Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Welcome to the Talent Bank

By Anne Mooney, Community Theatre Coordinator

We at Theatre Ontario are proud to welcome the newest members of the Theatre Ontario Talent Bank.  Theatre Ontario's Talent Bank matches organizations (particularly community theatres and educational organizations) with professional theatre teachers and trainers for workshops, adjudications, and short-term consulting contracts.

From Ottawa, Laurie Fyffe joins us as a Creative Writing Instructor and an Administration and Audience Development Instructor.  Laurie’s plays have premiered at the Blyth Festival, Factory Theatre, and Tarragon Theatre (to name just a few) and she is the Director of Fundraising for the Ottawa Little Theatre.  She is a woman of many diverse talents to be sure.

I am always excited when Talent Bank members are more regionally focused and there is a London connection this year.  Colin Legge has returned from the West Coast to his home town of London and is new to the Acting Instructor category.  While not from London, Jack Grinhaus has been there for the last year as an apprentice Artistic Director at The Grand Theatre and joins us as an Acting and Movement Instructor and in the Directing Instructor-Drama category.

Charlotte Gowdy directed and taught Fanshawe College students in London as well.  Charlotte is the new Assistant Artistic Director at Thousand Islands Playhouse in Ganonoque, with responsibilities for the young company, education and outreach, and new play development.  She is a new member in the categories of Acting, Improvisation and Physical Theatre Instructor, and Directing Instructor (Drama).

Steven Thomas, from the Barrie area, is in all three Directing Instructor categories – Drama, Musicals and Opera.  Steven has worked with opera companies around the globe and for over ten years was the Artistic Director of Theatre Collingwood.

Children’s Theatre Instruction was a popular category with new members Ingrid Hansen, Alexandra Lent, Joanne Mitchell, and Autumn Smith joining the Talent Bank in this category.  Joanne Mitchell works with several children’s theatre groups in Toronto, including the Toronto Beaches Children’s Chorus and the Canadian Children’s Opera Company.  Alexandra Lent has worked for the Canadian Children’s Theatre Company.  Besides her extensive background with children’s theatre, Ingrid Hansen will be joining the Talent Bank in the Movement and Puppetry Instructor categories.  Ingrid has done puppetry work on television and has taught puppetry at the Pacific Film and Media Academy.  Autumn Smith also joins us in the Adjudicator category (she is adjudicating in the ACT-CO region for the second time this year), Acting Instructor, and Directing Instructor—Drama categories and will be leading our weekend Directors Intensive in April.  (You can read more about Autumn’s observations on directing.)

Janet Kish, with a long career in education and an extensive background with the Sears Drama Festival joins the Talent Bank as an Acting Instructor and Directing Instructor – Drama.   Susan Bourne, also with a long career in high school education, successfully completed a past Theatre Ontario Introduction to Adjudication course, adjudicated in ACT-CO, and is being added to the Adjudication Category.

Luciano Iogna, a long-time member of the Talent Bank in Directing and Improvisation categories, now also adds Creative Writing Instructor.  Luciano has an extensive body of work in Canada and in Europe. 
A large number of currently Talent Bank members were accepted into the newly revamped category of Play Polisher.  In community theatre, a play polisher will view a production in rehearsal and work with the director, cast and crew as they explore the play and will then give suggestions, advice and ideas to enhance the show.  Our play polishers include a large number of members of the Adjudication category.   New play polishers include Ron Cameron-Lewis, Rod Carley, Peter Feldman, Michael Hennessy, Dennis Johnson, Sandy McDonald, Mark Mooney, Lindsay Price, Bea Quarrie, Virginia Reh, Alan K. Sapp, and Terry Tweed.

You can find all of our Talent Bank members in their respective categories on our website, and also browse through “Workshops You Want”, our “online catalogue” of their workshops.

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