Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Welcome to our Newest Members of the Talent Bank

The Theatre Ontario Talent Bank of Instructors is a program to match organizations (particularly community theatres and educational organizations) with professional theatre teachers and trainers for workshops, adjudications, and short-term consulting contracts.

We are pleased to welcome the newest addition to our Talent Bank for 2016.

Ian Burns (Instructor of Set Design)

Ian Burns is an award-winning set designer who brings an artistic eye to his sets and workshops. From the farmhouse to the classroom, from a plane crash scene to a two story 360˚ rotating set within a set, Burns’ work has been praised for creating instantaneous recognition and establishment of location. A licensed carpenter, he teaches math and construction skills to post-secondary students in Ontario and workshop skills to high school students for theatrical productions. He developed his unique vision in the early stages of his career, mentoring as a scenic artist, and later, as a boat builder. Now, as a mentor himself, his philosophy includes an appreciation for cohesive lines and rich colour palettes that always serve the play and never distract from it. 

Chris Di Staulo (Instructor of Acting and Directing Drama)

Chris Di Staulo is an award-winning director and teacher. Chris has established himself as one of the most exciting directors in the industry. He is known for his focused and intricate work with actors, beautiful cinematography and original narrative work. Chris is a natural-born storyteller, and this is reflected in his internationally distributed films. His unique vision and innovative style have led to awards in film direction at the Cannes International Film Festival, Las Vegas Film Festival, National Screen Institute, Toronto Film Challenge, and many more. His plays have received performances and readings in Los Angeles, Toronto and more.

Zaffi Green (Instructor of Children’s Theatre)

As performance poet and storyteller, Zaffi featured in numerous arts festivals, reading series and benefit concerts throughout Canada and the US. She took up the interdisciplinary tradition soon after the publication of her first chapbook, The Playing Field, fusing words with music, visual arts, video, and creative movement. She published one book of poetry, The Bride of Inglish, a CD recording, The Queen’s Incurable Inglish, and three performance art videos screened in film festivals and television. As an educator she designs arts-based programs for children, youth and adults. She often uses drama structures to foster literacy skills across the curriculum, to nurture creative and critical thinking, and life skills. She creates in multiple forms including songs, character monologues, mini-plays, games, and narrative prose.

Anna Migliarisi (Instructor of Acting)

Born in Italy and raised in Toronto, Anna Migliarisi has worked professionally as an actor, producer, dramaturge and writer for over 25 years.  She’s also an accomplished and experienced teacher and private acting coach.  She’s a proud graduate of the School of Dramatic Art, University of Windsor and has an MA and PhD in Drama from the University of Toronto. Anna has been mentored by some wonderful people, including veteran Actors’ Studio members Janine Manatis and the late Gene Lasko.  In addition, Anna has written books and articles on theatre, and is the recipient of Dora nominations and numerous grants and awards.

Douglas Rice (Instructor of Directing Opera and Voice)

Canadian Lyric Tenor, Douglas Rice, received his education and training from several prestigious institutions including England’s Britten-Pears School, Boston’s New England Conservatory, Hamburg and Cologne Hochschule fuer Musik as well as Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. Known for his role portrayals from the Handelian and Mozart operas, Doug’s versatility encompasses a vast array of operatic literature. Furthermore, his interpretive finesse in oratorio and concert repertoire embodies works by Bach to Beethoven and beyond. Mozart roles such as Tamino and Belmonte delineate his vocal flexibility and ease that he is praised for by press and public alike.

Karen Rickers (Adjudicator – prior Talent Bank member returning after a sabbatical)

A passionate teacher and adjudicator, Rickers is a former Artistic Director of Gryphon Theatre, and alumnus of the Shaw Festival Directors Project. Directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Motus O Dance Theatre, The Importance of Being Earnest with Gryphon Theatre and Venus of Dublin with Newer World Theatre. In 2005, she earned a M.A. with Distinction in Staging Shakespeare from The University of Exeter, during which she had the privilege of performing on the stage of the new Globe Theatre in London.  In 2013, she completed a PhD in Drama, also at Exeter, She has adjudicated for ACT-CO, QUONTA, EODL, WODL, Sears Drama Festival, and Acting Irish International Theatre Festival, and taught in the adult and students streams at Theatre Ontario Summer Courses.

Andrea Runge (Instructor of Acting and Children's Theatre)

Andrea has been working as a professional actor and teacher in film, television, and theatre for over 15 years. Currently based in Toronto, she has worked in theatres across the country, including four seasons at the Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Tarragon, Segal Centre, Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Aquarius, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, and the Globe Theatre. Andrea most often teaches classes and workshops on Shakespeare, acting for film & television, and all styles of auditions.  She has taught for the Stratford Festival, Pennsylvania State University, and Persephone Theatre. She is currently an instructor at Armstrong Acting Studios, Young People’s Theatre, and Shakespeare in Action. Andrea received an MFA from Pennsylvania State University, a BFA from the University of Regina, attended the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival, and completed a certificate course for Arts Education for Artists through York University.

Caroline Smith (Adjudicator – already a Talent Bank member as Instructor of Directing Drama, Directing Musicals, and Creative Writing)

After graduating from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Caroline Smith enjoyed a successful professional career as a freelance performer, choreographer, director and playwright before moving to Stirling, Ontario in 1996 to form the Stirling Festival Theatre. Under Caroline’s leadership as Artistic and Managing Director, the Stirling Festival won three Lieutenant Governor's Awards and numerous business achievement awards. Caroline was also presented with an honorary Arts degree from Loyalist College in 2001. A published playwright, Caroline's play The Kitchen Witches was the winner of the 2005 Samuel French Best Canadian Play Award. In 2009, Caroline formed her new company Moonpath Productions, which creates professional theatre events throughout Ontario. She also leads workshops in Play Development with Gaslight Tours in Collingwood and is a Guest Director at the Toronto Film School.

If you are interested in hiring an adjudicator or workshop leader from Theatre Ontario’s Talent Bank, you can browse our listings online and contact us to be connected with the right instructor for your needs.

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