The Newmarket National Play Festival would like you to meet the talented artists working behind the scenes for this year's third annual Ten -Minute Play Festival, July 22-28, 2019 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.  



Zachary Arndt, Director - The Last House, The Leaves Beneath the Trees, Plus ça Change, Viola

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Zachary is an emerging director and dramaturg with a BFA in Acting from the Ryerson School of Performance. He has spent the last two summers directing the Creative Roots program with Driftwood Theatre. Past directing and/or dramaturgy credits include: No Luck, No Love (Pointed North Performing Arts); All of Me (Theatre Insomnia); Maisie in the Cold (Inspirato Festival – Jury Award, Overall Best Play). Past assistant directing: The Scavenger’s Daughter (Paradigm Productions/Buddies in Bad Times Theatre); Rosalynde (Driftwood Theatre); Shipwrecked (Theatre Kingston). Thank you to everyone for supporting the festival!


Trevor Curran, Director - Dispatch, Not Going Nowhere, Running Low, Valse Sentimentale

For a third year, Trevor is ecstatic to be in the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. Growing up in Newmarket, he has always dreamed of a rich culture of theatre in his hometown. Trevor has now been a part of the festival as an Actor, Playwright, Assistant Director, and Director. This breadth gives an interesting opportunity to view these plays from many angles. As Assistant director on Dear the Government, Readaholics, and the staged reading of My Generation in last year’s festival, he had the opportunity to work with several different directors to find his own style and strength.



Heather Dick, Director -  Buried, Written in Stone

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Heather is excited to be directing at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for the first time.  As a director, actor and voice artist she has worked across the country.  Favourite directing credits include:  Earth Tourist (Chandlier Factory Prods.), Forgotten Voices (World Premiere), Mail-Order Annie and Streethearts ( Sirius Theatrical Co.), The Art of Listening (Canadian Premier, Southern Mirrors Prods.), La Sante C’est Pas Sorcier (Waterwood Prods. - Ontario Tour), and The Peacemaker (Golden Horseshoe Players).  For over 30 years, Heather has coached and taught workshops in acting, comedy and voice for many independent Toronto acting studios.  She is also the Founding Artistic Director of the Sirius Theatrical Company (Toronto) where she currently teaches acting and voice and has produced multi-disciplinary performance pieces. Heather Dick is a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association.

Matthew Eger, Director -  Centre Line, Indifference, Symphony No. 6, Talking about the Baker

This is Matthew’s Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival debut. Matthew is Artistic Director of Shotgun Juliet, most recently directing A Beautiful View and Jewel, and directing/creating The Forest For the Trees, To Be Alone With You, Stealth, and How to Say Goodbye. He also works as a producer with Toronto’s multiple Dora Award winning Cue6 Productions ( Matthew is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Performance, and Ryerson’s Masterclass Dance Program. Matt would like to thank Marianne McIsaac for encouraging him to participate in NNPF this year. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @shotgunjuliet)

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Andrea Houssin, Director -  A, Different School of Thought, Parent/Child, Penance, Seducing Harry

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Andrea is thrilled to be returning for her second season at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival, in her directorial debut. As an actor, she has lived and worked across the country, and now calls Toronto home. Selected credits include: Seminar (Royal MTC/Mirvish), Waiting for the Parade (Western Canada Theatre),The Pirates of Penzance (Thousand Islands Playhouse), and Munsch Upon A Time (Prairie Theatre Exchange). TV/Film: The Boys (Sony), Room for Rent (Canadian Comedy Award Winner, Farpoint Films), Radius (EMA). A Resident Artist at Young People's Theatre in Toronto, Andrea frequently teaches acting and communication workshops in the GTA. Andrea Houssin is a graduate of Studio 58, and member of Canadian Actors Equity Association.

Marianne McIsaac, Director -  Electra, Monsieur Leotard

Selected credits include Hello, Again (Artillery Collective), Brilliant Traces (Tango Soul), Old Love (Sirius Theatrical), Pizza Man (Cue 6), Deathtrap ( Haliburton Highlands), In Confidence (Buddies), Rosemary With Ginger, North Of Providence (Theatre Centre East), and the Dora nominated Paradise By The River (Shadowpath). Guest Direction includes Ryerson’s School of Performance (The Laramie Project, The House of Bernarda Alba, Suburban Motel, Filthy Rich), Windsor’s School of Dramatic Arts (Action), Equity Showcase (Footprints On The Moon) and TWS (The Hypochondriac, You Can’t Take It With You, Arabian Nights, The Crucible, Arcadia, Voices From Beyond The Dark, The Outsiders).  Marianne McIsaac is a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association.


Brandon Nicoletti, Director -  Like a Kite, Nothing but the Tooth, Secret Santa,The Steward 

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After acting for NNPF in 2018, Brandon is delighted to return as a director for his 2nd year.  He is the Artistic Director of emerGENce Theatre, where he produced, acted, and directed works such as Never Swim Alone, In On It, and Turtleneck, and directed the sold out run of Mary of Shanty Bay for Theatre by The Bay (2018).  He is a graduate of the acting program at George Brown and a recent graduate of the Advanced Television and Film program at Sheridan College.  His recent films, The Man In The Dress, So Beautiful, and The Vacation will be making their rounds at film festivals this coming year,  Visit for more info.

Cara Baum -  Production Stage Manager

Cara is honoured to be a part of the Newmarket National 10-Minute Play Festival team for the first time this year. Her recent theatre management credits include stage managing York University’s Orlando (2019), production managing York University’s Playground Festival (2018), stage managing High School Symphony (Toronto Fringe Festival, 2018), and assistant stage managing Erika Batdorf’s The Red Horse is Leaving (2018). Cara would like to thank the whole cast and crew for their dedication and patience through this journey to bring these terrific plays to life.

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Marney Curran, Musical Director - The Steward

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Marney is thrilled to be back for a third summer at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. She is a well known accompanist for vocal exams, recitals, and festival performances. Marney teaches private piano, music theory, sight singing and ear training. Musical Director credits include Forever Plaid, Anne of Green Gables, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz (all with Mainstreet Theatre Company), and Borne and Razed, and A Little Reservation (NNPF).


Chelsey Fawcett, Director - Making Friends (Staged Reading)

For Newmarket: 3rd Season; Current:  Candidate MFA Directing, University of Ottawa.  Elsewhere: Chelsey is a two-time award winning director for her animation Noonright (Castle Acadia) which won best animation at the 2017 Canadian Independent Film Festival and best animation for Telus Storyhive.  She was nominated for Director of the Year from the Calgary Critter awards for her work on The Basement Boys (2014) (Theatre BSMT).  Chelsey is an active member of the theatre community as a director, and playwright and has traveled throughout Canada and Australia teaching physical theatre and acting techniques for Middle Eastern dance. Chelsey would like to thank her friends and family for their never-ceasing support.

Tom McHale - Director - If the Shoe Fits (Staged Reading)

Tom is pleased to return to The NewMarket National Play Festival. Past favourite NNPF credits include: Break In, On Beauty and Iphigenia. OTHER DIRECTING CREDITS:Charlie Blake’s Boat (The Social Capital Theatre Short Short Play Festival and remounted at Eastern Front Theatre STAGES Festival in Halifax), U.S. Drag (Zaw Theatre Productions / Toronto Fringe Festival) - {a top 10 Fringe pick by The Grid TO}, The Good German (Shadowpath Theatre Productions), Look Back in Anger (Shiftless When Idle Theatre), Co-Director of As You Puppet (Hank's Toybox Theatre / Toronto Fringe Festival) - {A Best of The Fringe Selection & NOW Magazine & Eye Weekly Critic's Pick}. Tom was born and raised in Newmarket and now lives in Toronto.

Charles Kaiser - Technical Director

Charles is a long-time theatre professional. He has worked in the industry at levels ranging from doing shows in people’s garages to Broadway. Charles is a bibliophile, numismatist, philatelist, epicure, and gadabout. He holds a BFA with Honours in Theatre from Eastern New Mexico University and an MFA from Virginia Tech in Lighting Design and Technical Direction. Charles lives in Aurora, Ontario with his wife Kimberley McLean and their chihuahuas Bella and Fiona.

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Ellen Brooker - Scenic Design

Ellen is thrilled to be in the small but mighty design team of Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. She has recently moved back to Canada from London, England, where she got her MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries and worked as a freelance designer, production coordinator, and maker with innovative companies like Punchdrunk and You Me Bum Bum Train. Since returning, Ellen has worked as a Production Designer (Drink of Choice, Toronto Fringe) and Production Stage Manager (Bella Donna, Tarragon Extraspace), and is looking forward to applying her imagination to upcoming projects in design, building, scenic artistry, and gourmet popsicle-making.  Find her at foldA (SpiderWebShow, Kingston 2019) this summer!

Madeline Ius - Wardrobe Design

Madeline is thrilled to be working with the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for the first time. She has always had a love for costuming and she is looking forward to being the Head of Wardrobe on Theatre @ York’s upcoming performance of Elizabeth Rex. She is extremely thankful to Sylvia Defend and Susan Dicks for their mentorship.  Other select credits include, Technical Director, The Balcony  (Theatre @ York), Production Manager, High School Symphony (The Teeny Tiny Music Show), and Production Manager, The 6th Degree (The Lighthouse Troupe).

Christopher Pattenden - Lighting Design

Christopher is an experienced Theatrical and Live Events Designer, primarily working on Musicals, Plays and Dance. He has designed in all manner of venues across Canada and is always looking for new ways to approach theatre and create thought provoking and emotive visuals on stage. Christopher is honoured to be returning to the National Play Festival for its third season. Selected Credits:  Lighting Designer: Shrek The Musical(OCPA); Threepenny Opera (Theatre Sheridan); Moon's Contata (Factory 165 Theatre); NNPF 2018 (Old Town Hall Theatre); BikeFace (Annex, Aquarius, Toronto Centre for The Arts); Little Shop of Horrors (OCPA); Into The Woods (Theatre Sheridan); The BlueBird (Theatre Aquarius); Grey(Theatre Passe Muraille); Oliver! (OCPA).  To learn more about Christopher and his work visit: 

Jonathan Juffs - Sound Design

Jonathan is excited to be a theatre technician for his second year with the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival.  He is an audio engineer and has played numerous roles in his career:  Designing sounds for use in commercial tracks (, producing artists, advanced audio editing,  mixing and live audio work for both theatrical and concert productions.  Jonathan owns his own recording studio, Black Water Audio ( and works as a theatre technician for the Town of Newmarket.  The NNPF offers a variety of play styles and challenges, and as a sound designer, he is excited to solve these challenges.

Ivana Bittnerova - Assistant Stage Manager

Ivana was born and raised in the Slovak Republic and only after arriving in Canada has she discovered her true passion for the performing arts. This is her first year at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival.  Ivana has stage managed shows for Big Time Murder Productions such as Savita Weds Satish, Dispelling Darkness, Case # 99, and productions for Sawitri Theatre Group.  A graduate of Humber College Film and Television Production; Ivana has directed the short films Miserable Morals, Experience Machine, PSA Know Your Lemons, and produced Oscar as well as  a short documentary One More Light.  Ivana is also involved in the business as an Actor.

Chloe Currie - Assistant Stage Manager

Chloe is thrilled to be taking part in the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for the first time. As a Devised Theatre student going into her third year at York University, Chloe has a deep love for theatre and has had the opportunity to be a part of many productions. She has acted in and designed plays in York’s Playground Festival and had the pleasure of being the co-stage manager for Transcendence Theatre’s show #Filters in the 2019 Devised Theatre Festival. Chloe would like to thank everyone at NNPF for this wonderful opportunity to showcase her love for theatre once again.

Ashley Frederick - Stage Manager

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Ashley is thrilled to be participating in the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for her first time!  Recent stage management credits include The Teeny Tiny Music Show (Hamilton Fringe, 2016), This Is War (York University, 2016) R.E.M. (York University, 2017), and InspiraTO Festival- Blue Show (2017). Ashley is also a performer, director, deviser, and founding member of Atomic Oddity Productions, whose first show After George premiered this year at the Devised Theatre Festival, and the Theatre Centre. Ashley will be graduating from York University’s Theatre program with a specialization in Devised Theatre in January 2020.

Jennifer Newnham - Stage Manager

Jennifer is extremely excited to be returning to the Newmarket National Ten-Minute Play Festival for her 3rd season! Having got her start behind the scenes learning from Michael Halfin, Jennifer has been working in theatre for the past ten years on musicals, plays, festivals and dance shows.   As a graduate of Technical Production for Theatre and Live Events at Sheridan College, Jennifer has worked in stage management, wardrobe, and props. Selected Credits:  Theatrical Designer, Party to Murder (The Village Playhouse), Into the Woods, Curtains (Drury Lane Theatre), and Little Shop of Horrors (Burl Oak Theatre Group).  As a lover of immersive theatre and entertainment, this festival is very close to her heart, and she would like to thank her mentor Michael Halfin for this amazing experience.

Anastasiya Popova - Stage Manager

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Anastasiya is thrilled to be a part of the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for the first time. Anastasiya has been a Stage Manager since 2014, and has recently completed her BFA in theatre production at York University. Select credits include touring production of Masquerade (Theatre Vakhtangov), Wring The Roses (madonnanera theatre), and The Red Horse Is Leaving (Moleman Theatre). Anastasiya is grateful to Cara Baum, a wonderful friend, valued colleague, and an outstanding professional. Thank you Cara, for asking me to join this team.

Jenna Zevenbergen  - Stage Manager

Jenna is excited for her first summer working with the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival as a Stage Manager. She is currently a theatre production student at York University going into her final year this September. Her previous works include Orlando (Theatre @ York), Post National (Theatre @ York), and A Dream Play (Theatre @ York). She is grateful to be working with NNPF on their season this summer.

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Myekah Payne, Production Dramaturge - Viola

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Myekah Payne has a diploma in Musical Theatre Performance from St Clair College as well as completing a two year intensive in New Play Dramaturgy and Playwriting at York University. She has been working in the capacity of Production Dramaturge with Driftwood Theatre since 2016 and is in her first season as Company Dramaturge at Obsidian Theatre Company.