Theatre Faculty Directory

Photo from Love's Labour's Lost

FACULTY 2018/2019

KAWA ADA (ACTING)

After graduating from The Boston Conservatory, Kawa was cast on Broadway in Bombay Dreams. Since then, he’s played leading roles at Tarragon, Factory, the Belfry, Gateway, The Grand, Centaur, Cahoots, Canadian Stage, several seasons at The Shaw Festival and Soulpepper, for which his debut performance earned him a Dora Award. His recent screen credits include a recurring role in the CBC series Shoot the Messenger and The Breadwinner, which garnered an Oscar nomination this year for Best Animated Feature. Kawa has written The Death of Mrs. Gandhi and the Beginning of New Physics (Next Stage) and The Wanderers (Cahoots/Buddies), published by Playwrights Canada Press. He is playwright-in-residence at Tarragon.

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LESLEY ANDREW (VOCAL MUSIC)

MMUS (Performance & Literature), HBA Music (Performance Voice), Diploma in Opera, Second Study – Fine Art.  Lesley Andrew has made soloist appearances with many of Canada’s finest orchestras and choirs, including the Vancouver, Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo, Kingston, Hamilton, Guelph symphony orchestras, Weston Silver Band, Toronto Concert Band, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, Brott Summer Music Festival, Stratford Summer Music, and the Shenandoah Bach Festival (VA, USA).  Ms. Andrew’s recordings have often been heard on CBC Radio. Known for her extraordinary vocal range and versatility in many genres of music, Ms. Andrew often ‘switches hats’, performing as the soprano soloist for one engagement and as the alto soloist for the next – from opera to show tunes, oratorio to jazz. Immediately following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Ms. Andrew began an extended tenure with the Stratford Festival, performing in productions including The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, Twelfth Night, Cyrano De Bergerac, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Music Man and Patience.  Other theatrical performances include Menotti’s ‘The Telephone’ and Hopkin’s ‘Three’s Company’ at the Guelph Spring Festival (featuring and directed by Ms. Andrew.)  Most recently, Ms Andrew directed ‘La Boheme’ (Southern Ontario Lyric Opera), receiving rave reviews as “SOLO’s best production yet!” for her creative direction and use of space.

Ms. Andrew has completed a number of major concert and recital tours, including Argentina (2005) England/Austria/Germany (1989/1990 – Canadian Concert & Jazz Band), the 1999 World Tour aboard the QE II, two USA tours (2002/2003-California/Arizona/Florida/Texas) and a Canadian tour with The Lesley Andrew Trio (2004-Vancouver/Manitoba/Ontario).   A recipient of many awards, including a Canadian Opera Company Scholarship, and the Maureen Forrester Guthrie Award (The Stratford Festival), Ms. Andrew now adjudicates and conducts masterclasses at festivals, universities and schools of music & drama around the world (voice – classical, Broadway and pop, choral music and speech arts classes.)  Having moved from Stratford, Ontario (where she was twice nominated as ‘Citizen of the Year), Ms. Andrew now runs her thriving voice and drama studio - Dream in Progress Productions – in both London (where she now resides) and at the University of Windsor, where she currently teaches.  

As a director, Ms. Andrew is much in demand in the genres of musical theatre and opera.  Ms. Andrew’s intensive theatre and music program for youth, ‘Summer Glee’, is now in it’s twenty-fifth year, with more programs offered each summer in communities across Ontario, in order to accommodate growing enrollment.  Ms. Andrew has made special guest television appearances on The Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey, To Tell the Truth, Donny & Marie, The Comedy Network, YTV, Regis & Kathy Lee and many more.  A popular motivational speaker, Ms. Andrew is engaged across Canada by Educators, Universities, Corporations, Service Clubs and Student Organizations.  Ms. Andrew’s professional activities have included teaching and stage directing appointments at Wilfrid Laurier University (Opera), at the Universities of Windsor (Vocal Pedagogy, Studio Voice; Faculty of Music, and The Creative Process; School of Dramatic Arts) and Western Ontario (Studio Voice, Opera - director, Shakespearean drama).  As a pedagogue, Ms. Andrew is very involved with the W Ross Macdonald School for the Visually Impaired in Brantford, Ontario, where she helps create and run arts programs for exceptional children.  While maintaining a full teaching schedule in her private studios (London & Windsor) Ms. Andrew continues to work as a soloist, collaborative recital artist, stage director, adjudicator, and motivational speaker.  Most recently, Ms Andrew performed the role of ‘Marcellina’ (Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’) and ‘Alice’ in ‘A … My Name Is Alice.’  Upcoming roles include the mother in Menotti’s ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ (Abridged Opera) and Mrs. McLean in Flyod’s Susannah (Pek Productions).  Discography  *‘Love … Look Away’ The Lesley Andrew Trio – A stylistic mixture of opera, jazz and musical theatre. *‘Dream A Little Dream’ - A collection of lullabies ranging in style from classical to jazz, contemporary to traditional. *‘Celebrating Rogers – Hammerstein & Hart’ with Lesley Andrew and Daniel Lichti – The music of Richard Rogers.

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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: Black Mirror, American Gothic, Recon, 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 full seasons as staff coach on BBC America's period drama Copper, and Incorporated on Syfy. During this time, he has been lucky enough to work with a host of well-known actors including: Julia Ormond, Dennis Haysbert, Sean Teal, Sean Bean, Kit Harrington, Alfre Woodard, Donal Logue, Billy Baldwin, Joel Edgerton, Lee Tergesen, Robert Sheehan, and Piper Perabo. 

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STEWART ARNOTT (SCENE STUDY)

Stewart Arnott has been an actor and a director for almost 40 years. As a director, his credits include Risky Phil (YPT, 5 Dora Award nominations); Seminar (Royal MTC and Mirvish Productions); Title and Deed (Nightfall Theatrics/Tarragon Workspace); Tragedy: a tragedy (Summerworks 2014), Same Time, Next Year (Lighthouse Festival), The Importance of Being Earnest (U. Of Waterloo Drama), The Swearing Jar (Prairie Theatre Exchange), Tuesdays With Morrie (Campbell House Museum), Vincent River (Cart/Horse Theatre), Pobby and Dingan (YPT), The Piper and Unity (1918) (Ryerson Theatre School), and Amadeus and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Theatre Aquarius).  As an actor, Stewart has been a company member over several seasons with the Stratford Festival, the Atlantic Theatre Festival and Autumn Angel/Necessary Angel Theatre Co. Lead roles in Hedda Noir (Theatre NorthWest), The Biographer (Videofag) and Our Town (Sudbury Theatre Centre) are recent stage appearances. Other credits include Hallaj, Waiting for Godot and Stories from the Rains of Love and Death for Soheil Parsa (Modern Times Theatre), and lady in the red dress (fu-GEN).
Recent film and TV projects include The Shape of Water, Designated Survivor, Murdoch Mysteries, Suits and Schitt's Creek. Stewart has had two Dora Mavor Moore award nominations and is a respected teacher and coach.

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EVA BARRIE (SHAKESPEARE SCENE STUDY)

Eva Barrie is a Dora Award-winning theatre creator, who has had the pleasure of directing new play workshops at Factory Theatre and Tarragon Theatre, as well as leading innovative play development workshops through Nightwood Theatre and Shakespeare in the Ruff.  Select Directing Credits: Portia's Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Ruff), My Second Smile (Toronto New Theatre/School Tour), Prairie Nurse (assistant to Sue Miner, Factory Theatre) My Co-Mates & Brothers in Exile (Shakespeare in the Ruff), The Merry Wives of Windsor (assistant to Kevin Hammond, Humber River Shakespeare), the dreamer examines his pillow (JR Theatre Co.), The Four of Us (Toronto New Theatre), Olga (New Voices Festival), The Biographer (assistant to Alan Dilworth, Tango Co.), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Bangalore, India). She is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and has trained with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company in New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY.

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RAOUL BHANEJA (SHAKESPEARE SCENE STUDY)

A Gemini, Dora and Canadian Comedy Award nominee, Raoul Bhaneja is a 1996 graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada.  His relationship to Shakespeare began as a founding member of Company of Fools, a street theatre troupe that performed selected scenes from the cannon on the streets of his hometown, Ottawa.  After graduating he began to develop his one man show Hamlet (solo), which he toured for ten years across Canada, to Assembly Rooms at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Off Broadway and at centres of acting study including The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.  He was a Christopher Plummer International Fellowship Award winner at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London in 2002 where he worked, under artistic director Mark Rylance.  Professionally he has also appeared in productions of Macbeth, The Tempest,  Hamlet, in over 100 different television and film projects and is a Maple Blues Award winning musician.  

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PIOTR R. BIERNAT (CONTACT IMPROVISATION, MOVEMENT)

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 to dance 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.
He has presented his own choreographies, Past Perfect, To-get-Her, Black and White, Bodies and Motion, Wounded at various festivals and choreographed his Bravo! Fact Video, Acalanto. He is a senior faculty member at Toronto Film School where beside teaching since 2005 he have directed and coached plays:  Don Juan in Chicago by David Ives and Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. He currently shares his professional life between teaching  in Canada and Poland where he focuses on his acting career for Film and Television

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CINDY BLOCK (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, DRAMATIC LITERATURE, CREATIVE PROCESS)

A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada (1983), Mark is an award winning Canadian playwright and librettist, 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 and The Martha Stewart Projects. He is also the recipient of the Harold Indie Theatre Award and Maxim Mazumdar New Play Award. In 2011 Scirocco Drama published his "Break a Leg! An Actor's Guide to Theatrical Practices, Phrases and Superstitions". Other published work includes Medici Slot Machine (Scirocco), High Sticking (Scirocco) and Monsieur d’Eon (Playwrights Canada Press). 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 Northern Lights (2018), The Five Points (2017), Turkey Shoot (2016), Firebrand (2014) He is also an instructor with the Performing Arts program at Centennial College. Alex studied at George Brown Theatre School, Queen's University and at École Philippe Gaulier. 

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SUSAN FERLEY (GUEST DIRECTOR)

Susan trained as an actor at the University of Alberta Drama Department; and as a director through apprenticeships at the Playhouse Theatre Centre of British Columbia and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Canada) with inspiring directors Christopher Newton, Phillip Headley and David William.  Recently Susan returned from England and an invigorating year studying Actor Training and Coaching at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.  She served as Artistic Director at Globe Theatre (Regina 1990-98) and Grand Theatre (London, Canada 2001-20016). The Boy Friend at St. Clair College, Music Theatre Performance was her most recent directing project.  Other recent projects include placements as Assistant Director Stage Door (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and Pippin (Mountview Academy).

Memorable directing projects include: An Ideal Husband (Watermark Theatre), Intimate Apparel, Other Desert Cities, Pride and Prejudice, Elf, Wizard of Oz, Macbeth (Grand Theatre),  My Fair Lady (Drayton Entertainment),  A Woman of No Importance (Shaw Festival), Stone Angel (Alberta Theatre Projects),  The Importance of Being Earnest, Romeo and Juliet, Dancing in Poppies, Misalliance, Twelfth Night (Globe Theatre).  Susan also directed a range of productions for Grand Theatre’s High School Project including:  Les Misérables, Hello Dolly, West Side Story, Legally Blonde, My Fair Lady, Pirates of Penzance, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and Fiddler on the Roof.  She has directed/taught in actor training programs across the country – University of Alberta, National Theatre School, Banff Centre School of Fine Arts, Studio 58 (Vancouver) and University of Regina.

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SHARRY FLETT (MONOLOGUE)

recently appeared at the Shaw Festival in Me And My Girl, and 1837 The Farmer’s Revolt. As a member of the Shaw Festivalfor twenty eight seasons, she has appeared in over 56 productions including Our Town, Uncle Vanya, The Philadelphia Story, 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, The Magic Fire, The Autumn Garden, Major Barbara, Man and Superman, Floyd Collins, Blood Relations, His Majesty, Six Characters in Search of an Author, A Woman of No Importance, Getting Married, Rebecca, Joy, The Seagull, The Secret LifeThe HollowCavalcade, Busman's Honeymoon, Eden End, The Silver King, Lulu, Hedda Gabler, Misalliance, 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 (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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RICHARD GREENBLATT (GUEST DIRECTOR)

Richard Greenblatt is an actor, director, writer, and musician who has been a professional theatre artist for the last 43 years. He was born in Montréal and received his acting training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. Since graduating, he has performed in theatres across Canada and abroad, as well as in feature films, television and radio. He has directed well over 130 productions for theatres across the country, the vast majority being original and/or Canadian works. As a writer, he wrote or co-wrote: 2 Pianos 4 Hands, Sibs (also made into a TV movie for the CBC), The Theory of Relatives, i.d., Letters from Lehrer, and Care amongst others. He has taught acting, directing and play creation at most of the major theatre training institutions in Canada, including the National Theatre School, Ryerson University, University of Alberta, and Humber College, and has directed the premieres of many groundbreaking plays for young audiences. Recently, he acted in Stupid Fucking Bird, The Jewish Radio Hour, and most recently I Call Myself Princess, all in Toronto. Upcoming, he is co-writing and performing with David S. Craig in Athabasca, which deals withclimate change and the nature of protest in this country, and in the new year he will be directing Hook Up, a new opera about rape culture and sexual consent at Canadian universities for Tapestry Opera, and presented at Theatre Passe Muraille. He has won numerous Dora and Chalmers awards, and lives in Toronto.

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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 sixteenth 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:  2018/  The Magician’s Nephew, The Orchard, Grand Hotel;  2017/  St. Joan, An Octoroon, Dancing at Lughnasa;  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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MARCIA JOHNSON (STORYTELLING)

Marcia Johnson branched out from acting into writing with the help of play festivals: You Look Great Too (Rhubarb!/Buddies in Bad Times Theatre - 1995) and Perfect on Paper (Toronto Fringe - 2001).  Perfect on Paper was commissioned by CBC Radio where Marcia was also commissioned to write four original radio dramas including Say Ginger Ale which she later adapted for theatre (SummerWorks – 2010).  Binti’s Journey (based on ‘The Heaven Shop’/ Deborah Ellis) was commissioned by Theatre Direct Canada and has had several touring and theatre productions since 2008 (Black Theatre Workshop, Young Peoples Theatre and Manitoba Theatre for Young People). Binti’s Journey is published in the collection Things That Go Bump, Volume 1:  Plays for Young Adults, Signature Editions.  Courting Johanna (adapted from Alice Munro’s ‘Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage’) was commissioned and produced at Blyth Festival and had a second production at University of Lethbridge. It is available in print from Scirocco Drama.  Marcia’s one act play, Late, had its debut at Obsidian Theatre Company.  Her first opera collaboration was with composer Stephen A. Taylor My Mother’s Ring. It premiered in March 2009 as part of Tapestry New Opera’s Opera to Go program and was subsequently nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding New Musical/Opera.  Marcia and Stephen’s second collaboration, an adaptation of Paradises Lost by Ursula K. Le Guin, had its debut at the Krannert Center, University of Illinois.  Other accomplishments include serving as Ontario Arts Council Playwright in Residence for Roseneath Theatre and Blyth Festival Theatre as well as being in playwright development groups with Obsidian Theatre Company, Theatre Passe Muraille and Tapestry New Opera (Composer-Librettist Laboratory) to name a few. She is also one of the curators of Toronto Cold Read Series, a weekly gathering which brings actors and writers together to read from new works.  Marcia taught an introduction to playwriting course for twelve years in the musical theatre department at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and is the Vice President of Women Playwrights International.   Still an actor, Marcia most recently appeared on stage in The New Canadian Curling Club and 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (Blyth Festival) and on TV in Disney’s The Swap and Amazon’s American Gods.

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DEBORA JOY (VOICE)

A veteran professional actor, singer, and director, Debora has taught voice and text in the George Brown Theatre School since 1998. She holds a voice performance degree (BMus) from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Fine Arts in Directing (MFA) from York University. 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, as well as Shakespeare and Company in Lennox, Massachusetts, where she studied with Kristin Linklater, the ground breaking author of Freeing the Natural Voice. Debora headed the voice department in the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Windsor, and taught voice for actors at York University, the University of Windsor, and Erindale College (Uof T). She taught singing in the undergrad and graduate theatre programs at York University and in the Musical Theatre Department at Sheridan College. She also teaches voice, singing, and audition preparation in her private studio.

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 also directed and acted in many productions at regional and summer theatre festivals. Equally at home in plays, musicals and contemporary opera, her favourite professional credits include the title role of Evita, Emily Dickinson in the one-woman play,The Belle of Amherst, Aggie Rose in the Canadian opera The Boiler Room Suite, Cecily Pidgeon in The Odd Couple(directed by Martha Henry) and Portia (understudy) in Julius Caesar (directed by the late Richard Monette at Stratford).   Debora has coached the Soulpepper Academy Artists and has taught voice workshops for the Tom Todoroff Acting Studio; she worked 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. Debora was the vocal coach for Pamela SInha in Crash, Pamela’s one-woman show that won a Dora Award and played in New York as part of Soulpepper’s New York repertory in 2017. Debora has also coached several iterations of the youth-driven sex education show, SExT, including its Fringe Festival, Summerworks runs as well as its spring 2017 residency at the Factory Theatre and 2018 national tours.  Debora continues to explore current practices; she regularly attends the Voice Teachers’ Conferences at the Stratford Festival and she is presently taking a yearlong Kundalini Yoga teachers’ training in Toronto. This summer, Debora coached on the TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, and continued her collaborations with SExt, Shakespearience, Improv Your Acting, and Tom Todoroff.  Debora applauds and continues to be inspired by the past, present and future graduates of George Brown Theatre School!

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ESTHER JUN (PERIOD STUDY)

Esther is the former Assistant Artistic Director at Tarragon and the Co-Artistic Director & Co-Founder of Directors Lab North. Esther originally trained as an actor in NYC and then completed her directing degree at Drama Centre London in 2006. Esther was part of the 2016 Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at The Stratford Festival, and was the 2015 Neil Munro Intern Director at the Shaw Festival. Selected Credits: Theory (Tarragon); The Private Life Cabaret (Theatre ARTaud); Girls Like That (Tarragon); Amadeus (Talk is Free); The Last Wife (The Belfry, GCTC); Tales from Folks-Laos & Mongolia (Soulpepper); Rococo (Shaw Festival); And Now, The End (Ante Up); Bremen Rock City (Song Trolley); Cowboy Mouth (Heart In Hand); Yellow Face (Hart House), Trout Stanley (Heart in Hand), Fear & Misery of the Third Reich (DeusXM), First Hand Woman (Fire Up Productions). Co-director: Hiding Words (Eventual Ashes), Strange Mary Strange (Theatre on the Verge).

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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. Most recent credits include:   In 2017: 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. In 2018: York University, Year 3 Acting; Pygmalion, Guild Festival Theatre.  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 (COORDINATOR, DIRECTOR)

Since graduating from the National Theatre School's Acting section in 1983 Sue Miner has been working extensively in many aspects of theatre across Canada. As well as having acted, directed, produced, written she has also been a designer of costumes, sets and sound. She is versed in new works, classical text, music theatre, puppetry and opera. She has been an instructor and guest director at George Brown since 1995 and has been the Program Coordinator since the spring of 2017. Sue is co-artistic director of Pea Green Theatre Group with her husband Mark Brownell. In 2010 both Sue and Mark received a Harold Award for "Outstanding Contribution to the Toronto Performing Arts Scene." Along with many Dora nominations for her direction, Sue made the long list for the Siminovitch Prize for directing in 2007, been thrice nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award and has been twice touted as one of Toronto's Top-10 theatre artists by NOW Magazine.

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ALISTAIR NEWTON (GUEST DIRECTOR)

Alistair Newton is a director of theatre and opera, Dora Award nominated playwright, and founding Artistic Director of Ecce Homo Theatre. Selected credits include: Love and Information (Canadian Stage, co-directed with Tanja Jacobs), King Lear (Canadian Stage), Three Short Plays by Samuel Beckett (Shaw Festival Directors’ Project); Of a Monstrous Child: a gaga musical (Ecce Homo/Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, writer/director); Bella: The Colour of Love
(World Premiere at the Philadelphia Theater Company/Philadelphia International Festival of the
Arts); La Serva Padrona (Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio); and multiple projects
for the SummerWorks Performance Festival. Alistair is a member of the Directors’ Lab of Lincoln
Centre Theater, and an alumni of Canadian Stage and York University’s joint MFA program in
stage direction. www.eccehomotheatre.com

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SOHEIL PARSA (TEST PIECE)

Soheil Parsa is an award-winning director, writer, dramaturg, choreographer and teacher, whose professional theatre career spans thirty years and two continents. In his native Iran, Soheil completed studies in Theatre Performance at the University of Tehran and began a promising career as an actor and director. Arriving in Canada with his family in 1984, Soheil completed a second Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at York University and then went on to establish Modern Times Stage Company, one of the most innovating theatre companies in Canada.  In 1995 Soheil received a New Pioneers Award by Skills for Change for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a recent immigrant to Canada. Soheil’s own work at Modern Times has been recognized with six Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Chalmers Fellowship in 2002, a senior artist creation grant from the Canada Council, as well as a number of international prizes and master class requests. In 2007 and 2010 he was short-listed for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Celebrating Directors, the highest honour in Canadian theatre. In 2013, Soheil was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution as a theatre artist to Canadian society. In 2015, he was named as the best director at the Toronto Theatre Critics awards.   

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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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DAVID REALE (ACTING)

David Reale is a Toronto born actor working in film, television and theatre. Recently he starred as the title character in My Name is Asher Lev (The Segal Centre/The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre co-production). Other theatre credits include ‘Nick’ in The Great Gatsby (Lower Ossington Theatre) and ‘Simon Rifkind’ in Mirvish Productions’ Ghost Stories. He co-produced and starred in Pvt. Wars and George Bernard Shaw's The Fatal Gazogene with indie theatre stalwarts The Red One Theatre Collective.  Reale starred in the critically acclaimed film BANG BANG BABY, which won Best First Feature at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. He is featured in Aaron Sorkins’ directorial debut Molly’s Game and the film GEORGETOWN,directed by and starring Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz.  Some of David’s television credits include recurring as Benjamin “The I.T Guy” on SUITS (USA), and guest appearances in PRIVATE EYES (Global) and The Boys (Amazon). Reale plays Charlie Cole in the Ubisoft video game franchise Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. As a teacher, David leads classes based in the Meisner technique at the studio of his teacher and mentor John Riven and at George Brown College in the Acting for Media program.

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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 for 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, Designated Survivor.

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TARA SAMUEL (TV ACTING)

Tara Samuel: actor, writer, producer, filmmaker, mother of two magnificent small people.  Born in Taiwan and raised in downtown Toronto; classically-trained at the renowned George Brown theatre school.  Most recently, a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Actress for her role ”Vangeline Neddeau” in the critically-celebrated CBC original digital series, The Neddeaus of Duqesne Islandcbc.ca Most widely known for her television role "Tara Williams" in  SueThomas: F.B.Eye, which continues to air around the world.   Other television credits: Fully DilatedThe Mindy Project, The Division, Beachwood Charter, Singled Out, The Bold & The Beautiful, Twice In A Lifetime, Killer Deal.  Film credits: ”Rose” in the multiple award-winning feature film Wild Prairie Rose,  also lead roles in Stand The Gaff, Tiger Orange, Way Down In Chinatown, Hunt the Maguffin, The Interview, The Rwanda Blend, Tanya & Gary, Prairie Sonata, The Drain, The Third Eye, and “Ruby” in RUBY BOOBY.  As filmmakerTara is the writer, director, producer, star of FIND, which was Nominated Best Narrative Short at the Oscar-qualifying Austin Film Festival. As producer-actor: Ruby Booby, dir. Jon Rannells, The Rwanda Blend, dir. Samuel Zvibleman, and Prairie Sonata, dir. Deborah LaVine. Tara is also co-creator/ executive producer with Zvibleman, of the television series KAREN OF GOD starring Tara, as “Karen”. 

Tara is co-founder of the notorious Los Angeles indie film collective www.wemakemovies.org  As story-consultant, Tara is CEO of www.scriptkicker.com and is published in Movie MakerMagazine online. As producer & musician, Tara is co-creator of BE WHO YOU ARE, character-building music and education for kids. In 2014, Tara was honored at the LA BusinessJournal's Women Making A Difference Symposium & Awards for her notable work in the Los Angeles filmmaking community.

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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)

holds a BFA Honours in acting from the University of Alberta, and an MA in theatre and Performance from the University of Toronto. As an actor and director she has worked extensively throughout Canada for over 29 years. As an actor 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),  A Midsummer Night's Dream ( Chekhov Collective) As You Like It and The Taming of the Shrew ( St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival) 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, Imposters, Frankie Drake, 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, Words 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.

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JAMES SIMON (DIRECTOR, BUSINESS OF ACTING, CANADIAN DRAMA, CAREER STUDIES, 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.  He has recently returned to school to study Art History at the University of Toronto. 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 three years, and was the Artistic Director from 2000 - 2017. 

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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 14 Dora Awards across disciplines, winning in 2017 for his direction of Alistair McDowall's Pomona, and 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, and a Founding Artist of the Hamilton-based performance collective INDUSTRY. onebandoflight.com

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AUSAR STEWART (VOICE)

Ausar Stewart is one of Canada’s leading voice, speech and communications coaches.  An accomplished teacher and coach, he has taught at York University, Redeemer University College, Randolph College for the Performing Arts, Centennial College, Toronto Film School, and coached at Stratford Festival’s Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre. Ausar is delighted to join the distinguished faculty of George Brown's Theatre and Media Arts Programs.

A seasoned actor he has performed on some of the country's most celebrated stages including Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Shaw Festival. His recent theatre credits include: Strangers Babies, Theatre Panik ; Small Axe , Theatre Centre; The Pastor in Awake, Expect Theatre; Marcus Garvey in I Marcus Garvey, Theatre, Archipelago. For Film and Television credits include: Recurring role on Rogue (DirecTV), Principal roles on Man Seeking Woman , (FXX) Murdoch Mysteries , (CBC), Nikita (CW) and Covert Affairs (USA Network). A burgeoning theatre director, Ausar most recently directed Centennial Colleges inaugural studio production of Rossum’s Universal Robots. He helmed the Main stage production of Love’s Labour’s Lost and studio productions of Les Belles Soeurs for Redeemer University College. He served as assistant director to Philip Akin on Obsidian and Factory Theatre’s co-production of the Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble and later as assistant director to Richard Rose on Tarragon’s production of Abyss and Much Ado About Nothing.

Ausar has an MFA in Theatre and Post Graduate Diploma in Voice, Speech and Dialect Coaching . He is also a certified yoga instructor with training in Hatha Yoga in the Sivananda tradition, Advanced Teaching from Toronto’s Octopus Garden, and Kemetic Yoga, an ancient Egyptian system of yoga. His interest in somatic work also led to completing level 2 Reiki training. Drawing from his wide-ranging training and experience, Ausar integrates core performance principles with yoga, energetics and voice coaching modalities to facilitate transformative, liberating experiences. As the owner of Free Your Voice , he works with private and corporate clients to help them develop confidence, power and impact so that they can speak, inspire and lead. To learn more about Ausar visit: www.freeingourvoice.ca

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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' Munsch, Munsch-o-Mania, I'm So Munsch (George Brown), The Hours That Remain (Gwaandak Theatre, Saskatchewan Native Theatre, Native Earth Theatre), The Road to Mecca, Speed-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 Dirt, In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, The Misanthrope (Tarragon), Picture This, Noises Off, A 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, and spent two seasons as a Resident Artist-Educator with Young People's Theatre.  She was Artistic Mentor for the Paprika Festival Creators' Unit and 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.  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 was nominated as a director for the Pauline McGibbon Award for Unique Talents and Potential for Excellence, and is a two-time YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee for her commitment to artistic excellence and social justice.

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DAVID TOMPA (ACTING)

David Tompa has been a part of the industry in Toronto for 15 years as an actor, director and teacher. He teaches repetition and the Meisner Technique with John Riven. He has taught repetition for the Acting for Media programme at George Brown since its inception. He’s also run acting and improv workshops for The Toronto International Improv Festival, Starz Animation and various public & private schools around town.  David coaches actors for auditions and for set and has acted in over 50 films and television shows.

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NICOLE WILSON (VOCAL MASQUE)

Nicole Wilson is an award-winning multi-disciplinary theatre artist, director, performer, and co-founder of the contemporary performance company Good Old Neon (www.goodoldneon.ca), with whom she directed the acclaimed productions of Blue Remembered Hills(2017) and One Left Hour: The Life and Work of Daniil Kharms (2018). She has two degrees in Pure and Applied Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and is a former graduate of George Brown Theatre school. She has taught acting and improv at George Brown College, Ryerson University, Bad Dog Theatre, and Impatient Theatre. She is also the founder of the Math Room (www.themathroom.ca), a boutique math and science tutoring studio in Toronto's east end.

Recent Credits: Photographic Evidence with Mixed Theatre Company, Blue Remembered Hills (director), UK tour of MankindandThe Pride of Lifewith Poculi Ludique Societas, Claire in The Two Character Play (Good Old Neon), Leblanc in Potosi(Good Old Neon), Jaquenetta in Love's Labours Lost(Dauntless City Theatre Toronto), Pattie in Brimstone and Treacle (Precisely Peter Productions),Nina in The Seagull(Chekhov Collective at The Berkeley Theatre), Blanche in The Hystericon(Good Old Neon).

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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 in 2000 created for the late 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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