This professional development program has been developed to support directors as they develop their skills, particularly in large scale Mainstage work. This is a unique program that is built in collaboration with the selected artists involved, the Mainstage directors they will be working with as well as with Mieko Ouchi, Associate Artistic Director, who supports these artists as Mentor.
Assistant Director, The Importance of Being Earnest
Brett is a queer writer, performer, drag artist and director and they are thrilled to be assisting Jackie Maxwell this season. Selected Directing Credits: Strange/Familiar and Pretty Ugly (Theatre Outré); Hecuba, Cock, and This Property is Condemned (UofA). Assistant Director Credits: Rochdale (Studio Theatre); Cymbeline (UofA); Men Express Their Feelings, rihannaboi95 (Downstage); and King Lear (The Shakespeare Company). Brett is about to graduate from the UofA MFA-Directing program and will be directing Troilus and Cressida later this season. Brett is the incoming Artistic Director of Theatre Outré and is a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award.
Assistant Director, The Mountaintop
Lebo Disele is a theatre-maker with a focus in movement, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. She was the Artistic Associate at Mile Zero Dance for Winter 2022 and a part of the Citadel RBC Mentorship Program’s 2021/22 cohort. Select performance credits include The Wolves (Maggie Tree/Citadel), Breaking Ground (Mile Zero Dance), The Space Between (NextFest 2021, Expanse Festival 2022), “Radical Imagination” in Brandon Wint’s Freedom Journal: Antidotes to Violence as Care (2022); All That Binds Us (Azimuth Theatre, 2020) and What (Black) Life Requires (Expanse Festival, 2018). Lebo locates her work within the genre of physical theatre, focusing on interdisciplinary collective creation. She is currently a B.E.A.R Research Intern and works with the theatre team.
Assistant Director, The Three Musketeers
Elena Belyea (they/she) is a queer playwright, performer, producer, arts educator, and Artistic Director of Tiny Bear Jaws. She was born and raised in amiskwaciwaskahikan (colonially known as Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory and have had work produced across Turtle Island and internationally (including Hungary, Austria, Berlin, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Quebec, and Wells). Her play Smoke was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press. They’re also half of queer sketch duo Gender? I Hardly Know Them (on Tiktok + Instagram at @genderihardlyknowthem). Elena was the recipient of the 2023 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical. Her company, Tiny Bear Jaws’ production of Smoke won the 2023 Sterling Award for Outstanding Indie Production.
Assistant Director, A Christmas Carol
Lianna Makuch is a Ukrainian Canadian playwright, director, performer, co-Artistic Director of Pyretic Productions, and a producer with Punctuate! Theatre. She has travelled several times to Ukraine to research and develop her plays Barvinok and Alina, which have garnered awards and recognition including the Shevchenko Foundation’s 2020 REACH Award, a 2022 Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award, and was shortlisted for the 2022 Alberta Playwrighting Award. She was recently Assistant Director of Jane Eyre and A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre), and Director of First Métis Man of Odesa (Punctuate! Theatre), which has been on tour across Canada and for which she won a 2023 Dora Award for Outstanding Direction.