Board of Directors
Jon was born in Norwich, England. He was educated at Langley School in Norfolk, where he graduated in 1959. In 1968, he immigrated to Canada and worked for five years with the Malabar Costume Co. in Toronto. In 1973, he and a friend decided to see the world and spent the next 18 months exploring Asia, Australia and Africa. Soon after his return to Toronto he met his future wife, Ina, a registered nurse whom he married in 1976.
In 1981, in a converted school bus, Jon, Ina and their two young children moved to Mahone Bay, a small town in Nova Scotia. He became a licensed real estate agent in 1984 and continued in the business until 2001 when he retired and decided to devote all his energies to music and writing (and golf!).
Jon’s love of theatre was re-ignited in 1993 with the founding of the South Shore Players. As a founding member, Jon played Bob Cratchit in their first production A Christmas Carol. Since then he has been involved in most of their shows as either an actor or director.
In 2002, he decided to try his hand at writing a musical. Since his arrival in Nova Scotia, music has become an important part of his life, and in fact, in 1990 he formed a band called Midlife Crisis. Through that involvement he started writing songs for the band and now with theatre being very much a part of his life, writing a musical seemed to be a natural progression.
Treasure Island seemed a wonderful vehicle to adapt into a musical and on March 31, 2006 at the Pearl Theatre in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Gentlemen of Fortune opened. In 2011, Jon directed his original English farce called Nothing like a Quiet Weekend, which was also featured at the Pearl Theatre. In 2008, in collaboration with Dave Brumwell & Hank Middleton, he wrote and performed in Glimpses, an historical musical review. The show ran through the summer at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg for 10 years. Since then, he has written two children’s stories, a musical based on Alice in Wonderland – The Caterpillar Tales, and two short one act plays, Lines of Communication and Moving Parts. He still enjoys golf and playing music and of course – Community Theatre!
Oct – 2020
John "Birdie" Bird
John, aka “Birdie”, has been involved with music all of his life, and attended the University of Portland, Oregon, where he studied clarinet and composition. A clarinettist, saxophonist, pianist, and arranger, all primarily in the jazz idiom, and a music teacher of several instruments, Birdie’s accolades include Best Song from the Nova Scotia Theatre Festival and the Lescarbot Award for contributions to the artistic life of the Liverpool area. He has worked at Neptune Theatre and with the Winds of Change Theatre Group as a pit musician, and done some CBC Radio Drama composition, plus being past and present member of several bands and groups in Nova Scotia. His most recent contributions to South Shore Players have been orchestral arrangements for our production of Anne of Green Gables. He shares a love of the arts with his wife Ruth, who is our Treasurer.
Oct – 2020
Ruth Buchanan Bird
Ruth is a New Brunswick-born air force brat who came back to the East Coast after a 20-year stint in the Northern Ontario mining industry to make her home in paradise – the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Some of her past volunteer work includes Treasurer of the Bridgewater and Area Performing Arts Society, Show Secretary of South Shore Horsemen’s Club, and a Red Cross Therapy Dog handler with her much loved companion, Kelly. She is honoured to be a part of South Shore Players as their Treasurer. Currently employed doing Workers’ Compensation investigations, she is an enthusiastic fan of the Arts, most especially of her husband, local talented musician and teacher, John Bird. She is a proud Mom and Nana, with daughter Katie and son Richard, plus an extended family, and five amazing grandchildren!
Oct – 2020
June landed in Lunenburg in the summer of 2017 with her husband, Dan, after a lengthy career in communications and marketing at Dalhousie University. The move was a bit of a full circle, as she’d started out as a reporter at CKBW in the early ‘80s. Years later and newly retired, her question was: “What shall I do now?” After more than three decades away from the stage, she decided to audition for – and landed – a role in SSP’s Locally Yours. That was followed by more acting, various workshops, a desire to direct, and a role with the SSP’s executive. (All of which, she confesses, is much easier on the knees than her previous passions – running and karate.) “Theatre is like playing,” says June. And what could be more fun than that?
Oct – 2020
Colleen has been involved in theatre since the early 1990’s as actor, director and stage manager. Since 2010 she has offered a variety of theatre workshops and programs for children and adults. She is active as a playwright and touring performer. Colleen is a regular director and performer with the South Shore Players. She is thrilled to have been your Artistic Director since 2016!
Oct – 2020
Sheilagh spent 30+ years as an Administrative Assistant at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. After retiring in 2013, she and her husband, Darvill, relocated to “Martins Riviera”. She made her theatrical debut in 2015 as a Lady of Avonlee in the South Shore Players’ production of Anne of Green Gables. Upon discovering there were openings in the SSP’s Board of Directors, she volunteered her services and was welcomed with open arms. Sheilagh hopes her many years of clerical experience will allow her to “star” in her “leading role” as the SSP’s Communication Director.
Oct – 2020
Dayle studied Costume Design at Dalhousie University and went on to work in the museum world for a decade. After a cross-Canada move and a need to come back home to the ocean, Dayle was introduced to the South Shore Players through a friend. This will be her third production with the South Shore Players where she will continue to lurk behind the shadows with needle and thread.
John is a fairly recent arrival on the South Shore where he and his wife have retired to an ocean-front property in Lower Rose Bay. Prior to that, John spent his time in Ontario, mostly Ottawa, where he worked in IT for many years and then ran a home renovation business for a few more years.
John has been active in community and small professional theatre for over 40 years in numerous backstage roles including carpenter, stage manager, technical director, production manager, board member and lighting designer/technician. Now he is primarily a Lighting Designer. Over the years he has designed lighting for close to 200 shows in the Ottawa area ranging from large Broadway musicals in large theatres to small shows in intimate venues. Locally, he has worked on all SSP shows since 2017.
Oct – 2020