Staff & Faculty
TRACY ROSS – Founding Artistic Director
Tracy Ross is an actor, writer, director, producer, choreographer, and educator. Known for her hard work, passion, and contagious enthusiasm; Tracy excels at creating an environment where diverse talent can thrive and grow. Artistic Director at Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre, her experimental style is a key ingredient to the company’s success. Tracy started Bumbershoot in 2009. Since starting the non-profit theatre company, she has transformed a small theatre group into an award-winning team. Now producing 7 main stage performances each year for children and families, inspiring youth through theatre workshops and classes, a Young Performers program, and partnership with local schools, Tracy continues to find innovative ways to bring theatre magic to kids. Continuously inspired by the youth that she works with, Tracy strives to cultivate local talent, to empower kids to learn and grow, and to connect Bumbershoot with the Kelowna community.
DAWN EWEN – Interim Artistic Director
Dawn has worked professionally as a director, choreographer and performer for the last 15yrs in Vancouver BC. Select credits include: Closer Than Ever, The Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof & The Sound of Music – Gateway Theatre, The Wiz – FCP (CTC Award); Anything Goes – Metro Theatre (CTC Award & Ovation Nominee) and 42nd Street – Metro Theatre (Ovation Award). She trained at the Canadian School of Ballet, is a graduate of The Canadian College of Performing Arts, and has worked with Enpoint ENT in Japan. Dawn was a company member & first soloist with Ballet West in Oban, Scotland before moving back to Canada. She brings 20yrs experience teaching dance & musical theatre along with 8yrs in Arts Administration. Most recently as the Artistic Associate for Gateway Theatre for 3yrs. Dawn is a five-time nominee for the Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Award in arts.
RYAN OAKE – Artistic Associate
Ryan is a theatre artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia who specializes in all things off the stage. This includes: Prop building (his primary focus), scenic paint, set construction and design, lighting, sound, and stage management. Ryan received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stagecraft from Memorial University, Grenfell Campus in 2015 and has been working in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for a variety of theatre companies until moving to Kelowna this year. He is thrilled to join the Bumbershoot Theatre team and looks forward to creating some incredible theatre. Notable productions include: In the Next Room, Proud, Mere Mortals, Marion Bridge and Mary’s Wedding.
Ryan is thrilled to bring his passion for theatre, teaching and directing to Bumbershoot Theatre this summer! Ryan is a Teaching Artist who has worked with students from ages 6- 60 for over 18 years, having worked in Vancouver previous to moving to the Okanagan in 1997. Completing his Masters in Theatre Studies and Design from SOU in Ashland, Oregon in July 2017, Ryan has served on the Association of BC Drama Educators Executive, composed the SD#23 Musical Theatre curriculum and designed the new theatre at Okanagan Mission Secondary School where he is the Director of the OKM Theatre program, including the MissionMainStage and Triple Threat Theatre Companies. Ryan resurrected the Camp OC Acting Program which grew from 1 camp to 3 from 2012-2016 and is excited to bring his theatre camp experience to Bumbershoot! Having directed over 200 plays with young people and more than 15 major musicals, Ryan has also previously coached a provincial championship Canadian Improv Games team, co-written multiple plays and musicals with youth and been featured on stage locally in A Christmas Story, Oliver! Shrek! The Musical, Fiddler on the Roof and Nancy Drew at Bumbershoot Theatre! Recent directing credits include Anything Goes! Peter and the Starcatcher, The Pajama Game, The Importance of Being Earnest and Romeo and Juliet. When not on stage, catch Ryan playing basketball or guitar, single track mountain biking, dragon boating and hiking with his 3 amazing kids, Rowyn, Cassius and Scarlett.
Alyssa is thrilled to be given the opportunity to teach at Bumbershoot Theatre! After recently returning to local theatre, she’s rediscovered her passion for acting, singing, and the arts. Her last two productions with Bumbershoot, Railway Children and New Canadian Kid have taught her that theatre is one of the most versatile, fun, and creative ways to exercise your brain! From teaching classes to the next generation of stars or auditioning for upcoming seasons, she’s fortunate to be involved with Kelowna’s vibrant theatre community.
Sarah is very happy to be teaching drama, music and movement to the young thespians at Bumbershoot Theatre! Following years of acting, singing and dancing training while growing up in Regina, SK, Sarah ventured to Oakville, ON, where she completed her studies in Musical Theatre Performance at Sheridan College. She then took her talents on the road and traveled for a number of years as a self-employed performer in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Sarah subsequently completed degrees in Business Administration at the University of Regina and Law at Dalhousie University, but she continues to make theatre an integral part of her life, teaching students aged 2 to 6 and performing in mainstage productions at Bumbershoot.
Brent Sharpe hails from the island of Newfoundland and is an accomplished actor, director, writer, and teacher who received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Acadia University. He also completed his Bachelor of Education from Memorial University, and has been actively teaching Drama in the public school system for nine years. Brent has been involved with theatre and theatre education for over fifteen years and has been fortunate enough to work with both professional and youth theatre groups all over the world. He has worked for the Centre for Children’s Theatre Development in Kosovo and with the Scottish Youth Theatre. He was the head instructor for several theatre schools in Nova Scotia and Labrador, and also has an extensive acting resume, including a production of Twelfth Night performed entirely in Albanian! Brent got his start in the arts as an improvisation actor, and improv still holds a special place in his heart.
Mark Wells is an accomplished singer and Viewpoints instructor. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Université de Montréal, and currently lives in Kelowna, BC, where he is working toward a Bachelor of Education at UBC Okanagan. Mark has performed in professional and emerging artist programs across Canada, including the Banff Centre for the Arts “Opera as Theatre” program. Most recently he took part in Opera Kelowna’s 2013 Summer Opera Program, representing the company in various local events and performances.
Neal grew up and went to university in Victoria, BC and moved to Kelowna in 1980 to teach theatre at KLO Secondary and at Kelowna Secondary School. In 1990, he co-founded Viva Musica and has directed the company’s major productions from operas to musical theatre including La Boheme, Showboat, and Miss Saigon. Following his direction of the Okanagan Symphony production of Amahi and the Night Visitors, and the City of Kelowna’s A Christmas Carol, Neal was commissioned by the City of Kelowna to direct the city’s centennial play, Forging Paradise. Most recently, Neal designed Bumbershoot Theatre’s A Secret Garden and directed Big Apple’s The Rocky Horror Show. Neal has received a number of awards including the provincial Drama Educator of the Year, Kelowna’s Honour in the Arts, the Angel Award for Arts Leadership and the Mainstage ’97 Best Set Award for New Company’s Oedipus Rex.
A professional singer and actor, Colin loves to share his knowledge of the arts with others. In addition to being a teacher with School District 23, Colin has taught at private arts programs, theatre companies and in post secondary programs. Colin has a Theatre Arts Diploma, a Bachelor of Music Degree, a Bachelor of Education and a Masters Degree in Theatre. In addition, Colin enjoys furthering his studies at programs such as The Manitoulin conservatory and Canada’s National voice intensive.