Founders of ECT

Jason Cadieux – Founding Artistic Producer

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Hard Ways written and performed by Jason Cadieux. 2010/2011 Season.

Jason Cadieux is a Genie ­nominated actor, playwright and co-­founder of the Essential Collective Theatre.His first play, Scenic View (co­-written by Stephanie Jones) originally premiered at Toronto’s Helan Gardner Playhouse in 1998 and was recently remounted as part of ECT’s 2013/14 Season. Jason’s second play, 17.5, was developed in collaboration with director/dramaturge Sarah Garton Stanley.  The show premiered at SummerWorks in 2005 and then toured to St. Catharines and eventually London, England’s Etcetera Theatre. R. Haliburton of Time Out Magazine (UK) gave the production four stars and called it “a quietly remarkable piece of chamber theatre.” Jason followed up the success of 17.5 with Hard Ways. The play was first produced at the 2007 SummerWorks Festival and was singled out for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance, and Outstanding Direction in Now Magazine’s Best of the Fest – J. Kaplan & G. Sumi. The production was invited to participate in Great Canadian Theatre’s inaugural Undercurrents Festival where it was an audience favourite and critical success. P. Langston of the Ottawa Citizen called Hard Ways “a rich and fascinating piece of work.” In 2011, both plays were remounted as a double bill (directed by Sarah G. Stanley) and toured to venues across southern Ontario. Jason recently received theatre creators reserve funding from Suitcase In Point Theatre and Carousel Players to continue the development of his newest play Somnambulists In Love.

Stephanie Jones – Founding Artistic Director

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Scenic View written and performed by Jason Cadieux & Stephanie Jones. 2013/2014 Season.

Stephanie Jones is an actor, playwright, theatre educator and the founding Artistic Director of Essential Collective Theatre. Stephanie began her training at Humber College’s Theatre program and later at Brock University’s Dramatic Arts Program. Stephanie has also studied with renowned acting instructor Uta Hagen, and later on, the Meisner technique with prominent Canadian Playhouse graduate, Jacqueline McClintock. In 2011, Stephanie was awarded an OAC Chalmers Professional Development grant to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Ron Stetson. She has apprenticed both Mr. Stetson and Richard Pinter in Meisner instruction. Stephanie has performed to critical acclaim on stages across Canada and the UK. She originated the role of Daisy in ECT’s revival of renowned Canadian Playwright Carol Bolt’s classic One Night Stand/Una Aventura; “Jones wears her character like a skintight, seamless dress – the joins cannot be seen. It is an understated performance that fits the laid back role perfectly.” The Stage, May 2002 Jeremy Austin (UK). Stephanie also originated the character of Erin Chase in the one woman show, 17.5 by Jason Cadieux, and toured the play across Canada and to the UK. She’s Mine by Stephanie Jones was staged by ECT in 2011 and to-date is one of the company’s most successful productions. She has also adapted Luck, a Giller-prize nominated novel by Joan Barfoot, and most recently she received a Theatre Creators Reserve grant to develop her original play The Pit and the Pony.  Stephanie has taught performance at Niagara College and been a long time educator with St. Catharines based theatre company Carousel Players, an award winning professional theatre for young audiences established in 1972. As an educator with Carousel’s Artist in the Classroom program, Stephanie has delivered creative arts workshops to over 2000 students across Niagara. With ECT, Stephanie has established the Niagara Region’s first Meisner training program.
In 2010, Stephanie was presented with the Niagara YWCA’s Women of Distinction award in the Arts & Culture. Most recently Stephanie was presented with the City of St. Catharines Established Artist Award and continues to create, produce and promote modern theatrical work.