As the Head of the Acting Department at the Vancouver Film School, Jennifer has found her passion to train, nurture and empower the next generation of actors from around the world. She has over 30 years experience as a professional actor and has performed over 100 roles in theatre/film & television. In the film/ TV world, some of her credits include Supernatural, Fido, Eureka, Waydowntown, The X Files, Da Vinci's Inquest and the TV series My Life as a Dog. Jennifer's theatre work has taken her across Canada and into the United States working with major companies including The Vancouver Playhouse & San Francisco's A.C.T. She is the 2018 recipient of the UBCP/ACTRA Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award and the winner of a Jessie Award for her role in Morris Panych's The Trespassers. A veteran of over fifty Film +TV projects, her full Film/TV resume can be found on her IMDB page. She is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and has a Bachelor of Fine Art Studies from York University in Toronto.
Philip Granger is the distinguished recipient of a Gemini Award and two Hollywood Drama-Logue Awards and is the senior academic officer of New Image College’s Acting Department and heads one of the countries most respected acting programs. New Image College’s acting alumni have garnered 5 Leo Nominations, A Kevin Spacy Artist of Choice winner, Two Union of B.C. Performer Nominations, Los Angeles Web Fest Best Actor Award Winner and The Union of B.C. Performers Best Emerging Performer Award Winner. You would be hard placed not to find an actor, writer, director or producer in Vancouver that hasn’t worked with Phil Granger on one project or another. With a resume that boast over a hundred acting credits, thirty producing and fifteen directing credits, Phil is one of the most established actors in Canada’s film community.
He holds an impressive resume that includes titles like AMC’s thriller, The Killing, Once Upon A Time, Lucifer, Arrow, Rogue, Paramount Pictures Monster Truck, Eli Craig’s Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Caprica, V, Comforting Skin, Southern Justice, Walter Hill’s Broken Trail starring Robert Duvall, Steven Spielberg’s Taken, and the critically acclaimed film, The Paper Moon Affair, for which Phil was nominated for a Leo Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film. Philip will be seen in a starring role in the much-anticipated film “Juggernaut” slated for release 2017. He has also been recognized by the Governor General of Canada, Ramon John Hnatyshyn.
Chandra Lee Schwartz
AMDA Faculty Since 2013, Chandra Lee Schwartz is a theatre educator and performer. After graduating AMDA NYC, she began her career singing and dancing on Broadway in a revival of Gypsy. Chandra has performed in many Broadway shows and National Touring Productions, including Wicked (Glinda) Broadway and First National Tour, Disney's High School Musical (Sharpay) First National Tour, and in Hairspray (Penny and Louanne) Broadway, First National Tour, and Las Vegas. Her film and television credits include: Crowded (NBC), Comedy Bang Bang (IFC), as well as commercials for major computer and phone networks. Chandra teaches various styles in the Music Theatre Department at AMDA LA.
Celeste English is a lighting designer born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Select design credits include; Michif Medicines (Vni Dansi), The Virtual Full Light of Day (Electric Theatre Company), OW, Zaum (Mascall Dance), The Sea (Slamming Door Collective), Still Life Continuum (RedShift Music Society), Sex with Strangers, Body Awareness (Mitch & Murray Productions), The Double Axe Murderers (Rusticate Theatre), A Beautiful View, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Naked Goddess Productions), Books, Romeo + Juliet, Topophilia (SFU SCA) and The Nutcracker (Raven’s Cry Theatre). Assistant Design credits include; Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love (Bard on the Beach), Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Arts Club), Kleptocracy (Arena Stage) and The Enemy (Firehall). Celeste is a graduate of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
Yvette Dudley-Neuman is a powerhouse actor dedicated to “the work”. Committed to “playing parts that move hearts”, she tirelessly rehearses or auditions daily to hone her craft, while providing platforms for Canadian artists to share their talents and revealing humanity through story.
Formally trained at the University of Calgary (B.F.A. & B.Ed.), after graduation Yvette spent a year travelling the world singing with the cast of Up with People in ten countries. She then enjoyed three years as a long-form improviser in the smash hits, Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding (Calgary/Vancouver) and Romeo & Julie Ed. Select Theatre Credits: The F Words, Christmas Crackers, Ten Lost Years, Pioneer Years, Love & Dreaming, Autobahn, Frankie & Johnny, Dolores, The Watermelon Girls & The Vagina Monologues. Yvette was also an Ensemble Cast Member and Tour Producer of Seacoast Theatre Centre, where she mentored/coached and directed actors for seven years. Her selected screen credits: VAN HELSING, THE FLASH, MOTIVE, Gracepoint, Once Upon a Time, FRINGE, Pretty Little Addict, Reluctant Witness, The Hollow Ones, Rat Race, & Taming Tammy.
As the Creative Director of tteeV enterprises, Yvette works as an award-winning actor, writer, historical re-enactment consultant, acting coach, festival adjudicator, and director. Writing to channel for her creative fervour between gigs, Yvette’s passion for words has bourgeoned into songs, poems, short films (Laundry Day, The Free Table, Edna Brown), twenty-nine historical re-enactment scripts, and stage plays (The F Words, Titillations, Christmas Crackers, Detention Divas). Her play, The F Words won Honourable Mention in the 2014 Theatre BC Play Writing Competition is a 4/5 star, fierce, funny and fearless multi-character solo show. More at www.tteeVy.com
Ashley Chodat is an emerging artist and educator raised in Surrey, BC. She earned her Theatre Diploma from Douglas College in 2017, where she performed in the Canadian premiere of Blackout, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since graduating, she has been working alongside theatres such as Peninsula Productions, The Cultch and The Havana. Most recently, Ashley co-produced and performed in Legoland as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. She is an instructor at Arts Umbrella, and enjoys working both onsite and in the community to educate students on the arts. She is grateful for this opportunity to share her passion for storytelling with young artists.
Sargil is excited to be part of the inaugural B.C. Provincial Thespian Festival! Sargil has been involved in theatre since high school and has continued his post secondary studies in theatre. In 2017, Sargil received his Diploma in Theatre at Douglas College. Sargil was last seen directing and co-producing Legoland as part of the Dramatic Work Series at the 2019 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Aside from directing and acting, Sargil continues to immerse himself in all aspects of theatre; having also stage managed and done sound design. Sargil currently works at Arts Umbrella, a non-profit art organization as a theatre assistant. He hopes to continue educating and inspiring others in finding their creativity and imagination through the arts. Previous credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Douglas College) and The North American premiere of Blackout (Douglas College).
Paul Moniz de Sa
Paul Moniz de Sá has been working as a professional actor for over 20 years both on camera and on stage. His work has been seen on stages across North America including the Vancouver Playhouse, the National Arts Centre and at the Charlottetown Festival in PEI. Paul has also worked as a sound designer for various theatre companies in Vancouver including Bard on the Beach, the Arts Club Theatre and Touchstone Theatre. He received Jessie awards for his performances in "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" with Pacific Theatre and "The Overcoat" at the Vancouver Playhouse as well as Jessie nominations for his performance in "Driving Miss Daisy" at Pacific Theatre and his sound designs for "One In A Million" with Green Thumb Theatre and "The Prodigal Son" with Touchstone and Pacific Theatre. Theatre credits include Shakespeare in Love, Taming of the Shrew, Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Bard on the Beach), It’s All True and Lisa Lisa (Touchstone Theatre) and Guys and Doll (Vancouver Playhouse).
Paul's film and TV credits include Spielberg’s The BFG, Arrow, Shut Eye, iZombie, The Flash, Motive, The Killing, as well as recurring roles on Stargate SG1 and Eureka.
As an educator, Paul has worked with students of all ages over the past 20 years, teaching acting for film and theatre as well as sound design in various institutions across the Lower Mainland including Arts Umbrella, Bard on the Beach and Douglas College. In 2008, Paul became the Artistic Director of Theatre and Music at Arts Umbrella where he has been the director of the Senior Theatre Troupe for over 15 years. Paul very proud to be a graduate of both The Arts Umbrella and Studio 58 Theatre Programs.
James Palmarini is the Educational Theatre Association Director of Educational Policy. He was the founding editor of Teaching Theatre journal. James serves on the Arts Education Partnership Advisory Board; the Washington D.C.-based Arts Education Working Group; National Federation of High Schools Speech, Debate, and Theatre Committee; the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Leadership committee; the Innovation Collaborative Board; the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education Board; and manages EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network. In 2017, he chaired the committee that created EdTA’s High School Educator Evaluation Workbook. Currently he’s managing a project that is creating a series of short videos that will serve a guide for teachers and administrators who want to use the workbook to advance their mutual understanding of quality theatre educator practice.
Damon Bradley Jang
Damon is a multifaceted performing artist and teacher and loves taking on a challenge. He holds a Bachelors Degree and Musical Theatre Diploma from Capilano University, trailed at the Banff Arts Centre and has studied Broadway Dance Centre New York City and Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver.
As a performer, he has performed with Theatre Under The Stars (West Side Story, Singin In The Rain), Royal City Musical Theatre (Annie, Hello Dolly!), Fighting Chance Productions (CATS), Gateway Theatre(Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Foursome) and many others around the city.
He works often as a vocal coach, choreographer or director in companies around the city. Highlights of his work include; Vagabond Players (Little Shop Of Horrors- CTC Nominee Best Choreographer), Bard In The Valley (Much Ado About Nothing, Choreographer) and Northshore Light Opera Society (Into The Woods,Assistant Director, Once Upon A Mattress, Choreographer) as well as directing and choreographing the lower mainland premiere Cinderella (Broadway Edition) for Byrne Creek Secondary and the Vancouver Premiere of "Once On This Island" for Fabulist Theatre, for which he won a Broadway World Vancouver award for Best Direction and Choreography (with lead choreographer, Marion Landers)
He continues to teach competitive and recreation performing arts in school around the city, is Co-Artistic Director of Fabulist Theatre and is a freelance publicist and Arts Marketer. And when he finds the time, he does work for film and t.v.
Colleen Maybin is the Director, Education and Community Engagement at Vancouver Opera. A passionate advocate for arts education, Colleen has more than 20 years experience in arts leadership, public education and arts advocacy. She is a teacher, producer, and writer recognized for her ability to build community through the arts. Colleen is a regular speaker on the impact of values-based community arts programs and integrating Indigenous pedagogy into music education. At her core, Colleen is an educator with the ability to inspire everyone she works with. She is currently a PhD candidate in Arts Education at Simon Fraser University focusing on social justice, culturally responsive pedagogy and music education.
Hans travels the country as a motivational speaker, on topics of narrative leadership, the power of storytelling, customer and experiential service, and interpersonal relationships. His clients include institutions of higher education, student service organizations, and private companies alike.
Susan Bertoia is a professional theatre artist, devisor, actor, director and teacher. Specializing in physical theatre and mask performance, her work explores poetic and pedestrian moments while her artistic leadership has been described as [“…engaging, encouraging and disarming”]. She is an Adjunct Professor at UBC teaching Commedia and devised performance. Since 2014, Susan has developed and initiated well over 18 new theatrical projects working with school-aged students including: writing theatrical modern adaptations and experimental, physical and devised work. She also leads professional development workshops with the Association of BC Drama Educators. She is a recipient of a Jessie Richardson’s Award for Outstanding Performance Award and The Gordon Armstrong Theatre Artist Award which recognizes creative initiatives. She has performed with PuSh International Performance Festival, Arts Club Theatre, Western Canada Theatre, Firehall Theatre and Richmond Gateway Theatre. Past professional directing/devising credits include: BellaLuna Productions, Cirque Poule and her solo work Plum and Other Colours. Training includes: BFA in Theatre (UBC); Commedia studies at Piccolo Teatro di Milano (Giorgio Strehler); Mask making with Donato Sartori; Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre; Devised theatre with One Yellow Rabbit; Mask work with Jeremy James and physical devised theatre with Frantic Assembly. More at:www.susanbertoia.ca
Blake has spent the majority of his teenage and adult life studying acting at professional studios and educational institutions. Having extensively studied scene analysis under Scott Swan of Seacoast Theatre, and Kate Twa of Railtown Studios, his understanding of technical script breakdown as well as artistic expression is unique and always developing. Most recently, He began his study of the Pachinko Clown methodology under the guidance of David MacMurray-Smith, and has discovered a passion for performance that extends itself beyond the concepts of traditional acting/scene study. He has a lot to share, to learn, and to explore, and firmly believes that when it comes to performance in any capacity, if you are ever in doubt, the best thing to do is giggle it out.
Jacci Collins is a Vancouver-based facilitator, artist and administrator with a focus in community engaged arts. Jacci completed studies in Dance at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton and achieved a BFA in Dance from Simon Fraser University in 2002. Her professional dance career along with her passion for community engaged arts led her to work in South Africa, England, Edmonton and Vancouver. Jacci is passionate about engaging diverse communities in the arts and making them accessible and inclusive for everyone.
Shawn Norman is the Regional Producer for the Canadian Improv Games Lower Mainland Tournament and a founding member of Little Mountain Improv in Vancouver. Since stepping into the world of improv in 1999, he has had the pleasure of performing and leading workshops across Canada and in the US. He has been featured in festivals in Toronto, Regina, Winnipeg, Victoria, Portland, and Seattle, along with many appearances in his hometown Vancouver Improv Festival. He's most proud of his work as one of the artistic forces behind the Canadian Improv Games, bringing the joy improv to young people across Canada.
Cos Natola is an award winning Canadian pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger, actor, playwright and novelist from Vancouver, British Columbia. After winning numerous music competitions as a teenager, Natola took the Grand Prize at the Esso Talent Festival held at the Pacific National Exhibition, and telecast live by CBC Television.
Two years later, following the suggestion of Canadian music legend Juliette, Natola entered the Du Maurier Search For Stars Competition held in Toronto, (also telecast on CBC Television). After adjudicators selected 720 professional entrants from thousands of screened applicants from all across Canada, Natola was named as a Top-18 semifinalist, and eventually was declared an overall winner.
These awards led to more appearances on CBC-TV, including Timmy's Christmas Telethon, Dr. Bundolo, The Bob MacLean Show, New Year's Eve Live, and Vancouver Breakfast, and Natola shared the stage with many artists including Bobby Hales, Shari Lewis, Jim Carrey, Vikki Carr, Bob McLean, Pat Boone, Paul Williams (songwriter), Louise Mandrell, Patsy Gallant, Johnny Ferreira, Leon Bibb, members of the famed Boss Brass, Dal Richards. Red Robinson, Rick Honey, Iona Campagnolo and others. These appearances garnered positive reviews in both provincial as well as national publications.
Shawn is an actor, playwright, and director with over 30 years of experience as a professional theatre artist. He is the recipient of a total of five Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for acting and writing plays. As an actor he has performed with most of Vancouver’s professional companies, including the Arts Club, The Vancouver Playhouse. Bard on the Beach, Touchstone, Rumble, and Theatre Replacement. Recent stage appearances include IDisney’s Beauty and the Beast (Arts Club), Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach), East Van Panto Pincocchio (Theatre Replacement), and The Drowsy Chaperone (Theatre Under The Stars). Shawn was the Artistic Associate at Green Thumb Theatre for 7 years where he led the creation and staging of large-scale devised work for high school students (The Edge Project). He is also the program Leader for the LEAP Playwriting Intensive for Young Writers at the Arts Club Theatre.
Ryan McNeill Bolton
Ryan, a Certified Fight Instructor with Fight Directors Canada, has co-fight directed over a hundred shows with his brother-in-arms Mike Kovac. Ryan began studying Martial Arts in 1992 and has been practicing Stage Combat since 2010. Fight direction credits include: Noises Off, Beauty and the Beast, One Man Two Guvnors, Hand to God (Arts Club); Les Filles du Roi, Children of God (Urban Ink), She Kills Monsters (UBC Theatre); Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Treasure Island (Exit 22); and Crazy for You (Gateway). He regularly teaches stage combat at UBC and Capilano University
Moya O’Connell is originally from Vancouver,where she received her BFA in theatre from UBC. Moya has worked as an actor for the past 20 years, and is a veteran of Bard on the BeachShakespeare Festivaland The Shaw Festival.Some of her favorite parts include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Portia in The Merchant of Venice,Ophelia in Hamlet, Vivie Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Mary Swanson in Middletownand The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. Moya has also worked as an educator throughout her career, coaching, directing, leading workshops, and teaching youth and adults. She especially enjoys working on Shakespeare.
Allegra Wright is a Vancouver-based actor, singer, and educator with theatre training from Douglas College in New Westminster and Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. Allegra is also an alumna of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival’s Riotous Youthinternship program. Recently, Allegra returned to her local high school to teach a musical theatre masterclass and assistant direct their musical.
Mike Kovac is a Certified Fight Director with Fight Directors Canada and works in film/television in Vancouver. Alongside Ryan Bolton he has co-fight directed Noises Off, The Shoplifters, Beauty and the Beast, Misery, and Mustard (Arts Club), as well as Lion in the Streets, The Crucible and She Kills Monsters (UBC), among others. Mike has also appeared in various film and television projects, including Arrow, Supernatural, The 100, Tin Star, Valley of the Boom and Deadly Class. If you see him on camera, he’s probably about to die.
Tanya Elchukteaches voice and movement at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, and voice and speech at the William B. Davis Centre for Actors’ Study at Vanarts. As an actor and theatre maker, she has written, performed, and produced original performance works throughout Canada and the United States. She was most recently seen in Terminal App at the Havana Theatre, and looks forward to playing Antoinette in United Players’ upcoming production of A Flea in Her Ear this spring.
Lucia Misch is a poet and performer from the Bay Area who lives on the unceded homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.
She got her start as a youth poet in California, and has performed on stagescross the continent. In 2011 she placed second in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, and continues to share her work at events ranging from literary festivals to labour union conventions, from showcases in ornate theatres to house shows in someone's basement.
Lucia's first collection of poetry will be released by Write Bloody North in 2020.
A veteran arts educator, Lucia is committed to helping others—especially youth—step into their creative, personal, and political power through writing. She facilitates spoken word workshops with WordPlay: Poetry In Schools, as an ArtStarts Poet in Residence, and a teaching artist at youth camps along the West Coast.
Dana is currently working as high school teacher for the Surrey School District and a technician for IATSE Local 118. He also serves as a member of Vancouver Opera's Educational Advisor Committee and a Director at Large for B.C Chapter of the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology. Dana holds a B.A from SFU in Fine & Performing Arts and Kinesiology and a B.Ed from UBC.
Matthew Oviatt, Freelance Production Manager and Technical Director.
Matt has been working in technical theatre in the GV area for a decade and change. in that time he has worked on a vast variety of shows at all levels. Notable companies include Bard on the Beach, Theatre under the Stars, Ballet BC, Cap Sur Le Pacifique, Atomique events, the Roundhouse Community arts and Recreation Center, and BC Bike race. coming into his own as a PM and TD in recent years, his prior experience as site crew, supervisor, manager, general technician, head electrician, lead audio mixer, ground and high rigger, scenic carpenter, and head video have supported a well rounded understanding of all aspects of a show. his hands on learning and management style and affable attitude has served him well. He's excited and pleased to be able to partner with the thespian's festival.
Geoff Gustafson is a busy working actor and producer in Vancouver, and is the Director of Performing Arts at Vancouver Acting School. With 79 professional credits to his name, Geoff is known for movies like The Interview, Hot Tub Time Machine, and 2012. As well, he has been a series regular on TV shows such as Gotta Grudge?, Primeval: New World, and has been a recurring guest star on Once Upon a Time. Geoff is also working on the Hallmark Movies and Mysterious ongoing series Signed Sealed Delivered. His wealth of experience and honest teaching approach has helped launch the careers of many young actors in this city, and he is excited to be part of the 2020 BC Provincial Thespian Festival.