Theatre Instructors

Cliff Cardinal

Cliff ’s first play Stitch, a one woman play about a pornstar single mom who loses custody of her daughter during first break psychosis, debuted in SummerWorks 2011, winning both The Spotlight Award for Performance, as well as Theatre Passe Muraille’s Emerging Artist Award for the script’s notable artistic impression.

For his solo Huff, about the wondrous lives of three brothers caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and struggling to cope with the death of their mother, Cardinal won the Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation at SummerWorks 2012 and The RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright Award. In 2015, Native Earth Performing Arts re-mounted Huff in the Aki theatre space in Toronto. For this production, Cardinal was recognized with two Dora Mavor Moore Awards in the independent category. (Outstanding Performance – Male; Outstanding New Play.) Huff has completed two National Tours including presentations at The Push International Performing Arts Festival, The Magnetic North Theatre Festival and the High Performance Rodeo, and closed the studio season at the National Arts Centre in May 2014.

Another play of Cliff’s, Maria Gets A New Life, debuted at SummerWorks 2013. “This captivating tale of an off-grid mother and her desperate children solidifies Cardinal as one of the most talented and intriguing writers in the country.” –NOW MAGAZINE. Cliff graduated from the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada. His music project, Cliff Cardinal and The Skylarks’ recently released their debut album: This Is Not A Mistake.

Cliff teaches Playwriting

Julian Frid

Julian Frid is a veteran teacher of improv at Hart House and has been improvising since high school. He found his passion with the Canadian Improv Games, and then trained with the Impatient Theatre Company, the Second City, the Bad Dog Theatre company, while also training with the George Brown Theatre School. He has sought out addition training with the Improv Olympic as well as the Upright Citizens Brigade. He currently does improv and sketch comedy with his award winning theatre troupe Sex T Rex, which won the Just For Laugh’s Best Comedy award for the 2015 Montreal Fringe Theatre Festival. His teaching goal continues to be one of making the skills of improvisation fun, accessible, simple and effective for both the stage and day to day life.

Julian teaches Improv: Introduction to 5 Skills and Improv Level 2: Long Form Games and Structure

Students say,

“[I developed] a greater ability to listen and honour other people in what they do. A greater freedom in playing, experimenting, and listening with trust.”

“I’m confident in different areas of my life and learned more about the importance of humour and fun.”

“I have learned so much about my personal self and personal creativity.”

Peggy Jane Hope

Peggy Jane Hope is a dynamic, inspiring actor/singer/teacher who just finished her MFA in Theatre Performance at York University as well as a specialty degree in Kristen Linklater’s Voice/Speech technique.

Peggy teaches All-in-One: Acting, Voice and Movement

Jeremy Hutton

Jeremy Hutton was the founding artistic director of the Toronto Youth Theatre and the artistic director of Hart House Theatre. He is a director, actor, composer, lyricist, fight-director and sound designer based in Toronto.

Recent directing credits include, Cabaret, Spamalot and The Sound of Music (Lower Ossington Theatre), and The Tempest, Night of the Iguana, Macbeth and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Hart House Theatre).

Recent acting credits include Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar (Hart House Theatre), Claudius in Hamlet and Feste in Twelfth Night (Classical Theatre Project) and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (SBTS Halifax).

Jeremy has written four musicals with Kieren MacMillan including the 2010 best of fringe hit Fairytale Ending. Others include Tobor the Robot, and the ever-popular Robin Hood the Legendary Musical Comedy. He’s written several others without Kieren including The Fourth Princess (Lower Ossington Theatre), Alice in Wonderland (SBTS Halifax) and Snow White for which he won two Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt awards for original composition and musical direction.

Jeremy teaches Performing Shakespeare, Stage Combat, Song Writing and Audition Techniques

Kevin McCormick

Kevin McCormick is one of the most sought after acting instructors in Toronto, having worked with thousands of artists over the years and is currently the Director of the acclaimed Equity Showcase Theatre. Kevin also teaches regularly for Equity Showcase Theatre, The Actors Tutorial and co-ordinates and teaches within a unique arts program at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University. Other teaching highlights include York University, The Ryerson Theatre School, The Canadian College of Dance, The National Ballet of Canada, Young Peoples Theatre, The George Randolph Studio Dance Theatre, Leah Posluns Theatre School, and The University of New Brunswick. Mr. McCormick has produced and directed a variety of productions and has held the position of Artistic Director for two Ontario Summer Theatres. He is a founding member of the Toronto Association of Acting Studios where he has also served as President.
Kevin teaches Art of Acting: Finding Personal Liberation & Authenticity; The Organics of Acting for the Camera: An Introduction

Students say,

“As I looked back on 2014, your acting class was one of the best things I did for myself, personally and professionally.  I find myself referring back to my notes again and again, reminders and tools for being more self-aware and thoughtful, connecting with more of my real self.  Ironic how learning to be natural and more of myself came through acting, I would never have thought it.”

“I’ve already started to consciously employ my awareness of my goals, into the words I choose, or how I transition. I’ve been learning how to better be true to each moment – ranging from causal interactions to academic and work-related situations.”

“I’ve already started to consciously employ my awareness of my goals, into the words I choose, or how I transition. I’ve been learning how to better be true to each moment – ranging from causal interactions to academic and work-related situations.”

“I took The Organics of Acting for the Camera: An Introduction class at Hart House over the Summer. I just wanted to thank you for the advice and experience I gained from you! This class helped me to recognize what type of actor I am, what types of roles I could see myself playing, and allowed me to accept and acknowledge my passion for acting. Since then I have been cast as a lead in a web series, titled The March Family Letters! In addition, this course has given me more confidence to audition for other projects and continue my training.”

Laura Jayne (LJ) Nelles

Laura Jayne (LJ) Nelles has been professional actor and director for many years and holds an MFA in acting and directing. She studied voice with master teacher David Smukler and works as a voice teacher and coach in a variety of settings. Her PhD research focuses on embodied practice in theatre and health. LJ is currently on faculty at The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and has taught acting and various forms of theatre at York University, The University of Guelph-Humber and as a guest artist at the Toronto Board of Education. She loves to make theatre and is particularly drawn to the transformative powers of theatre.

LJ teaches Creating Theatre from Research

Students say,

“She is very knowledgeable about the topic. She’s able to customize the teaching to each student and provide each student individual feedback.”

Lynn Slotkin

Lynn Slotkin has an Honours BA in Fine Arts from York University Specializing in the History, Theatre, and Criticism of Theatre.

Her reviews and articles have been published in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Performance Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Eye Weekly, Orbit and How Theatre Educates. From 2000-2010 she was the theatre critic for the CBC radio’s Here and Now. Since 2010 to the present she does theatre reviews and commentary for CIUT Friday Morning, 89.5 fm. Her on-line blog The Slotkin Letter chronicles her theatre going. She is also the theatre critic for Intermission Magazine: She sees on average 280 shows a year. When she is not seeing theatre and writing about it, she sleeps.

Lynn teaches Writing Theatre Reviews

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