Production Bios & Headshots
Ernie's Incredible Illucinations
See Also: Playbill & Credits
Jump To: Liam Greyeyes, Luca Villacis, Jordan Phillips, Tim Beaudry, Alison Kolisnyk, Ardyth Johnson, Kendra Bauer, Heather Bjorklund, Brian Dougherty, Anika Dowsett, Chantelle Dubois, Helmut Friedrich, Boris Jovanovic, Vanessa Mancini, Amanda Nickels, Filip Petrovski, Justin Rempel, Tim Sayeau, Hudson Thiessen, Xiam Webster, Ximon Webster, Tom E. Young
ERNIE / ENSEMBLE
Liam Greyeyes is making his theatrical début with Merlyn Productions, and is currently enrolled in his first year as a Junior Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School.
Liam has long been interested in becoming a part of Winnipeg's theatre community, and is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this production in the RMTC's Master Playwright Festival.
He is a grade 5 student at Laura Secord School, and is looking forward to many other opportunities to perform in this wonderful city.
ERNIE / ENSEMBLE
Luca Villacis is making his theatrical début with Merlyn Productions, and enjoys working with the team!
Luca loves performing and being on stage. While not in school, he is dedicated to training and developing his love of the arts.
Aside from theatre, Luca is passionate about film acting and singing, and has made appearances in several upcoming commercials and movies.
Jordan Phillips is making his second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and is excited to once again work with the company that brought you “The World of The Brothers Grimm”, in which he played multiple characters in December!
Before taking a two-year hiatus to run a Saturday morning kids program in Winkler, MB, Jordan graduated from the University of Winnipeg Acting Honours program. While at the university, his roles included Polonius and the Gravedigger in “Hamlet”, and Carl in “The Whole Ninth Floor”.
Most recently, you may have seen Jordan as the Minstrel in “Journeys”, presented at the 2015 Winnipeg Fringe Festival by his company, Sheep On A Mission. Writing, directing, and designing the play gave him the chance to marry his loves of music and theatre in an unconventional, yet poignant way.
Outside the theatre, you may catch Jordan from time to time performing his music (a blend of folk, hip-hop, and spoken word) under the alias iFollow.
Tim Beaudry is making his seventeenth appearance with Merlyn Productions, most recently reprising his 2012 Winnipeg Fringe Festival role as the Fisherman in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December.
Since his theatrical début as Warden Holt in the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Festival production of “THE VALIANT”, Tim has performed regularly. Three prior Master Playwright Festival appearances include The Clerk in “Augustus Does His Bit” for ShawFest 2012, Khirin in “The Anniversary” for ChekhovFest 2014, and Sir Reginald French in “The Astonished Heart” for CowardFest 2015.
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 (aka splashing in the river) with his dragon boat team, “Boogie's Draggin Butt”, and has helped them win two Championship trophies, among others.
Alison Kolisnyk is making her third appearance with Merlyn Productions, and is thrilled to be performing in her first Master Playwright Festival – the role of Mum in “Ernie's Incredible Illucinations” is a dream come true!
Alison was first seen as the historical Alice Liddell in “Through the Looking-Glass (And What Alice Found There)” in December 2014, and most recently as the Shoemaker's Wife in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December 2015. July 2015 found Alison making her Winnipeg Fringe Festival début with R-G Productions as Kokum/Narrator in “Breadcrumbs”.
Previously, Alison had been on Winnipeg stages as part of FemFest with Sarasvati Productions: appearing as Angelina in “Cowboy Boots and A Corsage” (2003), in “Martha in the Corner” (2004), and in the one-woman show “A Kick in the Head” (2006).
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 vintage downtown hotels. Her other interests include travel, photography, horseback riding, and Zumba.
Ardyth Johnson is making her second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was last seen as Nastasya Fyodorovna Merchutkina in “The Anniversary” during ChekhovFest 2014. She is currently a guest instructor at the Winnipeg Theatre School, where she will once again be offering her “Physical Theatre for the Actor” workshop in late February.
Ardyth trained with mime artist Adrian Pecknold at the Manitoba Theatre School in Winnipeg, and receiving a scholarship from the Manitoba Theatre Centre, graduated from the Mime Unlimited School of Physical Theatre (Jacque Le Coq) in Toronto.
She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory, and also holds a B.A. in theatre studies from the University of Winnipeg. Additional studies include master clown and buffoon with Philippe Gaulier.
Ardyth has toured throughout North America with Mime Unlimited and Theatre Beyond Words (among others), and performs at Fringe festivals across Canada with her company, “Physically Speaking”. When not performing, she is busy teaching physical theatre all over Canada and internationally.
SECOND LIBRARIAN / ENSEMBLE
Kendra Bauer is making her first appearance on the Merlyn Productions mainstage. She is in her second year as an Adult Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School, with which she appeared in Dramatic Showcase 2015.
Kendra was a young girl who had a passion for acting. While in high school, she performed in “The Music Man” and “The Sound of Music” – and although she wasn't the “star” in either of those plays, she has always felt like a star in her heart! She has also taken acting at MTYP.
WOMAN / ENSEMBLE
Heather Bjorklund is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions.
Heather has been a part of the Winnipeg theatre scene for approximately the past 30 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre in 1996. Since then, she has performed in numerous plays – and directed a few, too.
Heather's most memorable play is still “Misty Lake”, which was about residential schools and healing, and won best play in the 1999 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. It was while stage managing this play that she earned her first eagle feather. Her second eagle feather was earned when she received her spirit name and colours from her First Nation, Fisher River.
Once a year, Heather goes up north with a team of student doctors and teaches drama and drumming to youth in small communities and First Nations.
FOURTH BARKER / TIMEKEEPER / ENSEMBLE
Brian Dougherty is making his twelfth appearance with Merlyn Productions, and most recently reprised his 2012 Winnipeg Fringe Festival role as the King in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December.
In August, Brian was seen at Gimli Summer Theatre, reprising his role as Tschubukov in “A Marriage Proposal” from ChekhovFest 2014. Other appearances include the Engine-Driver in “Through The Looking Glass”, and multiple roles in “Ming Lee and The Magic Tree” at the 2013 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
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 the theatre school, 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 served as the Rehearsal Stage Manager for the company's ShawFest2012 production of “Augustus Does His Bit”, and has actively contributed his carpentry talents to numerous productions.
FIRST BARKER / ENSEMBLE
Anika Dowsett is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions, and is currently studying Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg.
Her favourite previous roles include the title role in “The Drowsy Chaperone” and Peep Bo in “The Hot Mikado” – both with the MTYP School Musical Theatre Company – as well as Doris in “It's Murder in the Wings” for the Gimli High School Drama Club, and Evelyn in “The Stiltskin Trials” with Wielgopatwa Productions.
She likes coffee and long walks on the beach.
THIRD BARKER / ENSEMBLE
Chantelle Dubois is extremely excited to be making her theatrical début with Merlyn Productions!
Chantelle has been actively involved in theatre from a young age. Currently, she is a second year theatre student at the University of Manitoba, and has also taken classes with the PTE School.
LIBRARY ATTENDANT / ENSEMBLE
Helmut Friedrich is making his fourth appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was last seen as Ernest in “The Astonished Heart” for CowardFest 2015.
He first became involved with the company in the supernumerary role of a Director of the Bank in “The Anniversary” for ChekhovFest 2014, and returned to the stage as a member of the Townsfolk and the voice of the Executor in “Puss in Boots” at the 2014 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Behind the scenes, Helmut has served as Assistant Stage Manager for both “Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There)” in December 2014, and Dramatic Showcase 2015.
KID SARACEN / ENSEMBLE
Boris Jovanovic is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions.
Boris’ first acting experience dates back to his university days when he performed in an Italian theatre. However, it was upon arriving in Winnipeg that Boris first found his passion for acting.
Since then, he has appeared in various short films, including “Immersed”, “Exchange”, and “All The Cool Kids Are Doing It”.
Most recently, you may have seen Boris as Brian in “Spotlight”, presented by Coffee Guy Productions at the 2015 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and as Andre in “Borderline Support Group” with Downside Up Productions.
SECOND BARKER / LIBRARIAN / ENSEMBLE
Vanessa Mancini is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions in "Ernie's Incredible Illucinations", and was drawn to the show for a chance to do ridiculous British accent(s) in a live theatre production!
Her theatre dream (since childhood) has been to become a Second City main stage player – and the ultimate would, of course, be to grace the stage of Saturday Night Live.
Vanessa most recently appeared as 'mean girl' Karen Hedges in “Spotlight” with Coffee Guy Productions at the 2015 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. She has appeared in various short films, as well as two web series by the local collective Bifrost Films: “The Avenue”, which she also co-wrote, and “Wasted”.
Vanessa sends her love to Mom, Dad, Andrea, Ryan, her new nephew, Carter, and Dylann.
RECEPTIONIST / ENSEMBLE
Amanda Nickels is making her first appearance with Merlyn Productions.
Having trained as an actor, singer, and dancer, Amanda's love of the arts stems from an early age, and occupies much of her time to this very day. She trained at ABC Academy of Acting and is constantly training to increase her abilities.
Amanda is currently working as host of the web series “Electric Prairies” with Prosper Street Productions, and also starring in a local independent film due out later this year.
When not performing, she enjoys dining out, making jewellery and spending time with her dog, HunnyBunny.
SOLDIER / ENSEMBLE
Filip Petrovski is making his second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was previously seen in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December. He is currently enrolled in his first year as a Junior Acting student at the Winnipeg Theatre School.
Filip’s first theatre performance was in a church play in front of a large audience when he was 5 years-old. Later, he took one semester of classes at the MTYP School, and also participated in a theatre/movie play prepared at MTYP through his school.
Filip is learning to play guitar, piano and trombone. He enjoys playing sports in school and after school, and is currently playing community basketball. Filip speaks fluent French, English and Macedonian. In his free time, he reads books or play hockey with his friends.
OFFICER / EDDIE / ENSEMBLE
Justin Rempel is delighted to be making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions, and hopes that it will not be his last!
Justin has been acting his entire life. His earliest endeavours were in church plays and Cottonwood Community Drama. The teen angst of his high school years prompted him to play a string of villains, from Herr Zeller in “The Sound of Music”, to Tybalt, Prince of Cats in “Romeo and Juliet”. At the Canadian Mennonite University, Justin participated in the Theatros acting troupe. His most recent turn was as an eccentric composer in the 2014 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Justin is currently studying Education at the University of Winnipeg. His hobbies include film, literature, music, running, soccer, and of course, theatre. He enjoys squash (the sport, not the vegetable) and cricket (the insect, not the sport).
MAN / A TRAMP / ENSEMBLE
Tim Sayeau is making his second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was first seen as a Director of the Bank in “The Anniversary” for ChekhovFest 2014.
In 2014/15, he took a year of Adult Acting courses at the Winnipeg Theatre School, with which he appeared as both a layabout and a philanthropist in Dramatic Showcase 2015.
Tim's previous experience includes being a page in a grade 1 production of “Cinderella”, and a lobster salesman in the film “Exiles”.
SOLDIER / ENSEMBLE
Hudson Thiessen is making his first appearance with Merlyn Productions, and is extremely proud to be joining the cast of “Ernie's Incredible Illucinations”!
Hudson lives in Winnipeg with his family, and is a grade 7 student at Ecole Henri-Bergeron, where his favourite subjects are Music and Math.
Hudson thanks his mom, dad, and his sister Renelle for their love and support. He also thanks his director for allowing him to enjoy this valuable experience.
LADY IN LIBRARY / ENSEMBLE
Xiam Webster is making her first onstage appearance with Merlyn Productions, and previously assisted as crew on “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December.
Xiam has been performing with her family since she was 8 years old, so it is a special occasion that she can now perform in this show with her son Ximon.
She has been in musicals, dance revues, commedia d'ell arte troupes, comedies, choirs, dramas, and a small amount of film. With years of experience behind her, she delights in learning new skills. (Besides, for her very favourite role – "Mom" – she needs every one of them to keep up with her amazing family!)
Xiam sends her thanks and gratitude to Grampa Alec, Aunty Marilyn, her Mom and Dad who got her started on this adventure, and especially to her loving husband and kids who are her co-adventurers.
SOLDIER / ENSEMBLE
Ximon is making his second appearance with Merlyn Productions, and was last seen in “The World of The Brothers Grimm” in December!
Ximon has been onstage since he was very young, appearing as a baby in a production, and then as a toddler when it was remounted. Since then, he has done some short films and a music video, which are very different experiences.
He is delighted to be returning to the stage with “Ernie's Incredible Illucinations”, and is particularly happy to be performing with his Brothers Grimm cast mates again.
Ximon's skills grow with each new show, and this time he was most excited to learn how to fall with guns.
Tom E. Young
REFEREE / ENSEMBLE
Tom E. Young is making his third appearance with Merlyn Productions. Most recently, he was seen as King August in “Sleeping Beauty” last October, and also appeared in “The Anniversary” during ChekhovFest 2014.
His other theatre credits include the role of Theseus in R-G Productions' re-conceived version of “A Midsummer Night's Dream”.
Tom started his acting career later in life. He has amassed numerous film and television credits, including – most recently – “A Dog's Purpose”, “Wait Till Helen Comes”, and “Julianna and the Medicine Fish”.
“Life is a gift. Enjoy every day.”
See Also: Playbill & Credits