuing in the arts.
David King is making his second appearance with Merlyn Productions, having previously appeared as an Opening Act Player when the company presented “Sunday Costs Five Pesos” in February.
Over the past forty years, David has been involved in both amateur and professional theatre, and has worn many hats, including acting, set construction, and stage management, with theatre companies in Toronto, Ontario and Cornwall, Ontario, as well as Wichita, Kansas.
More recently, David has been involved in several films shot locally in Winnipeg. He looks forward to working with the company a lot more in the future, both on stage and behind the scenes.
LIFE ("THE GAME")
Carolynn Primeau is making her first appearance on the Merlyn Productions mainstage. She initially joined the company as House Manager for “The Boy Comes Home, And Other Works by A. A. Milne” in March, and performed with the “STAGE ONE: Adult Theatre” class in Dramatic Showcase 2011.
Carolynn's relationship with art (it's complicated) began with a mom-made magic wand sporting a glow-in-the-dark fabric paint tip, and a kindergarten magic show. Nineteen years later, she is grateful to have been given a chance at Life!
When off stage and not stumbling through year eight of her three-year English degree (or should it be gender studies? or rhetoric? or...), Carolynn exists before, behind, and sometimes inside the lens of a camera. With her partner in crime, Chantele Fry, she transcends identity politics through art. Look for their work in upcoming issues of Outwords!
Carolynn's goal – “if and when she grows up” – is to convince people to give her money for art.
DEATH ("THE GAME")
Kevin Hamill has been performing on local stages for over fifteen years. Since February 2009, he has served on the Merlyn Productions Company Staff as Technical Director, and was recently seen playing our villain in the “Hearts and Flowers” melodrama at Dramatic Showcase 2011.
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.
Outside of being a full-time actor, a full-time employee with Domino's Pizza, and a full-time Scenic Designer with Merlyn Productions, Kevin can be found chilling out with his two boys, Chylar (6) and Braidey (2). He hopes to one day see his “little drama kings” follow in his footsteps on stage – but until then, he's leaving their drama at his door!
YOUTH ("THE GAME")
Eric Rae is happy to be making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions.
While completing the acting portion of the Acting Honours program at the University of Winnipeg, Eric appeared in “Vinegar Tom”, “As You Like It” and “While We're Young”, as well as the 2010 Winnipeg Fringe Festival production of “Juliet and Romeo”, for which he also did the fight choreography.
Offstage, Eric enjoys games of almost any kind, be they on a field, a court, a screen, or a table-top.
Shameless Plug: look for Eric at the Master Playwright Festival in January 2012, when he will perform with Tara Players in their production of “Candida”, by George Bernard Shaw.
THE GIRL ("THE GAME")
Elizabeth Whitbread is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions, although she has been a part of Winnipeg's theatre community for years.
Most recently, she was brainwashed by aliens in “The Brain From Planet X” with the Crosswalk Players at the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. She has also performed with the Winnipeg Gilbert and Sullivan Society, North Kildonan Community Players, and the Junior Musical Theatre Company.
Elizabeth is currently in her second year of a Theatre degree at the University of Winnipeg. She studies Voice with Donna Fletcher, and plans to take her Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 9 exam in January.
Elizabeth has had a great time working with everyone at Merlyn Productions on “MORALITY PLAYS”, and hopes you enjoy the show!
See Also: Playbill & Credits