Toronto Film School’s fifth-term Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre students are set to bring a trio of poignant plays to the virtual stage this week.
Hart Massey, director of the Acting program, lauded this term’s aspiring young thespians for their hard work to ensure that their respective shows go on, despite the hurdles caused by COVID-19.
“What is so impressive is the students’ dedication and commitment to seeing these shows to completion. This all happened during a pandemic!” he said.
“Most of the rehearsals transpired on Zoom and a couple of the casts decided to work together outside in 35-degree heat – just to feel the energy of their scene partners in person! That kind of determination really exemplifies the spirit of Toronto Film School’s acting program.”
This term’s slate of virtual plays include:
Based on Carlo Goldoni’s comic masterpiece The Servant Of Two Masters (1746), This Is How It’s Done explores status, wealth, marriage, and the folly of juggling more than we can handle to make ends meet.
“In addition to that, everyone has a secret and is, in fact, playing two roles (onstage and off!),” added the play’s director, Andy Massingham.
“The fact that not much has changed over the last two hundred and seventy-five years speaks to the play’s timelessness. Working with the company, we have given a contemporary spin to a classic and it has been a delight working with everyone.”
This is How It’s Done, which is stage-managed by Sunmin Oh, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on Sept. 15, 17 and 18 as follows:
– Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. (EST)
– Friday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. (EST)
– Saturday, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. (EST)
****Click Here to livestream any of the above performances****
“As he did in his previous dream play, August Strindberg has tried to imitate the disconnected, but a seemingly logical form of the dream. Anything may happen; everything is possible and probable. Time and space do not exist,” explained the play’s director, John Tench.
“On an insignificant background of reality, imagination designs and embroiders novel patterns: a medley of memories, experiences, free fancies, absurdities and improvisations. The characters split, double, multiply, vanish, solidify, blur, clarify. But one consciousness reigns above them all— that of the dreamer.”
The (Quarantine) Dream Play, which is stage-managed by Megane Vermette, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on Sept. 15, 16 and 18 as follows:
– Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. (EST)
– Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. (EST)
– Saturday, Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. (EST)
****Click Here to livestream any of the above performances****
William Shakespeare‘s masterpiece comedy Twelfth Night begins with a shipwreck on the shores of the strange land, Illyria, where Viola believes herself alone and her twin brother drowned.
“Twelfth Night is a comedy about how we are all desperate to not be alone – something we can all relate to over the past eighteen months,” said the play’s director, Jack Grinhaus.
“Here, we have the opportunity to gather again to share as a group the connection made by theatre. We all need a good hearty laugh these days and this play offers it in spades.”
Twelfth Night, which is stage-managed by Daniel Guther, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on Sept. 16, 17 and 18 as follows:
– Thursday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. (EST)
– Friday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. (EST)
– Saturday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. (EST)
****Click Here to livestream any of the above performances****
Akinlalu started his acting career in Ottawa, where he joined the acting department of Models International Management. He studied camera, theatre and voice acting at a variety of schools and casting companies in collaboration with his agency. In 2018, Akinlalu won first place in the Canadian Model and Talent’s acting competition. He trained at the British School of Paris as a violinist before he learned to play the guitar. When Akinlalu is not acting, he still enjoys expressing himself visually with his drawings, paintings and photography. He also plays chess, writes poetry, sings and dances.
John Keegan deWitt
Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Keegan deWitt began his foray into theatre working with Rosanna Saracino on Melville Boys at Toronto Film School. Following that experience, Keegan went on to do a revised version of Berthold Brecht’s, The Three-Penny Opera with John Tench. Shortly after, Keegan played several parts in Eugene Ionesco’s Killing Game, under the direction of Jack Grinhaus. Keegan has spent years working in wine and cuisine, in both French and English. Keegan spends his free time playing golf, basketball and poker.
David Alejandro Meneses
A Colombian-American actor, Meneses is a current student at Toronto Film School. He has played Detective Hal in Thelma & Louise, a drunken Tom in The Glass Menagerie, and played three roles in The Canterbury Tales – the lord and ruler Duke, a greedy tale merchant, and the noble Franklin. Meneses recently starred, directed, produced, and edited his own silent short film, Dream Stalker. He is skilled in Spanish, contorted movement, and dark humour. In between acting, Meneses studies many shows and films on his extensive list.
Murray is a charismatic, charming, and energetic actor who always brings a big smile. He has acted in three plays at Toronto Film School, Melville Boys with Rosanna Saracino, The Killing Game with Jack Grinhaus, where he played Fourth Man and Emile, and Golden Boy with John Tench, as the golden boy himself, Joe. He has done ample scene studies and recently directed, filmed, and edited his silent short film called Work Smart. Murray also works as an extracurricular mentor with a local middle school and is an active member of his local church, assisting the pastors with children’s church.
Raymond started acting in the ninth grade at Stratford Northwestern High School. His first production outside of school was Anne of Green Gables as Moodie Spergin Mcfercin. His next work was for a company called Part and Parcel, now known as Penny and Pound Theatre. There, he was in three productions: Into the Woods, as the wolf/Steward; Dracula, as Doctor Seward; and You Can’t Take it With You as Anthony Kirby. Raymond is currently enrolled at Toronto Film School in the Acting for Film, TV, & the Theatre program, where he’s continuing to pursue his passion in performance.
Rhéaume is a Quebecois actress fluent in both English and French. In the past, she studied drama for five years, along with four years of professional improvisation. She performed 66 Pulsations Par Minutes, directed by Maxime Perron, and Contes à passer le temps, directed by Joanie Lehoux. In English, she was part of Killing Game, directed by Jack Grinhaus, and worked with other directors such as Rosanna Saracino, John Tench and Julia Paton. In her spare time, Rhéaume likes to paint, draw, and play the piano and the ukulele. Her favorite sports are boxing, skiing, and fencing.
Sroka is a versatile queer performer and actor. He is currently at Toronto Film School studying in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program. Sroka enjoyed learning under John Tench, where he showed his ability to move an audience through his portrayal of Happy Loman in Death of a Salesman, followed by a comedic portrayal of Jerry in Zoo Story. Sroka grew up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan, where he rode horses competitively and learned how to drive a stick-shift. He has a passion for music and is a classically trained pianist. Outside of acting, Sroka is a well-rounded drag performer.
Andy Massingham – Director
Massingham is a Toronto born and raised actor, writer, director and teacher. He has worked on stages across Canada and the U.S. including, the Stratford Festival, National Arts Centre, Tarragon, Canadian Stage, the Banff Centre, Y.P.T. and the Kennedy Centre. He won a Dora Award for his wordless play, Rough House. He has been teaching and directing for over 20 at Second City, Humber College and dozens of others.
At Toronto Film School, Massingham teaches Clown/Movement and Scene Study. He directed Not A Clue at Factory Theatre, which closed on the eve of the global lockdown in 2020. He is thrilled to be back, turning the next page on the journey of bringing live theatre back to Toronto by directing This Is How It’s Done, an adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant Of Two Masters.
Sunmin Oh – Stage Manager
Oh is a bilingual (Korean and English) actor who was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Victoria, BC. Oh recently graduated from Toronto Film School’s Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program with honours and president’s list distinctions. Prior to attending TFS, Oh studied the violin for 10 years with the Royal Conservatory and Suzuki programs. She finished her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Western University, before moving to Toronto to complete her certificate in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Toronto.
Oh has acted in lead roles in film projects including Twofold, Solitaire and Hell to Paige. For theatre, she has performed in the Canadian Collectives, Anton Chekhov’s Bear, and Paradise Lost. She also co-created a collective devise theatre production of AL/ONE directed by Rosanna Saracino. Oh also recently wrote, produced, and directed Losing Berlin – a silent film exploring the contradicting nature of high-functioning addiction. In her spare time, Oh is an avid traveller where she finds adventures in the next town or across the world. She loves exploring various films and genres, writing screenplays, prose, poetry, and creating mood-specific music playlists.
Blair is a 22-year-old Canadian born in Toronto and raised on a small island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is in the West Indies about 90 miles from Barbados. She first became interested in acting at the age of 16 after performing in two theatrical plays while in the Caribbean. In addition, she was getting older and at that time in her life and wasn’t sure about what she wanted to do or become in life. She knew that she loved the feeling of entertaining and being able to communicate with an audience through art.
Bowen is a skilled actor, who has a very strong passion for acting. He recently starred in his own silent film called Absent, which he wrote, directed and produced by himself. His ancestry is solely Bajan (Barbados). He is currently attending Toronto Film School, where he has gained the ability and confidence to act with natural ability and personality. Bowen is a skilled performer in front of the camera.
Buttazzoni is an actor from Toronto. She is currently enrolled as a student at Toronto Film School, where she is learning to expand and broaden her acting techniques. Her most notable performances have been in-class work playing the roles of Jen and Pam in Andrew Moodie’s term 4 Camera Acting class, along with her performances during showcases. In her spare time, she creates pottery, gardens, and loves to express herself creatively.
Dawood resides in Toronto, Canada and is of Iraqi-Iranian descent. At Monsignor Percy Johnson High School, she studied Drama and specialized in Meisner, Stanislavski and Theatre. Dawood currently attends Toronto Film School, where she studies acting, voice acting, producing, filming and writing. Her notable works include I Love You Grandpa and the horror silent short film Say Your Prayers. Her theatre work includes Colours in the Storm (Annie), Tempted Providence (Linda) and Paradise Lost (Beelzebub, God, Angel Gabriel). Her hobbies include writing, visual arts, learning about music and film. She is also a lover of nature and animals.
While attending Toronto Film School, Farkas has appeared in several theatre scene studies, performing in the roles of Loretta in Norm Foster’s Melville Boys, Nina in Anton Chekov’s The Seagull, as well as a collective role in Eugene Ionesco’s The Killing Game, to name a few productions. A classically trained singer/songwriter, Farkas previously studied Vocal Performance at Concordia University and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts. She is a native of Montreal and equally adept at performing in French. Farkas currently lives in Toronto while completing her Acting studies at TFS.
Nalugo has acted in every school play from kindergarten through high school and has also performed in many local community theatre productions. She moved to Canada after a brief stint at university, but felt Toronto was where she needed to study acting for film, television and theatre. During her time at Toronto Film School, she wrote, directed, filmed, produced and acted in the short film, Musideas. She speaks three languages: English, Swahili, and Luganda. She enjoys dancing and yoga. Nalugo now lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Omoregie a driven and motivated individual who has been trained by top educators who have cast him in scenes such as: Pulp Fiction (Jules) directed by Jonathan Higgins, Criminals In Love (William) directed by John Tench, Golden Boy (Tom Moody) directed by John Tench, Riverdale (Jughead) directed by Julia Paton, Brooklyn 99 (Jake) directed by Julia Paton, People Of Earth (Bishop) directed by Andrew Moodie, Measure For Measure (Angelo) directed by Peter Van Warto. He is also athletic, an avid soccer player, and a great swimmer who believes water maketh rich the soul. He has a lot of experience making music.
Before attending Toronto Film School, Rizk hadn’t yet received any acting training, but now has roles on plays such as The Glass Menagerie, plus lots of auditions, voice, and movement work on his resume. Getting into TFS changed his whole perspective on work, discipline and planning. He’s learned that his adaptability has made him a decent performer, and he’s always looking to better himself. His ability to try to find both the good and bad in each of his performances represents an asset. He’s pursuing his acting training both at TFS, as well as outside the classroom, meeting with actors, directors, and entertainment workers in his spare time. He also plans on taking acting lessons to have an inside look at other teachers’ ways of teaching.
Sewell is an actress from Toronto. She began acting in school plays and musicals at age 6 and is receiving further training from Toronto Film School. She has taken scene study classes with renowned actors John Tench and Andrew Moodie. She has also been cast in productions of Canterbury Tales, Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie and Children’s Hour. Most recently, she wrote, starred in, and directed her own short film, which was featured in Toronto Film School’s short film showcase. In her spare time, Colliann enjoys dancing, singing, playing the guitar and writing poetry.
Tucker is a well-rounded actor. At just 19 years of age, he has a wide range of emotions he can play, both on-screen and on stage. His most notable role is from playwright Eugene Ionesco’s Golden Boy as Joe Bonaparte. In this role, Tucker gave a memorable performance. He has also portrayed Moses in Antoinette Nwandu’s Passover. Tucker is fundamentally gifted in the arts. He is a dancer and a musician. Tucker rejoices in movement, giving every performance his all. He possesses a gift of accessing genuine gritty and raw emotions he’s not afraid to convey.
John Tench – Director
Tench was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in Canada, starting theatre and film in Toronto and Ottawa. He worked with Ken Gass at the legendary Factory Theatre Lab before moving on to study and work in New York, London, Paris and Europe. He founded the influential TheatreKathartic, touring internationally, with works by Sam Shepard, Dario Fo, Brecht, George F. Walker. Tench went to Vancouver, B.C. then to Hollywood, LA to continue work in film and TV.
Tench has starred in many films and TV shows, including American Gods, Schitt’s Creek, Murdoch Mysteries, Watchmen, Supernatural and Tooth Fairy. He’s worked with great directors including Ang Lee, Antoine Fuqua, Zac Snyder. Tench also works in motion capture on the award winning video games WatchDogs 1 and 2 as the legendary character T Bone Grady, FarCry 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla.
He’s worked with numerous theatre companies as an actor, director, writer, producer, and has written and directed several shorts and screenplays. He’s been nominated for numerous awards in the Best Actor category and is a master of accents voicing many cartoons and animation.
Megane Vermette – Stage Manager
Vermette is a spirited bilingual French-Canadian performer who always brings verve to her craft. Recently graduated from Toronto Film School’s Acting program, Vermette has enthusiastically taken the plunge into the industry.
Vermette grew up dancing ballet, cheerleading, and achieved her black belt in Taekwondo. Her passion for fitness remains to this day, as she teaches barre in Toronto. Vermette’s motto is, ‘You never stop learning.’ She is currently enrolled in Yorkville University’s Bachelor of Creative Arts degree program. Thrilled to be working alongside brilliant actor and director John Tench, Vermette enthusiastically joins this production as a stage manager.
Davis was born in Toronto, Canada. She first discovered her passion for acting in high school, where she wrote, directed, and starred in a one-woman show, an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. She continued her drama journey across Canada, through numerous post-secondary institutions. Davis returned to Toronto as a student at Toronto Film School to hone her skills in the film side of the entertainment industry. Davis has played multiple diverse roles throughout her time at TFS, such as Julia in Zastrossi, Laura Wingfield in the Glass Menagerie, and The Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales. Outside of acting, Anna enjoys dancing, hiking, and exploring.
Deacon, originally from Edmonton, Alberta, holds an Engineering Degree from University of Alberta and is a science and math enthusiast. At Toronto Film School, he enjoyed playing Harry in When Harry Met Sally…, Somoza in Under Fire, Jim in The Glass Menagerie, Jeff in SubUrbia, Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, Jack in Lost, and others. Deacon is passionate about everything voice related, be it R&B, pop, jazz, or rap, accents such as British (RP/cockney), southern USA, Russian, impressions, or voiceover. He enjoys fitness, martial arts (Taekwondo) and percussion instruments. He also speaks fluent Arabic and is an avid gamer.
Korzekwa is an actor from Montreal who is attending Toronto Film School with the aim of refining his craft. During his time in the acting program, he’s played Tom in the Glass Menagerie, the Summoner in The Canterbury Tales, and starred in two student films. Korzekwa’s first professional acting experience was a minor role in the film Happy Face, directed by Alexandre Franchi. From there, they went to participate in the Youth Fusion film program during high school, during which he wrote and starred in three shorts. In his spare time, Korzekwa enjoys writing and dabbles in indoor rock climbing.
Jasmine Li Lin
Li Lin is a Term 5 Acting student at Toronto Film School, originally from China. As a dancer, she’s been awarded the champion and third place prizes in municipal, provincial, and national professional ballroom dance competitions. As a senior Latin Dance teacher, she is also certified to be a judge in Ballroom dance competitions by Fujian DanceSport Association. She has choreographed many different style dances to bring students’ performance to various stages and theatres. While attending TFS, Li Lin wrote, directed and produced a short silent film called Be Yourself. She also likes to discover different aspects of herself as a certificated Senior Belly Dance Instructor, Senior Yoga Instructor, Therapy Yoga Instructor and Paralegal Diploma with Honours.
Lopez is a French-Canadian actor. He started his acting career in Quebec at the age of 16 in the movie, La chute de sparte, based on the book by the famous Quebec rapper Biz. Lopez is currently a student at Toronto Film School to fine-tune his acting skills for film and theatre productions. He is fluent in French, English, and speaks a little bit of Spanish. He studied three years of business administration. Curious, he travelled for a few months to South-East Asia to learn more about their culture.
Pardo recently wrote, directed, and acted in her own silent film, Case 101, and has also worked on multiple student films. She is currently a student at Toronto Film School, where she’s learning new skills and improving others in the craft of acting. Pardo has been singing for over 10 years, studied it for four, and has a passion for singing pop, soul, and rock music. She also has a university degree in Forensic Science with a specialization in Biochemistry and can expertly drive a stick shift.
Pelland-Carriere is an acting student here at TFS. Rising from the north of Sudbury, Ontario, he was a theatre arts, vocals, and dance major at Sudbury Secondary School before graduating with a red seal on his high school diploma. Pelland-Carriere has performed various roles doing plays, musicals, dance, radio, and background acting since the age of 13, having done over 20 productions. He also plays piano and speaks French. Now Pelland-Carriere has been developing his skills from the stage to on-screen and would like to thank his peers and the faculty at Toronto Film School.
Sherman is a professionally trained actor. She recently starred in her own silent film called Paranoia, which she wrote, directed, and produced, and also appeared in and worked on several student projects. She is currently a student at Toronto Film School, where she has been praised for her natural ability and honest work on camera. Sherman is skilled in playing the mandolin, can speak in a Russian dialect and has practiced longboarding since she was little.
Wakelin has spent a number of years both on and off the stage, lending his voice to numerous productions since his debut in 2017. He is best known for his work in medieval period pieces that range from short films, theatre, and video games, having played Biff in Death of a Salesman, the Yeoman in Canterbury Tales, and the titular Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Born in Manchester, Wakelin has spent a number of years training and working in both the English and Canadian acting circles, including Toronto Film School, and looks forward to carving a name for himself alongside his classmates in the Toronto scene.
Yurkiw is currently a student at Toronto Film School, where she plans to hone her acting skills and learn more of the craft. One of her most prestigious roles was Cladius in her high school production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In her schooling, she’s done scene studies in classical scripts like Tennesse Williams’ Glass Menagerie under Andy Massingham. She’s adept at writing poetry and fiction and hopes to publish a book someday.
Zita receives training at Toronto Film School in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program, where she’s had the opportunity to work with professional actors such as Andrew Moodie, John Tench, and Patrice Goodman. Along with the curriculum, she starred in a few plays, namely the Glass Menagerie and the Canterbury Tales, as well as short films including her own. Zita is fluent in French as a second language, has some experience in martial arts, and enjoys singing pop and R&B in her spare time.
Jack Grinhaus – Director
Grinhaus is a multi-award nominated theatre and film artist. Primarily a director, Grinhaus has worked as a producer, playwright, and actor with numerous theatre, TV, and film credits throughout his career. He is Co-Artistic Director of B2C Theatre, was the Artistic Director for the Canadian regional Theatre NorthWest (2014-2019), was a member of the Canadian Stage BASH Directors Residency, and holds an MFA and BA Honours from York University’s Theatre program and an Associate Degree from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in New York City. Past directing credits include: For TFS – Dark Rapture, A Few Good Men, Exit-less, Covid Carnival Cabaret. OTHER: Isitwendam (Native Earth Performing Arts/B2C/Talking Stick/Four Dora Nominations), ART (Persephone Theatre/ S.A.T Nomination Outstanding Direction), Hedda Noir, Million Dollar Quartet, A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, Alice in Wonderland, Half Life, The Secret Mask (Theatre NorthWest), dirty butterfly (B2C/Obsidian Theatre), Phaedra’s Lust (Tapestry New Opera/B2C), Macbeth (Classical Theatre Project). He also recently directed the B2C Film, Elle’s Valley.
Dan Guther – Stage Manager
Guther was born in Burlington, Ontario. After discovering his passion for acting, he began his career in Toronto, where he studied in Toronto Film School’s Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program. Throughout his time at TFS, Guther performed in a number of works on stage such as; The Canadian Collectives, Anton Chekhov and Paradise Lost. He also co-created and starred in the critically acclaimed devised theatre production of AL/ONE, under award-winning director Rosanna Saracino. Guther’s recent film, television and commercial credits include; A Fuller Day, Happy, Hell to Paige, Safety First and 1001 Funerals of Us. Prior to acting, Guther served in the Royal Canadian Army Cadet program for over seven years, with nearly five years spent in a senior leadership position. Throughout his tenure as a Cadet, he received valuable paramilitary training in first aid, fieldcraft, drill and rappelling. He also received his Canadian Armed Forces Certification in military static line parachuting. Guther went on to study at Texas A&M International University, where he received a Specialty Diploma in Firefighting. He is fluent in English and conversational in French. Outside of acting, he enjoys writing, singing, fitness and all things film.