The mandate of Burnt Thicket Theatre is:

  • to enliven [restore life to] audiences through original performance,
  • via an ensemble of artists seeking to integrate spiritual and artistic practices in the creation of new theatre works,
  • leading artists and audiences to live more engaged lives for the common good of Canadian society.

Founded in 2007 our inaugural production HOCKEY DAD: A PLAY IN 3 PERIODS has seen nearly fifty performances touring Alberta: Calgary, Red Deer, Airdrie, Strathmore, Edson, Three Hills, And Cold Lake at the 2010 Alberta Winter Games.  Highlights of 2010 included touring to Vancouver, BC during the 2010 Winter Olympics and making our first foray into the world of the Fringe Festival.  HOCKEY DAD was well received at both the Winnipeg Fringe, where it was chosen the Sponsor Production, and at the Saskatoon Fringe.

In early 2011 Burnt Thicket Theatre produced the world premiere of SHE HAS A NAME by Andrew Kooman, in Calgary and Red Deer, through a partnership with raise their voice. Every show sold out in our three week run. After workshopping the play in January 2010, we were convinced that SHE HAS A NAME was a play that we needed to take to production. We are so proud of the team of artists and our supporters that joined us to create this significant play. In 2012 we toured SHE HAS A NAME across Canada, with performances in 13 cities from Halifax to Victoria.

When this page was first created it was commented that questions around what Burnt Thicket Theatre would become would best be answered as we set about creating and performing.  This has proved true.  At that time, the journey to this point could not have been anticipated.  We are very grateful for those who have supported us in our early steps and are excited to see what steps lie ahead as we continue to work towards being an ensemble of artists seeking to integrate spiritual and artistic practices in the creation of new theatre work.

The Burnt Thicket Theatre Team


James Popoff
Aristic Director

James is founding artistic director of Burnt Thicket Theatre. He recently completed a Western Canadian tour of Hockey Dad: A Play In 3 Periods (co-created with Stephen Waldschmidt). Other creation credits include Peddling Parables, Sackcloth, and the award winning script Inheritance. James holds a MFA from University of Calgary where he studied solo performance creation.


Alida Lowe
Producing Director

Alida Lowe, Producing Director of Burnt Thicket Theatre, is an artist who works across disciplines as a producer and manager, and has also trained as an actor, director, and musician.   Together with her husband, Colin, she is the co-founder and owner of Estuary Creative, which provides creative services and arts support to organizations in the Calgary area.  Prior to her work with Burnt Thicket Theatre, she worked on the 2009 Mayor’s Evening for Business and the Arts (Calgary Professional Arts Alliance & Paradox Productions); produced Waiting for Lefty, John Gabriel Borkman, and The Seagull (CalArts); spent two years as the Resident Producer of CalArts’ Coffeehouse Theater; was the production manager for the 2008 Canadian Badlands Passion Play; and worked with numerous community arts organizations as an actor, musician, and director.  Alida holds an MFA in Producing from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a BAR in Theatre Arts from Rocky Mountain College.


Stephen Waldschmidt
Artistic Associate

Stephen Waldschmidt works as an actor, director and designer. Acting credits include Queen Milli of Galt, The Road to Mecca, Christmas in Wales, Tent Meeting (Rosebud Theatre); Chickens, The Clearing (Pacific Theatre); and Jesus in The Canadian Badlands Passion Play from 2008-2012. Directing credits include She Has A Name, Hockey Dad: A Play In 3 Periods (Burnt Thicket Theatre) and Match (Pacific Theatre). Scenic design credits include May & Joe, Jake and the Kid, The Secret Garden, Damien (Rosebud Theatre); The Quarrel (Midnight Theatre Collective); and Grace (Pacific Theatre). Stephen holds degrees from Regent College and University of Calgary.

Burnt Thicket Theatre Board

Andy Wilson, Michael Heaney, Melanie Erickson, Joy Stalder