Colleen Whidden, Ph.D ~ Artistic Director
Colleen completed her doctorate in music education at the University of Calgary. She formed the University of Calgary Operetta Company in 2007 after having directed numerous secondary and community musical theatre productions in British Columbia. Colleen has directed such shows as Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler of the Roof, The Mikado, Down in the Valley, Grease, Trial by Jury, Guys and Dolls, Forty Second Street, Brigadoon, and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Byron Redd, B.Sc, B.Comm ~ Production Manager / Technical Director
Byron, a native of Calgary, got his technical theatre debut at age three when his parents found him toggling the knobs on the family stereo system. From there, in 6th grade, when the school principal offered to train him on an audio mixer for microphones and music at school assemblies... he never looked back.
After attending Frances Kelsey Secondary with a focus in the technical theatre program, he earned a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Computer Science. He branched out and became a business man, working in corporate revenue management and residential mortgage financing. However, a wise professor once commented, "Byron...should keep one eye turned to the arts..." and so throughout university and beyond, he has continually dabbled in stage management, light/sound design, and studio recording/mixing. Previous credits include: Oliver Twist, Cabaret, Grease, Cinderella, The Dresser, Pirates of Penzance, Down in the Valley, and Friday Theatre.
Wendy Freeman, M.Mus ~ Maestro
Wendy Freeman received a Master of Music in Conducting Performance at the University of Calgary and is currently a PhD student enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. As a symposium lecturer and music educator, she has presented here on campus, at Memorial University, and Acadia University and directed ensembles at Central Memorial High School and David Thompson School. Wendy is a recipient of the prestigious Joseph Armand Bombardier SSHRC Doctoral Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement. This summer she is headed to Norway, where she will be performing research at the University of Oslo.
Maestro Freeman has been the pit orchestra director for the University of Calgary Operetta Company since its inception five years ago, and has conducted Trial by Jury, Pirates of Penzance, West Side Story, Miss Saigon & Titanic: The Musical. She is also an associate conductor of the Calgary Concert Band and conducts contemporary chamber works with New Works Calgary’s Rubbing Stone Ensemble. As a freelance musician and adjudicator, Wendy has enjoyed working with students at the Yellowknife Music Festival, the Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop and guest conducting secondary school groups, adult community choirs and wind bands. A busy mom on the go, she and her husband have three wonderful children ages three and under.
Meredith Johnson ~ Stage Manager
Meredith Johnson is a Calgary native and lifelong theatre lover. Her most recent experience however was in film. Having graduated from the Toronto Media Film College in April she realised that she really missed the theatre and so is glad to be back in Calgary pursuing that passion. She has worked in almost every capacity on a show but stage managing is the best fit and is glad to be able to offer assistance to Titanic the Musical. Her most recent credits include The Toxic Avenger Musical (Broadway West) and How I Learned to Drive (Liquid Meld). Enjoy the Show!
Joseph Bardsley ~ Communications & Orchestra Manager
As the Community Relations Coordinator for the UofC Operetta Company, Joseph leverages his “day-job” experiences as an arts administrator for the benefit of the Operetta team. Joseph provides administrative support to the Company’s production staff and also coordinates marketing, communications and fund development initiatives on an ongoing basis. In addition, he also coordinates the Company’s pit orchestra and serves as a liaison between the artistic and musical sides of each production. A French horn player for over a decade, Joseph appears regularly in the Company’s pit orchestras and has worked with the Calgary Stampede Showband, the Calgary Concert Band, the Westwinds Wind Orchestra, the Vancouver Playhouse and the Bishop Grandin High School symphonic and marching band(s). In addition, he has attended the Bands of America Leadership Symposium in Normal, IL since 2001 and participated in the University of Calgary Summer Concert Band workshops from 1999 – 2002. Joseph has toured with various ensembles throughout the US, Canada and Japan and has studied with Laurie Matiation of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Joseph is also active as a horn teacher to high school students in the community and volunteers with the CPO on an as-needed basis. Joseph completed an undergraduate degree in communications in 2006 and spent two years as a communications coordinator at the University of Calgary prior to taking on a development officer role at Theatre Calgary in early 2008.
Frank MacLeod ~ Costume Designer
Frank was educated at Dalhousie University in Halifax (as an actor). While at school, he was inspired by Robert Doyle, a Stratford Festival designer who was Artist in Residence and ran the Costume Studies Program. Frank started to hang out in the costume department and learned to sew. He made a peasant shirt by the end of the first year. He earned extra credits by working costume crew for main stage productions and that was that. When people stopped paying Frank to act, a friend said “Designers are hard to come by, you can always do that.” That was over 30 years ago. Somewhere along this long journey, Frank picked up the phrase “You can have it right or you can have it now but you can’t have it right now”, this has become his mantra. He wants to thank Colleen for “letting him go” and the producer, Byron, for his help in so many ways and unending support.