Theatre; Just Because is a community driven, locally grown and operated independent theatre company in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Vision

Theatre is an impactful expression of the human experience used to meaningfully challenge artists and engage communities.

Mission

Empower artists to take ownership of their work through community-based and professionally-driven theatre productions and workshops.

Values

Community, Empowerment, Growth, Development, and Creativity.

Goals

Develop unique opportunities for local artists to create meaningful and impactful theatre experiences.

Foster ongoing artist growth in our local context.

Our Story

Theatre; Just Because was formed in 2014 by Michelle Thorne (director & actor) and Danna-Rae Evasiuk (audio & lighting designer) during the 2014 Alberta Drama Festival Association One Act Play season. Since then, the company has been committed to providing full seasons of workshops, mentorships, and performance opportunities in partnership with the Suncor Energy Centre of the Performing Arts, and producing the annual dinner theatre event in support of Waypoints.

In 2017, Thorne stepped down as Artistic Director of Theatre; Just Because, and selected Justin Shaw (actor, writer, & comedian) as her replacement. Shaw has since partnered with Diana Moser (actor & director) who serves as the company's Program Director, and Hanna Fridhed (actor & director) who serves as the company's Development Director. The artistic team works on the current season, community engagement, and further strategic development of the company.

Artistic Team

CURRENT

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Justin Shaw

Artistic Director | Actor | Writer | Comedian

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Shaw is a recent graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. While in Montreal, Shaw was active in the Montreal stand-up comedy scene, having won the Comedyworks Triple Crown Award in 2016. Shaw also won the Patron’s Pick Award at the 2017 Island Fringe Festival with his solo show The Wrestling Play, which he developed with the Young Creators Unit of Playwrights Workshop Montreal. In his role as Artistic Director, Shaw is responsible for program selection and fostering creative growth for the company. Shaw also works for Some Other Solutions as the Events and Marketing Program Coordinator.

Theatre credits include: The Taming of the Shrew (2012), While We’re Young (2013), and Electra by Euripides (2014) for Vagabond Productions; Love Play (2016), Wrench-Man (2016), King Lear (2016), The Laramie Project (2016), Exit the King (2017) and These Peaceable Kingdoms (2017) for the National Theatre School of Canada; Nutshell (2016) for Fantastic Space; The Wrestling Play (2017) for Wrath of Shaw Comedy/Theatre; Just Because; A Christmas Carol (2017) for Keyano Theatre Company. Shaw is also currently directing and writing TJB's newest play in development, EXHALE, presented in partnership with Some Other Solutions.

 

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Diana Moser

Program Director | Actor | Director

Moser is an award-winning actress and director who has performed several times with Keyano Theatre Company and with Theatre; Just Because, as well as a trained musician and singer. As Program Director she manages the Waypoints partnership and directs the February 2018 dinner theatre show, supports Justin Shaw, Artistic Director in delivering the rest of TJB’s programming, coordinates the logistics of the company, and helps plan for future growth. Moser also works for Arts Council Wood Buffalo as the Programs & Partnerships Manager.

Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol (2017), Spoon River Anthology (2017), Run for Your Wife (2016), A Few Good Men (2015), Cabaret (2015), and Les Miserables (2014) for Keyano Theatre Company; The Awesome 80s Prom dinner theatre (2017), Check Please (2016), Fanny & Manny Tie the Knot dinner theatre (2016), and The Most Massive Woman Wins (2015) for Theatre; Just Because; Light (2017) and The Hope Slide (2017) as  independent productions.

 

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Hanna Fridhed

Development Director | Actor | Director

Originally from Sweden, Fridhed is an actress, director, and communicator who started in the performing arts in her university theatre group, Lund Student Theatre. She is very active in the arts community, holding positions as the Director of Community on the Arts Council Wood Buffalo board of directors, as the Chair of Arts & Entertainment for the Fort McMurray Food Festival, and as the North Zone representative of the Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA). She is also the Community Ambassador for Keyano Theatre Company and the creator of their new online initiative The Backstage Chronicles (ktcbackstage.com), highlighting the wonderful people involved in community theatre. As Development Director Fridhed works to engage the community with the company through marketing, communications, and investment initiatives. 

Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol (2017), Spoon River Anthology (2017), Run for Your Wife (2016), A Few Good Men (2015), Goodnight Ladies (2015), and A Christmas Carol (2014) for Keyano Theatre Company; The Awesome 80s Prom dinner theatre (2017), and Fanny & Manny Tie the Knot dinner theatre (2016) for Theatre; Just Because; Light (2017) independent production. She also directed Two Eggs (2017) as an independent production and SCABS (2016) for Theatre; Just Because.


PAST

Michelle Thorne

Co-FOUNDER | Director |Producer | actor

Thorne is a director, producer, and actor now pursuing a Masters in Directing at the University of British Columbia. Directing projects include The Fantastic Mr. FoxThe Awesome 80s Prom, Fanny & Manny Tie The Knot, The Most Massive Woman Wins, and Louis and Dave for Theatre; Just Because; The Other Side of the Pole and Steel Magnolias for Keyano Theatre Company. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts from the University of Lethbridge. Michelle has also participated in the Wood Buffalo arts community as the Program Manager for Arts Council Wood Buffalo, Front of House for Keyano Theatre, as well as an Artist Educator for Learning through the Arts.

 

Danna-Rae Evasiuk

Co-FOUNDER | Lighting/Sound Designer | Composer | TEchnician

Danna-Rae is a lighting and sound designer, composer, and theatre technician. She received a diploma in Technical Theatre Design and Production from Red Deer College. Born and raised in Fort McMurray, she has deep roots in this town and loves seeing the theatre community flourish. She was the house technician at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, and before that an Artist-Educator with Learning Through the Arts — holding workshops on songwriting, producing, and audio recording.

 

Pattie Dwyer

Writer | Actor

Dwyer has been working and performing in theatre for over a decade. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge and a Visual and Performing Arts diploma from Keyano College. Dwyer was previously the dramatic arts instructor with the UpTown Triple Threat program for youth at SECPA. Performing and play-writing is her specialty. She has received numerous awards for her work, including Outstanding New Work, Best Actress, and Best Production for her original piece Mountain Top, Best New Work and Best Actress for her original work Anasula from the Alberta Drama Festival Association. Dwyer was also nominated for a Rosie Award for Best Actress in Western Canada for the short film Awaken