Ensemble Deadline Extended!

There are still a few spots left for Ensemble!

Theatre Wakefield has extended the deadline to register for Ensemble, the 12 week theatre course this fall, for youth/young adults between the ages of 16 and 30. The classes will be led by Mary Ellen Maclean, an experienced, award-winning theatre artist/teacher whose special focus is on ensemble creation. She recently performed her one-woman show Frankie to a sold-out audience at the TaDa! Festival in May. Auditions are no longer necessary: you may now register up to and including September 16, 2022.

The program will bring together artistic minded young people and they’ll work together over 12 weeks to develop their performance skills and to create an original theatre piece. No experience is necessary for these classes, but Theatre Wakefield (TW) is looking for a diverse group of young people that are curious, passionate about creation and performing, and collaborative. Mary Ellen has structured the program to provide participants with a process of discovery using improvisation, playfulness, breath and voice work, movement, character development and an opportunity to perform. Depending on what the ensemble’s interests are, guest artists from other disciplines will be invited to work with the group. Each class will begin at 5:30pm with a check-in and dinner (provided by Theatre Wakefield!) followed by a two-hour class from 6:00- 8:00pm.

And, wherever the process of discovery leads them, there will be a performance at the Centre Wakefield LaPêche December 10.

Classes begin Tuesday, September 20 and run until Dec. 6.

The program costs $120 for 12 weeks, although none of those who register will be turned away for lack of funds so the fee should not be a deterrent. If you are keenly interested in participating and can make a commitment for 12 weeks, please let us know!

To register, just tell us a little bit about yourself and why you would like to be involved by writing to us at

Theatre Wakefield promotes an environment of equity, inclusion and diversity. Young adults from under-represented communities (IBPOC, LGBTQ2S+, recent immigrants) are really encouraged to register.

We thank Canadian Heritage, the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais, and the Municipality of LaPêche for their funding that makes this initiative possible.

Mary Ellen MacLean

Mary Ellen MacLean (a proud Nova Scotian now living in the Gatineau Hills) is a performer, creator, teacher, director, and producer who works in theatres across Canada (Young People’s Theatre, Great Canadian Theatre Company, The Grand, Theatre North West, Western Canada Theatre, The Belfry, Neptune, Mulgrave Road, Live Bait, Eastern Front) as well as internationally. She is a protégé of physical theatre and mime master/ director Tony Montanaro, who was based in Maine, USA.

Mary Ellen was a founding member of the Halifax physical theatre ensemble, Jest in Time, touring worldwide for 20 years. Some highlights with Jest include performances at the Sydney Opera House, a tour of Japan, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Just for Laughs in Montréal, a performance for Queen Elizabeth and three national CBC specials.

Some TV/film credits include Hatching, Matching and Dispatching, Wilby Wonderful, Wound-Up, Made in Canada, Liocracy and Shattered City.

Nova Scotia Merritt Theatre Awards: Twenty Years of Theatre Excellence (Jest in Time); Best Production (Trip-Jest); nominations for Best New Play (Frankie), Best Actress (Trip, Frankie). She is co-artistic director of Frankie Productions who produced her play Velocipede, using 21 bicycles, and seven dancers/performers. Throughout the year Mary Ellen teaches physical theatre, movement, improvisation and performance to all ages and levels. She is currently teaching The Actor’s Body to first term acting students at Seneca College in Toronto.

Mary Ellen and her wife Wendy have created an artist retreat – The Skyridge Studio -- located in the Gatineau Hills for artists of all disciplines. In her spare time, she plays hockey and collects vintage bicycles. Her one-woman play Frankie has toured across Canada and aired on Bravo TV.