The Official Walt Wingfield Website

Artist Bios

ROD BEATTIE (actor) A veteran of eighteen seasons and over 50 productions with Ontario's Stratford Festival, Rod Beattie is one of the most respected and versatile actors in Canadian theatre. Featured stage roles include Narcisse in The Passion of Narcisse Mondoux at London's Grand Theatre; Ed in Ed's Garage at the Grand Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre and Theatre Orangeville; Felix in The Odd Couple at Segal Centre, Montreal; Johnny Pateen Mike in The Cripple of Inishmaan at Theatre Calgary; Bill in The Love List and Greg in Sylvia at the Belfry Theatre, Victoria; John Proctor in The Crucible and Father Gustave in Blessings in Disguise at Manitoba Theatre Centre; the professor in Oleanna at the Grand Theatre and the National Arts Centre (opposite Sandra Oh) and Andy Ladd in an Ontario tour of Love Letters (opposite Martha Henry). Over the past thirty plus years Rod's name has become synonymous with the Wingfield series which has brought him acting awards, rave reviews and sold-out houses in Toronto, London, Stratford, Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Saint John, Fredericton and a host of smaller communities across Canada. Rod and Walt made their American debuts to great acclaim at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 1994. Rod is the winner of the 1991 - 92 "Dora" Award (best performance by an actor in a leading role) for his performance in the first three Wingfield plays. In 2017, he was appointed Member of the Order of Canada.

"Beattie is astonishingly adept at transforming himself from one character to another in a matter of seconds, calling up echoes of a crotchety Walter Brennan, a gawky Jimmy Stewart or a flustered Bob Newhart."

-The Toronto Star

"With his man-next-door face - perfect for a character like Walt - Beattie flows to other roles with a twist of the lip, an arch of an eyebrow, a different bend in the back and a wonderful array of different voices."

- The Globe and Mail

DAN NEEDLES (playwright) Dan Needles spent half his childhood in the city and half on the family farm at Rosemont, Ontario. After university he went to work as editor of the local newspaper in Shelburne where he created the character of Walt Wingfield, the retired stockbroker turned farmer, who told about his adventures on the farm in a series of weekly letters to the editor. In 1985, Dan drew from these columns to write his first play Letter From Wingfield Farm. Wingfield's Progress followed in 1987, Wingfield's Folly in 1990, Wingfield Unbound in 1997, Wingfield On Ice in 2001, Wingfield's Inferno in 2005 and Wingfield Lost and Found in 2009. Dan writes for six publications these days: Harrowsmith, Small Farm Canada, Farmers Forum, Watershed, In the Hills and On the Bay. He’s also the winner of the 2003 Leacock Medal for Humour for With Axe and Flask, a comic history of his fictional Persephone Township. He is the author of a number of multi-character stage plays including The Perils of Persephone, Ed's Garage, The Last Christmas Turkey (a musical), The Team on the Hill, and Fair Play. Dan has collected the Wingfield plays in a novelized book version, Wingfield's World, published by Random House. His latest book, True Confessions from the Ninth Concession, published by Douglas & McIntyre, is a collection of his magazine columns over the last 25 years.

"Dan Needles has much the same gift for gentle comedy as England's James Herriot of All Creatures Great and Small glory."

-The Toronto Sun

"a kind of philosophical Will Rogers with a flair for the well told anecdote that is like the best of W.O. Mitchell, AND IT'S FUNNY!"

-CKLN Newswave

DOUGLAS BEATTIE (director) Douglas Beattie became an independent producer and director in 1979. His association with Dan Needles goes back to childhood summers spent on the farm. In addition to heading the Wingfield team Doug has been guest director at the Stratford Festival; the Belfry Theatre, Victoria; Lighthouse Festival, Port Dover; Theatre Orangeville; the Blyth Festival; the Piggery Theatre, North Hatley; Thousand Islands Playhouse; Gryphon Theatre, Barrie, and the Grand Theatre, London (The Passion of Narcisse Mondoux, Ed's Garage and The Perils of Persephone). He was consultant to Primedia's television production of Letter From Wingfield Farm which won the 1991 "Gemini" Award for best performing arts program and is co-executive producer of the Wingfield TV series. He is also founding Artistic Director of Pie in the Sky Productions (formerly Touchmark Theatre) and President of Douglas Beattie Theatrical Productions Ltd. which markets the CDs and DVDs of the Wingfield plays. (Click on "DVDs & CDs” above.)

"The third partner, invisible but important, is director Douglas Beattie, who keeps it all seeming simple, but actually being quite complex."

- The Toronto Star

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