2022/23 MENTEES

VinnieAlberto.jpgVincenzo Alberto

Vinnie Alberto (he/him) is a multidisciplinary Métis storyteller, singer, actor, dancer, and creator raised on Treaty One Territory. He is incredibly grateful to have been chosen as one of the mentees in Royal MTC’s National Mentorship Program. He would like to thank everyone at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Kimberley Rampersad for this opportunity. Vinnie is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Program. He is also the 2022/2023 recipient of the Syd & Shirley’s Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artist (Musical Stage Company). Recent credits include Rapunzel’s Prince in Into The Woods (Royal MTC), Sky in Mamma Mia! (Drayton Entertainment), Ensemble/Wizard u.s. in The Wizard of Oz (Rainbow Stage), Sebastian in Twelfth Night: The Musical & Lead Dancer/The Artist in Working Title (Theatre Sheridan). Vinnie is grateful to have been taught and mentored by some of Canada’s leading fellow BIPOC artists. Vinnie is an advocate that BIPOC voices need to be heard and valued in theatre and beyond. @vinniealberto

AshleyAu.jpgASHLEY AU

ROYAL MTC Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, Trouble in Mind, Orlando.
TRAINING B.Mus (Jazz Performance) Brandon University, School of Music.
ET CETERA Ashley Au (she/they) is a Winnipeg-based bassist, composer, sound artist, arranger, and queer creative. A multifaceted musician, Ashley specializes in the upright and electric basses—performing, touring and recording extensively. As a composer and sound artist, Ashley’s work can be found behind various theatre and dance productions in the city. Current and past projects include work with Weakerthans frontman John K. Samson; folk roots songstress Carly Dow; internationally-acclaimed Americana tastemaker Scott Nolan; composer/trumpeter Chuck Copanace; Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers; and Polaris Prize-nominated hip-hop outfit Super Duty Tough Work. Ashley is the Artistic Director of Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival. She recently scored her first opera, Inertia (libretto by Christene Brown), commissioned by Loose Tea Music Theatre (TO).

kirstincaguioa.jpg​Kristin Caguioa

Kirstin Caguioa is in her second year at the University of Manitoba, studying Music and Theatre Education. She has been performing since the age of eight and is thrilled about this experience. Her select credits include Tough Choices For the New Century, The Theory of Everything (University of Manitoba); Legally Blonde, Dogfight, Newsies (Piper Pride Productions); Little Shop of Horrors, The Addams Family (Westwood Collegiate); In The Heights (Recycled Talent Productions). She will soon take on the stage once more in the spring to perform as Nawal in Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched (University of Manitoba). She is especially grateful to Royal MTC for granting her this opportunity and is very thankful for her friends, family, professors, and everything she’s learned about performing thus far.

KiraChisholm.jpg​Kira Chisholm

Kira Chisholm (she/her) is an actor and theatre-maker who grew up on the land of the Wolastoqiyik (Fredericton, NB). She graduated from St. Thomas University in 2019 with Double Honours in English and Political Science, and the  National Theatre School of Canada’s Acting program in 2022. She is now based in Winnipeg on Treaty 1 Territory, where she thrilled to be exploring what it means to be a multi-disciplinary artist.
Kira is an unapologetic Sagittarius who believes where there is wonder, there is a way through. She gets fired up about theatre that cracks open huge questions and leaves you unsure of what to think or feel. Kira loves movement, delicious words, and work that is an adventure for the mind, heart and body.
Select Theatre Credits include Sally Bowles in Cabaret; The Brother/Mother-Showman/Grade-school Chum in Venus; An Irresistible Urge to do Something Inadvisable; and Puck in A Midsummer Nights Dream (National Theatre School of Canada). Velma Kelly in Chicago; Agave in The Bacchae (Theatre St. Thomas), Isabella in Measure for Measure, Lady Anne in Richard III (Bard in the Barracks).

MichaelDuggan.jpg​Michael Duggan

Michael is a Winnipeg-based stage manager who has worked for nearly every professional company in the city. He is ecstatic to have the opportunity to learn from The (one and only) John Gray to absorb his knowledge of all things stage management, especially large shows and musicals. Michael is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg (B.A. Honours in Stage Management and Production) and has benefited greatly from Royal MTC's investment in their local artists through scholarships, classes and now this program. Recent credits include Into the Woods, New, Calpurnia (with NAC), The Mountaintop, The Color Purple (with Citadel) (Royal MTC); Space Girl, The War Being Waged, Ghostlight (with Neptune) (PTE); The Wizard of Oz (Rainbow); The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (WJT)

ColleenFurlan.jpg​Colleen Furlan

Colleen Furlan is a proud Winnipeg born creator who weaves tales through collaborative song, dance and drama. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba, where she studied with Tracy Dahl. Although trained classically, Colleenʼs biggest love is performing in musical theatre and jazz. As a young girl, she began her dance career under the instruction of her mother, Gaelyn McGregor, leading her to a currently combined 26 years of being a competitive world class highland dancer, professional teacher and choreographer with the McGregor Studio of Dance. She also attended The School of Contemporary Dancers and Kickit Dance Studio training in musical theatre, hip hop, jazz, modern, ballet and tap.

Colleen has had the fortune of working locally and internationally with many Manitoba companies such as Royal MTC, MTYP, WST, KOBA Entertainment, WJO, WSO and has played many lead roles in her seven seasons spent at Rainbow Stage such as Ariel, Cosette, Sister Mary Robert, Cinderella and Mlle. Therrien. In 2012, Colleen placed Top 4 on the CBC production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webberʼs: Over The Rainbow. When not onstage, she works as an arts educator and is very involved in the ever-growing film and television industry. Her last project was Alice In Wonderland with Bad Hats Theatre and Soulpepper in Toronto for their 2022 Winter Season.

Colleen believes actors carry the potential to change lives and takes pride in conveying important messages to others in a harmonious way in hopes to provide unity and understanding. Agent: Sarah Matton at 10 Talent Management Instagram: @colleenosaurus

JuliaKroft.jpg​Julia Kroft

Julia Kroft is a Jewish singer, actress, and musical theatre creative. A proud Winnipegger, Julia graduated from the Asper School of Business with a degree in Marketing and Leadership while keeping up with private musical theatre and classical voice training. Following graduation, she completed two years at the Village Conservatory for Music Theatre. She took the stage with her own original works in the 2021 and 2022 productions of Inhibition Exhibition. Julia has been seen performing Musical Theatre selections at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the Desautels Faculty of Music Musical Theatre Ensemble Scenes Concerts, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra POPS, and at many private local events. As of most recently, Julia has been working as a freelance cultural consultant, songwriter, vocalist, and social media strategist for artists. She continues to explore creation and development with her original music and theatre works.

LeafPankz.jpg​Leaf Pankrantz

Leaf Pankratz is an emerging nonbinary, HoH artist. Their work as an interdisciplinary creator and producer includes drag performance, contemporary dance, physical theatre, and circus arts. A recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg with a BAH degree in linguistics and theatre, and of the previously offered Red River College Deaf Studies, they have also trained with SITI company, Prairie Circus Arts, and the National Ballet School of Canada. Pankratz’s short film, Adamah, has screened internationally as an official selection of the Circus International Film Festival.

SherriPierce.jpgSherri Pierce

Sherri is a creator and performer who has been involved with multiple productions with the Winnipeg Fringe Festival since 2016, including Phoebe’s Fractured Fairytales, Blue Horses, Dreams Catch Her and Grumplestock’s. She has studied improv at Prairie Theatre Exchange and has been engaged in deepening and developing her skill as a playwright through a series of solo-show creation courses.

Her goal is to create theatre experiences that address topics that are often not discussed in every day life, through both solo shows and small cast productions. She is so very excited to participate in the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s National Mentoring program and sees it as an opportunity to explore what is possible, to be inspired, and to ask the questions to bring her ideas to fruition.

RheaRodych-Rasidescu.jpg​Rhea Rodych-Rasidescu

ROYAL MTC Into the Woods.
OTHER THEATRE Tuck Everlasting (Opera NUOVA); The Recipe (MAP Workshop); People, Places and Things, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Arcadia (U of W); Bake-Off (Sarasvàti: FemFest); Ok, Probably (Sister From Another Mister/Winnipeg Fringe); Women of Manhattan (Beau Theatre Co/Royal MTC ShanleyFest).
TRAINING BAH Acting University of Winnipeg, Creative Manitoba’s Mentorship Program, Opera NUOVA Emerging Artist Program, Rainbow Stage’s Acting Intensive.
ET CETERA Rhea is also a dialect and accent coach; her most recent credit being Frozen River/nîkwatin sîpiy (MTYP). She is a proud recipient of the Jean Murray-Moray Sinclair Scholarship. Thanks to my friends and family for your love and support.

CharleneVanBuekenhout.jpg​Charlene van buekenhout

Charlene is Red River Métis/Belgian/Canadian theatre artist living and working on Treaty 1. She is the Artistic Producer of Echo Theatre and has been a  professional actor and producer for over 15 years.  Her passion is making important, exciting theatre happen. Projects range from classics like Hamlet and Hedda Gabler set in non-traditional theatre spaces like a Victorian house museum, to horror game experiences, to children’s theatre! She participated in the 2018 New England Puppet Intensive where she learned to perform, make, create puppets and introduced her to a new passion: lantern puppets which she explored recently in a Nuit Blanche project with Theatre Cercle Moliere to create a large scale Métis beading project with lanterns as beads. She has performed ghost stories and more with her Crankie box which is fast becoming part of every project, and for which she has participated as a guest artist and podcast guest for a Crafting Communities project funded through the University of Manitoba. Her theatre practice is based in collective collaboration and devised theatre models and she is currently creating some theatre about her Métis self for which she was chosen to be part of the 2021 residency program at Royal MTC. She participated in a Michif language revitalization project in 2021 and has been learning to speak southern Michif since May 2020. 

Her play Minoosh Doo- Kapeeshiw (a partnership with Indigenous Languages Manitoba) was part of the virtual Kids Fringe of 2021 and the 2022 live and in person Kids Fringe presented in partnership with The Louis Riel Institute and Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle. The play was also part of the Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Festival and Elders and Youth Gathering in Selkirk Manitoba both in 2022. Currently she is making her directing debut with Mike Lawrenchuks one person show The Gravedigger (January 2023), and will be working on more Michif language theatre projects with visiting Director Philip Geller www.echotheatre.net

AlissaWatson.jpg​Alissa Watson

Born and raised on Treaty 1 territory, Alissa is a desired collaborator, artist, and educator whose passions include physical comedy and clowning around. She is a founding member of the clown duo, The Red Nose Diaries, and the all-female bouffon ensemble, The Talentless Lumps. She was awarded the 2015 Reg Skene Award for Emerging Theatre Artist and the Brandon University Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2020. She holds two degrees from Brandon University (B Mus/B Ed) and has studied theatre at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in England, The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, as well as at many intensives throughout North America. Alissa directed the world premiere of Ellen Peterson’s None of This is Happening, for Theatre Projects Manitoba this fall. Alissa’s adaptation of Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess premiered at Prairie Theatre Exchange in 2019 and was produced by Geordie Theatre touring Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes in 2021-2022. She sings and plays the washboard with the sweet and cheeky, Fu Fu Chi Chi Choir.