“Gather around the fire, sit forward, turn up the volume, and try not to cover your eyes!”
That’s Jack Grinhaus’ prescription for how best to enjoy Toronto Film School’s upcoming production of Fireside Fears – an anthology series he directed that explores the many faces of fear that reside in all of us.
“It’s a scary time out there. So much uncertainty. So, we decided, as a group, to take a deep dive and look at all things that frighten us,” he said of the production, which he adapted, collected and wrote alongside his fifth-term Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre students.
“Combining and adapting pieces from existing classic and modern plays, novels and short stories and new original writings, we weaved together an anthology of stories that explore the nature of fear. We hope that we can all have a good scream together and release some of the ones hidden in each of us.”
The 85-minute play, which was stage managed and assistant directed by Bea Donovan, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on the evenings of Dec. 15, 17 and 18 as follows:
Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. (EST)
Friday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. (EST)
Saturday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. (EST)
***Click here to livestream any of the above performances***
Amanda Spittal as Pregnant Slave
Amanda Ann is very excited for her first role in the short film Popcorn Pizza as a supporting actor. She has been in two student productions, a music video, has some set experience as a crew member and is currently involved in a production group making short films for Youtube. Amanda is training at Toronto Film School in the Acting for TV, Film & the Theatre program. She has had the opportunity to play many different challenging roles and participate in a few student productions such as the day I died and Angela. Currently, she is part of a combat training group called the Magic 13, who choreograph stunt scenes and film on a weekly basis. She has also taken a few acting workshops on the side, including one hosted by Milne Studios with Brad Milne. Amanda has previous training in the medical field as a Practical Nurse. She enjoys exploring new opportunities, is well traveled, enjoys nature, and loves horseback riding.
Anneliese Rebecca Noske as Dwindling Slave
Originally from Alberta, Anna has been acting since 2018. Doing ensemble work with The Carriage House Theatre, in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Oliver! directed by Cidell Crawford. Anna performed with her high school drama class, entering festivals showcases. Through all her work, she received the Cardston Community Theatre scholarship upon graduating high school. Recently, Anna has appeared in the short film Meloncholly Memories in association with Toronto Film School, where she is taking acting courses. When she is not acting, Anna is singing and working on her music or looking for her next travel adventure.
Arsh Parekh as Chick, 1st Murderer
Arsh Parekh is a young actor, who has trained and worked with Toronto Film School on two theatre scene study productions. He played the role of Tom in the play Colours in the Storm and played the lead Macbeth in a rep adaptation scene study of Threepenny Opera. Arsh has also worked with Ryerson University in a short film production called The Visionary, playing the role of Andy. Arsh can speak and understand three languages other than English (Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu). In his downtime, Arsh focuses heavily on fitness and health, and has been pursuing a fitness lifestyle for eight years now. Arsh Parekh continues to train at Toronto Film School and build his craft.
Avery DeMedeiros as Dr. Burleigh, Guest, Dr. Sweet
Avery DeMedeiros is an aspiring actor who has had the opportunity to work with fellow actors at Toronto Film School and learn the ropes from these amazing people. He has had the opportunity to work on many scenes from: Greys Anatomy, Big Bang Theory and The Threepenny Opera, just to name a few. He has always strived to do the best he can while under the tutelage of fellow actors and teachers. Avery loves playing the protagonist and/or the antagonist. He enjoys practicing and perfecting his voice impressions and has a huge passion for voice acting, especially in the field of animation and video games. He is constantly preparing and practicing his voice for different ranges, in order to be able to do his best.
Beza Tadelle as Lady Macbeth
Beza was in her senior year of high school in 2015 the first time she was cast in one of Shakespeare’s plays. It was a production of Hamlet, and she played Ophelia – the daughter of Polonius and the sister of Laertes. This play was the most breathtaking experience she had ever gone through and she will cherish it forever. Beza then got accepted to Toronto Film School, where she learned what it takes to become a professional actor and was inspired to become so much more. She also found a love in singing at the age of 10 and discovered she was actually good at it and never wanted to stop. According to Beza, singing was a way to let out all her frustrations and sadness in her life and reveal her true identity. Alongside that, Beza enjoys dancing at home in her spare time and if she gets lucky, her mom would watch on and start dancing with her.
Brooklyn Young as Grandma, Ghost, Agnes
Brooklyn first started acting in 2019 with Treehouse Youth Theatre, where she played roles such as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland and Meg March in Little Women. She completed both high school drama and choir programs. During the summer of 2019, she won a scholarship at Musicamp Alberta. She went on to play the lead in So Come Home, which was directed and produced by a fellow student at Toronto Film School, where Brooklyn is currently enrolled.
Emily Majoor as Poppy
Emily Majoor is a Canadian actor based out of Toronto. She is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and has trained under several amazing industry professionals, studying abroad at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts summer intensives. Originally starting as a dancer, Emily made the switch to acting for film and TV by enrolling at Toronto Film School. In October of 2020, she was part of a concept short called Tell No Tales, and in 2021 released her own silent short called You Don’t Send Me Flowers Anymore. Emily’s other interests include writing, photography, singing in the shower, and traveling.
Ibrahim Frank-Banda as Reale
Ibrahim Frank-Banda is a Canadian actor, writer and co-host based in Toronto. He studied Media Fundamentals at Durham College, where he gathered many skills in voice recording and photography. Since then, he has co-hosted NeoUnfiltered alongside Malique Williams, Shyane Misicke and Devonte Spence. The show started in 2017 as a podcast and evolved into live radio show airing weekly on platforms like iHeartRadio and Radio Regent. During this time, he also performed in multiple shows as a background actor such as The Boys, Titans, Grand Army and Dream Job. In 2020, he enrolled at Toronto Film School to purse a full-time career in the film industry. During his studies, he has co directed, filmed and starred in numerous silent films and outside projects, like music videos and commercials. In 2021, he directed and released his silent short titled Writers Block: How 2 Shoot A Silent. Ibrahim’s other hobbies include, music, writing, fashion and making wine.
Israel Omoruyi as Bleeding Slave
Israel Omoruyi is a Canadian actor. Born in 1998 and raised in Toronto to Nigerian and Zambian parents, he is the oldest of three children. His parents arrived in Canada in search of a better life, which taught him to have ambition from a young age. Being the oldest, he always had to set an example with his work ethic. He was always the center of attention around friends and family, so it was obvious early on how natural his talent was for the arts. His dream, however, was to become a professional basketball player. He also played American football in high school, and it wasn’t until several hand injuries that he began to seriously consider changing career paths. While studying Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre at Toronto Film School, Israel met different teachers in the industry who inspired him to pursue the calling in himself. His goal is to work on projects that are meaningful, inspiring, and fun – experiences that expand his horizons.
Jacob Betoukoumessou as Macbeth
Jacob Betoukoumessou started acting in 2020 with his role in Greenwood, which he wrote and produced for his school’s theatre program. He then decided he loved to act and he enrolled in Toronto Film School for Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre.
Jade Graham as Angel, Philomela
Jade first began her acting career in high school, where she played in two musical productions, starring in the second one as Little Red Riding Hood in Into The Woods. In 2020, Jade chose to pursue Acting at Toronto Film School, where she hopes to expand her basic training skills in Clowning and Voiceover work, as well. Since joining TFS, Jade has acted as a main role in five TFS student web series, and a few larger indie films, including Peak’s Valley, The Visionary, and Straw Man, which she is proud to have worked on with TFS instructors Kearsten Johansson and Chad Tailor. When Jade is not acting, she likes to make organic candles and soaps, and is exceptional at creative writing, as she has been published twice, including in the National Library of Canada for her poetry.
Mandeep Khakh as Banquo
During his time at Toronto Film School, Mandeep has played many antagonist roles. His most memorable character was in his third-term camera acting class with John Tench, where he played the role of Andre in Easy Streets on the Line. This role expanded Mandeep’s acting ability. Although he had no acting experience before coming to Toronto Film School, Mandeep has always had a talent for voice impressions. He currently resides in Waterloo while completing his studies at TFS.
Margaret Hicks as Annie
Meg is delighted to be back on stage! Currently a student at Toronto Film School, Meg’s prior theatrical credits include roles as Poppy Norton-Taylor in Noises Off, Chris Gorman in Rumors, and various characters in The Laramie Project. Her voice can be heard in the audio drama ARCA-45672 as Roya Khan, for which she was nominated as Best Actress in the 2019 AudioVerse Awards. Meg is also a trained singer with a range spanning three octaves and is currently working on improving her vocal belt. When not performing, Meg can be found writing tales of magic and mystery, exploring backcountry forests in a canoe, or caring for her beloved Labrador retriever, Mabel.
Mathew Habte as Harry, Guest
Matt Habte started his acting journey with Kick Start Arts, then proceeded to go to Toronto Film School. His very first paid acting gig was a role in the live Zoom play, Webbed, directed by Celes Emmerson and Paige Mehmet. He’s since been in six student short films, three of them made by his fellow classmates, Jade Graham, Mitchell Page, and Jacob Betoukoumessou. Matt has also made his own silent short film. Besides the film industry, he has a few hobbies that he does in his free time, like writing, working out to keep active, and drawing/sketching.
Max-Delroy Georges as Young Slave, Clarence
Max-Delroy was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, then moved with his family to Ottawa when he was just 13 years of age. There, he attended and graduated from Louis-Riel High School – a French school based on sport, where he had the opportunity to represent Ottawa at the provincial track and field championships. During his first appearance as a stand-up comedian, Max was named a finalist in Concours LOL, a comedy talent show partner of Just for Laughs. He also performed at different high schools with his local dance team. Being the best in his drama class and having discovered his passion for performing, he successfully auditioned for Toronto Film School at just 17 years of age. Currently enrolled at TFS, he released his own silent film called Shoobute in June 2021. Max’s other interests include fashion, makeup and fitness.
Mitchell Page as Lennox
Mitchell is a student at Toronto Film School, studying in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program. During his time in the program, Mitchell has had the opportunity to play a multitude of roles across many short films, most notably Down to Earth, a short film documentary. Mitchell’s roles have ranged from the romantic, to the mob boss’ right hand man in Risk It for the Ticket by Mathew Habte. When not preparing for a role or working, Mitchell enjoys creating content in the form of his podcast, Simply Nonsense, and on social media apps such as Tik Tok, with the goal of raising awareness for diabetes and other autoimmune disorders.
Nicolas Levasseur as Tereus, Pat, Guest
Nicolas LeVasseur is a 19-year-old bilingual actor/singer currently based in Toronto. Being a cinephile his entire life, he recently moved to the city from New Brunswick to study at Toronto Film School to master his craft. He has been a part of several high school productions back in his hometown, but has been a part of a short film called Box Boys, written and directed by a fellow TFS students. In his free time, he enjoys singing, calisthenics and skateboarding around the downtown.
Rod Clark as Paul, Dr. Munignant, Guest
Rod Clark is a newcomer to the acting world. Originally a musician from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Rod began his acting career by applying to Toronto Film School. During his studies there, he’s done work with projects from Ryerson Film School, Fable Project Theatre Company, and the University of Victoria. Rod is a confident Baritone, a composer, and an accomplished saxophonist, having performed across the country. Rod’s goal is to become a voice actor, with a focus in character work. Off the stage, Rod enjoys spending time relaxing with his partner, analyzing soundtracks, and bouncing between way too many video games.
Saja Zeid-Kilani as Procne
Saja Kilani is an acting student at Toronto Film School with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto. Born in Amman, Jordan, at the age of 15, she moved to Toronto, where she found her passion for the arts. As a Jordanian/Canadian actress based in Toronto, Saja’s aspiration is to build representation for Arab female artists in the Western industry through her love for acting, public speaking and modeling. She is a human rights advocate with a strong artistic vision to change narratives. The work she has completed in the past includes several theatre performances in Toronto that honour those who have been silenced. She has worked with Theatre Passe Muraille by taking part in Samah Sabawi’s award-winning play Tales of a City by the Sea, and at Aluna Theatre and Cahoots Theatre. Saja recently released her debut silent short film presented by Toronto Film School where she spoke about the injustices faced by Indigenous communities. Saja speaks four languages, English (fluent), Arabic (native), French (intermediate), and ASL (beginner). Her other interests include piano, soccer, squash, tennis, ping pong, billiards and poetry.
Stellina Mun as Pious Slave
Stellina Mun is a Korean-Canadian actress from Toronto. She worked as a nurse before deciding to pursue her dream of acting and entering the world of storytelling. Even before beginning her journey with Toronto Film School, Stellina began acting in student and independent shorts, as well as independent films like Tape Place,Weeknight Downers, and Cyber Underground. Earlier this year, Stellina created a personal short entitled Proud to be Asian. Proud to be Me., which was featured in a TFS article to help spread awareness on combating anti-Asian hate. Stellina hopes to spread positivity in her work as an artist and hopes to see a continued growth of diversity and inclusion in the film industry.
Jack Grinhaus – Director
Jack Grinhaus is an award winning and nominated theatre artist. Primarily a director, Jack has also worked in various streams of theatre as producer, designer, playwright, and actor with numerous theatre, TV, and film credits. He was the Artistic Director for the Canadian regional theatre Theatre NorthWest (2014-2019), is co-Artistic Director of the Indie hit company B2C Theatre (www.boundtocreate.com ), was part of the 2010 Canadian Stage BASH Directors holds an MFA and BA Honours in Theatre from York University’s Theatre program, an Associate Degree in Acting from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, and has studied intensely with internationally renowned artists Uta Hagen, Anne Bogart the SITI Company, and Graham McLaren. His recent directing credits include: Isitwendam (Native Earth Performing Arts/B2C/Talking Stick/RMTC/Four Dora Mavor Moore Nominations), ART (Persephone Theatre/Nomination Outstanding Direction/SAT Awards)), Hedda Noir, Million Dollar Quartet, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, Alice in Wonderland, Half Life, The Secret Mask (Theatre NorthWest), Last Christmas (Lunchbox), dirty butterfly(B2C/Obsidian Theatre), Phaedra’s Lust (Tapestry New Opera/B2C), Release the Stars (Toronto Next Stage Festival), Taming of the Shrew (Grand Theatre HSP), Macbeth (Classical Theatre Project), Saved (Toronto Fringe Festival/Patron’s Pick/Best of Venue), The Complex: A Toronto Tale (Festival of Creation/Canadian Stage/2010 Toronto Fringe), Carmen (Opera Lirica Italiana), Ghosts (AD/Morris Panych/Soulpepper), Playing Cards Part 1: Spades (Observer/AD/Robert Lepage/Ex-Machina). He also recently directed the B2C Film, Elle’s Valley.
Bea Donovan – Stage Manager & Assistant Director
Bea Donovan is an award-winning production manager. As a graduate from the Drama program at the University of Windsor, she uses her costuming, scenic design, and stage makeup skills to enhance the productions that she is thrilled to be a part of. Thanks to people like Jack Grinhaus, she has been able to grow as a theatre practitioner both on and off stage and has loved the opportunity to learn more about the directing process and grow with the students she has worked with.