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 producing full seasons of shows and artist development opportunities in partnership with the Suncor Energy Centre of the Performing ArtsWaypoints, and others.

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

Artistic Team

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Justin Shaw

Artistic Director | Actor | Writer | Comedian

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Shaw is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. While in Montreal, Shaw was active in the Montreal stand-up comedy scene, winning the Comedyworks Triple Crown Award in 2016. Shaw 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. 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), Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii (2018) for Keyano Theatre Company; A Knight to Remember dinner theatre (2018) for Theatre; Just Because. Shaw also directed and wrote TJB's play in development, EXHALE, presented in partnership with Some Other Solutions.

 

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Diana Moser

Company Manager | Actor | Director

Moser is an actress, director, and arts administrator who has performed several times with Keyano Theatre Company and with Theatre; Just Because, She is also a a trained musician and singer. She has been part of the organizing committee for the annual Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA) North Zone one act play festival since 2016 and by day works for Arts Council Wood Buffalo as the Programs & Partnerships Manager. Moser was named one of region's Top 50 Under 50 in 2017 by Balsom Communications/Your McMurray Magazine and one of the 12 Woman of Inspiration in 2018 by Girls Inc of Northern Alberta.

Theatre credits include: Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii (2018), 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. Writing and directing credits include A Knight to Remember dinner theatre (2018) for Theatre; Just Because.

 

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Hanna Fridhed

communications & resource manager | 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, previously holding positions as the Director - 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 Community Ambassador for Keyano Theatre Company. Fridhed is currently the North Zone representative of the Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA) and Treasurer for the Theatre Alberta board of directors.

Theatre credits include: Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii (2018), The Drowsy Chaperone (2018), 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.

Residents

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Natalie Farahani

stage manager

Natalie has been involved in technical theatre for the past five years. She was the Theatre; Just Because Stage Manager for The Awesome 80s Prom dinner theatre (2017) and A Knight to Remember dinner theatre (2018). Natalie worked with Keyano Theatre Company as an Assistant Stage Manager for Deathtrap (2013), A Christmas Carol (2014), A Few Good Men (2015), Into The Woods (2016), and The Other Side Of The Pole (2016);  as an Assistant Sound Technician for Cabaret (2015); and as a Stage Manager for The Odd Couple (2015) and Steel Magnolias (2016). She was also the Stage Manager for the one act shows Sure Thing (2016), and Brain Sucking (2017) for which she received an Alberta Drama Festival Association award for Outstanding Technical Design. Natalie is a young theatre artist with amazing potential, and Theatre; Just Because is pleased to welcome her as our Resident Stage Manager.

 


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 the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. Performing and play-writing is her specialty. She has received numerous awards for her work, including Outstanding Actress and Production for her and Justin Shaw's original clown piece Mooda and Tula Go Camping, Outstanding New Work, Best Actress, and Best Production for her original piece Mountain Top, and 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

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Katerina Petukhova

technical designer

Katerina has a MFA degree in theatre arts from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She was the mastermind and creator of A Knight to Remember dinner theatre (2018) costumes, props, puppets, lights, projections...you name it! Her work begins at the start of the production planning process and ends on opening night; she loves to create the design ideas. She also loves to play accordion and enjoys studying foreign languages. A Knight to Remember was her first theatre project in Fort McMurray, and Katerina is profoundly grateful for director Diana Moser’s support. Look for Katerina’s other projects under her puppet company, Pink Whale Theatre.