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Toronto Film School acting students will pay tribute to a beloved late classmate when their upcoming adaptation of Luis Bunuel’s El ángel exterminador hits the stage at the Papermill Theatre.
“I’m going to begin with the name of a beautiful angel: Stefany Herrera Salgado, a student actor who was taken from us only four months ago,” said Christopher Sachwyn, director of TFS’s production of Angel of Death.
“The desire to celebrate her life and her passion for live theatre, music, movement and the ‘psychology of characters’ led us on this journey.”
Sachwyn said he and his fifth-term class of Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre students were inspired to tackle Mexican filmmaker Bunuel’s ‘claustrophobic horror story’ as a nod to Herrera Salgado’s Latin American roots.
“The challenge of (The Exterminating Angel’s) complexity has scared me in the best possible way, more than any other piece,” Sachwyn said of his decision to adapt the film into a 75-minute stage production.
“Thanks to Stefany’s passion for theatre, the collaboration with (this class of students) has been an incredible experience in honour of her.”
Angel of Death, which is stage managed by Noah Bicknell, will take to the stage at the Papermill Theatre for a three-performance run on Sept. 20, 21, and 22 as follows:
- Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.
The Creative Team Behind Angel of Death:
Fanya Aley was born and raised on the Ivory Coast. Her passion for the arts began with a love of fashion design, before growing to encompass many other forms of art, including painting, furniture design, jewelry design, hair, acting, and more. In 2016, she moved to Edmonton, Alberta with her parents, and in 2022, she enrolled in the acting program at Toronto Film School, which is where she is currently studying. Her goal is to be a Black female superhero who produces her own films and walks down the red carpet dressed in her own creations.
Born and raised in Mississauga, Rebecca Bernard is currently studying Acting at Toronto Film School. Rebecca has loved acting since she was a little girl. Her first big acting experience was at a drama camp called The Great Big Theatre Camp. In high school, she played Florie from Waiting for Lefty – a role that made her certain that a future in acting was something that she really wanted to work for. In her next term at TFS, she is looking forward to experimenting with new characters that challenge her, and discovering new things about herself as an actor.
Stephanie Bernier Collard
Stephanie Dalaila Bernier Collard is a professional actor who started building her career at a very young age. Born and raised in Ottawa, she first performed on stage at the age of 7 at a summer theatre camp. After falling in love with acting, she joined the theatre program at her high school, where she performed in multiple plays and short films. In 2021, Stephanie landed her first professional role in a TV series called Gang de Hockey, which aired in January 2023 on TFO. Stephanie is currently in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program at Toronto Film School.
Jackson Bulthuis was born in Calgary, Alberta. He started acting in high school, and is now currently studying at Toronto Film School. He has studied stage combat, voiceover work, writing, producing, directing, editing, and much more. His biggest role was Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. He has also performed in several other plays such as The Real Inspector Hound, After Magritte, and The Importance of Being Earnest.
Catalina ‘Cata’ Cardenas was born and raised in San Gil, Colombia, and moved to Canada to pursue her passion for acting at Toronto Film School. In her early teens, Cata took ballet and jazz classes. During her time at TFS, she has acted in many indie short films. She also wrote, produced and directed her own short film, Bigfoot, an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. In the future, Cata hopes to participate in feature films that are shown on the big screen. She also hopes to be able to combine acting with her love for ballet, directing and writing.
Born and raised in Stettler, Alberta, Elisa Collard is currently enrolled at Toronto Film School, where she is studying acting, writing, producing, and directing. Elisa, 20, has starred in several short films during her time at TFS. She also wrote, produced, directed and edited her own short film entitled, The Pain of Needs. Growing up, Elisa was passionate about expression through dance and musical theatre, and performed in many school and community plays. In future, she aspires to continue working in all aspects of the film/theatre industry.
James Cooper was born and raised in Fergus Ontario, and is currently attending Toronto Film School. James considers himself more than just an actor, but someone who uses art as a way of expressing his emotion. While James gravitates towards the comedic side of acting, he also enjoys the emotional challenges of a character who deals with struggle as a way to use past life experiences to create special moments on screen and stage. During his time at TFS, he’s played Andrew in EZ Streets, and Beethoven in Dog Sees God.
Born in Grand-Prairie, Alberta, Andy Courtemanche was a shy child who had trouble making friends growing up because he moved around so often. An avid gamer as a child, he also loved dirt biking. He rode competitively until the age of 17, when he got into a dirt bike accident and sadly couldn’t race anymore. By the age of 19, Andy decided he wanted to pursue his passion for acting. After his first unsuccessful application to study at Toronto Film School, Andy spent five years training. He reapplied in 2022 and was happily accepted into the acting program.
Jordan de Groot
Jordan de Groot was born in New Jersey and grew up around Canada. She studied History in university for a year before enrolling in the Acting program at Toronto Film School. In Term 3, Jordan wrote, directed and produced her own short film titled, Every Day, for which she also acted as Director of Photography. She has acted for theatre companies including Young Theatre Players and Enter Stage Right, where her roles have included: Cindy Loo Who in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Mrs. Gruber in The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington.
Mark Edmonds was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he grew up playing hockey and baseball, in addition to acting in his schools’ theatre production. His first experience on the stage was in Grade 6, when he landed the lead role of a game show host for his school. When he was 18, Mark was injured, which ultimately led him to change his life’s course and to choose to pursue acting professionally.
Vigay “Vigs” Gandas is a 22-year-old actor, born and raised in New Delhi, India. Vigay has been interested in all aspects of entertainment since a young age, and decided to pursue a career in acting as a means to tell all different kinds of stories. Recently, he has been involved in several short films as an actor and a producer. He aspires to become a complete actor. Vigay is fluent in English, Hindi and Urdu, and has a basic understanding of Spanish and Japanese. In his free time, he likes to work out and play soccer.
Matthew Hill is an athlete who aims to bridge his soccer, rugby and martial arts skills into his burgeoning acting career. Currently enrolled in the acting program at Toronto Film School, he infuses authenticity into every role, embodying characters with depth and resonance. Matthew nurtures his budding talent while embodying discipline and creativity. With a unique blend of sportsmanship and artistry, Matthew illuminates screens, carving his path while honoring both his family’s heritage and his own unwavering passion.
Siara (CC) Haley Khan is a young and talented actor who is passionate about voice work in animation, games, and more. Initially drawn to singing, CC’s focus later shifted to animation, which sparked their imaginative self-characterization. Enamored by online content creators, CC aspires to captivate audiences themselves. After a brief dance class stint, they found solace in self-expressive dancing. High school drama classes further kindled their passion. CC is currently enrolled at Toronto Film School, where they have joyfully evolved as an actor.
John Lagura is an accomplished dancer and dance teacher who has competed on stage and worked with Toronto’s biggest choreographers. He recently appeared in a music video for a big artist. During his time at TFS, he has begun to fall in love with acting and performance. Upon graduation, he hopes to combine both his dance and acting skills. He also hopes to one day direct, act and dance in a version of the Step Up franchise, where dancing and acting is combined together in harmony.
From Markham, Ontario, Jessica grew up going to dance and drama camps. In high school, she took drama and participated in theatre productions. She then attended the University of Toronto, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies. After working at CTV News and the National Post, she decided to explore other forms of storytelling and enrolled at Toronto Film School, where she has participated in student film productions. She hopes to continue acting and exploring all avenues of film production, including directing and screenwriting.
For Olivier MacMillan, acting is more than just a passion – it’s an integral part of his very being. In high school, he portrayed Yonathan in Michael Azama’s Crossfire – an experience that sparked a profound love for dramatic acting. As a production assistant on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Olivier’s desire to be on the acting side of grand productions was ignited. At TFS, he’s learned that every role he undertakes is ultimately a reflection of himself. With each role, Olivier tries to bring forth his personal growth, aspirations, and raw talent to captivate audiences.
Born and raised in the small town of Shawville, QC, Grant Moore has appeared on stage in several Orpheus Theatre productions in Ottawa, as well as with the Pontiac Community Players. He also starred as Tevye in Pontiac High School’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Since enrolling at TFS, Grant has explored his dream of acting on film, even stepping behind the scenes to direct and produce his first short film, After, with John Lagura. After TFS, Grant looks to return to his theatre roots and continue developing his craft.
Serena Parsalidis is a first-generation Canadian who moved independently to Toronto at 18. An athlete growing up, she juggled both sports and acting from a young age. Serena was involved in her school’s drama program throughout the entirety of her high school career. Since enrolling at Toronto Film School, she has been in a number of projects including commercials, short films, music videos, and is currently working on a feature film. Serena is attracted to dramatic roles, as she enjoys portraying big emotions and being vulnerable in front of the camera.
Zen Lenore came to Toronto Film School in July 2022. Since then, they have written, directed, and produced two short films, Footsteps and Day Gone By. After school, Zen plans to focus on acting in film and television, as well as continue to write and direct.
Noah Bicknell – Stage Manager
Noah Bicknell is a Canadian actor and creator from Markham, Ontario. His journey on camera began at the age of 7 after being cast in a Food Banks Canada advertisement, where he first fell in love with acting. Growing up, Noah attended theatre and film classes hosted by Young Peoples Theatre and TIFF and performed in various plays/musicals while attending the Arts program at Unionville High School. He then received extensive on-camera training at TFS, where he wrote, directed and starred in his own short film. Now a recent President’s List graduate of TFS’s acting program, Noah continues to develop his skills as an actor.
Christopher Sawchyn – Director
A two-time award winning international performer, Christopher is a multi-disciplinary artist. Co-founder of Toronto’s musical sketch company The Specials, he’s a seasoned writer, director and choreographer. Currently, he and co-host Christel Bartelse produce/star in their ongoing seasonal series, Chris & Christel’s Collection.
As an arts educator, Christopher has been teaching for many years. Trained for the national team of Dancing Classrooms, he’s brought ballroom to the TDSB in the GTA. He’s a grad from the Joy of Dance and has implemented Ballroom Basix and private coaching at Artists Play. In addition to Toronto Film School, Christopher has been a national high school drama adjudicator. He has had teaching contracts both at the ISB in Brussels, and his gold medal win in the IV Jeux de la Francophone (Art de La Rue) took his company, CORPUS, to West Africa.