A Brief(ish) History Of Chris Wynters
After completing the Theatre Arts Program at MacEwan College in 1990 Chris began his career divided between music and theatre. Almost immediately after graduation his first band, THE BRAVE AND FOOLISH went on tour across Western Canada in support of their independent release, DOGS FOR DAYS. At the same time Chris was working as an actor in the Edmonton area, doing shows with CHINOOK THEATRE, STAGE WEST, and many with LEAVE IT TO JANE. At the end of the 1991 season, THE BRAVE AND FOOLISH starred in DIAMOND STUDS, which won the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Best Musical.
Chris and the band teamed up again with the Janes the next year and this time wrote a new musical, FRANKENSTEIN. Chris and musical co-writer Scott Peters won a Sterling award for Best Musical Composition for their work on that project. In the fall of 1993, Chris formed the band CAPTAIN TRACTOR with Scott he’s never really looked back. Seven albums, nine videos, dozens of awards, numerous border crossings and international excursions, tons of fast food and least twenty non-stop Canadian tours later…CAPTAIN TRACTOR is one of this country’s most successful independent bands ever. Their album, EAST OF EDSON, is a gold record in Canada, having reached this mark through the efforts of the band’s own record label, LUGAN RECORDS. They have since signed a record deal with SIX SHOOTER RECORDS a Toronto based record label.
In 2000, CAPTAIN TRACTOR and the Janes teamed up and remounted DIAMOND STUDS and Chris returned to doing theatre for the first time in six years. Soon after that he appeared in the Canadian Premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s first musical, SATURDAY NIGHT. Next Chris teamed up with Tim Ryan and Jeff Smook and wrote RED LIPS, THE MUSICAL which was nominated for several Sterlings, he also appeared in that show and has continued to pursue acting.
In 2003 he appeared as Johnny Casino in the CITADEL THEATRE‘s production of GREASE. He also music directed and played SKZSP the Guitar Player for the Angry Inch in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH with Theatre Network for which he received a Sterling Award for Outstanding Musical Direction. He even had a principal role in the Stephen Spielberg produced mini-series INTO THE WEST. In 2002 Chris hooked up with Bridget Ryan and created THE WINTER’S TALE PROJECT for MacEwan College in Edmonton. The show was first performed by the theatre arts class of 2003 and was remounted in 2004 by a professional cast in a Equity/Coop production at La Cite Francophone. Chris received Sterling Awards for Musical Direction and Best Score. The production also won for Best Independent Production and Best Musical.
In 2005 Chris released his first solo album, SKYWRITING, on SIX SHOOTER and has been touring both solo and with CAPTAIN TRACTOR. Chris has received many awards as a songwriter including SOCAN’s Songwriter of the year for his song, SOMEDAY and Alberta Recording Industry Assocition Award (ARIA) for Single Of The Year for his CAPTAIN TRACTOR song, UP THE HILL.
That fall, Chris built and opened THE NORWOOD STUDIO in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been busy recording musical scores for film and television and, along with his partner JAMES MURDOCH (Indica/Aquarius), has been producing and engineering records for various artists, icluding AMY SEELEY, NICK PERREAULT, DANA WYLIE, CHANDA COOPER, DEON BLYAN and THE WHEAT POOL. Recently, Six Shooter Records released, SONGS FROM THE AVENUE, which was co-produced by Chris along with James Murdoch and Scott Peters at the NORWOOD STUDIO.
In the summer of 2007, Chris and Bridget took the WINTER’S TALE PROJECT to FringeNYC where they had a very successful run at the Village Theater on Bleecker Street. In the spring of 2008 Red Deer College produced the show. Summer 2008, brought the production of a new musical collaboration with Bridget: WedLOCKED. This four-hander musical about the trials and tribulations of married life, ran at the Mayfield Theatre in Edmonton for the months of July and August.
In 2009 Chris began recording his second solo record, “CHRIS WYNTERS – 2010-1982“, a collection of originals and covers of some of his favourite songs from the 1980′s including songs by the CURE, R.E.M. and The REPLACEMENTS. Just as he was putting the finishing touches on that record he was commissioned to write a new musical for Strathcona High School to take to the Edinburgh Fringe. Chris set to work penning an idea he’d had for a long time, taking Shakespeare’s LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST and merging it with his own experiences at a west coast boarding school in the early 1980′s. (Eighties themes were certainly in the ether). The show, entitled SAINT AGGIE’S ’84 went into rehearsals in the spring and ran in Edmonton and Edinburgh during the summer of 2010. Chris also performed in the Citadel Theatre’s production of AS YOU LIKE IT in April and May of 2010.
2011 marked a return to music with the release CAPTAIN TRACTOR’s seventh album, FAMOUS LAST WORDS. The band performed shows around Alberta to mark the release, and played festivals during the summer. In the fall Chris appeared as John Lennon in FOUR LADS WHO SHOOK THE WORLD, THE BEATLES STORY PART ONE at the Mayfield in Edmonton. He also set to work further developing SAINT AGGIE’S ’84 into a two-act and began working on a new musical, MEASURES TO MEASURES which will first travel to the Edinburgh Fringe with LORD BEAVERBROOK HIGH SCHOOL in Calgary as a one-act in the summer of 2012 and will then be further worked on and developed into a two-act with STRATHCONA HIGH SCHOOL for production in the spring of 2013. In March of 2012 THE WEAVER ACADEMY in Greensboro, North Carolina will debut the new two act version of SAINT AGGIE’S ’84.