John Cleland

John Cleland

John Cleland has been carving out a living in Canadian theatre for almost three decades. After co-founding The Chestnut Tree Theatre Company in Halifax, having completed an English Honours degree at King’s College Dalhousie, he returned to Toronto in 1995. With no theatre degree, John had to convince creators in Toronto to take a chance on him and Richard was one of the first to roll the dice. A production of Grace Bay Miner’s Museum at the GCTC under Richard’s direction followed by three years at the Shaw Festival launched John’s career and so began a professional and personal friendship with Richard.

Some of John’s favourite productions include playing Bottom in Canadian Stage’s Dream in High Park, This is War (Tarragon/PTE), Much Ado About Nothing (Tarragon), Late Company (Theatre Centre), A Line in the Sand (Factory Theatre) and Innocence Lost (Soulpepper). John received a Dora Award for his portrayal of a homeless man living with Schizophrenia in Edward the Crazy Man.

His film and Television credits include Running with Violet, The Addition, Down the Road Again, Murdoch Mysteries, Rogue, Degrassi, etc.

His voice career has included six seasons as Lte. Petrovsky on CBC’s Afghanada, numerous radio dramas, audiobooks, cartoons and commercial campaigns including being the voice of Ford Canada for 10 years.

John is most proud of his two children, Lucia and Pascal, who continue to deepen his understanding of life, art and philosophy and teach him how to be in the world.

For more about John please check out his website at

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