Hoodlum Theatre

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Hoodlum Theatre's Logo, designed by Gideon Chrapko


Hoodlum Theatre is a non-profit, youth-founded community theatre company based out of Calgary, Alberta. It was co-founded by Griffin Cork, John Tasker, Malik Elassal, Andrew Burniston, and Curtis Wilson in January 2014. Having reached the age of 18, Hoodlum Theatre's founders had become too old to participate in a large amount of the creative outlets available to the youths of Calgary. Worried it would be difficult to integrated in the theatre world that already existed in Calgary after completing post-secondary education, the founders came to the realization that it would be beneficial not only to themselves, but to all young adults their age interested in being a part of the Calgary theatre scene.

Hoodlum Theatre's mission is to showcase emerging talent and give students and young artists a safe space to hone their craft and perform.

Artistic Mandate

The following is Hoodlum Theatre's Artistic Mandate, as written on HoodlumTheatre.com :

"Hoodlum Theatre's Official Mandate:

Hoodlum Theatre is a youth-founded company promoting emerging artists. Offering a creative environment to thespians on their gap year, bards on their summer break, and artists who have outgrown their artistic outlets, their mission is to showcase discovered and undiscovered young talent. Hoodlum Theatre welcomes Calgary to the "new youth".

We chose the name Hoodlum for a few reasons:

  1. We wanted to showcase the fact that this company is completely founded and run by emerging artists. You know, with that "whipper-snapper" effect. Don't mistake me, we have received so much support from our bigger neighbors, which we will never be able to show how much we appreciate, but in our hearts, we will always be Hoodlums.
  2. Hoodlums are fairly urban-focused, which is fairly fitting, because in time, we hope to feature not just local actors and designers, but local playwrights as well!
  3. Hoodlum sounded pretty cool. I mean, doesn't it?

And with that, we pull our bandannas back over our faces, and return to the work we love.

Welcome to the New Youth"

Artistic Team

Descriptions summarized from the Hoodlum Theatre Facebook page.

From left to right: Malik Elassal, John Tasker, Griffin Cork, Andrew Burniston and Curtis Wilson (former member and co-founder). Photographer and editor: Griffin Cork.
  • John Tasker - Co-Founder, General Manager

John Tasker is currently attending the University of Lethbridge in their Fine Arts Performance program. He has performed in several plays, such as "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" (U of L), "Forsooth My Lovely" (Hoodlum Theatre), as well as "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" (Calgary young People's Theatre). He is involved in several different fields within the arts, such as music and writing.

  • Malik Elassal - Co-Founder, Director of Marketing and Communications

Malik Elassal has preformed several plays, such as "The Count of Monte Cristo" (Calgary Young People's Theatre), "Holmes and Watson" (Calgary Young People's Theatre), as well as Hoodlum's first production "Forsooth My Lovely". He is also a standup comedian who performs in the Calgary region.

  • Andrew Burniston - Co-Founder, Artistic Associate

Andrew Burniston has been acting since 2009, with notable performances such as Cyrano and Roxanne (2015), The Wooers’ Woods (2014), and Wedgie (2014). He has also acted in the company's first production, "Forsooth, my Lovely" (2015). His first acting experience was with Calgary Young People's Theatre In "Frankenstein". Andrew enjoys collecting records, climbing and smiling, but his favourite thing in the world is nature.

  • Griffin Cork - Co-Founder, Artistic Producer

Griffin Cork has been acting in theatre, film and voice work for over 10 years. He hosted "Studio 315" at NUTV and was a D. Michael Dobbin Apprentice at Alberta Theatre Projects. He has worked onstage as an assistant stage manager for "The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" at Alberta Theatre Projects, has had an Improv Show at Lunchbox Theatre "Dirty Laundry, The Next Generation," and has appeared on the CBC drama series "Heartland." Griffin has also been in "Holmes and Watson" with Calgary Young People's Theatre, "Wedgie" with Central Memorial's Performing and Visual Arts Program and "Waiting Rooms in Heaven" with W&M Physical Theatre. Griffin was represented by Dagaz Talent, and was deemed an Arts Champion of Calgary in 2014 by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Opportunities for the Youth

Hoodlum Theatre is always actively searching for members of Calgary's youth to collaborate and work with them. They encourage playwrights, directors, actors and designers to reach out to them, and ask for a simple yet passionate write-up to be included along with any other forms of scripts, portfolios, or resumes available to be submitted. Playwrights have the opportunity to send Hoodlum Theatre any script for the theatre company to consider as a possible future production. Youth playwrights with brand-new original scripts as well as already emerging playwrights with unpublished work are invited to submit a copy of their texts. All submissions are sent to Andrew Burniston, Hoodlum Theatre's own Artistic Associate, via email (andrew.burniston98@gmail.com). All information pertaining to working with Hoodlum Theatre can be accessed on their website.

Production History

Currently, Hoodlum Theatre have presented two productions, one year apart from each other, beginning in August 2015. They are currently developing their 2017 production, and have yet to announce the play in particular and its show dates.

  • "Forsooth, My Lovely" by David Belke - August 2015
Hoodlum Theatre's poster for their production of "Forsooth, my Lovely," designed by Gideon Chrapko.
Directed by Karen Johnson-Diamond

August 19th - 23rd, 2015
The West Village Theatre
Starring : Griffin Cork, Jane Wishart, Kiana Wu, Thomas Rayment, John Tasker, Malik Elassal, Andrew Burniston
Stage Managment and Production: Samantha Macdonald, Millie Winzinowich, Taylor Guterson, Jessica Del Fierro

Design Team: Victoria Krawchuk, Curtis Smith, Kris Mish, Dave Smith

  • "DNA" by Dennis Kelly - August 2016
Hoodlum Theatre's poster for their production of "DNA," designed by Gideon Chrapko.
Directed by Christian Goutsis

August 23rd - 28th, 2016
Evergreen Theatre and Community Spaces
Starring: John Tasker, Sarah Ord, Ciaran Volke, Malik Elassal, Mike Rolfe, Walker Nickel, Andrew Burniston, Miku Beer, Taylor Sisson, Robert Morrison and Maxean Brigley
Stage Management : Grace WIlson

Design: Dave Smith

In the Press

The Following are shortcuts to various articles about Hoodlum Theatre and their past productions:

"Forsooth, my Lovely"


Media Presence

The following are shortcuts to the various online platforms Hoodlum Theatre is present on: