A Little Bit About Us

Thank you for finding us. We hope you'll join us for a show!


Theatre by the River is a professional Winnipeg-based company that produces theatre that gets you talking.

Using unique, intimate venues, we engage theatre professionals to create exceptional live performance experiences. We do theatre for a diverse audience, bringing to life scripts that might otherwise be overlooked.


Challenge: We want to be challenged, and we want to challenge our artists, audiences and crew.

Welcome: We create exceptional work and invite people from any income level to experience it.

Respect: We value the stories we tell, and engage with experts to share them with integrity.

Progressive: We produce stories we believe are important for social discussion and contribute to a compassionate city.


Thank you to all the individual donors who make Theatre by the River productions possible for audience to experience and share. Your ongoing generosity is amazing, and live theatre would not be possible without you.


Thank you also to the brave audiences who experience new venues and daring, controversial theatre. You help us break down barriers and connect the community, and we’re grateful.


Reba Terlson, an emerging theatre artist and young theatre-goer, has this to say about TBTR:

With their unique vision, Theatre by the River continues to make a significant contribution to the Winnipeg theatre community and to the city itself. Theatre by the River produces innovative theatre that pushes the boundaries of the normal theatre structure. As an artist, I’m encouraged and inspired by Theatre by the River’s approach, one that challenged me to expand my views on what could be done in independent theatre. Their dynamic and provocative productions help the Winnipeg theatre community strengthen and grow. In works such as Tender Napalm, they are able to thrust theatre audiences into a different world with stunning text and beautiful movement, as a couple’s relationship is explored within different realities. This innovative work challenges artists to take risks, both in viewing theatre shows, and in producing them. 


Theatre by the River formed in 2005 when a group of theatre students, excited to venture out into the “real world” to work as professionals, were equally driven to produce scripts that had strongly influenced them through their studies. They wanted to create theatre that was exciting, controversial and socially relevant, so Theatre by the River incorporated and began producing in the summer of 2006.

Fifteen years later, Theatre by the River has produced over 20 full productions, developed new scripts, advocated for the local arts community, was a key player in the formation of the Winnipeg Independent Theatre collective, and worked with many community partners to bring professional, compelling work to new audiences. Learn more by visiting our In The Community page.


Mel Marginet

Artistic Director


Mel Marginet is a co-founder and artistic director of Theatre by the River. She has performed in many theatre productions around the city. Favourites include: A Man walks Into A Bar, Cock, Bull, Lungs, Tender Napalm, The Cherry Orchard, Generous, One Good Marriage, Saint Joan, The Bush‐Ladies (TBTR), The Skriker (Echo Theatre), Time's Fancy (Sixth Planet). See her on the screen in Break Through (20th Century Fox), The Pinkertons (Buffalo Gal), Aegri Somnia (Absurd Machine), Randy Guest's The Lady in Grey and HBO Canada's Less Than Kind. By day, Mel is the Publisher at Great Plains Publications, is a co-founder and organizer of The Evies, fosters environmentalism at Green Action Centre and works many projects and committees around Winnipeg.

Kevin Anderson

Company Member


Beyond Theatre by the River's productions of Cock and Bull, The Cherry Orchard, Generous and Saint Joan, Kevin has also worked with Sarasvati Productions (Ripple Effect, Eden, Empty), Winnipeg District Collective (Into the Woods), Shakespeare in the Ruins (Henry IV), Nomadic Players (Caesar and Cleopatra) and Little Red Hen Company (Blue Kettle) and the Winnipeg Fringe. Kevin has also worked in film, making appearing in Deidre, The Gabby Douglas Story, The Editor, Fathers' Day and Curse of Chucky. When Kevin is not on stage, he enjoys painting, drawing and spending time with his family.

Kendra Jones

Company Member


A director, creator, and dramaturg, Kendra Jones graduated with Distinction from the MA Text & Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London, and holds a BA(Hons) in Theatre Performance from the University of Winnipeg where she has also been guest faculty. Favourite directing credits include Sea Wall, 4.48 Psychosis (Theatre By the River), Sweet Mama and the Salty Muffins (Alumnae Theatre), Drunk Enough To Say I Love You, Seagulls (selardi theatre), Clever Little Lies (Assistant director to Steven Schipper, RMTC,) and Richard II (Assistant Director, Zone41). She is artistic director of impel theatre, home to her more experimental theatre creations including her one-act play Dear Mama, the immersive event Tonight at Eight, and an audio installation Autel, which has been shown at RADA, The Gas Station Arts Centre, and The University of Toronto's FOOT, along with a new promenade theatrical happening Do You Know This Place? which is under development and was first tested at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Crapshoot. Her academic writing focuses on the performer-audience relationship and the ethics of performance, and has been published by Common Ground Publishing, Brunel University and the Humanities Education Research Association. Kendra is a member of the Directors Lab North facilitated by Luminato Festival and the British Council in Toronto, and the Canadian Stage Company’s RBC Emerging Artists Network.


Derek Leenhouts

Company Member

Derek is a founding member of Theatre By The River and has appeared in many TBTR productions over the years including Constellations, Edward II, Cock, Bull, Lungs, and Generous. In addition, he has appeared on stage with RMTC, SIR, Dry Cold, Rainbow Stage, White Rabbit, Sarasvati, and others. Derek is deeply invested in his love of music. He can often be found singing in various theatrical settings as well as with the acappella group Those Guys, of which he is also a founding member. He also writes music and plays guitar occasionally, and was the Music Director for TBTR's production of Billy Bishop Goes to War.

Daina Leitold

Company Member


Daina is an actor, designer, director and arts educator.  She has previously performed with TBTR as Woman in Tender Napalm, Lady Kent in Edward II and Charlotta in The Cherry Orchard.  She has also played with Echo Theatre, Upcycle Puppet Collective, Sarasvati, SIR, WJT, RMTC, and Theatre Calgary.  For TBTR, she has designed the worlds of Edward II, Cock, Bull and The Cherry Orchard (a co-pro with Little Echo Theatre).  She has also designed productions for One Trunk Theatre, Saucy Gals and Green Kids Inc..  Daina is also a proud founding member of The Talentless Lumps and is very serious about her clown career.

Karl Thordarson

Company Member


KarlThordarson has previously appeared with Theatre by the River in this past seasons adaptation of Edward II as well as the repertory productions of Cock and Bull. Karl received training with Prairie Theatre Exchange in their Professional Training Ensemble and has worked with several independent theatre companies here in Winnipeg. Favourite shows include I Dream of Diesel with One Trunk Theatre and Theatre Projects Manitoba, Sunday in the Park with George with Gallery Works, Henry V with Shakespeare in the Ruins, The Skriker with Echo Theatre and Etoile a KDSZ show penned, produced and performed along with Daina and their two lovely children.


Matthew Komus


Matthew works as a storyteller in many different ways. He has developed programs, exhibits and walking tours for many different museums and heritage sites in Manitoba. He recently released his first full length book, Haunted Winnipeg: Ghost Stories from the Heart of the Continent. Though the last time he was on stage was in an elementary school production of Puss in Boots he has been involved with theatre as a team leader at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival and as a member of the audience for usually three dozen or more shows a year. He estimates he has seen 90% of Theatre by the River productions since the company’s formation.

Katherine Johnston

Vice Chair

Katherine is a graduate of the department of theatre and film at the University of Winnipeg, and has a degree in production and stage management. She has been working in the theatre community for 5 years. Katherine is currently part of the collective running the Rudolf Rocker Cultural Center and she is an active member of the arts community. She became interested in joining the board of Theatre by the River after working with the company on it's recent production of Cock and Bull. The company's mandate to create provocative, relevant and financially accessible theatre is something she fully supports!

Michael Sanders


Michael has over 10 years of independent film making experience as a director, producer, cinematographer and editor. In addition to his music videos, films and documentaries, Michael is also a graphic designer and award-winning photographer.

Matthew Molnar


Matthew has been involved in the Winnipeg music and theatre community for the last three decades as a student, an organizer, a performer, and an audience member. After completing his degree in Political Science and Economics, he had a 15 year career in  public and private procurement. He currently works with Made Here For You, a partnership that promotes and sells the work of Manitoba makers while raising funds for local childrens’ charities. In his spare time he freelances as a policy analyst, works to combat stigma around mental illness, and writes tales of cosmic terror.

Kim Samsin


Kim taught drama to high school students in the US Southwest in the early 2000s. Since relocating to Winnipeg, she's loved the variety and quality of local theatre, and she is thrilled to volunteer her time with Theatre by the River. She is a freelance copyeditor, indexer, and writer.


1173 Wolseley Avenue

Winnipeg  MB  

R3G 1H1



Tel: 204.943.9573

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