Theatre/Film FACULTY and STAFF Profiles

Last Modified: Sept 17, 2015

All photographs by Staff Photographers, (c) UWinnipeg unless noted otherwise below


Jonathan Ball

Jonathan Ball holds a PhD in English (Calgary) with a focus in Creative Writing and Canadian Literature. He is the author of two books of poetry, Ex Machina (BookThug, 2009) and Clockfire (Coach House, 2010) - the latter a series of 77 plays that would be impossible to produce. His writing has appeared in numerous publications across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia, including The Capilano Review, Grain, Prairie Fire, Matrix, The Believer, and Harper's. He is the former editor of Dandelion and the former short films programmer of the Gimli Film Festival. His short film Spoony B (Martian Embassy Films, 2005) appeared on The Comedy Network, and he co-wrote a screenplay that served as the basis for the independent feature film Snake River (Ronin Films, 2010). Visit Jonathan online at

Dr. Ball teaches two courses in our Filmmaking area: Script and Screen and Script and the Small Screen.

Contact Dr. Ball at: (204) 786-9197; E-mail:

Bruce Claydon

Mr. Claydon has worked as a Special Lab Instructor for the past several years and has taught various workshops at the Winnipeg Film Group. He has been a professional motion picture technician since 1993 working in the areas of lighting, camera and on-set sound recording.

Mr. Claydon teaches Filmmaking I: Screen Narrative Technique for us.

Contact Mr. Claydon c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:

Donna Fletcher

Donna Fletcher is an accomplished actor, singer, and concert performer with a wide range of national experience in theatre, musical theatre, and symphonic work. Proud of her prairie roots, Donna received her early training in Winnipeg and earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance degree from the University of Manitoba, a diploma in Musical Theatre from The Banff Centre for the Arts, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree from The University of Toronto. As an actor, Donna has been acclaimed in principle roles from east to west with the Charlottetown Festival, Drayton Festival, Rainbow Stage, Theatre Calgary, Stage West Calgary, the National Arts Centre, Manitoba Opera, Dry Cold Productions, RMTC, PTE, MTYP, Sarasvati Productions, the Belfry Theatre and Persephone Theatre. Recent performing credits include Sister Act and Buddy Holly (Rainbow Stage) and A Little Night Music and Follies (Dry Cold Productions). As a director Donna has helmed productions of Brundibar for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, The Addams Family and A Man of No Importance for Dry Cold Productions and conceived the WSO presentation of Send in the Clowns: The Music of Stephen Sondheim where she took the stage with TONY Award winner Len Cariou. In July of 2012 she was inducted into the Rainbow Stage Wall of Fame and directed its acclaimed production of Annie. Always seeking new challenges, Donna co-created Dry Cold Productions which celebrated its 16th anniversary in 2016. Donna is a Sessional Voice and Musical Theatre Instructor at the University of Manitoba's Desautels Faculty of Music as well as the University of Winnipeg's Department of Theatre and Film.

Contact Ms Fletcher c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail: or

Photo credit: Kevin McIntyre

Kayla Gordon

Kayla, a graduate of the UofW Theatre Department in the 80s, is thrilled to be back teaching Musical Theatre and the occasional section of Introduction to Theatre: Performance. Kayla is currently the Artistic Director of Winnipeg Studio Theatre. She has worked as an actor and director in Winnipeg for over 30 years. She was the Artistic Director for Winnipeg Jewish Theatre for over a decade and Executive Director for the Association of Jewish Theatre for five years. Kayla received the Leadership Award from the University of Jerusalem and she was nominated for the John Hirsch Young Director's Award. Recent directing credits include Altar Boyz (WST, PTE), 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee (WST), Hair, the Rock Musical (UofW) Rooms, A Rock Romance (WST), The Producers (MTC lawyer show), Little Shop of Horrors (PTE dentist show), and Ordinary Days (WST and Toronto's Angelwalk Theatre). Kayla also has produced countless special events and fundraisers for many local charity groups including CancerCare Manitoba, Virtuosi Concerts, Macdonald Youth Services and others.

Contact Ms Gordon c/o: (204) 895-3358 or E-mail: OR

Brenda Gorlick

Brenda Gorlick, a Manitoba-born-and-bred performing artist, has been a prolific part of the arts community her entire life.  As director/choreographer, Brenda has designed over 250 productions nationwide and has been a member of Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Banff Centre of Performing Arts Company, and the Stratford Festival.  She has gained a reputation as being the "Flash Mob Queen" of Manitoba and has designed events ranging from 1/2 time shows for the Blue Bombers to the Pan Am Games.  As a performer, Brenda's selected stage credits include: Morticia in The Addams Family (Dry Cold Productions), Les Miserables and Sister Act (Rainbow Stage) and Anita in West Side Story (Banff).  In film she has been a principal performer in Love in Design opposite Danica McKellar and a swing dance aficionado in If It Ain't Got That.

Brenda serves as Associate Artistic Director for Winnipeg Studio Theatre and helms the StudioWorks Academy & Players programs.  The season offerings are Reefer Madness, the December crowd favourite; Pippin - Reimagined in March; and Suessical the Musical in May. 

Her artistic achievements include YMCA-YWCA's Women of Distinction Award, Rainbow Stage's Wall of Fame and WST's Award of Excellence. 

Brenda serves as guest professor in dance and musical theatre for the Universities of Winnipeg (since 2003) and Manitoba and is extremely proud of her work with the Manitoba Arts Council's Artists in Schools program and the SMD All Abilities Dancers.   Above all, she is mom to two boys, Jordie and Taj, and life partner to Victor.;

For complete bio, cv, and testimonials, please click here.

Contact Ms Gorlick in the department c/o: (204) 786-9955; or at (204) 284-8645;

Photo credit: Kayla Gordon

Sue Groff

Susan graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1978 with an Honours degree in Fine Arts. She was a practicing potter for eight years and then began her Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre career as a casual painter in 1987. Susan has been the Head Scenic Artist at the RMTC since about 1993 and has been teaching the Scenic Painting class at the UW Department of Theatre and Film in rotation ever since.

Susan has been painting for most of the theatres and stages in Winnipeg - in addition to numerous films and TV specials - for over 20 years.

Teaching experience also includes workshops for the University of Manitoba, the Artist-in-the-Schools program (for four years), and the film industry.

Susan's summer passion is gardening and she has been a Certified Arborist since1983.

The UW Scenic Painting class is held in the RMTC Scenic Shop amidst the excitement of ongoing show builds.

Contact Ms Groff at: (204) 786-9955 (Dept.Office); (204) 956-1340 (RMTC); E-mail c/o:

Kari Hagness and Larry Demedash

Ms Hagness has been the Properties Coordinator for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (RMTC) since 1986. A graduate of Trent University (B.A.'75) and the National Theatre School (Design, '78) she has worked as a designer and scenic painter, and in wardrobe and props departments for theatre, ballet, opera, television, and film. Her activities include builder, cutter, painter, sewer, and upholsterer. She has also done commercial work as a maker of mascots and museum displays. She knows all aspects of Theatre Production, as well as ALL aspects of Props!

Mr. Demedash came into Props from Fine Arts, graduating from University of Manitoba with a Fine Arts Degree. He has worked as a sculptor, scenic artist, carpenter, jeweller, model maker, armourer, sign painter, AND SO ON . . . since starting with Brian Jackson at Rainbow Stage in 1972. He has worked in all aspects of production in theatre, ballet, opera, television, and film. He has also done commercial work as a maker of museum displays, and with special events such as the Native Achievement Awards Ceremony.

Ms Hagness and Mr. Demedash team teach Properties for the Stage to our students, in rotation.

Contact Ms Hagness & Mr. Demedash through the RMTC at: (204) 956-1340; E-mail:

Scott Henderson

Mr. Henderson is a professional lighting designer who has worked extensively with every professional theatre in Winnipeg and many others across Canada, including Stratford, Shaw, Belfry, Globe, Theatre Calgary, The Citadel, and the Canadian Stage Co. He has also designed for a number of independent productions. Trained at Ryerson, Mr. Henderson is currently a member of the Associated Designers of Canada (and has served on its board) and IATSE.

Mr. Henderson teaches Lighting Design for our department.

Contact Mr. Henderson at: (204) 786-9955 (Dept. Office); E-mail c/o:

Ashley Majzels

Professor Majzels graduated from the Theatre Department at the University of Winnipeg, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in theatre historiography at the University of Minnesota. He is thrilled to be back in Winnipeg and teaching Canadian Drama at his alma mater.

Professor Majzels teaches Canadian Drama and Theatre and Theatre History.

Contact Professor Majzels c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:

Heidi Malazdrewich

Heidi Malazdrewich is a Winnipeg-based director, actor, and theatre educator. She has worked with several theatre companies in Winnipeg including: The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Projects Manitoba, Dry Cold Productions, Sarasvati Productions, zone 41 and Theatre Incarnate. Most recently, Heidi directed the world premier of Alix Sobler's The Secret Annex at the Tom Hendry Theatre for The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. In the 2014/15 Theatre Season she will direct The New Canadian Kid for Manitoba Theatre for Young People as well as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which is the lawyers' fundraising production for The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Heidi is currently the Director-in-Residence for the 2015 Rainbow Stage Season.

Heidi has taught theatre at The University of Manitoba as well as Manitoba Theatre for Young People. She currently teaches Theatre Aesthetics at the University of Winnipeg.

She holds an MFA in directing from the University of Calgary and a B.A. Hons. from the University of Winnipeg.

Contact Professor Malazdrewich c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:

Hope McIntyre

Hope McIntyre is Artistic Director of Sarasvāti Productions and produces FemFest (Winnipeg's annual festival of plays by women for everyone). She has an MFA in theatre directing (UVIC), a BFA in theatre performance (U of S), and completed an apprenticeship in performance at ARTTS International in England. She is a former President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She has worked as a director and actor for independent theatre in various Canadian cities as well as performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is also an award winning and published playwright. Her past teaching engagements include Mount Allison University, Brandon University, Centauri Summer Arts Camp and Prairie Theatre Exchange Theatre School.

Professor McIntyre teaches Introduction to Theatre: Performance and occasionally directs special department projects.

Contact Professor Hope McIntyre at: (204) 786-9957; E-mail:

Sean McMullen

Sean McMullen is a graduate of the Honours Design program at the U of W and has a MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta. Now based in Winnipeg, Sean is a set, costume, and lighting designer and has had the pleasure to work with MTYP, PTE, The Little Opera Company, and Rainbow Stage (to name a few) and looks forward to strengthening his relationship with Winnipeg's theatre community at large. Apart from design, Sean's studies have included acting, directing, playwriting, puppet-making, and stage combat. He also has a BSc in Biology.

Sean has a passion for education, and could not be more excited about teaching Styles in Design during the fall/winter term, along with Drafting & Drawing in the fall.

Contact Mr. McMullen at: (204) 258-3811; E-mail:

Heather Meiklejohn

As Senior Curator for Parks Canada National Office, Heather Meiklejohn brings to the Department of Theatre and Film considerable experience in costume history and costuming. Having studied and worked at such prestigious institutions as the Royal Ontario Museum; the Courtauld School of Art, University of London; the Winchester School of Art, University of South Hampton; the Museum of London; and the Royal Museums of Scotland, Ms Meiklejohn returned to Winnipeg after living many years, first in Toronto, then London, and then later in Edinburgh. Her range of experience working with such diverse institutions has well prepared Ms Meiklejohn for teaching within such a creatively eclectic department as our Department of Theatre and Film.

Ms Meiklejohn teaches History of Fashion & Dress, and Introduction to Costuming.

Contact Ms Meiklejohn at: (204) 983-2530; E-mail:

Cairn Moore

Cairn is a director and playwright. She teaches first-year performance at the University of Winnipeg and is Associate Artistic Director of FemFest. In 2012, Cairn was declared the winner of the Jewish Canadian Playwrighting competition for her play SHIKSA. In 2013, Cairn was invited to take her play to Vancouver for a public reading as part of the Chutzpah! Festival. SHIKSA has been programmed for production in April, 2014, as part of the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre's 2013/2014 Season. Cairn's most recent play, Jail Baby (co-written with Hope McIntyre), is the result of drama workshops held inside Canadian women's prisons. This exciting new work was published by Scirrocco and premiered in May, 2013. Cairn is also editor/writer of Generation NeXXt, a scene book anthology for young female actors (also published by Scirrocco).

Contact Ms Moore c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:

Ali Robson

Ali Robson is a dancer, choreographer and teacher based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since graduating from the School of Contemporary Dancers in 2004 she has worked in both Vancouver and Winnipeg. In Vancouver she studied and performed contact improvisation with EDAM under the direction of Peter Bingham and in 2012 performed in Serge Bennathan?s Elles. Ali worked for three seasons with Winnipeg?s TRIP Dance Company under the artistic direction of Karen Kuzak performing in Herding Instinct and The Art of Displacement. In early 2013, she performed with Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers in Toward Light: A Tribute to Rachel Browne and continues to work with the company.

Ali has worked as a dancer, rehearsal director, and movement coach with many artists including Tom Stroud (Company Link), Natasha Torrres-Garner, Treasure Waddell, Alexandra Elliott, Claire Marshall, Coral Aiken, Delia Brett (MACHiNENOiSY), Melanie Kuxdorf, Susie Burpee, and Debbie Patterson. Her own choreographic work has been presented by Young Lungs Dance Exchange and at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Ali holds a BA Honours in Theatre majoring in dance from the University of Winnipeg. She teaches creative movement and modern dance to children and adults and has taught contact improvisation and modern technique to students at the University of Winnipeg, to the public through community classes, and to the professional dance communities in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Regina.

In 2015/16, Ms Robson will teach Principles of Physical Training for the Actor and the movement portion of our Honours Acting courses.

Contact Ms Robson at: 204-786-9323; E-mail:

Tom Soares

Mr. Soares is an instructor of Voice and Diction at the University of Winnipeg. He also teaches voice at Prairie Theatre Exchange and Actor Training Manitoba. Privately, Mr. Soares coaches voice, text, speech, dialects, accent reduction, and public speaking skills. He holds an MFA in Acting from York University where he taught and specialized in voice and text under the tutelage of David Smukler and Eric Armstrong. Tom has been a professional actor in Winnipeg for ten years and is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg's (then titled) Department of Theatre and Drama. Tom is also one of the founding members of Tom-Tom Theatre which specializes in producing classics and original works.

Mr. Soares teaches voice and diction.

Contact Mr. Soares c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:

Jey Thibedeau-Silver

Ms Thibedeau-Silver is a graduate of the U of W (B.A. Theatre and Drama 1987, B.Ed. 2010) and holds a Master's of Education from the University of Manitoba (2005). She has worked in the arts and cultural sector in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia as an arts educator and administrator. Since 2006 Ms Thibedeau-Siver has been teaching drama in Winnipeg high schools; currently, she is at Garden Citiy Collegiate. She is passionate about the value of an education rich in the arts, and is a founding member of the Alliance for Arts Education in Manitoba. Ms Thibedeau-Siver has served on the board of Arts and Cultural Industries, Manitoba Drama Educators, and the Manitoba Arts and Cultural Management Advisory Committee.

Ms Thibedeau-Silver teaches Drama in Educaiton.

Contact Ms Thibedeau-Silver c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:

Vicki Young

Vicki Young has been employed as a cultural administrator for over 30 years and has worked in publishing, dance, theatre and music. She teaches an Introduction to Arts and Cultural Management course that is cross-listed with our Division of Continuing Education.

Contact Ms Young c/o: (204) 786-9955; E-mail:


Allison Loat

Allison Loat is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg's Department of Theatre and Film Production and Stage Management stream. She has had the pleasure to work for many theatre companies in various capacities including Rainbow Stage, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Shakespeare in the Ruins, Dry Cold Productions, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre and others. Allison is a proud member of IATSE (Local 63) and continues her work throughout the industry. As Production Coordinator for the Department, Allison has the opportunity to work with students from all areas of study. She works with students, staff, and faculty to facilitate the student run productions, as well as operating our new theatre.

Contact Allison at: 786-9970; E-Mail:

Khaeler Bautista

Khaeler is the assistant to Aaron Frost in our Carp Shop.

Contact Khaeler at: 204-786-9246


Douglas H. Arrell

Doug Arrell tought courses in theatre history, drama, and dramatic theory. He received his B.A. (Hons.) degree from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. from the University of London. He began teaching at the University of Winnipeg in 1974 and retired in 2009.

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