Who We Are, What We Do
Grindstone Theatre is a non-profit Edmonton based theatre company established in 2011 by Founder and Artistic Director Byron Martin. Grindstone operates shows, classes and administration out of the Basement Theatre in Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Old Strathcona.
Grindstone is most well known for their improvised musical The 11 O’clock Number! but also produces main stage plays and musicals, produces Blackout Sketch Comedy, provides corporate entertainment, runs public classes, offers school workshops, school performances and free monthly events such as The Open Improv Jam and the Social Scene.
We believe that theatre can change lives for the better; for those who participate in the performing arts, for our audiences and for our community. Join us in making our community a better place through the arts.
Grindstone Theatre is committed to creating professional opportunities to local emerging artists through high quality theatrical productions.
Through high school Anand was lucky enough to do professional plays with the Citadel, as well as several Crime Stoppers and instructional videos. After high school Anand decided to pursue a degree in Business over Fine Arts, and graduated with a degree in International Business (specializing in Marketing and governance) in 2009. Having worked for Fringe Theatre Adventures and The Urban Development Institute, Anand is excited that he can combine his passions for the arts and business as the President of the Board for Grindstone Theatre. Anand is now the Executive Director of NAIOP Edmonton an international association for commercial developers. There he leads the creation of education programs in commercial real estate, membership, sponsorship and over a dozen large networking and other events a year. In addition he leads the organization’s advocacy agenda, connecting developers with political and administrative leaders in the Edmonton Region. Through these roles Anand has gained the connections to thought leaders in Edmonton and a deep understanding of building economics and real estate. He is delighted to be working with the dedicated and talented group of people at Grindstone Theatre.
Founder, Artistic Director, Improv Ensemble
Byron is the Founder and Artistic Director of Grindstone Theatre. Directing credits include Urinetown The Musical, Here Lies Henry, The Adventures of Chucky and Reggie and The 11 O'clock Number. Byron was nominated for Outstanding Artistic Director at the 2015 Mayors Celebration for the Arts. Byron is a Sterling Award nominated Actor and has worked for The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton Actors Theatre, The Plain Janes, Alberta Opera, The Capitol Theatre, Trunk Theatre, Rapid Fire Theatre, Theatre YES, Poiema/Theatre Public, The Citizens Theatre (UK) and The National Theatre of Scotland (UK). He has taught improv and acting for Concrete Theatre, Trickster Theatre, St. Albert Children's Theatre and The R.C.S Glasgow. He is a graduate of the MacEwan Theatre Arts program and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (MA Musical Theatre Performance). In his spare time Byron works as a professional magician.
After graduating with a business degree from the University of Alberta, Colin took a position with Sticks & Stones Communications, a boutique advertising agency in Edmonton. Ditching the suit for a plaid buttonup, Colin began producing, directing, and editing content for television, theatrical and online release. In only three years, Colin led his video department to win awards nationally, landing them in Strategy Magazine’s Top 50 Creative Agencies in Canada. As a member of the Grindstone Board, Colin has enjoyed the opportunity to share his insights and experience from the advertising industry. He has also employed Grindstone actors in professional roles with some of the region’s largest clients. More recently, Colin has taken a part time teaching position at McEwan University in the Design Studies Program. In addition to his day job in advertising, he will be teaching DESN260 Intro to Video Production, as well as working alongside faculty to develop a more robust video department. Sitting in the middle ground between art and industry, Colin has worked with some of the largest organizations and sharpest creatives in the province. He is excited about the direction Grindstone is heading and is enthusiastic to be a part of the journey.
Davina has been involved in the arts in Edmonton for a number of years. She’s been part of the management structures of the Varscona Theatre, Teatro la Quindicina, Die-Nasty The Live Improvised Soap-Opera for over 20 years, serving in wide variety from arranging casinos, to hosting fundraisers to processing subscriptions. She’s also well known as an actress and improvisers and has been honoured with three Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards. She’s served on a number of arts boards and committees.
Don MacCannell became involved in Edmonton's theatre community after appearing in a charitable production of The Matchmaker in 2014. He joined the Board of Grindstone Theatre in 2015. There, he contributes his skills as a trial lawyer, as well as an educational background that includes degrees in Commerce and English Literature. His own artistic projects have given him an expanding network of friends and contacts in other theatre companies. His growing involvement in the arts has been tremendously rewarding, and he hopes in turn that his practical experience can be an asset to Grindstone and the artistic community as a whole.
Joses is a multi-talented video and film creator with a wealth of experience for his young age. From stop-animation, to music video, reality TV to film, his creative vision is evident through a wide range of outlets. In television his work includes the docu/reality series “A Priest, A Monk and a Rabbi…” (Production Manager/AD/Director - CTS, CBC Doc - 13x1 Hrs), the interview series “Close-Up with Neil Grahn” (Producer - CTS 26x1Hrs), the sewing series “Linda MacPhee’s Workshop” (Producer/Floor Director – 26x30Mins), and the sitcom “Mixed Blessings” (Music Supervisor – APTN). He has worked as a Producer, Director, Writer and Editor on various corporate and commercial projects of differing lengths and scope for clients including Mammoet, ASTech, The University of Alberta, Parkland Wellness, Supreme Group, WCB, Reynolds Alberta Museum, City Ford, West Edmonton Mall, CISC, and Salute to Excellence. In addition, he has lead and managed a number of projects for corporate clients, including Alberta Education, Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium, The Alberta Library, Royal Glenora Club, Canadian Linen, and ALIS.
Board Member (Honorary)
Samson is an Edmontonian born and raised. Samson has decades of experience in the service industry, from washing dishes to opening restaurants. He has also performed in at least one fringe play, has acting credits in at least one feature film, and has Co-hosted at least one comedy podcast.
URINETOWN THE MUSICAL
Directed by Byron Martin
Musical Director Vicky Berg
Written by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman
Stage Manager Erin Hayes
Designed by Skylar Desjardins and Liza Xenzova
Choreography by Byron Martin
Featuring: Bob Rasko, Natalie Czar, Ethan Snowden, Carol Chu, Rachel Matichuk, Jake Tkaczyk, Reed McColm, Tom Edwards, Kristen Finlay, Malachi Wilkins, Victoria Skorobohach, Marc Ludwig, Annette Loiselle, Paul Morgan Donald
Musicians: Thom Bennett, Dan Davis, Josh Mchan
Poster Design by Kelsi Kalmer
Asst. Sewer Liz Grierson
Henry V by William Shakespeare was produced in January 2016 in partnership with The Malachites Theatre Company.
DIRECTOR – Benjamin Blyth
MUSIC DIRECTOR – Danielle LaRose
FIGHT DIRECTOR – Samantha Jeffery
PRESS OFFICER – Paula Blanco Longa
STAGE MANAGER – Kasia Brytan
SET & LIGHTING DESIGN – Sarah Karpyshin
HENRY V – Brynn Lindsey
EXETER – Evan Hall
WESTMORLAND/GOWER – Samantha Jeffery
GLOUCESTER – Phillip Hackborn
FLUELLEN – Brann Munro
CANTERBURY/BURGUNDY – Elizabeth Grierson
DAUPHIN – Miranda Allen
MONTJOY – Kristian Stec
KING OF FRANCE– John Grierson
CONSTABLE – Byron Martin
PISTOL – Benjamin Blyth
BARDOLPH/WILLIAMS – Alyson Dicey
NYM/ALICE – Caitlin Goruk
HOSTESS/KATHARINE – Danielle LaRose*
Drinking In America
By Eric Bogosian
Edmonton Fringe 2015
Directed by Brooklyn Ritchie
Featuring Neil Kuefler
SM Candice Stollery
Grindstone presented The Adventures of Chucky and Reggie – Jr. dicks at the 2016 Edmonton Fringe Festival. An improvised detective duo featuring Rachel Kent and Mhairi Munro as Clarkdale’s finest 12 year old detectives; Chucky and Reggie.
Grindstone presented it’s second scripted offering at the 2015 Edmonton Fringe; Here Lies Henry by Daniel MacIvor, featuring Dallas Friesen, Directed by Byron Martin. This captivating solo show follows the life of Henry Tom Gallery the 2nd as he recounts his life in an absurd sort of poetic narrative. The show performed to sold out crowds and received glowing reviews.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) – 2015
Written by: Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield
Director: Brooklyn Ritchie
Cast: Byron Trevor Martin, Neil Kuefler, and Mary Hulbert
Production designer: Liza Xenzova
Stage manager: Candice Stollery
In fall of 2014, Grindstone founded Blackout, a sketch comedy troupe that focuses on writing sketch through improvised scenes. Blackout debuted their first show at Edmonton’s NextFest 2015 and then to a nearly sold out run for The Edmonton Fringe Festival 2015 and 2016!
In April 2013, Grindstone mounted its first full scale musical production, HONK! The Ugly Duckling Musical, written by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles which is based on the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale of The Ugly Duckling. This uplifting musical garnered great reviews and heartfelt response from our audiences. Musical Director, Erik Mortimer, was nominated for a Sterling Award for Best Musical Direction.
The 11 O’Clock Number! The Improvised Musical, debuted January 11th, 2012, and now runs at the Basement Theatre in Holy Trinity Anglican Church. The show has toured theatre festivals across North America garnering outstanding reviews and has completed over 300 performances.