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OUR FACULTY

Faculty

Faculty in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program are also dedicated professionals. Links to faculty members’ websites, which showcase their work and accomplishments, appear in program’s faculty roster below.

 

Hart Massey | Co-Program Director, Acting Program


Hart Massey is an actor, writer, producer, and teacher who has worked in the theatre and film industry since he was a child.  With over 30 years of experience, he has collaborated with Canada’s finest directors and entertainers including Ryan Reynolds, Don Cherry, Tomson Highway, and others. He is a partner of the film company Massey Bros. Films for which he produced and starred in his self-titled TV series Hart of the Annex (Rogers), bringing him acclaim in several Canadian newspapers and the nomination for Best Television Series at the Rogers Impression Awards. He has also written, produced, and hosted five seasons of the Gemini-nominated TV series, The Film Student (Rogers). His work as an actor and director have taken him across the country and abroad to the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and most recently China where he was auditioning actors and scouting production talent for the Toronto Film School. Hart is an alumni of The University of Toronto’s Drama Program and The Berlinale Talent Campus. His films have played in international film festivals such The Berlin Film Festival, The Montreal World Film Festival, The Seattle Independent Film Festival, and TIFF’s Sprockets Film Festival. In 2010, Hart became the Program Director of Toronto Film School’s Acting for Film/TV/Theatre program. He co-authored the curriculum and continues to oversee his vision of creating the “Complete Actor”, one who masters a full range of performance on camera and on stage, while understanding the entire production process.

John Tench


John Tench was born in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A. growing up in Canada, and started working in Film and Theatre in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. He began his career in Toronto with Ken Gass at the legendary Factory Theatre Lab before moving on to study and work in New York, London, Paris and Continental Europe, before returning to Canada. He founded the influential Theatre, Kathartic, touring shows internationally, including works by Sam Shepard, Dario Fo and Bertoldt Brecht. John moved to Vancouver, B.C. and to Hollywood, Los Angeles to continue his work in Film and TV.

In his many Feature Film and TV appearances such as American Gods, Alias Grace, Designated Survivor, Killjoys, Brokeback Mountain, Shooter, Watchmen, Fringe, Supernatural, X-Files, he’s worked with many great directors including Ang Lee, Antoine Fuqua, Zac Snyder, Roger Christian, Chris Haddock and on numerous award winning shows. He has recently been invited back to the hit show Murdoch Mysteries to reprise his role of Alexander Graham Bell. John also works on Ubisoft’s new award winning VideoGame – WatchDogs 1 and Bad Blood as the legendary character fan favorite, T Bone Grady. He recently completed WatchDogs 2. He’s also worked with numerous theater companies as an Actor, Director, Writer, Producer. He has written and directed several shorts and three Screenplays. He’s been nominated for numerous awards in the Best Actor Category. He is a master of accents and dialects and voices many cartoons and animation.

He also teaches and coaches Actors. He taught for many years at the prestigious Corona Stage Academy in London, England and he was a Senior Instructor for Camera Acting and Stage at New Image College in Vancouver, directing many of the College Stage Productions. He is currently teaching at the renowned Toronto Film School, in the Camera and Acting Departments. Among his other many interests are painting, music, poetry, his family and farm. He is a talented musician and sings, plays guitar and other instruments. John is an avid outdoors-man and canoeist. He works between Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Europe.

Andrew Moodie


Ontario-based actor/playwright/director Andrew Moodie exploded onto the scene in 1995 with his first play, Riot. As an actor he has performed in countless productions all across the country. Some selected credit include; Our Country’s Good, Better Living, The Second Sheppard’s Play (Great Canadian Theatre Company), Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Amadeus (Stratford), Whale, Alice, Pinocchio, In the Field of Dreams, the Nelson Mandela Story (Young People’s Theatre), Health Class (Dora Award), The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh (Roseneath Theatre), Nathan the Wise, and Hamlet (Soulpepper) Master Harold and the Boys (Prarie Theatre Exchange), Othello (Dora Nomination), Shakespeare in the Rough. On television, he was the host of TVO’s Big Ideas from 2006 to 2011. And as an actor, he has appeared in many films, including How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, and the Oscar nominated Away from Her, as well as Total Recall starring Colin Farrell and the recent film Race, a story about the life of Jesse Owens. His many television appearances include; CBC’s Being Erica, Lifetime Network’s Reviving Ophelia, Global Television’s Da Kink in My Hair, and he has a reoccurring role on USA network’s Covert Affairs.

Sue Miner


Versed in both Classical text and new work, Sue Miner is a freelance director and co­ artistic director of Pea Green Theatre Group with her husband Mark Brownell. Her work with Pea Green includes the musical The Barbeque King, Conservatives in Love, Medici Slot Machine (Dora Nomination), Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman (Dora Nomination), Playballs, The Blue Wall (Dora Nomination) and Orchidelerium (Dora Nomination). Recent credits include The Fantasticks (Red Bam) The Tempest (Canadian Stage Dream in High Park) the opera Orphea and the Golden Harp (Jeunesses Musicales/ Theatre Cotton Robes) I Love You Forever and More Munsch (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Dora Winner) Celine Speaks (Fringe of Toronto), and Sexy Laundry (Theatre Aquarius). Other notable productions include Bella Donna (Burning Passions/ Some Strange Reason), Women Beware Women (Theatre Erindale), Sunday in the Park with George (George Brown/Equity Showcase), Le Chevalier St Georges (Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra), Titus Andronicus (Dora Nomination) and Measure for Measure (both for Shakespeare in the Rough). As well as garnering several Dora nominations, Sue has been thrice nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award for body of work in directing and has been twice touted as one of Toronto’s Top-10 theatre artists by NOW Magazine, and was on the Long List for the Siminovitch Prize for Directors” She has participated in the Tapestry New Opera Works Director’s Lab and the Director’s Masterclass at the World Stage festival studying with Yoshi Oida, Phillida Lloyd and Peter Brook among others” Sue also teaches at Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Dept and George Brown. Theatre School Sue has also taught for Theatre Ontario and the Toronto District School Board as a guest artist.

Michael Ayoub | Co-Program Director, Acting Program


A graduate of the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater in New York City, under the brilliant Sanford Meisner. As an actor, director, producer and teacher, Michael has been an active force in the business for over forty years. He was Co-Founder, Artistic Director and Executive Producer of The Muskoka Festival Theatre from 1972-1991, he established that company as one of the great performing companies in Canada. During that time, Michael produced over 200 productions, many to critical acclaim. He holds over 30 years experience as an actor, giving him a wealth of knowledge to share in the classroom. Michael has been committed to giving Canadian performers their voice, by developing and working with The Music Theatre Colony and the Young Company. Many of his performers have moved ahead to professional careers, both in Canada and the United States. He has served on many juries and assessment panels, most notably the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Film Review Board where he was Vice-Chair and Chair of the Policy Committee, during which time he took the initiative and responsibility for changes made to the Provincial Classification Guidelines, having reviewed over one thousand movies and videos submitted to the board. Michael has appeared in numerous film and television productions including Billy Madison, Tuxedo, The Grid, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Forever Knight, Getting Gotti, Street Legal, Execution of Private Slovik, Tom Sawyer and the series lead in Mary and Michael and Mixed Doubles. His theatre credits include, Mr. Bones and Che Guevara for Toronto Workshop Productions directed by George Luscombe in Toronto and Venice, Italy. Claudius and Boy Bishop written and directed by Ken Gass and the premiere production of Bagdad Saloon by George F. Walker for Factory Lab Theatre and Same Time Next Year and Dracula at Muskoka Festival. Plus many award winning commercials.

 

Laurel Paetz


In her thirty year career as a professional actor, Laurel has appeared on stages across Canada, including Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary, The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Vancouver’s Arts Club, Manitoba 111eatre Centre and Prairie. Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, and The Globe Theatre in Regina. She spent ten seasons at the Blyth Festival in Blyth, Ontario, where she originated roles in over a dozen new Canadian plays. Her most recent credits include Yana in Nightbreath for the Summerworks FestivaL Ma Joad in The Grapes q{Wrath at York University, Communicating Doors and Noises Ojfat the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, A Guide /o Mourning at the Globe Theatre, The Passion at Theatre Kingston and New Canadian Kid at the LoJTaine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Laurel has numerous television, film and radio credits, and was nominated for a Gemini Award for her performance in Wendy Lill’s, Sisters. Laurel graduated from York in 2007 with an M.F.A. in Theatre and a Diploma in the Teaching of Voice. Since then, she has taught at Dalhousie University, Humber College, York University, and Canada’s National Voice Intensive. Laurel presently teaches voice in the acting program at Ryerson University, and coaches privately in acting, voice, dialects, and accent modification.

Piotr R. Biernat | Dancer/Choreographer/Educator 


Piotr R Biernat, originally from Poland, moved to Canada in 1996 after completing a MFA at the National Theatre School in Wroclaw. He continued to train in contemporary dance and choreography with Anna Wyman in Vancouver, Main Dance Studio and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. He has had the privilege to dance with many great artists and dance companies including: COR PUS, Kaeja d’Dance, Mocean Dance, Peter Chin, Chimera Project, Halifax Dance and Danny Grossman. He has presented his own choreographies, Past Perfect, To-get-Her, Black and White, Bodies and Motion, Wounded at various festivals and choreographed his first Bravo! Fact Video, Acalanto. He has recently worked in Poland where he choreographed for Wroclawski Pantomime Theater and appeared in a few TV Shows, Licencja na wychowanie, Tancerze and Pierwsza Milosc. He is currently a faculty member of the Toronto Film School, teaches for the Join the Dance (Canada) Foundation and dances with Kaha:wi Dance Theater.

 

Julia Paton | Actress / Voice Director / Producer


Julia is a Toronto based actress, voice director, producer and teacher. She was a series regular, as “Marci” on CBC’s comedy P.R. and played “Milbank” in Conan O’Brien’s sitcom pilot, Beat Cops for FOX and NBC as well as “Francesca” in the Global TV Network’s, Da Kink In My Hair. She has also acted in a range of Hollywood feature films alongside Cate Blanchett in Pushing Tin, Jamie Foxx in Booty Call, and William H. Macy and Laura Dern in Focus. She has worked twice with Emmy award winning Director Allan Arkush, in FOX’s Prince Charming with Martin Short and in Elvis Meets Nixon for Showtime. Julia also worked with Robert Loggia in the Joe Torre Story for Showtime and was the female lead in The Edge, seen on the W Network. Her selected TV series credits include Due South, Once A Thief and Doc. Julia also produced and starred in the TV Pilot Buddies, with Fred Penner. She has performed in numerous TV and radio commercials as well as lending her voice to books-on-tape. Julia has taught camera acting for 17 years to adults, children and teenagers. She is on Faculty at Seneca College in the Acting for Camera and Voice diploma program, teaching both camera acting and Periods & Styles. She is the creator and founder of Actors On Camera, which trains actors how to audition and act for camera. Her corporate division Crunch Time Coaching has her directing webcasts for one of the leading banks in Canada. Julia has a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Degree from Queen’s University with a major in Drama.

Christopher Sawchyn


Originally from Manitoba, Christopher is a triple threat (actor, singer, dancer) in addition to TV & film performance (THE BRIDGE, MAYDAY, QUEER AS FOLK). he has directed actors and choreographed pieces for Mirador Productions, New Teatro and Rogue & Peasant Theatre. As an instructor he has taught acting, movement, improvisation, clown and stage combat. In addition to the Toronto Film School, he has taught in the Acting program at Seneca College, Dramaway (special needs), International School of Brussels and the Canadian Stage Company. Currently, he is a teaching artist with Join the Dance Canada, bringing ballroom dance to inner-city schools in the GTA. He is a founding member of the Teatro Scaramouche and brings workshops to high schools throughout the same area.

 

Michael Harms


Michael has taught Voice and Text for more than ten years, most notably at York University, Humber College, Sheridan College, the Toronto Film School and Seneca College. He spent eight years training with Canada’s premiere Voice and Speech teacher, David Smukler and holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre Performance from York University. He also studied Clown and Mask with Richard Pochinko and acting with David Rotenberg among others. His diverse directing credits include everything from Ionesco to the complete works of Gilbert and Sullivan. He is best known in Toronto for his work as an Actor in and Director of the long running hit “Clouds – The Musical”. As an actor he has also played Hamlet, Richard m and, more recently, roles in Murder Mysteries and Farces. As a singer be has performed in Musicals such as “I do! I do!” and Road to Muskoka and has done many Operas with Opera Ontario.

Past and Present Faculty

Tosha Doiron

Yale Massey

Mark Ingram

Kearsten Johannson

Aaron Willis

Shelly Anne McLeod

Mohammad Hassan

Jonathan Higgins

Patrice Goodman

Tony Del Rio

Denise Norman

Colin Mercer

Jack Mossham

Chad Tailor

Christel Bartelsemer

Rosanna Saracino

Madeleine Sims

Vikki Anderson

Mark Andrada

John Beale

James Bond

Mark Brownell

Valerie Buhagiar

Timothy Chisolm

Melissa D’Agostino

Sarah Evans

Alysa Golden

Alex Poch Goldin

Jack Grinhaus

Karen Hazzard

Adam Lazarus

Noam Lior

Nadia Litz

Jason Luke

Glenda MacFarlane

David Matheson

Ralph Small

Caroline Smith

David Warrick

Jonathan Whittaker

Omar Zamir

Guest Directors