Far From The Tree Productions is a grassroots theatre company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Though the company officially formed in the summer of 2019, it has roots going over twenty years back to a little log cabin in the woods in the central interior of BC.
Founders Shelby and Joelle Wyminga grew up putting on pageants and plays by the fireplace in their parents’ living room, blissfully unaware that there was a world of theatre outside the confines of the local elementary school Christmas concert. In the intervening years the wind has carried them far from the pine trees of the Cariboo, where, many melodramatic recitations and countless costume changes later, they are still telling stories together.
The drive behind Far From The Tree Productions grew from a desire to create theatre that looked all the way back to its own origin, the sacred act of storytelling, and to celebrate the magic of performance when non-essential elements are stripped away.
SHELBY WYMINGA (she/they)
Shelby Wyminga was born purple due to near asphyxiation and couldn't cry for the first several moments of their life. Thankfully, they soon managed to catch their breath and hasn't shut up since. They eventually embraced the inevitable and completed their BFA in Acting through the School of the Arts, Media, and Culture at TWU where they studied Visual Art alongside their theatrical pursuits. Primarily an actor, Shelby has enjoyed the freedom to dabble in many areas of theatre creation, developing skills as a scenic painter, costume designer, and playwright.
In the Fall of 2018, Shelby joined Pacific Theatre as a company apprentice for the 2018/19 season. It was during this year that they fell in love with producing and the thrill of being the one to pull the strings behind the scenes. To wrap up their apprenticeship, Shelby produced a female led, ensemble driven retelling of Henry V in which she played the title role. Shelby is a Shakespeare fanatic and is particularly interested in playing with classical text through ensemble exploration with the goal of breaking past some of the "shoulds" to find more "coulds."
Recent acting credits include Jo March in Little Women-audio play (Far From The Tree), Marta Reddy in Cariboo Magi (Far From The Tree), Henry and The Dauphin in Henry V (Stone's Throw), various roles in A Prayer For Owen Meany (Ensemble Theatre), Tour Guide in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe (Pacific Theatre), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Shadows and Dreams), Gloria in It's A Glorious, Wonderful Life (Morrow's Lark), and various roles in Still The Kettle Sings (Plan Z Theatre).
Playwright credits include A Hero For Now (staged reading with Stone's Throw), It's a Glorious, Wonderful Life (Morrow's Lark), Chasing Tina and Vicissitudes (SAMC Theatre.)
Design credits include Asking Alice-Set and Costumes (Little Mountain Lion), Miracle Worker- Costumes (Gallery 7), Enchanted April-Set (Gallery 7), Frankenstein 1945- Costumes (Nebula Theatre).
Follow Shelby's solo adventures @shelbydoomdoom on Instagram!
JOELLE WYMINGA (she/her)
Joelle is a multidisciplinary theatre artist, working primarily as a director, actor, costume designer, and producer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, and is a lover of good conversation, Dungeons and Dragons, and comfortable shoes. Growing up in the back woods of northern British Columbia, Joelle quickly developed a love for theatre in an effort to entertain herself and moved to the Lower-Main Land to complete her BFA in Acting from the School of the Arts, Media and Culture at TWU.
Over the years, Joelle has developed a passion for historical study which has been cultivated by spontaneous travel too far off places and working in historical sites such as Barkverille BC as a Historical Interpreter and Mackin House in Coquitlam. Because of this deep desire to do research for hours upon hours, Joelle loves to combine her passion for theatre and history, hoping to bring a new light to her work, by delving into our worlds history, light and dark, to better understand human nature, whether that be through new an innovative works or reimagining classic stories. She dreams of continually telling the stories of people who have been forgotten and giving a voice to those who have previously had none.
In 2020, Joelle took part in Bard on the Beach's Riotous Youth Internship program, where she received more training in performing Shakespeare and was apart of an ensemble of feisty young artists all creating and learning together and from each other. Moving forward, she cannot wait to learn as much as she can from the people around her and develop her skills in storytelling to continue to create intimate and innovative work.
Directing credits include; Cariboo Magi (Far From the Tree), The Wooden Pear, and Jane Eyre: The Musical- Assistant Director (SAMC Theatre).
Acting credits include; Amy in Little Women: audio play (Far From the Tree), Tood in The Cover of Life, Adriana in A Comedy of Errors, Pauline in A Kind of Alaska, Jane Carpenter in Smash, and Mrs. Van Dann in The Diary of Anne Frank (SAMC Theatre).
Costume Design Credits include; Kill the Ripper- (Affair of Honor/Geekenders), Tuck Everlasting- (Arts Umbrella), Cariboo Magi- (Far From the Tree), Copenhagen, The Wooden Pear- (TWU).
Playwright Credits Include: Little Women: An Audio Play- Script adapter (Far From the Tree), Fight or Flight (SAMC Theatre).
To see what Joelle does when not working on theatre, follow her on instagram @jojo.wyminga
Tommi B. Coyote (she/her)
Tommi B. Coyote (She/Her) is a Mohkinstsis (Calgary) based, mixed Mi’gmaq, playwright, actor, musician, screenwriter, shapeshifter and story scavenger. She is a graduate of the four year acting program at Rosebud School of the Arts, and the former artist in residence at Making Treaty 7.
Her stories are for the displaced and disenfranchised, the marginalized and oppressed, and the unwinding of generational trauma.
In her own words:
“I'm a displaced kid with Mi'kmaq ancestors chasing me through the concrete veins and arteries of Blackfoot Territory, teaching me to forage for the medicines of both Nations in the cracked pavement, teaching me to cling to the words of Inner City Elders the way their cracked lips and fingers cling to BB Cigarettes. I clamber my denim and buckskin clad, coyote-like frame through the chain link underbrush, coming up with a harvest of fresh tapped cough syrup, Orange Crush and Old Milwaukee.”
Her body of work includes:
As writer: Snowblind (Lunchbox Theatre/Making Treaty 7), Kohkum & me (The Rest of Us Theatre Co.) and a TV series called The Hayloft, in development at the CBC.
As performer: Bright Star, Cariboo Magi (Rosebud Theatre),Romeo & Juliet (Theatre Calgary/Shakespeare by the Bow), Pawakan (Workshop at The Stratford Festival), The Street (Pounds Performance) as well as performing her own shows Kohkum & me and Snowblind.