Picture of Dwayne Brenna

Dwayne Brenna B.A., M.A., Ph.D.


Drama professor emeritus

John Mitchell 193

Research Area(s)

  • Saskatoon theatre history
  • Non-verbal mask study
  • 19th Century melodrama
  • Realism and Wild West Shows

About me

19th Century Drama; Acting (theory and application)

Dwayne Brenna has acted at the Stratford Festival and has appeared on television in various nationally and internationally broadcast programs including For the Record, Judge (CBC Toronto), The Great Electrical Revolution, and The Incredible Story Studio (Mind's Eye). His movie credits include The Wars, Painted Angels (with Kelly McGillis), Black Light (with Michael Ironside), and The Impossible Elephant (with Mia Sara). A series of character-based vignettes called The Adventures of Eddie Gustafson, written and performed by Professor Brenna, had a five-year run on CBC Radio.

An active researcher and writer, he is the author of several books, including Scenes From Canadian Plays (Fifth House), Eddie Gustafson’s Guide To Christmas (Coteau), and Emrys’ Dream: Greystone Theatre in Words and Photographs (Thistledown). Our Kind Of Work: the Glory Days and Difficult Times of 25th Street Theatre was published by Thistledown in 2011. His two books of poetry Stealing Home and Give My Love to Rose were published by Hagios Press in 2012 and 2014 respectively. An historical novel entitled New Albion, set in a theatre in East London in 1850-51, will be forthcoming from Coteau Books in August 2016. Brenna has been shortlisted for Saskatchewan Book Awards on several occasions. He has contributed articles on theatre to The Canadian Theatre Review (Toronto), Theatre Notebook (London), The Dictionary of National Biography (London), The Routledge Who’s Who of World Theatre (London) and the Czech journal Theatralia.

Dr. Brenna has participated actively in the administrative life of the University, serving as Chair of the Research, Scholarly and Artistic Work Committee of Council and as Acting Chair of the International Activities Committee of Council. He served as Head of the Department of Drama for eight years. He is currently a member of Faculty Council.

Having completed his PhD at the University of London (England), Dr. Brenna is also an active proponent of internationalization at the University of Saskatchewan. He was involved in the development of an exchange with Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, where he taught a module on Canadian theatre. He has taught (and learned) mask in the aboriginal village of Boruca in the mountains of Costa Rica. Most recently, he has taught a module in mask at the University of Hyderabad in India. He regularly leads a study abroad course in London and Stratford-upon-Avon for students at the University of Saskatchewan.

His stage plays have been produced at Dancing Sky Theatre in Meacham, 25th Street Theatre in Saskatoon, and Neptune Theatre in Halifax.



19th Century acting mask study poetry theatre theatre history