Jim is happy to see that the ACTFest lives on even if it is a little bit later in the year. This is a sabbatical year for him so he will have escaped the excitement of teaching a new crop of students this Fall. The next months after the festival will see him creating a new play on the theme of the opening and closing of doors and borders and a second, a commission, from the Brain Injury Association for their 2018 convention. October will see him travel to California and to Montreal later in the year. He has finished 27 years as the Theatre Prof at BU with a few more to go before he says, ‘I’m done’. Besides the School of Life, he received his training at the Universities of Alberta and Victoria, as well as two stints at the National Voice Intensive.
Kent Suss is the Theatre School Director at Manitoba Theatre for Young People and a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Honours Theatre program. He also teaches in the Faculty of Education and has just completed his M.A. in Cultural Studies at the U of W.
He has performed on stages across Canada, directed plays and musicals, and designed puppets and masks for many productions. He has been a teaching artist for the Manitoba Arts Council’s Artists in the Schools program, a storyteller at the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival, and an actor for Green Kids and The English Suitcase Theatre. Favourite directing experiences include The Taming of the Shrew and Empowered: How One Girl Scout Nearly Destroyed the World’s Economy (MTYP), the opera Little Red’s Most Unusual Day (Three Little Birds Productions), and the puppet show for adults, Talking to Strangers (Upcycle Theatre Collective).
Several of his plays have been performed at MTYP, including: Dry Mouth: A Zombie Romance, The Party (a musical written with Cheyenne Schroeder), and The Devil and Anton Chekhov.
John Bluethner has been acting in theatre and film for over 40 years. He has appeared at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Calgary, the National Arts Centre, Stage West and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. His film credits include The Haunting in Connecticut, The Lookout, A Dog’s Purpose, A Face in the Crowd, Trench 11, and Passionflower as well as TV series such as Cashing In, and Falcon Beach. John shamelessly overacted dressed in tights in The Pinkertons episode The Play’s the Thing.
John is a bilingual actor (and translator) and has performed many times for Winnipeg’s French theatre the Cercle Molière. He currently teaches at the Université de Saint-Boniface in the heart of Winnipeg’s French quarter.