Kenn McLeod has been hired as the new artistic director at the Souris Valley (SV) Theatre.
McLeod is a director, performer and educator with extensive experience in musical theatre and the performing arts. He has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Regina, and a master's of fine arts in directing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
He has directed numerous plays, and is working as a contracted lecturer at the University of Regina until May. He expects he should be able to balance his commitments to the university and the SV Theatre, since the most intensive work for the theatre will begin in May.
“It's a theatre where I have had the opportunity to witness a few productions in the past, and I thought it was a really excellent place for theatre to happen,” said McLeod. “I have had some colleagues that have worked there in the past, and everybody said very good things about the people running the theatre.”
He also heard great comments about the board's involvement in the theatre, and the quality of the plays that have been presented.
The last time he attended a play in Estevan was several years ago, when the theatre presented the Anne Murray tribute Canada's Songbird. He hasn't been to a play locally since the Souris River flooding nearly three years ago that damaged the theatre's buildings and grounds.
But McLeod said he has been tracking the theatre's recovery from the flood. Last year the SV Theatre presented its first productions since 2010.
He said he's a proud Saskatchewan artist, and he views the SV theatre's artistic director gig as a great opportunity.
“Knowing what the expectations of Souris Valley are – what the audience is expecting of the theatre – (is exciting),” he said.
McLeod replaces David Leyshon, who stepped down late last year. It was Leyshon who informed McLeod about the artistic director's job in Estevan.
Among McLeod's first tasks will be finalizing the theatre's schedule for 2014. It's expected that the plays will be revealed by the end of the month.