Lesley Ballantyne 

Lesley celebrates over forty years in the Canadian entertainment business. Her peripatetic career has taken her across Canada, parts of the US, and as far south as the Bahamas. Lesley is a Dora Mavor Moore Award winner and a Jessie Richardson Award nominee.

Over the years her talents have allowed her to work as a performer, director, choreographer, producer, teacher, and arts administrator. Lesley holds a certificate in Project Management to  enhance her work as a Producer and Arts Administrator.

Lesley is also a founding partner of Well Seasoned Productions 

Well Seasoned Productions - Where age is just a number ...a musical theatre number!

Well Seasoned Productions is an entertainment production company. We create works focused on the joys, challenges, and celebration of life 50 and better. Come Celebrate With Us!

ARTS ADMINISTRATION:

Project Manager/Stage Manager for the 2014 & 16 Siminovitch Prize, Hart House Theatre, Toronto. 

Co-Producer, World AIDS Day Concert 2012-16

Co-Producer, Confessions of an Operatic Mute

(see Past Efforts for more details on above credits)

Artistic Director & General Manager, Interplay School of Dance, Toronto ON.  Responsibilities included: financial operations and reports, policies and standards, scheduling, staffing, scholarship and bursary applications, producing and stage managing student performances at Hart House Theatre (IATSE) and Bishop Strachan Theatre, newsletters, advertising, parent communications.

Highlights: Produced and directed a Gala Performance and Reception at Casa Loma to showcase the Youth Ensemble with guest artists Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington. Produced a cultural exchange tour with the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy, Alaska, for the Youth Ensemble and return visit for ACBA to Hart House Theatre in Toronto. Doubled student enrollment, increased profile of school, eliminated yearly operating deficit.

Lesley is also a past Artistic Director of the Muskoka Festival Theatre (Gravenhurst, Port Carling, Huntsville ON) Responsibilities included: choosing season (eight productions) and four new Canadian works for annual Writers' Colony; hiring artistic staff, season budgets, grant and foundation applications, casting, hiring of staff (with General Manager), scheduling. Directing and choreographing several shows per season plus organize theatrical fundraising events, monthly newspaper column in local paper. Highlights: Re-opening of Gravenhurst Opera House with Maureen Forrester in INTERPRETATIONS OF A LIFE, and a Gala Fundraiser at New Yorker Theatre, Toronto, Ont.

DIRECTION & CHOREOGRAPHY:

While at the Muskoka Festival Theatre she directed and choreographed many of the Festival’s main-stage and touring productions. As both a director and choreographer she has worked on numerous original Canadian musicals. She is especially proud of ON TAP, which she co-produced and performed in Toronto and Vancouver. ON TAP received nominations for best choreography in both cities and a Dora Mavor Moore Award in Toronto for Outstanding New Musical.

Additional directing and choreography credits include:

"Put Up Your Hand" - Norm Reynolds writer/performer, Red Sandcastle Theatre, 2014

"Brundibar" - Kerry Stratton, Toronto Concert Orchestra, 2014

"Rose Marie" - Kerry Stratton Conductor, John Basset Theatre     2010                                             

"Evelyn Hart and Friends" - National Arts Centre, 2004    (Evelyn Hart, Rex Harrington, and Ann Mortifee with the National Arts Centre Orchestra),                            

"A Celebration of Dance" -in honour of Dr. Arnold Spohr, Meadowvale Theatre, 2001    

Plus: "Nunsense I & II", "Broadway: The Music of the Night",   "The Dreamland","Forever...For Now", "The Shadow Stealer", "Hollywood Reels", "The Princess and the Handmaiden",  "The Apple Tree."

Selected Choregography credits:

"Tis the Season", "Home for the Holidays","Made in Canada", "Art Meets Havoc", "Sweet Marie"  for Smile Theatre 2013-2016

"A Century in Dance", "3 X 11 in Rhythm", "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", "18 Wheels", "Classical Cabaret", "A Fairy's Tale", "My Funny Valentine", "Girls Akimbo", plus numerous student productions.

Over the past thirty years she has been privileged to teach at George Brown College - Dance Dept., Ryerson - Canadian College of Dance, Canadian Children's Dance Theatre, Etobicoke School of the Arts, York University, Humber College, Ontario School of Ballet, Actus Dance Institute, Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and Interplay in Toronto; The Dancers’ Studio, Mississauga.

Briane Nasimok – selected theatre and production credits Smile Theatre – President of the Board and currently developing two music based theatrical shows. The company tours hour long professional productions into facilities for the elderly.

“Confessions of an Operatic Mute”, writer, performer, solo show featured at the SoulOTheate Festival May 2013 and the Totnes Solo Festival July 2013. Chosen for the 2013 Toronto and Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.

The 2013- 2016 Siminovitch Prize – Writer/Producer of the stage presentation honouring this year’s recipient.

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards, writer for four years of the annual celebration of Toronto Theatre.

Canada Walk of Fame Festival, “Comedy Night in Canada”, producer of Gala at Massey Hall, October 2011.

2011 St. Michael’s Hospital Angel Ball, talent co-ordination, stage management and speech writing for entertainment fundraiser.

Santa Claus Parade, 2006-2008, Global, co-writer of live parade coverage.

Buffalo Bills 2009 Tailgate party, Toronto. Created written material for hosts of the outdoor event.

NHL All-Star Weekend 1992-2009, various cities. Script supervisor for the Practice, Skills Competition and Game Day events.

Canada Walk of Fame 2007-2008, CTV, co-writer of live to tape ceremonies, special material for Eugene Levy and Kurt Browning.

Grafton Street Dinner Theatre, Artistic director, writer, director – created an inter-active style of dinner theatre which has been running in Halifax for 20 years. Twenty shows written and directed at Grafton Street, "The Brothers Two", "The Charlottetown Hotel", "McSweenys".

“Namely Murder”, co-writer/co-director, interactive murder mystery, Charlottetown Festival “Fact Check”, director of Toronto Fringe Festival comedy, written by Michael Posner, invited to Pick of the Fringe 2011.

“It’s Always Something”, Gilda’s Club Benefit 2002-2014, Producer/writer of the annual gala variety show to raise money for an agency that supports families of people with cancer

Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival, 2005-2013, London, Regina, Saint John. Toronto, Ottawa, Producer/writer of all the live events.

Special Olympic Festival Breakfast and Gala, 1994-2013, Creative Consultant, writer,. Writer for hosts and special material for guest athletes; writer TSN Special Olympics Specials on TSN 2008, 2009 and one hour documentary “brave Along the Way” 2011..

World AIDS Day Concert 2009, 2012-2015, co-producer of an annual fund-raising musical event in support of Casey House at the Metropolitan Toronto United Church.

Theatresports Toronto, 1992-1998. Director, Performer, Coach for team improvisation competition. Coached the Kids in the Hall and started the Monday night showcases at the Rivoli.

Yuk-Yuks, 1984-1994, Featured Performer, host, manager. Performed stand-up comedy across the country as well as appearing on A&E’s “Evening at the Improv”; manager for the Bay Street Comedy Club.

NBA Dunk Street 2000-2005, YTV Producer/writer – created in collaboration with the NBA, weekly magazine show, produced two segments per show plus wrap-arounds, yearly, from January to June.

NHL Awards, contributing writer, 1996 Awards show. NHL Hall of Fame Induction, writer for the 1999 ceremonies which included the Wayne Gretzky induction.

Junior Jays Television Show, 1993-1997, YTV Writer/co-producer – series of specials focusing on the Toronto Blue Jays and youth-oriented segments.

“Loving Plato”, director, Summerworks Factory Theatre Mainstage, 2005, Halifax Fringe.

“A Fine Pack of Bobbies” various roles, Neptune Theatre, Halifax Fringe Festival Battle of the Brains, 2003-2005, creator, writer, interactive live trivia event, broadcast on CTV

“Wine, Women and War”, Comus Music Theatre, 1981, Book and co-writer lyrics, in collaboration with Jim Betts

Publiciations:

Making Out in Toronto, 1990, light-hearted guide to the city published by NC Press. Plusarticles published in the Toronto Star, The Canadian Magazine, The Toronto Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Opera Canada.