Morgan Yamada is an Edmonton-based actor, fight choreographer, producer, arts educator and emerging playwright. She is an alumnus of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and graduated with Distinction in 2015. She is also an Advanced Actor Combatant and Teacher Apprentice with Fight Directors Canada (FDC) and has trained at National and International FDC workshops.
Morgan has worked at theatres across the country and been a member of award-winning ensembles in both Edmonton and Calgary. She has acted in many new works with various companies, including Glory (ATP & Western Canada Theatre, Original Cast & National Tour) GIANT & Scent Bar (Ghost River Theatre), Dead Center of Town 2015, 2016 & 2018 (Catch The Keys Productions). She has also had the opportunity to perform in established works with Citadel Theatre (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Concrete Theatre (Bello, Undercover & The Bully Project). Morgan was also cast as the lead in ATP’s World Premiere of Anna Chatterton’s Cowgirl Up, which was cancelled recently due to COVID-19.
As her work is primarily in new play development, she has also workshopped new plays with various companies including: The Citadel Theatre, Concrete Theatre, Skirts-A-Fire Festival, Workshop West Playwrights Theatre, Cloudsway Dance Theatre and others. Select pieces include The Silver Arrow, 27/37, Sprouts New Play Festival, Ballad of Peachtree Rose and Crime and Punishment. This collection of experiences has opened her eyes to how theatre can be developed and classic stories adapted for a modern audience.
As a fight director and stage combat professional, she has worked with high schools, university groups and professional theatres teaching workshops and choreographing violence for productions. Her most recent credit was The Ministry of Grace (The Belfry Theatre) a new work by Tara Beagan. She was also set to be the fight director of the Freewill Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 production of Macbeth.
Morgan has been a residency artist and team leader with Trickster Theatre since 2015. Creating theatre with students from kindergarten to grade 12 through physical theatre, collective creation and improv practices.
Over the past two years, she has started her development as a playwright and creator. She has worked with various collectives over the years. The first piece she completed independently with the support of Concrete Theatre was a short play for the company’s Sprouts Festival in 2019, titled Keiko & the Kappa.
Morgan is a proud mixed Japanese-Canadian and member of the Edmonton 3.7% Initiative, a group of self-identified culturally diverse women and non-binary folx aiming to empower and give community members the tools to take on leadership positions in theatre companies across the country. Creating opportunities for all folx to express themselves, to be seen, heard and flourish is something Morgan is passionate about learning and doing in her own practice and the spaces she is a part of.