Jessica and Will have had a busy year since last years’ production of Freezing...they got married! You have two more chances to catch them onstage in The Blizzard of Oz as the Faircrow and Bob Cat. Jessica has also done amazing work as choreographer.

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Jessica Vandenberg -Jess is thrilled & chilled to be back for the 3rd annual Panto! Favourite performing credits: Disney’s Toy Story: The Musical Disney Imagineering/DCL (Legs), It’s a Wonderful Life STC (Violet Bick), West Side Story Citadel Theatre (Graziella/Anita U/S), Freezing & Freezing: Bigger, Bolder, Colder Gladstone Theatre (Princess Adele), Mary Poppins Citadel Theatre/Theatre Calgary Co­Pro (Mrs Corry, Katie Nana U/S) Chicago Stage West Calgary (Liz/Kitty U/S), A Christmas Carol and Everything I Love About Christmas Upper Canada Playhouse (Various roles) Cabaret Rose Theatre (Ensemble/Dance Captain), RENT Panasonic (Swing). Jess is a proud Sheridan Institute Music Theatre graduate. Film/TV: The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (Biography), Lucky 7 (ABC), Hemlock Grove (Netflix Original), Warehouse 13 (SciFi), Lingerie (HBO), Suits (USA), Bomb Girls (Global), Make Your Move (CJ Entertainment), and Being Erica (CBC). Thanks to Sarah, Matt, Lu­Anne, Doug, Jane, Ralph, and my husband William.

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Will Lamond – Will is delighted to be once again in wintry Ottawa after appearing in Freezing in 2014 and 2015. Previous credits include: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Funny Girl (Segal Centre);Guys and Dolls, Lady Windermere’s Fan (Shaw Festival); Anne and Gilbert (RuBarb Prod.); Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Fest); Stars of David (Angelwalk/Harold Green); Off Broadway On Stage (Angelwalk); City of Angels (Theatre By The Bay); Blood Brothers, She Loves Me (Rose Theatre); West Side Story (Theatre St. John’s); Butterflies Are Free (Highlands Summer Festival); Schoolhouse, The Last Green Hill (4th Line Theatre). Will has also provided voiceover for a number of animated children’s TV shows. Will is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre ­ Performance program, and is an eternally optimistic Leafs fan. Thanks to Sarah and Matt and the Connell Clan, Ralph and Jane, and my wife and cast mate Jessica!

1 – What is your favorite part about coming home to Ottawa?

J – Spending time with my family who I don’t get to see much throughout the year. It’s so great that my friends and family can see me perform here, because often I perform in shows that are far away from Ottawa and much harder to travel and see.

W – It’s so much more wintery here! Toronto doesn’t get nearly as much snow and when we do it turns to slush almost immediately.

2 – What is your favorite holiday tradition?

J – Trying to pick a movie to watch as a family. One year, after already spending at least an hour trying to decide, we agreed that everyone would write down their choice and we would pick it out of a hat. We then picked someone’s choice, started watching it, and about two minutes in, everyone was moaning and groaning so much that we had to start again from scratch. It was ridiculous.

W – Fish chowder and tourtière on Christmas Eve. Can’t beat it.

3 – Where did you go to school in Ottawa?

J – All Saints Catholic High School in Kanata Lakes.

W – I’m actually not from Ottawa! I grew up and went to high school in Peterborough.

4 – Describe your character in The Blizzard of Oz in 4 words or less?

J – Kind, a bit confused, and energetic.

W – He literally can’t even.

5 – What is your favorite part of the show?

J – All the dancing!

W – I love the moments of improvisation when our cast can mess around a little and try to make each other crack up.

6 – What do you miss most about Ottawa?

J – Skating on the canal and eating beavertails.

W – I love coming to stay at my in-laws outside Kanata! It’s a beautiful house tucked into the woods, and a wonderful place to spend the holidays.

7 – What is your favorite activity/place to go in Ottawa?

J – I love the market!

W – I actually love the Glebe, where we’ve been rehearsing the last couple years! It has amazing shopping and food, and a wonderful neighbourhood vibe.

8 – Did you study theatre after high school? If so, where?

J – I went to Palm Beach Atlantic University for English Literature and Dance Performance/Pedagogy, as well as Sheridan Institute for Music Theatre Performance.

W – Yep! Sheridan College, for Musical Theatre, like Jess, Constant and Shelly.

9 – Can you tell us something we don’t know about you?

J – I have won contests eating Timbits as well as Big Macs.

W – I love to cook! I just made my first Sunday roast this weekend for ten people!

10 – How would you describe a panto to those who are not familiar with this type of show?

J – A fun twist on a well known story with audience interaction.

W – If you take a fairy tale and then squeeze it full of as many jokes and singing and dancing as you can, that’s a panto! There’s stuff for kids and adults alike in it, with lots of local references!

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