Artist Bios

Sheldon Elter - Floyd*

Sheldon is probably best known for his one-man show, Metis Mutt, which has won him 2 Sterling awards, and has toured across Canada and internationally. Other theatre credits include Tartuffe, Sound of Music, Enron (National Arts Centre), Marvelous Pilgrims (Teatro La Quindicina) Beowulf (Workshop West Theatre), L’Homme de la Mancha (L’Unithéâtre), HROSES: An Affront to Reason (Maggie Tree), NEVERMORE (Catalyst Theatre), Shear Madness, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, The Buddy Holly Story and The Full Monty (Mayfield Dinner Theatre), Julius Caesar, A Prairie Boy’s Winter and Vimy (Citadel Theatre), King Lear, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Musical), The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night and Merchant of Venice (Free Will Players). Sheldon was also a Top 14 finalist on Canadian Idol in 2006. TV credits: Hank Williams’ First Nation, CAUTION: May Contain Nuts, and Delmer and Marta, APTN, Hell On Wheels, AMC. He is a core-member of the ukulele rock band sensation, The Be Arthurs.

Ainsley Hillyard – Choreographer

Ainsley is an Edmonton-based performer, choreographer, and educator who works in dance and theatre. Since earning a Diploma in dance from Grant MacEwan College and a BA (Hons) from The Winnipeg School of Contemporary dancers in 2008, she has become a stalwart force in the Edmonton dance community. She is a core artistic member of the Good Women Dance Collective, which has created and performed works for the Brian Webb Dance Company, Dancers’ Studio West, Mile Zero Dance, TedX Edmonton, The Expanse Festival, and The Feats Festival of dance, among others. Her work with Good Women Dance also includes the curation of Dancefest for the Nextfest Arts Company, coordinating the Masterclass series for the Expanse Festival, and teaching ongoing company classes open to the public.

As an independent artist, Ainsley has choreographed for several theatre companies including: Workshop West (Double Double); Surreal SoReal (Beckett’s Shorts, Genius Code); The Serca Festival (Tristan and Isolde); Catch The Keys (Snout); Prospero Theatre (Midsummer Night’s Dream); Cowardly Kiss Theatre (Night Time). She is also an emerging actor, having recently performed in pool (no water) for Studio Theatre, and Snout for Catch the Keys Productions.

Dean Musani - Sound Designer

Dean Musani is a graduate of the Victoria School for the Arts, and the founder of Future Roots. More often called by his recording/stage name Phatcat, he's known as much for lively performances as his tireless work behind the scenes of Edmonton's electronic music community. Having worked with creator Mackenzie twice before on his 2001 work "Metropolis Noir" and Pyretic's 2013 production of "Sia", he's very excited to be contributing original music to BEARS and looking forward to placing more of his modern musical stamp onto our theatre community.

Lianna Makuch – Vice Reporter/Artistic Producer

Lianna Makuch is a graduate of the University of Alberta Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. In addition to acting, Lianna is also a producer, administrator, and educator. Production & administrative credits include associate producer for Sia (Pyretic Productions), Festival Manager (skirtsAfire Festival 2014), Audience Development Coordinator (Thousand Faces Festival 2014), Promotions Manager (Found Festival 2014), and Volunteer Coordinator (Azimuth Theatre). Lianna be resuming her role with skirtsAfire 2015 as Audience Development Coordinator. As an educator, Lianna has been a teaching assistant at the Foote Theatre School, guest teacher at the City Arts Centre, outreach movement instructor with the Expanse Festival, and taught collective creation with Three on the Tree (Pender Island, BC). Select acting credits include Madhouse Dramedy (Defiance Theatre), Scars are Healing Wrong (Punctuate! Theatre), Boogie Monster Club (Promise Productions), Macbeth (Prospero Theatre), Excuse me… This is the Truth! (Break the Wall Productions) The Missionary Position, The Memorandum (Studio Theatre), and performer apprentice Mump and Smoot CRACKED.

Matt Mackenzie – Playwright

Alberta playwright Matt MacKenzie is a graduate of the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada where he was the winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s award for excellence and community involvement. His play SIA won the 2010 Alberta Playwriting Competition, receiving critically acclaimed productions in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. In 2012, Toronto's Tarragon Theatre named Matt their Urjo Kareda resident, Canada’s top emerging artist award. In 2014, Matt won the Edmonton Grand Slam Short Story Championship with a mini version of Bears.

Alida Nyquist-Schultz - Chorus

Alida Nyquist-Schultz is a performer, choreographer, and collective artist of the Good Women Dance Collective. Her choreography has been performed at numerous festivals and events across Canada. As an independent artist, Alida has performed internationally for @tendance and locally for Usha Gupta Dance, the Edmonton Opera, and Heidi Bunting Dance.

Kate Stashko

Kate Stashko is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and writer, and a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She has trained, performed and presented her choreography across Canada and Europe, and recently worked on a film titled Cavern. She also teaches dance and Pilates in various settings, and writes for two Canadian dance magazines.

Anastasia Maywood - Chorus

Anastasia Maywood is an Edmonton-based independent dancer and choreographer. She holds a BA Honors (Drama) from University of Alberta, Edmonton and an MFA in Choreography from York University, Toronto. Anastasia has had her choreography presented in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.

Aimee Rushton

Krista Posyniak

Krista Posyniak is an Edmonton-based contemporary dance artist and arts manager. A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Krista has performed across the country in works by Susie Burpee, Pocket Alchemy, Lady Janitor, and Tedd Robinson, among others. She has created and performed for fringe festivals, musicals, corporate fundraisers, and independent productions

Bryce Kulak – Ghost of the Canadian Park Ranger*

Bryce Kulak is an award-winning pianist, composer, singer, and actor. Bryce grew up on stage, acting in theatre and playing classical piano. As a vocalist, he has performed with the orchestras of Edmonton, Kingston, and Banff. As an actor, he has played major roles at theatres across Canada. He is half of the new touring Canadian cast of 2 Pianos 4 Hands and performed the pianist-narrator role in another Canadian classic, Billy Bishop Goes to War, at Theatre Aquarius. Bryce’s collaborations with playwright and filmmaker Trevor Anderson have produced the award-winning children's musical Nami Namersson: the Viking Who Liked to Name Things and the short movie-musical The Man That Got Away, which won the DAAD Short Film Prize at its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film has screened and won awards at film festivals worldwide. Bryce plays piano, sings, and composed new music for Bohemians in Brooklyn, The Judgment of Paris, and From Weimar to Vaudeville, theatrical chamber music concerts narrated by CBCʼs Tom Allen. The productions premiered at Music Niagara, Chamberfest Ottawa, and the Global Cabaret Festival in Toronto, and have toured other chamber music festivals across Canada. On the Other Side of the World at Next Stage Festival featured Bryce’s hybrid Chinese-Jewish music for erhu, pipa, and cello. His song "Live In Peace" was heard in B.C. Place Stadium as the finale of the Yukon Experience at the Vancouver Olympics. He was the composer and conductor of the Toronto Complaints Choir, a public art project produced by Harbourfront Centre involving over 120 choir members. He was the pianist for November Theatreʼs Dora award-nominated Toronto production of Tom Waitsʼ The Black Rider. Bryce’s albums as a singer-songwriter, Welcome and Tin Can Telephone, as well as the soundtrack to The Man That Got Away, are available on iTunes.

Max Telzerow - Resident Photographer

Max Telzerow, a Canadian-German photographer, works in film and digital media. His fine art work encompasses aerial shots of Alaska, Mexico City’s Day of the Dead, Nicaraguan volcanic jungles, and the city of Berlin both as the wall was coming down (January 1990) and in 2012 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Corporate clients have included Batavus Bicycles; Biomega Bicycles; The Karma Project yoga; and Modrobes clothing. Max’s photos have been seen in Outlooks magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post, and Design Lines Toronto. He has shot poster images and production stills for theatre companies Pyretic Productions, National Theatre of the World, Beefy Geek Productions, Lemon Tree Theatre, Harley Dog Productions, and CBC’s Tom Allen. His work is featured on the debut CD from Toronto's That Choir. Max also shoots select weddings, headshots for actors and musicians, live performance and anything else that gets him excited. His own artistic pursuits include a series of full-body street portraits of a diverse selection of Toronto Pride Festival-goers. Using cinematographic style, Max presents the viewer with high-impact still images of nature and humanity.

Rachel Dawn Woods - Stage Manager*

Hailing from the Maritimes, Rachel is a Montreal based stage manager and graduate of St. Thomas University and the National Theatre School. Selected stage management credits include A Christmas Carol, Gifts of the Magi (Theatre New Brunswick); Billy (The Days of Howling) (Talisman Theatre); The Graduate, Guys and Dolls (Segal Centre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera on the Avalon); Blind (Scapegoat Carnivale); Sedna: Goddess of the sea (Tableau D’Hôte); Dear Johnny Deere (Blyth Festival, Lighthouse Festival); Falsettos (Acting Upstage); Don Giovanni (Glenn Gould School); The Leisure Society (Infinithéâtre); Ed’s Garage, Footloose (Grand Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (National Arts Centre).

*Appearing with the permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Show Info