Past Judges

 


Adrian Colussi – Writer/Director/Producer

Adrian Colussi is a Writer/Director/Producer based in Toronto. He worked as Story Editor and Writer on prime time sitcoms The Jane Show (Global/Shaw), and ‘da Kink In My Hair (Global/Shaw). He helped create MTV Canada’s flagship entertainment show, E2, and was Head Writer. He was a Senior Writer for Newsworld International. He also wrote hundreds of monologues for CBC’s long running interstitial program performed by international celebrity guest hosts. He’s currently in early pre-production on his feature directorial debut, A Man Named Sue (Buck Productions).



Adrian HolmesAdrian Holmes – Actor

Born March 31st in Wrexham, North Wales, UK, and with Barbados heritage, Adrian Holmes, the eldest of three boys, grew up in Vancouver and now makes Vancouver and Los Angeles his home.

As a child, Holmes loved to entertain and performed in numerous school plays. After high school he studied theatre but felt the need for a plan B and got into nursing.

His nursing career was very short lived, soon followed by various television and movie appearances. TV work include roles on such shows as Fringe, Supernatural and V but his portrayal of Basqat has been a fan favorite on Season 9 of the long running, CW series “Smallville.”

In 2010, Holmes appeared opposite Halle Berry as her love interest Clifton in the feature film “Frankie and Alice.” The film, which had a limited release, went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe and win two NAACP Image Awards including Best Film.

The following year he demonstrated his skill of dialects in the film “Red Riding Hood.” Directed by Catherine Hardwick (Twilight), the film brought Holmes international recognition and allowed him the honor of working alongside one of his favorite actors, Mr. Gary Oldman.

Holmes can be seen next alongside Matt Damon and Jodie Foster in the feature “Elysium.” The project, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), is expected to be a big hit and is slated for release August 9th 2013.



Aisha Porter-Christie Aisha Porter-Christie – Writer/ Producer/ Director

Aisha Porter-Christie was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. Her early years were spent drawing stick-figure comics and decapitating Barbie dolls in epic tales of romance and tragedy. It’s safe to say not much has changed.

A graduate of Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media and Columbia University’s Film MFA Program (New York), she has worked in various areas of the entertainment industry and was featured in Playback Magazine as one of Canada’s “Top Ten Grads to Watch”. In 2012, her spec script for the AMC drama Breaking Bad earned her a television writing internship through the Emmys and she was subsequently hired as a webisode writer on the Syfy Network series Defiance.

Her award winning short films have screened at festivals worldwide and her TV pilot script Pretenders was selected for the 2015 Columbia Blue List – an alumni competition judged by an industry panel including: Peter Benedek (UTA), Joey Chavez (VP Drama Development, NBC), Academy Award winning screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech) and actors Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger.

She is currently developing her first feature.



Amanda RosenthalAmanda Rosenthal – Agent

Amanda Rosenthal has been passionately representing actors for almost 15 years. In May of 2000, she opened the doors to her own agency, Amanda Rosenthal Talent Agency, Inc. Since then the agency has grown to include an office in Montreal, and an amazing team of agents. Always keeping a small and very selective roster has allowed her to focus on managing and nurturing the careers of her clients in Canada and the US. As a result, the ART Agency has become one of the most prestigious agencies in Canada with internationally recognized clients.



Amber-Kelly MackerethAmber Mackereth – Actor

Amber is trained actor, dancer and singer. She is a 2x Toronto Monologue Slam Champion. She recently performed in the smash hit “Becoming Burlesque,” which premiered at the 2015 Fringe Festival in Toronto. Her film appearances include Chicago (2002), Behind Closed Doors (2008) and At Lunchtime: A Story of Love (2011).



Anne MroczkowskiAnne Mroczkowski – Actor

Anne Mroczkowski is a Canadian TV reporter and news anchor. She is the former co-anchor of Global News Hour, along with Leslie Roberts.

She is a Gemini-award winning television journalist, beginning her career at Global TV, then moving on to Citytv’s CityNews (formerly CityPulse) newscast inToronto.

Annie is also a successful actor who’s done commercials, voice overs and most recently a role in Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix film “Special Correspondents”



 Bryan Misener – Agent

Bryan Misener is an agent at The Characters Talent Agency, the largest agency in Canada, which has been in business for over 40 years. Bryan has been there for almost 16 years, which means he started working there when he was 12. Originally from Winnipeg, Bryan moved to Toronto to pursue an acting career. After forays in to Second City, stand-up, writing and performing Fringe shows, commercials and bad MOW’s, he realized he would be happier on the business side of ” the biz”. He is fortunate to represent some of the best actors in the country, with lead roles in feature films, series (both live action and animation) and theatre. He likes to brag. A lot.



Chantria TramChantria Tram – Creative Director

Chantria is an actress, acting coach and speaker. She was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from Concordia University. Driven by her obsession to learn as much as possible about acting, Chantria stumbled upon a passion for teaching in her final year of University. She never looked back since.

Chantria has taught at Concordia University, at the Sears Ontario Drama Festival, Downsview Secondary School, the Young People’s Theatre in Toronto and was awarded artist in residence at the Oral History and Digital Storytelling Centre in Montreal, leading an unprecedented joint community-University project. She has worked with participants from various backgrounds and experience; Undergraduate, Graduate and PHD students, youths, career councilors, career and life coaches, IT professionals, therapists, event planners and people in the creative field such as directors, actors and producers.

She spoke at the “Imagining Cambodia” Conference at the Northern Illinois University (Sept. 13-16th, 2012) as part of the academic and artistic panel, at the 2012 John Douglas Taylor Conference at McMaster’s University, called “Working the Frame: Comparative Approaches to Asian Canadian Literature and Culture” (October 25-26, 2012) and at the 9th United Nations Forum for Indigenous Issues as a delegate.

As an actress, she has performed in numerous productions in Montreal including a one-woman show called “Someone Between”, which she wrote and produced under Apsara Theatre Company. The show toured in Montreal at various conferences and festivals, including at Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival. The show will be remounted with new direction and will make its Toronto premiere in Fall 2013.



Cheryl Nembhard – Playwright, Speaker, Actor, Author and Songwriter

As a Playwright, Director, Producer and Composer, Cheryl has dedicated her life to presenting God’s love in creative, cutting edge and bold ways. Her latest Gospel Musical ‘My Brothers Keeper’ which focuses on child molestation & abuse, debuted at the prestigious Music Hall in Toronto and marks the 5th production of her rising career as a Playwright. This much anticipated play followed on the heels of her smash hit Stage play ‘The Ultimate Sacrifice’, which saw sold out performances at Mirvish’s Panasonic Theatre.

Former Artistic Director for Toronto City Mission, developing arts programs for at risk youth, Cheryl has now taken on a global focus as she and her Executive team have now begun the ground work to launch ‘My Sisters Keeper’-a Missions initiative that will raise funds and awareness for Women and Children suffering across the globe. She recently won the Award of Excellence Humanitarian award in Toronto, recognizing her efforts.



Charles RoyCharles Roy – Artistic Director, Co-Founder of The Classical Theatre Project

Charles is a director, writer, and producer who co-founded and is the Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre Project – Canada’s fastest growing producer of classical theatre. Through CTP, Charles’ productions have garnered Dora nominations, six North American 40-city tours and a total audience of well over a million people.

One of Canada’s leading young theatre artists, Charles has also established a freelance career, directing and producing over 100 productions for such companies as Pleiades Theatre, Mirvish Productions, the World Stage Festival and many others. In 2015, he signed a two-picture deal with Netflix, optioned a screenplay with Warner Brothers, and signed a multi-film deal with Stephan Shelansky and Unreal Media (creator of TV’s Spartacus, etc.).



Clé Bennett – Actor

Clé Bennett is a two-time Gemini award winning actor, known mostly for his outstanding performances in the mini-series Guns and in the HBO series The Line. The versatile performer’s credits range from international features such as Barney’s Version; to television hits Shattered, and Lost Girl; to animated programs, including the Total Drama Island franchise, and various other voice over work. Most recently, Clé can be seen starring in the fourth season of CTV’s hit drama Flashpoint, as Rafik Rousseau. This January makes his professional theatre debut on the Soulpepper stage, as he takes on the challenge of playing four characters in Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience, directed by Weyni Mengesha.



David SparrowDavid Sparrow – Actor, Writer, Producer, President of ACTRA Toronto

An actor, writer and producer, David Sparrow’s career began in 1990 with Toronto’s The Second City. Since then he has appeared in over 100 film and TV roles, including Serendipity, Star Trek Voyager, 16 Blocks and Corner Gas, and has worked with dozens of household names, including Julie Andrews, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer and Richard Gere. He has been featured in dozens of TV commercials, radio spots and many cartoons.
An award winning writer, he has written radio & TV spots, short and feature films, sketch comedy, stand-up, a children’s book, corporate websites and content for CBC Radio and CITY TV. As a director and producer, he has three short films, a feature, commercials and a number of corporate/industrial projects to his credit.

David is also the President of ACTRA Toronto, the largest branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, representing the interests of 13,000 professional audio-visual performers working in Toronto and across Ontario.

Dave survives this crazy business with the adage Trying IS succeeding… your results may vary.

Look for his new book Don’t Get Your Hopes Up! (A man’s guide to living the best life you can… given the circumstances.) Coming out next Fall.


 
David Rotenberg – Teacher/Director

David Rotenberg has been a master acting teacher for over 20 years. He has directed on Broadway, in many major regional theatres, for television, and he has published six novels, including the Zhong Fong detective series, all of which are available at your local bookstore or online. The series is in the process of being optioned for film.

David has taught at York University, the National Theatre School of Canada, the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the University of Cape Town, and Princeton. He regularly teaches professional classes in Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax. He directed the first Canadian play in the People’s Republic of China. Most recently, David has directed at Penn State University and at York University, where he adapted and directed a stage version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

The roster of his students reads like a who’s who in ranks of Canadian actors, including Scott Speedman, Rachel McAdams, James McGowan, Polly Shannon, David Hirsh, Jonas Chernick and Shawn Doyle. His unique techniques are used by actors in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the People’s Republic of China.



Eion BaileyEion Bailey – Actor

Eion is known for his performances in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, and the long-standing television drama ER. Some of his film credits include Fight Club, Almost Famous, Center Stage, and Mindhunters. He also co-starred with Antonio Banderas in the HBO original movie, And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself.

He has won, and been nominated for numerous awards, and is the recipient of a Day- time Emmy for his Outstanding Performance in the movie Life of the Party. More recently, Eion has received acclaim for his role on the popular series ‘Once Upon a Time’. He can currently be seen in Showtimes ‘Ray Donovan’.



Ennis Esmer – Actor/Writer

Ennis Esmer came to Toronto from Ankara, Turkey at the age of three. He trained in theatre at York University and sketch/improv at Second City, while doing standup comedy at clubs in Toronto. His standup work led to a gig as host and creative consultant of The Toronto Show, an hour-long showcase of Canadian music and comedy. During the show’s 120-episode run, Esmer performed with some of the best in Canadian comedy, including Dave Foley and Sean Cullen. Esmer returns to the role of ‘Oz Bey,’ partner to a telepathic paramedic, on season two of The Listener. Esmer also recently has had roles in television series such as The Listener, Wipeout Canada, Covert Affairs, Billable Hours, The L.A. Complex, and a guest star turn in Ken Finkleman’s upcoming series Good Dog.



Farid Yazdani – Actor, Producer, Writer and Host

Farid Yazdani is a Canadian actor, producer and writer. He is best know for his role on Suits (NBC/USA) and is the creator and star of Day Players.

A graduate of the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Toronto, he quickly began to book roles in Television & Film. He can be seen guest staring in shows such as Odd Squad (PBS), My Babysitter’s a Vampire (Disney) and XIII: The Series (Showcase). His most recent achievements include winning the coveted Toronto Monologue Slam, a member of Factory Theatre’s Mechanicals Conservatory & winning “Best Actor – Leading Role” at the Indifest Film Awards in Los Angeles for his role on Day Players.

Recently signing with Bryan Misener of The Characters, one of Canada’s top agencies, he can be seen on USA’s Suits (NBC/USA) as the recurring character, David Green.



Greta Papageorgiu Greta Papageorgiu – Acting Coach

Greta Papageorgiu is a Toronto based instructor of the Meisner Technique. She studied under Jacqueline McClintock and at The Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City before opening up her own studio in Toronto: Meisner With Greta. She has assisted and led acting workshops in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Amsterdam and Munich. This fall she is returning to teach an Advanced Repetition Class at the Munich Film Academy. Her next Toronto session will run in October 2014. For more information about Greta, the class and Meisner Technique please visit her website: meisnerwithgreta.ca



Jason Knight
Jason Knight – Casting Director

Jason Knight is a Toronto based casting director. Some recent credits include: Michael McGowan’s ‘Still Mine’, Sarah Polley’s ‘Stories We Tell’ & ‘Take This Waltz’, Vincenzo Natali’s ‘Splice’, Atom Egoyan’s ‘Chloe’, Ruba Nadda’s ‘Cairo Time’, Sook-Yin Lee’s ‘Year of the Carnivore’, and George A. Romero’s ‘Survival of the Dead’.. Jason and his partner John Buchan won the 2010 Gemini Award for Best Achievement in Casting. Jason is a casting director in residence and mentor for the Canadian Film Centre’s Actors Conservatory and also currently serves as the casting consultant for CBC Television where he and John oversee all casting for the scripted programming.



Jeff Seymour Jeff Seymour – Teacher

Jeff Seymour has been an acting coach for 34 years. He began his career in the entertainment industry in 1979 in Los Angeles, California and began teaching in 1980. Early on, while working in television as an actor, he designed and built The Gnu Theater which went on to become one of LA’s most awarded and respected theaters. Jeff directed and produced all the shows there. He spent 11 years in Canada working in the film and television industry and starred in three different T.V. series, including Jeff Ltd, which he co-created and cowrote. Jeff was one of the directors and executive producers. He has won the Canadian Emmy and has been nominated a total of four times. He has traveled the country as well as in Canada and Australia teaching his highly successful Acting and the Business seminars.



Jennifer Holness Jennifer Holness – Producer/ Writer/ Director

Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer and producer of scripted and factual TV and films. Jen recently co-created the TV drama series Shoot The Messenger for CBC about cops and journalists that goes to camera summer 2015. She co-wrote and produced the two-part CBC miniseries, Guns, staring Elisha Cuthbert and Colm Feore that won five Canadian Screen Awards, including a shared best writing award for Jen. She also co-created, wrote and produced the thirteen-part comedy series She’s The Mayor for Vision TV.

Jen is developing/producing the feature documentary, Hispaniola, on the roots of genocide with the Sundance award-winning team Michele Stephens and Joe Brewster (American Promise) and the National Film Board of Canada. She has also produced numerous documentaries, including; Speakers For The Dead (CBC), Badge of Pride (CBC & PBS), Brick By Brick (Omni), Yin Yin Jade Love (TVO), and Dolores: The Art of Art Modeling (Bravo!).

Jen’s feature film producing credits include Home Again with co-writer and director Sudz Sutherland. The film stars Tatyana Ali, Lyriq Bent and CCH Pounder and won the prestigious PAFF–BAFTA Festival Choice Award. The film was also nominated for two Canadian Screen Academy Awards and a Director’s Guild of Canada nod for Best Directing. Jen also produced and co-wrote the story for the feature Love, Sex and Eating the Bones that won 9 festival awards including the Best First Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for a trifecta of Genies – Best Feature, Best Writing and Best Directing.

She is currently developing several feature projects, including the action comedy, Operation Red Dog, which she also co-wrote. ORD is a part of the CFC-Telefilm Comedy Exchange and is slated for production in 2016.

Jen is also working on several digital projects including adapting her highly rated, awardwinning app The Music Biz into an animated series.

Jennifer is a member of several Boards including at the Regent Park Film Festival, Innoversity Creative Summit and the CMPA’s Prime Time Board. She spends her down-time keeping up with her three spectacular girls



Kate Yorga – Writer/Director

Kate’s love of film goes back to a childhood raised on a ranch in rural Saskatchewan, watching black-and-white classics on late-night television or seeing films at the local Dreamland Theatre. The first film she ever saw? The Wizard of Oz at the age of four!

She has worked in a variety of areas in film and television: on-camera as an actor; and on set behind the scenes as both a production assistant, locations co-ordinator and a prop assistant. She also delved into the world of film and television distribution, and has a producer-like role at a film-funding agency.

Film gives Kate a chance to marry her three loves—words, pictures and music—to tell stories for the big and small screen. Book Club, her directorial debut, is a short film still doing festival rounds. Kate is currently developing an animated short film, a factual entertainment TV series and a feature-length documentary.



Kerri CraddockKerri Craddock – Director of Programming for TIFF

A resourceful member of the TIFF team since 2007, Kerri is the Director of Festival Programming and knows exactly what goes into getting every film into each year’s Festival lineup of over 300 films. How? Well, she’s the one who sees it all and gets it done. Imagine experiencing the Festival you know and love, all the glitz and glam– and no doubt, all the sweat and tears– through her eyes! Kerri has regularly represented TIFF at fellow respected film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin and Cannes.

Outside of the Festival, Kerri has sat on the 2013 jury for the Philadelphia Film Festival Feature Documentary Competition, and the 2012 Features panel for TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival held annually every January at TIFF Bell Lightbox.



kristaKrista Morin – Actor/Toronto Monologue Slam! Champion

Krista Morin, born in Ottawa, Ontario, is one of Canada’s fastest rising stars. She trained in theatre at the University of Ottawa, achieving her Bachelor of Arts with Honours. Krista already has a pretty extensive resumé, which includes a long list of Television, Film and Theatre performances. Her film and television credits include 9 Types Office, Shockwave, The Perfect Boss, and A Nanny’s Revenge to name a few. Her Theatre credits include Nutty Bar, Saturday Night Live (Hollywood), Birdbath and Miss Julie, a role for which Krista received critical acclaim. Krista has won the Toronto Monologue Slam! a record 4 times and currently holds the record for most wins, most consecutive wins and highest margin of victory. This feat is even more impressive when you consider that out of the nearly 100 actors that have performed in the Toronto Monologue Slam, only 7 have worn the belt.



Larissa Mair  – Casting Director

Larissa Mair has been involved in the arts on many different levels for over 20 years. Larissa began as a casting assistant and associate with Stephanie Gorin, and eventually moved to Jigsaw Casting where she opened the film and TV division. In 2010 she created her own casting company in Toronto; Larissa Mair Casting & Associates, and has a great team of people working with her.



Lewis Baumander Lewis Baumander – Coach, Director

Over the past 37 years Lewis has directed over 100 plays across Canada in such theatres as the Tarragon and the Manitoba Theatre Centre (including Hamlet with Keanu Reeves). He built and ran Skylight Theatre in Earl Bales Park for 10 years where he directed many Shakespeare plays and other classical theatre pieces. He has also directed Television and a Feature Film. He has been a casting consultant on several TV series and an on-set Acting Coach for more than a hundred TV episodes and four Feature Films. Lewis has directed, taught and/or coached actors such as Eric McCormack, Michael Rappaport, Malcolm McDowell and Stacey Keach.

Lewis has begun coaching and teaching his fourth generation of working actors including Georgina Reilly (Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, Saving Hope), Ellen Wong (The Carrie Diaries, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World), Ashley Legget (Perfect Roommate), Steven Yaffee (A Fish Story and stared in War Horse at the Royal Alexandre Theatre). He has worked closely with many actors on such shows such as Degrassi: The Next Generation, Living in my Car, Life With Boys, Being Human, Debra, Lost Girl, Combat Hospital, King, Highland Gardens, Republic of Doyle, Being Erica, The Strain, Hannibal, Beauty & the Beast, Bitten and Played among many, many others. Three Gemini nomination performances have arisen out of this group: Romina D’ugo, Shane Kippel and Nahanni Johnstone.

He directed the annual Industry Show for The Humber School of Comedy at Second City for 4 years, which stared such great comedians as Andrea Martin (SCTV), and Don Ferguson (Air Farce). He also taught at the University of Manitoba, University of Windsor, Ryerson, Humber, Sheridan and Seneca College.

Lewis founded the Lewis Baumander Acting Studio where he teaches weekly group classes year-round, and coaches actors individually on a daily basis. Lewis considers himself fortunate to have had so many talented and special actors pass through his Studio. He takes no credit. He just feels honoured to have been a part of their success.

Lewis is also the owner of Casting Central, having purchased it in 2012. Casting Central is Toronto’s full service casting facility making it the one stop location for all your casting needs. www.castingcentral.ca



Mandy May Cheetham – Actress/Writer/Producer

Mandy May Cheetham was born in Toronto, ON the daughter of motorcycle drag-racer turned boat-painter turned balloon-tire-bicycle collector turned apprentice junkologist turned hipster carpenter Bob Cheetham and event planner turned boat-hostess turned hot-tub and tanning-bed sales woman turned landscape designer Jennie Robertson. Many of her parents friends warned them all their dashes (-) would result in their child turning out to be a slash (/), and they embraced that premonition heartily. Her relentlessly innovative parents lived in many wonderful parts of the city including spending two years on a 35 foot Chris Craft with no engine named Dockside which they parked at the foot of Toronto’s York Street.

Since 2011 Mandy has appeared in over 60 projects as an actress and writer in commercial, TV, film, stage, stand up and improv jams and has been recognized by Funny or Die as a member of their community (the funny part, not the die part). She has lived in NY, LA and Toronto and continues to change cities as often as her parents changed jobs.

With a genuine gift for comedy and a scene stealing dramatic presence, Mandy May Cheetham continues to delight fans by making them laugh and upset them by making them cry.



Meagan Allison-Hancock Meagan Allison-Hancock – Agent

Raised in Stratford, Ontario, Meagan Allison-Hancock developed a strong interest in the arts from a young age. After graduating from the University of Victoria with an Art History major and Film Studies Minor, she moved to Toronto to pursue a career in the film and television industry. She began as the agency assistant at Amanda Rosenthal Talent in 2009, working closely with high profile and emerging actors. In 2010, she was promoted to handle the commercial department, and shortly after began taking on her own clients. She continues to carefully build a successful roster of film and television actors.

Clients include Craig Arnold (Degrassi, Heartland), Susanna Fournier (Being Human) and Kristian Bruun (Murdoch Mysteries, Orphan Black), the first ever Toronto Monologue Slam Champion.

In addition to her work as an agent, Meagan has spent time as an event coordinator for WORN Fashion Journal, and volunteered extensively at the Toronto Public Library as both a children’s reading buddy and a fundraising committee member.



Maggie Dunlop – Agent

Maggie Dunlop was born and raised in downtown Toronto. After attending St. Clement’s School, she finished her formal education at Riverdale Collegiate. She previously directed the commercial talent division while working at a first-rate Toronto talent agency. She has also freelanced as a production liaison and possesses extensive office management skills. Maggie’s vibrant personality and keen sense of irony keeps her popular with peers and clients alike.



Marissa Richmond – Casting Director

Marissa Richmond, owner of Marissa Richmond Casting, is currently the casting director on the CTV/ION/CBS series Flashpoint. She was the casting director for the CTV pilot Stay With Me, and did casting for all 3 seasons of the highly acclaimed series Durham County, as well as the anthology series Bliss, both produced by Back Alley Films. Recent highlights of the past year include casting the Heroic Film Company series How to be Indie, the Cookie Jar Pilots Mudpit, as well as the Family Channel series Debra! She was thrilled when the Gemini Awards honoured her with nominations in 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 for Best Achievement in Casting for Durham County and Flashpoint respectively. She won the Gemini Award in 2011 for Season 3 of Durham County. Her featured work includes Show Me, and 19 Months. Marissa was also the casting director on the MOW’s After the Harvest, Lucky Girl, Scorn, and Murder Most Likely. Other previous casting projects include the dramatic series Due South, the hip hop dramatic series Drop the Beat, and the critically acclaimed award winning series Straight Up. Marissa has just completed her eleventh season as Casting Director-in-Residence at the Canadian Film Centre.



Marjorie Lecker – Casting Director

Gemini Nominated Casting Director Marjorie Lecker has had a prolific career. With over 17 years experience in casting, her credits include the series 24HR Rental, Ruby Skye: P.I. and movies like Casino Jack, The Returned, Swearnet, Sticks And Stones, The Good Shepherd, Solo and Exit Humanity, to name a few. Marjorie’s eye for new and seasoned talent is impeccable. More importantly she understands character in its relationship to story, the most important quality of any casting director. She also brings a humanity and color to her work which makes her choices delicious for any filmmaker. Marjorie was a nominee at the 2006 Gemini Awards for Best Achievement in Casting for the CBC miniseries “Canada Russia ’72.”



Marjorie MalpassMarjorie Malpass – Actor, Writer and Corporate Coach

With 25 years of professional acting spanning TV, Radio, Film, and Live Theatre, Marjorie brings a varied skill set to Malpass Park.

Marjorie began her acting career at 14 with a tiny part in the CBC film “The Private Capitol.” She then went on to tour internationally with Axis Theatre’s “The Number 14” which included stops in Italy, Finland, Denmark and on Broadway. Other highlights include playing three different stalkers in one year for a play, a tv show and on film. Marjorie is also the voice of the first ever female Mini Wheat.

Marjorie’s love of improv and comedy started at Canterbury High School of the Performing Arts while a member of BOFA, Canadian Improv Game’s National Champions. She is an alumni of Rapid Fire in Edmonton, The Vancouver TheatreSports League, and is on faculty at Second City. She has performed stand up and improv around North America at Winnipeg’s Crumbs and Outside Joke, Ottawa’s Crush Improv, Montreal Improv, Detroit’s Go Comedy and Tell Your Friends in NYC. As a writer,Marjorie has provided comedy content for “The Irrelevant Show” on CBC, HGTV’s “She’s Crafty”,The Huffington Post, and the satirical newspaper, The Onion.

As a coach in the corporate world, Marjorie creatively delivers bold communication and presentation skills. She has worked with corporations such as GM,Xerox, Royal Caribbean, TD Bank as well senior personnel at various levels of government. Combining her knowledge of the corporate world and the entertainment industry, Marjorie recently provided On- Camera coaching for all three of the new “Dragons” on the CBC hit show Dragon’s Den.

Marjorie received her BFA from Concordia University in Montreal and is a graduate of The Canadian National Voice Intensive at UBC.



Marla Bender -Agent

Marla Bender is an accomplished agent with 17 years of experience representing actors and 23 years in the entertainment business.  Marla grew up in an entertainment family counting an announcer and casting director among them.   At an early age Marla set her sights to be in the business and earned a degree with honours at Seneca in Television and Radio Broadcasting.  Familiarizing herself in many areas, Marla has experience in both Television and Radio, Casting Direction, Commercial and Jingle Production and has had exposure to many areas of the industry.  She takes a personal hands on approach with her talent believing that all clients have worth and that only with proper nurturing can an actor’s talent be realized.  Currently, Marla is the owner and president of The Talent Tree agency specializing in a custom built roster of fresh diverse new faces for an ever-changing client demand.



Marsha ChesleyMarsha Chesley – Casting Director

Marsha Chesley has been a casting director for more than thirty years and has worked in every medium: feature films, movies-of-the-week, dramatic series, sitcoms, corporate videos, and commercials.

Instrumental in creating the Gemini Award for Best Achievement in Casting, Marsha was nominated for the award in its inaugural year for her work on the CBC series This is Wonderland. She then won the award in 2009 for her work on The Line. She was nominated a third time in 2011 for the TMN series Living in Your Car.

Currently the co-chair of the Casting Directors Society of Canada, Marsha is also a member of the George Brown College Theatre Arts Advisory Committee, The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and Women in Film and Television – Toronto.

Marsha’s most recent television series include King for Shaw Media, and the acclaimed Little Mosque on the Prairie for CBC. Other recent credits include a film about the life of Canada’s first Prime Minister called John A: The Rivals and a rare involvement in documentary, Air India 182, written and directed by Sturla Gunnarson for CBC. In four seasons (52 episodes) of the Global television series Blue Murder, she garnered twenty-five Gemini nominations for actors. In three seasons of the critically-acclaimed series This Is Wonderland, also written by George F. Walker and Dani Romain, 29 actors were nominated for Gemini awards.

Other movies-of-the-week include the recent Plague City, Playing House, Tripping the Wire, and Hunt For Justice: The Louise Arbour Story all for CTV. Early CBC work includes Charlie Grant’s War, directed by Martin Lavut; Canada’s Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks, and The King Chronicle both by Donald Brittain; The Wordsmith and The Street both directed by Claude Jutra; four seasons of Seeing Things, and the final two seasons of King of Kensington.

Fluent in French, Marsha has also helped in the casting of projects for a number of prominent French-Canadian directors including André Melançon, Robert Ménard, and Robert Lepage.

For three years Marsha was Casting Director-in-Residence at the CANADIAN FILM CENTRE. She teaches workshops and is called upon frequently to give seminars to actors as well as producers, directors, and writers, at all the major theatre schools in Toronto and at SIFT: The Summer Institute of Film and Television in Ottawa.



Michael Gordin Shore Michael Gordin Shore – Acting Coach

With over 40 years of training and real world experience on stage as well as in front of and behind the camera, Michael Gordin Shore is a Film/TV/Theatre actor and Triple Award Winning Independent Film Producer dubbed by numerous press outlets “One of Canada’s Top Audition Coaches” and “One of Canada’s Most Appreciated Acting Teachers”. He holds degrees in Theatre Majoring in Acting from both John Abbott College in Montreal and Simon Fraser University’s School of the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver, he has been a part of over a hundred plays including over 40 new Canadian plays, plus he has numerous ACTRA, IATSE, DGC, Casting, and Producing Credits. Since arriving in Toronto, he has performed on stage as Ben Cohen in Steve Martin’s The Underpants, and just finished a run at Passe Muraille as Alan in Nicholas Kazan’s very dark Blood Moon. As a Film/TV actor he can be seen in White Chicks, Stargate SG-1, Psych, Steven King’s The Dead Zone, Postal, among many others and his independent film work has been featured in festivals around the world. He plays Uncle Matt on the award winning webseries Kid’s Town, and will soon be seen in Lifetime’s The Greatest Christmas Party Ever. As a theatre/film/TV coach with clients in NY, LA, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa, Michael has helped countless actors to earn their first or their hundredth credit, and his clients, who range in age from 6-70, can be seen regularly in much of the stage and on-camera work we produce from coast to coast.



michele-lonsdale-smithMichèle Lonsdale Smith – Mentor, Actor, Director

Michèle Lonsdale Smith studied at the New York Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, has since acted in feature film, television, and theatre projects over 23 years, and co-founded the Lyric School of Acting in Vancouver in 2001. She was the owner/operator and senior instructor for a decade. She then founded Lonsdale Smith Studios in 2011 and Lonsdale Smith & Company (LS&CO) in 2014. Directing credits include: Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana, Eric Bogosian’s Sex Drugs Rock and Roll, Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson, Miss Julie by Strindberg, Dutchman by Amiri Baraka and co-wrote, with a brilliant cast, The 21st Floor. She also directed the stage version and co-wrote the award-winning feature film, A Winter Tale. She helmed The Dreamer Examines his Pillow by John Patrick Shanley and the company mounted the production in NYC for a “one-night only” command performance for the esteemed playwright himself. Michèle prepares actors for roles in film, television and stage, and serves as set acting coach on Canadian and American productions. She regularly travels to cities in the U.S., Canada and the UK to conduct classes. In 2014, LS&CO held its inaugural intensive retreat in Jamaica, which is now an annual January adventure. Michèle is the recipient of the 2013 Women in Film and Television award for Leadership in Education.



Mimi Kuzyk Mimi Kuzyk – Actor

She is one of Canada’s most highly regarded actors; her film credits include Camille opposite Siena Miller and James Franco, Miramax’ The Human Stain, starring Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise; the sci-fi thrillers Final Cut with Robin Williams, Jim Caveziel and Mira Sorvino, and The Day After Tomorrow featuring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhal; Lea Pool’s Lost And Delirious, which earned Ms. Kuzyk a Genie nomination for Best Supporting Actress; On Television Ms. Kuzyk has been seen in guest-starring roles on such hit shows as CBS’ Ghost Whisperer, Cold Case and NCIS as well as ABC’s Castle. In Canada her guest spots include Insecurity and The Listener. She is well recognized for her role as “Detective Patsy Mayo” on Hill Street Blues, and as Jimmy Smits’ potential love interest on L.A. Law. She is also well known to Canadian audiences for her regular roles in CBC sitcoms Sophie and Our Hero. Her performances as “Rita Kapeli” in the CBC drama Little Criminals, and as “Deputy Chief Kay Barrow” in Blue Murder earned her Gemini nominations for Best Supporting Actress. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native also performed recurring roles in Global TV’s Traders as well as guest-starring roles on The Chris Isaak Show and The L Word.

Most Recent Credits: Canadian feature film ” Sex After Kids”, ABC pilot- “Lucky 7′ and ‘Bomb Girls’.



NHFNicole Hilliard-Forde – Casting Director

Nicole Hilliard-Forde is an independent casting director and producer for film and TV. As a media professional supported by a career spanning 15 years in casting, Nicole manages all aspects of content development, production, stakeholder management and film financing for Motel Pictures Inc. across of slate of projects. Nicole is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles, the Casting Society of America and is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Producer’s Lab.



Oluniké Adeliyi – Actor/Co-producer of TOSLAM

Olunike Adeliyi is an Actor and Co-producer of the Toronto Monologue Slam. She has studied her craft at The Canadian Academy of Method Acting, continued her studies at the Professional Actors Lab working with one of Canada’s well known artistic directors, David Rotenberg and is also a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She has performed in theatres throughout Canada and the U.S playing leading roles in, “Blue Window”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Children’s Hour”, “Jitney”, and Michael Cristofer’s play “The Shadow Box” . Olunike has also lent her talents to television and film including Saw 3D, French Immersion and CTV’s Flashpoint.



Rachel-Lea Rickards – Founder and Artistic Director of the Broadway Bound Theatre Academy, Actor, Producer and Columnist for Sway Magazine.

Rachael-Lea Rickards is a Playwright, Actor and Producer of the hit play “I am NOT a Dinner Mint”. Involved in the arts for over 18 years, she started her career out in sketch comedy. Being an original da Kink in my Hair cast member, she has traveled to New York, L.A and London England with the show.
Rachael-Lea was a writer on Season II of da Kink in my Hair and is currently the relationship columnist for Sway Magazine and most recently the Founder and Director for The Broadway Bound Theatre Academy, Canada’s First Triple Threat Performance Academy for students of color.



Rae Ellen – Director, Actor, Voice/Acting/Performance Coach

Following almost a decade of acting in Alberta, Rae Ellen left Calgary to pursue her MFA-Acting at York University, and has lived and worked in Toronto ever since. Acting gigs include roles in the celebrated feature film “Tkaronto” (The Breath Films) and the Toronto Fringe hit “Bluebeard” (GromKat). Rae Ellen works in film and TV as an on-set Voice/Acting Coach, with recent gigs on “Transporter” (HBO), “Frenemies” (Disney) and “XIII: The Series” (Showcase). As a Theatre Director, Rae Ellen directed Celia McBride’s “Anatomy Of A Broken Love Affair” for Vintage Productions at Summerworks (Best Director, Ensemble, Production – NOW Magazine) a critically acclaimed workshop production of Neil Labute’s “Fat Pig” with her company Geek Girl, and the Dora Award nominated production of Jason Long’s “Offensive Fouls” for Hustle n’ Bustle Theatre Co. (Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Colin Doyle; Outstanding Production). She was also recently honored with a nomination for the John Hirsch Director’s Award. When Rae Ellen isn’t on-set or directing a show, she is the Voice Technique Mentor for the CFC’s Acting Conservatory, teaches weekly group classes at The Professional Actors Lab, and works as a Performance Coach with the Senior Leadership Team of the largest union in California.



Ron LeachRon Leach – Producer, Director, Casting Director

Most noted as a producer, award-winning director and acting coach. In partnership with Brian Levy, Ron is one of Canada’s leading casting directors of independent film, television, theatre and commercials.

In the past four years, Ron has directed 10 international award-winning short films including, and is currently preparing to shoot his 11th film Fadeaway in September:

-ALTERCATIONS, (winner of nine international Awards and programmed in twenty international film festivals)

-SHACKY GROUNDS (the winner of two international awards and an Official Selection in 5 international film festivals),

-HELPLINE (Official Selection in 2 International Film festivals).

-His short film PROFILE, premiered at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival and made it’s Canadian premier at the Film North Film Festival (where it took a Special Jury Award) and has since screened at Chicago’s Illinois International Film Festival and the UK Film Festival in London.

-LOVE IS, premiered at the Oaxaca International Film Festival in Mexico.

His most recent directorial endeavour GAYBASHER, premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival in May, prior to being included in the Cortes Metrage in Cannes 2014. In September, it screened at Cinema Diverse in Palm Springs, and in competition at Oaxaca Intl Film Festival in October Ron was awarded the Humanitarian Award for GAYBASHER’s startling response to the subject of bullying and homophobia. He is the Producer of the acclaimed feature-length documentary film, SHURTLEFF, based on the legendary author, teacher, and casting director Michael Shurtleff, and AUDITION, the four part instructional series on acting, and recently produced the Canadian Premier of Neil LaBute’s IN A FOREST DARK AND DEEP, at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille.

Ron recently served on the jury for the Oaxaca International Film Festival in Mexico 2012 & 2013; has served as a juror for the International Emmy Awards, the Canadian Screen Awards; the Genie and Gemini Awards; the On The Fly Film Festival; and is a frequent moderator for the WildSound Script Reading Series. Ron served as President of the Board of Directors to The Canadian International Animation Festival (producing two festivals during his five year tenure); was Chairman of the Board of Directors to The Talent Representatives Association of Canada; and President of the Board of Directors to Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore award-winning Acme Theatre Company (producing over thirty plays during his ten year tenure). He has taught his acclaimed course of acting skills for the camera at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival; Centennial College Film and Video Production Program, and The Vancouver Film School. Ron is a member of the Casting Director’s Society of Canada and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.



Salvatore Antonio – Actor, writer, director and educator

With numerous credits in television, film, and theatre, he currently can be seen in a regular role on the CTV/NBC series ‘Saving Hope’, playing Victor Reis. He plays a supporting role in Brandon Cronenberg’s film ‘AntiViral’ set for release this fall. He is also the Artistic Director of Armstrong Acting Studios, and the lead instructor of the Acting for Camera component of the National Theatre School of Canada –– of which he is also a graduate. He has been a playwright in residence at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, and Factory Theatre. His first published and produced play; ‘In Gabriel’s Kitchen’, earned him the title of Finalist for the prestigious Governor Generals Award for Drama. This past April he wrote and directed his own creation, “The Sheets” for the Harbourfront Centre.



Sandra Gillis – Agent

Sandra Gillis is an agent and one of the owners of Premier Artists’ Management Inc. Premier opened its doors to talent over 30 years ago and represents talent across Canada and the United States for Film and Television, Theatre, and commercials. Sandra loves guiding and building careers of actors that have passion and does it with professionalism and patience.
More information about Premier Artists’ can be found at www.premierartists.ca



Sarah ShepsSarah Sheps – Casting Associate

Sarah Sheps is currently the Casting Associate at Mann Casting. She is a proud member of the Casting Director’s Society of Canada and passionate about all things casting. She has been in the business for the last 10 years and has assisted many Toronto casting directors, but is happy to call Mann her home. She is graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre program and spent her past life touring Canada, the US and Europe with many children shows including Strawberry Shortcake Live, Dora the Explorer and Franklin the Turtle. She is extremely passionate about Toronto’s talent and hopes to be casting them forever.



Sophie Ann Rooney Sophie Ann Rooney – Acting Coach

One of Toronto’s top coaches Sophie Ann Rooney teaches the Strasberg method as well as influences from her years teaching and training in Europe’s most reputable establishments. Rooney was a teacher at Bilingual Acting Workshop New York & Paris, the American University of Paris and Lyric School of Acting in Vancouver. She trained directly under Lee Strasberg’s protege Amy Werba for 4 consecutive years, assisting, teaching alongside Werba. Whilst living in Paris, Rooney trained in a full-time Stanislavski School L’Atelier International de Theatre de Blanche Salant as well as with Valerie Landsburg, Larry Moss and Steppenwolf’s Larry McGowan. In England trained at Central School of Speech & Drama and Oxford School of Speech & Drama.

Rooney is also an award winning filmmaker, her short film ‘Fallen Fighter’ was picked up by Oscar Contender Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and went on to screen at over 20 film festivals around the world and won numerous awards including the Kodak award in Paris. Her film ‘Bollywood Beckons’ was awarded Best Foreign Film in New York. Her feature film EASTER is in development with Producer Lauren Grant Clique Pictures (Picture Day/Wet Bum) and look out for the Webseries she is developing with Sterling to be shot in 2015.

Sterling Theatre Company’s Co-Founding Artistic Director; Rooney has directed in Paris, Vancouver and most recently directed ‘MACBETH’ which sold out every show, her other highlights have been ‘Burn This’, ‘Cowboy Mouth’, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea’ and the Pulitzer nominated play ‘The Glory of Living’ by Rebecca Gilman in Toronto. She has produced 27plays and counting with Sterling in just over two years, giving over 100 artists a place to create and showcase their work.

A mother of two boys this artist is non-stop and continues to see success with her student’s booking and booking.

sophieannrooney.com / sterlingstudiotheatre.com



Stephen Park – Actor/Director/Teacher

Stephen Park is an Actor, Director and Teacher. Stage Credits include What then must we do?,Ashes, The 21st Floor, Dark, Twelfth Night Bent, Lion in the Streets, The Scaffolds, Body and Soul, and Julius Caesar. His film work includes Lead roles in Grace, official se- lection of The Sundance Film Festival and winner of the Jury prize at the Gerardmer Festival du Fantastique; the award winning Canadian feature film “Everyone” and the multi-Gemini Award wining miniseries “The Englishman’s Boy.” Television credits include recurring roles on Murdoch Mysteries, Stargate- SG1 and Cold Squad. Stephen has also appeared on “V,” “DaVinci’s Inquest,” “Godiva’s,” “Intelligence” and “The Listener,” among others. Stephen is the Instructor and Studio Manager of Lyric East.



Sudz Sutherland Sudz Sutherland – Writer/ Director/ Executive Producer

Sudz Sutherland (Writer/Director) works on both sides of the fence as a freelance writer and director for TV dramas and feature films. Sudz’s latest feature film, Home Again, won the prestigious PAFF‐BAFTA Festival Choice Award in Los Angeles and was recently nominated for Best Direction from the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). Home Again is the follow up to his multiple award winning and Genie nominated debut feature film Love, Sex and Eating the Bones. Sudz is developing two new feature films, Operation Red Dog and Colour Blind. He is currently in pre-production on ‘Shoot the Messenger,’ his first Dramatic series co-created with writer/producer Jennifer Holness airing on the CBC.

Sudz directed The Phantoms, which won an International Kids Emmy. He also won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction for the TV movie as well as garnering a Director’s Guild of Canada Best Direction nomination. The Dream Street Pictures project aired in Fall 2012 on CBC.

Sudz also co-created his first television series, the half-hour comedy She’s The Mayor with Jennifer Holness and Min Sook Lee. He also wrote and directed several episodes. The show received numerous critical nods and is distributed by BBC WorldWide.

Previous to this, Sudz was involved with the feature film Toronto Stories, an anthology in conjunction with three other directors and was invited to TIFF for September 2008.

Sudz also co-wrote and directed the dramatic miniseries Guns for CBC based on four families caught up in illegal gun trafficking. Starring Colm Feore and Elisha Cuthbert, Guns won five Gemini Awards including Best Writing and Directing for Sudz.

Sudz also wrote and directed the triple Gemini award-winning (Best Direction, Best Supporting Actress, Best Television Movie) Doomstown, an MOW for CTV/Sarrazin-Couture.

Sudz’s episodic television directing work includes: Syfy Network’s Haven CW’s Reign, Beauty and the Beast, CBC’s Cracked, numerous Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland and Wild Roses.

He directed the pilot and second episode of Da Kink in my Hair for Global, Degrassi: The Next Generation for CTV, The Famous Jett Jackson for Disney, Drop the Beat for CBC, Skin Deep III for Life Network, Tell It Like It Is for W Network, Brand New Life for NFB/YTV and Canadian Geographic for Kids for TVO.

Sudz’s powerful half-hour dramatic debut, My Father’s Hands screened at The Toronto International Film Festival. It won the $20,000 HBO Short Film Award at the Acapulco Black Film festival, and in Canada it went on to win prizes at the Yorkton Film Festival (four awards including best drama, script, direction and best actor). The film was also nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Short. In addition, Sudz co-directed the National Film Board’s documentary film, Speakers for the Dead



Trey Anthony – Executive Producer/Creator/Writer/Lead Actor

Award winning playwright, executive producer, actor, creator, and stand-up comedian Trey Anthony, is known for the groundbreaking production ‘da Kink in
My Hair. Critics have referred to Anthony as “The Oprah of the Canadian theatre scene!” Anthony is the first Black Canadian woman to write and produce a television show on a major prime time Canadian network.

She is a former television producer for the Women’s Television Network (now W) and a writer for the Comedy Network and CTV. ‘da Kink in my Hair, theatrical play, was Dora nominated and has received critical acclaim, and broken box office records wherever it has played. The play is also the recipient of four NAACP Theatre awards and was the first Canadian play to be produced at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Canada’s largest commercial theatre. It was named as one of the top ten plays in Canada’s theatrical history! ‘da Kink has been seen in California, in London, England and recently made it’s New York debut at Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. Trey is a contributing writer to the Toronto Star.



Vladimir Jon Cubrt – Performer, Musician, Writer and the Founder of the Theatre Company Zocalo Toronto

Vlad’s recent on-screen credits include “Dreemer,” “Nikita,” “Against the Wall and King.” Under the Zocalo Toronto Umbrella Vlad has produced and starred in stage productions “The Weeping Salsa” (2009) and “Flin Flonning” (2007), both of which he wrote. Zocalo Toronto’s third show, “Samkon & Francis Go Swimming” just closed it’s world premiere run as part of the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival. Vlad wrote and directed. Other recent stage credits include – Dance: Shagara Moon’s “The Red Shoes” at the George Ignatieff Theatre, Freestyle’s “The Arrogant Princess,” Drama: “Sara’s Cave” at the Brampton Heritage Centre, “Don’t Dress For Dinner” at the Limelight Dinner Theatre. Visit www.zocalotoronto.com to find out more about Vlad or his stage company.



Weyni Mengesha – Writer/Director

Weyni Mengesha is a director and dramaturge from Toronto. She first received acclaim directing ‘da kink in my hair; and composing its Dora-nominated score (Theatre Passe Muraille/Mirvish/Hackney London-nominated for 4 dora awards). She went on to direct and dramaturge bloodclaat, receiving critical acclaim and touring across Canada (nominated for 5 dora Awards). She directed A Raisin in the Sun; her directorial vision garnering the production a place in Toronto’s NOW magazine’s “Top Ten Theatre Productions” that year (soulpepper/Theatre Calgary- nominated for 6 Dora awards). Her direction Yellowman was cited as ‘Triumphant’ by the National Post (Nightwood Theatre/Obisdian Theatre). Mengesha’s other credits include: BLiNK (director/co-writer-Soulpepper/Luminato) Hosanna (Stratford Festival), and the recently critically acclaimed productions: Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper Theatre-winner of two Toronto Critic Awards) and The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs (Tarragon Theatre-winner of three Toronto Critic awards, including best production).

Mengesha is also very passionate about working with young people. She serves as the artistic director of two youth arts initiatives: Sound The Horn, which she co-founded in 2004, and The AMY Project (Artists Mentoring Youths) which she co-directs with Claire Calnan. Named one of Toronto’s NOW Magazine Top ten theatre artists to watch in 2012 for her “nuanced sense of storytelling”, she is the recipient of a Toronto Critics Award for directing, the Toronto Arts Council’s Artist of the Year Award, and a Harry Jerome Award.



Bill MacDonaldWilliam MacDonald  – Actor, Teacher, Director

William MacDonald has performed in over 200 film/tv/theatre productions since leaving theatre school in 1992. Most recently he was seen on stage as MacBeth in Sterling Theatre’s production of “MacBeth”. This winter he was seen on the big screen as Frank in Atom Egoyan’s “The Captive”, which was selected for competition for the Palme D’or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
He has performed dozens of guest starring roles in tv, most recently for “Hemlock Grove”, “Saving Hope”, “Rookie Blue”, “Haven”, “Bomb Girls”, “The Listener”, “Copper” and “Good God”.
He performed leading roles on stages across Canada for the past 25 years, as well as directed over a dozen plays, produced 2 feature films, and wrote 2 plays that had successful runs.
William teaches Shakespeare classes, Scene Study, and On Camera Craft at a studio on Richmond Street West.
For more information on his classes, please visit his website at : www.williammac.ca