Adopt An Actor

When you Adopt an Actor, your donation goes directly to the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, helping to cover the cost of hiring the actor, their costumes, and the props they will use.

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The Freewill Shakespeare Festival has partnered with ATB Cares who will match 20% of all donations made through their website.

Donation Levels

 

$100
One Opening Night

 

$250
One week

 

$1000
One Festival!

 

To support a specific actor, please reference them when making your donation. 

As a thank you for your generosity, you'll receive:

  • Two free tickets to the Opening Night pre-show reception and performance for A Midsummer Night's Dream (June 16), OR Measure for Measure (June 17)

  • A festival poster signed by your adopted actor(s)

  • A tax receipt for the amount you have donated

2022 List of Adoptable Actors

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Troy O’Donnell
Egeus - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Elbow - Measure for Measure

No stranger to Shakespeare, Troy has played Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Greenfield Players), Egeus, Flute, and Mustardseed in A Midsummer Night's Dream (University of Alberta), Peaseblossom and Lord in A Midsummer Night's Dream  (Citadel Theatre), Philostrate, First Fairy, and Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Free Will Players), Philostrate, Starveling, and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Leave It To Jane), Theseus and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Prospero), Starveling in A Midsummer Night's Dream (River City Shakespeare Festival), and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Freewill Shakespeare Festival). Additionally, he has understudied Lysander and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Citadel Theatre). Directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (MacEwan University) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Players De Novo).

"Not counting the two times I've directed it, this is my ninth production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Hoping for an even dozen before I retire. Still waiting to play Titania."

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Priya Narine
Robin Starvelling/ Moonshine/Cobweb - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Isabella - Measure for Measure

Priya Narine (she/her) is a mixed race theatre artist and storyteller currently based in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). She is thrilled to be making her Freewill debut this season. Previous credits include: Amazonomachy (Tiger’s Hearts Collective), A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre), Chrysothemis (Studio Theatre), Queen Lear is Dead (Fox Den Collective), Constellations (Flaming Peanuts), She's Not Him and He's Not Her (Empress of Blandings), and Slight of Mind (Citadel/Theatre Yes). Priya studied Shakespeare at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program. Endless love and thanks to friends and family. Enjoy the shows!

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Yassine El Fassi El Fihri 
Snug/Lion/Dandelion - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Claudio/Bernardine - Measure for Measure

Yassine (he/him) is currently at the University of Alberta completing a degree in acting. He is thrilled to be a part of the 2022 summer programming at Freewill. He hopes you enjoy the show! Past credits include: Macbeth (University of Alberta), Much Ado About Nothing (Freewill Shakespeare Festival), Into the Woods (Storybook Theatre).

"I've loved film since I was a kid. It's what first got me into acting. Movies have always made me feel like my world could be so much bigger than what was in front of me. The stories they told always transported me in a way that no other medium could."

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Meegan Sweet
Puck, Oberon’s Fairy - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Gentleman - Measure for Measure

Meegan Sweet (they/them) is a queer emerging artist and recent graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Alberta, class of 2020. They are also a 2016 graduate of the Theatre Performance and Creation program at Red Deer College. Recent theatre credits include, The Creature in the Dark (Puppeteer - Thousand Faces Festival), Invisible Thread Episodes 1 & 3 (Dancer/Creator - The Hidden Neighbourhood - Nextfest 2021), Suspension (Witness, Hayley Moorhouse - Edmonton International Fringe Festival 2019, Skirtsafire Festival 2020 & Alberta Queer Calendar Project), Revolt. She said. Revolt again. (Actor C - Studio Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet - Primestock Theatre), Exit the King (Juliette, Studio Theatre). Select film credits include: Onion V.S. The C-Lownavirus (All - Play the Fool International Short Film Festival 2021), Anonymous (Lex - IGNITE! Festival 2020). In their free time Meegan is also a florist. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey so far. There are not enough flowers to thank you with! Enjoy the show. 

"If I'm not on the stage, you can find me by the water looking for rocks and watching the birds! A yellow-rumped warbler once told me the secret to good acting... they made me promise not to tell."

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Dean Stockdale
Francis Flute/Thisbe/ Peaseblossom - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nun / Froth - Measure for Measure

Dean Stockdale grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is a player and writer of music, a dancer, and a pacifist. They believe in the woo-woo, but more so in science. They want to create art that educates, informs, and questions. Their most recent productions include the University of Alberta’s Studio Theatre’s Rochdale (Whitman), Studio Theatre’s Love’s Labour’s Lost (musical direction and Longaville and Holofernes), Studio Theatre’s She Kills Monsters (Vera), and La Troupe du Jour’s Pandamour (music direction and numerous characters). They are beyond psyched to be joining this year’s Freewill cast, as Shakespeare has always been a passion of theirs. Hopefully they aid in bringing The Bard back to life for you to enjoy!

"We do theatre because gathering together to share an experience feeds the before-times-monkey-brain in a way that's healthier and more soul-enriching than eating sugar or accumulating lots of things. I act because I care less about looking stupid than the average person and because I think there's something special about theatre being our oldest form of storytelling. In a way it makes us human."

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Nadien Chu
Hippolyta/Titania - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Mistress Overdone - Measure for Measure

Nadien Chu is a theatre artist living and calling home Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Treaty 6 Territory. She is very grateful to be back in Hawrelak Park after a 2 year hiatus and working with this incredible ensemble of Creators. Squirrels, ravens...we missed performing with you! Enjoy the show! Select theatre credits include: Pretty Goblins/Sterling Award (Workshop West), The Roommate (Shadow Theatre), The Thin Man (Vertigo Theatre), All the Little Animals I have Eaten (One Yellow Rabbit),Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Alberta Theatre Projects), Space//Space (Northern Light Theatre), The Winters Tale/ The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus/Sterling Award (Freewill Shakespeare Festival),The Tempest,The Penelopiad (Citadel Theatre), Pig Girl, Palace of the End (Theatre Network).
 

"I think what I love most about acting Shakespeare is the exploration of the universality of themes he explores. These themes transcend time and place and resonate with the human condition in such deep ways: love, hate, good, evil, predestination, reality, greed, redemption..and the list goes on!  His work is so fun and creatively satisfying to dive into!"

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Moses Kouyate
Demetrius - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Father Peter/ Abhorson - Measure for Measure

Moses Kouyaté is a queer Afrikan performer raised in Amiskwaciwâskahikan. They hope to create art that may inspire people during great times of duress, for the oppressed masses, and hopefully to allow audiences to discover something they’ve never seen before. Recent performance credits include: She Kills Monsters (Studio Theatre), God of Carnage (Studio Theatre), Bat Boy: The Musical (Citadel Theatre), Tracks (Amoris Projects) and Cruising at 30 Kilometers a Second and Attempting Not To Crash (Mile Zero Dance). As a great lover of dance and musical theatre, Moses is ever grateful to perform live on stage again, and hopes to share the joy of theatre and storytelling with many more audiences soon. 

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Michael peng
Philostrate- A Midsummer Night's Dream
Duke - Measure for Measure

Michael has been a theatre artist for over 25 years, calling Edmonton home since

earning an MFA in Directing from the University of Alberta in 2008. His freelance acting and

directing work has taken him coast to coast in Canada, to the U.S. and Europe, and he has

performed with many of the leading independent and established companies in Edmonton and Calgary. He is also founder of the acclaimed indie company, wishbone theatre, and he teaches in Drama and Speech at Concordia University Edmonton. This is Michael’s third season with Freewill. He has played Oliver in As You Like It, Buckingham in Richard III, and was Assistant Director/ Dramaturg for The Winter’s Tale and Two Gents, back in the day. He is grateful and thrilled to be back in the park after many years, and humbled to share the stage once again with such intelligent and fearless theatre makers. Thanks to Nancy, Dave, the Company, and the entire Freewill creative and production teams - and to family, friends and colleagues for support and inspiration. More of you on this planet. Less of everything that is not you. Enjoy, and thanks for supporting live theatre in Edmonton... especially now.

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Dayna Lea Hoffmann 
Tom Snout/Wall/Moth/ Titania’s Fairy - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Juliet - Measure for Measure

Dayna is a mixed-race multidisciplinary artist from the Unceded Coast Salish Territories colloquially known as Surrey, BC. However, for the last three years, she has been living in Treaty No. 6 Territory (Edmonton) honing her skills of clown, acting, dance and juggling while attending the University of Alberta's BFA Acting Program. She additionally holds a diploma in Theatre from Douglas College and is a former performer, student and teacher of the Vancouver Circus School. Recent credits include: Hamlet in Isolation (Thou Art Here), The Man Who Fell To Pieces (Fairly Odd Productions), Jerusalem (United Players of Vancouver), God of Carnage, She Kills Monsters, and Rochdale (Studio Theatre). She is very excited to be a part of Freewill this year and looks forward life post-grad!

"I alway hated his plays (except Midsummer) for most of my life. However, I began reading Shakespeare in a zoom play-reading club during the start of the pandemic and I FELL IN LOVE. Together we read close to 20 of his plays during the dark times. I love the mystery and intrigue, I feel like an investigator trying to find out the sense of the text. This poetry requires attention to detail and I see it as a foundation for all of the acting I do."

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Brett DaHl
Helena - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Lucio - Duke- Measure for Measure

Brett Dahl is a queer director, writer, and performer. Selected acting credits include: A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Calgary); Like Orpheus (OUTstages, International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Theatre Outré), Sleeping Beauty (Alberta Ballet), Chariots of Fire (Grand Theatre), King Lear, Twelfth Night, (Canadian Stage), The Circle (Alberta Theatre Projects), All’s Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, (The Shakespeare Company), A Thought in Three Parts (Theatre Outré), A Worthy Opponent (Lunchbox Theatre), What The Thunder Said (One Yellow Rabbit), The Soul Collector (Catalyst Theatre), pool (no water) (Studio Theatre). Brett also hosts and curates the queer cabaret, SISSY FIT. Brett is a graduate of the BFA-Acting and currently pursing an MFA-Directing at the University of Alberta and is an Associate Artist with Theatre Outré. Brett was the recipient of Theatre Calgary’s Stephen Hair Emerging Actor Award in 2015 and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in 2018 and the RBC Emerging Artist Calgary Cultural Leader Award in 2020.


"Some of the best summers of my life have been performing or watching Shakespeare outdoors! I love Shakespeare because the text is so rich and fun to bring to life and believe it or not he was pretty queer (just read the sonnets to the young boy) - its about time we acknowledged that side of him!"

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Ian Leung
Theseus/Oberon - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Pompey - Measure for Measure

Ian is an Edmonton based actor, director, independent producer, writer and instructor. Recent acting credits include: Much Ado About Nothing (Freewill Players), The Blue Hour (SkirtsAfire), E Day (The Serial Collective), Slight of Mind (Theatre Yes), Exit the King (Studio Theatre), Pugwash (Ship’s Company), and Stupid Fucking Bird (Edmonton Actors Theatre). He directed The Other Side of the Pole for Prime Stock Theatre, The Tempest for the University of Alberta BFA Acting program, and Proud, The Fever, and his own play U: The Comedy of Global Warming for his independent company, theatre no. 6. He regularly teaches a Shakespeare acting course at the University of Alberta. 

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Vince Forcier
Lysander - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Angelo - Measure for Measure

Vincent is an Edmonton based Director/Actor/Improvisor and has touched on just about every other aspect of theatre. He has been a moving force in the creation of new work and ensemble pieces focusing often in movement and the surreal. He is co-founder of the award winning company Surreal SoReal Theatre for which he was co-artistic director until 2014 and has served as Artistic Director for L'UniThéâtre. He is the recipient of a Jessie award (Vancouver Theatre Award) for best actor in a TYA and holds a B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Alberta

Vincent has been many things when it comes to theatre. Actor/Improvisor/Dancer/Director/Designer/Stage Manager/Producer /Choreographer/ Audience Member. One could supposedly call him multi-disciplinary. This year he adds to the list: Lover & Corrupt Justice!

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Ruth Alexander
Nick Bottom/Pyramus/ Ass - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Escalus - Measure for Measure

Ruth is an actor/musician. Originally from the UK she moved to Edmonton in 2017. Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre), The Children (Wild Side Productions, Roxy Theatre), TWO, The Birthday Party (Edmonton Fringe Festival), Silence (Timms Centre) ‘Once’ the Musical (Citadel theatre) Richard III (Northern Broadsides) Les Misérables (UK Tour), Sweeney Todd (Manchester), Blonde Bombshells of 1943 (London), i (Vienna) Macbeth (Liverpool). Ruth’s television credits include a reoccurring role on Coronation Street and she was a regular member of the BBC radio drama team for eight years. As a musical director her credits include The Invisible, Catalyst Theatre 2022 tour, Little Women and Kiss me Kate for Opera Nuova, Urinetown at Grant MacEwan University, A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George (Paul McCartney Auditorium, Liverpool). Ruth was the musical director of the London revival production and cast recording of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and living in Paris and she also works as a composer and arranger. She lives in Edmonton with her husband, son and their dog Jolene.

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Sarah Gale
Peter Quince/SM/ Mustardseed - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Provost - Measure for Measure

Sarah is so very happy to be back in her hometown of Edmonton doing live theatre with Freewill in this amazing community. Other credits from the before times include: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Our Town (Theatre Rusticle) Lunenburg, Half Way There and Old Wives Tales (Port Stanley Festival), Frankenstein (Catalyst), Penelopiad, Make Mine Love (Citadel), Calendar Girls, Master the Art, A Christmas Story (Grand Theatre) Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey (Driftwood) Sarah has been keeping busy over the last couple of years baking sourdough bread, organizing the spice drawer, learning to play D and D and watching a lot of television. She has appeared in See, Handmaid's Tale, Damien, The Horror of Dolores Roach and 100 Lies Movie. Upcoming: Meet My Sister (Port Stanley Festival). Love and thanks to Tim, Joey and Charlie.

"Those friends thou hast, (Freewill Shakespeare Festival  and their adoption tried, (33 years a company!!!!)  Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.(Keep us going! Adopt an Actor! Keep us in your hearts!) [Polonius to Laertes]"

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Kijo Gatama
Hermia- A Midsummer Night's Dream
Mariana - Measure for Measure

Kijo Eunice Gatama is an Edmonton-based theatre performer, actor, clown, dancer, and emerging artistic director. Co-curator and producer of Fear The Festival, a horror film festival centring around elevating explorations by self-identifying members of IBPOC artists, as well as co-founder of Shakespeare’s Hunnies, an emerging artist blog. As a playwright, Gatama is strives to create theatre that explores more Folklore, and Queer Afro-Canadian experiences and story-telling. Most recently, Kijo played Athena, in Rochdale directed by Sandra Nichols, Tilly in She Kills Monsters directed by Mieko Ouchi, Annette in God of Carnage, directed by Pat Darbasie. Other select theatre credits include: The Lobbyist in Expanse Theatre Festival, Magpie The Conqueror a satirical clown piece in Play The Fool featured films, Titania in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antonio in Twelfth Night, and Phoebe from a re-imagination of the amazonians by Danielle LaRose in Amazonomachy with Tiger Heart’s Collective.

"Shakespeare has a way of building conflict, and as a drama queen myself, I love how outrageous they can get! As a writer too, I sit there wondering how is he going to get us out of this entanglement. Usually with a wedding or a blood bath ( hide your kids, and your wives)! I know for a fact if I were a character in his plot I would probably be on the chopping blocks like Lucio. whoops!"