Hansel and Gretel
A poverty-stricken family struggles to survive at the edge of the desolate Black Forest. Filled with dreams of a better life, Hansel and Gretel run away in search of what awaits them on the other side of the woods. After days of wandering through twisted trees, their journey appears to have come to an end when they stumble upon a house made entirely of candy, sweets, and sugary treats! However, it’s not long before they discover they’ve been lured into a witch’s trap and must work together to escape...
cast & crew
Farren is an Edmonton-based actor, writer and director. He became the Artistic Director of Alberta Opera in 2006, and has since written and directed a number of productions for the company, including Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Rumpelstiltskin and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Other directing credits include Songs for a New World at the 2005 Edmonton Fringe Festival; Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the Mayfield Theatre; Everybody Goes to Mitzi’s and The Infinite Shiver for Teatro La Quindicina (both of which he also wrote the lyrics for); Pippin for the Young Companies at the Citadel Theatre; and The Light in the Piazza for Grant MacEwan University. Acting credits include Made in Italy for Western Canada Theatre; The Light in the Piazza for Theatre Calgary; As You Like It and Coriolanus for Freewill Shakespeare Festival; Alice Through the Looking Glass, Make Mine Love, and Monty Python’s Spamalot for the Citadel Theatre; Marvelous Pilgrims, The Scent of Compulsion and A Rocky Night for His Nibs for Teatro La Quindicina; Waiting for Godot for Wishbone Theatre; Early Bloomer for Concrete Theatre and Little Shop of Horrors for the Mayfield Theatre. Farren has been honoured by the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes on a number of occasions, most recently for his performance in Monty Python’s Spamalot and for his direction of Pinocchio. This season, in addition to his work at Alberta Opera, Farren can be seen performing in his one-person show, Made in Italy, and Peter and the Starcatcher, both at the Citadel Theatre. Farren resides in Edmonton with his wife, celebrated performer Patricia Zentilli, and their incredible six year-old son, Leonardo.
Erik is an accompanist, musical director and composer based in Edmonton. His credits include: The Last Five Years for Theatre Network; Score composition for Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella at Fort Edmonton Park; Drat the Cat for The Plain Jane’s; Honk for Grindstone theatre; Forget Me Not and Valentine's Train for Andrea House. He has received Sterling award nominations for both Drat the Cat and Honk. He has toured 700+ shows with Alberta Opera and is thrilled to be returning to music direct Hansel and Gretel. He has played Teatro la Quindicina shows including That’s Terrific, An Experts Guide to the Entirety of Music and The Nutcracker Unhinged. Erik has toured the fringe circuit as keyboardist for Grindstone Theatre’s improvised musical The 11 O’Clock Number. He has worked with internationally renowned improv theatre companies including Die-Nasty and Rapid Fire Theatre. Erik wears many hats in the music community as a studio musician, performer and educator, and has had the pleasure of working with many acclaimed artists.
Originally from Richmond BC, Leah began studying many styles of dance at a very young age. After training at the Richmond Academy of Dance’s professional division, Leah moved to Edmonton where she graduated with distinction from MacEwan’s Theatre Arts program. She has been seen in shows such as Cats for Theatre Calgary; Mack and Mable for Plain Jane Theatre; The Yellow Wallpaper for Laura Krewski/Chinook Festival. Leah is the founder of Synaethesis Dance Theatre which has produced two full length productions, Self(ish) and Letters and Words (Sterling Nomination, Outstanding Fringe Production). Most recently she choreographed The Steadfast Tin Soldier for Alberta Opera. Her choreography has been featured in productions by companies such as Edmonton Actors Theatre, Finally Sauces, and JoHakyu productions. Leah is a faculty member at Pique Dance Centre and MacEwan's Continuing Education program. She is thrilled to be a part of the Alberta Opera team!
Erin Valentine holds her BFA in Stage Management from the University of Alberta. Recently, she was the Apprentice Stage Manger for Boom and Alice Through the Looking Glass at the Citadel Theatre. Additional credits include Production Assistant for The Last Five Years for Theatre Network, stage management for Evolution for Citie Ballet, Afterimage for Citadel Young Company, Category E for Maggie Tree, The Contract for MadFandango Theatre Collective, Proud for theatre no. 6, Three Sisters for Broken Toys Theatre, and apprentice stage manager for Eugene Onegin for Edmonton Opera.
Deanna was the original costume designer for Alberta Opera’s 2011 production of Hansel and Gretel and is excited to revisit this magical tale. She has also created costumes for Alberta Opera’s Jack and The Beanstalk and Aladdin. The Edmonton based designer has worked with numerous local theatres, garnering 6 Sterling nominations and 3 Sterling awards for best costume design. She also curated and created art pieces for The Opera Coat Project; a wearable art exhibit at the Alberta Craft Council featuring the work of 21 artists. Currently she is the head of wardrobe and resident costumes designer at Edmonton Opera where she has designed costumes for recent productions of The Mikado, The Magic Flute and Carmen.
PRODUCTION & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
As a graduate of Grant MacEwan University’s Theatre Production program, Tiana has spent the past decade in the Edmonton Theatre scene. Her credits include serving as the Resident Technician and Carpenter for Theatre Network since 2006, the past 9 summers with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival and is eager to return for her 4th season as Production & Technical Director for Alberta Opera’s Touring Association. Well-known for her technical skills, Tiana is also known throughout the community for her organizational abilities in production management and her rather unique sense of humour. She was nominated in 2014 for an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for “Excellence in Production” for her work as a Technical Director/ Production Manager. Tiana also loves hotdogs.
set and Lighting Designer
Stephanie Bahniuk is a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design program at the University of Alberta. During her time at the U of A, she received training in set, lighting and costume design. Stephanie displayed work as part of the Canadian Student exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in June of 2015 then travelled to Massachusetts to work as the Lead Assistant Costume Designer for Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Stephanie had the pleasure of working with Alberta Opera last season as the Lighting Designer for The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Other recent credits include set design for the Ukrainian Shumka Dancer’s world premiere of Kobzar, Assistant Costume Designer for A Moon for the Misbegotten for Williamstown Theatre Festival, costume design for Once Five Years Pass for Williamstown Theatre Festival and costume design for Adult Entertainment and The End of Civilization for Punctuate! Theatre's Suburban Motel Series.
Jessica is unbelievably excited to be bringing this enchanting story back to life again with such a talented group of people! She is a graduate of MacEwan University's Theatre Arts Program, and has also just recently finished the 6-week Summer Intensive training program with Opera NUOVA. Jessica's favourite credits include: The Gondoliers and Parade (Opera NUOVA); Alberto the Dancing Alligator (Kompany Family Theatre); Waiting for the Parade (St. Albert Theatre Troupe); Young Frankenstein (Prairie Skies Musical Theatre Co.); Assassins, Carrie the Musical, Young Frankenstein, and The Light in the Piazza (MacEwan University). Jessica is thrilled to be touring with a show for the first time ever, and she hopes you enjoy the performance!
Adam Houston most recently performed in Teatro La Quindicina's For the Love of Cynthia at the Varscona theatre in Edmonton. He is a recent graduate of MacEwan University's Theatre Arts program, and while there he took part in Heathers: The Musical, Nice Work if You Can Get It, and he led their production of Curtains: The Musical. He is thrilled to be working with a theatre company as important and prolific as Alberta Opera, and looks forward to making you laugh in Hansel and Gretel.
Jaclyn is thrilled to be working with Alberta Opera once again after spending last season touring with ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’! Jaclyn studied Musical Theatre at MacEwan University and continued her studies in New York City at the Circle in the Square Theatre School. Notable credits; Ado Annie in Oklahoma/RCMT; Riley McBride in Role Call (BC Tour)/Green Thumb Theatre; Sissy Cornwall in A Cottage Community Christmas/TheatreK; Ensemble in All Shook Up/Chemainus Theatre Festival & Gateway Theatre; Sharpay in High School Musical/Viva Musica; Heather in American Idiot/SAT Co. (Edmonton Fringe). Jaclyn would like to thank her husband, family and friends for all their love and support!
Stephanie was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She moved to Edmonton for her post-secondary studies at MacEwan University graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Composition and has since become a reciprocal member of Edmonton's music community. She is a frequent performer and collaborator with many of Edmonton's artists and musicians, and is knowledgeable in an eclectic mix of styles and genres. She currently performs with video game cover band, Hey! Listen! as well as her own modern jazz group, Stephanie Urquhart Quartet. Her performance credits include the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Kaleido Festival, Sasquatch Gathering, The Works Festival, B.E.A.S.T. Festival, Next Fest, K-Days, and Animethon to name a few. Although she is such an active performer, a huge part of her passion for music comes from writing. She's written original music for a wide variety of ensembles, most notably local Big Band, The Yardbird Suite Jazz Orchestra, pop orchestra, Orbis Symphony Orchestra, and Android game, Spectrum. Stephanie is excited and honoured to return for her second season with Alberta Opera after performing with them this past season for their production of The Steadfast Tin Soldier.