Sara is an independent scenic artist who has been freelancing in St. John’s and surrounding areas for the last several years. She studied Visual Arts at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and has been dipping her toes into various areas of theatre, television, and film production, most frequently scenic painting. Sara’s selected credits include Astrid & Lily Save The World (Blue Ice Pictures), These Are My Mountains (Terra Bruce Productions), The Mirror (PerSIStence Theatre), Son of a Critch (Take The Shot Productions), The Adventures of Gary & Lou (Blue Pinion Films), La Cage aux Folles (TaDa! Events), The Phantom of the Opera (Opera on the Avalon), Guys & Dolls, and 9 to 5 (Atlantic Light Theatre).
Courtney is a director, actor and dramaturge from Musgravetown, NL. She is also a resident artist and Artistic Associate with Terra Bruce Productions. Courtney has worked with the Women’s Work Festival, Mindless Theatrics, the National Arts Centre, Soulpepper, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, New World Theatre Project, c2c theatre, Rabbittown Theatre Company, Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre Company, newfoundlandartistx, Rising Tide Theatre, Groundwater Productions, Red Sky Performance and Project Humanity. She is also an Artistic Associate with Mindless Theatrics. Courtney holds a BFA (Honours) in Theatre (Acting) from York University.
Bio coming soon…
Vanessa Cardoso-Whelan is a playwright, multidisciplinary artist, street performer, and clown hailing from Brazil, with a passion for contemporary theatre and body movement awareness, especially related to Flamenco dancing. Graduating in Theatre Arts in 2004, she has performed with several artistic groups onstage and in street productions, as an actress, Flamenco dancer, puppeteer, and fire flow dancer. Backstage activities include production assistant and stage manager assistant. She also has given theatre and dance instruction to adults and kids. Vanessa has been actively engaged in the local arts scene since moving to Canada in 2014, performing in theatre productions, dancing Flamenco, clowning, doing her Living Statue, and participating in diverse artistic workshops and festivals. Vanessa likes to give her art back to the community, doing volunteer performances for new Canadians/refugees, and non-profit organizations.
Joshua has designed sets and costumes for a multitude of productions, including the 2021 Langham Directors Workshop at the Stratford Festival. His many other credits include set design for Beauty and the Beast, Love and Information (UWindsor), Giving Up the Ghost, Book Club, The Drawer Boy (PSFT), and An Enemy of the People, Don Giovanni (OSU). Costume design credits include Stupid F*cking Bird, and Spring Awakening (OSU). His associate set and props design credits include Swan Lake (National Ballet of Canada), Bed and Breakfast (Globe, Blyth), and assistant designer for 5 seasons at the Stratford Festival. Joshua studied at Ohio State University (MFA Theatre -Design) and received a BA (Honours Drama) from the University of Windsor and Off the Wall Theatre Production Arts Program. Joshua’s well-deserved awards include the 2019 Tom Patterson Award, 2017 Ian and Molly Lindsay Design Fellow Award, and a nomination for the 2020 Pauline McGibbon Award.
Frank Donato is an emerging Lighting and Video Designer born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. Selected design credits include Notes of Hope (ICOT, Toronto), Bent (Tototoo Theatre, Ottawa), The Revolutions (SpiderWebShow, Kingston), and Plucked (Summerworks, Toronto). When not designing, Frank is fortunate to assist mentors and designers across Ontario and beyond. Past assisting credits include Little Shop of Horrors, The Neverendingstory, The Crucible, Comedy of Errors, Brontë: The World Without, Paradise Lost (Stratford Festival), Out The Window (The Theatre Center, Luminato), Le Wild West Show Du Gabriel Dumont (NAC, Persephone Theatre, Theatre Circle Moliere), Riel (COC, NAC), Constellations (Centaur Theatre), and Prom Queen: The Musical (Segal Center). Frank is a proud graduate of the Production program at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Alex Abbott is an Actor, Singer, Dancer, Multi-Instrumentalist, and Vocal Coach from St. John’s who is honoured to be working with the amazing cast and crew of No Change in the Weather. He studied Voice at Memorial University, Music Theatre Performance at Sheridan College, and has worked professionally throughout eastern Canada. Past performance credits include Madonna in We Will Rock You (TaDa), Bamatabois in Les Miserables (Atlantic Light), Bert Healey in Annie (PMP), Apostle in Jesus Christ Superstar (TaDa! Events), Lt. Meyers in No Man’s Land (Rising Tide), and Ensemble/Lion Understudy in The Wizard of Oz (LOT). He has also been featured as Music Director on productions of Into The Woods, The Nobleman’s Wedding, and The Naming of Port Rexton (Canadian Premiere). Last year Alex made his professional debut as a Composer/Arranger in The Last Two Fries (Buddies in Bad Times). Other career highlights include singing at Carnegie Hall with the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble and performing with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra for Hayden’s Seven Last Words of Christ. Alex would like to thank the creative team of No Change in the Weather for allowing him to take part in the creation of this incredible musical, and the cast and crew for their passion and dedication.
Walter Schroeder’s parents were immigrants from a German speaking enclave in the Ukraine, and he was born and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His parents father worked hard, his father as a caretaker of a private college and his mother cleaning houses.
‘My father was frugal and sought stability above risk,’ Walter explains, ‘But he was smart and a very skilled tradesman. He could do anything from plumbing to carpentry. He was proud of our house, and he kept it in good condition. We were poor, but we did not know we were poor because we had plenty of relatives around us.’
Walter grew up with dozens of cousins in his neighbourhood, all of whom spoke German. ‘I didn’t learn English until I was in the first grade,’ he says. ‘But education was very important in my family. I knew that would be my way out of poverty’.
By the time he was in the eighth grade, getting a university education was Walter’s number-1 goal. He became interested in the stock market and taught himself the principles of portfolio management. ‘I told myself,’ he says, ‘that I wanted to become the best equity analyst in North America.’
Walter obtained a bachelor of commerce degree with honors from the University of Manitoba, and then achieved his MBA from McMaster University. He worked evenings until he was licensed as a certified public accountant (CPA) as well as a certified financial analyst (CFA).
In 1969, Walter’s first professional job was with Wood Gundy Ltd., the prominent Canadian investment bank at the time. He established and led the company’s credit analysis department.
After several years, Walter, took his wife Maria on a work trip to Montreal. On the way, with his wife taking notes as he drove, they developed a plan to open a rating agency in Canada. In 1976, they founded DBRS, with start-up capital of only a few thousand dollars. DBRS within a few years became a full-service credit rating agency, rating most Canadian and international companies operating in Canada for global markets, including banks and sovereigns. ‘I got in on the ground floor,’ says Walter. ‘I ended up rating about 120 global world banks and built DBRS into the largest rating agency in Canada and the fourth largest in the world.’
In 2014, he sold DBRS to private equity, and he has moved on to a new career operating a family office in philanthropy. Walter has also started a production company and works as an executive producer of documentaries and musicals.
Other philanthropic efforts include several educational and healthcare projects. For Walter, his philanthropy has become his passion. ‘I like to fight for the underdog,’ he says. ‘My wife was able to graduate high school because her principal gave her family encouragement and a small bursary to keep her in school one more year. That is why we are so passionate to help others with their education. It makes such a difference not only to the individuals you are helping, but also to the whole community.’
Family is still highly important to Walter Schroeder. He grew up 100 yards away from the poorest postal code in all of Canada, but he never realized his family was poor. ‘I have 72 relatives’ aunts, uncles, and first cousins,’ he says. ‘We always had a happy family. We got together often and still have close contact to this day. My wife and I have been married for more than 50 years. She helped to build our business and her support was a big part of our success. I believe that success and a strong family life go hand in hand.’
Josh Ward is a Performer. As part of a musical family, he was exposed from a young age and, feeling that he was probably not much good at anything else, eventually decided to pursue performance as a career. The early years found him playing electric bass in several terrible rock bands, and occasionally jamming traditional music with his family. He later went on to study double bass at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and joined as many ensembles as possible, including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. During this time he implemented a policy of never ever turning down a gig, and was fortunate to get tons of playing opportunities on stage and in studios, churches, barns, etc. He eventually settled into a life in a van with the band Hey Rosetta! and spent ten years continuing to not ever turn down a gig. Be it jazz, funk, soul, country, bluegrass, traditional, heavy metal, prog, electro, world, or rock. Whatever. Nowadays you can still find him on stage in studios, churches, barns, etc., still not ever turning down a gig and still with a smile on his face.
Kelly-Ann Evans is an award-winning performer, producer, director and music educator. Based in St. John’s Newfoundland, she is owner/operator of Rock City Studio where she teaches voice, piano, and facilitates performance workshops. She is also the owner/director of Red Dress Entertainment, which produces and tours Pop/Rock and Soul reviews. With a BMUS from Memorial University, Kelly-Ann also studied Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College and is a multiple MusicNL Award Winner(Pop/Rock Artist of the Year & Female Artist of the Year) and ECMA nominee. Select theatre credits include the original Canadian company of Queen’s musical We Will Rock You (Mirvish), Cabaret and The Trojan Women (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Into the Woods and Phantom of the Opera (Opera on the Avalon), Next to Normal (Best Kind Productions), The Little Mermaid andGrease (TSJ), Evita, Rock of Ages, Chicago and Jesus Christ Superstar (Tada Events). She is a regular featured Pop/Rock soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and can be seen up in flames on vocals and keys with Newfoundland’s premier circus band SMOKESHOW. Kelly-Ann works as a Resident Artist and Music Director with Terra Bruce Productions. Love to the TB family and of course, Mom.