Ted Dykstra started playing piano at age six, and peaked at age 12, when he had a particularly memorable string of firsts competing in the Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival. His acting career began at a young age in St. Albert, Alberta, playing the 2nd Bird in Once Upon A Clothesline, but his breakout role was Bilbo Baggins in his school’s Grade 8 production of The Hobbit. Since then he has gone on to play leading roles on every major stage in Canada, often combining his musical skills in such roles as Mozart in Amadeus; Cale Blackwell, a character based on Jerry Lee Lewis, in Fire (seven Canadian theatres); Shostakovitch in Master Class (Manitoba Theatre Centre); Glenn Gould in An Evening With Glenn Gould (National Arts Centre), Hedwig in Hedwig And The Angry Inch (Crow’s Theatre); and Cousin Kevin in The Who’s Tommy (Mirvish Productions). As well, school children around the world know him as Bach in the film Bach’s Fight For Freedom.
Other favourite acting roles include the title role in Hamlet (Theatre Calgary); for Soulpepper Theatre: Teach in American Buffalo, Daffyd Llewelyn in A Chorus Of Disapproval and Yuri in The Kreutzer Sonata; for Stratford: title role in Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ariel in The Tempest; as well as three seasons of leading roles for the Shaw Festival. He has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows including Shattered City and The Englishman’s Boy and recently was featured on The Republic Of Doyle (CBC). He has also voiced dozens of cartoon characters.
In 2000 he turned his attention to directing, and since has directed many award-winning shows across the country, notably for Soulpepper Theatre (Leaving Home, Of The Fields Lately, Salt Water Moon, Jitters, Billy Bishop, Under Milk Wood, The Glass Menagerie); Canadian Stage, (Rocky Horror Show, Little Shop Of Horrors, Frost/Nixon); The Neptune Theatre (Anne Frank, To Kill A Mockingbird, Miracle Worker); Harold Green Jewish Theatre (Tuesdays With Morrie, Talk); and four pantos for Ross Petty Productions. He has also directed 2P4H across America and in Australia and Hong Kong.
Recently, his performance and adaptation of Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata received accolades from critics and colleagues alike.
He is a founding member of Soulpepper Theatre and in the award department he has received four Doras (acting, musical direction, producing), a Gemini (acting), a Sterling (musical direction), a Merritt (directing) and a Chalmers (writing).
For him, all of the above pales compared to being the proud father of Theo, 10, and Rosie, 8, and their hamster, Buttercup, 1. He loves playing and watching tennis. Oh, and Go Oilers.