Meet our team of experienced Artist Educators, all of whom are working theatre professionals who have a passion for teaching and connecting with young people!
I have witnessed some of my students’ bravest work as a direct result of the collaborations with Studio 180 Artist Educators.Robert Hamilton, Drama Teacher, Jean Augustine Secondary School, Peel
Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, South Asian & Scottish performer, playwright and multidisciplinary creator/educator. Originally from Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, Ontario (Superior Robinson Treaty territory), her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. She is Co-artistic leader of manidoons collective, that she runs with Michif (Métis) artist, Cole Alvis. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille while the published version was shortlisted for a Governor General Literary Award. She is also a part of Factory Theatre’s The Bedrock Creator’s Initiative where her play, Scanner continues to be developed towards production. Yolanda has performed on stages at the Stratford Festival, the NAC, Persephone Theatre and was nominated for a Dora award for her performance in Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/ Gállábártnit. She was also the Indigenous artist recipient of the Jayu Arts for Human Rights Award for her work and has taught at schools like York University and Sheridan College. Yolanda proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors.
Drama-based education provides an outlet and encouragement to use their voices, have an opinion and say something about the world as well as tell their own stories.
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Ramona is an actor, singer, director, choreographer and teacher based in Toronto. A music education graduate from McGill University in voice (Honours in Music for Children, and Choral Music), she has spent ten seasons at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, and has performed at Young People’s Theatre and Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon. In 2006, Ramona took over the role of ‘Loonette the Clown’ on TV’s Big Comfy Couch. Ramona works as an Artist Educator around the city in various schools, for Studio 180 and as a Resident Artist Educator for Y.P.T. She has directed over forty children in a musical every summer for the past five years at Camp Art House, and teaches drama, performance practice, and musical theatre at various studios in Toronto. Ramona runs Glee Choirs with The Music Project, three choirs with Sistema, a private chamber choir with youth, and has created the Children’s Arts Club at Calvin/Deerpark.
High school students straddle a really cool world between playful youth and serious adult questioning. They have strong opinions but are also often open to changing those strong opinions when given more information or upon hearing new thoughts.
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Jessica is an actor and artist educator who has worked on and off stage with Studio 180 since 2004. As an actor, she has appeared in our productions of Indecent, King Charles III, NSFW, Cock, Our Class, Parade, Blackbird, Offensive Shadows and The Passion of the Chris. As the Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Jessica creates our production study guides and lobby exhibits, runs our Studio 180 IN CLASS and Beyond The Stage programs, and contributes to Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT and AT HOME programming. She has acted on stages across Canada and the United States including Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, Project: Humanity, Magnus Theatre, YPT, The Citadel, MTYP, Passe Muraille, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre New Brunswick, Willow Cabin Theatre and Theatreworks/USA. She has appeared on The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries and Being Erica as well as the animated series Fish ‘n Chips. Jessica has more than 20 years of experience as a guest artist and educator with children and youth of all ages from preschool to post-secondary, was Education Coordinator for ARCfest: Toronto’s Human Rights Arts Festival, and is the Director of Child Engagement for the Child-ish Collective. She holds an Honours BA in political science and women’s studies from McGill University and completed her classical acting training at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and as an apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky.
Young people aren’t asked how they see the world nearly enough. I love when they unapologetically make themselves heard.
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Jenna is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and is a Dora-nominated actor, playwright, devised theatre creator and arts educator. Jenna is also the Artistic Producer of Discord and Din Theatre and a founding member of [elephants] collective. Jenna has been a participant of Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT (2015 & 2019), the Tarragon Playwrights Unit, the Thousand IslandsPlayhouse Playwright’s Unit, The Company Theatre New Play Development Program, La MaMa Umbria International Playwright Retreat (Italy, led by Lisa Kron), and a Resident Playwright at ArtHouse Jersey (Channel Islands). Jenna was also a Playwright in Residence at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and a member of their Artist Residency program with her play MINE. In addition to her extensive work with Studio 180 IN CLASS, Jenna has taught at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Tech and the 92nd Street Y in New York, and is currently a member of the Acting Faculty at Randolph College for the Performing Arts.
I love the collaborative nature of the IN CLASS workshops! Each one is unique and special because of the collaboration between both of the IN CLASS artist educators, as well as with the teacher and the students. The IN CLASS 3-session workshop has a framework that not only supports this collaborative work, but also promotes it – by being both structured and open – so that each time I lead it’s a new and exciting experience.
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Ryan has been a part of the Canadian Entertainment Industry for over 25 years. A graduate from Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Program Ryan has enjoyed opportunities to perform on many stages and in many mediums. Some stage credits include: Falsettos (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre), Avenue Q (Citadel Theatre – Sterling Award), Assassins (Toronto Musical Concerts), Rocky Horror Show (Sudbury Theatre Centre), The Normal Heart (Studio 180 – Dora Nom), Living with Henry (Off Bway – Performance Award), Will the Real JT LeRoy Please Stand Up (Buddies in Bad Times – Dora Award Winner). TV and Film credits include: Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Saving Hope (CTV), Bitten (SyFy), Warehouse 13 (Space), Queer As Folk (Showtime), The Dog Walker (TIFF), Cosmopolis (Cronenberg). As Director: Matilda & Secret Garden (MainstageTheatre Company), Two Kittens and a Kid (Edinburgh Fringe), Downtown Jay (Toronto Fringe). Finally, as an Arts Educator Ryan has taught in the GTA for Studio 180, Wexford Collegiate, Bishop Strachan, Spectrum Arts School and Cardinal Carter. Ryan is currently on faculty at George Brown Dance where he teaches the Acting programme as well is performance and show consultant for their Next Stage and In Haus presentations.
High school students today are very sharp. They come from a place of honesty, and compassion with a kindness that wasn’t around as readily when I was in high school.
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A co-founder of Studio 180, Mark is an actor, writer, and artist educator who coordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program and works as a Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop leader. Select Studio 180 performing credits include: Oslo, The Nether, You Will Remember Me, Clybourne Park and Stuff Happens. Mark adapted and directed, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, for PANAMANIA, directed Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays and worked as Associate Director for Blackbird (Metcalf Foundation Internship), God of Carnage and our 10th Anniversary reading of The Laramie Project. He has performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National touring company and was a member of the acting company at the Shaw Festival for five seasons. His directing credits include the issue-based comedy Power Play and a workshop production of the musical Parade at the Shaw Festival. He has been head- or co-writer on several collective creations (Single and Sexy, That Artz Show and The Berlin Show) and his play MacHamlet was presented as part of the Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival.
High school students have the capacity to be our mentors, leading change in the world and endlessly challenging systems that oppress, and that’s inspiring.
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Jeff is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and currently teaches in the Theatre-Performance and Broadcasting departments at Centennial College in Toronto. He taught modern scene study, text analysis, audition technique and improvisation at North Bay’s Canadore College. As an actor, for Studio 180, he appeared in My Night With Reg, Cock, The Normal Heart, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook and The Laramie Project. Other theatre includes productions with Theatre Passe Muraille, Young People’s Theatre, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Florida Shakespeare Theater and Boston’s Speakeasy Theater.
Knowing that many of the young people that we meet in IN CLASS workshops will soon be in leadership positions in governments, cultural organizations, faith institutions, gives me hope that real help is on the way.
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Rachel Mutombo is an award-winning actor and writer. She is an acting graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre program as well as the National Theatre School of Canada. Some recent theatre performance credits include Antigone (Young People’s Theatre), School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play (Obsidian Theatre/Nightwood Theatre) and Selfie (YPT). She is also featured in the recurring role of Darby Gruss on Freeform’s The Bold Type. As a freelance writer, Rachel has had essays published by CBC, Intermission Magazine and ByBlacks. Her first play, Vierge was recently awarded 1st place in Infinitheatre’s annual playwriting competition. The jury for the prize stated that Rachel is “…one of the most exciting, original voices to come out of Canadian theatre in many years.”
The students give me hope, their empathy, their kindness, their maturity – the future is in good hands.
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Though born in Toronto, Ngabo Nabea spent much of his childhood travelling and studying abroad. He returned to Toronto to study theatre performance at Ryerson University. His first experience working with Studio 180 was for a reading of Common by Marie-Beath Badian as part of their new works IN DEVELOPMENT program. Upon graduating, he has performed in various shows around Toronto, including leads in Twisted (Factory Theatre), The Postman (Appledore Productions, Pan Am Games), The Number’s Game (Storefront Theatre), I and You (Globe Theatre), As You Like It and Fences (Grand Theatre). He has continued to hone his skills with the Factory Theatre Mechanicals and the Stratford Birmingham Conservatory. He has also appeared in various TV shows, including Pretty Hard Cases, The Strain, Salvation and The Expanse. Ngabo is also an avid self-taught illustrator, having recently drawn promotional artwork for events hosted by Stratford Theatre, Suddenspark Collective and Soulpepper.
I like seeing students passionately (and respectfully) sharing their differing opinions on things, born out of different cultures, identities and experiences. Honestly, the world could definitely use more of that (or you know, if not the world, at least Twitter).
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Marissa is an interdisciplinary Filipina-Canadian actor, writer, composer, and academic based in Toronto. She is currently an M.A. Candidate at the University of Toronto, working with the Centre for Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies. Her research areas of interest include Asian-Canadian theatre, Filipinx-Canadian theatre, and radical theatre creation through music and technology. Marissa has been fortunate enough to participate in the actor enhancement training program at Factory Theatre as well as Carlos Bulosan Theatre’s joint HASA Initiative with the Stratford Festival in 2019. She holds certificates from the Royal Conservatory of Music for Operatic Voice and Classical Piano Performance. Marissa is currently creating with the Disconnect(ed) Collective at Carlos Bulosan Theatre, developing a new piece entitled Pedestal Pinays. She has performed in several Toronto-based productions including A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre), and FEARLESS (fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre). Marissa is thrilled to be with the Education Team and looks forward to inspiring the next generation of theatre creators!
Young people are just as creative and revolutionary as they are inquisitive!
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A co-founder of Studio 180 and co-creator of the Studio 180 IN CLASS program, Kimwun is an actor, independent theatre producer and artist educator. From 2002 to 2016, she was a member of the company’s Core Artistic Team. With Studio 180, she has appeared in You Will Remember Me, Love, Dishonor…, Clybourne Park, Our Class (Dora Nomination – Ensemble), Offensive Shadows, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Laramie Project and The Passion of the Chris. She also directed and facilitated the first Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT process for Marie Beath Badian’s Common. Her work onstage includes performances with Howland Company (Dora Award – Ensemble for Casimir & Caroline), Theatre New Brunswick, Canadian Stage, Mirvish Productions, Tarragon Theatre, MTC, Gateway Theatre, Theatre Junction, the GCTC, Roseneath Theatre (Dora Nomination – Ensemble for Wrecked), Eldritch Theatre and the Stratford Festival. Kimwun is also a communications coach, working with Practica Learning and SoulPepper. She holds a Joint honours Co-op BA from the University of Waterloo and is a graduate of George Brown College.
When students step into imagining the point of view of a character, extrapolating and exploring what this other person might be feeling or how they’re looking at a situation, there are great surprises and sometimes very moving discoveries.
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Sabryn is an actor, singer, arts educator and budding director originally from Regina, Saskatchewan. She has numerous acting credits in both theatre, animation, film & tv and has narrated several audiobooks. Sabryn directed the site specific production of Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman at The Summerworks Festival that took place on a city bus, has directed youth in One Song Glory as well as the Banks Prize Cabret for Musical Stage Company, and abridged versions of The Tempest & As you Like It for Shakespeare in Action. She also has assisted on several productions including Intimate Apparel (Obsidian), The Wizard of Oz (YPT) and most recently Next to Normal (MSC/Mirvish). As Studio 180’s 2019/20 RBC Emerging Director, Sabryn was Assistant Director for Sweat and directed 180 READS events Eureka Day and Contractions – the inaugural Studio 180 AT HOME digital presentation. She is also an avid educator having taught for numerous theatre companies including Studio 180, as well as both Randolph College of the Performing Arts and Sheridan College. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, the Birmingham Conservatory at Stratford and the Canadian Film Centre’s Actors’ Conservatory.
High school students have a lot more depth, intelligence, tenacity and talent than I think they’re given credit for. Their empathy, observations and values seem to be leading in a more positive and proactive direction for change for a better world and future.
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Marcel is an actor, writer, arts educator, and organizer with Jamaican heritage, born in the UK and raised in Canada. He often returns to the questions: Who am I? How am I? How did I get here? Who have I lost? What is my purpose? Marcel was a member of the Soulpepper Academy, and has completed the Theatre Enhancement Program (Directing Foreman) through Factory Theatre, and was a member of b current’s Playwrights Incubator. As an actor, for Studio 180: King Charles III. Other theatre credits include: The Brothers Size, Father Comes Home From the Wars and Incident at Vichy (Soulpepper); The Drawer Boy (Festival Payers); Wilberforce Hotel (Blyth Festival); We Are Proud to Present (Theatre Centre); Up the Garden Path (Obsidian); Toronto the Good (Factory Theatre). Marcel is a 3-time Dora nominated actor and has performed in numerous Dora Award-Winning productions. Marcel works for Suitcase in Point as their Outreach Director.
Drama-based education can immediately help create an environment for focused inquiry and cross-curricular learning opportunities. Also, the skills learned can support a variety of learning styles and can keep students actively involved in the learning process.
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Robin Andrews Morton
Drama Teacher, Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute
Donna Marie Baratta
Drama Teacher, Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts
Drama & English Teacher, Crescent School
Assistant Curriculum Leader, English, Media & Drama, Martingrove Collegiate Institute
Drama Specialist, Integrated Arts, French and Credit Recovery Teachers, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School
Head of Arts and Head of Grade 10, Crescent School
Assistant Curriculum Leader of Performing Arts, Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts
English & Drama Teacher, Harold Brathwaite Secondary School
Drama, History and Guitar Teacher, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School
Teaching Candidate, York University & Freelance Artist
Drama Teacher, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Academy