2020/21 Professional Mentors

Our professional mentors for the 2020/21 season will be announced throughout the summer and fall.

Mieko Ouchi (She/Her)

Playwriting Mentor

Mieko Ouchi works as an actor, writer, dramaturg and director. As a playwright, her plays The Red Priest (Eight Ways To Say Goodbye), The Blue Light, The Dada Play, Nisei Blue, I Am For You, Consent and The Silver Arrow have been finalists for the 4 Play Series at The Old Vic in London, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award and the City of Edmonton Book Prize and been the recipient of the Carol Bolt Award, the Enbridge Award for Established Canadian Playwright and two Betty Awards.  Mieko also works as a director, both at Concrete Theatre where she is Artistic Director and in the freelance world. Coming up she will be directing Pia and Maria at Concrete, A Brimful of Asha for the Citadel and the premiere of Burning Mom, her own play, at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, all in 2021.

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2019/20 Professional Mentors

For the 2019/20 season we brought in professional mentors from around Alberta to assist our participants during the 1st Annual Tree House One-Act Festival. The mentors guided, assisted, advised, and taught our designers, directors, and stage managers as they worked on their one-act plays. Here are the mentors that worked with us during the 2019/20 season.

Lauren Acheson (They/Them)

Set Design Mentor

Lauren is a scenographer (set, costume, and lighting designer) working in theatre, dance and events in and around Calgary. Select design credits: associate production design, Premium Content (Major Matt Mason/High Performance Rodeo) -- lighting design, The Enchanted Toy Shop (Alberta Dance Theatre) -- set and costume design, Love and Information (Calgary Young People's Theatre) -- set and lighting design, Tape (Ignition Theatre) -- set and lighting design, C**k (Artist's Collective Theatre) -- set and lighting design, Bright Lights (Theatre BSMT) -- set/costume design, Clarence Darrow (SeaDreamer) -- production design, Ivan and the Dogs (Tin Man) -- lighting design, King Kirby (Sage Theatre). In addition to designing, Lauren also works as a maquette builder, design assistant and lighting technician. They are a graduate of Red Deer College (Production 2012) and The National Theatre School of Canada (Scenography 2015). Some of Lauren's work can be viewed online at www.laurenacheson.com

Kaylee Boone (She/Her)

Stage Management Mentor

Kaylee Boone is incredibly excited to work with Tree House Youth Theatre this year as the Stage Management Mentor. Kaylee’s background in tech consists of stage managing Urinetown, I am not Batman, and The Dumbwaiter. She was a lighting designer for Tuesday’s and Sunday’s, The Drowning Girls, Ferris Wheel and much more. She has been lighting board operator, sound operator, a costume/ hair and makeup technician. Participated in the AHSDFA festival two years in a row, with three shows. Winning best lighting design provincially (2018), professional conduct (2018,2019) and best lighting design in her zone (2019)

Heather Cornick (She/Her)

Light Design Mentor

For over two decades Ms. Cornick has worked in theatre, film, television, circus, concerts, corporate events, cruise ships, dance, and opera as a designer, technician, instructor, stage manager, event planner, props builder, puppeteer, carpenter, clown, and donkey wrangler. She holds an honours diploma in Technical Theatre from Humber College, Toronto and a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree from Capilano University, North Vancouver. She is fond of both pie and pi.". You can check out her portfolio here: www.heathercornick.carbonmade.com

Kate Harris (She/Her)

Hair and Make Up Design Mentor

Kate is thrilled to be joining the creative team at Tree House Youth Theatre. Kate has spent the past 15 years serving as Tour Manager and Part Time Artistic Director of the Butt Ugly Anti-Tobacco Program. She has also had a successful 10 year run as Artistic Director and founder of the body image program for teens, Under My Skin. Kate has served as hair and makeup coordinator for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as well as movement coach and choreographer for countless productions. Previous theatre credits include: Proof, The Shape of Things, Footloose, As You Like It. Kate's regular days are spent at Dance Magic Studio as a dance instructor, and part of the admin team. She is a proud mommy to Violet and Jude!

Albertus Koett (He/Him)

Directing Mentor

Albertus Koett has been involved in theatre for over 25 years. He attended the Red Deer College Theatre program, where he earned a diploma in Motion Picture Arts. Some of his directing credits include: The Empty House (2019), The Final Problem (2019), The Second Stain (2018), Some Girl(s) (2018), The Sign of Four (2018), A Study in Scarlet (2017), Soul Mate (2017), Steel Magnolias (2014), and Alice in Wonderland (2008) for Central Alberta Theatre, Antony and Cleopatra (2017) for Primestock Theatre, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Drama (2009) for Ignition Theatre, and The Indian Wants the Bronx (2007) at Red Deer College. Over the years, Albertus has written several plays, including all 6 of the entries in the successful Central Alberta Theatre The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, and one acts including: I Want to Wake Up (2004), Old Age of Horror (2006), Stool (2007), and Me and Hunter Thompson (2010). As an actor, Koett has played many roles over the years, including: as Hamlet (Hamlet) for Primestock Theatre, Gibert (Anne of Green Gables), Stanley (Brighton Beach Memoirs), Geoff (All in Good Time), and Tom (Opening Night) for Central Alberta Theatre, various roles in The Laramie Project for Ignition Theatre, and as The Tin-Man (Wizard of Oz), The Ferryman (The Bundle), The Rabbi (Village of Idiots), Tristan Tzara (…the dada play), and Lyle (Footloose) for Red Deer College. Albertus is the former Program Coordinator for artsparks! at the Library, where he facilitated acting, writing, and dance classes for the community at large. From 2006-2011, was heavily involved in the Butt Ugly Anti-Tobacco Touring Company as a mentor, facilitator, actor, and writer.

Gwendolyn McCagg (She/Her)

Costume Design Mentor

Gwendolyn is the oldest of 3 children and was born in Grostenquin, France while her father was serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. As a child she lived in Germany and spent much of her youth in Cold Lake, Alberta. In March of 1997 she moved to Red Deer with her husband David and their four children. In May of that year she completed the Red Deer College Theatre Studies Costume Constriction Program.
Gwendolyn put her costuming skills to use volunteering on many St. Martin de Porres productions and Tree House’s Build a Play In Two Weeks. In September 2009, she was invited to be the Costumer on Tree House Christmas Special and has had a hand in every production since. Some of her favourite productions were Mulan Jr., James and the Giant Peach, Last Known Position and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, to name a few.
She provided costume support to Bard on Bower, designing, building and dressing MacBeth, Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It and many more

Rivera Reese (She/Her)

Acting Mentor

Rivera Reese was born in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, and is a graduate of the Red Deer College Film & Theatre Program. She continued her education at the William Esper Meisner Acting Studio in New York City, where, after many auditions, independent plays, and short film projects, Rivera stumbled across an audition on Backstage.com that was looking for female stage combatants. Having studied swordplay in both her acting programs, Rivera auditioned for the project and booked the role of Milady de Winter in All For One, a Three Musketeers-inspired action show at Busch Gardens Theme Park in Williamsburg, Virginia. After two summer seasons where she continued to hone her sword work, in particular the Filipino martial art of Kali, Rivera was recommended to audition for Marvel Universe Live. Landing the role Nebula, nemesis of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Rivera has spent the last two years touring North America and Europe in an attempt to defeat Earth’s mightiest super heroes.

Sui-Fan Wong (He/Him)

Sound Design Mentor

My name is Sui-Fan and I have been working as an entertainment technician for the past thirty years. During that time, I have worked in dance, theatre, music, feature film and multimedia production. I have also spent twenty of those years instructing in post-secondary education (Mount Royal University & Red Deer College) - primarily teaching sound for live entertainment and recording studio technology.
It was in grade nine that my interest and passion started to grow for audio editing and sound design. I was lucky enough that my drama teachers allowed me to sound design class projects and various presentations. In high school (Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts), my drama class attended a musical at Citadel Theatre, in Edmonton. During the intermission of that performance, I distinctly remember thinking, “Mixing musicals and working in sound for theatre - that’s the kind of work I want to do.” I have been very fortunate to have lived that through most of my career.
I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful teenage kids. My wife and I are very happy that we settled down in Red Deer. Red Deer and Central Alberta house great communities. The people we work with and the friends we have met in over the last twenty years are amazing.
I very much enjoy exposing the next generations of learners to behind-the-scenes work in theatre, film and music. To me, it is incredibly important that we pass on the skill sets and the knowledge of how to work in the entertainment industry and, more importantly, how to work collaboratively – no matter what the industry.

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