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Toronto Film School Presents Showcase Week: Virtual Stage Production of ‘Covid Carnival Cabaret’ and Entire Summer 2020 Showcase Schedule

A once-famed carnival, now on its last legs and struggling to survive the modern age, takes its worst hit yet during a global pandemic. In a last-ditch effort to revive it, the carnival’s ringleader – The Great Rodolpho – produces a behind-the-scenes livestream, revealing to the world the magic, might and mayhem of the once most dominant form of entertainment in history.


Billed as “funny, intense and reflective,” Toronto Film School’s upcoming production of Covid Carnival Cabaret will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on the evenings of Wednesday, Sept. 16, Thursday, Sept. 17 and Friday, Sept. 18, with each performance kicking off at 7 p.m.



Livestreamed from the Rick Bennett Studio at Toronto Film School, the play was developed, structured, written, produced, designed and performed by a company of fifth-term acting students in just nine weeks.


“We started with a concept gleaned from many hours of discussions around what was happening in everyone’s lives, so as to find some connection to the modern world and also seek out what they wanted to create,” said Jack Grinhaus, the play’s award-winning director.


“Soon the idea of a live performance environment struggling to fit in the new world seemed appropriate. And so, the Covid Carnival Cabaret was born…


“So, sit back and enjoy the amazing world created and performed live online for you all to see. Have fun. Life is a cabaret, after all.”


Show Schedule:


Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. – click here to register

Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. – click here to register

Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. – click here to register



The Creative Team Behind Covid Carnival Cabaret:


Trevor Belanger – Damien the Dangerous Strongman

Trevor is outgoing and treasures moving through the right path. With Trevor’s limited amount of time, he’s had many opportunities to work with many people in the film industry and has experienced many roles including, choreography fighting in which movements were created by Trevor, a music video, silent films, and commercials inside and outside Toronto Film School. Trevor has a humour for comedy, including stand-up and hosting small comedy events. He has worked hard for every successful position he’s been in, bodybuilding, policing, and boxing. Trevor also has experience in most fields in the film industry: directing a crew more than 20 people, lighting a few films, audio assistance, filming and writing. Trevor has written stories of extensive and severe knowledge that have all been presented and claimed to be wanted. Including, thriller, comedy, and action. Trevor has a respectful personality no matter the circumstances. Trevor continues his journey with amazing talents to share to the world of entertainment and more.



Matthew Coyne – Ernie the Clown

Matthew has been participating in talent shows since middle school, and also acted in a production of Departures and Arrivalsin high school. He is very excited to make his Toronto Film School theatre debut in this play. Outside his passion for film and theatre and building an extensive memory bank of memorable monologues and actor quotes, Matthew enjoys hiking, bowling, video games, and Pokémon.



Romika Leslie – Isla the Acrobat

Romika studies acting at Toronto Film School, which has taught her how to adapt to any role she is given. She is constantly using her creativity through singing, dancing and making videos for her YouTube channel, which has more than 1,000 subscribers. Romika also produces, directs and edits all the video content and art made on her channel. Nothing makes her feel better than being able to create something special, that ends up making someone truly feel something within.



Nikki Mendoza – Gilda the Mermaid

Nikki is ecstatic to be making her Toronto Film School debut in Covid Carnival Cabaret. She loves performing, with her favourites including stints with a local burlesque revue and rigorously scheduled karaoke nights with her family. In her free time, Nikki enjoys creative writing and singing and playing with her guitar. She loves TFS, as it has been a wonderful place where she has made a lot of friends.



Raúl Midence – The Great Rodolpho

Raúl is grateful to be a part of Covid Carnival Cabaret for Toronto Film School. He has been involved in a series of classic productions such as Marat/Sade, The Importance of Being Earnest,andLittle Shop of Horrorsduring his time at Lakefield College School. He is an avid writer and loves to collaborate with his friends at TFS. His inspirations lie in his love for the outdoors and his passion for reading. Raúl hopes to one day start his own Theatre and Film production company with his colleagues at Toronto Film School.



Katrina Phang-Lyn – Edith the Monkey Girl

Katrina is a graduate of the acting conservatory program at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She starred as Cassandra Cain in the Off-Broadway play I Killed Batman. She’s also worked on shows such as Degrassi: Next Class andHeroes Reborn. Katrina is a current student at Toronto Film School. She aspires to work alongside creators whom she respects and admires.



Shawn Sherman – Sasha the Magnificent

Shawn has acted for most of his life. He made his official debut in The Old Houseand continued on to Train for Two. He has also competed in dance from the age of 3 in every dance style, although he specializes in Musical Theatre, Modern, and Latin. He is currently studying at Toronto Film School to further hone his acting abilities and refine his acting career.



Hannah Smith – Venus the Barker

Hannah likes to take on things that people think she can’t do. She is a determined person who goes for what she wants and believes in. Hannah likes to tap into her emotions on stage to present the real-life traumas that happen. She doesn’t think she’s too funny, but she will stop at nothing to do what she loves.



Lalita Vaid – Maya the Mad Scientist

Lalita is a Toronto-based actor whose recent credits include roles in student short filmsThe Ringby Atkin Rotimi, Light in the Hallwayby Romika Leslie, A minute in betweenby Shivani Chauha, and the lead role in Some of the Partsby Amanda Haley. She wrote,directed and produced her own silent film called Expressions. Lalita is trained at Toronto Film School, where she participated in Shakespeare and Greek Theatre, TV sitcoms and Film acting.



Jack Grinhaus – Director

Jack is an award winning and nominated theatre artist who has produced and directed more than 50 professional stage plays over the last 15 years. He is the Co-Artistic Director of B2C Theatre and the former Artistic Director or Theatre NorthWest, a major regional theatre in BC. He was part of the 2010 Canadian Stage BASH Directors Residency, as well as the inaugural Director’s Lab North at Tarragon Theatre, was a contributor to the World Theatre Encyclopedia and 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. Recent credits Include: Isitwendam (Native Earth Performing Arts/B2C/Talking Stick/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 Theatre/Workshop Series), dirty butterfly (B2C/Obsidian Theatre), and Phaedra’s Lust (Tapestry New Opera/B2C). He is currently working on the original series Better Neverfor Amazon Prime and the horror theatre trilogy GrimHaus.



Bradley Brooks – Stage Manager/Assistant Director

Bradley stumbles through life creating more laughter than tears. He’s been an international boxer, a Canadian soldier and just recently graduated from the Toronto Film School. He performed in Not A Clueat Factory Theatre directed by Andy Massingham and can be seen in the following short films: Impasse, directed by Zach Price; Someday My Prince Will Come, by Jacob Williams; and Sum of the Parts, by Adam Vitums. You can also catch him on his YouTube channel ‘Bandit Brooks’.



TFS Acting Program’s Summer Showcase Schedule 2020:


Monday, Sept. 14 

– Movement 3W: Clown (Christel Bartelse) at 4 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/2681316410


Tuesday, Sept. 15 

– Writing 2T: Self Written Monologues (Glenda MacFarlane) at 11 a.m – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/95107553811

-Writing 2S: Self Written Monologues at 12 p.m. (Glenda MacFarlane) – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/94342823732

– Acting 4A: Improv Show (Jack Mosshammer) at 5 p.m.- https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/95776976244

– Short Film Production 6S: Screening Night (Tony Del Rio/James Bond) at 7 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_te-cfmZ4Rd6H72_6DB5j5Q


Wednesday, Sept. 16

– Acting 3W: Mini Play (Rosanna Saracino) at 10 a.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/94202691588

– Acting 4B: Improv Show (Jack Mosshammer) at 5 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/99188431250


Thursday, Sept. 17

– Acting 2T: Classical Scenes (Catherine McNally) at 10 a.m. – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81201810989

– Camera Acting 3W: Mini Feature Film Screening (John Tench/Kearsten Johansson) at 1 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/91255182808

– Movement 4B-Group 1: Ensemble Piece (Chris Sawchyn/Chad Tailor), Live from Studio D at 4:30 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/99621595784


Friday, Sept. 18

– Acting 2S: Classical Scenes (Jonathan Whittaker) at 10:15 a.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/96891352425?pwd=SnhueEl2dTByczhCQjJaNndZNm85QT09

– Movement 4A-Group 2: Ensemble Piece (Chris Sawchyn/Chad Tailor), Live from Studio D at 12 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/91579738947

– Movement 4A/B – Group 3: Ensemble Piece (Chris Sawchyn/Chad Tailor), Live from Studio D at 4:30 p.m. – https://yorkvilleu-tfs.zoom.us/j/96766408265