2019 IGNITE! Theatre Series – Meet the Artists!

Meet the amazing talent comprising our Theatre Series!

Donut Diaries

Inspired by a true story, of an arson set in a Dunkin’ Donuts in Shamokin, Pennsylvania inspired artists (high school students) from Western Canada High School to explore what might have happened..

Playwright / Director – Maezy Dennie

I make art, films, and sculptures stuff out of garbage people leave on the street. I’m a drama and tech theatre student at Western Canada High School. This show started out in a battered notebook sitting between me and Katya in cafe beano. The ideas came quickly, and suddenly here it is on stage with the best cast and crew I could have asked for. This is a dream come true and a huge opportunity, and I thank IGNITE! for taking a chance on us. A million thanks to Ms G for giving us space to say the thing, make our art and write this show.

Playwright / Director – Katya O’Donnell

I’ve been told i’m good with words, but I truly cannot describe how cool this whole thing was. All my love and then some for this cast and crew!

Lighting Technician – Brian Mulley

Thank you to my friends and family for the generous and unending support over the years. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Sound Technician – Madis Loo

My name is Madis, I do sound.


Assistant Stage Manager – Tessa Turner

Thank you to my amazing, talented friends who created this show and to everyone who made it happen, and thank you for letting me be a part of it!

Stage Manager – Aideen Reynolds

Aideen feels privileged to have been given the opportunity to support the work of the other young artists around her.

Actor – Tess Larsen

Beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such incredible people, and to be a part of this festival. Thank you all for everything. Y’all are the best.

Actor – Jonah Twyman

Just trying to keep it up.

Remaining Anonymous

This production investigates the pressures society has placed on individuals to search for permanence and label relationships in search of security. These themes are explored by six characters as they grapple with the vulnerability and insecurity of enduring aspects of undefined relationships. The playwright designed this story to be as inclusive as possible to spectrums of gender and sexuality.

Playwright – Jelena Minshall

Jelena Minshall is a theatre actor, creator, director, producer. After graduating the Theatre Performance and Creation Program at Red Deer College she relocated to Calgary in 2017. Jelena is ridiculously grateful to have “Remaining Anonymous” on stage again, after being first premiered at the Calgary One-Act Play Festival this past January. Thank you to the cast and crew for all of their work on this rendition of the show.

Director – Maggie MacKenzie

Maggie is excited to be making her directorial debut. A huge thanks to Jelena and the Ignite festival for the opportunity! Maggie has been so grateful to get to work with such a talented cast and crew and to have the guidance of Mark Lewandowski and Vanessa Porteous. You can catch Maggie performing in Prince’s Island Park this summer in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Ensemble – Brent Clark

Originally from New Brunswick, this eastern actor is just stepping into Calgary for the first time! A soon-to-be graduate with a BFA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Lethbridge, Brent is super excited to have his first taste of Calgary include the IGNITE festival! A charming and positive attitude ensures a relaxed, yet productive rehearsal atmosphere. He has been sure to be a buoyant, energetic, bold, creative, simplistic companion to any team he has had the pleasure to join. He will still be working hard after this festival as well, the next project being SAFEHOUSE (Seven Starving Artists) by Samuel Jurisic. Though he is determined to remain anonymous while on stage, be sure to chat and check out what else he is working on!

Sound Designer – Shayleigh Sihlis

Shayleigh is enthralled to be in the world of sound design again after her sound debut in Prophecy (The Voiceless Project). She is also a singer, musician, actor, and a bit of a nerd. She is grateful to her parents and Creator.


Designer – Skylar Desjardins

Skylar is a freelance wearer of many hats (metaphorically, he only owns 2 hats) based in Calgary. He has worked with such companies as Storybook theatre, Handsome Alice, Stage West, Vertigo, Cowtown Opera, Swamp Donkey, Torchlight, Grindstone, Lunchbox, Theatre Calgary, Sage Theatre, Ucalgary, and Ghost River. His next project is design for The Sunshine Cafe with the Chestermere Historical Foundation. He would like to thanks his friends and family for bearing with him.


Stage Manager – Michelle Dressler

Michelle has enjoyed working with the emerging artists within “Remaining Anonymous” and hopes to watch them blossom in other works as she continues to pursue Stage Management. Previous Experience: Sister Act (Storybook Theatre), The Giver (Storybook Theatre), Twas’ The Night Before Christmas (Storybook Theatre), Miscast (Storybook Theatre).


Actor – Madeline Hunter Smith

Madeline is a performer, creator, and award-winning playwright previously based in Lethbridge, Alberta. Recently graduating from the University of Lethbridge Performance program, Madeline is excited to step onto the Calgary theatre scene! Selected acting credits include The Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi, Alice in Alice: A Devised Adaptation (University of Lethbridge), Rhea in Glorious Clockwork (TheatreXtra), and Antonia in The Tempest (LSPS). Madeline is also the two-time recipient of the Play Right Prize for her plays Carnaticum (2018) and Silica (2019). She is currently interning at Vertigo Theatre, and working on her yoga handstand in her spare time. Come say hi!


Actor– Cassandra Watson

Cassandra is a theatre artist living in Calgary. She performs, directs, and creates. Cassandra performed in the debut production of Remaining Anonymous for the Calgary One Acts in March 2019. She is excited to be performing in Remaining Anonymous again and to explore the new discoveries made in the piece. Cassandra is thrilled to be a part of the IGNITE! Festival and hopes you enjoy the show.

We Will Tune it to a Whisper

A wild, interactive, and playful look at the ways technology has impacted our lives, for better and for worse.

Designer / Facilitator – Simon Edy

I’m Simon I’m a tattoo artist and an aspiring makeup artist. Here’s a shameless self promotion @a_e_s_thetix & @space.bean

Stage Manager / Facilitator – Dylan Lindsay

Dylan is a Calgary based artist, who’s stage managed and assistant directed many amateur productions. As well as working in the theatre world Dylan also is a multimedia artist known for projects like ‘Headlines’ and being one half of music/art project ‘Trademark(tm)’ you can see what Dylan is up to @zlaksna on most social media platforms.

Creator / Actor – Noah Baker

Noah is a Calgary based interdisciplinary artist, one half of musical project Trademark (TM), and one of many parts of the Potluck collective. Noah makes weird internet garbage and some hopefully good theatre.

Actor – Audrey Badzgon

I am a Calgary based actor. I have high school theatre experience. I’m interested in all forms of art such as drawing, dancing, singing, tattooing, and acting. My Instagram is where I post most of my art @lilgrump_baby_61

Actor – Chantel Dixon

Chantel is a Calgary based actor in her first year of the drama program at The University of Calgary. She’s also a mother to two wonderful children. Additionally, she’s a rad karaoke singer.

Actor – Sean Reimer

Sean is a Calgary and Vancouver based actor. Outside of acting, he also makes short films and cosplays. He lost his virginity to Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece The Room. You can follow him at sean_the_reimer on Instagram, feel free to ask him out while you’re at it.

Ya Burnt!

An island festival. Social Media Influencers. The day after it all goes up in smoke. Ya Burnt is the phrase that defines how so many people feel about this event, the infamous Fyre Festival. It’s also the play that takes you inside of it.

Playwright – Kodie Rollan

Kodie Rollan is Philippine-born, Scarborough-raised, Calgary-based playwright, actor, and producer. Kodie is passionate about telling stories that examine the socio-political environment of our world. He feels truly fortunate to have been part of a variety of mentorships around the city including (but not limited to) Alberta Playwright Network’s Emerging Playwright Mentorship program. His writing credits include: Ya Burnt! (2019 IGNITE! Festival for Emerging Artists), Free from Phobia (2018 Body in Space: An Art Party), Funny Man (2018 IGNITE! Festival for Emerging Artists), Handle with Care (2017 Kingston Juvenis Festival).

Director – Rebecca Fauser

Rebecca graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2017 with a BFA in Theatre Studies. Originally from Medicine Hat, Rebecca relocated to Calgary after graduating to pursue her arts career with a focus on directing. When Rebecca isn’t directing, you will likely find her hanging out with her amazing dog, Nitro. Select directing credits include; Hamlet: A Ghost Story (Asst, Director- The Shakespeare Company and Hit & Myth Productions), Bare: A Pop Opera (The Honest Collective), Funny Man (IGNITE! Festival), I and You (Asst. Director-Birnton Theatricals), Rapunzel (Birnton Theatricals), Apple (Asst. Director- Sage Theatre). Rebecca is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the IGNITE! Festival this year and to be working with such a talented group of artists!

Stage Manager / Lighting Designer – Lisa Floyd

Lisa is delighted to be returning to the Ignite Festival after a few years off. She is honoured to be premiering her good friend Kodie Rollan’s dynamic play Ya Burnt and is excited to see the audience response. Lisa has worked on over 60 shows since graduating from U of L in 2013 and continues to broaden her career in Lighting Design and Stage Managment every season. Select Credits include: DROWNING GIRLS, DRACULA:THE BLOODY TRUTH(*assistLD-VertigoTheatre), THE SECRET GARDEN(*assistLD-Theatre Calgary), CARE TAKERS, LEST WE FORGET, FLIGHT RISK(LunchboxTheatre), WINDOW(Ghost River Theatre), RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND, TY REX: KING OF THIRS GRADE, RED RIDING HOOD, THE HOBBIT, JOSEPH THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT(StorybookTheatre), THE UNDERNEATH, THE ONLY GOOD BOY, THE CURING ROOM(TheatreBSMT), MARY POPPINS, ANNIE DAVIDSON(CowtownOpera). In her free time Lisa is the Resident Lighting Technician at the Royal Tyrrell Museum lighting the dino bones with the amazing Sandi Somers.

Assistant Stage Manager – Michael Luong

Michael is a Calgary based emerging artist who recently graduated from the University of Calgary. He has an interest in Stage Management and lighting design. Selected credits include Figaro’s Wedding with Cowtown Opera, Bare: A Pop Opera with The Honest Collective and GIANT with Ghost River Theatre. He would to thank his friends and family for their continued support as he stumbles his way into the theatre world!

Sound Design – AJ Baragar

AJ is a local musician/actor/sound designer. He first got into sound design a few years back working with New West Theatre in Lethbridge. Since then, AJ has gone down many paths, all of which seemingly ended up with being a musician. AJ is very excited to be part of the Ignite Festival for the second time!

Set & Costume Designer – Sarah Uwadiae

Sarah is a Nigerian artist based in Calgary. Some theatre design credits include: Sexy Laundry, A Christmas Story (Keyano theatre); A Chitenge Story (Handsome Alice Theatre); Metamorphoses, Splendour (UofC Mainstage); Bullseye (Ignite! Festival 2018). Sarah explores and experiments through artistic mediums and is interested in creating magic through storytelling. She looks forward to a life of artistic creations and collaborations with other amazing artists.

Actor – Rebecca Comer

Rebecca Comer is an emerging creator and performer with a focus on race and creating work for Black audiences. She holds a master’s degree in Drama from the University of Calgary through the School of Creative and Performing Arts. Her research culminated in the creation of a solo performance: Conversations with my Sister, performed as part of the 2018 SCPA Alchemy Festival. Her artistic practice currently includes acting, performance creation, and playwriting. Recently, she has been spotted in a bear costume, asking Body in Space: an art party goers existential questions in Bear With Us, a collaboration with Swallow-A-Bicycle Theatre as part of the 2018 Fluid Festival.

Actor – Kendra Hutchinson

Kendra is delighted to return to Ignite! for another amazing festival. Select performance credits include: A MILLENNIALS GUIDE TO DATING (Ignite!/ Calgary One Act Festival ) KODACHROME, HALO (Fire Exit Theatre); THE GRIP OF A KNOT (Naked Thieves Theatre Collective); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (The Shakespeare Company); HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY (Ghost River Theatre) ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, WE WON’T PAY, WE WON’T PAY!, OLIVER!, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Rosebud Theatre). Kendra would like to thank John (for being amazing) and this cast and creative team (also amazing). Ya burnt!

Actor – Lauren Marshall

For Ignite! : Red Hints, 2018; Elsewhere:(selected works) Hamlet by William Shakespeare; First Act as Hamlet; University of Calgary Graduate Directing Project; Calgary, 2018; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; Directed by Haysam Kadri; University of Calgary, 2017; Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare; Primestock Theatre, Red Deer, AB; 2017, Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare; Primestock Theatre, Red Deer, AB; 2017, Concord Floral by Jordan Tannahill; Theatre Junction Grand, Calgary, 2015-2016.

Actor – Michael Rolfe

Michael is an actor and writer in Calgary and is returning to Ignite! for a 3rd time this year. He has a passion for the absurd and particularly enjoys movement work, clown, and comedy. He was most recently seen performing at the High Performance Rodeo with Handsome Alice Theatre (10-Minute Play Festival) and The Shakespeare Company (Hammered Hamlet). He’s happy to return to the festival that nurtures and exemplifies the talents of numerous artists in this blossoming and diverse community! Thank you for supporting the arts!

Actor – Ry Strachan

Lover of stories & maker of weird mouth noises… Rylan is excited to be back in the Ignite Festival once again. Outside of the theatre, Rylan is steeped in the voice-over market of Calgary like a fine cup of tea. Select credits include: Kiznaiver, Metalions, VanguardG, BuddyfightX, Beyblade Burst Evolution.

Actor – Katie Yoner

This is Katie’s first show with the Ignite Festival! She is a full-time student who will move to England to study theatre in September. Katie has performed with University of Calgary, Commonground Festival, Loose Moose Theatre, The Kinkonauts, and Heritage Park. In her spare time she loves to do improv, write and perform spoken word poetry, and sing and play guitar.