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Jo-Ann Waytowich

Jo-Ann Waytowich, creator of "Ivanka", has always had a passion for music and drama. Her earliest musical recollections were of perching atop a haystack on the family farm in Oakburn Manitoba, singing songs from The Sound Of Music to the contented cattle below.

After a 15-year career in "the helping profession", Waytowich enrolled at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay Ontario to study music and majored in Voice. She wrote her first play I Can Sing! (Can't I?) as her honours project to graduate.

But the reality of life called, and with bills piling up, Waytowich was forced to return to the social services.

In 1997, Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay Ontario, programmed I Can Sing! (Can't I?) in its' 25th Anniversary season. The little honours project miraculously broke all box office records and Waytowich was asked to write another play. Ivanka Delivers The Goods was born.

Waytowich continued to work full-time, using her vacation time to write and perform. On her 40th birthday, during a leave of absence from her job, Jo-Ann was on stage performing Ivanka Delivers The Goods to another sold-out crowd. She realized that she stood at a crossroads. She could either continue to work in jobs that didn't fulfill her creative ambitions, or take the risk of becoming a playwright/performer.

And so, with the support of family and friends, Jo-Ann Waytowich made a life changing decision - to follow her passion. The rest is history. She has now written 5 full-length musical comedies and performs in theatres across the country. She is part of a singing trio called Broadway Bound. She performs in an improvisation comedy troupe and as an actor in other shows. Jo-Ann's life motto? Dare to Dream!

Jo-Ann's sense of humour and timing have made her the perfect candidate for character roles which include:

  • Dot in Sex Tips for Modern Girls
  • Catherine in Ned Durango Comes to Big Oak
  • Yenta the Matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof
  • Smeraldina in Servent of Two Masters
  • Several characters in Fire and,
  • Several women in I Love You. You're Perfect. Now Change!
Jo-Ann Waytowich

"I created Ivanka, the one-woman band who is the star of my show. She knows everything about everything, a sort of musical Yenta. She's a funny musicologist. And yes, she was inspired by the great comic opera diva Anna Russell."

Ivanka Productions | info@ivanka.ca