Meet our friendly and talented teaching staff!
2018 Special Guest Instructor
Since 1979, Jean-Jacques Lemêtre has been the composer for France’s internationally celebrated Théâtre du Soleil, collaborating with director Ariane Mnouchkine. He has been making music since he taught himself how to play a variety of instruments as a child, before undertaking comprehensive academic training at the Conservatoire de Paris. A musician of starling diversity, Jean-Jacques has also performed with symphony orchestras, medieval music ensembles, Pierre Boulez and his Orchestre Intercontemporain, rock bands, and jazz groups. He has brought his music all around the world, from the Arctic, to Brazil, to Canada and most recently to Afghanistan.
Acting Foundation & Improvisation Instructor
Kate Lynch has worked across Canada as an award winning actor and a director. She has a Post Graduate degree in Voice studies and has trained actors at both the Stratford and Shaw Festival (where she has also directed). She has been teaching at the University College Drama Program for many years, and has also directed five productions with the Program.
For the past 25 years, Helen Donnelly has specialized in the art of clown: at first in theatre and circus (Cirque du Soleil, Circus Orange, Foo Productions) and then in 2004 she also entered the profession of Therapeutic Clowning. She teaches both theatrical and therapeutic clowning and coaches clown artists for circus. She presents her work in healthcare nationally and internationally.
Comedy & Solo Performance Instructor
Rick Miller is a Dora and Gemini award-winning writer/director/actor/musician/educator who Entertainment Weekly called “one of the 100 most creative people alive today”. His multiple collaborations with Robert Lepage and his solo shows (MacHomer, Bigger Than Jesus, HARDSELL, BOOM) have been performed in five languages on five continents. He also teaches an interdisciplinary class at the University of Toronto called The Architecture of Creativity. Rick is from Montreal, and lives in Toronto with his wife Stephanie Baptist and their two daughters.
Celebrated playwright Djanet Sears is also an acclaimed theatre director, a part-time lecturer at the UofT’s Drama Centre, and a guest instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada. Her work has graced such stages as Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper Theatre, Nightwood Theatre, Obsidian Theatre, Black Theatre Workshop, Centaur Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Arts Centre, the Public Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Crossroads Theatre, St. Louis Black Repertory, Canadian Stage, and Factory Theatre. Additionally, Djanet’s plays have been widely published and translated. Djanet is the recipient of a Governor General's Literary Award, a Canadian Screenwriting Award, the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, and a Gold Prize at the International Radio Festival of New York. She is a founding member of the Obsidian Theatre Company, and the editor of two anthologies: Testifyin': Contemporary African Canadian Drama, Vols. I & II.
Movement & Dance Instructor
Valerie Moore is a celebrated director/choreographer who brings her unique artistry for theatre, music theatre, and dance to many corners of this world. Originally from Montreal and educated in both Quebec and Ontario, she has been connected with many of Canada's most prestigious theatres including The Stratford Festival and The Shaw Festival. Some of her critically-acclaimed productions include Cabaret, Berlin to B'way, Ragtime, Sondheim's Side by Side, and a beautifully realized full orchestra version of Follies in concert at The Shaw Festival. Her definitive style of text-led work builds connections which have led to her to be in demand for collaboration on classical pieces, as well as contemporary projects. Valerie has received numerous awards and nominations for her work and has been a consultant to many recording artist during her association with the illustrious producer Sandra Faire. When she is not in the theatre or on set, she is following her culinary passion by building new recipes in the kitchen.
Embodied English Language Instructor
Art Babayants is the founder and artistic director of the Toronto Laboratory Theatre (www.torontolab.org), an experimental theatre company that has presented their work at Toronto Fringe, Toronto Nuit Blanche, Caminos. Art completed his PhD at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Toronto), where he conducted a practice-based study investigating the phenomena of multilingual acting, spectating and dramaturgy. Since 1997, Art has also been developing theatre projects integrating acting and second language teaching – his most recent ESL/Drama creation called Embodied English is a sought after course for advanced ESL learners and is offered through Toronto Laboratory Theatre.