UP Alumni

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BFA Acting class of 2012

Kevin Hanchard

Kevin Hanchard is an award winning actor, and member of the AFC Board of Directors. Kevin has appeared in many TV shows and movies, including Hudson and Rex (2021), The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021), and Orphan Black (2017). Kevin's most recent stage work includes HOUSE: The Isolation Version (2020) produced by Factory Theatre. He is well known for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr in The Mountaintop (2014) at the Shaw Festival, which earned him a Dora Award for outstanding performance. Kevin has also received a Canadian Screen Award in 2017 for his performance in Orphan Black.

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BFA Acting class of 2008

Ijeoma Emesowum

Ijeoma Emesowum is a dedicated actor. She has spent 5 seasons at the Stratford Festival, and 5 seasons at the Shaw Festival. Ijeoma has also appeared in A Christmas Carol for Theatre New Brunswick, Aftermath for Nightwood Theatre, and a Midsummer Night's Dream for Canadian Stage. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ijeoma worked as a member of Spontaneous Theatre's Sidewalk Scenes ensemble performing in Instant Theatre and Romeo and Juliet.

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BFA Acting class of 2015

Hannah Ziss

Hannah Ziss is the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Theatre Baddeck. Hannah is the co-writer of Theatre Baddeck's first comedy hit The Young Ladies of Baddeck Club. She has also appeared in many shows for Theatre Baddeck including The Ladies Foursome, Pocket Rocket, and The Shoplifters.

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BFA Acting class of 2004

Shaleen Hudda Mulvany

Shaleen Hudda Mulvany is a dedicated Actor, well known for her screen work. She has appeared on Kim's Convenience (2020), New Amsterdam (2020), God Friended me (2019), and Star Trek Discovery (2019), amongst many other Film and television series'. Shaleen's stage highlights include playing Hermie in a Midsummer Night's Dream, produced by Rose Theatre, as well as playing Dal in Behna, produced by Kali Theatre, which went on to tour the United Kingdom.

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BFA Acting class of 2001

Laura Condlln

Laura Condlln is an award winning actor. She has spent 14 seasons with the Stratford Festival, and has appeared in shows including The Virgin Trials (Soulpepper), Sisters (Soulpepper), and Fun Home (The Musical Stage Company). Laura is the recipient of the Mary Savidge award, and won the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best Actress in 2016 and 2018.

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BFA Acting class of 1984

Antoni Cimolino

Antoni Cimolino is a well known and celebrated Canadian Theatre Practitioner. In 2013, after many years as a member of the company, Antoni became the Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. Since his appointment, Antoni has overseen the launch of an endowment fund at the festival, the creation of the Studio theatre, and most recently the creation and opening of the new Tom Patterson Theatre. Antoni was awarded the Order of Canada in 2015 for, "his outstanding contributions to Canadian theatre".

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Danielle Wade

Danielle Wade is a rising star actor who has been noted as "an extraordinary talent" by Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 2012, Danielle became the winner of the CBC show "Over The Rainbow", the search for the performer to star as Dorothy in the Toronto production of the Wizard of Oz. After the Toronto run, Danielle went on to continue her role as Dorothy in the North American National Tour of the show (2013).  Danielle performed in many Canadian productions, including Beauty and the Beast and Mama Mia with Drayton Entertainment, Cinderella with Ross Petty Productions, and the Music Man at the Stratford Festival before making a move to the Broadway stage. In 2018, Danielle was the standby for several characters in Mean Girls on Broadway, and in 2021 she was cast as the lead role, Cady Heron, for the shows first national tour. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Danielle participated in the web series "R&H Goes Pop! At Home" alongside Laura Osnes to perform "In My Own Little Corner". You can see Danielle's interview with Osnes and her performance by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foIvjnIAKjg&list=PLycQGoRl0aExDjYcP4RJkegHZmikVyyMX&index=11

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BFA Acting class of 2008

Kyle Sipkens

Kyle Sipkens is the founder and owner of Incirque, a highly interactive entertainment company offering stilt walkers, jugglers, street shows, and living statues. As a performer with the company, Kyle is a stilt walker, knife juggler, and fire breather. He also created the Lucky Barber Show, a street juggling performance which can regularly be seen at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kyle created the interactive workshop #JugglingMentalHealth, a free to use series which combines basic juggling lessons with mental health tips.

For more information about Kyle and his work, please visit https://incirque.com/

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BFA Acting class of 2006

Rose Napoli

Rose Napoli is a dedicated playwright. She is the author of six plays; Oregano, That's Amore, Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of your Cremains, Legacy, a Death and the Marias, and Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells). Additionally, Rose has found success as an actor on stage and screen. She can be seen featured in the television series Reign (2017), Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure with Canadian Stage, Grace with Nightwood theatre, and Trigonometry with Factory Theatre. The Toronto Star and Globe and Mail named Rose a "rising star" and "artist to watch", and she also made the NOW Magazine list of top ten theatre artists.

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BFA Acting class of 2015

Erika Downie

Erika Downie is the co-founder of Seven Siblings Theatre, where she also worked as the Creative Director until 2017. For the company, Erika worked as an actor, director, and Chekhov coach on many of their productions. In 2016, Erika co-created the Confidential Shakespeare Project, an innovative performance project combining classic works of Shakespeare with a twist of secrecy and surprise. Erika directed Abridged Opera's performance of Don Giovanni with the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra in May of 2019.

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BFA Acting class of 1995

Paul Constable

Paul Constable is a dedicated actor. Often known for being the 'Canadian Tire Guy', Paul has appeared in over 100 Canadian Tire commercials to date. Paul's work also extends to the world of film, and he can be seen in Baby it's Cold Outside (2021), Queen of the Morning Calm (2019), Little Italy (2018), and Downsizing (2017), amongst other credits. Paul is also the Executive producer of the documentary film Waiting for Ishtar (2017).

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BA Drama class of 2004

Jamie Treschak

Jamie Treschak is the founder and co-owner of Violence in Motion. With his company, Jamie teaches stage and film combat training. He has taught stage combat at Ryerson, Fanshawe, St. Clair College, and the University of Windsor, and has fight directed for many professional and independent theatres throughout the greater Toronto area.

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BFA Acting class of 2008

Joshua Browne

Joshua Browne is the Artistic producer and co-writer for Circlesnake Productions. The company, "uses collaborative creation to produce new work with a cinematic approach to storytelling," and seeks to explore genres not often brought to the stage. Joshua is also a performer, having appeared in Trigger (2016), The Queen's Eulogy (2018), and Murdoch Mysteries (2020). Joshua is the Playwright of The Queen's Conjuror, which was produced by Circlesnake in 2016.

 

For more information about Joshua and his work, please visit http://www.circlesnake.com/

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Drama and Communication, Media, and Film class of 1990

Samantha Burson

Samantha Burson is a successful set designer and scenic artist. Working with Dryton Entertainment, Samantha has designed sets for West Side Story, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Rock of Ages.

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Drama and Communication, Media, and Film class of 1987

Gwenyth Dobbie

Gwenyth Dobbie is an associate professor at York University in the school of Arts, Media, Performance, and Design. Gwenyth is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of Out of the Box Productions. Gwenyth has worked as a movement coach and choreographer at the Banff Centre for the Opera, Director for shows including the Canadian premier of On this Planet, and the world premier of Eyes on the Mountain. Most recently, Gwenyth worked on Chromesthesia, Disrupting Solitude, and Rallentando, immersive and interactive works produced by Out of the Box.

For more information about Gwenyth and her work, please visit https://www.outoftheboxproductions.ca/

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BFA Acting class of 1980

Eric Keenleyside

Eric Keenleyside is a well known actor, as well as a founding member of Delta Stageworks. As a member of Delta Stageworks, Eric has worked as a director as well as a workshop leader and educator for many of the company projects. Eric's work as an actor stretches across the big and small screen, including roles in Welcome to Marwen (2018), Once Upon a Time (2016), and Fargo (2015).

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BFA Acting class of 2006

Yolanda Ferrato

Yolanda Ferrato is the managing director of Kaeja d'Dance. She is also a member of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts' (TAPA) Advocacy committee. Previously, Yolanda worked as the producer and general manager of Theatre Gargantua. Yolanda was the assistant director and dramaturge of the UK premier of Scorched (Old Vic Tunnels/Old Vic-Dialogue Productions), as well as the director of the North American premier of S-27 (Intersection Theatre/ Toronto Fringe).

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BFA Acting class of 2010

Lindsay Bellaire

Lindsay Bellaire is the Artistic director and co-owner of Articus Productions. She works as a choreographer and performer with the company, creating, "shows that tell stories through a heightened fusion of theatre and aerial arts" (Articus, 2020). Some of Lindsay's most recent work for Articus include directing and choreographing SHIPWRECKED (2019) and The Aerial Pirate Show (2019). Lindsay is also the co-founder and  program director of the TriCity Centre for Circus Arts, "a contemporary circus studio that is dedicated to providing high-quality training in circus arts for kids, youths, and adults" (Tricity, 2020). Lindsay has trained at the Toronto School of Circus Arts and l'Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, where she became a certified Circus Arts Instructor.

For more information about Lindsay and her work, please visit https://articusproductions.com/

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BA Drama class of 2013

Joshua Quinlan

Joshua Quinlan is a successful theatrical designer. He has worked in the realm of set, props and costumes for many theatres. Joshua has experience as the associate set and props designer for the National Ballet of Canada. He is also the design assistant for the Stratford Festival, and has done fantastic scenery and costume design for the Port Stanley Festival theatre, The University Players, and the Ohio State University. Joshua has been awarded many accolades for his work including the Ian and Molly Lindsay Design Fellowship (2017), the Tom Patterson Award (2019), and the Peggy Ezekiel Award of Distinction (2015).

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BFA Acting class of 2012

Alexis Gordon

Alexis Gordon is an award winning actor. She has extensive stage experience, appearing in Room (Grand Theatre), Hook Up (Theatre Passe Muraille), as well as in 4 seasons at the Stratford Festival and 2 seasons at the Shaw Festival. In 2012, Alexis won the Banks Prize for Emerging Artists, and in 2015 she was awarded the Amy Wallis Memorial Guthrie award.

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BFA Acting class of 2016

Emerjade Simms

Emmerjade Simms is a dedicated actor. She has worked on both stage and screen, appearing in Web of Lies (2019), Paranormal 911 (2019), School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play (Obsidian/Nightwood theatre), and Peter Pan (Bad Hats/Soulpepper) amongst many others. Most recently, Emerjade appeared in Obsidian Theatre's 21 Black Futures, an anthology series created by 21 playwrights, directors and actors.

 

Emrjades performance for the series, Omega Child, can be viewed through CBC Gem at https://gem.cbc.ca/media/21-black-futures/season-3/episode-7/38e815a-013a5f80b93

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BFA Acting class of 2007

Tom McCamus

Tom McCamus is a dedicated and award winning actor. He has appeared in over 20 productions at the Shaw Festival and has worked for 16 seasons with the Stratford Festival. Tom's work also stretches to the screen, appearing in television shows and films including Room (2015), Orpahn Black (2015), Waking up Wally (2006), and I Love a Man in Uniform (1993), along with many other credits. In 1993, Tom received a Genie Award for his performance in I Love a Man in Uniform, and in 1994 he received a Dora award for his performance in Abundance. In 2006 Tom was awarded a Gemini Award and an ACTRA Award for his performance in Waking up Wally.

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BFA Acting class of 1988

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping is an award winning actor and director, best known for her work in the Sci-Fi genre. Amanda starred as Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis from 1997-2008. She has also appeared on Sanctuary (2011), Supernatural (2018) and Killjoys (2019), amongst many other television and Film credits. Amanda has also accumulated a large number of directing credits including Van Helsing (2016), Travelers (2018), and Anne with an E (2019). Amanda has recieved four Leo Awards, a Saturn Award, a Jules Verne Award, a Woman of Vision Award, and was named ACTRA Woman of the Year in 2015.

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BFA Acting class of 2007

Meghan Swaby

Meghan Swaby is a dedicated actor and playwright. Meghan is the author The Numbers Game: Go to the Matress (2016), Venus' Daughter (2016), and Derailed: The History of Railway Porters in Canada (2020), a piece commissioned by the Museum of Toronto. As an actor, Meghan has appeared in Calpurnia (Nightwood Theatre), Venus' Daughter (Obsidian Theatre), and In this World (Roseneath Theatre), amongst many other credits. Meghan was featured at 50In50: Writing Black Women into Existence, a curated evening featuring the works of 50 selected playwrights at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. Her play Venus' Daughter is included on the SureFire list of recommended and highlighted Canadian plays by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

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BFA Acting class of 1977

Stephen Ouimette

Stephen Ouimette is a dedicated and celebrated actor. He has acted on many great stages across the United states and Canada, including performances of La Bete on Broadway, The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman Theatre, The Alchemist at Yale Rep, the Taming of the Shrew at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and an astounding 24 seasons working with the Stratford Festival. Additionally, Stephen has lent his voice to many animated cartoon television shows, notably including Beetlejuice (1991), Babar (1991), and X-Men (1996). Stephen is the recipient of three Dora Awards, a Blizzard award, a Critics Circle award, and a Gemini award all in recognition of his acting talents.

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BFA Acting class of 1996

Phil McCordic

Phil McCordic is a successful creator, writer, performer, and producer. He is the owner and creative producer of Windy Isle Productions Inc. Well known for his work on Canadian children's television programming, Phil began working in this entertainment realm as the host of TVO Kids "The Crawl Space" from 1998-2002. He then continued to create, write and perform in many of the Tvo Kids programs which still air today, including Science Max: experiments at large, Zerby Derby, and Tumbletown Tales. Phil worked as the Senior producer of CBC Kids for four years, and won a Gemini Award in 2009 and a Golden Sheaf award in 2012 for his work with the program. He has received 3 Canadian Screen Awards (2017, 2018, 2019) for his original series Science Max: experiments at large. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Phil Began making science based educational videos on YouTube, which many parents have turned to for help with supplementing online learning.

 

You can visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmOctGKKaXm2sjFcBs7-mCA to check out some of Phil's work.

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BFA Music Theatre class of 2003

Emmanuelle Zeesman

Emmanuelle Zeesman is a dedicated actor. She has performed in many shows including Blood Brothers (Gladstone Theatre), Guys and Dolls (National Arts Centre), and Mythos: the vampire rock opera (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Additionally, Emmanuelle has found success performing on multiple national tours for shows including Finding Neverland, and The Wizard of Oz. Emmanuelle received a Capital Critics award for her work in Blood Brothers, and is also the recipient of a Critics Circle award for best actress.

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Drama and Communication, Media, and Film class of 2014

Keith Brown

Keith Brown is a world-class magician and entertainer. He has performed around the world, not just in theatrical settings, but at corporate functions, parties, and conferences as well. He is also a TEDx presenter, speaking on the topic of Magical Thinking, how magicians approach creativity. In 2013, Keith received a People's Choice award and was voted Toronto's Best Magician. Keith is the executive producer of The Art of Astonishment, Hotter Than Potter, and Absolute Magic.

 

For more information about Keith and his work, please visit https://www.absolutemagic.ca/

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BFA Acting class of 1987

Jeanne Holmes

Jeanne Holmes is the Artistic Director of the Canada Dance Festival. The Festival showcases Canadian dance on a national scale, and gives focus to contemporary excellence in dance and culture. Jeanne is also currently the programming supervisor of city and cultural events for the city of Toronto.

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BFA Acting class of 1990

Nigel Shawn Williams

Nigel Shawn Williams is a well known director and award winning actor. Nigel has worked with the Stratford Festival directing Othello, as well as with Cahoots and Obsidian Theatre company directing The Other Side of the Game. Nigel starred in Hamlet at the Tarragon Theatre, as well as Topdog/Underdog with Obsidian Theatre and the Shaw Festival. Nigel is the recipient of three Dora Awards for outstanding performance (1995, 2003, and 2012), and a Dora Award for Outstanding Direction (2006).

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BFA Acting class of 2012

Emma Mackenzie Hillier

Emma Mackenzie Hillier is the founding general manager and producer of Shakespeare in the Ruff. She has worked as a performer, dramaturg, and playwright. Emma wrote the play White Picket Fences, which was performed as the fifth episode in a series of plays titled The Numbers Game produced by The Pulp Collective in 2016. Emma is currently the event manager for The Walrus.

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Drama in Education and Community class of 1988

Mary Donohue

Mary Donohue is a world renowned business person and entrepreneur. Mary is a successful author. She is a columnist for the Huffington Post and the Financial Post, and has published the book "Message Received: 7 steps to break down communication barriers at work". In 2020 after many years researching and learning about 'digital fatigue', Mary became the founder and CEO of the Digital Wellness centre. The centre is, "dedicated to sharing scientifically proven techniques for achieving communication clarity" (CITE DWC SITE). Mary was named one of Diversity MBA's top 50 under 50 in 2015, and also one of Ridgelife's 18 Outstanding Women in Tech in the same year.

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BFA Acting class of 1990

James Barrett

James Barrett is the co-creator and artistic producer of Globus Theatre. James has appeared as an actor in over 40 Globus Theatre productions including Blithe Spirit, The Foursome, Home to Roost, and Here on the Flight Path. In 1995, James co-founded JEM Theatre, for which he co-wrote and produced the show MINE, which went on to tour across Canada for several years. James is a member of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

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BFA Acting class of 2004

Sarah Kitz

Sarah Kitz is a successful freelance theatre director and creator. Sarah has directed for Soulpepper Theatre Company, Pandemic Theatre, and Shakespeare in the Ruff amongst many other companies. Recently, she worked as the digital theatre director for the National Arts Centre, working on One Flea Spare (2020) and the NAC #CanadaPerfroms digital live streams. Sarah is also the winner of the Crow's Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director prize (2017).

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BFA Acting class of 1977

Maria Vacratsis

Maria Vacratsis is a successful actor for the stage and screen. She has performed for many Canadian companies including Soulpepper theatre company (Prince Hamlet-2017, Endgame-2012), Tarragon Theatre (Cake and Dirt- 2015), Canadian Stage (Domesticated-2015), as well as the Stratford Festival for four seasons. On the big screen, Maria can be seen in films including Mama Mia: Here we go again (2018), Heroin (2019), and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1 and 2 (2002, 2016), along with many others. Maria has been awarded two Dora awards for her work as an actor in Second Nature and The Lorca Play.

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Drama in Education and Community class of 2002

Rachel King

Rachel King is a successful arts and productions manager. She has worked as the General Manager for the Blyth Festival, as well as the production and facility coordinator for the Exhibition Place. Rachel also served as a member of the Board of Governors for the Exhibition place for several years. Additionally, Rachel has experience in stage management, production management, and tour management for companies including the Shaw Festival, Green Thumb Theatre, Caravan Farm Theatre, Erth Visual and Physical, and Theatre Pass Muraille.

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BFA Acting class of 2003

Melissa D'Agostino

Melissa D'Agostino is the director of development for HighballTV, a streaming service designed just for film festival movies. She has also written several TV scripts including Hype Night (2018), and Tactical Girls (2016), as well as co-created the play Daughter. Melissa has won several awards for her acting work including  a Canadian Screen Award for best performance (2017), and a Maverick Movie Award for best ensemble performance (2017).