Photo credit: Laurence Philomene and Geoffrey Simon Brown
Elena Belyea is a queer playwright, performer, producer, and arts educator from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
She is Artistic Director of Tiny Bear Jaws (a little theatre company with teeth), former Artistic Director of the Common Ground Arts Society, and a co-founder of the Edmonton Found Festival, a showcase of multidisciplinary arts events that take place in non-traditional venues. She was a member of Nightwood Theatre's 2016-2017 Write from the Hip playwriting program, where she developed her play Smoke.
She studied theatre at the University of Alberta (BA Honours in Theatre and Creative Writing) as well as the National Theatre School of Canada (Playwriting). Her plays have received numerous awards, including First Place in the 2015 Wildside National Playwriting Competition with her play Cleave, as well as Best Production and Best New English Text at the 2015 Montreal Fringe Festival for her one-woman show Miss Katelyn's Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable (premiering in french in Montreal as part of Théâtre Prospero's 2017-2018 season).
She has mentored emerging writers and theatre makers for almost a decade through numerous arts organizations such as the University of Virginia’s Young Writers’ Workshop, The Citadel Theatre’s Foote Theatre School, the University of Alberta’s New Works Festival, to name a few.
"Belyea skillfully works the room, eliciting plenty of laughs but also a deep sense of anger and sadness." - Montreal Gazette
"This show earns its transformation from laughs to tears as it sinks its teeth into weighty subject matter. By the end, Belyea has made us laugh, terrified us, and tugged at our heartstrings. An A+ show! ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆" - Vue Weekly
"I thought, "You cannot pull this off." But she totally does. It's incredible." - 9 to 5 dot cc Podcast
"Elena Belyea and Ben Stevens present exceptional performances... A beautiful debut production by promising local talents." - Vue Weekly
"And no, I have not forgotten Shakespeare’s clowns, Dogberry (Elena Belyea) and Verges (Oscar Derkx). I was just leaving my praise for them for a final hurrah. From their difference in heights to their unabashed clowning, Belyea and Derkx are the scene stealers Shakespeare intended." - Calgary Herald
"The playwrights, Elena Belyea and Colin Matty, are enormously talented. It's commonplace to warn us about the end of the world, and nearly impossible to discover ways to dramatize the planet's last days. Belyea and Matty are careful to leave out the clichés and focus on dynamic scenes - sad, funny, beautiful, incomprehensible." - Edmonton Journal