LunaSea Theatre's Alumnae
The LunaSea Theatre Company was started in 2007 by four brave women: Mary-Colin Chisholm, Martha Irving, Mauralea Austin, Sherry Smith. Other artistic directors have made amazing contributions along the way. Since then, some have moved on to other projects:
Sherry Smith (2007-2011)
LunaSea Theatre is the second theatre company Sherry has started. In 1978, frustrated that there was no outlet for her dramatic desires, she began a drama club called the Ike Rich Players. It is still in existence, winning awards and accolades throughout Nfld. and Labrador. She went on to study theatre at the National Theatre School, then lived in Toronto and Niagara for 10 years, working with Toronto Free Theatre, YPT, the Grand, Lighthouse Festival and the Shaw Festival. Since returning east, she has performed with Neptune, EFT, TNB, Festival Antigonish, Mulgrave and Ship’s Company. Sherry has been nominated multiple times for a Merritt Award; winning in 2009 for her performance as Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days produced by Neptune. Her play, Woman of Labrador: The Elizabeth Goudie Story, has been produced in Nfld & Lab., NS, and Toronto. A big shout out to her husband, Stan McDonald, who was instrumental in helping LunaSea become incorporated and obtain their charitable status. Also high fives to her three children, Joseph, William and Grace – her greatest achievements! Sadly, Sherry resigned in 2011.
Mauralea Austin (2007-2015)
A professional actor for over 30 years, Mauralea is a co-founder and co-artistic producer of Nova Scotia’s LunaSea Theatre. She has a range of professional interests, theatre being at the core, appearing in LunaSea productions “Estate”, “Top Girls”, “Woman and Scarecrow”, “To Capture Light”, “Talking Heads”, “Girl in a Goldfish Bowl” (for which she won the Supporting Actor Merrit Award) and “Perfect Pie”, and at Neptune Theatre in “Comedy of Errors”, “Blithe Spirit” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” as well as productions with a number of other Nova Scotian and Manitoban companies. She is an acting teacher, working with Neptune’s Pre-Professional Training Program for years, Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent Universities as well as creating a wide range of independent courses in Acting, Acting for Film, Scene Study, along with being a private acting coach. Not content to limit herself, she branched out into Public Speaking, Yoga (certified Hatha) and ESL (CELTA accredited) with a specialty in pronunciation. She has appeared in numerous local tv and film productions; among them “Haven”, “Charlie Zone”, “The Tenth Circle”, “Plain Truth”, “Reversible Errors” and “Martha Inc.”. Independent films include “Pickled Punk” and Bridge Award winner, “Dirty Laundry”. Exhibiting a range of experience, she hosted the Winnipeg-based 13-part series, “Baby & Me” and did English dubbing for six films at the Barandov Studios in Prague. Branching out into dialect coaching, she has worked on “Haven” and “Trudeau II”. While living in Winnipeg, previous to moving to Nova Scotia, Mauralea worked with CBC TV news and radio.
Lita Llewellyn (2014-2015)
Lita is a multifaceted artist, originally from New Brunswick, trained in Toronto and Vancouver. In her youth, she performed as a dancer and toured with the performing company ‘Characters Incorporated.' She is an emerging playwright and recently wrote, produced and performed the play ‘Ida and Daisy’ at the 2014 Atlantic Fringe Festival. Lita has performed in many plays, among them ‘Top Girls’ and ‘The Maids,’ and in film & TV such as ‘Snow Angels’, ‘Haven’, ‘Sex and Violence.’ She produced her first short film ‘Omaha Fly By’ with CBC. It won the CBC’s 3-2-1 Award and was broadcast after a mentorship program for emerging producers.
Mary-Colin Chisholm (2007-2018)
Mary-Colin, one of the original founders of LunaSea, has written "To Capture Light" and adapted and directed "Twelfth Night" and "Ghosts" for the company. She has acted in or directed all but two of LunaSea's productions. She has appeared as an actor with Mulgrave Road Theatre, Eastern Front and Neptune. She has played across the country at theatres including: Victoria BC's Belfry Theatre, The Manitoba Theatre Center, Prairie Theatre Exchange (Winnipeg), Montreal's Centaur Theatre, the National Arts Center and The Tarragon Theatre (Toronto). Her original plays include "Safe Haven", "Strange Humours" and "He'd Be Your Mother's Father's Cousin".
Martha Irving (2007-2020)
A co-founder of LunaSea Theatre, Martha directed our initial offering, The Donahue Sisters at The TNS Living Room, then just a storefront workshop space rented by Mary-Colin Chisholm and two former Jest in Time performers to create new works. Since then she has usually either directed or acted in our productions. As an actor, Martha trained in England at LAMDA and has performed on stages across the country, including recent portrayals at Theatre New Brunswick, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, Ship’s Company, and the National Arts Centre as well as LunaSea. She’s also a regular on the Neptune Theatre stage. As a director, Martha regularly directs Anne and Gilbert, the Musical on PEI. She will direct the world premiere of Shelley Thompson’s Leaving Wonderland for LunaSea as well as Anne and Gilbert, the Musical for the NAC for their winter Holiday production. Martha has been nominated for and received numerous awards, including a Merritt Award for Best Actress for her performance in LunaSea’s production of Ghosts and the Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Theatre in 2011.