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Meet the Cast  I  Sault Ste. Marie  I  In Your Eyes Projects 

Meet the Cast of IF WE WERE BIRDS

Meet the extremely dedicated, courageous and talented performers in IYE's production of Erin Shields' IF WE WERE BIRDS.

Tova Arbus, Theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, IF WE WERE BIRDS

Tova Arbus


Tova has participated in over 30 productions as a director, producer, stage manager, technician, stagehand, and award-winning actor. In addition to these credits, she has successfully served as a member of the board of directors with the QUONTA Drama Festival and has had opportunities to work and learn with 17 different theatre companies around the province. Her most recent achievement was spending 3 years as a founding member and artistic director of the Fringe North International Theatre Festival. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Tova remains an active theatre practitioner and voice within the Northern artistic and theatre communities. She is committed to the vibrant creativity that is developed when working with various performers, practitioners and productions, and to the challenge and enjoyment of reaching diverse audiences through her work.


Anna Gartshore

Anna Gartshore

Anna has worked professionally as an actress, director, movement & character coach, choreographer and teacher in Canada, France, Great Britain and the USA. She is a graduate of the full-time performance program at Ecole Philippe Gaulier International School of Theatre (in London, UK & Paris, France). Anna has combined her background in theatre with her passion for the arts and social change through her full-time private practice where she specializes in experiential, psychodynamic psychotherapies for complex trauma, eating disorders, anxieties, life crises, grief, well let’s just say -human suffering! She holds a Master of Social Work from Laurier University (clinical practice with individuals, families, groups) and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies from Trent University (image, sound, performance). Healing from sexual trauma is possible and it is an immense honour to work with all the courageous individuals who face their healing work as they reclaim their voices, their identities and restore meaning to their lives. May the creative and healing arts continue to be funded and may the artists of our world continue to be inspired to make beauty, bring joy, touch deeply and stir the hearts of humankind towards compassion, dignity and wakefulness.


Dan Nystedt

Dan Nystedt has spent most of his life working as a filmmaker. He has directed 3 feature length documentaries, as well as dozens of music videos and hundreds of hours of corporate video. Dan has worked on over 25 feature films, specializing in the roles of field producer and cinematography. His work has taken him around the world, in particular, Dan’s time spent filming The Pathway in India was an unsettling introduction to the caste system. The powerful truths and unwavering courage of “If We Were Birds” were the catalysts for Dan to agree to take on this role...his stage debut!

Dan Nystedt, theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, IF WE WERE BIRDS


Bon Cooper, theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, IF WE WERE BIRDS

Bob Cooper

Bob, an Adjunct Professor of English at Algoma, has been “doing” theatre since 1958, and has taught a variety of theatre courses at Algoma, LSSU, and Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea.  His credits include work in documentaries, full-length movies, stage, and publications. He is currently the Staff Advisor for Theatre Algoma.  He has directed stage and music for the Sault Musical Comedy Guild and has worked on-stage and back-stage with the Sault Theatre Workshop and almost all other groups in the Soo.


Carol McLean

Carol has loved her involvement with live theatre since 1996 when she stepped into Sault Youth Theatre. Since then she has worked with most theatre companies in SSM and has been involved in over 60 productions. From Shakespeare with SYT's Dream on the Island to original works from Theatre in Motion at more than one Fringe Festival, and everything in between, the love affair continues. Carol dearly thanks Joe and Loretta for this opportunity to be part of In Your Eyes Projects.  This is a wonderful cast and crew to work with.

Carol McLean, theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, IF WE WERE BIRDS

Dwindling One

Maria Kathava, Theatre In Sault Ste. Marie, IF WE WERE BIRDS

Maria Kathava

Throughout Maria’s life, she has been a huge fan of community theatre in Sault Ste. Marie.  But it was when she saw, The Wizard Of Oz and watching friends on stage that she said to herself, “I can do that!” Then came along, White Christmas and she auditioned, and Timothy Murphy saw something special and cast her and she has been hooked ever since. Since then Maria has participated and enjoyed performing in several musical comedies. The production of If We Were Birds has taken her far outside her comfort zone. It has been a powerful, intense yet liberating experience. If We Were Birds has been a life changing experience for her and she feels blessed to be a part of this cast and crew! 

Pious One

Heather Janser

Heather was born on St. Joseph’s Island, Ontario. They have received theatre training at Brock University in the General Dramatic Arts program. Some of Heather’s recent works include Antigone (Brock University), and A History of Everything (Overhead Theatre). Heather is interested in theatre that pushes the boundaries of representation and educates audiences as well as inspires them. Heather has written theatre reviews and previews for Brock University and enjoys writing short fiction. Heather would like to thank her family and partner for always being there and for all their love and support.

Heather Janser

Bleeding One

Krissy Strickland, theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, IF WE WERE BIRDS

Krissy Strickland

Krissy is delighted to be performing in her first In Your Eyes Projects’ production.  Her involvement has taken her on a provocative journey that has proven to be both an enriching and meaningful adventure. For many years, she has been active in theatre in front and behind the curtain contributing to the success of many productions by the Musical Comedy Guild, Sault Symphony and of course, Soo Sings for Kids.

Pregnant One

Ava Nori

Ava Nori is a 16 year old girl from Toronto, Ontario. She attends Korah Collegiate & is a lead singer & instrumentalist in Mustang Sally. She began acting at the age of 8 & has been in many productions since, including A Mid Summer Nights Dream, A Christmas Carol & The Jungle Book. She can’t wait to see where her performance career takes her. Ava would like to thank her parents for being her biggest supporters in all of her endeavours.


Young One


Emma Dingle

Emma Dingle is a grade twelve student at Superior Heights. She has been involved in the arts community in Sault Ste. Marie since childhood and has always had a passion for theatre. She is a competitive dancer at Elite Dance Force and a singer at the Northern Arts Academy. As a self-taught freelance makeup artist, she specializes in special effects makeup and is known for her face and body painting. She is excited for this incredible opportunity to showcase her work and to collaborate with such amazing talent within the community. 


In Your Eyes Projects presents IF WE WERE BIRDS, theatre in Sault Ste. Marie
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