Faculty & Staff
- Program Directors
- Production and Operations Manager
- Resident Technical Director
- Workshop Supervisor
- Wardrobe Staff Supervisor
[Click name for biographical sketch - where available]
The Ryerson Theatre School also engages many professional theatre artists and technicians as part-time faculty.
Dr. Peggy Shannon has served as Chair of the Ryerson Theatre School since January 2011. She was the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to study gender and war. This study, The Women & War Project, involves partner universities and arts centres in Afghanistan, Canada, Croatia, England, Greece, Israel, Japan, Poland, Scotland, and the U.S.A. There are now 44 researchers from over ten countries participating on varying levels within the project. The Women & War Project builds knowledge through a distinctly multidisciplinary and international research team and offers a unique approach to trauma and gender research. Humanities and social science researchers work alongside practicing artists as well as media (film and television) producers, military mental health researchers, and civilian neurologists treating brain trauma to interrogate and address the artistic, scientific, and therapeutic aspects of gendered trauma and its release through a theatrical ‘performance’ of pain.
Dr. Shannon has served on grant and abstract selection committees for the California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, the US Government’s Fund for Improving Postsecondary Education, and the Canadian Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, and the National Playwrights Foundation. She is an Associate Editor of the new Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health. Dr. Shannon has served as an external reviewer and member of the Visiting Committee for the University of Delaware to evaluate its Professional Theatre Training Program and will serve as an External Reviewer for the University of Athens in 2015.
Dr. Shannon has been a professor and administrator at several American universities including the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Davis where she was a professor of theatre and held the appointment of Associate Vice Provost for University Outreach and International Programs. She was instrumental in the creation of an Agreement of Cooperation between the University of Athens and UC Davis.
She has served on many boards, some of which include the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, the UC Davis School of Education Advisory Council and the International House Board of Directors.
Awards include her selection as a Fulbright Senior Specialist; an Arts Leadership Award from the Arts & Business Council; Outstanding Artist and Arts Education Leader from the California Educators for Theatre Alliance (CETA); and recognication for her contribution to outstanding education and theatre in Greece by the Greek Ministers of Culture and Education, several Greek Mayors, the United States Ambassador to Greece, Daniel Speckhard and the University of Athens.
Dr. Shannon has directed plays and musicals at numerous professional theatres across the United States including Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles Theatre Center, L.A. Theatre Works, Mixed Blood Theatre, the New Jersey, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, California, Orlando and Oregon Shakespearean Festivals, the Portland Repertory Theatre, Long Beach Civic Light Opera, the International City Theatre and the Sacramento Theatre Company. Internationally, she has worked at the Old Vic National Youth Theatre in London and at Hydrama Theatre in Greece. In Canada she has directed major concerts at Koerner Hall.
She has served as the Artistic Director of two major American theatres: A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle) and the Sacramento Theatre Company (Northern California.) She also served as the Associate Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works.
She holds a PhD in drama and theatre from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MFA in theatre from the University of Washington, Seattle. Her BA is from the University of California, Riverside.
Cynthia Ashperger, Ph.D.
Director, Acting Program
Dr. Cynthia Ashperger was born in Zagreb, Croatia (former Yugoslavia) where she had extensive experience in theatre, film and television industry as an actor. She holds a PhD from University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for Studies in Drama. She has taught acting at Ryerson Theatre School since 1994 where she is also the Director of Acting Program. At Ryerson she has directed some twenty productions of the world classics, most recently Martin Chuzzlewit, The Chaste Maid of Cheapside, The Country Wife, All for Love, The Three Sisters and The Girl from Maxim’s.
In Toronto has worked with as a director, writer, actor and producer for the last twenty five years. Most recently for her own play inc. company she directed, acted and produced the critically acclaimed production of A Summer’s Day by Jon Fosse and has written and produced the workshop of Foreign Accent Syndrome Play written by herself under nome de plume of Lola Xenos. For Phantasmagoria Collective she has directed Tender Napalm by Philip Ridley at Toronto’s Summerworks 2013 to great critical acclaim.
Recent favourite theatre productions as a actor include Obeah Opera (Nightwood Theatre), Berlin Blues by Native Canadian author Drew Hayden-Taylor (4th Line Theatre), Elektra in Bosnia by Judith Thompson and Ajax in Afganistan by Timberlake Wertenbaker (Women in War Trilogy directed by Peggy Shannon), Who Killed Snow White by Judith Thompson (Nightwood Theatre) Hedda Gabler (Volcano Theatre). For her critically acclaimed performance in Feral Child by Jordan Tannahill (Suburban Beast Company) she was nominated for the 2013 Dora Award (Outstanding Performance Female). She has an extensive list of film and TV credits as well.
She is a published author. 2008 she published a book on Chekhov’s Acting Technique titled The Rhythm of Space and the Sound of Time. Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique in the 21st century (Editions Rodopi of Amsterdam; New York). Her contribution in Stanislavski and Directing: Theory, Practice and Influence was published in 2009. Recent publication: “The Daughter of the Air”, an article in Trans-gendered Imaginary of Nina Arsenault (ed. Judith Rudakoff, Intellect Press). Upcoming article publications: Michael Chekhov’s Five Guiding Principles and Theatre Practice Today. The Case of “Tender Napalm” by Phillip Ridley for the new Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov and for Theatre Research Canada “Foreign Accent Syndrome – An Auto-Ethnography”.
Dr. Ashperger’s recent work has been focused on how speaking English as an accent affects an immigrant’s identity, something she is intimately familiar with being an immigrant herself. She is also a well known expert in Chekhov acting technique and is researching methods in overcoming creative blocks as well as developing new methods within the rehearsal process. Nationally and internationally she has presented and taught workshops on in Groznjan and Zagreb (Croatia), Amsterdam (Holland), Helsinki (Finland), Seoul (Korea), Munich (Germany), Osaka (Japan) and Barcelona (Spain) and Ottawa and Victoria (Canada). She is a regular teacher at Toronto’s Volcano Theatre’s Summer Intensive as well as University of Zagreb’s Summer Intensive in Croatia as well as RTS Summer Program in Greece.
Assistant Professor of Theatre Production at Ryerson Theatre School, Ryerson University, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Pavlo Bosyy has taught Theatre Arts, History, and Humanities for more than 25 years at the college and university level. Pavlo also worked as Principal Resident Designer (Scenographer) at Kirovohrad State Puppet Theatre and Kropyvnytsky State Theatre, both in Kirovohrad (Ukraine). He designed, directed or performed in more than 100 projects at regional and academic theatres in Ukraine and the USA and at the Off-Broadway companies. Pavlo’s works participated in the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Young Designers’ Forum, Ming’s Clambake, in the World Design Forum, Prague Quadrennial and in numerous international conferences in the United States and Western Europe.
Professional credits include Volyn State Puppet Theatre, Odessa Theatre for the Young Audiences, Poltava State Puppet Theatre (all in Ukraine), Le Ballet du Siècle de Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan), New York Fringe Festival, Equity Showcases at Take Wing and Soar company, Yangtze Repertory Company (NYC), Michigan’s Meadowbrook Theatre, Plowshares Theatre Company and Jewish Ensemble Theatre, and Texas Shakespeare Festival. Pavlo’s work is available at his web site.
Karen Duplisea, Associate Professor in the Dance Program, teaches Modern Technique and Improvisation/Composition classes. Formerly a principal dancer with the Toronto Dance Theatre, and later an independent dancer and choreographer, she has spent much of the past 30 years training dancers. As a Master Teacher, Ms. Duplisea has taught across Canada, including the Karen Jamieson Dance Company in Vancouver, Dancers Studio West in Calgary, York University, the Dance Training Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Professional Training Program, School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. Her research interest is in liminality and the arts, with a secondary focus on the methods of the old masters in art and how these methods impact the act of observation and translation in dance as well as in other art forms.
She holds an M.A. and B.F.A. in Dance from York University.
She is one of Canada’s leaders in the field of jazz dance - her research, choreography and teaching are centred on the evolution of jazz dance, its roots and influences, and its relationship to jazz music.
Vicki has toured internationally as a performer, teacher and choreographer. She has been fortunate enough to choreograph for television, film, video, theatre and opera, including The Cunning Little Vixen, Carmen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dido and Aeneas for the Opera as Theatre program at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Other credits include: original works Pulse and Interstice at Fleck Theatre in Toronto; Suite Second Thoughts performed in Austria at the International Ballet Festival; Indigo Moods for Ballet Kelowna’s 2009/2010 season; a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, AB, which garnered a Sterling award nomination for choreography. Recently, she choreographed and served as the dance consultant for the creation of a dance app for the iPad. From 2000-2007 she taught jazz and choreographed for the prestigious dance program at The Banff Centre for the Arts, followed by 2 years as choreographer for the Opera as Theatre Program.
In addition, Vicki often presents her research and participates in panel discussions at conferences and for various arts organizations. She has served as an assessor for the Canada Council for the Arts, Dance Division and The World Dance Alliance. Vicki also holds a M.A. in Dance.
Co-Director, Production Program
Sholem Dolgoy has been working in Canadian and International arts and entertainment for over 35 years. While primarily a lighting designer in theatre, dance, opera, corporate, exhibit and display, he has experience in many areas of production. He has had staff or guest positions at diverse organizations including the National Ballet of Canada, Danish National Ballet, the Shaw Festival, Toronto Free Theatre, Vancouver Opera, the Royal Ontario Museum, the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, and Toyota Canada. For the Associated Designers of Canada, which represents theatrical designers, he helped create the Standards and Working Practices for design communication. The document is also used as part of curriculum at many teaching institutions across the country. He has been teaching lighting design and production at Ryerson since 1980. He recently completed MA research at York University, Forging a Professional Community: the Evolution of the Institutions of English Canadian Theatre – 1955 to 1979 . He is a graduate of the National Theatre School.
Tanya Evidente began her dance training at the age seven at Toronto Dance Theatre and continued her formal ballet training at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto and Prodanza in Havana, Cuba.
Upon her graduation, Ms. Evidente began her professional career in Havana, with La Joven Guardia directed by Laura Alonso and Ballet Nacional de Cuba under the artistic directorship of prima ballerina Alicia Alonso. She continued her career with Ballet Ciutat de Barcelona in Spain for several years and returned to Canada to dance with Ballet Jörgen. In 1998 Ms. Evidente joined the National Ballet of Canada under the artistic directorship of James Kudelka followed by Karen Kain where she spent a decade performing throughout Canada and the U.S.
Ms. Evidente has worked closely with world renowned choreographers and répétiteurs such as James Kudelka, Karen Kain, Suzanne Farrell, Joysanne Sidimus, Nicolai Hübbe, Alicia Alonso, Glen Tetley, Jean Pierre Perrault, Stanton Welch, Arnold Spohr, Bengt Jörgen, Reid Anderson and Elliot Feld, among others.
She has performed in major classical and neoclassical ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere,The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, Cinderella, Don Quixote, The Contract, An Italian Straw Hat, The Four Seasons,Song of the Earth, Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Serenade, Agon, Symphony in C and Jewels.
In 2006 the National Ballet of Canada awarded her the William Marrié Award for Dramatic Excellence for her role as Le Petit Gendarme in An Italian Straw Hat.
Ms. Evidente holds an M.A. in dance from York University. She has taught master ballet classes for the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Jörgen, Danceteq, Dance Nova Scotia, Halifax Dance, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, York University and George Brown College.
Production and Operations Manager
A graduate of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program, Peter has been active in all areas of the entertainment business. After beginning his career in summer stock theatre, in Morrisburg, Cobourg and Meaford, and prior to joining the Theatre School in 1992, he was Technical Director of the Ryerson Theatre, an active roadhouse on campus. In this capacity Peter worked with many local and international opera, dance, theatre and concert companies. Selected credits include Les Ballets Jazz, Sankai Juku, Kodo Drummers, Pilobolus, the Cullberg Ballet, the CJRT Orchestra and Famous People Players. In addition to working at the Theatre School, Peter stage manages for the Toronto International Film Festival and Roy Thomson Hall, conducts workshops for Stage Managing the Arts (S.M.Arts), and is the director of Production Managing the Arts (P.M.Arts).
Dr. Ira Levine has been a professor and academic administrator at Ryerson for the past 27 years, during which he has developed numerous undergraduate and graduate programs for the University. While continuing to teach performance history for the Theatre School, he is currently seconded as Chair of the School of Creative Industries, Ryerson’s newest School, which he created and launched in September, 2013.
Dr. Levine was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Communication & Design, Ryerson University in July 1995 and was re-appointed for a second five-year term in 2000. In this capacity he was responsible for professional programs enrolling 4,000 students in Theatre (Acting/Production), Dance, Image Arts (Film/Photography/New Media), Radio and Television Arts, Journalism, Fashion, Interior Design, Graphic Communications Management and Professional Communication.
In 2001 he secured a $10 million gift to establish the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Graduate School for Advanced Communication for which he led the development of six new graduate programs, including a Ph. D. program in Communication and Culture and a unique international Master's program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management in partnership with the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, N.Y. In 2004 he acquired through anonymous donation the 300,000-print Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection plus a $7 million cash endowment. This renowned collection is the largest gift of cultural property ever made to a Canadian university.
Dr. Levine came to Ryerson as Chair of the University's Theatre School with a background in theatre directing and arts administration that encompassed the management of both theatre and dance companies. He has served on the boards of the Toronto Arts Council, the Desrosiers Dance Theatre and the Ontario Cultural Sector Human Resources Council. He is a past Chair of the Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans, a member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, and a founding executive board member of the Canadian Media Research Consortium.
Dr. Levine has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in European Intellectual History from the University of Rochester and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Dramatic Theory and Criticism from the University of Toronto. His publications include Left-Wing Dramatic Theory in the American Theatre and, most recently, "The Critic as Cultural Nationalist," in The Scalpel and the Sword: Canadian Theatre Criticism in English, published by the University of Toronto Press.
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Caroline O’Brien began her career in Canadian Theatre more than twenty years ago at Theatre New Brunswick. Since that time she has been designing costumes, primarily in classical and contemporary dance. From 1989 until 2007 she held the position of resident designer and wardrobe supervisor for Canada’s National Ballet School, while maintaining a busy freelance career. She has worked with such notable companies as The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet Covent Garden, The Boston Ballet, Ballet British Company and Mannheim Ballet. She has enjoyed almost twenty years of collaboration with Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and is an award winning sculptor. She has taught costume design and construction at both Dalhousie University and Ryerson University since 2000. She is currently fulfilling the requirements for her MA research, an exploration of the fairy tales in classical ballet entitled "Between the Seams: The Making of a Princess". Upcoming is a world premiere with The National Ballet of Canada at The Four Season’s Centre in Toronto, March 2009.
Irene Pauzer, Associate Professor is currently Head of Voice and Speech training all four years of the Acting Programme as well as the student dancers in the Dance Programme at the Ryerson Theatre Department since 2001. A Linklater based teacher with other pedagogical influences that include Richard Armstrong’s Roy Hart work of the extended voice and The Skinner Release Technique. Her past teaching and coaching has included six seasons as a member of the Stratford Shakespearean Coaching Team in voice, movement and text, West Virginia University, York University, The Stratford Shakespearean Festival's Birmingham Conservatory of Classical Training, The Voice Intensive, Guest Artist for Equity Showcase, and Moonhorse Dance Theatre.
Irene brings over twenty-five years of performing experience and touring internationally to her teaching both in theatre and dance; theatre credits include Citadel Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick, Banff Festival of the Arts, and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival; camera credits include Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Twilight Zone, Street Legal, Salt of the Earth, Bridge to Silence, Mrs. Winterbourne, Martha, Ruth and Edie, Gate II. Irene trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School spending three seasons as a company member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens touring Canada and the USA extensively.
She holds an MFA in Theatre Performance, a diploma in Voice and is the recipient of grants from Actra Fraternal, Banff Festival of the Arts, and the British Arts Council with her field of research is the integration of voice/body/impulse connection.
Voice classes are focused on directing the diverse energies of the individual in the studio to a place of focus in which the student can begin to explore the freedom of breath, an embodied voice and its connection to impulse, sound and articulation. Over the course of four years other elements are added to this grounding in conjunction with the other studio courses in the student actor’s development.
The summer of 2012, Irene will be a member of the Women in War Company which will be performing in Greece 2012 as an actor and vocal coach as well as participating in the Women in War conference as a presenter and workshop leader.
Sheldon Rosen has been teaching and writing for the stage since 1972. He has had 17 plays produced throughout the United States and Canada. His play NED AND JACK was produced at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, in 1979 and 1980 and won the 1980 Canadian Author's Association Award for Drama and was directed on Broadway in 1981 by Colleen Dewhurst. The play was also nominated for an Association of Canadian Television and Radio Award and was published by Samuel French in 1983. Mr. Rosen has been playwright- in-residence at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario (twice), the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the Lake, Toronto Free Theatre in Toronto and at San Jose State University. He has also received three Canada Council Arts Awards and several Ontario Arts Grants. He was Chairman of the Guild of Canadian Playwrights for 1979-80. Mr. Rosen was selected to be a member of the New Dramatists in New York 1984. In 1990 he received the first annual Joe A. Callaway Award for playwriting at New Dramatists.
Mr. Rosen has worked in a wide range of forms and media, including radio, television and film, improvisational comedy, mime, dance, symphony, opera, multi-media fashion shows and two years of producing and directing television and radio commercials. He was also the creator and director of the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada for eight years. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Access Foundation from 1997-99. He is currently writing and teaching in Toronto and is Associate Chair and an Associate Professor of Creative Performance Studies at the Ryerson University Theatre School where he won the McConnell Curricular Innovation Award in his first year of full-time teaching. His play St. Dominatrix and the One Who Will Come was presented as staged reading at World Stage in Toronto in 2002. His play: 11places@once was presented in May in Vancouver as part of the Playwrights’ Theatre Centre’s Festival of New Work.
He and Jonathan Aitken recently completed a 3 year SSHRC Research/ Creation Grant in Fine Arts to create a: 'Typographical Play: The Application of Kinetic Typography to Live Performance". He has since rewritten the proposal into a full-length theatre piece titled Hansel and Gretel. During this period he helped create a new LOI proposal for a multi-disciplinary MFA in Dramatic Writing. In August of 2011 was invited to participate in the Tapestry Opera Workshop where he completed three short opera pieces for presentation in April. He is currently in the early stages of creating an interactive digital textbook about the Creative Process which, hopefully, will be up and running mid-October, 2014.. He is also working on a new play tentatively called Next of Kin. And every year he produces New Voices: a festival of new theatre and dance created by the graduating actors and dancers.
Theatre educator, director, and translator, who has taught many of Canada's notable performers and playwrights. Perry Schneiderman was born in Montreal Quebec on August 5, 1947, and spent the first 12 years of his life in Trois Rivieres. He studied psychology at McGill, and theatre at the University of Washington and L'Ecole Jacques Lecoq.
He taught mask and directed at the National Theatre School of Canada from 1976 to 2000, and was Artistic Director of the English Section of NTS from 1990-2000. During his time at NTS he initiated the first playwriting and directing programs offered by the school. His students included Eda Holmes , Adam Pettle, and Claudia Dey . Among the many notable NTS acting alumni that he was instrumental in selecting and training are: Sandra Oh, Brooke Johnson, Allan Hawco, Kristen Thomson, Michael Riley, Rick Roberts, Ted Dykstra, Jordan Pettle, Ann-Marie MacDonald, and Hannah Moscovitch . He directed the first NTS production in the newly renovated Monument National theatre in 1992: Moliere's The Miser adapted by Tom Cone . In 2002 he directed Nathalie Choquette in her one woman show La Diva that she performed with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
His master classes in mask have been conducted in Shanghai, Cape Town, Moscow, Zagreb and Oxford. Closer to home he has taught and coached for HB Studio (NYC), Cirque du Soleil (Montreal and Las Vegas), the Stratford Festival and the Soulpepper Theatre Company.
At the invitation of Richard Monette and Michael Mawson and subsequently David Latham, Perry taught commedia at the Stratford Festival Conservatory for the first ten years of its existence. During that time he also conducted several mask workshops for the company and coached for Lorraine Pintal 's production of Don Juan.
In collaboration with Louis-Georges Girard, he has translated several English Canadian plays (East of Berlin, Hockey Mom Hockey Dad and Old Love) for eventual production in Quebec. Their translation of Old Love is slated for production at Theatre Jean Duceppe, Quebec?s largest commercial theatre in December of 2011.
His directing credits include many professional and conservatory productions including those at the Piggery Theatre (North Hatley) where he was Artistic Director from 1981-86 and 1990-95, as well as the Centaur Theatre and Saidye Bronfman Centre.
He returned to Montreal in 2007 to direct renowned Quebec actor Benoit Briere and an all-star cast in his and Briere's translation of Lend Me a Tenor that played to critical acclaim for 54 sold out performances at the 650 seat Theatre du Vieux Terrebonne, and was subsequently remounted for a 34 performance tour of the province in the Fall of 2008, including Schneiderman's home town of Trois Rivieres. In November 2010 he adapted and directed a version of Les Fridolinades by Gratien Gelinas for the Theatre Francais de Toronto. In March of 2011 the play was remounted in Ottawa for the Theatre La Catapulte and a subsequent tour of Francopnone communities throughout Ontario.
He was Chair of Ryerson Theatre School from 2000-2010.
Resident Technical Director
Scott is a graduate of Ryerson’s Technical Production Program. He has worked as a Production Manager or Technical Director for various theatres and events including, Showplace Performance Centre Peterborough, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Peterborough Summer Festival of Lights and The Georgian Theatre Festival.
Will has been involved in theatre since junior high, working on hundreds of productions over the years. As the head carpenter, he has worked with a number of different Toronto theatre companies, including stints at the Tarragon, Soulpepper, Theatre Passe Muraille and the World Stage. Will developed his construction experience as an independent and union permit working in theatre, film and television production as a scenic carpenter, welder and set designer. He has been the “Styrofoam Target Maker of the NHL” since the Super Skills competition debuted in 1990.
Wardrobe Staff Supervisor
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