Meet some of our current Graduate Students

Lily CLIMENHAGA - PhD Performance Studies 
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Currently in the third year of a PhD in Performance Studies in a joint program between the U of A and LMU (Munich), Lily hails from the Edmonton area and is currently based between Munich and Edmonton. Her academic work explores the contemporary German theatre, looking at directors such as Luk Perceval and Marius von Mayenburg during her Bachelor and Master degrees. Lily is currently writing her dissertation of the highly political, often controversial theatre of the Swiss theatre-and film-maker Milo Rau (Five Easy Pieces, Hate Radio, The Congo Tribunal, etc.) and his production company International Institute of Political Murder. She is often found travelling across Europe for her research. On top of her (at times overly enthusiastic) academic pursuits, like also works as a dramaturg, editor, blogger, translator, stage manager, general carrier of heavy things from one side of the theatre to other, and ninja (otherwise known as karate trainer). She has had the opportunity to work with directors such as: Marius von Mayenburg at Schauspielhaus Bochum, Johan Simons at Munich's Residenztheater, as well as Brian Deedrick and Marti Maraden at the university's own Studio Theatre. To follow Lily's misadventures in German and European theatre check out her blog at: 

Lebogang DISELE - PhD Performance Studies
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Lebogang Disele is graduate of the University of Cape Town (BA Film and Media Production [Radio], BA Honours [Drama]), as well as the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (MA Dramatic Arts).

Since coming to UofA Lebo has focused on growing her company, The LC Performance Lab, through which she produces womxn centered performances. Select performance credits include What (Black) Life Requires, at the 2018 Expanse Festival, Unwoven at the 2018 SkirtsAfire Festival, curated by Nasra Adem, Words Unzipped at the 2019 SkirtsAfire Festival, curated by Karimah Marshall, Belleville (2020) at the Bleviss Laboratory Theatre and All that Binds Us (2019-2020), a workshopped production produced by Azimuth Theatre. Lebo has also dramaturged for David Kennedy (The Lower Depths, 2018) and Amanda Goldberg (Belleville - 2020).

Lebo is a performer-researcher/scholartist focused on interdisciplinary work that places the body at the centre as a process of exploring how oppression impacts and lives in the body. She recently published a briefing article in Agenda Journal, “Towards and Adaptive Dramaturgy.” She also has poems published in Wreaths for a Wayfarer: An Anthology in Honour of Pius Adesanmi. Other publications include, “In Conversation: Interrogating and Shifting Societal Perceptions of Women in Botswana through Theatre” in African Theatre 14: Contemporary Women; “Searching for a Place: Identity and Displacement at the Maitisong Festival” in a special edition of Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies and “Towards Sustainability in the Theatre: a look at the Company@Maitisong” in Botswana Notes and Records. Lebo's PhD research explores how performance can be used to foster women's leadership by inserting women's experiences into the public archive.

Angela FERREIRA - PhD Performance Studies
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Angela is a Luso-Canadian theatre artist from Vancouver who has taught acting and playmaking at university and has presented papers in Canada, USA, and Europe. Her plays include The Peaceful Sea at rEvolver festival 2015 (Cultch Lab) and Pomer & Penelope in 2017 (Cultch Green House in Vancouver and New Works Festival in Edmonton). Angela wrote/directed The Last Seven Words of Fernando Pessoa at SFU's Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre and in 2018 her play Snow in Berlin premiered in London, UK. Angela's research interests include Luso-related theatre and female representation on stage; she holds a BA in Theatre/French from UBC and a MFA from SFU.

Amanda GOLDBERG - MFA Directing
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Amanda Goldbergis an honors graduate from Dawson College's Professional Theatre program and Concordia University's Theatre and Development program. She is the co-founder and artistic director of We Are One, a Montreal based feminist theatre company that aims to celebrate and empower womxn. In 2016, she was nominated for Outstanding Emerging Artist for her directing of Tanya Barfield's Bright Half Life, at the Montreal English Theatre Awards. Goldberg's most recent directing credits include Yerma (Concordia University), City Boy (Mainline Theatre), and the three-time META nominated production, Smackhead (We Are One). Her latest work was assistant directing Theatre Surreal SoReal's production of Madame Catherine prépare sa classe de troisième à l'irrémédiable, Imago Theatre's production of Other People's Children, the Segal Centre's Indecent and Hudson Village Theatre's Marion Bridge. Goldberg is currently working on her MFA in Directing at the University of Alberta.

Jeremy GORDANEER - MFA Design
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Jeremy was born in Ontario and grew up in Victoria, BC. As the son of Canadian painter James Gordaneer, RCA, he was surrounded by art and began taking an interest in painting and drawing at an early age. He attended the Camosun College Fine Arts program in Victoria in the early '90s, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and America in order to study art and hone his craft. He spent a decade in Victoria as a member of the Chapman Group, a loose collective of artists and writers, who met weekly to study art, philosophy, physics and theology, as well as to provide a rigorous critique of each other's work. During this time, he studied Theatre at the University of Victoria, and continues to support himself through scenic art and design for theatre and dance, while also painting, sculpting and drawing on a regular basis. More recently he has launched into large-scale immersive performance projects such as #boxtape, which combines sculpture and dance through the commonplace medium of packing tape, creating installations that act as set, sculpture, and character at once. He is presently attending the University of Alberta to obtain his MFA in scenic design, where this season he will be designing set and lights for both Richard III and Revolt. She said. Revolt again as well as his thesis show Don Juan Comes Home from the War (set, lights, costumes, props).

Tai GraumanTai GRAUMAN - MFA Theatre Practice

Tai Amy Grauman is Metis, Cree and Haudenosaunee from Ardrossan, Alberta.  Tai recently received the Metis Nation of Alberta's award for "Outstanding Youth of 2020" for the work she is doing to unravel the stories of Metis women in Treaty 6. She also received the Jessie Richardson award for most promising newcomer in 2018 as well as Vancouver's Mayor's Emerging Theatre Artist of 2015, nominated by Margo Kane.  Tai is an artistic associate at Savage Society and an associate artist at the Citadel theatre. She is also currently a part of Why Not Theatre’s “This Gen” fellowship.  Tai is working on commissions with Nightswimming "Wiwimaw", Axis theatre “Where did all the buffalo go…” and the Arts Club "My Father is the greatest man in the world".  Selected Acting Credits include: Honour Beat (The Grand theatre) and Thanks For Giving (Arts Club).   She is currently playing "Setsun" in Azimuth's All that binds us.  Upcoming: She will be playing Mary and adapting Mary's wedding for the Citadel. 

Daniel HalpernDaniel HALPERN - MA Drama
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Daniel is a playwright, dramaturg, director, and first year MA student from Toronto, who is interested in performance based activism and the manifestation/subversion of a biopolitical body. They are the co-founder and artistic co-director of the BodyCube Arts Collective, which has had work appear throughout Canada, New York, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Some notable recent credits include writing and acting for An Orchid and Other Such Lilies and Lies (BodyCube) at the 2019 Toronto and Halifax Fringe Festivals, writing and acting for Donnelly (Bleeding Heart Cabaret), performer for The Second Woman (Harbourfront Centre) at the 2019 Brave Festival, and production dramaturg and actor for Eastern premiere of Concord Floral (DMV Theatre). Daniel has contributed to many other projects, specifically with the King's Theatrical Society, where they have been an executive member, director, actor, and light and sound technician for many projects.

They graduated from the University of King's College and Dalhousie University with a combined honours in Theatre Studies and Contemporary Studies in 2020, and greatly look forward to their time at the University of Alberta.

Kirsten HAWSON - MFA Voice Pedagogy
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Kirsten is a British/Canadian actor, singer and performance coach. Professional highlights include Dirty Blonde on London's West End (directed by James Lapine), Rumble Fish (original theatrical cast member) produced by Francis Ford Coppola, as well as Katherine in Taming of The Shrew , Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream and Lady Percy in Henry IV, Part II. Recent credits include a number of TV shows and voice-overs. She is also an active session singer, singing mainly on film soundtracks and commercial jingles. Kirsten served as Head of Voice at The Institute for Creative Arts in Seoul, South Korea. She then developed and headed the vocal department at The Sarah McLachlan School of Music. Kirsten runs a performance studio with clients in Vancouver, LA, Toronto, NYC and London. Recently, Kirsten has been working with the CW Network and Hallmark Channel as an accent/dialect coach.

She received her BA degree from Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has studied with private instructors Patsy Rodenburg, Cicely Berry, David Smukler, Sally Grace and Uta Hagen .

She is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association both here in Canada and in the UK. She is an active member of VASTA.

FengYi (Mona) JIANG - MFA Design
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FengYi is an international student who was born and raised in Qingdao, China where she studied dancing from a young age. She has worked as assistant TV director and appeared on local television shows. She graduated from the UofA BFA Theatre Stage Management program, and is now going back to school to start learning more theatre design skills. Recent theatrical credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theatre Prospero), Hagar (Alma Theatre), Pawakan Macbeth (Theatre Prospero), 9 Parts of Desire (The Maggie Tree) Patience, Eugene Onegin, and Carousel(Opera Nuova), Elektra, Turandot(Edmonton Opera), Heathers(Citadel Young Company), Pacamambo(Cardiac Theatre), Gordon, Code Word: Time(Theatre Network). Other main works includes:Maria Stuarda, Lucia di Lammermoor, Die Fledermaus(Edmonton Opera), The Threepenny Opera, Loveplay, A Winter's Tale, Red Light,Winter,pool (no water), Much Ado About Nothing, and Tape,(UofA), I Capuleti, La Boheme, Parade, Amahl And The Night Visitors, Candide, Carmen, and Cendrillon (Opera Nuova).

Joshua LANGUEDOC - MFA Theatre Practice
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Josh Languedoc is an Anishinaabe playwright, theatre creator, and educator currently living in amiskwaciy waskahigan (Edmonton) and is a proud member of Saugeen First Nation. For the past 2 years, Josh has been touring his acclaimed solo show Rocko and Nakota: Tales From the Land across Canada. Other projects include: The Eyes Of Spirits (Dreamspeakers), CIVIL BLOOD: A Treaty Story (Thou Art Here Theatre), Feast (Tiny Bear Jaws) and IN-COR-RI-GI-BLE: The Legend of Thundervoice (Blyth Festival). Josh is currently a masters candidate at the University of Alberta’s MFA Theatre Practices program focusing on Indigenous playwriting. As an educator, Josh has taught theatre, acting, and playwriting at the Citadel Theatre, Artstrek, and all throughout Edmonton Public Schools. Josh is also the Youth Education and Outreach Coordinator for Workshop West Playwrights Theatre.

Heunjung LEE - PhD Performance Studies
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Heunjung Lee is a PhD Candidate in Performance Studies and she is also a dancer and dramaturg. She earned a Bachelor in Communication Studies; Cultural Studies (minor) at the Dongguk University, and MA in Performing Arts Studies at the Seoul National University in South Korea.

Her research area is intersection of ageing, dementia and performance, crip phenomenology, applied theatre as well as contemporary dance dramaturgy and embodied cognition in theatre. Her doctoral dissertation examines how theatre practices reflect/expand/challenge cultural images of the normal/abnormal ageing, and she suggests a new understanding of the so-called disoriented time experiences of people with dementia through performance theories. While working as a research assistant at 'the Dementia Care Intervention Unit' at the University of Alberta since 2018, she is developing interdisciplinary research methods connecting theatre and dementia care for future research projects and published in peer-reviewed journals such as Qualitative Health Research and SAGE Open Nursing.

Josh MeredithJosh MEREDITH - MFA Voice Pedagogy

Josh is a theatre-maker, musician and teacher from Hull, North England.

After spending most of his teens playing in bands, hitting drums, and shouting into microphones all over the UK, he made his way to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to train on their BA Acting programme.

Inbetwixt working on stage, behind a microphone, and on both sides of a camera, Josh found himself working in a variety of different settings as a workshop leader and educator, and enjoyed doing so. Having coached fellow performers on accents and good vocal practice, Josh decided to spend less of his time pursuing acting work and more time helping others in their pursuits.

Career highlights include: Performing with award winning gig-theatre company Middle Child; Playing with The Lord Chamberlain’s Men - touring such venues as Glamis, Cawdor, and Windsor Castle; Performing alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the WWI centenary biopic Services No Longer Required; Co-founding UK poetry troupe The Potty Mouths; Playing at Bloodshed Fest in Eindhoven with Hull band Sex Injuries.

Mũkonzi MŨSYOKI - PhD Performance Studies
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Mũkonzi is a writer, director and a dramaturge. He is a second-year PhD student at the University of Alberta in Performance Studies. Mũkonzi graduated from Kenyatta University in Kenya on July 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English, Linguistics and Literature. He later went on to do his Masters in the University of Alberta specializing in Kenyan Theatre. He has been in Canada for four years and has worked with Workshop West, Timms Centre Studio Theatre, the University of Alberta Drama Department, MAA and PAA Theatre, Concordia University of Edmonton and The Citadel Theatre.

Mũkonzi has also worked as a dramaturge for Ignite Afrika Trust where he continues to participate in the OSNW (Old Stories in New Ways) Project and TIC (Theatrical Interactions for Change) back in Kenya collaborating with local artists from Kisumu. His research is on Postcolonial Theatre and Performance, Dramaturgy, Urban Discourse and Identity Politics in contemporary East Africa.

Camille PARIS - MFA Design
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Camille is a second year MFA Theatre Design student graduating this spring. She is from Paris, France and based in Edmonton, Alberta since 2018. She started studying scenography in fine arts of Bordeaux, France and finished at UQAM in Montreal, Quebec. She worked between France and Quebec with different theatre companies, Opera and realized several scenic paintings for the Comédie Française.

Her studies in painting and art history at fine art school, and her experience as a stage designer in varied areas, such as: museography, fashion industry, events and retail, enhance her perspective regarding creativity.

In her design work, she believes in building a strong collaboration to create audacious concepts and a clear aesthetic.

Thea PATTERSON - PhD Performance Studies
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Thea Patterson (BFA, MA, PhD Student) is a Montreal-based choreographer, performer, and dramaturg.
Her research investigates the potential of the dancing body as the site of embodied theoretical discourse. Here, dance practice does not demonstrate an idea, nor is the idea danced, rather the two converse/converge in the entanglement of something between, something that "lives betwixt and between theory and theatricality, paradigms and practices, critical reflection and creative accomplishment" (Conquergood). Thinking, as expressed through the dancing body, moves the theory from body into the world. What can such dancing theorizing bodies offer in terms of emancipatory promise as it pertains to re-entangling the body/mind binary, and along with it the other binaries (subject/object, nature/culture) and the ramifications this might have in terms of how we learn and how we engage with our world as embodied and embedded subjects?

Charlie PETERS - MFA Theatre Practice
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Charlie is a theatre and opera director, actor, lighting designer, playwright, dramaturge, poet, and clown. He earned a BFA in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan, continued his training at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, and has begun work towards an MFA in Theatre Practice at the University of Alberta. His SSHRC-funded research explores power dynamics in rehearsal halls and how theatre practitioners can create ethical and equitable spaces for creation. He is the recipient of Saskatoon and Area Theatre Awards for Outstanding Emerging Artist (2013) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Two Corpses Go Dancing, 2015) and was nominated for Outstanding Direction (Diana Son's Stop Kiss, 2014) and Outstanding Original Script (Many Fires, 2019). His artistic work has been seen on stages (and in parks, fields, school gyms, living rooms, and pools) across Western Canada. Charlie is a former Artistic Associate with Sum Theatre, Founding Director of Embrace Theatre, serves as Secretary on the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals, and is currently the President of the University of Alberta Graduate Drama Students Society.

Jake PlanincJake PLANINC - MFA Directing
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Jake Planinc is the founding Artistic Director of Matchstick Theatre, Assistant Festival Director for the Mayworks K’jipuktuk/Halifax Festival of Working People and the Arts, and a graduate of Mount Allison University, originally from St. Catharines, Ontario. Selected directing credits include: Daniel MacIvor’s In On It, Catherine Banks’ Bitter Rose and Bone Cage, Don Hannah’s The Woodcutter, John Mighton’s The Little Years, Michael Melski’s Joyride, and Henricus Gielis’ King of the Goats (Matchstick Theatre - Halifax); David Mamet’s Oleanna (Matchstick Theatre - Toronto); Yasmina Reza’s ‘Art’ and David French’s Salt-Water Moon (Sackville Student Theatre); Justin Smidt’s Baby Love, Anton Chekhov’s The Bear and The Proposal, and Aeschylus’ The Libation Bearers (Windsor Theatre). Jake has also worked as an assistant director, production manager, festival coordinator, and workshop assistant. He lives in Halifax with his fiancée Emily and their cat Miles.

Kate SHeridanKate SHERIDAN - MFA Theatre Practice

Kate has recently moved to Alberta from Ireland in order to complete her MFA Theatre Practice.  She feels she should now learn how to ski and ice skate to help her fall in love with winter. Kate holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Theatre Arts and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Brighton, England. She has trodden the boards in Ireland, England and Canada and worked as a professional actor, director, choreographer and lighting designer for over 18 years. For the last 15 years Kate has also gained considerable experience as a qualified performing arts teacher and facilitator in England and Ireland.  Acting credits include: Clodine Minot – Border Breakdown (Edmonton Fringe Festival), Jessica - Your Turn (Belfast Arts Festival), Katie – Big Maggie (Toronto, Alumnae Theatre) Ugly Sister – Cinderella (UK Tour), Mary – Tart (Ireland and UK Tour).  

Colette SLEVINSKY - MA Drama


Colette is currently serving as the Grad Student Association representative for the Drama Department. She is a second year Grad student doing a course-based MA degree, and also has a seat on the Chair's Advisory Committee. Her area of research is disability theatre with an interest in Down Syndrome and/or community development. Her undergraduate degree was in French Literature, and she currently works for the Edmonton Public School Board, in French Immersion, as a Special Needs Educational Assistant. After completing her Bachelor of Arts, she spent some time working in film and produced an independent film on the local Jazz scene which was nominated for a prestigious Rosie Award from the Alberta Media Productions Industries Association in 2008. In her spare time; she is a faithful volunteer at the Yardbird Suite (Edmonton Jazz Society) as a volunteer coordinator and part-time usher at the Metro Cinema.

Edmund STAPLETON - MFA Directing
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Edmund hails from Paradise, Newfoundland & Labrador. Selected credits include: Assistant Director on Lear (Groundling Theatre), The Snow Queen (Canadian Children's Opera Company); Actor in All's Well That Ends Well (Bard on the Beach), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Citadel/MTC); The Wars, Chariots of Fire (Grand Theatre), Dedication (RCA), Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare by the Bow); two seasons at the Shaw Festival. Edmund holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta and a BA in English and Philosophy from Memorial University in St. John's. 

David WoronerDavid WORONER - MFA Directing
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David Woroner is a Canadian director and actor from Toronto who has been working in both theatre and film for several years. David’s most recent work includes directing and acting in An Orchid and Other Such Lilies and Lies (BodyCube Art’s Collective) at Toronto Fringe and the Halifax Fringe Festival, Women’s Issues (Dir. Katie Clarke) at Halifax Fringe, After This (Art Apart Project NTS, Dir. Katie Clarke), as well as many other credits as both an actor and director with The King’s Theatrical Society and other independent companies in both Halifax and Toronto. David has also acted in several films, most recently The Lockpicker (Dir. Randall Okita) which premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2016. David recently graduated with a joint degree from The University of King’s College and Dalhousie University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies with honours, and a minor in the Early Modern Studies Program.

Minggao ZHANG - MFA Theatre Practice
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Minggao Zhang is from Singapore. He received his formal professional dance training in Chinese classical dance, Tai Ji and Chinese folk dance from Shanghai Dance School in 1992. He continues to pursue his profession in dance as a career with Shanghai Orient Youth Dance Company upon graduated in 1998.

In 2003, Minggao took up Diploma in dance from Lasalle College of The Arts in Singapore. Upon completion in 2006, he moves on to pursue his Degree and received his Bachelor of Arts (Honors) majoring in Contemporary Dance and Ballet in 2008.

Minggao has gained his commendable experiences in dance over these years, working with eminent dance artists and choreographers, such as: Graeme Murphy (artistic director of Sydney Dance Company), Willy Tsao (artistic director of City Contemporary Dance Company), Maxine Heppner, Ming-Lung Young (main dancer in Trisha Brown Dance Company). Albert Tiong (Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Tai Wan).

Minggao was also appointed as guest lecturer and choreographer at the Central Academy of Drama Beijing, Beijing Film Academy and Nan Yang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore. Currently he is pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Practice, under the supervision of Professor Lin Snelling.

Na ZhangZHAO Na - MA Drama

Zhao Na is from Singapore, was an TV artiste at MediaCorp Television Centre in Singapore before joining NAFA as a full-time lecturer. She is currently a program Leader of Theatre Department at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. She has a BA (Hons) in Theatre from University of Wales and a Diploma in Theatre from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.  And now pursuing her MA in U of A.

As a theatre lecturer, Zhao Na is engaged in teaching voice & speech, career porfolio and acting practicum, and has developed unique teaching materials for both voice & speech and career porfolio.