Mark Hellman (CAEA, ACTRA, AFM) is a Canadian multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator, and independent producer with over thirty years of professional experience.
An actor, improvisor, musician, composer, puppeteer, director, and creator, Mark’s career began in Theatre for Young Audiences, performing over 700 shows (in 3 years) from coast to coast, and from north of the 60 to the Florida Panhandle. He has since divided his time between working for professional theatres (see Overview), producing and directing interdisciplinary projects engaging artists to train together and create new work(see Production/Direction), and–in the last decade–beginning to create and produce solo works(see Self-Produced), including school-based events combining storytelling, music and mass audience participation, and street performances combining installation, puppetry, Shakespeare and audience interaction. His current solo projects include Pete Seeger’s The Incompleat Folksinger (available for touring), and a solo Shakespeare project (in development) is based on THE TEMPEST.
A specialist in interdisciplinary training and development, Mark studied acting at University of Victoria(Acting Specialization), improvisation with Jim Leard, modern dance with Jo Lechay(Montreal), theatre of imagery with Richard Fowler and Eugenio Barba(Denmark’s Odin Teatret), and puppetry with Cathy Stubington(Runaway Moon Theatre). He has studied with some of Canada’s finest voice teachers, and participated in the inaugural National Voice Intensive with David Smukler in 1986. A self-taught musician, he started playing guitar at age sixteen, and in forty subsequent years has added mandolin, banjo, dulcimer and percussion to his toolkit.(see Education/Training)
As a teacher and facilitator, Mark has been a faculty member of Concordia University and Dawson College (Mtl), and has taught voice, movement, and improvisation in a variety of post-secondary settings in Victoria. (see Applied Arts) He has acted as a professional vocal coach for a variety of professional theatres and dance companies across Canada, worked as a consultant, animator and adjudicator for Theatre BC, conducted hundreds of workshops and short-term residencies in elementary and high schools, and designed programs to train teachers. His work in applied arts and community development includes a number of multi-year residencies with non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
As an independent producer and director, Mark has received financial assistance from all levels of government, foundations, and the private sector, to create and produce new initiatives in cross-disciplinary research, development and production, as well as for educational and community-development programming. A specialist in Shakespeare, Mark has been teaching the Bard to all ages and levels of experience since 1986, and has produced, created, and directed two professional productions combining Shakespeare and puppetry: PASSIONATE LIVES: an Ode to Shakespeare’s Lovers, and LOVE’S FOOL, which also included audience participation.
Mark’s work in film and television includes a variety of principle roles, as well as numerous commercials, including the acclaimed HERITAGE MINUTES series(see Film/TV/Radio). His off-camera work ranges from voice over, narration, educational programming and commercials, to dubbing, radio drama, and voices for animation. He is known to cartoon lovers everywhere as the voice of White Fang in THE LEGEND OF WHITE FANG, the Dragon in THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS, and Emperor Fred in SAMURAI PIZZA CATS, to name but a few.In addition to all of the above, Mark’s most beloved role is that of devoted father to Sophie and Emelia (pictured), step-father to Kaia, and ‘adopted father’ to Kayde and Aja, no doubt his best work.
Please see: Overview 1981-2017