RICHARD J. KLASSEN

RICHARD J. KLASSEN

B.Th. / Exec. Producer (Candlewick Productions)
Theatre Professor (Steinbach Bible College)
Founder/Board Member (Manitoba's Passion Play)

Growing up and living near La Riviere, MB, Richard has had a passion for drama and the arts originating early on in life. With an extensive list of theatre, music, and leadership experiences, Richard has worked in a variety of theatre settings. He has also worked with youth his entire career, both as as a Youth Pastor in Arborg and Morden as well as in a variety of education formats.

In 1998, Richard founded Oak Valley Productions (developing the outdoor theatre in La Riviere and Manitoba’s Passion Play), and in 2002 he began Candlewick Productions. Richard’s numerous activities with Candlewick include: Drama Professor at Steinbach Bible College (for over 20 years); teaching children’s theatre classes; directing Musicals in a partnership between Candlewick and the Prairie Spirit School Division; connecting with schools both as an Artist in the School (particularly hosting several successful ArtSmarts II programs) as well as a workshop host; coordinating both high-school and college internship programs; providing technical theatre rentals and assistance; directing and producing various theatrical productions; writing and producing a number of productions; and also serving in a number of contract arrangements.

Candlewick Productions produces a number of theatrical presentations throughout the year. Some recent notable productions Richard has produced/directed include: "Newsies", "Beauty and the Beast", "Esther: Queen of Persia", "It's a Wonderful Life", "Mary Poppins", "Freud's Last Session", among many, many others.

Richard serves and has served in various capacities of leadership on several community, church, theatre, and tourism boards. He has had a number of theatre endeavors including the creation of the Oak Valley Outdoor theatre (La Riviere) where he continues to act as a board member. He serves as chair of the Manitou Opera House Management Committee, as well as owner and renovator of the Kenmor Theatre (Morden). Most recently Richard has been asked to assist Belizean Camping Experience to help them develop drama for schools and youth in the country of Belize.

Over the past 30+ years, Richard has acted or given direction in well over 230 plays as well as technical assistance to dozens of others.  Acting, directing, and working with youth and adults alike are his love and joy second to his family.

Photo by Janet Haslam Photography