Here we go!

Rehearsals for the World Premiere tour of We Are the Body began yesterday in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  That’s where the production will close at the end of May after opening in Red Deer May 5-9, moving to Calgary May 13-23 and closing out the tour in Saskatoon May 26-31.

We have an incredible cast assembled.

The Cast

Heather Pattengale

Heather Pattengale as ELSIE, who is imprisoned in Romania by the Communist regime but who escapes the loneliness of her solitary confinement through memories before the war. Heather lives in Rosebud, AB where she often teaches and works at Rosebud Theatre. Selected Credits include: Doubt: A Parable, It’s a Wonderful Life, Our Town, The Diary of Adam and Eve, and Mary’s Wedding (Rosebud Theatre); Badger (Fire Exit Theatre and Theatre BSMT); Hamlet (The Shakespeare Company); Sketchbook presentation of The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (Ghost River Theatre). Heather is also 1/2 of the folk duo Me & the Mrs. with her talented (and handsome!) husband, Paul.

Tim Bratton

Tim Bratton who plays duel roles as the imprisoned RICHARD and IONEL, Elsie’s lover before the war.  Tim grew up in Edmonton, AB and is glad to be back on the Canadian prairies after spending several years out in Vancouver, BC where he devoted much of his time to writing a full length stage play in fulfilment of his Master of Arts in Theological Studies. No stranger to theatre or theology, Tim is also a graduate of Red Deer College’s Theatre Studies Program. His most recent acting credits include work with Otherwise Productions (Wolf At The Door) and Pacific Theatre (Godspell, You Still Can’t). Tim is a new resident of Saskatoon, SK where he lives with his lovely and scholarly wife, Amy.

John McIver

John McIver is playing both the imprisoned MICAH and the brutal prison guard PETRE who holds a very dark secret. John  is an actor, stage combatant and aspiring playwright working in the greater Calgary area. He’s a graduate of the acting program at Rosebud School of the Arts. He’s just recently returned to the trade after a two year sabbatical as a wildland firefighter in Northern Alberta. Recent credits include Head Temple Guard / Fight Captain, for The Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Stunt Performer for Women of the Bible, an upcoming CTS Miniseries, and Ferdinand in The Tempest for Suspension of Disbelief Productions. Some Select earlier credits include Frost at Midnight, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, and We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! for Rosebud Theatre, and Henry VI III and Romeo and Juliet for The Shakespeare Company. Playwriting credits include St. Nick’s Magical Mystical Mystery Tour forRosebud Theatre (Co-Writer) and Balls for the Calgary FourPlay Festival.

Creative Team

The play is being directed by Stephen Waldschmidt who also designed the set.  I spoke with Steve at length over the weekend and am so grateful to entrust this story into his able hands.  Wait for the show’s playbill to see his impressive list of credits.  However, you may know him from his work at Pacific Theatre and Rosebud Theatre and for his starring role as Jesus in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play.  He also directed the World Premiere production and the Canadian Tour production of She Has A Name.

James Popoff is the Artistic Director of Burnt Thicket Theatre.  I’m grateful for his vision and courage to produce new Canadian plays, introducing new work to audiences.  BTT’s mandate to enliven audiences through original performance and to integrate artistic and spiritual practices into the creation of new work for the stage is truly unique.

Colin Lowe joins this production as both Technical Director and Production Manager.  He brings a wealth of experience to this production. Having worked professionally as as ound designer, composer and arranger, musical director, vocalist, instrumentalist, stage manager, technical director, camera operator, director of photography, and video editor, his belief in the unparalleled importance that excellence in the arts will buttress the production from city to city.

Victoria Krawchuk is the Costume Designer for We Are the Body.  She received a BFA Theatre Design degree at University of Alberta in 2013. In her last year at University, Victoria was costume designer for Ron Jenkin’s production of Macbeth and assistant costume designer to Bretta Gerecke for Whisper. Most recently she has served as costume designer for Rosebud Theatre, the Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Fire Exit Theatre, Calgary Young People’s Theatre and Storybook Theatre.

Becky Halterman is the Lighting Designer. She graduated from Rosebud School of the Arts in 1997 in Light Design and Stage Management and since then has played with the magic of lights on many shows at Rosebud Theatre including Cotton Patch Gospel, Mary’s Wedding and Doubt.

Sound is such an important part of this production, it’s almost a character itself. I can’t wait for audiences to hear what Paul will bring to We Are the Body.

Paul Zacharias is the Composer and Sound Designer for the show.    He is one half of the folk duo “Me & the Mrs.”  He has worked widely on productions with Rosebud Theatre, The Shakespeare Company/MRU and Fire Exit Theatre. He operates “doG House Studios”, recording music for “up and coming” artists.

Haley Mailandt is Stage Manager for the production, having just completed her fourth year at the University of Calgary working on degrees in History and Drama. She has many credits with the university Drama department, most recently stage managing Jebat by Hatta Azi Khan and being the production stage manager for the Taking Flight Festival of Student Work this past April. This is her time working with Burnt Thicket.

Jillian Borrowman is the Rehearsal Stage Manager and she’s eager to jump into rehearsals for her first post-university production. She just spent the past four years getting her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Saskatchewan.

And where would any of us be without Alida?

Alida Lowe is Producing Director for Burnt Thicket Theatre and an artist who works across disciplines as a producer and manager.  She has also trained as an actor, director, and musician. She has managed She Has a Name (2011 World Premiere and 2012 Cross-Canada Tour), Solo Joe, Twinkle, and Tied In Knots, BTT’s upcoming show. Alida is the Production, Program, and Touring Manager at Youth Singers of Calgary, where she produces 20+ events and an international tour each season; and together with her husband, Colin, is co-founder of Estuary Creative, which provides creative services and arts support to organizations in the Calgary area.

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RED DEER, Alberta | MAY 5 – 9 
Scott Block Theatre, 4816 50 Avenue (map)

Buy Tickets for Red Deer

CALGARY, Alberta | MAY 13 – 23
Pumphouse Theatres, 2140 Pumphouse Avenue SW (map)

Buy Tickets for Calgary

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan | MAY 26 – 31
Studio 914 Theatre, 914 20 Street West (map)

Buy Tickets for Saskatoon

7:30 PM nightly, 2 PM matinees | $25 in advance, $30 at the door

AUDIENCE ADVISORY: This show is not suitable for children.