Wes Pearce

Wes PearceBiographical Sketch: Professor, Wes D. Pearce was born in Regina, Saskatchewan (Treaty 4 territory) in 1965 and graduated from Scott Collegiate in 1983. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Regina in 1988, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in 1992 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary in 1996. After working as a freelance designer and teaching as a sessional at the University of Calgary he returned to the University of Regina in 1997 as an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department. The return to his alma mater coincided with the opening of the new Riddell Centre on the University of Regina Main Campus.

In 2003 he served six months as Department Head (Acting) of the Theatre Department, served as the Department Head of Theatre (2006 – 2009), Associate Dean (Undergraduate) for the Faculty of Fine Arts [later the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance] (2010 – 2018), and Associate Dean (Interdisciplinary Programs and Special Projects) for the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (2018 – 2020). He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2004 and to Full Professor in 2014.

Since 1997 he has developed and taught dozens of courses in the areas of costume and/or set design, scenography, Canadian Theatre, and popular culture. Along with Professor David Garneau, and Drs. Stephen McClatchie and Christine Ramsay he developed and offered the first interdisciplinary course in the Faculty of Fine Arts. He later collaborated on courses with Dr. Pauline Minevich and many years later he still teaches a version of the class they developed on musical theatre.

With varied research interests he has presented at dozens of conferences and has published on an equally wide variety of topics including the playwright Sharon Pollocks scenographic imagination, Sharon Pollock’s use of domestic space, elements of prairie gothic in Daniel Macdonald’s MacGregor’s Hard Ice Cream and Gas, Same-sex celebrity gossip and homophobia in theatre. In 2013 he and Jean Hillabold co-edited Out Spoken: Perspectives on Queer Identities (University of Regina Press).

As a professional scenographer he has over twenty design credits for Regina’s Globe Theatre, several productions for both Persephone Theatre (Saskatoon) and Stage West (Calgary) as well as Western Canada Theatre (Kamloops), Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary) and Prairie Theatre Exchange (Winnipeg). Selected world premieres include Us: A Coming In Musical Globe Theatre (Set and Costume Design) [2018], Key Change Globe Theatre (Set and Costume Design) [2017], The King Stag University of Regina (Costume Design) [2012], Radiant Boy University of Regina (Costume Design) [2010], MacGregor’s Hard Ice Cream and Gas Persephone Theatre (Set and Costume Design) [2005] and Woyzeck University of Regina (Set Design) [2002]. Other productions of note include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Persephone Theatre (Costume Design) [2007] which was the first production in the brand new Rawlco Radio Hall, the first regional theatre production of Elizabeth Rex Globe Theatre (Costume Design) [2002], the 25th Anniversary production of Cruel Tears Globe Theatre (Costume Design) [1999] and The Admirable Crichton University of Regina (Costume Design0 [1997] which was the first production in the new University Theatre. His peers have honoured him with four nominations for the Saskatoon and Area Theatre Award and two nominations for Calgary’s Betty Mitchell Award all for outstanding costume design.

He has sat on the board of directors for Regina’s Globe Theatre, Saskatchewan Association of Professional Theatre Artists, Saskatchewan Drama Association, Mid America Theatre Conference, Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Associated Designers of Canada, AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Studies Association.

Written by Wes Pearce, 2022

Photo courtesy of Wes Pearce
Photo credit: Don Hall, Audio Visual Services,
University of Regina