Strike! premiered at Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg on May 26th, 2005, directed by Ann Hodges. Bios from the original program book appear below.
Catherine Wreford as Rebecca Almazoff
Winnipeg's Broadway star Catherine Wreford starred in the Broadway productions of "42nd Street" and "Oklahoma" as well as the U.S. national tour of "42nd Street." A graduate of Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, Catherine splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.
Jay Brazeau as Mike Sokolowski
Jay Brazeau's credit list is longer than a Winnipeg winter! A truly accomplished star of stage and screen, Jay recently starred in the musical "Hairspray" in Toronto as well as the movies "Best in Show," "Air Bud Golden Receiver" and television programs such as "Millenium" and "The X Files." Jay grew up in Winnipeg and his father was a streetcar driver.
Marc Devigne as Stefan Dudar
Winnipeg born Marc Devigne has recently starred as "Lun Tha" in The King and I and has also appeared in West Side Story, and Beauty and the Beast (Rainbow Stage). Marc was a top 12 finalist in the hit TV show Canadian Idol two years ago and has since been singing, performing onstage, and acting for film. A classicaly trained singer, Marc has also studied Theatre and Musical Theatre at the University of Winnipeg for two years.
David Friedman as Moishe Almazoff
Coming to Winnipeg from Israel, David has participated in many of Winnipeg's memorable musicals. (Into The Woods, She Loves Me, Footloose, Yiddle with a Fiddle & HMS Pinafore). David's credits range from lead roles in Cabaret, The Pajama Game, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Review, Assassins, to dramatic parts in MacBeth. David is a graduate of the Beit-Zvi Performing Arts School in Israel.
Christopher Ryan as Senator Gideon Robertson
Christopher is thrilled to reprise the role of Senator Robertson, having performed it twice before in previous incarnations of Strike. He has recently appeared in leading roles with Edmonton opera, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Dry Cold Productions, Saskatoon Opera, and the Winnipeg G&S Society. Christopher has also worked with Rainbow Stage, Canzona, Prairie Performances, Groundswell, CBC radio and The Manitoba Theatre Centre.
Carson Nattrass as O'Reilly
Carson is delighted to work with Danny once again on this historical piece of Winnipeg theatre. Carson has recently appeared in Much Ado About Nothing, My Fair Lady (MTC), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (PTE/Belfry), Godspell, Walking on Water and Liar (PTE), & Miss Saigon (Rainbow Stage). Carson is a graduate of the University of Alberta. “What a treat it is to do this show with my sister Stacey and my sweetheart, Sharon.
Stan Lesk as James Ashdown
Stan is originally from Toronto and is pleased to work with a wonderful cast of friends from the past and present. His recent work includes Beauty and the Beast (Rainbow Stage), made for TV movies, Category 6, A Bear Named Winnie and The Winning Season. Stan has worked in almost every theatre in Canada, including the Shaw Festival, Charlottetown Festival, Centrestage, MTC, Rainbow, Theatre Calgary and the Citadel in Edmonton.
Melanie Whyte as Susan Ashdown
Melanie Whyte grew up and trained on the West Coast, but has made Manitoba home for thirteen years. She last played in The Impromptu of Outremont for Tremblayfest 2005. Other credits include She Loves Me, Into the Woods, and A Little Night Music for Dry Cold Productions, Margaret Sweatman and Glenn Buhr's Flux, and Fiddler, Sound of Music and Music Man for Rainbow Stage Inc. Melanie feels privileged to be part of this made in Manitoba production about the Winnipeg General Strike.
Kevin Aichele as Carmichael
Saskatchewan-born, Kevin Aichele, just completed a run as Rev. Blackwell in “Fire” with Persephone Theatre. Kevin was last seen as “John” in “Miss Saigon” and “The Beast” in “Beauty and the Beast”. Other credits include “South Pacific”, “Joseph”, “Crazy for You”, “My Fair Lady”, “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Big”, and “Snow White" with Disney Ent. Kevin was nominated for a 2003 Dora Award for his appearance in “A Dixie Gospel”.
Jeremy Koz as The Union Rep
Jeremy would like to thank Danny for this amazing historic opportunity. Jeremy appeared in Danny's first musical "The Bridge" and has continued his relationship with Danny through studio sessions and theatre workshops for the past five years. Jeremy has appeared in Miss Saigon, Footloose, Fame, Singin' in the Rain and Fiddler for Rainbow Stage Inc. and the Wave at MTC. Jeremy sings with the Ron Paley Band and the Rock Band "Floor 13."
Stacey Nattrass as The Immigrant Woman
Stacey is excited to Strike! for the first time, especially alongside her brother and so many of her friends. Stacey recently appeared in Miss Saigon, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Footloose with Rainbow Stage Inc. and My Fair Lady with MTC. Stacey is a classically trained graduate of U of M's School of Music and currently teaches the choral program at Garden City Collegiate. Stacey may also be familiar to local sports fans as an anthem singer for our Moose, Bombers and Goldeyes.
Sharon Bajer as Emma the Maid
Sharon has performed across Canada as an actress, most recently in Forever Yours Marie-Lou at TremblayFest, Humble Boy at MTC and Going Home at the Haifa International Children's Festival in Israel. Sharon's play Molly's Veil premiered at PTE in February and was published by Scirocco Drama in April. Sharon is thrilled to be part of this exciting new musical with such an extraordinary company.
Brenda Gorlick as Mrs. Olynyk
Brenda is thrilled to be “striking” the stage with her fellow comrades (and former students) in her first made in Manitoba musical. Most recently, Ms. Gorlick staged the MTC/MBA production of “Cabaret”, was featured as Babette in Rainbow Stage’s “Beauty and the Beast “ and choreographed the smash hit, “A Year With Frog and Toad” for MTYP.
Ilena Zaramba as a Telephone Operator
Born into a musical family, Ilena has been singing all of her life. She started studying acting at the age of fourteen, and has sung and acted on stage, screen, television and radio until the present. Ilena's favourite role was in "The Club" at MTC and she has been called to Patsy on more than one occasion!
Dana Horrox as The Suffragette
This University of Winnipeg graduate is a true musical theatre lover and has had the privilege of performing with MTC, Rainbow Stage, Dry Cold and the Fringe Festival during her career. Dana was a part of 2004's Old Market Square abridged version of STRIKE! and is thrilled to help bring Danny Schur's full scale dream of STRIKE! to reality. Thanks to Garry and her “manager” Darcy.
Cherise Kotelniski as a Telephone Operator
Cherise Kotelniski is thrilled to be part of a production celebrating Winnipeg's colourful growth, as well as its many powerful performers. She trained as a classical soprano at the University of Manitoba's School of Music, and has since been exploring other genres, such as musical theatre and jazz. Cherise even tried her boots at country music at Celebrations Dinner Theatre's recent "C.S.I. Moosejaw". However, she is most smitten with musical theatre, where such rich stories as "Strike!" can be brought back to life before one's eyes.
Matt Kippen as the Meeting Leader / Wallace
Born, raised and trained in Winnipeg, the only time Matt tried leaving there was a flood - sorry about that. Matt's recent theatre credits include: Strawberries in January, Unity (1918) (PTE), Generations (Theatre North West); Crimes of the Heart (Theatre Calgary, MTC); The Diary of Anne Frank, Wit (MTC), Footloose (Rainbow Stage). Matt is also active in Winnipeg's film and television industry both as an actor and stunt performer.
Jeff Kohut as a Veteran / Special
Jeffrey is thrilled to be a part of "Strike! - The Musical". Recently, Jeffrey performed with Rainbow Stage (Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago), Stage West Calgary (The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas) and Circuit Performing Arts Company (Vision). Jeffrey hopes you enjoy the show - especially the fact that this show is about Winnipeg.
Taras Luchak as Bronfman / McCready
Taras is a onetime member of the Rusalka Ukrainian dance ensemble and is a regular stage fixture in Ukrainian dance and choral productions. Taras awoke from a lengthy theatrical hibernation to appear in Danny Schur's first musical "The Bridge" in 2000. Going on "Strike!" with this impressive collection of cast and characters is a dream come true.
Tyson Wiebe as a Veteran / Special
Tyson is completely happy to be in "Strike! - The Musical" instead of working road construction for the summer. Tyson is currently enrolled at the University of Winnipeg. His past musical credits include Fiddler on The Roof, 42nd Street, Sound of Music, Alberta Highschool of Fine Arts and Tony & Tina’s Wedding. He has won numerous singing awards and has acted on stage and screen. Tyson hopes you love this spectacular local show.
"One wonders if Evita will impress as much..."
- Saskatoon Star Phoenix
"An improbably compelling piece of musical theatre"
- The Globe & Mail
"There's nothing small in mind, body or heart about Strike!"
- Edmonton Journal
"Strike! Has Important Message for Humanity"
- Winnipeg Free Press
"Strike! makes haters of musicals and history see the error of their ways"
- University of Saskatchewan Sheaf