Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack lives with his Mother on a fledgling bean farm and fills his day with imaginary tales of fantastic adventures to combat the despair and boredom. However one day, forced to trade their beloved family cow for food, Jack meets a mysterious merchant on the way to market and is whisked away on an epic journey of his own! Jack dangles from a monstrous beanstalk miles from the ground, discovers the vast riches of an enormous castle above the clouds and befriends a most unusual individual: A Giant! But when Jack steals the Giant’s most prized possession, a beautiful singing harp, he’s faced with a difficult choice that tests the extent of his courage.
Don't miss the opportunity to experience this imaginative, award-nominated musical adventure in your school!
cast & crew
Farren is an Edmonton-based actor, writer and director. He became the Artistic Director of Alberta Opera in 2006, and has since written and directed a number of productions for the company, including Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Rumpelstiltskin, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Hansel and Gretel. Other directing credits include Songs for a New World at the 2005 Edmonton Fringe Festival; Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Co-director) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for the Mayfield Theatre; Everybody Goes to Mitzi’s and The Infinite Shiver for Teatro La Quindicina (both of which he also wrote the lyrics for); Pippin and Crazy for You (Assistant Director) at the Citadel Theatre; and The Light in the Piazza for Grant MacEwan University. Acting credits include Peter and the Starcatcher, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Make Mine Love, and Monty Python’s Spamalot for the Citadel Theatre; Made in Italy for Western Canada Theatre; The Light in the Piazza for Theatre Calgary; As You Like It and Coriolanus for Freewill Shakespeare Festival; Marvellous Pilgrims, The Scent of Compulsion and A Rocky Night for His Nibs for Teatro La Quindicina; Waiting for Godot for Wishbone Theatre; and, Little Shop of Horrors, Gentleman Prefer Blondes and Footloose for the Mayfield Theatre. Farren has been honoured by the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards on a number of occasions, most recently for his performance in Monty Python’s Spamalot and for his direction of Pinocchio. In 2015, Farren was included in Avenue Magazine’s prestigious list of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40, in recognition of his artistic contributions to the city. This season, in addition to his work with Alberta Opera, Farren can be seen performing in Shakespeare in Love at The Citadel Theatre. Farren resides in Edmonton with his wife, celebrated performer Patricia Zentilli, and their incredible six year-old son, Leonardo.
During his time with Alberta Opera, Jeff Unger established himself as an important creative voice in Alberta, entertained millions of students and adults across Western Canada, and watched the company grow into a major force in school touring. He co-authored and composed music for sixteen original fairy tale adaptations including Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Rapunzel, Puss in Boots, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin. The Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards recognized Jeff’s musicals and his work as a Musical Director on several occasions, and in 2012 he received the award for Outstanding Score for his work on Pinocchio. In 2010, after more than a decade touring his works, Jeff became an Artistic Director of Alberta Opera, a position he held until his passing in 2015. Hansel and Gretel was one of Jeff’s favourite works, and the company is thrilled to be reviving it for new audiences across the province.
lana michelle hughes
Lana Michelle Hughes is an actor, director, playwright, sound designer and producer based out of Edmonton. Selected acting credits include: Loud & Queer Cabaret (Guys in Disguise), The Anxiety Project and The National Elevator Project (Theatre YES), Dead Centre of Town (Catch the Keys Productions), Birdie On The Wrong Bus and Fairy Catcher’s Companion (Promise Productions), Love(her)/Fight(her) (Urban Curvz), Mother Courage (ABBEDAM), The Laramie Project (Citadel Theatre), Going Down… and Target Audience (Running In Heels Productions), and No Wonder(land) (Nextfest). Selected directing credits include: The Remarkably True, Real Life Adventures of Callie Montgomery (Promise Productions/Skirts of Fire Festival), Encounters (Citadel Theatre), Bust ‘Em Up Burlesque, The Hollywoodland Burlesques, A Bronte Burlesque, and Tudor Queens: A Burlesque (Send In The Girls Burlesque), Two Seconds To Paradise (One Story Window Theatre) and Hungry (New Works). A B.A grad from the University of Alberta, she has also studied with One Yellow Rabbit, Punchdrunk, Ghost River Theatre, Dramaworks, Michael Kennard, Interrium (Banff Centre/Spring Boards) and Karen Hines. She sat on the board of Alberta Playwright's Network for four years, and was a high school mentor for Nextfest for 4 years. She also spends her days as the Managing & Communications Associate at Catalyst Theatre.
Erik is an accompanist, musical director and composer based in Edmonton. His credits include: The Last Five Years for Theatre Network; Score composition for Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella at Fort Edmonton Park; Drat the Cat for The Plain Jane’s; Honk for Grindstone theatre; Forget Me Not and Valentine's Train for Andrea House. He has received Sterling award nominations for both Drat the Cat and Honk. He has toured 700+ shows with Alberta Opera and is thrilled to be returning to music direct Hansel and Gretel. He has played Teatro la Quindicina shows including That’s Terrific, An Experts Guide to the Entirety of Music and The Nutcracker Unhinged. Erik has toured the fringe circuit as keyboardist for Grindstone Theatre’s improvised musical The 11 O’Clock Number. He has worked with internationally renowned improv theatre companies including Die-Nasty and Rapid Fire Theatre. Erik wears many hats in the music community as a studio musician, performer and educator, and has had the pleasure of working with many acclaimed artists.
Ainsley Hillyard is an Edmonton-based choreographer, performer and educator who works in contemporary dance and theatre. She has been a collective artist with the Good Women Dance Collective since 2009. Ainsley's choreography credits include; The Other, Bears Sterling Award for Outstanding Choreography, (Pyretic Productions); Beckett’s Shorts, Genius Code (Surreal SoReal Theatre); Ursa Major, Snout (Catch The Keys Productions) and 9 Parts of Desire (The Maggie Tree). Her work with Good Women Dance also includes the curation of Dancefest for the Nextfest Arts Company and teaching ongoing company classes open to the public. Upcoming this season, Ainsley will be working on a new project with Louise Casemore at Ghost River Theatre and assistant choreographing for Hadestown at the Citadel.