2022/23 Mentors

John-Gray.jpgJohn Gray

For Royal MTC: Come From Away (with Mirvish), The Heart of Robin Hood (with Mirvish). For Mirvish Productions (Toronto): &Juliet, Come From Away, Les Misérables, The Wizard of Oz, War Horse, Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music, The Lord of the Rings, The Producers, The Lion King, Miss Saigon. For The Stratford Festival: Seven seasons including Guys and Dolls, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ah Wilderness, Uncle Vanya, King Lear. Other: Les Misérables in Melbourne Australia; Opening and Closing ceremonies of the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar; North American tours of Chicago and The King and I; productions at The Charlottetown Festival, The National Arts Centre, Theatre New Brunswick, The Grand Theatre, Theatre Calgary, The Citadel Theatre, CanStage and Tarragon Theatre.

KarenHines.jpg​Karen hines

Karen Hines began her theatrical career as an underground comic and emerged as the author of multiple award-winning plays which have been presented across North America at venues including One Yellow Rabbit, Tarragon, Boca del Lupo, Alberta Theatre Projects, Factory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theatre Centre, Soulpepper and Joe’s Pub (Public Theatre). She is a two-time finalist for Canada's Governor General’s Literary Award, and a recent finalist for the Siminovitch Prize. She is a Dora Award-winning performer and director and has collaborated on the widely-toured play creations of other Canadian theatre artists such as Linda Griffiths, adult horror clowns Mump & Smoot, and Michelle Thrush. Karen is an actor in Canadian and American television and film, and her own short films featuring the character “Pochsy” have screened around the world. Hines is the daughter of scientists, and since 1992 her plays have included darkly comedic meditations on environmental peril; her performances aim to reflect North American consumer culture in what seems to be a perilous time. Chicago born, Toronto bred, she currently lives in Calgary where she has been resident with One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre and Alberta Theatre Projects. Recent new works include “Pochsy IV” (Calgary’s High Performance Rodeo) and “Crawlspace,” which has toured to micro theatres across Canada and will soon premiere en francais at Toronto’s TFT. Crawlspace is available on CBC as a podcast vial “PlayMe."


EssHodlmoser.jpg​Ess Hödlmoser

Ess Hödlmoser (they/he) is an award-winning trans non-binary circus artist and writer from T:karonto (Toronto), Canada. Their work uses the acrobatic body to examine the body in transitory states, liminal spaces, and the fine line between what we deem beautiful and what we deem grotesque.

Ess’s artistic rigour and creative drive has brought their work international recognition on the world stages like Cirque de Demain (Prix Moulin Rouge), France’s Got Talent (Golden Buzzer), the 6th International China Festival (Special Prize of the State Circus of Gomel) & the Moulin Rouge. Their work has been supported by the  Canada Council for the Arts for both creation and professional development in circus arts, including their innovative contortion solo, VACUUM, and a period of professional training in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in Mongolian contortion. Their current work is exploring historical circus icon Barbette as a framing device for questions around trans performativity and joy in the context of contemporary circus. 

Ess maintains a small but mighty catalogue of ongoing writing projects: their DIY zine, Writing the Circus, unpacks contemporary circus arts through a lens of Disability studies, critical race theory, and queer theory; their hardcover coffeetable book Slow Circus: VACUUM looks at the relationship between that piece of circus art, gender performativity, normalcy, transness, and more.


AndreaMacasaet.jpg​Andrea Macasaet

Bio to come.


DanielMacIvor.jpg​Daniel MacIvor

Daniel MacIvor (he/him) is originally from Unama’ki/Cape Breton and currently divides his time between there and Tkaronto/Toronto. Daniel has written numerous award-winning theatre productions including See Bob Run, Never Swim Alone and New Magic Valley Fun Town, and he has received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, and an Obie Award and a GLAAD Award for his play In On It. In 2018 Daniel wrote the libretto for Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, staged at the Canadian Opera Company. Also a screenwriter Daniel has written the films Marion Bridge, Wilby Wonderful, Trigger and Weirdos for which he won a Canadian Screen Award for best original screenplay.  He runs reWork Productions with Marcie Januska.

LoriMarchand.jpg​Lori Marchand

Lori Marchand became the first Managing Director of the NAC’s Indigenous Theatre in April 2018. A member of the Syilx First Nation, she has played a key role in the encouragement, development and production of Indigenous work, including as Executive Director of Western Canada Theatre, 1999-2018. Notably, plays such as Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout, Where the Blood Mixes, Children of God, and Kamloopa, created at WCT in collaboration with the Secwepemc, Syilx and Nlaka’pamux Nations, impacted the national stage and national discussion. Her contributions in BC and nationally also include serving in many capacities for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres; and as a member of the BC Arts Council from 2010 to 2017, chairing the strategic planning and program committees and serving as vice-chair, she helped drive policy relevant to all theatre practitioners in Canada. Lori was recognized for her commitment to live theatre and the production of Indigenous work that has contributed to the arts and to Reconciliation with a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from Thompson Rivers University in June 2018 and the Mallory Gilbert Award for Artistic Leadership in 2021.

RickMiller.jpg​Rick Miller

Rick Miller is a Dora and Gemini award-winning writer/director/actor/musician/educator who has performed in five languages on five continents and who Entertainment Weekly called “one of the 100 most creative people alive today”. He has created and toured solo shows such as the BOOM Trilogy (BOOM, BOOM X, and BOOM YZ), MacHomer, Bigger Than Jesus and HARDSELL; and family shows with Craig Francis and Kidoons, such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, Jungle Book, and Frankenstein. With Robert Lepage, he has collaborated on Geometry of Miracles, Zulu Time, Lipsynch, and on the film Possible Worlds. Rick hosts an intergenerational podcast called X-ing The Gap, and sometimes teaches an interdisciplinary class at the University of Toronto called The Architecture of Creativity. He lives in Toronto with his partner Stephanie Baptist and their two daughters. www.rickmiller.ca

KimberleyRampersad.jpg​Kimberley Rampersad

Kimberley Rampersad is a theatre artist, born and raised in Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba. As an actor she has appeared in various theatres across Canada including Mirvish, RMTC, Stratford and Shaw. Her work as a choreographer has been recognized with two Dora nominations for Passing Strange (Musical Stage/Obsidian) and Seussical - the Musical (YPT) respectively, and an Evie Award in 2019 for Matilda – The Musical (Royal MTC/ Citadel/ Arts Club).
As a director, Kimberley was featured in the New York Times in July 2022 for her production of Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitra and in July 2019 for directing a full- length production of Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, both at the Shaw Festival. Her production of Tré Anthony’s  How Black Mothers Say I Love You (GCTC) received a Prix Rideau Award for outstanding production, and her productions of The Color Purple (Neptune and Citadel/ Royal MTC) received Merritt and Sterling Award for outstanding direction and productions.  She recently made her directorial debut at the Stratford Festival with Serving Elizabeth by Marcia Johnson. She was the recipient of the 2017 Gina Wilkinson Prize for an emerging female director (Ontario Arts Foundation). Her season in 2023 includes directing King Lear at the Stratford Festival, and The Amen Corner at the Shaw Festival.
In the community she contributes to the work of the Philp Akin – Black Shoulders Legacy Award, the Gina Wilkinson Prize, and sits on the board of AFC.
Kimberley completed her dance teacher certification through the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Political Science, from the University of Manitoba.  She is currently a graduate student in Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. Kimberley is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

LisaRubin.jpg​Lisa Rubin

Since being named as the Segal’s Artistic and Executive Director in 2014. Lisa has been fulfilling her vision of the theatre as a means to build community through the performing arts, while nurturing and inspiring the next generation of audiences. She is proud to assist in the development of new musicals for the Canadian market and beyond, including two mega-hits from the Segal’s 2014-15 Season, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical (featuring original music by Alan Menken) and Belles Soeurs: The Musical, as well as Prom Queen (2016, now titled The Louder We Get), The Hockey Sweater: A Musical (2017), The Angel and the Sparrow (2018, now titled Piaf/Dietrich), Mythic (2019) and most recently April Fools a collaboration with Keren Peles and Moshe Kepten.

FionaSauder.jpg​Fiona Sauder

Fiona Sauder is a Toronto based Director, Writer, Performer, and Educator. As the Artistic Director of Bad Hats Theatre, she's focused on the creation and support of new, multidisciplinary works. Select Directing credits: Narnia (Bad Hats/Theatre Sheridan); Holiday Inn (Shaw Festival, Asst. Director); Uncovered: The Music of ABBA, Uncovered: The Music of Dolly Parton (Musical Stage Company); Afro-Peruana (Canadian Stage); Life In A Box (Bad Hats); Mamma Mia!, American Idiot, Les Miserables in Concert (YES Theatre); Upcoming: Bed And Breakfast (Orillia Opera House). Writing credits for Bad Hats include: Alice In Wonderland, Peter Pan, Princess Frownsalot, The Gold One, Narnia, and The Storybook Search (co-writer, upcoming).

As a performer, Fiona has had the pleasure of collaborating with companies including Soulpepper Theatre, Canadian Stage, The Blyth Festival, Driftwood Theatre, Young People's Theatre, and Quote Unquote Collective. Fiona is a multiple Dora Award Winning performer and creator, and nominated director. They are thrilled to be offering their voice to this mentorship program!

DebashisSinha.jpg​DebASHIS Sinha

Debashis Sinha's creative output spans a broad range of genres and media, from solo audiovisual performance projects on the concert stage to the rich sonic space between your headphones. Driven by a deep commitment to the primacy of sound in his creative practice, Sinha has developed his artistic voice by weaving together his own experience as a 2nd generation south Asian Canadian, his training with master drummers from various world music traditions, a love of electronic and electroacoustic music and technology, and a desire to transcend the traditional expectations of how these streams might intersect and interact. The wide range of audio, video and audiovisual works and performances is a result of an artist with a fierce desire to expand the notions of what it means to express and be influenced by a life in/between cultures. 
Sinha has appeared on the Establishment, Pluie/Noir and Gustaff record labels, and as a solo artist at the Sound Symposium, NeurIPS 2020, ORF Kunstradio, Deutschlandradio Kultur, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Festival del Arte Radio, Madrid Abierto, MUTEK, the Guelph Jazz Festival, Radio National España, and the International Symposium on Electronic Art, to name a few, and as a member of various musical ensembles across the country and internationally, including the duo Knuckleduster, with noted Berlin musician Robert Lippok (raster-media, Monika, etc). Current interests include leveraging machine learning and AI tools in his storytelling-based explorations of Hindu mythology. In 2019 he was the only Canadian invited to participate in the AI Music Lab, Tokyo hosted by MUTEK Japan and Gamma Festival (Russia). A new record, “Adeva_v000_04” on Establishment Records focuses on this research, and he has exhibited his machine learning-based sound and image works internationally.
Parallel to his solo sound work, Sinha maintains a robust presence in the theatre world, winning Dora awards for Sound Design for his work on “Crash” (Theatre Passe Muraille) and “We are Proud to Present…” (The Theatre Centre/Why Not Theatre), a Toronto Theatre Critics Award for design on “Eurydice” (Soulpepper Theatre) and a Dora for Outstanding achievement in Design in the Opera Category for the Tapestry Opera produced R.U.R A Torrent of Light. Companies Sinha has worked with include The Stratford Festival, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Peggy Baker, inDance, Tribal Crackling Wind, Necessary Angel, Volcano Theatre, and others.
He has been a recipient of grants from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Chalmers Foundation. Other awards include a Banff New Media Institute/Quebecor fund fellowship at the Banff Centre and a past winner of the Radio Creation Works contest, awarded by Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporanea, a major international prize to create new radiophonic work. He is currently Assistant Professor at The Creative School at X (Ryerson) University in Toronto, Canada.

JulieTomaino.jpg​Julie Tomaino

Julie (she/her) is a theatre director, a choreographer, and an educator. She has won a Jessie Award, a Dora Award, and multiple Ovation and Broadway World Awards in Outstanding Choreography for her work in Musical Theatre.

Julie trained and worked as a performer in New York City for over twelve years. Notable credits include the US National Tour of Crazy for YouCelebrate Broadway starring John Lithgow and Linda Eder at The Kennedy Center, and performing as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall for six seasons. As a Rockette she appeared numerous times on The Today Show, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Julie is now based in Toronto and travels across Canada and the US putting up musicals at some of the top regional theatres in the country, including The Citadel, The Arts Club, Theatre Calgary, Chemainus Theatre Festival, The Rev Theatre Co, Cortland Rep, The Capitol Theatre, Western Canada Theatre, Persephone, The Globe Theatre, and Magnus Theatre.
Julie occasionally choreographs for film and TV, most recently working on a Holly Hobbie episode for Season 3, and a Lifetime Christmas movie entitled Christmas Movie Magic, which aired during the 2021 holiday season. She worked with Idina Menzel on the Beaches remake, Jon Benjamin Hickey and Elizabeth Marvel on the pilot episode of Blink, and with Harland Williams on an episode of Package Deal. She also loves educating the next generation of artists and has been on faculty at AMDA NYC, Sheridan College, Randolph College for the Performing Arts, and Capilano University.
Find out more at www.julietomaino.com.