Theatre Faculty Directory

Photo from Love's Labour's Lost

FACULTY 2017/2018

 

MICHAEL ARMSTRONG (SPEECH)

Michael began his career over 20 years ago attending George Brown Theatre School.  Following that he spent 10 years working extensively in theatre, film and television between Toronto, Vancouver, and Los Angeles. Returning to Toronto over 10 years ago now, he completed his MFA in acting at York University; and subsequently, the Graduate Voice Teaching Diploma, also at York. Since Graduating, Michael has taught voice, speech, dialects, and acting at a number of Toronto schools including: York U, Humber College, The Randolph School, Toronto Film School, The Baumander School, and The Canadian National Voice Intensive. He has also coached shows at Soulpepper, Tarragon, Alumnae Theatre, and The Classical Theatre Project. The bulk of Michael's work in recent years has been coaching voice, dialogue, and dialects on film and television sets. His recent credits include: American Gothic, Recon, Incorporated, Killjoys, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, The Strain, The Listener, Lost Girl, Assassin's Creed Unity, Horizon, Bomb Girls, Warehouse 13, The Mortal Instruments, Silent Hill: Revelation, Covert Affairs, The Thing, and a full season as staff coach on BBC America's period drama Copper. During this time, he has been lucky enough to work with a host of well-known actors including: Julia Ormond, Sean Bean, Kit Harrington, Alfre Woodard, Donal Logue, Billy Baldwin, Joel Edgerton, Lee Tergesen, Robert Sheehan, and Piper Perabo. 

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BRENDA BAZINET (Guest Director)

Brenda is a theatre director, actor and acting instructor and is delighted to be returning to George Brown Theatre School for which she has taught several acting classes over the years and directed the production, Munsched!! Other directing credits include: Other Desert Cities, The Penelopiad (Citadel Theatre); The Ladies Foursome (The Grand Theatre); Skylight (Troubadour Theatre Collective); Of the Fields Lately (Sudbury Theatre Centre); The Sea (Actors Repertory Company). As an acting instructor, Brenda has taught for the prestigious Citadel/Banff Professional Theatre Program, National Theatre School, Ryerson University (Act II), Equity Showcase, Actraworks, Actors Workshop, the Women in the Director's Chair Program (Banff), Theatre Ontario and Humber College (Acting for Film and Television Program). She has conducted Acting for the Camera workshops across Canada and served as a private coach to actors preparing for film and theatre auditions. As an actor, she has performed on stages across the country, receiving 4 Dora nominations and has appeared in over 100 film and television projects. Some of her recent acting credits for the theatre include: Long Day's Journey Into Night, Death of a Salesman, The Goat, Equus (Citadel Theatre); Hamlet (Resurgence Theatre); Ring Round the Moon, The Wild Duck (Soulpepper); The Price (Sudbury Theatre Centre); End of Civilization (Factory Theatre); Leaving Home (Blyth Festival). Television credits include: Anne, Shoot the Messenger (ACTRA nomination), Lost and Found, The Strain, Saving Hope, Haven, Against the Wall, Flashpoint, Burn Up, Sins of the Father, This is Wonderland, Rabbittown and A Grief Shared (Gemini Award).

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PIOTR R. BIERNAT (CONTACT IMPROVISATION)

Piotr R Biernat, originally from Poland, moved to Canada in 1996 after completing a MFA at the National Theatre School in Wroclaw.He continued to train in contemporary dance and choreography with Anna Wyman in Vancouver, Main Dance Studio and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. He has had the privilege of dancing with many great artists and dance companies including: CORPUS, Kaeja d'Dance, Mocean Dance, Peter Chin, Chimera Project, Danny Grossman, Kahawi Dance Theatre and Hit and Run Production.Piotr's choreographic work include Past Perfect, To-get-Her, Black and White, Bodies and Motion, and Wounded which were performed at various festivals. He also choreographed the Bravo! Fact Video, Acalanto. In Poland he choreographed for Wroclawski Pantomime Theatre and appeared in the televison shows, Licencja na wychowanie, Tancerze and Pierwsza Milosc. He has also appeared in two seasons of CWTV historical drama Reign.He is currently senior faculty member at Toronto Film School.

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CINDY BLOCK (STORYTELLING, VOICE, MOVEMENT)

holds an honorary BFA and an MFA in Acting, a Teaching Diploma from York University and a certificate to teach Embodied Practices®. She studied Acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York and is a veteran actor of the Canadian stage, having played over 30 professional roles. Throughout her performance career, she has participated in the artistic development of several new Canadian works and was co-founder of P.I.E. Theatre in Vancouver. She is currently a core performer with Toronto Playback Theatre: an improvisational form developed to generate dialogue in community and encourage the recognition of shared experience through story telling. Her artistic research includes extensive study and application of the practice of Authentic Movement to writing, performance and collective creation for the stage, culminating in a Master's Thesis. She has been a co-presenter of this research at the International Festival of Making Theatre in Athens, Greece, The Myth and Theatre Festival's Summer University at the Roy Hart Centre in France, and at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference. Over the past 15 years she has taught voice, movement, collective creation and Embodied Practice® at York University's Theatre Department, the Humber College Comedy School, The Centre for Indigenous Theatre as well as privately with industry professionals. She is currently on Faculty at Canada's National Voice Intensive, George Brown Theatre School, The University of Toronto and The Professional Actor's Lab. Her Pedagogical interest is in the synthesis of voice and movement principles for performance and her recent work in the Butoh based production of Eunioa won two Dora Nominations  

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MARK BROWNELL (THEATRE HISTORY, CANADIAN DRAMA, CREATIVE PROCESS)

) is an award winning Canadian playwright, former Councilor at Canadian Actors Equity Association, and current co-artistic director of the Pea Green Theatre Group with his wife and partner Sue Miner. Nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award for his play Monsieur d'Eon. He received a Best New Musical Dora Mavor Moore Award for his libretto Iron Road and a Best New Play Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination for Medici Slot Machine. He is also the recipient of the Harold Indie Theatre Award. In 2011 Scirocco Drama published his "Break a Leg! An Actor's Guide to Theatrical Practices, Phrases and Superstitions". Other stage work includes Clique Claque, Three Men in a Boat (adaptation), Harmonious Interest, The Schoolyard Carmen, The Barbecue King, The Martha Stewart Projects, Playballs, High Sticking – Three Period Plays, The Chevalier St. George, The Storyteller’s Bag and The Weaving Maiden.

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LEAH CHERNIAK (CLOWN)

Leah is a Resident Artist at Soulpepper and the Associate Director of The Soulpepper Academy. She is the Co-Founder with Martha Ross of Theatre Columbus in Toronto(now Common Boots Theatre)  where she created over 30 new plays and which has an excellent reputation for innovative productions of classics.  For Theatre Columbus she directed and co-created most of the company's repertoire, including: The Anger in Ernest and ErnestineGynty (an adaptation of Peer Gynt), Twelfth Night,  The BetrayalHotel LoopyDance of the Red SkirtsAnd Up They Flew (by Martha Ross) and many more.  She created and performed the role of Jelly in The Attic, the Pearls and 3 Fine Girls.  Other directing highlights include:  Nativity, by Peter Anderson, Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, The Little Years by John  Mighton at The National Arts Centre, Ottawa;  The Book of Esther and Schoolhouse, by Leanna Brodie and Having Hope at Home by David Craig at The Blyth Festival; Past  Perfect by Michel Tremblay, Rune Arlidge by Michael Healey and John and Beatrice by Carole Flechette at  Tarragon Theatre; Six Essential Questions by Priscila Uppal at Factory Theatre; The Miracle  Worker at The Lorraine Kimsa Theatre and I Claudia by Kristen Thompson at The Segal Centre in Montreal among others.   Most recently she directed The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine  at Soulpepper,  and performed in The Dybbuk, adapted by Anton Piatagorsky at Soulpepper.    Leah teaches an intensive clown course for the Ryerson Theatre Program.  She also teaches Directing at University of Toronto.

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ALEX DAULT (SELF-PRODUCING)

Alex is a producer, playwright and director passionate about creating opportunities for emerging artists and the development of new work. He is currently the Artistic Director of Theatre by the Bay in Barrie, Ontario and a member of Single Thread Theatre Company and safeword theatre. Recent plays include The Five Points (2017), Turkey Shoot (2016), Firebrand (2014) Alex studied at George Brown Theatre School, Queen's University and at École Philippe Gaulier. 

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MAURIZIO DODARO (DRAMATIC LITERATURE)

Maurizio holds a BA Honours in Italian Studies and History from York University, a MA in Italian Studies from the University of Toronto, a MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and is currently completing his PhD in Drama at U of T. His theatre work has included: dramaturge for Verdi's Don Carlos for the Chicago Opera House, Julius Caesar for the Stratford Festival, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets and The Clairvoyant for the Drama Centre at the U of T.; producer for San Pascal Baylon and Qui Fra Noi Facendoci Compagnia at the Alumni Theatre, U of T and Mozart and Salieri: An Operatic Paraphrase After Rimsky – Korsakov and Mozart at the Robert Gill Theatre; costume designer for Il Re Cervo (Robert Gill Theatre); The Transfiguration, The Annunciation and The Last Judgment (the York Cycle Plays); The Cabot Voyages (Campiello Players). In addition to George Brown College, Maurizio has taught at the Columbus Centre, Ryerson University and the York Catholic District School Board. Maurizio has been teaching in the Theatre School since 2003. He also a professor and Program Coordinator for the General Arts and Sciences program.

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SARAH DODD (SCENE STUDY)

Sarah graduated from George Brown Theatre School in 1995. The year after graduation she joined the Stratford Festival where she stayed until 2003. Featured roles at the festival included: Electra in Electra, Masha in The Seagull, Varya in The Cherry Orchard, Lady MacDuff in Macbeth, Lady Anne in Richard III, Sibyl in Private Lives, Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice, Chorus in Agamemnon and Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest. She received two Tyrone Guthrie Awards from the Stratford Festival and recently returned for the 2017 season. Other theatre credits include Mustard; The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs; Communion; The Fall; Humble Boy (Tarragon Theatre), Bingo (Factory Theatre), The Penelopiad; The Age of Arousal (Nightwood Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Canadian Stage), Domesticated; Marion Bridge; A Whistle in the Dark (Company Theatre). Sarah is the recipient of 2 Dora Awards for acting, one for Marion Bridge and one for The Penelopiad (ensemble performance) and was nominated for her performance in Mustard. She lives in Toronto with her family.

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SHARRY FLETT (MONOLOGUE)

recently appeared at the Shaw Festival in Uncle Vanya, Our Town, and Driving Miss Daisy for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre.  As a member of the Shaw Festivalfor  twenty- seven seasons, she has appeared in over 54 productions including ,The Philadelphia Story, The Charity That Began At Home, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Enchanted April, A Man and Some Women, Come Back Little Sheba,  My Fair Lady, Maria Severa, Age of Arousal, The Women, Sunday in the Park with George, A Month in the Country, Summer and Smoke, High Society, The Magic Fire, The Autumn Garden, Major Barbara, Man and Superman, Floyd Collins, Blood Relations, His Majesty, The Return of the Prodigal, Six Characters in Search of an Author, A Woman of No Importance, Getting Married, Rebecca, Joy, Hobson's Choice, The Seagull, The Secret LifeThe HollowCavalcade, Busman's Honeymoon, Eden End, The Silver King, Lulu, Hedda Gabler, Misalliance, Night Must Fall, Berkeley Square, Dangerous Corner, Once in a Lifetime, and War and Peace. Ms. Flett earned two music degrees from McGill University before studying theatre at the Webber-Douglas Academy in London, England. She began her career in musical theatre at Charlottetown. In 1981 she played Kate to Len Cariou`s Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew at the Stratford Festival. She appeared at Stratford for three seasons in She Stoops to Conquer, The Misanthrope, The Tempest, and Translations. She also appeared in Company at Canadian Stage; as Nora in A Doll’s House at Theatre London, Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Pitman Painters for Theatre Aquarius.  She served as Assistant Director on the Canadian Stage production of Passion. Ms. Flett`s television work has been recognized with Best Actress Gemini nomination for War Brides and a Best Supporting Actress Gemini nomination for The Suicide Murders. Her television and film credits include the starring role in 35 episodes of Full House with Sharry Flett for TVO, as well as appearances on CBC Sunday Arts, Eleventh Hour, Forever Knight, Street Legal, Secret Service, Top Cops, Jane of Lantern Hill, and Shades of Black.  She has taught at the National Theatre School, and various universities, including Toronto, Queen’s, Dalhousie, and Brock. 

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SIMON FON (STAGE COMBAT)

With over 600 professional credits stretching from Broadway to Stratford to Yellowknife, Simon specializes in all areas: Weaponry, Aerial Flying, Unarmed Combat (Eastern and Western).   Fight Master with FDC.  Executive Director and Founder of RIOT A.C.T. earning 17 nominations and 8 awards, including Simon for Male Action Performer of the Year 2009 AOF Festival – California.
www.simonfon.com  and www.riotact.ca

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LESLIE FRENCH (MOVEMENT, VOCAL MASQUE)

) is an internationally recognized movement teacher and coach.  She has taught at the College for over 30 years.  As well as teaching at George Brown, Leslie has worked at the Stratford Festival as a movement coach for 5 seasons with the Company and previously taught for 8 years in the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. Until recently Leslie taught in the evenings at her own school The Centre of Movement where she originally studied. After five years of intensive study in body wisdom, modern dance, mime, improvisation and composition with Til Thiele, former master teacher and principal of the Mary Wigman School in Berlin, Til passed on The Centre of Movement to Leslie. Working with the question 'what is important for an actor' she began to develop her own innovative and personal approach to teaching the actor process in movement terms. She is one of the first people in Canada to teach movement specifically for the actor. As well as George Brown, Leslie has taught at the Maggie Basset Studio, Ryerson's Act Two Studio, Theatre Ontario's Summer Intensive, Harbourfront, OISE, Charlottetown Festival Young People's Company and many other places. Since studying with Til Thiele, she has developed her work further through her studies in Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver, Authentic Movement with Judith Koltai and Janet Adler, Syntonics with Judith Koltai, and Craniosacral Therapy with the Upledger Foundation. Presently Leslie is participating as a supporting member in a Masterclass of Embodied Practice TM with Judith Koltai. As well, she is a founding member of a recent movement research project called The Cassandra Project. Leslie is the only person in Canada certified by Charlotte Selver to teach the practice of Sensory Awareness. Recently Leslie worked on the film Maudie as a movement coach for Sally Hawkins. As well as teaching classes and workshops, Leslie gives private movement sessions in Toronto.   

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KAREN GLAVE (TV ACTING)

Karen Glave is a graduate of George Brown School, where she was taught by many wonderful instructors such as Peter Wylde, David Ferry, Paul Lampert, Sherry Flett and Diana Reis. She was also part of The President's Class at The British American Drama Academy (BADA) in 2001, working with Fiona Shaw, David Leveaux, and John Barton. Karen has been working regularly on stage and in Film and TV for over 20 years, since graduating from George Brown Theatre School. She has been seen on stage in a variety of productions including: For Colored Girls... (Soulpepper Theatre), Disgraced (Mirvish, The Citadel), Macbeth and Cyrano de Bergerac (Stratford Festival), Paulo and Daphne(Theatreworks), The Lady Smith (Theatre Passe Muraille), New World (Tarragon Theatre), Little Tongues (Toronto Fringe) and The Postman directed by David Ferry as part of the Panamania presentations during the 2015 Pan Am Games. Film and TV include: Real Detective, Crimson Peak, RiverThe Strain, Saving Hope, Suits, Remedy, Sensitive Skin, Lost Girl, The Day After Tomorrow, Shooting Oliver, and Last Night.

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VICTORIA HEART (THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE)

is a graduate of the Toronto School of the Alexander Technique and has been teaching since 1995.  Having just finished her fourteenth season with the Shaw Festival, Ms. Heart finds supporting the creative process particularly rewarding.  She has taught master classes with Music Niagara's Youth Camp, did Alexander coaching for the Toronto production of The Lion King, as well as working individually with some members of the Toronto Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.  Ms. Heart makes her home in Toronto, where she also maintains a private practice. Selected Credits for the Shaw Festival:  2016/  Alice, Our Town, Sweeney Todd;  2015/  Sweet Charity, You Never Can Tell;  2014/  Cabaret, The Sea;  2013/  Major Barbara, Faith Healer;  2012/  Ragtime, Helen’s Necklace; 2011/  The Admirable Crichton, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof;  2009/  Sunday in the Park with George;  2008/  A Little Night Music;  2007/  Hotel Peccadillo;   2006/  Magic Fire, The Crucible; 2004/  Floyd Collins

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VRENIA IVONOFFSKI (MASK, COMMEDIA DELL' ARTE)

Vrenia Ivonoffski studied acting at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, mask with Phillip Gaulier, and directing at Ryerson Theatre School. She has taught at George Brown Theatre School since 1987, Mime and Mask at Ryerson Theatre School and physical theatre workshops at the Centre of Movement, C.O.D.E. conferences and University of Guelph. She has been Artistic Director of the Yellow Bench Theatre Company, Assistant Director at Gryphon Theatre and YPT, Associate Director of the Young Company at the Blyth Festival, and has directed for the Huron Country Playhouse, Hole-in-the-Wall Theatre, Cabbagetown Theatre, Black-White-and-Yiddish Project at the Ford Centre and Act II Studio, of which she has been Artistic Director since 1990. Her play, Leacock Live!, an adaptation of Stephen Leacock’s work, was awarded Patrons’ Pick at the 2010 Toronto Fringe Festival. She was dramaturge and director of Beyond the Pail, a mask show at the 2011 Calgary Fringe.  Ivonoffski is also Artistic Director of Research Based Theatre, a company which translates psychosocial research into theatrical form. Among her research-based plays are three Canada-U.S. touring shows with the Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, a show on aging with the Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens Organizations, and a play for the Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton.  Her latest research-based play, No Longer Relevant? on ageism is currently being performed throughout Canada and the US.  Ms. Ivonoffski was president of the Toronto Association of Acting Studios from 2006-09 and has been distinguished as an honorary member of the Arts and Letters Club.  She was awarded the 2014 Maggie Bassett Prize by Theatre Ontario.

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DAVID JANSEN (PERIOD STUDY)

David is an actor, director, dramaturg, and teacher.
As an actor he has performed leading and supporting roles in theatres throughout Canada and the U.K., including Tarragon, Canadian Stage, Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper, Theatre Passe Muraille, Necessary Angel, VideoCabaret, Factory, The Theatre Centre, five years at the Stratford Festival, four years at the Shaw Festival, and a season with The Peter Hall Company in the UK, among others. This past year he was a member of the Dora Award-winning ensemble of The Great War (VideoCabaret). David is also proud of his work with The Wrecking Ball and with Wild Pig Theatre, notably in The Conquest of the South Pole (Dora Award, Best Actor) and Greek.  As a director he recently staged Tuesdays with Morrie at Thousand Islands Playhouse, The Plough and the Stars at Ryerson Theatre School, and assisted Richard Rose on An Enemy of the People at Tarragon. Other directing credits include Age of Arousal (with Kate Lynch) at the University of Toronto; Have I None for the Edward Bond Festival; Kaspar and the Sea of Houses (with Birgit Schreyer-Duarte) for Summerworks, which won that Festival's award for Outstanding Production in 2011, and Martin Crimp's Attempts on her Life co-directed with Jennifer Tarver for Ryerson Theatre School. In 2010, he directed both Harold Pinter's Betrayal for BeMe Theatre in Munich and The Return of Corporal Mazenet at Summerworks. David has also taught at George Brown Theatre School, Ryerson, and mostly recently at the University of Toronto where he is working on a PhD. His dissertation looks at directorial adaptation, comparing how Canadian and German directors and their creative teams remodel classical texts.
In addition, he was Tarragon's Interim Literary Coordinator for its 2015-2016 season.

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DEBORA JOY (VOICE)

A professional actor, singer and director, Debora has taught voice for actors at the George Brown Theatre School since 1998. She has also been the voice coach for over 60 student productions and 18 period studies there. She holds a Voice Performance degree (BMus) from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Directing (MFA) from York University, and she is a member of the Canadian Actors Equity Association, and Actra. She studied extensively with master voice teacher, David Smukler, and master singing teachers, Richard Armstrong, Patricia Kern and Mary Morrison, and attended both the National Voice Intensive in Vancouver as well as Shakespeare and Company in Lennox, Massachusetts, where she studied with Kristin Linklater, the ground-breaking voice teacher and author of Freeing the Natural Voice. Recently, she was invited to attend Voice Teachers’ Conferences at the Stratford Festival with master teachers, Patsy Rodenburg, and Christina Shewell. Debora has taught voice for actors at York University, the University of Windsor, and Erindale College (U of T). She taught singing in the MFA Theatre program at York University and in the Musical Theatre Department at Sheridan College. Outside of academia, Debora has worked with the Soulpepper Company and Theatre By The Bay, and she has also taught voice workshops with Elevated Grounds, coaching at-risk youth, and with Workman Arts, a not-for-profit arts company working in partnership with the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health. She also coached Pamela Sinha in her award–winning solo show, Crash, at Theatre Passe Muraille.  A Tyrone Guthrie award winner, Debora spent five seasons performing at the Stratford Festival and toured with the company to Broadway and the Old Vic in London, England. She has directed and acted in many professional productions across Canada over the years. Recently, Debora played Mme. De Rosemonde in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Storefront Theatre, which was directed by Jakob Ehman, a graduate of GBC. Debora applauds and continues to be inspired by the past, present and future graduates of George Brown Theatre School.

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JEANNETTE LAMBERMONT-MOREY (MONOLOGUE, PERIOD STUDY)

Jeannette Lambermont-Morey has directed major productions in major theatres across Canada and the United States, from the Stratford Festival, to the Virginia Stage Company; including such theatres as The Citadel (Edmonton), The Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa), Atlantic Theatre Festival (Nova Scotia), Manitoba Theatre Centre (Winnipeg), Theatre Aquarius (Hamilton) the Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque), Talk is Free Theatre (Barrie), the New World Theatre Project (St. John’s, NFLD) and Huron Country Playhouse (Grand Bend); and Toronto theatres, Factory Theatre, Canadian Stage, Harbourfront Centre, and The Toronto International Fringe Festival, etc. Jeannette directed the World Leaders Tributes to Harold Pinter and Robert Rauschenberg as part of the internationally acclaimed Series produced by Harbourfront at the Liberty Grand in the fall of 2001.  That year also marked her 8th season with the Stratford Festival in Ontario, where she directed Henry V. Other significant Stratford Festival productions include As You Like It (2000), Pride and Prejudice (1999) and The Miracle Worker (1998). In earlier years at the Festival she directed Titus AndronicusThe Grand Inquisitor and Swan Song (1989 and 1990), as well as serving as collaborating director on The Comedy of Errors and The Relapse (1989) and assisting Richard Monette on The Taming of the Shrew (1988) and John Neville on Othello (1987).  Her hit production of The Syringa Tree (The Citadel) won a Sterling Award for Liisa Repo-Martell; and her productions of Twelfth Night in High Park (Canadian Stage) and Digging For Fire (Paramour Productions) were both nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore awards for Outstanding Production.  Favourite projects have included The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice for the New World Theatre Project in St. John’s, Newfoundland, As You Like It for BlueBridge Rep Theatre in Victoria, Private Lives at the Atlantic Theatre Festival, The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Virginia Stage Company with Eileen Brennan, and also at the Manitoba Theatre Centre with Rosemary Dunsmore, Doc (Great Canadian Theatre Co., Ottawa), Moving Day by Cathy Elliott (TIFT), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Juilliard School , N.Y.), to name only a few. She also produced and directed the CBC's live show Get Set for Life for a cross-Canada tour and the Milk International Children's Festival of the Arts at Harbourfront. Jeannette works extensively in college and university theatre programs as a director and instructor. Among them are George Brown College, Grenfell College, York University, the Juilliard School (NY), the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, Dartmouth College (NH), and the University of Victoria. At George Brown College Jeannette has directed Mary Stuart, War and PeaceThe Beau StratagemLion in the StreetsRitesWild Honey and Bon Ton & The Lying Valet. In addition Jeannette has helmed the Annual Period Study exercise for over ten years.  Jeannette is passionately devoted to the development and dramaturgy of new work, and is currently working with several George Brown graduates on various projects.  In the summer of 2016 she directed her musical version of Faust (music by Leslie Arden) for Theatre By the Bay in Barrie, produced by GB grad, Alex Dault. And recently directed The Libertine, starring GB grad Jakob Ehman, for Talk is Free Theatre. Her production of My Child (Haus of Casati Collective, founded by GB grads Gabriella Colavecchio and Scott Farley) won the 2016 My Theatre Award for Outstanding Production in the small theatre category.  Upcoming: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mary’s Wedding, Festival Players, Prince Edward County; Harvest Moon Rising, Women of Musical Theatre Festival, Toronto;  Memorial University, two acting master classes and Hamlet.  Jeannette was Artistic Director of the New World Theatre Project in Newfoundland in 2012/13 and 2015 directed Much Ado About Nothing for them under their new name, Perchance Theatre. She was also Executive Director of the Shakespeare Globe Centre of Canada from 2000 to 2015. Jeannette lives in Toronto with her husband, fiction writer and computer special effects compositor Mike Morey, and their daughter, musician, Micaela.

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KENNEDY C. MacKINNON (SHAKESPEARE)

Kennedy MacKinnon holds a MFA in Acting, a Diploma in Voice Teacher Training (York University) and a BFA in Acting (University of Windsor). Also known as Cathy, she is the founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare Link Canada. With SLC Kennedy has spent the last ten years working in Mozambique where she co-created/co-directed A Winter's TaleRomeo and JulietMedida Por MedidaA Tempestade, and Sonho Noctourno. She is working toward the creation of  an Arts Centre in Quelimane, Mozambique. She co-adapted/co-directed Death of a Chief for Native Earth Performing Arts at the NAC/Buddies in Bad Times and directed Saltwater Moon for GB alum Nathan Carroll. She coached on the innovative, inaugural Groundling Theatre production of A Winter's Tale. She spent ten years as Head of Voice at Humber College. She is currently in her eleventh season as a Voice and Text Coach at the Stratford Festival of Canada where she also spends time working with the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training and the Education department. In Denver, Colorado, Kennedy interned as assistant to Gary Logan (Head of Voice and Speech) at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts/National Theater Conservatory. She has coached, taught and given workshops in a variety of places including Wales, Broadway, Shakespeare Chicago Theater, Saskatoon, Theatre New Brunswick, Native Earth Performing Arts, Ryerson (Act II), Equity Showcase Theatre, University of Windsor, York University, Indigenous Theatre School, Randolph School for the Performing Arts, Young People's Theatre and the National Voice Intensive. By either name, she is, as always, privileged to be here.

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ROBERT McCOLLUM (DANCE)

Robert started his career in New York City as a scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet and as an artist-in-residence at St. John Divine Cathedral with the Omega Dance Company.  In 1978 Robert came to Toronto to dance with Ballet Ys and toured Canada, which he loved, and has been based here ever since.  As a choreographer, his work has been seen across Canada with Ballet Ys, Danseast, Sharon, Lois and Bram, and Dance Nova Scotia.  As well, he has choreographed for the theatre including the productions Monsieur D’eon is a Woman (Pea Green Productions), Maestro Orpheus (Centre in the Square in Kitchener),  Love’s  Labour’s Lost (Resurgence Theatre), and five shows for Soulpepper Theatre – Ring Round the Moon, Travesties, Waiting for the Parade, White Biting Dog, and You Can’t Take It With You.   As the Dance Teacher and Resident Choreographer for George Brown Theatre for 25 years, he has created dances for many productions including some memorable shows such as Sunday in the Park With George, The Threepenny Opera, Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, and The Baker’s Wife.  In addition to teaching at George Brown Theatre School, Robert is the Adult Ballet Program Director at Canada’s National Ballet School.  A special thanks to Jimmy Simon for keeping the program vibrant and exciting with genuine human touch.

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ALLYSON McMACKON (GUEST DIRECTOR) 

Allyson is a Dora-nominated director who has been working in the Toronto’s theatre community for 25 years. She is the artistic director and founder of Theatre Rusticle whose work has been hailed as “the most imaginative in Canada”(the Globe and Mail) and recently mounted the acclaimed Our Town at Buddies in Bad Times in 2017. Theatre Rusticle has toured to the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, SuperNova (Halifax) and throughout BC. Allyson received a Harold Award in 2008 and was three-times nominated for the KM Hunter Artists Award. Theatre Rusticle has received 12 Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominations and has been creating original work since 1998. Allyson has been on faculty at York University for nine years teaching movement in the MFA programme, BFA Acting Conservatory and Devising/Physical Theatre and teaches regularly at the Globe Theatre Conservatory (Regina).She has taught at the University of Toronto, The Centre for Indigenous Theatre and masterclasses at Director’s Lab North and Factory Theatre Foreman Series. Other selected directing and coaching includes: Trudeau Stories (Theatre Passe Muraille, Neptune, National Arts Centre, Centaur, Thousand Islands), Farther West (Soulpepper/Diana Leblanc), If We Were Birds (Tarragon Theatre/Alan Dilworth).  She has mentored at Buddies in Bad Time’s Young Creators Unit, The Paprika Festival, and George Brown Theatre School where she directed Anna Karenina in 2015. Allyson has an MFA in Theatre Performance from york University and a BA in Drama and English from the University of Toronto. https://theatrerusticlewordpresscom.wordpress.com

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SUE MINER (CAREER STUDIES, GUEST DIRECTOR)

A graduate of the National Theatre School's Acting section in 1983 Sue Miner has been directing theatre for 29 years and teaching for 20. She is versed in new works, classical text, music theatre, puppetry and opera. She has long been an instructor at George Brown both in the IPAC program as well as several scene study classes for the three year acting program. Sue first directed at George Brown in 1995 and has directed three second year TYA shows as well as Ring Round the Moon and Sunday in the Park with George for the graduating classes of 2014 and 2000 and most recently Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad for the class of 2017. Sue has also taught and directed at The Toronto Film School, Theatre Erindale, Sheridan, the TDSB and Theatre Ontario. Recent directing credits include Clique Claque (Pea Green Theatre), Blood Wedding (Toronto Film School) Sunday in the Park with George (Sheridan) INTO and Water Wonders (both Toronto Fringe). Other credits include James and the Giant Peach (Young People's Theatre) Prairie Nurse (Blyth Festival) The Tempest (Canadian Stage Dream in High Park) The Pub Operas (Tapestry Music Theatre) Women Beware Women (Theatre Erindale) Petra (Theatre Direct) and Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare in the Rough). Sue is co-artistic director of Pea Green Theatre Group with her husband Mark Brownell where she directed 3 Men in a Boat, Medici Slot Machine and Monsieur D'Eon is a Woman, among others. In 2010 both Sue and Mark received a Harold Award for "Outstanding Contribution to the Toronto Performing Arts Scene." Along with many Dora nominations, Sue made the long list for the Siminovitch Prize in 2007, been thrice nominated for the Pauline McGibbon

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MATJASH MROZEWSKI (GUEST DIRECTOR)

Matjash Mrozewski is a Toronto-based choreographer and director with an international career.  In 2016, Matjash choreographed Gefärhliche Liebschaften (Dangerous Liaisons) in St. Gallen, Switzerland and directed Jordan Tannahill’s new play Botticelli in the Fire for Canadian Stage, part of a double-bill which won the Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding Production. He also choreographed Now, What, Like, When for Ballet Kelowna. In 2015 Matjash directed Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors for Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park.  Matjash trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, studying under Betty Oliphant, Glenn Gilmour, Sergiu Stefanschi and Peggy Baker. Upon graduation he joined The National Ballet of Canada, and later danced with Le Ballet du Grand Theatre de Genève and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. He has performed in most major works of the classical repertoire as well as in the choreography of William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Ohad Naharin, Jean-Pierre Perreault, James Kudelka, and Marie Chouinard.  In 2001, Matjash stopped dancing in order to devote himself exclusively to choreography, and launched his career that year, creating A Delicate Battle for The National Ballet of Canada. Since then, Matjash has created works for, among others, The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The West Australian Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, Houston Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, and Oregon Ballet Theatre.  He has also choreographed numerous films, flash mobs, and galas as well as for classical music concerts and other special events.  In 2003, Matjash was the recipient of the NAC Youth Commission for Dance, which allowed him to create his first full-evening work, Break Open Play. Matjash also provided the choreography for two new Canadian musicals: Mimi (Tarragon Theatre) and The Bricklin (Fredericton Playhouse/Theatre New Brunswick), both directed by Alisa Palmer.  In 2009 Matjash choreographed and performed a duet commissioned for The National Art Centre’s 40th anniversary gala.  That year he also won the inaugural Choreography Award at the Eighth Annual Competition for the Erik Bruhn prize, for a duet performed by The National Ballet of Canada’s competitors.  In 2012 he attended the DanceEast (UK) retreat for Future Leaders in Dance and choreographed Romeo und Julia for Tanz Luzerner Theater, which premiered in Switzerland in September 2012.  Matjash is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore award nominations for Outstanding Choreography, and one for Outstanding Direction.  In June 2016 Matjash completed the two-year York University/Canadian Stage MFA in large scale theatre direction. 

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GEOFF POUNSETT (SPEECH, GUEST DIRECTOR)

A twenty-year veteran of the Canadian theatre, Geoffrey is a Toronto-based actor, director and educator, and a graduate of George Brown. He has performed in theatres across the country, been a company member with the Stratford, Charlottetown and PlayRites Festivals, and been in several productions for Canadian Stage, Factory and Tarragon Theatres in Toronto. In 2017, he returned to Scotland to perform and tour with the renowned Poorboy Theatre. As a director, his work includes the original production of two Governor-General’s Award nominees, Kate Hewlett’s The Swearing Jar and Brendan Gall’s A Quiet Place, which also garnered Geoffrey a Dora Award nomination – one of five received by that production. In 2017 he directed the acclaimed premiere of Matt Gorman’s Western as well as As You Like It for the GBTS graduating class.  Along with Brendan Gall and Christopher Stanton, Geoffrey is the co-founder of the Toronto performance company The Room, for whom he directed three parts of the epic seven-stage cycle Red Machine as well as the world premiere of Neil Wechsler’s award-winning The Brown Bull of Cuilange.

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DIANA REIS (ACTING)

Ms Reis trained at the National Theatre School, the HB Studio in New York, The Centre for Actors' Study in Toronto (CAST) and York University. Ms. Reis is best known to television audiences as the notorious Stephanie Long on CBC's Riverdale and saintly Lucy Ramone (Busy's mom) on Ready or Not for Global/Disney. She has appeared in over forty TV series, movies of the week and feature films and worked with such esteemed directors as John Huston, Robert Altman, Allan King, Lee Grant and Kinji Fukusaku. Most recently, she played principal roles in the LIFETIME film Taken in Broad Daylight and on the CTV series Nikita and The LA Complex.  Theatre highlights include: The Diary of Anne Frank (Manitoba Theatre Centre); AmadeusThe Little Foxes (Asolo State Theatre); Top Girls (Arbour Theatre); Salt-Water Moon, A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre Aquarius); A Doll’s House (Banff Centre); Hedda GablerWaiting for the Parade (Magnus Theatre) and Charlie's Aunt (Capitol Theatre). Ms Reis' directing credits include: Loose Ends (National Theatre School); Under the SkinIf Betty Should Rise (Grand Theatre, London), Amadeus (Theatre Sheridan) and over 30 concert play readings for The First Stages Theatre Company of which she is the former and founding Artistic Director. She has been an acting coach on over 25 films and TV movies. In addition to her long-time association with George Brown Theatre School, Ms Reis has taught and directed at Florida State University, Equity Showcase, Sheridan College, York University, Ryerson University, Humber College, The National Theatre School of Canada and the National Ballet of Canada.  She has helped to create and is a senior faculty member of the new George Brown Acting for Media Program. She is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee for both George Brown Theatre School and Acting for Media Programs. Diana holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University.

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ED SAHELY (GROUP IMPROVISATION)

) Ed Sahely's been a working actor for over thirty years. Ed worked with the renowned SECOND CITY as an improviser/writer for seven years. His cast received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for their work on the Toronto Main-stage. He co-created the troupe Not To Be Repeated which improvised a new Canadian play every night and first ran at the Tarragon Theatre then was picked up by CTV and The Comedy Channel and renamed This Sitcom Is Not To Be Repeated. Along with performing Ed has been teaching Improv to the first year George Brown theatre students for about 20 years. Ed teaches Improv for the George Brown ACTING FOR MEDIA program as well as THE SECOND CITY TRAINING CENTRE. Additional past teaching credits include: the Sheraton/UTM, guest artist for the George Brown Gaming Design, The Charlottetown Festival's Young Company, frequent guest artist acting coach/director for Cawthra Park High School for the Arts in Mississauga, Theatre Aquarius Summer Theatre Camp, St. Lawrence College. As an actor Ed has many credits for television, film, theatre and voice work and continues to work as an actor, a writer, a director of theatre and dramaturge for new works. Theatre credits include:Outrageous, Dishwashers, Last Resort, Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,Sexy Laundry, Henry and Alice, Weekend Comedy, Annie, Lend Me A Tenor, Chicago (nominated for a Calgary Critics Choice award Amos Hart),  Fiddler On The Roof and Lend Me A Tenor. Film/television credits include: Canadian Bacon, Three to Tango, Glitter. Robocop, Getting Along Famously, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, Road to Avonlea, Traders, Due South, Red Green, Doc, Monk, Kojak, Dan For Mayor, Skins, Murdock Mysteries.

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ROSANNA SARACINO (FUNDAMENTALS OF ACTING)

is an Italian-Canadian director, dramaturge, and educator. She was Director in Residence at the Canadian Stage in 2015/2016, is the Head of the Acting Division at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and is the Artistic Director of the soon to be launched Recollection Theatre. She has directed upward of 70 productions for the stage, and has co-produced, written and directed in film and television. Her freelance work has extended to companies such as The Canadian Opera Company, The Classical Music Conservatory, The PowerPlant, and One Yellow Rabbit. As an educator Saracino has taught at York University (Creative Ensemble, Acting Division), RAPA (Acting Division), Fanshawe College (Auditions/Actor Prep), and has taught workshops across Ontario. Directing credits include: Killing Game by Ionesco, No Exit by Sartre, As You Like it, Lord of the Flies by Golding, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Stoppard, and also, she is known for her adaptations and large cast, devised theatre projects. Saracino is currently in rehearsals for her new work, Suitcases, which will be presented at the Artscape Sandbox in November, 2016.  

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ELIZABETH SAUNDERS (SCENE STUDY)

) is a graduate of the University of Alberta where she received her BFA Honours in acting. As an actor and director she has worked extensively throughout Canada for over 27 years. As an actor Her Theatre Highlights include: several seasons at the Shaw Festival where she appeared in Councillor-At- Law, Too True to Be Good, and This Happy Breed amongst others, 4:48 Psychosis (Aether of Us), Glengarry Glen Ross (Jet Girls), The Vibrator Play, (Tarragon/NAC), Transit of Venus (Canadian Stage/Theatre Calgary/NAC), The Crucible, La Bete, A Midsummer Nights Dream (Citadel Theatre) Dancing at Lughnasa (The Grand/ MTC/NAC), Goodnight Desdemona/Goodmorning Juliet (Grand Theatre) Unless, The Stone Angel (Canadian Stage), Stones and Ashes, StopHeart, 6 Essential Questions (Factory Theatre), Confederation (Videocabaret – Dora Nomination), Amadeus (STC), Doc ( Globe Theatre), Unidentified Human Remains (Workshop West), and 27 Wagons Full of Cotton ( Nexus Theatre – Sterling Nomination). Elizabeth has also had an extensive acting career both on camera and in voice-over and cartoons. Film and T.V. highlights include: Alias Grace, IT, Orphan Black, Slings and Arrows, Saving Hope, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, Murdoch Mysteries, Trojan Horse, Northshore Fish, and the long running cartoon Franklin the Turtle. In recent years Elizabeth has turned her hand to directing. Directing credits include the critically acclaimed Holy Mothers (Die Prasidentinnen) for Divine Bovine at Summerworks, A Good Death (CoolMeg), (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Highlands Theatre) Prince of Denmark, and  AS IF (YPT), assistant director on Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest (YPT), Speed the Plow (Soulpepper) and A Tender Thing (The Belfry). She has been a Resident Artist-Educator at Young Peoples Theatre, and has been instructor at numerous leading arts organizations including George Brown, Soulpepper, Shakesperience, Word’s in Motion, Ryerson ACT II studio, and her own company Shakespeare’sCool. She also coaches privately. Elizabeth has a background in movement, voice and improv and has studied with a number of Canada's finest artist and teachers. She is currently completing her MA in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.

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JAMES SIMON (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, DIRECTOR, BUSINESS OF ACTING, SCENE STUDY)

James Simon is a director and acting instructor. He holds an M.A. from the University of Alberta, B.A. from McGill University, and has studied at the Banff Centre. As an instructor, Mr. Simon has taught at the University of Alberta - Department of Drama, Grant MacEwan Community College (Edmonton), Theatre Ontario, and the Citadel Theatre. Directing credits include productions at the National Arts Centre; the Citadel Theatre; Tarragon Theatre; Young People's Theatre; Blyth Festival; Buddies in Bad Times (Dora nomination); Stage West; Theatre Network; Carousel Players; Theatre on the Move; University of Alberta - Department of Drama; Berkeley Street Theatre; and George Brown Theatre. Mr. Simon has been on the teaching staff of the Theatre School for twenty one years, and was the Artistic Director from 2000

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CHRISTOPHER STANTON (VOCAL MASQUE)

Christopher Stanton has been creating work for stage and screen for over twenty years. His practice is exceptionally wide-ranging, spanning from performer to director, writer, sound designer, and composer. His stage work has taken him across Canada to Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal – and internationally to New York, Bogotà, Munich, Brisbane, Dublin, and Vienna. He has been nominated for 11 Dora Awards across disciplines, winning in 2011 for his performance in Enda Walsh’s New Electric Ballroom. He was nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award (Directing), and was ‘harolded’ by Brendan Gall in 2009 for a Harold Award. Stanton is also the Artistic Producer of Toronto-based indie performance company ARC. onebandoflight.com

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DAVID STORCH (GUEST DIRECTOR, SHAKESPEARE SCENE STUDY)

David has worked across Canada as an actor, a director, and a teacher.  Recent work as a director includes Instructions to Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas (Coal Mine Theatre), Bunsch o’ MunschMunsch-o-Mania, I’m So Munsch (George Brown), The Hours That Remain (Gwaandak Theatre, Saskatchewan Native Theatre, Native Earth Theatre), The Road to MeccaSpeed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross(Soulpepper), Restoration (York University), Arcadia (National Theatre School), Robin Hood, Metamorphoses (Globe Theatre), The Palace of the End, A Number, Omnium Gatherum, Sunday Father, Twelfth Night, Misery (Canadian Stage), “Art” (Arts Club), How I Learned to Drive (Manitoba Theatre Centre, Belfry Theatre), Einstein’s Gift, The Goat, Blue/Orange, Beauty Queen of Leenane (Citadel Theatre)  Recent work as an actor includes The Boy in the Moon, What Lies Before Us (Crow’s Theatre)Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies in Bad Times), Cake and DirtIn the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, The Misanthrope (Tarragon), Picture This, Noises OffA Month in the Country, Antigone, Travesties, Mary Stuart, King Lear, Translations (Soulpepper), The Overwhelming (Studio 180), Frost/Nixon (Vancouver Playhouse, Canadian Stage), Hamlet, Servant of Two Masters, Measure for Measure, Wit (Citadel Theatre). He has recently begun directing for television.

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TANISHA TAITT (SCENE STUDY)

is a director, actor, playwright, arts educator, activist and accidental essayist who has worked with companies including Obsidian Theatre, Nightwood Theatre, National Arts Centre, Toronto Youth Theatre, Workman Arts, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, and Soulpepper Theatre.  She spent two seasons as a Resident Artist-Educator with Young People's Theatre, and was Program Director for The Musical Stage Company's youth training initiative One Song Glory in addition to being a theatre director for the program.  Also a singer/songsmith, Tanisha is a recipient of the Canadian Music Publishers Association Songwriters Award for excellence in songwriting, and is currently writing two musical theatrical works.  She is a Drama Leader and mentor for tdsbCreates, a Toronto District School Board/Toronto Arts Council initiative that brings professional artists into classrooms to nurture artistic expression in students and educators, as well as an arts educator for the TDSB's EngageArts program which focuses on the professional artistic development of teachers.  A longtime anti-VAW activist, Tanisha spent seven years as the Toronto and then the Canadian producer for V-Day/One Billion Rising -- the global movement to end violence against women and girls, during which time she also served as Director of its theatre productions.  In 2014, she founded Teenage Graceland, a youth theatre collective that challenges societal attitudes leading to gender-based violence.  Tanisha is the new co-host of The HUM Human Rights & the Arts podcast and will make her hosting debut this Fall.  Known by her peers for her fierce commitment to inclusion and racial/cultural representation in theatre, Tanisha also works as a Conflict Transformation and Anti-Oppression Facilitator for the award-winning Children's Peace Theatre, an organization which – through the arts - teaches young people about creating a culture of peace and justice.  She spent ten years as an artist with CPT's flagship Peace Camp program, including five years as Director.  Under her leadership, the program deepened its subject matter and saw children as young as six using theatre as a means of exploring subjects ranging from climate change and Indigenous sovereignty to gender identity and media literacy.  Tanisha has served on arts council and playwriting juries, and recently sat on the Program Advisory Committee for the creation of the new Arts Education and Community Engagement post-graduate program at Centennial College.  She was 'Harolded' in 2013 and in 2015, critic Lynn Slotkin bestowed upon her an inaugural “Tootsie” Award in the “They Can Do Anything” category.  Tanisha's play Keeper was published by Scirocco Drama in late 2016.  Her approach to directing and teaching theatre can be captured in the following statement:  Acting = Stepping into the shoes of anotherEmpathy = Stepping into the shoes of another.  Therefore... Acting = Empathy.  Tanisha is a two-time YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee for her commitment to artistic excellence and social justice. 

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JULIE TEPPERMAN(BUSINESS OF ACTING)

is an actor, playwright and educator, as well as co-artistic director (with fellow GB grad Aaron Willis) of Convergence Theatre, creators of the hit immersive plays AutoShowThe Gladstone Variations, and YICHUD (Seclusion) and The Unending. In 2013, they co-produced (along with Outside the March and Sheep No Wool) the Canadian premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s three-part epic Passion Play, which won a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble.  Julie’s playwriting credits include: The Stronger (adaptation) and What Doesn't Kill You... (part of The Unending), YICHUD (Seclusion) (Convergence/Theatre Passe Muraille/Magnetic North Theatre Festival; published by Playwrights Canada Press, nominated for a Capital Critics' Circle Award), I Grow Old (as part of The Gladstone Variations – 4 Dora nominations including Outstanding Play; listed as one of NOW Magazine’s “Top Ten Toronto Productions of the Decade”), ROSY (as part of AutoShow; Best of The Fringe), and a re-imagining of the August Strindberg play The Father (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre/ Manitoba Theatre Centre’s 2011 Master Playwright’s Festival).  Julie was Playwright-In-Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille in 2010-11 with the support of the Canada Council.  Recently, Julie has been commissioned to develop two new musicals - The Preposterous Posthumous Predicament of Paulie Peel with Musical Stage Company which was inspired by Paul Peel's 1891 painting The Young Biologist, and two new pieces with Tapestry Opera. Selected acting credits include:  Radiant Vermin (Precisely Peter Productions), The Unending (Convergence), Still (Binocular Theatre), TEASE (as part of Crow's Theatre's Solo Festival for which she appeared on the cover of NOW Magazine), Mary 2 in Passion Play (Ensemble Dora Award), The Audience Guide in Mr. Marmalade (Outside The March; Dora award for Outstanding Indie Production), Liza in Out The Window (The Theatre Centre), Rachel in YICHUD (Seclusion), and two seasons at The Stratford Festival as well as their Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training.  As an educator: Julie has been an Artist-in-the-Schools with the Stratford Festival’s Teaching Shakespeare Program since 2002, teaches at Ryerson University’s Act II Studio, has mentored the graduating class at Humber College for their “Backspace Project”, has twice facilitated the Paprika Festival’s Creators’ Unit, and is a regular workshop facilitator with the Luminato Festival.  Julie regularly teaches self-producing workshops for the Toronto Fringe Festival, SummerWorks, Nightwood Theatre and Convergence Theatre, as well as playwriting workshops for the JCC, Convergence, and at the University of Toronto.  ETC:  Julie has been nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award (OAC) and is the President of the Board of Generator (formerly STAF) and a recipient of a 2016 Harold Award for her work in Indie Theatre. NOW Magazine has twice listed Convergence Theatre as the "Best Site-Specific Theatre Company in Toronto", and Aaron & Julie have been featured as"Toronto's Most Respected Theatre Duo".  RECENTLY:  Julie co-created, co-wrote and co-directed Brantwood (with Mitchell Cushman / Sheridan's Canadian Musical Theatre Project) which has over 15 hours of scripted material (including 40 songs) and unfolds all over an old high school. Brantwood won the 2015 Audience Choice Award Dora and is currently on the hunt for a home in Toronto where it might enjoy a longer run - stay tuned! 

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J. RIGZIN TUTE (MUSIC)

Rigzin maintains an active career as a composer, teacher, conductor and singer. He has written songs for 17 of George Brown's Plays for Young Audiences, numerous songs and incidental music for George Brown's Third Year productions, as well as professional productions such as, Three Men in A Boat for Pea Green Theatre (2014/2015), Love You Forever . . .  And More Munsch for LKTYP (2008), Medici Slot Machine for Pea Green Theatre (2006), Ah, Wilderness! for Shaw Festival (2004), and Love's Labour's Lost for Resurgence Theatre (2003). In addition to teaching singing at George Brown, Rigzin’s private students have been accepted into voice programs at the Universities of Toronto, York, Windsor, Westminster Choir College and the Berklee School of Jazz in Boston. He also coaches professionals performing in music theatre and as soloists with such organizations as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Chorus and the Elora Festival Singers. Rigzin is formerly the conductor of the University of Waterloo Concert Choir and Chamber Choir, Guelph's Rainbow Chorus and Toronto's Interlink Choir. He has performed as a soloist with choirs and orchestras throughout North America and Europe. He has also been featured in major operatic, concert and music theatre productions at the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy, The Elora Festival, The New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Princeton's Westminster Choir. He is a founding member of Mirror Image, an avant-garde vocal ensemble with performances of major Canadian commissioned works for the Winnipeg Symphony and the K-W new music festivals. He was also a long time member of The Gents, a 6 man a cappella vocal ensemble.  Rigzin music-directed Sunday in the Park with George for George Brown/Equity Showcase Theatre,  The Threepenny Opera, The Baker’s Wife and Happy End for George Brown Theatre. Rigzin has recently combined his love for music, theatre and ritual by qualifying as a Life-Cycle Celebrant, becoming a creator of, and officiant at weddings, funerals and other significant celebrations for people wishing to mark these life-events in a personal and unique manner. He can be contacted at: jrigzintute@mac.com

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JENNIFER WIGMORE (ACTING)

Jennifer has been an artist of one stripe or another her entire life. A native of Edmonton, she received her professional theatre training at Grant MacEwan College in the Musical Theatre Program in the early 90’s and went on to have an extensive acting career that has spanned over 20 years. She has performed on mainstages across the country, including the Citadel, Stratford and the Tarragon Theatre in addition to having a successful film and television career. Her last role was in Sheets by Salvatore Antonio at the Theatre Center in 2017. She began teaching acting in 2004 and co-developed the theatre training program at Fanshawe College. In addition to first year acting she teaches Shakespeare, acting for the camera, business of acting, monologue and scene study and works with students to create their own written work. With a keen interest in the curriculum of first year training, she works closely with master teacher Perry Schneiderman. They are currently collaborating on a book about the Zone of Silence and its contribution to Canadian Theatre pedagogy. Jennifer is also a prominent visual artist. Her artwork is in collections across Canada, the U.S. and England. She holds a BFA and an MFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Her interdisciplinary MFA research, Training Artistic Reflexivity in Visual Artists, combined her artistic disciplines to create new visual art exercises based on acting exercises for first year visual art students. Jennifer is committed to the research, development and dissemination of interdisciplinary teaching practices that enable reflexivity, collaborative learning and embodiment in artist training programs.

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BLAIR WILLIAMS (GUEST DIRECTOR)

Most recently Blair directed Here On The Flight Path (Foster Festival).Other directing credits include Light Up The Sky; A Lovely Sunday For Creve Coeur, Peace In Our Time, The Millionairess, Ways Of The Heart, The President (Shaw Festival); Pericles (Dalhousie University); A Fond Husband and Love For Love (George Brown); The Play's The Thing (Segal Centre); Rope (Vertigo Theatre). Acting credits include  William Gillette in The Game's Afoot at Vertigo Theatre (Calgary); Educating Rita for the Thousand Islands Playhouse; Flesh and Other Fragments Of Love (Tarragon); Pig (Buddies in Bad Times) and over thirty productions with the Shaw Festival. Blair has also played the Segal Centre; Soulpepper; Theatre Calgary; Citadel Theatre; Canadian Stage; The Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia; Geva Theatre, Rochester, and the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, England. Upcoming: Blair will be touring America with the internationally renowned Tafelmusik in the narrative concert The Circle Of Creation.  He is the voice of Mr. Porter on Nickelodeon's Paw Patrol.  Blair is a native of North Bay, Ontario and sits on the Professional Advisory Committee for Canadore College's Acting For Stage And Screen program. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School.

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AARON WILLIS (GUEST DIRECTOR)

is an actor, director, educator, and co-founding artistic director of Convergence Theatre (with Julie Tepperman). Directing: The Testament of Mary (Soulpepper), Stupidhead! (SummerWorks 2015), Who's Your Daddy? (Crow's Theatre East End Performance Crawl) The Thing Between Us (mcguffin company), The Crucible (Theatre Erindale/UTM) Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Baro Theatre) Passion Play (Convergence/Outside the March/Sheep No Wool), Miss Caledonia (Tarragon Theatre), When The Ice Breaks (Down n Out Productions/Campbell House Museum), Other People (Mutual Friends Co-op), YICHUD (Seclusion) (Theatre Passe Muraille/Convergence Theatre, The Gladstone Variations – The Tearful Bride (Convergence Theatre, Dora nomination), AutoShow (Convergence Theatre/Toronto Fringe 2006). Acting: Murderers Confess At Christmastime (Outside the March/Summerworks 2013), YICHUD (Seclusion) (Theatre Passe Muraille/Convergence), The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh (Roseneath Theatre), Zadie’s Shoes (GCTC), Abattoir (Kaeja d’Dance/Harbourfront Centre), The Russian Play (Factory Theatre), Wrecked (Roseneath; Dora Nomination – Best Performance TYA); The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare in the Rough), (nod) (Theatre Gargantua), Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing (The CO.), Well, (Tarragon Theatre). Film/TV: Reign, Flashpoint. Education: Aaron is an “Artist-in-the-Schools” with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, The Luminato Festival, and an instructor at Ryerson University's Act 2 Studio. Other: Assistant Director on Phillipe Boesmans' opera JULIE at Canadian Stage (2015) and on EVITA (2010) and Much Ado About Nothing (2012) at the Stratford Festival's Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Theatre Direction. Aaron has a BA Honours in Drama from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School.

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PETER C. WYLDE (TEXT STUDY)

began his professional career in 1953 at the Bristol Old Vic and subsequently appeared with the Salisbury Arts and West of England Theatre Companies, Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, Carlisle Repertory, two Edinburgh Festivals, and the Stratford Festival of Canada in its last year under canvas, and in the Tyrone Guthrie production of Tamburlaine the Great on Broadway.  He performed with and subsequently co-managed the Straw Hat Players for three seasons in Port Carling and Peterborough, Ontario. He took degrees in Modern Languages and Literatures, and in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Toronto and at Harvard, subsequently teaching at Harvard, U. of T. and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was invited by Leon Major to become dramaturge at Toronto Arts Productions, (1973-1980), where his translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters had been produced in 1972. He was Head of Acting at George Brown Theatre School for thirteen years, (1986-1999), teaching also at the Royal Conservatory Opera School, the National Theatre School of Canada, (1980-2001), the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival, and at Ryerson University Theatre School, (2000 to 2010). He then established the Wylde Project, (www.wyldeproject.com), teaching and coaching independently (studio@wyldeproject.com ). His directing credits include work with the Toronto Children’s Opera Chorus and the Pacific Opera Victoria, B.C. He continues to work as a professional actor, and appeared in an independent production of Duet for One with George Brown graduate Liz Dixon, directed by Dorothy Ward, the Canadian Stage production of The Beard Of Avon directed by former NTS student David Storch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto, and Like A Dog, (Fringe 2012), a new work written for him by Ryerson graduate Matthew Gorman and starring George Brown graduate Andy Trithardt. He has given lectures on the cultural and historical backgrounds of numerous plays for acting companies such as Soulpepper and Stratford in their early rehearsals, written programme notes, and created for Brian Bedford a one-man show, Ever Yours, Oscar, drawn from the correspondence of Oscar Wilde. He can occasionally be caught, very late at night, in a re-run of a sci-fi movie called Carver’s Gate a.k.a. Dreambreaker. His former students now populate stages all across the country and are keeping him poor. During the summer of 2013 he made his first foray into the works of Harold Pinter, invited to direct two George Brown students, (and one from Ryerson), in The Lover at the Alumnae Theatre.  He continues to offer private classes and coaching upon demand.

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