Sense and Sensibility  Poster

Sense and Sensibility

Adapted by Ellen Peterson
From the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Krista Jackson

October 17 - November 10
Preview: October 17

John Hirsch Mainstage

★★★★ Winnipeg Free Press

"Sensibly solid...Jane Austen fans will be perfectly happy" CBC

Jane Austen’s novel comes to life in this spirited adaptation by local playwright Ellen Peterson. Brimming with wit, warmth and wisdom, Sense and Sensibility follows the downwardly mobile Dashwood sisters as Elinor struggles to guide her family down a sensible path while Marianne plunges headlong into love.

Running time: Approx. 2 hour, 20 minutes (including intermission)
Warnings: Theatrical haze, lightning effects, simulated smoking

In consideration of patrons with medical conditions, kindly refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes, hairspray and other scented products to the theatre. Thank you!

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Mrs. Dashwood / Mrs. Lill Sharon Bajer

Sharon Bajer

ROYAL MTC Kill Me Now (with NAC), Hand to God, Late Company, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, The Seagull, A Christmas Story, The Penelopiad, August: Osage County, Top Girls, Steel Magnolias, Humble Boy, Of Mice and Men (with Citadel), Six Degrees of Separation (with CS), Angels in America, Les Belles-Soeurs, Our Country’s Good, Romeo and Juliet.

OTHER THEATRE Coming up, Sharon will be directing the world premiere of Meet My Sister by Bonnie Green at Western Canada Theatre/Theatre Northwest and acting in Pippin for Winnipeg Studio Theatre/Village Conservatory and After Jerusalem for Winnipeg Jewish Theatre.

TRAINING Studio 58, Michael Langham Workshop in Classical Direction (2 seasons, Stratford Festival). Director-in-Residence (Rainbow Stage 2014). Stratford Festival International Directing Master Class 2016, Intimacy Directors International Intensive 2018.

ET CETERA Big shout out to my wonderful husband Carson Nattrass and my amazing children, Ameena, George and Theo!

Mrs. Jennings / Mrs. Ferrars Terri Cherniack

Terri Cherniack

ROYAL MTC Outside Mullingar, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (with Citadel), Chimerica (with CS), Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Late Company, The Seagull, Other People’s Money, Gone With the Wind, Romeo and Juliet, Calendar Girls (with Mirvish), Strong Poison, The Price, Pride and Prejudice, The Importance of Being Earnest, Our Town, The Dresser, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Philadelphia Story (with TC), King Lear, The Crucible, Season’s Greetings, Homeward Bound (with VP), Dancing at Lughnasa (with NAC), The Miracle Worker, The Heidi Chronicles (with Mirvish), The Attic, The Pearls & Three Fine Girls, None is Too Many (with WJT), Waiting for the Parade.

OTHER THEATRE In Winnipeg: The Swearing Jar, The Savannah Disputation, Glorious, Having Hope at Home, Copenhagen, Love and Anger, All Fall Down, The Fighting Days (PTE); Stripped-Down Hamlet, The Comedy of Errors (SIR); Tribes, Social Security, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Crossing Delancey (WJT); Blithe Spirit (Echo Theatre); The Colour of Vowels, Cruel and Unusual Punishment (TPM). In Canada: Terri has performed major roles at VP, TC, Citadel, Persephone, The Globe, Tarragon, CS, YPT, Mirvish, Theatre Passe Muraille, Theatre Plus, NAC, Centaur, Segal and Neptune.

FILM/TV Burden of Truth, Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story, Category 7: The End of the World, Haunting Sarah, Everybody’s Doing It, Hell on Heels.

TRAINING Graduate of U of W, U of M and the National Theatre School of Canada.


Lucy Steele / Constance Ava Darrach-Gagnon

Ava Darrach-Gagnon

ROYAL MTC Unnecessary Farce.

OTHER THEATRE Joe Job (Imaginary Productions); Revenge of the Meek (Thinlizotte Productions); God: A Play in One Act (1042 Productions); Pizza Man (Coffee Guy Productions).

FILM/TV Journey Back to Christmas, Washed Away, Escape or Die.

TRAINING Graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Acting Honours Program.

ET CETERA Love and thanks to the most supportive of family and friends.

Sir John Middleton / Thomas / Gammon Paul Essiembre

Paul Essiembre

ROYAL MTC Actor: A Christmas Carol, Shakespeare in Love (with Citadel), Sarah Ballenden, The Audience (with Mirvish), Unnecessary Farce, Things We Do For Love, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Heart of Robin Hood (with Mirvish), Other People’s Money, A Few Good Men (with Citadel). Fight Director: Morning After Grace, Kill Me Now, Sarah Ballenden. Director/Fight Director: Witness for the Prosecution (Royal MTC/MBA).

OTHER THEATRE Four seasons at the Stratford Festival, including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Comedy of Errors, The Odyssey, The Duchess of Malfi, Don Juan, Macbeth, Othello, Amadeus. Elsewhere: The Bridges of Madison County, A Little Night Music (Dry Cold); Butcher, The Best Brothers (PTE); Romeo and Juliet (Citadel); The Normal Heart, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens (Studio 180); L’Emmerdeur, Le Dîner de cons, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, Art (Théâtre français de Toronto); Othello (ATF); Tillsonburg (CS); Zadie’s Shoes, Oui (Factory); Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Centaur).

FILM/TV More than 60 film and television appearances and extensive work in documentary narration, animation and commercial voice-overs.


John Willoughby Luke Humphrey

Luke Humphrey

ROYAL MTC Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (with Mirvish).

OTHER THEATRE Shakespeare in Love, The Hypochondriac, The Three Musketeers, Taking Shakespeare (Stratford); Wormwood (Tarragon); The Graduate (Segal); The Last of Romeo and Juliet (TiFT).

FILM/TV Star Trek: Discovery (CBS); Taken (NBC); Frankie Drake (CBC); Cruel But Necessary (Anchor Bay Entertainment); Ronny & I (A Guy Shalem Film).

TRAINING Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, Stella Adler Studio, NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Colonel Brandon David Jansen

David Jansen

ROYAL MTC King Lear.

OTHER THEATRE Love and Information, The Winter's Tale (CSC); Ubuntu (PTE/Citadel); The Audience, Cloud 9 (Mirvish); The Ugly One (Tarragon/Theatre Smash); A Moon for the Misbegotten; Little Foxes; A Month in the Country; The Circle; Design for Living (Shaw); Macbeth (Festival of Classics); The Cherry Orchard, Two Gentlemen of Verona; Death of a Salesman (Stratford).

TV Selected credits include The Detail (CTV); Murdoch Mysteries (CBC); Reign (The CW); The Kennedys (The History Channel).

TEACHING David has taught theatre at George Brown Theatre School, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.

ET CETERA He lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake with his wife Fiona and their two children Molly and Nora.

John Dashwood / Lampwyck / Wibbles / Mr. Donavon Tom Keenan

Tom Keenan

ROYAL MTC Selected: The Humans, Shakespeare in Love (with Citadel), Sarah Ballenden, Hand to God, Unnecessary Farce, The Seagull, Gone With the Wind, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, A Christmas Carol.

OTHER THEATRE Selected: Am I Not King? The Last Concert of Richard II, Three Sisters (zone41); The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble (PTE); Dear Johnny Deere (Persephone); Ring of Fire (Rainbow); The Power of Harriet T, New Canadian Kid (MTYP); White Rabbit Red Rabbit, The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz (TPM); One Man, Two Guvnors (TC); The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV (SIR).

FILM/TV Selected: Burden of Truth, Men with Brooms (CBC); Love, Of Course (Hallmark); Channel Zero (NBC/Universal); Nomis (PalmStar); The Pinkertons (Buffalo Gal/Rosetta Media); The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (20th Century Fox); Bunks! (Disney); Zooey and Adam (Bedbugs Films); Less Than Kind (HBO Canada); House Party (Comedy Network); Something Beneath (Peace Arch); The Crooked E (CBS).

ET CETERA Find his music at and

Marianne Dashwood Julie Lumsden

Julie Lumsden

ROYAL MTC Sarah Ballenden.

OTHER THEATRE A Charlie Brown Double Bill, James and the Giant Peach (MTYP); The Flats (PTE); Les Flats (Théâtre Cercle Molière); Les Misérables, The Little Mermaid (Rainbow); The Addams’ Family Musical, Little Women (Dry Cold); Heathers: The Musical, Spring Awakening (WST).

TRAINING Julie holds a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice Performance from the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music.

Edward Ferrars / Robert Ferrars Aaron Pridham

Aaron Pridham

ROYAL MTC The Hound of the Baskervilles (tour), Alice Through the Looking-Glass.

OTHER THEATRE Portage & Munsch: 50 Below, The Hound of the Baskervilles (PTE); Dib and Dob and the Journey Home (MTYP); Avenue Q, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (District Theatre Collective). Upcoming: The House at Pooh Corner (MTYP).

TRAINING BA Hon University of Winnipeg.

ET CETERA Big thanks to everyone who helped work on this show and a special thanks to his family, friends, Hel, Fen, Pep and most of all Ky for being so supportive in everything he does.

Lady Mary Middleton Cherissa Richards

Cherissa Richards

ROYAL MTC Di and Viv and Rose, A Christmas Carol, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (with Citadel), Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

OTHER THEATRE 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt, Dracula, Richard III, The Power of Harriet T, Eating Pomegranates Naked, Tough Case, Eternal Hydra, Dirty Butterfly, On the Rocks, The Admirable Crichton, An Ideal Husband, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Seven, Our Lady of 121st Street.

FILM/TV Molly & Max, Under the Autumn Moon, A Tennessee Christmas, Max & Shred, The Christmas Heart, Wrong Turn 4, Heater.

TRAINING/TEACHING M.F.A. Acting–York University, National Theatre School, B.A.H. Theatre–University of Winnipeg, Ecole Philippe Gaulier-Clown. Instructor: 1st year Theatre Performance–University of Winnipeg, York University.

Elinor Dashwood Heather Russell

Heather Russell

ROYAL MTC The Humans, A Christmas Carol, Unnecessary Farce, Armstrong’s War.

OTHER THEATRE Romeo and Juliet (SIR); Iceland (TPM); Expressions vives (Cercle Molière); Night Light, Dying To Be Thin (MTYP); Magical Mystery Munsch (PTE); My Name is Rachel Corrie (MayWorks); The Sh!t Show (The Talentless Lumps); The Crackwalker (Sweet and Salty Collective).

TRAINING Brandon University; PTE@PTE; University of Winnipeg.

ET CETERA Love to Cam and Casper.

Margaret Dashwood / Sophia Grey Natalie Viebrock

Natalie Viebrock

ROYAL MTC A Christmas Story.

FILM/TV If I Was God, Cordell Barker (National Film Board); What’s Your News? (CBC Kids).

TRAINING Manitoba Theatre for Young People (After-School Leadership Program), The School of Contemporary Dancers.

ET CETERA Thanks to my friends and family for supporting me, and St. Mary’s Academy for allowing me to participate in this production. Enjoy the show!

Fanny Dashwood / Anne Steele Alissa Watson

Alissa Watson


OTHER THEATRE Mission Munschpossible, Small Things, Magical Mystery Munsch (PTE); Dib and Dob and the Journey Home, Night Light (MTYP); A Stripped-Down Midsummer Night’s Dream (SIR); Whitechapel Redemption (Theatre Incarnate); Miss N Me, Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests (Sarasvàti). Upcoming: Torn Through Time (MTYP).

TRAINING B.Mus/B.Ed from Brandon University. Studied theatre at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in England, The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance and is an alumna of the Professional Training Ensemble at Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE@PTE).

ET CETERA This performance is dedicated to the memory of Gwen Watson; a lover of literature.


Artistic Team

Playwright Ellen Peterson

Ellen Peterson

ROYAL MTC Actor: Over the Tavern, The History of Manitoba from the Beginning of Time to the Present in 45 Minutes, The Last Doors’ Bootleg.

OTHER THEATRE Playwright: The Brink (PTE); The Eight Tiny Reindeer of the Apocalypse (TPM); The Goose (public reading at PTE Festival of New Works). Actor: Fly Me to the Moon, Small Things, Marion Bridge (PTE); Baloney, Liars, Mirror Game (MTYP).

OTHER WORK Includes dramaturgy (Manitoba Association of Playwrights, Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre), teaching theatre (MTYP, PTE) and teaching creative writing. Currently creating a work of public art with young artists at Siloam Mission through WAC’s Youth WithArt program. Also a member of the PTE Playwrights Unit.

ET CETERA My heartfelt thanks to Steven Schipper for putting me up to bat, to Krista Jackson for seeing it through, to Bruce McManus for dramaturgy above and beyond the call. To Don Hannah, Ryan Griffith and Ginny Collins for additional dramturgy. To the workshop actors and the cast. I am grateful beyond words for the support of my family and friends and most of all, Rob, Carly and Griffin.

Director Krista Jackson

Krista Jackson

ROYAL MTC Upcoming: Director of A Doll’s House, Part 2 (with Mirvish). Director: Morning After Grace, Bittergirl: The Musical, Private Lives, The Seagull, The Seafarer. Actor: Myth of the Ostrich, The Threepenny Opera (with SIR), Quills, The Good Sisters (Les Belles-Soeurs), The Sisters Rosensweig, Brighton Beach Memoirs.

OTHER THEATRE Director: Dancing at Lughnasa (Shaw); The Lion in Winter, Fly Me to the Moon, Much Ado About Nothing (Grand); Dying to Be Thin (MTYP); The Miser of Middlegate (zone41/TPM); Village Wooing (zone41). Associate Director: All My Sons (Stratford).

ET CETERA Krista is Royal MTC’s Associate Artistic Director, the recipient of the 2015 Stratford Festival Jean Gascon Award and the 2013 Gina Wilkinson Prize.

Set & Costume Designer Judith Bowden

Judith Bowden

ROYAL MTC Costume Designer: A Christmas Carol (2005 & 2017), Gone With the Wind, Grumpy Old Men: The Musical, The Tempest, Pride and Prejudice. Set & Costume Designer: Chimerica (with CS), Strong Poison, Proof (with Citadel).

OTHER THEATRE 15 seasons with the Shaw Festival, including recently: Grand Hotel, Saint Joan, An Ideal Husband, Sunday in the Park with George, Belle Moral (Set & Costumes). Recently, as Costume Designer: Watch on the Rhine, The Music Man (Arena Stage, Washington DC); Faith Healer (Soulpepper). Recently, as Set & Costume Designer: Paradise Lost (Stratford); Musik für das Ende (Soundstreams and Crow’s Theatre); La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) (Pacific Opera Victoria); Top Girls (Soulpepper); Cloud 9 (Mirvish). Judith’s designs have also been seen at Canadian Stage, PTE, Alberta Theatre Projects, Tarragon, Theatre Calgary and the Grand Theatre.

Lighting Designer Scott Henderson

Scott Henderson

ROYAL MTC Over 50 productions since 1995, including Morning After Grace, A Christmas Carol (2017, 2005), Shakespeare in Love (with Citadel), Sarah Ballenden, Bittergirl: The Musical, Black Coffee, The Audience (with Mirvish), Billy Elliot the Musical, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (with Mirvish), Next to Normal, Red (with Belfry), The Seagull, Top Girls.

OTHER THEATRE Scott has designed lighting for opera, dance and theatre companies in Winnipeg and across Canada, including the Shaw and Stratford festivals.

TRAINING Scott is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

ET CETERA Special thanks to Karen, Sean and Alex for love and support.

Sound Designer Michael Wright

Michael Wright

ROYAL MTC Over 20 productions including Morning After Grace, The Humans, Bittergirl: The Musical, Black Coffee, Million Dollar Quartet, Billy Elliot the Musical, Seminar (with Mirvish), Late Company, Private Lives, The Secret Annex, The Seagull, Venus in Fur, The Penelopiad, August: Osage County, Romeo and Juliet, The Seafarer, Top Girls, Rope’s End, Fully Committed, The Last Five Years, Cherry Docs.

OTHER THEATRE I Dream of Diesel, North Main Gothic, The Monster Trilogy, The Elmwood Visitation, Age of Arousal (TPM); Everything is Coming Up Roses (Gearshifting Performance Works); Something Drastic, Puppet Munsch (PTE); Macbeth (SIR); Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Winnipeg Fringe); Hedwig and the Angry Inch Atrocity Tour 2004 (Rose Tinted Productions, UK).

FILM The Last Harvest, Métis, Métis Not, Dead Mothers Kitchen Floors, Dust. 

ET CETERA Michael is active in the music world with over two dozen album credits and is a member of IATSE 63.

Text & Dialect Coach Shannon Vickers

Shannon Vickers

ROYAL MTC Hand to God, The Audience (with Mirvish), Myth of the Ostrich, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Woman in Black, Private Lives, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, Good People, The Secret Annex, Venus in Fur, Gone With the Wind, August: Osage County, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Top Girls, Steel Magnolias.

OTHER THEATRE Voice/Text/Dialect Coaching: Tribes, DAI (Enough) (WJT); Village Wooing (zone41); Fly Me To The Moon, Bingo! (PTE); The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz (TPM/SAC); The Merry Wives of Windsor (SIR); Fen (Sarasvàti); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (CS).

TRAINING/TEACHING Shannon earned an MFA in Theatre Voice Pedagogy at the University of Alberta. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Winnipeg and is a certified Associate Teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork.

Dramaturg Bruce McManus

Bruce McManus

ROYAL MTC Playwright: A Christmas Carol (2005 & 2017). Playwright in Residence 1984-85.

OTHER THEATRE Playwright: All Restaurant Fires Are Arson, Selkirk Avenue, The Chinese Man Said Goodbye, A Doll’s House, Schedules (PTE); Three Sisters (zone41); Selkirk Avenue, Calenture (Popular Theatre Alliance of Manitoba); Caffe, House Rules, Getting Somewhere (U of W). Various independent and Fringe productions and Arts Club Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Magnus Theatre.

ET CETERA Playwriting Instructor/Playwright in Residence Prairie Theatre Exchange, Manitoba Association of Playwrights, University of Winnipeg. Nominated for a Governor General’s Award for Drama.

Stage Manager Chris Pearce

Chris Pearce

ROYAL MTC 27th production at the Mainstage, including last year’s Morning After Grace; 11 productions at the Warehouse, including August: Osage County and The Seagull.

OTHER THEATRE Three Sisters (zone41/TPM); La Traviata (Manitoba Opera); La Bohème (COC); Butcher, The December Man, The Valley (PTE); A Man of No Importance (Dry Cold); Kindness, (MTYP); five productions (Rainbow).

ET CETERA Three seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe. Seasons at the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown festivals and a run in London’s West End. In his free time, Chris volunteers at Habitat for Humanity.

Assistant Stage Manager Heather Lee Brereton

Heather Lee Brereton

ROYAL MTC Million Dollar Quartet, The History of Manitoba from the Beginning of Time to the Present in 45 Minutes (2008/2010/2012), Top Girls, Doubt, A Parable (with TC), The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead.

OTHER THEATRE Selected: Dracula Unearthed, Jonno, Blithe Spirit (Echo); Stripped-Down Hamlet, A Stripped-Down Midsummer Night’s Dream (SIR); The Secret Mask, The Three Munschketeers (PTE); The God Box, VVITCH (Out of Line); Remember the Night (2008 Moving Target).

TRAINING BA (Hons.) Theatre Production and Stage Management, University of Winnipeg.

ET CETERA Heather works in various capacities as a stage manager, seamstress and props builder for regional and independent theatre companies – sometimes all in the same production! She also does custom sewing et al for private clients (Heather Lee Bea). Love (tonnes) to Leif.

Apprentice Stage Manager Christopher Brackett

Christopher Brackett

ROYAL MTC First engagement.

OTHER THEATRE Upcoming: The Hockey Sweater (Segal/NAC). Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, A Musical (Disney Cruise Line); Richard III (Shakespeare BASH'd); A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper); The Virgin Trial, Romeo and Juliet (Stratford); Matilda The Musical (1st US National Tour/Mirvish); Rufus Does Judy, Contemporary Color, If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway (Luminato). Other credits include work with Disney Theatrical, the Toronto International Film Festival and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

TRAINING Graduate of Ryerson Theatre School.

ET CETERA Christopher is excited to be making his Royal MTC debut this fall. Much love to mom, dad and D16.

Apprentice Stage Manager Katie Schmidt

Katie Schmidt

ROYAL MTC Apprentice Costumer: Sarah Ballenden.

OTHER THEATRE Stage Manager: Fem Fest Bake-Off and Cabaret (Sarasvàti). Costumer: Mary’s Wedding (TPM). Props and Set Coordinator: Timon of Athens (SIR).

TRAINING University of Winnipeg Theatre and Film.

ET CETERA Katie is excited to be participating on stage for the first time at Royal MTC. She hopes you enjoy the show!