All about Trickster

Trickster Theatre is a not-for-profit organization based out of Calgary, Alberta. We create fun, engaging and effective learning through physical theatre. 


Our journey began in the early 80’s when our founders, David and Sheryl Chantler, hit the road to bring a theatre show to schools and festivals across the country. Audiences adored the shows because of their fun, improvisational nature and audience interaction! 

Since that time, we have developed our unique Artist-in-Schools Residency Program. Over the years, we gathered artists to our ranks with different backgrounds and training in a variety of performance styles such as clowning, physical theatre, improv, and dance. As a result of our combined experiences, the company has gained strength and vibrancy. The name Trickster Theatre reflects our clown roots and the fun and innovative process that we have formed over the years. We continue to add new theatre styles and techniques every year.

The company currently has 2 companies touring the province (both live and virtual this season). In the past 30 years we have done more than 1000 week-long residencies.  We have done them in more than 75% of all the communities in Alberta, including over 100 residencies in Indigenous communities. More than 250,000 Albertans of all ages have spent a week creating theatre with Trickster. The company is the largest provider of Artist in School Residencies in Alberta. 

The company is also focused on the creation of theatre based tools for learning, especially in the areas of Science, Storytelling, and Global Issues and we have been involved in Educational Research with the U of C and the Rozsa Foundation. We are proud to have played a significant role in the development of the Arts in Education sector in Alberta. 

Our Team



Producing Director

David founded Trickster in 1980. Trained in clowning with Tom Cox in Canada, in clowning and mime with Sigfrido Aguilar at the Estudio Busqueda de Pantomima in Mexico, in theatre and actor training with Richard Fowler at the Odin Theatre in Denmark, and improv and movement with David Schein at the Mangrove Studios in San Francisco. David is the recipient of the 2017 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management, as well as co-recipient of the 2017 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre for Young Audiences.

Sheryl Chantler

Artistic Director

Sheryl has been with the company since 1982 and has a dance degree from Scripps College in California. She has trained with Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham in New York, with Richard Fowler at the Odin Theatre in Denmark, and with Whoopi Goldberg in San Francisco. Sheryl is the originator of our version of many of the big physical theatre styles that are so popular with schools – like Black Light and Shadow Theatre. Sheryl is the co-recipient of the 2017 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre for Young Audiences.

Nimrodel Whiting


Nimrodel Whiting is the Operations Manager at Trickster Theatre. Nimrodel has a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary. Previously, she worked as a teacher in the Rocky View School Division and as an administrative coordinator with  marching bands in Calgary. When she is not working she is a volunteer for the Calgary Stampede and loves performing all varieties of music. Nimrodel joined Trickster Theatre in early 2017 to manage residency programming and general operations of the organization.


Matt Dewald

Media Associate

Matt works on the media side of Trickster, managing social media and video resources. Matt has two Bachelor degrees from the University of Calgary, in both Fine Arts and Education. He has worked with marketing teams on a variety of projects, most recently for SmartyPantz Entertainment. Matt has taught with the CSSD. He has also worked for over a dozen different theatre companies in Calgary in various roles including lighting & sound designer, house technician, producer, actor, and director.


Advisory Board