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January 8, 1978
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Ronald "Ron" Pederson (born January 8, 1978) is an award winning Canadian actor, improviser and theatre director who has performed extensively throughout Canada and in the United States. He has worked with most of Canada's major theatres including The Stratford Festival, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Citadel Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, The Arts Club, The Vancouver Playhouse, The Young Centre, The Canadian Stage Company, The Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Soulpepper and The SummerWorks Festival.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Pederson began working professionally at the Citadel Theatre and The Phoenix Theatre and with award-winning playwright Stewart Lemoine's Teatro La Quindicina and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival at a very young age. In 1995, at the invitation of Dana Andersen, Pederson joined the cast of the live improvised Soap Opera Die-Nasty. Over the next eight years Ron performed weekly on the Soap, worked with notable guest stars Mark McKinney, Mike Myers and Joe Flaherty, and completed the Die-Nasty Annual 53-Hour Soap-A-Thon. In 2002 Pederson won a Sterling Award for his portrayal of Ray Dooley in Martin McDonagh's play The Beauty Queen of Leenane. He is an eight time Sterling Award nominee.
Pederson was discovered in Hollywood while improvising at The Second City with Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Fred Willard in Joe Flaherty's Improvised Show The Soap Also Rises in March, 2002. That year he turned down an invitation to join the Toronto's The Second City Main Stage Cast to begin work on FOX's sketch comedy television series MADtv that September. He would perform with them for three seasons and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Television Performance for his work on MADtv: Season 10. Following his departure from MADtv Pederson went on to write and perform original sketches on CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson for one season before deciding to return to Canada and to dedicate himself to the stage.
He moved to Toronto in 2007 where he played Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at The Canadian Stage Company and has since worked at Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, The Summerworks Festival and The Toronto Fringe Festival. Back in Edmonton he played Quasimodo in Catalyst Theatre's Hunchback, which also played in Vancouver, and James in the world-premiere of the Sterling Award winning play Extinction Song written and directed by Ron Jenkins, which also played in Toronto (Summerworks Spotlight Award) and in Halifax (Merritt Award Nomination). In Vancouver his performance of Carmen Ghia in The Producers at the Arts Club earned him a Jessie Richardson Award Nomination. He joined the Acting Company of the Stratford Festival in 2013 playing Launcelot Gobo in The Merchant of Venice.
Pederson's recent film and television credits include providing the voice of the Golly Gee Kid in the YTV cartoon SIDEKICK, guest starring on Colin Mochrie's sitcom, She's the Mayor, CBC's InSecurity and Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as playing Frank, one of the villains in the Family Film Vampire Dog.
In October 2008, with Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus, Pederson became a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of the three time Canadian Comedy Award Winning Improv Theatre Company The National Theatre of the World. They began producing two weekly shows in Toronto: Impromptu Splendor: an improvised one-act play and The Carnegie Hall Show, an improvised Variety Show. Later they went on to produce The Soaps, a serialized, improvised Soap Opera and Fiasco Playhouse, an evening of improvised theatrical experiments. In 2009 The National Theatre of the World won the RBC Arts Professional Award. Pederson, Baram and Snieckus went on to perform their shows as part of Toronto's Summerworks Theatre Festival, The Young Centre for the Performing Arts’ Global Cabaret Festival, at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City, in Chicago, Los Angeles, Charleston, Edmonton, Halifax and in Europe.
In October 2011, Pederson won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Male Improviser for his work with the National Theatre of the World.
Pederson left The National Theatre of the World in 2012 and co-founded a new company called The Theatre Department with Daniela Vlaskalic the same year. The Theatre Department is an "artist driven theatre dedicated to awakening the imagination. The Theatre Department is committed to engaging with Canada's best Actors, Directors and Designers. [Their] intention is to produce simple, elegant productions of the world's best language-based plays, both new and vintage, with an emphasis on accentuating the power of theatre's singular, live dynamic." Their first production was Stewart Lemoine's The Exquisite Hour (2012) at the Factory Theatre starring Ted Dykstra, with Pederson in his directorial debut. The company's second production was Lemoine's Pith! (2014) at Theatre Passe Muraille. Ron was nominated for a 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Actor for Pith!
In 2016 Ron recently appeared for an extended run with renowned improvisation company English Lovers in Vienna, starred in the acclaimed improvised musical One Night Only at the Factory Theatre in Toronto and produced and starred in a remount of Extinction Song at the Highland Arts Theatre, in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Pederson was nominated for a 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Actor for One Night Only; the Greatest Musical Never Written. The nomination was unprecedented as Pederson was the first performer nominated in the category to have entirely improvised his performance.