Professional Mentors

2021/22 Professional Mentors

Playwriting Mentor

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Kodie Rollan
(He/Him)

Kodie Rollan is Philippine-born, Scarborough-raised, Calgary-based playwright, dramaturg, actor, and producer. Kodie is passionate about telling stories that examine the socio-political environment of our world and is also rooted in the various communities he serves. His writing credits include: The Watchdog Society (Chromatic Theatre IBPOC Playwright’s Unit & 2020 Tales from the Flipside Festival - Carlos Bulosan Theatre)  Lola, Nanay, Anak (exp(LORE) audio series with Jupiter Theatre) , Funny Man (2018 IGNITE! Festival for Emerging Artists), Handle with Care (2017 Kingston Juvenis Festival). He is currently the Artistic Associate of Chromatic Theatre and is the current dramaturg for their IBPOC Playwright’s Unit.

Professional Dramaturg

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Jenna Rodgers
(She/Her)

Jenna is a mixed-race Director and Dramaturg based on Treaty 7 Territory. She is the founding Artistic Director of Chromatic Theatre – a company dedicated to producing and developing work by and for artists of colour. Jenna is also the Dramaturg for the Playwrights Lab at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. A passionate arts equity advocate, she is a graduate of the NTS Artistic Leadership Residency, the Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership program, and the artEquity National Facilitator Training cohort. She was shortlisted for the 2021 Gina’s Prize and is a recipient of a 2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Emerging Artists. She holds an MA in International Performance Research from the universities of Amsterdam and Tampere. 

2020/21 Professional Mentors

Set Design Mentor

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Lauren Acheson

(They/Them)

Lauren is a scenographer living and working in Mohkinstsis, also known as Calgary. Recent work includes: set and lighting design, Bright Lights (Theatre BSMT) - set and costume design, Love and Information (Calgary Young People's Theatre) - set and lighting design, Tape (Ignition Theatre) - associate production design, Premium Content (Major Matt Mason Collective/High Performance Rodeo) - production design, Clarence Darrow (Seadreamer/Calgary Fringe). Lauren also works as a maquette builder, design assistant, props builder, scenic painter, lighting technician and stagehand, and supervises events at the Pumphouse Theatres. Lauren holds a diploma in Theatre and Entertainment Production from Red Deer College and a certificate in Set and Costume Design from The National Theatre School of Canada. You can check out some of their design work at www.laurenacheson.com.

Light Design Mentor

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Heather Cornick

(She/Her)

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

Playwriting Mentor

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Mieko Ouchi

(She/Her)

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.

Sound Design Mentor

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Sui-Fan Wong

(He/Him)

Sui-Fan has been working as an entertainment technician for the past thirty years. During that time, he's worked in dance, theatre, music, feature film and multimedia production. This includes 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. After his drama nine class attended a Citadel Theatre production, in Edmonton, his passion began to grow. During the intermission of that performance, he remembers thinking, “Mixing musicals and working in sound for theatre - that’s the kind of work I want to do.” He has been fortunate to have lived that through most of his career. He has a beautiful wife and two wonderful teenage kids. He and his wife are very happy that they settled down in Red Deer. He very much enjoys exposing the next generations of learners to behind-the-scenes work in theatre, film and music. Sui-Fan believes 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.

2019/20 Professional Mentors

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Lauren Acheson (They/Them)

Set Design Mentor

Lauren is a scenographer living and working in Mohkinstsis, also known as Calgary. Recent work includes: set and lighting design, Bright Lights (Theatre BSMT) - set and costume design, Love and Information (Calgary Young People's Theatre) - set and lighting design, Tape (Ignition Theatre) - associate production design, Premium Content (Major Matt Mason Collective/High Performance Rodeo) - production design, Clarence Darrow (Seadreamer/Calgary Fringe). Lauren also works as a maquette builder, design assistant, props builder, scenic painter, lighting technician and stagehand, and supervises events at the Pumphouse Theatres. Lauren holds a diploma in Theatre and Entertainment Production from Red Deer College and a certificate in Set and Costume Design from The National Theatre School of Canada. You can check out some of their design work at www.laurenacheson.com.

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.

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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)

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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

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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!

Rivera Reese (She/Her)

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.

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Acting Mentor

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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.