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Festival Artists
2018 Artists
Christine Sokaymoh Frederick - Minosis Gathers Hope & Bears Kokum (Minosis)/Mama Bear (Bears)
Christine Sokaymoh Frederick is artistic director of Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and producer of the annual Rubaboo Arts Festival, ED of the Dreamspeakers Film Festival. She is the first Indigenous Associate Artist of the Citadel Theatre and recent appointee to Vice Chair of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She is an urban Aboriginal Cree-Métis and has thirty years of artistic experience in multiple disciplines and the 2016 Mayor's award for Excellence in Artistic Leadership.
Matt MacKenzie - Playwright, Director, Associate Producer Bears (PW, D), Minosis Gathers Hope (D, AP) Matt MacKenzie is an Edmonton-based playwright who has premiered four plays in the last two years, including Bone Wars: The Curse of the Pathological Paleontologists (Punctuate! Theatre), Bust (Theatre Network), Tick (Carousel Theatre) and The Other (Pyretic Productions/Company Blonde). Artistic Producer of Punctuate! Theatre, Matt is also an Artistic Associate with Pyretic Productions and works as an arts activist, volunteering as Canadian liaison for the Liberian Dance Troupe. Matt is thrilled to be working with such an inspiring group of artists.
Sheldon Elter * - Floyd (Bears)/Moosum (Minosis Gathers Hope) Sheldon is so excited to be a bear again. His credits include Evangeline (Citadel Theatre/Charlotte Town Festival), Crazy For You, Alice Through The Looking Glass, One Man Two Guvnors, Julius Caesar, A Prairie Boy’s Winter and Vimy (Citadel Theatre), The Crackwalker (Kill Your Television), Tartuffe, Sound of Music, Enron (National Arts Centre), L’Homme de la Mancha (L’Unithéâtre), HROSES: An Affront to Reason (Maggie Tree), NEVERMORE (Catalyst Theatre), HAIR The Musical, Shear Madness, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, The Buddy Holly Story and The Full Monty (Mayfield Dinner Theatre). TV credits: Hank Williams’ First Nation (APTN), Hell On Wheels, (AMC). He is the co-star, writer, and Co-Executive Producer on Delmer and Marta and CAUTION: May Contain Nuts (APTN) He is also a core-member of the ukulele rock band sensation, The Be Arthurs.
Skye Demas - Chorus (Bears)/Minosis (Minosis Gathers Hope) Skye is a performer, choreographer and teaches hip hop. Since the age of 7, she's developed in all forms of dance with Edmonton Children's Dance Theatre, Powerhouse Dance and 3rd Street Beat where she made the top crew 'Straighthood'. She's competed in Mexico, Phoenix and Vancouver in World of Dance and Artist Emerge. She's performed at Nextfest Festival, Rubaboo Festival, Dreamspeakers Film Festival, Kaleido Festival and SOAR Arts production of Blackness of White and CRUX at the Citadel Theatre.
Lara Ebata - Chorus (Bears - Toronto Production) Lara Ebata is a seasoned interdisciplinary performer, with a career spanning over 20 years. Subtle and soulful, Lara has an engaging presence onstage. A graduate of the York University Dance program, her recent motivation has been fusing circus with dance, resulting in theatrical pieces that transcend traditional circus. She has extensive training in ballet, modern, and aerial dance, and has explored various forms including jazz, Bharatanatyam, Latin ballroom, Afro-Caribbean, burlesque, stilts, and hip hop. Lara is a principle cast member of Circus Orange and Femmes du Feu, and has made appearances with Anandam Dancetheatre and Company Blonde.
Zoë Glassman - Chorus (Bears), West/Water (Minosis Gathers Hope) Zoë Glassman is an Albertan actor, dancer, and creator. Zoë trained at the Edmonton School of Ballet before completing her BFA in acting at the University of Alberta. Select theatre credits include Stupid F@#king Bird (Edmonton Actors Theatre), To Be Moved, Subway Circus (Blarney Productions), Little Red (Major Matt Mason & Ghost River Theatre), Control (Major Matt Mason), Tribes (Studio Theatre). Zoë is a collaborator with the Major Matt Mason Collective in Calgary; this June, Zoë will perform in MMMC’s production of Premium Content by David Gagnon Walker as part of the Next Stage Festival at Theatre Junction GRAND.
Aimee Rushton - Dance Coach Chorus (Bears)/Fairy (Minosis Gathers Hope) Aimee Rushton is an independent contemporary dance artist who has worked significantly throughout Canada since 2008. After completing the Professional Program at the School of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, Rushton immediately became a company member with Ruth Cansfield Dance. Working with Cansfield established Rushton as a tenacious contemporary dancer. Since returning to Edmonton in 2014, Rushton has worked across disciplines and significantly with Matthew MacKenzie. MacKenzie’s production of Bears, of which she was an ensemble member garnered numerous accolades. In 2016, Rushton was awarded the Good Women Dance Collective’s New Work award. With this award, she created a solo that was performed at the Expanse Festival in 2017. Gianna Vacirca - Vocal Coach She Grizzly, Chorus (Bears)/North Fire (Minosis) Gianna is an Alberta dancer, actor, choreographer. She is an Associate Artistic Producer with Punctuate! Theatre. Select performance credits include: Moon at Midnight on the Prairie Dance Circuit - (New Dance Horizons, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Brian Webb Dance Company, Fluid Fest) & in Edmonton: Bone Wars, Problem Child, The Believers, Pool (no water), Much Ado About Nothing. Thank yous to these dancing women for their mentorship - Amber Borotsik, Lin Snelling, Teresa Krohman, and Debbie Onufreychuk. Gianna couldn’t be more thrilled to take Minosis and Bears around Canada. Up next, Gianna will be joining the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in Edmonton. Rebecca Sadowski - Chorus (Bears), East/Earth (Minosis) Rebecca is a performing artist based in Edmonton, Alberta. She has choreographed and danced with Mile Zero Dance, Nextfest Festival, Feats Festival, the Common Ground Found Festival, and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. She teaches dance with dancED Movement Projects, the City of Edmonton, and Mile Zero Dance Outreach. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Ryerson University, and has performed with various theatre companies in Toronto including the Lower Ossington Theatre, Solar Stage Children’s Theatre, and Creativiva Incorporated. Rebecca is delighted to be dancing with Alberta Aboriginal Arts and Punctuate Theatre this season. Kendra Shorter - Chorus (Bears), South/Air (Minosis Gathers Hope) Kendra Shorter has been dancing since the age of three. She is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap. Kendra has trained in Sherwood Park, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and New York.In 2016 and 2017 she attended the Dance Italia/ Gaga Summer workshop in Lucca, Italy. In September 2017, she was a choreographer for the Dreamspeakers Film Festival Youth Day video. Performance experience includes: Lobbyists Ensemble with Azimuth Theatre, Solo work at Rubaboo Festival, and Edmonton Contemporary Dancers. Kendra has won numerous awards and scholarships such as: The Alberta Foundation of the Arts Dance Individual Project Grant and a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School. Alida Kendell - Chorus (Bears) Alida Kendell is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and collective artist of the Good Women Dance Collective. She trained professionally at the School of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, receiving her Bachelor of Arts upon graduation in 2009. Alida's choreographic works (Counterpart, Pod, Withheld, Love Fail, Blood of our Soil) have been presented at numerous festivals and events across Canada. She has had the pleasure of performing in works by Peggy Baker, Mélanie Demers, Justine A. Chambers, @tendance, Heidi Bunting Dance, the Jen Mesch Dance Conspiracy, AM Choreography and Pyretic Productions.
* - The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under the provisions of the DanceOperaTheatre policy.