Jennie Esdale

Jennie is a writer, director, actor and theatre maker. She is the Program Director of ODE, Outreach, Development, education at Theatre Aquarius and she is Director of Theatre Developmen of Green Fools Theatre. Recently, Jennie was Artist in Residence of the Michael Wright Gallery. 

Beginning in her teens, Jennie began to work professionally as an actor, performing with several leading and indie theatre companies including the National Arts Centre, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, Edmonton's The Citadel Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Ghost River Theatre, The Only Animal, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Teatro La Quindicina, Shadow Theatre, Generic Theatre and Sage Theatre. 

Jennie was nominated for Edmonton’s Elizabeth Sterling Hayne’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre for Young Audiences for her work in Night Light as well as Calgary’s Betty Mitchell Award nomination for her performance in Lion in the Streets. She received a Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Performance for developing and performing solo the role of a 10 year old boy, in the debut production of Confessions of A Paperboy. 

Jennie combined her visual arts skills with her theatre work, by joining a wild band of street artists as an Artistic Core member of the Green Fools in Calgary. She trained in clown, physical theatre, puppetry, stilt walking and mask and learned how to sculpt, sew, build and create and then budget, write grants, manage and produce. In 2004, Jennie became Co-Artistic Director and since that time, she has been at the helm of every major theatre production Green Fools Theatre has created, leading the company into professional theatre and international touring of theatre shows. Her works and collaborations have been presented in Canada, the US, Brazil and Japan. 

Jennie has been nominated for Betty Mitchell Award’s Outstanding New Play for her plays Elephant Song and The Floating Mouse. She has written and directed several works and her productions of The Floating Mouse and Isis & Osiris: A Shadow Opera have been nominated for Betty Mitchell Award's Outstanding Production of a Musical. The Floating Mouse has recently been presented by the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Saskatoon Children’s Festival. Jennie is the co-recipient of an Elizabeth Sterling Hayne’s Award Outstanding Achievement in Theatre for Young Audiences for the collaboratively created Project: Whooping Crane, which has toured internationally. 

Jennie is married to acclaimed film and stage actor, Shaun Smyth. They have two little girls, Margaret and Iona.



Award Category Year Play
Elizabeth Sterling Hayne's Award Outstanding Achievement Theatre for Young Audiences 2010