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 forty 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. Thousands of readers have followed Dan’s columns in Harrowsmith-Country Life, Small Farm Canada, Watershed, In the Hills and On the Bay. He has authored a number of multi-character stage plays, including The Perils of Persephone, Ed’s Garage, and The Last Christmas Turkey (a musical). Nominated three times for The Stephen Leacock Award, he won in 2003 for   

his history of Persephone Township, With Axe and Flask. Dan’s other books include Wingfield's World (a novelisation of the seven Wingfield plays), True Confessions from the Ninth Concession and his latest, Finding Larkspur. From more than a thousand platforms, Dan has entertained crowds as a banquet and conference speaker, carrying a message of neighbourhood, affection and the power of farmer thinking.

"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) 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 directed plays 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 consulted on Primedia's television production of Letter From Wingfield Farm, which won the 1991 "Gemini" Award for best performing arts program, and worked as  co-executive producer of the Wingfield TV series. In 1999 Doug founded Touchmark Theatre in Guelph and served as its artistic director until 2009. As president of Douglas Beattie Theatrical Productions Ltd., he markets the recordings of the Wingfield plays. (Click on

“DVDs/ CDs/ MP3s” 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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