Guest Artists and Teachers

The Department of Drama consistently draws dynamic instructors, guest directors, artists, and designers to further enrich our students' experience.

Recently, our roster of guest instructors has included, among others, Oliver Armstrong, Nicole Bach-Labrecque, Amanda Bergen, Michele Fleiger, Dave Clarke, Frances Damberger, Jean-Pierre Fournier, Jan Henderson, David Horak, Betty Hushlak, Heather Inglis, Ian Leung, Elijah Lindenberger, Kim Mattice Wanat, Doug Mertz, Bradley Moss, Marie Nychka, Dana Tanner-Kennedy, Melissa Thingelstad, Tim Williamson, Colin Winslow, and Cindi Zuby.

Guest directors have included Micheline Chevrier, Jonathan Christenson, Marianne Copithorne, Mitchell Cushman, Brian Deedrick, Brian Dooley, Ron Jenkins, Peter Hinton, Ann Hodges, Marti Maraden, Mieko Ouchi, Trevor Schmidt, Glenda Stirling, and Kevin Sutley.

Academic Teaching Staff 2020-2021


Amanda is a graduate of both the BA Drama and MFA Directing programs at the University of Alberta. Her career as an independent director, educator and actor has included multiple successful Fringe productions, an Artistic Director/Producer position with The Capitol Theatre, and a variety of community activities. Within the Drama Department Amanda teaches 240/247, 149/150, 257 and 383.  At Grindstone Theatre she works alongside talented educators bringing theatre to diverse groups of adult learners looking to hone their acting skills. Currently, Amanda's professional development interests include, stage intimacy, anti-racist theatre practices, and community storytelling.

Michele FleigerMichele FLEIGER

Michele holds a BFA in Acting and an MFA in Theatre Practice from the University of Alberta. She works to help people realize their potential to present themselves and their ideas in both functional and imaginative realms. She works with students and departments across the University devising and facilitating frameworks to encourage this with a specific interest in how best to guide International undergraduate and graduate students.


T. Erin GRUBERErin Gruber

A scenographer working in set, lighting, costume and projected media design, Erin is a proven specialist in the area of integrating live performers and digital material. Her special emphasis on visual dramaturgy and her passion for developing effective methods of communicating across disciplines makes Erin an innovative and collaborative voice in any creation process. New work, collaborative creation, musical theatre and dance are a few of her areas of concentration. Collaborating with diverse teams to raise the voices of her fellow artists infuses her values into the work she creates. She is committed to combining the powers of visual communication with the passion and emotion of live performance. The projects which excite her the most connect her core values of human compassion, empathetic awakening and joyful experience with the audience - the community of people she strives to serve.

Primary Teaching Areas: BFA and MFA Theatre Design, Lighting Design for the Theatre

Jan HendersonJan HENDERSON

Jan has been a member of Drama’s Academic teaching staff since 1992, teaching in both the BA Drama and the BFA Acting programs. She has received several teaching awards, including the prestigious William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Outstanding Collaborative Teaching Unit Award.

As Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Foolmoon Productions and Co-artistic Director of Small Matters Productions, Jan works as a writer, director, performer and master teacher in the area of Clown and Mask, and has toured nationally and internationally with an acclaimed repertoire of shows. In 2018 she received the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton, and she is the subject of a documentary called the The Wise Fool, which premiered at Edmonton’s Metro Cinema in 2020. 



Elijah is a theatre technician and entertainment technologist specializing in lighting, sound and multimedia systems. His work places an emphasis on integrating new technology and practices into existing theatrical production frameworks. Elijah's professional career spans head of department positions at both the Citadel Theatre and Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity as well as freelance professional technician work for large scale theatrical tours and televised events. He has also extended his work into forms of installed multimedia entertainment and theme park attraction systems throughout Canada, USA, southeast Asia and Europe. He is committed to disseminating up to date industry knowledge and fostering a thorough and inclusive educational environment.

Primary Teaching Areas: BA Drama Technical Theatre and Production DRAMA 279

Marie NychkaMarie NYCHKA

Marie began her career as a dancer with such companies as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet Brazil, and Ballet de Roma working across Canada and in Italy, Brazil, New York, Florida, and the Caribbean.

For more than thirty years she has been a freelance actor, director, choreographer, adjudicator, and teacher. She teaches in both the BA Drama and BFA Acting Programs in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta where she has received several teaching awards including the prestigious William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2016). She is a regular faculty member and choreographer for Opera Nuova Marie has been nominated eight times and twice received the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Choreography. In 2016 Marie received The Nation Builders Award from the Ukrainian Canadian Committee for years of outstanding service to Ukrainian dance in Canada.

When she is not on stage, in rehearsal, or in class, you will find her riding her horse, Indy, who also loves to dance.

Melissa ThingelstadMelissa THINGELSTAD

Melissa received her BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta and has worked as a professional actor in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) for fifteen years. She is an Associate Producer for theatre no. 6, an Artistic Associate with Theatre Yes and was co-curator on the National Elevator Project. Her acting portfolio includes stage work, film work, and voice over. She has had the great privilege of working in Edmonton, Banff, Winnipeg, Washington, DC, London, England, and Halifax and is the recipient of three Elizabeth Sterling Haynes awards for acting. Melissa has also collaborated on new works for a number of multidisciplinary festivals in the city including: Visualeyze Festival, Storefront Cinema Nights, The Expanse Movement Festival, and The Kaleido Festival. She has cultivated her arts administrating profile working in Marketing and Communications for arts organizations for the past thirteen years. Melissa teaches Drama 595 - Professional Orientation for Theatre Artists at the University of Alberta.

Tim WilliamsonTim WILLIAMSON

Tim was educated at a theatre school in London England and has been working professionally in the entertainment industry for over 45 years. He has worked in seven of Canada’s provinces and has completed 15 tours. Tim and his wife moved to Edmonton when he became the Head Electrician at the Citadel Theatre. After five years there he was hired at the Jubilee Auditorium where he worked in lighting for 18 years. In 1998 Tim became the Jubilee’s TD in charge of the stage and main client contact. On the side, he freelanced as a draftsperson and assistant TD for the Edmonton Opera as well as many side jobs for various projects including President of IATSE Local 210. He has worked on many shows of all type from Rock and Roll, Ballet, Hip Hop, TV, Theatre, Opera, Broadway, Country, Stand-up comedy etc. From big to small and back again, the biggest ever, for him, was running the lights for the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Calgary in front of an audience of 56 million.

Colin WinslowColin WINSLOW

Colin is a designer with many years of international experience, designing sets and costumes for theatres in Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and the USA. He teaches Theatre Design, Techniques and Drawing for the Theatre. 



Cindi ZUBYCindi Zuby pic

Cindi holds a B.F.A. in Art and Education from Youngstown (Ohio, USA) University and M.F.A. in Scenography (Sets, costumes and Light Design) from the University of Nebrasaka-Lincon (USA). She designed hundreds of show in the USA, and  moved to Canada in 2000. In that time has had the opportunity to work on more than 60 set designs in both the US and around Alberta.  She taught Scenic Painting, Theatre Props and Set Design at both Red Deer College and MacEwan University and currently teaches Scenic Painting here at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.  She is also a professional artist, musician, float builder, book illustrator (three published children’s books), creative consultant, festival producer, etc. She and respected Edmonton artist Lynette Maurice comprise the company “Zu-Ma – Talent to Amuz” – specializing in professional family events, puppets, music and entertainment.