Mentorship pair Hailey Witt and Brenda Gorlick are taking part in our 2022/2023 Professional Mentorship Program, in the discipline of dance, choreography and musical theatre. They’ve been working together on StudioWorks Academy rehearsals for SpongeBob the Musical, choreographing Matilda the Musical for Virden Chorale, coaching & choreographing the All Abilities Dancers for Dance Manitoba’s winter showcase, writing grants and more!
What results do you feel have come from your participation in the Professional Mentorship Program?
“I feel like this opportunity could not have come at a better time for me as an artist. The creative stimulation from Brenda and the Creative Manitoba Professional Mentorship Program has been such a relief after a heavy and challenging few years. I needed this!” – Hailey Witt
“I have personally learned to be more patient this year. I am also learning a lot from Hailey in terms of her skill set as a personal assistant. She is very good with the written word, scheduling and personal interactions. I am very pleased to report that Hailey has been introduced to several potential new collaborators through the work she’s done with me.” – Brenda Gorlick
What type of work do you create?
“I consider myself primarily a musician and storyteller. I love to perform roles in productions like operas, musicals, and plays, as well as concert repertoire. Some recent stories I have told include Joan Szymko’s Shadow and Light, which expresses a journey through Alzheimer’s, in which I was a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. I also had the privilege of playing the role of Cherubino in Manitoba Underground Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. My character was a non-binary individual in this untraditional and awesome rendition of the Mozart classic. In addition to my performance practice, I have a teaching practice, which focuses on celebrating art, creativity, and storytelling through singing and acting while cultivating communication skills, self-expression, and confidence.” – Hailey
“I have been fortunate enough to have created a wide range of creative projects including the Pan Am Games (as choreographer of Opening/Closing Ceremonies), Artistic Director of Winnipeg Studio Theatre’s StudioWorks Academy – the training wing of our indie company (currently directing and choreographing the musical SpongeBob), Lead instructor/choreographer for All Abilities Dancers (Manitoba possible initiative).” – Brenda
What aspect of your work brings you joy?
“I love to tell stories and elicit emotion in others. I love all the levels of homework that goes into learning, interpreting, and performing a new piece of music. I love the challenge of all the details, especially in classical repertoire and language pieces, and the multitasking that I experience on stage. When I’m teaching and during the rehearsal process, I love collaborating with other creative artists of all ages and abilities. Celebrating art and creativity with other members of the arts community on and off the stage brings me great joy.” – Hailey
“I love sharing my love and passion for the arts with all ages and stages of folks. I truly enjoy working on new and innovative projects from the ground up. That’s what gives me my “life force”, and, of course, I LOVE being onstage and on screen!” – Brenda
Brenda Gorlick (she/her) is a freelance artist whose arts practice encompasses, theatre, dance and music. Born and raised on Treaty One Territory – Winnipeg, Manitoba, and working coast to coast, she works as a performer, choreographer, director, instructor and mentor, primarily in the musical theatre world. Brenda has been ‘earning her keep’ exclusively as an artist for almost five decades! www.brendagorlick.ca
Hailey Witt (she/her) is a triple threat performance artist with a passion for opera and musical theatre. Born and raised in Manitoba, Hailey is originally from Brandon, where she completed her Bachelor of Music and then to Western University for her Master of Music Degree. Hailey is a classically trained mezzo-soprano and voice teacher and a proud member of the Manitoba Métis community. Her first musical was performed at age 5!