Clockmaker Review

Cam Fuller of the Saskatoon StarPheonix joined us for opening night! He had this to say:

“intriguing and engaging”

“it’s delightful because… the acting [is] so good”

“Hartshorn is nothing less than a revelation as Frieda… she was completely in the moment and delivered a magnetic, flawless performance.”

“Jenna Maren’s interesting set… [delivers] a bit of magic”

Read the full review here.

Meet The Clockmakers: Grahame Kent

Name: Grahame Kent

Role: Actor – AdolphusGrahame Kent

What Excites Grahame About The Clockmaker:

It is never as simple as it seems!  I love a script that draws you in with its charm and apparent simplicity and then goes further and gets more complicated with each step.  It is the sign of a smart and skilled playwright and this is a great example.

Grahame’s Bio:

Grahame is delighted to be back on the Live Five stage, especially alongside such a wonderful and talented team.  He also wants to thank you for coming to see the show! For Live Five: The Edible Woman (Thigh High Theatre/Live Five) and stage manager for Love/Stories (Ball and Chain Theatre/Live Five). Other: Burt White in Dr. Frightful Presents: Dead Air (Canadian Fringe Circuit), Butch in Leading Ladies (Persephone Theatre) and Judas Iscariot in The Black Bonspiel of Wullie McCrimmon (Persephone Theatre). Grahame also sits on the board of directors for both Live Five Independent Theatre and 25th Street Theatre.


2014 SATAward Nominations for Embrace Theatre

SATAwards HeaderThe nominees for the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards were announced today and we are pleased as punch to have been honoured with so many nominations!

Jenna-Lee Hyde has been nominated twice for Achievement in Performance, including for Stop Kiss!

Gilles Zolty has been nominated thrice for Achievement in Sound Design, including Stop Kiss!

Jenna Maren has been nominated twice for Achievement in Set design, including Stop Kiss!

Our Artistic Director Charlie Peters has been nominated for Achievement in Direction for Stop Kiss!

Curtis Peeteetuce (Stop Kiss Ensemble) has been nominated for Achievement in Sound Design!

Dakota Hebert (Saskatchewan Outdoors Ensemble) has been nominated for Achievement in Performance and Outstanding Emerging Artist!

Shelby Lyn Lowe (Saskatchewan Outdoors Ensemble) was an assistant costume designer for Leading Ladies, which has received a nomination for Achievement in Costume Design!

Angela Kemp and Jenna Maren (Stop Kiss Ensemble/Designer) have both also been nominated for Outstanding Emerging Artist!

What a gift it is to have worked with such a long list of nominees and such a terrific group of people. Congratulations! A full list of this years nominees can be found by clicking here.

Meet the Saskatchewan Outdoors Team: Dakota Hebert

Dakota Hebert - Co-Creator/Performer

Dakota Hebert – Co-Creator/Performer

Dakota Hebert (Co-Creator/Actor) was born and raised in Meadow Lake. Her theatre career began in Saskatchewan and has taken her across the country. Although she has seen the beauty within the other provinces, they can’t quite compare to Saskatchewan’s outdoors.

1. What is your favourite childhood memory about being outdoors in Saskatchewan?
My favourite memory would be anything on the farm. Catching frogs in the dug out with my Uncle Leonard, catching grasshoppers, fishing (I could fish forever), hopping on calves with my cousin Cole and trying to ride them for eight seconds. Bottle feeding calves. Hide-and-seek in the dark. Climbing bales.
2. What has been the most challenging part about working on ‘Sask Outdoors’?

Dakota teaches children about puppets.

Dakota teaches children about puppets.

Not getting homesick. I’m from Meadow Lake, and it is absolutely beautiful in the Spring and Summer. This is probably one of the first summers where I haven’t spent every weekend back. Don Kerr’s poems about driving and small towns make me want to cry every time I read them. They make me so homesick.

3. Why should audiences see ‘Sask Outdoors’? 

It’s a short, fun play that is completely family-appropriate. Also, all artists involved are Saskatchewan artists, and Saskatchewan based. What a great way to promote our homegrown creators and maybe inspire a few people to pursue their dream careers.

Upcoming Shakespeare Workshop!

SHAKESPEAREEmbrace Theatre is happy to present a workshop by respected actor, director, and teacher, as well as Bard on the Beach founding member Christopher Weddell.

What better way to spend your May long weekend than exploring Shakespeare in this “workout for the actor’s body, voice and imagination.” Both auditing and full-participation slots are available. Click here for more information on this exciting workshop.


Meet Curtis Peeteetuce, our Detective Cole in Stop Kiss

“Prepping for this role was a bit of a challenge, which I love, for such challenges can only make us better artists in the long run.”

Curtis Peeteetuce

BiographyCurtis Peeteetuce(1)

Curtis is Cree from the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation.  Since 2001, he has had the honour of working with many talented artists in theatre, radio drama, music and film. Selected highlights include Persephone Theatre (A History of Breathing, Bannock Republic), SNTC (Where The Blood MixesThunderstick), CBC (Out in the Cold, Red Moon) and Rabbit Fall, season 2.  Curtis is the recipient of the 2012 Saskatoon & Area Theatre Award for Outstanding Male Performance.  He dedicates all his efforts and accomplishments to his beautiful son Mahihkan.  Special thanks to family and friends for years of support!

What about this play resonates with you?Giving Direction

I am quite fond of the storytelling style. Any piece of work which dares to tell the story in an unorthodox fashion – particularly beginning, middle, end – is of particular interest to me. I’m very happy to be working on this piece with this team of artists. 

What do you do to prepare for a role (or this role specifically)?

As an Aboriginal actor, I am usually cast in roles which reflect my ethnicity or look. These roles I am quite adept at preparing for, as I have a strong sense of identity, culture and language. In Stop Kiss I play a New York detective, which I know nothing about. Prepping for this role was a bit of a challenge, which I love, for such challenges can only make us better artists in the long run.

What does community engagement mean to you?

Community engagement is about opportunity and acknowledgment. Opportunity for storytelling, sharing, dialogue and collaboration. As a theatre artist I am not classically or ‘Westernly’ trained. In one sense this is a detriment, for I have little knowledge about classical theatre and its pedagogy or its great artists. On the other hand, I feel I contribute a valid and important perspective to the arts in our community. That inevitably opens the door for acknowledgment about the diverse forms of artistic expression within our discipline.

Read more about Embrace Theatre’s production of Stop Kiss by Diana Son

Read about the rest of the Cast and Creative Team of Stop Kiss FINAL-stopkisshandbill-front

Meet Chris Donlevy, our Peter in Stop Kiss

BiographyChris Donlevy(1)

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Chris is thrilled to be a part of his first show with Live Five and second with Embrace Theatre. Since receiving his BFA in Drama from the U of S, Chris has been exploring many paths in performance, including voiceover, directing, composing music, as well as singing opera. He was previously seen in The Composer is Dead (Saskatoon Symphony), Bottome’s Dreame (Embrace Theatre), Carmen (Saskatoon Opera), and Into the Woods (Greystone Theatre). Upcoming performances include singing in the Saskatoon Music Festival, Candide (Opera Nuova), Saskatchewan Oudoors: A Touring Play for Families (Embrace Theatre) and Blood in the Dust (Neverending Highway).

What about this play resonates with you?

The first thing that resonated was the humour: it wasn’t a typical “set up then punch line” comedy, but rather a human, organic “two people connecting” humour that I know from experience is difficult to write. It was so authentic, that I could immediately believe these two characters would fall for each other, and I was rooting for them getting together right from the opening scene. Then the next scene elapsed, and I was immediately terrified of getting what I was rooting for. The characters are amazing and nuanced, and the story structure knocks me off my feet.
What also resonates with me is the depiction of the trials women and the queer community can encounter in the event of being attacked, or simply by being a woman and/or a member of the queer community: It’s very sad, to say the least. As well, the fact that the play focuses on the romance between these two women makes these obstacles even more egregious, as they’re trying to step on their love. However (and this is a favourite part) none of the characters are overtly evil “moustache-twirlers”, which makes these transgressors human as well. There’s a love by the playwright for everyone in this play, even if the characters aren’t so generous with one another at all times.

What do you do to prepare for a role (or this role specifically)?

Kitchen Jams - The Stop Kiss Theme Song

Kitchen Jams – The Stop Kiss Theme Song

I start with reading the play many times then doing some table work (macro objectives, etc). I then generally over think it, which is to say I dive into what the character thinks of a multitude of things, some of which aren’t even represented onstage/in the context of the play. I usually begin with topics that are important to me, and I try to find common ground between myself and the character: sympathy with my character is key. When that’s established, I move on to key differences between them and me. I then think about how they would move, speak, and react within the context of the play, journal as my character, write a bio, nail down a belief system, etc. Then I hit the point in my process where I decide to stop trying so hard, relax into the character, and just work toward reacting with my fellow actors in the cast. Also, my character is shaped by how my cast mates’ characters are reacting to me: if I take that into consideration I can better fit into the story and contribute to the ensemble.

What does community engagement mean to you?

If theatre is about creating resonance between an audience/performer and text, I believe community engagement is about sustaining that resonance beyond the theatre space. We, as artists, tell stories, and I personally know that there are countless stories like that of Stop Kiss in the real world with similar endings to this one. By engaging in the community, we can hope to extend the sensation of rooting for these love stories into the communities in which we live, and to extend the sensation of loss we feel when an attack like the one in the play harms the potential of these relationships.


Read more about Embrace Theatre’s production of Stop Kiss by Diana Son

Read about the rest of the Cast and Creative Team of Stop Kiss FINAL-stopkisshandbill-front


Meet Carol Wylie, our Mrs. Winsley/Nurse in Stop Kiss

“May we all be free, to love.”

Carol Wylie

Biography Carol Wylie(1)

Carol is delighted to be doing her first show with Embrace Theatre and with such a wonderful cast and crew. Selected previous shows include Firelight (Dancing Sky Theatre), Waiting for the Parade (Lily Marlene), Urinetown, Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Evita, Strike! The Musical (Persephone Theatre), Volstead Blues (Souris Valley Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors, Nunsense (Off Broadway Dinner Theatre) and Das Barbecue (Plain Jane Theatre). The themes Stop Kiss addresses are important and relevant. May we all be free, to love.

What about this play resonates with you?

The strength and endurance of love made evident by the two lead characters, and  illustration of the necessity that we all work daily on tolerance and acceptance so that these kinds of incidents become unheard of.

What do you do to prepare for a role (or this role specifically)?

I imagine the character’s past and present situations, look into motivations and dominant characteristics, and think about what in the character relates to my own life and memories.

What does community engagement mean to you?

Community engagement is hugely important. Community is just an all encompassing word for relationships, and what is life, if not relationships? A safe community nurtures and supports us all. Connecting to community spreads the word about the necessity of  mutual respect and support.

Read more about Embrace Theatre’s production of Stop Kiss by Diana Son

Read about the rest of the Cast and Creative Team of Stop Kiss 


Meet Jenna-Lee Hyde, our Callie in Stop Kiss

“The first Jenna-Lee Hyde(1)time I read this play it broke my heart and mended it in the same read.”

Jenna-Lee Hyde


Jenna-Lee is a born and raised Saskatchewan theatre artist based in Saskatoon. She is a graduate of the Globe Theatre Actor Conservatory, and holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan. Jenna-Lee also co-hosts Mom, I’m a Thespian on CFCR, a radio show dedicated to local theatre.

Recent theatre credits: The Cherry Orchard (Live Five/Theatre Naught), Bah, Humbug (Dancing Sky Theatre), Comedy of Errors, Macbeth (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan), Look Back in Anger (Brick and Mortar Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Globe Theatre), King Lear (Theatre Naught), A Christmas Story (Persephone Theatre).

Upcoming: Short Cuts Ten-Minute Play Festival.

What about this play resonates with you?

Kitchen Jams - The Stop Kiss Theme Song

Kitchen Jams – The Stop Kiss Theme Song

“The first time I read this play it broke my heart and mended it in the same read. It left me feeling exposed, but filled with hope. Reading about someone who, in a way, wakes up for the first time like Callie does; who witnesses the surprising, confusing, suspect way love sneaks up on you; who is shaken repeatedly by life, and circumstance, and their own fear, but keeps walking the tightrope anyway…well, it woke me up too. So, in a nutshell, what about this play resonates with me? The whole damn thing.”

What do you do to prepare for a role (or this role specifically)?
Jenna-Lee recieves an award... well, a prop one!

Jenna-Lee recieves an award… well, a prop one!

“Every role is so different that I find my preparation often changes. It’s like trying to find your way out of a maze. Left, left, right, left, right may have worked last time, but this is a different maze! You’ve got to figure it out brand new every time. This means lots of mistakes and getting lost (and maybe some flailing and crying) but eventually you find your way. Or else a helicopter comes and gets you. In this case, the helicopter is the director.

However, one thing that always sticks is finding the honest connection between myself and my character. What are our similarities? What experiences have we both had? What do they believe in? Do I believe that too? How do they treat people? When have I treated someone like that? In a way, preparing for a role is kind of like getting to know someone. You connect based on similarities, shared experiences, and spending time together. When the similarities begin to run out, that’s when the building starts. In real life you would hang out, and create new memories with each other. On stage, you’ve got to create these memories on your own. By doing so you’re creating a world so specific that even though it’s not based in truth, it feels as though it is.”
What does community engagement mean to you?
Jenna-Lee and Angela before a company meeting.

Jenna-Lee and Angela before a company meeting.

“I think a little community is formed each time 80+ people pack themselves into a theatre and witness a story together. Those strangers, whether they know it or not, are now connected through this very simple activity. The trick then becomes to keep that little community alive and engaged once the show has ended and it’s time to go home. I think this is what Charlie and Embrace Theatre have attempted to do by creating partnerships and relationships with different people and organizations throughout the city, adding post-show discussions, all which lessen the gap between “theatre” and “real life”. More doors are open for people to continue to be engaged by the story that they’ve witnessed, and they have more outlets to talk about the themes and messages that they’ve taken in. In this way that community can continue to be engaged once they’ve left the theatre.”

Read more about Embrace Theatre’s production of Stop Kiss by Diana Son

Read about the rest of the Cast and Creative Team of Stop Kiss 


Meet Jaron Francis, our George in Stop Kiss


Jaron Francis(1)Jaron is an actor, writer and producer who lives in Toronto but calls Saskatoon home. He has performed at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Persephone Theatre, the Station Arts Centre and with Live Five. Most recently he was seen in Evelyne de la Chenelière’s Strawberries in January at Persephone. In 2012, his play Like Parting Water, presented through Live Five, was honoured with the SATA for Achievement in Playwriting. Next, Jaron will appear at the Port Stanley Theatre Festival in Stag and Doe.

What about the play resonates with you?

The idea of taking hold of one’s life with fervent ownership. Often people allow external pressures to trump their own longing. It’s a beautiful thing to watch one claw their way out of that shortcoming.
What do you do to prepare for a role (or this role specifically)?
Once I understand my character’s piece of the story puzzle, I search for as many ways as possible to exploit the ammunition the playwright has provided.
What does community engagement mean to you?
While audience engagement happens in the theatre during the play, community engagement happens primarily outside the space in conjunction with the performance. Encouraging, beckoning and provoking the community the play is created for is simply a way of furthering the production’s potential impact and usefulness.

***Read more about Embrace Theatre’s production of Stop Kiss by Diana Son***

***Click here to meet the rest of the cast***