Co-Artistic Directors

Ben Stone

Co-Artistic Director/Co-Founder

Late in 1997, over coffee at The Great Taste on Spring Garden Road, Sandy Gribbin asked me if I wanted to do a production of Endgame. I was ecstatic. We…
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Late in 1997, over coffee at The Great Taste on Spring Garden Road, Sandy Gribbin asked me if I wanted to do a production of Endgame. I was ecstatic. We rehearsed in the studio apartment I shared with Jason Michael MacIsaac above the Trident Cafe on Argyle Street—across from Neptune Theatre. We ran the show for a week in the Turret Room of The Khyber Arts Centre. It was amazing. That is how Zuppa Theatre Co. was born.

Origins:
Born and Raised — Boutilier’s Point, Nova Scotia

Training/Education:
Ker Wells — Stilt-Walking, Physical Theatre (2001)
École Philippe Gaulier — Le Jeu, Bouffon, Characters, Clown (1998)
Dalhousie University — BA in Theatre/Acting (1997)

With Zuppa Theatre Co.:
Performer/Co-Creator — The Archive of Missing Things, Pop-Up Love Party, Uncle Oscar’s Experiment, The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions, Slowly I Turn: a parlor vaudeville in one act, Five Easy Steps (to the end of the world), Very Secret Ceremony, Poor Boy, Penny Dreadful, The Zuppa Circus Open Theatre Kitchen, Radium City, Between Wonder and Amusement Uncle Oscar was Silent, The Door in the Wall, Nosferatu, The UnnameableDuck Zuppa, The Sneetches, Nicholas Knock, Endgame

Director/Co-Creator — At This Hour, King Arthur (with Opera Nova Scotia), Tiny Vaudevilles: Two Short Plays by Anton Chekhov, Junk Zuppa

With Others:
Performer — Looking, Caught in the Net, Heroes (2011) Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre; Our Town (2008), Jerome (2008), The Odyssey (2007), Two Planks and a Passion Theatre; Hamlet, Saint John Theatre Company; The Comedy of Errors (1996), Hamlet (1996), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1995, 1996), Twelfth Night (1994), Shakespeare by the Sea.

Director — Animal Farm (2013), Neptune Theatre School; Peter Pan (2012), Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre.

Production/Administration/Teaching:
Armbrae Academy — Director of Drama (2001-Present)
Zuppa Theatre Co. — Co-Artistic Director (1998-Present)
Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival — Coordinator, Instructor (1998-2010)

Awards:
The Mayor’s Award for Emerging Artist (2006)

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Susan Leblanc

Co-Artistic Director

Sue has a poodle called Danny Nelson, which was once a character name from Five Easy Steps (to the end of the world). She also happens to be the MLA…
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Sue has a poodle called Danny Nelson, which was once a character name from Five Easy Steps (to the end of the world). She also happens to be the MLA for Dartmouth North and is, therefore, on extended leave from her Zuppa duties. She is missed and frequently consulted.

Origins:
Born — Winnipeg, Manitoba
Raised — Prospect Bay, Nova Scotia

Training/Education:
École Philippe Gaulier — Characters, Bouffon, Clown, Melodrama (2004)
Ker Wells, Brad Krumholz, Tannis Kowlchuk — Stilt-Walking, Physical Theatre (2001)
University of King’s College — BA (Honours) in Theatre/Acting (1998)

With Zuppa Theatre Co.:
Performer/Co-Creator — Pop-Up Love Party, Tiny Vaudevilles: Two Short Plays by Anton Chekhov, Uncle Oscar’s Experiment, The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions, The Debacle, Five Easy Steps (to the end of the world), Very Secret Ceremony, Poor Boy, Penny Dreadful, The Zuppa Circus Open Theatre Kitchen, Radium City, Between Wonder and Amusement Uncle Oscar was Silent, The Door in the Wall, Nosferatu, Junk Zuppa, Duck Zuppa.

With Others:
Performer — The Little Lame Prince, Mermaid Theatre; Cypher, Halo, The Odyssey, Our Town, Jerome, Two Planks and a Passion; Flying on Her Own, Live Bait Theatre; Atlantic Theatre Festival (1998).

Production/Administration/Teaching:
Armbrae Academy — Instructor (2004-Present)
Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival — Coordinator, Instructor (2001-2010)
Dalhousie University — Teaching Assistant (1999-2005)
Dalhousie University — Instructor (2002-2003)
Shakespeare by the Sea — Assistant to the Producer (1996)
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Nova Scotia — Fundraising chairperson (1994-1995)

Volunteering:
Theatre Nova Scotia — Board Member (2006-2012)

Awards:
Emerging Artist Award – 2006 Merrit Awards
Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role (Sam – Five Easy Steps (to the end of the world)) – 2011 Merritt Awards
Finalist in the 2011 NS Masterworks Award for The Debacle (with Ann-Marie Kerr)

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Alex McLean

Co-Artistic Director

In 1999 Ben and Sandy invited Alex to direct and help adapt Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu for the stage. It was a Hali-hit and Alex has never gone away. Origins: Born: Montreal, Quebec;…
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In 1999 Ben and Sandy invited Alex to direct and help adapt Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu for the stage. It was a Hali-hit and Alex has never gone away.

Origins: Born: Montreal, Quebec; Raised: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Training/Education: University of Toronto – MA in Study of Drama. Primus Theatre – 3 month training school – Winnipeg, Manitoba Double Edge Theatre – 4 month internship – Ashfield/Boston, Mass. University of King’s College – BA (Hons) in Theatre and Contemporary Studies

With Zuppa: Director/Co-creator: The Archive of Missing Things, Pop-Up Love Party, The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions (How Small, How Far Away), Five Easy Steps (to the End of the World), Very Secret Ceremony, Poor Boy, Penny Dreadful, The Zuppa Circus Open Theatre Kitchen, Uncle Oscar’s Experiment, Radium City, The Door in the Wall, Duck Zuppa, Nosferatu.

Other Theatre Experience: Director Mother Courage, Neptune Pre-Professional Training Program. Artistic Associate and Actor: The Odyssey, Our Town and Jerome, Two Planks and a Passion Theatre. Director: Lilly, Alta by Ken Dyba, Neptune Theatre Pre-Professional Training Program. Director: A Dream Play by August Strindberg, adapted by Caryl Churchill, DalTheatre Productions. Director/Workshop Leader: Moving Stage Lab, Nordic Theatre Days (with International Theatre Institute), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2006. Core member of Number Eleven Theatre from 1998-2004 (co-creator of and performer in Icaria and The Prague Visitor), Toronto.

Production/Administration/Teaching: Rising Tide Theatre Cultural Delegate – 1999 Canada Games; Dalhousie University – Teaching Assistant – Introduction to Dramatic Literature; Film StudiesNeptune Theatre School – Adult Acting Classes Awards: Emerging Artist, 2005 Merrit Awards

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