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Graduation 2020

Congratulations to our 2020 Graduating class in Acting, Dance, and Production!


From School of Performance Faculty, Staff and Instructors

Dear School of Performance Grads  2020

Congratulations on your graduation. We are in seismic times. You can make our communities properly inclusive through daily actions both large and small. I know you will make a better world.

I wish you all the best

Sholem Dolgoy, Associate Professor Emeritus

Follow your curiosity instead of your ambition! Wishing you joy!

Cynthia Ashperger, Professor, Acting 

Congratulations to each and every one of you for your hard work, commitment and passion these past four years. May this next chapter of your lives continue to be an exciting and adventurous journey!

Tanya Evidente, Associate Professor, Dance

Dear Graduates,

I like to congratulate you in this step of your journey. In the distance, I would like you to feel embraced by the School of Performance family.

I am very proud of you all.

I wish you all bright futures full of creativity and joy.

Sunny Fernandez, Academic Coordinator

Kudos to our dearest graduating class! Best of luck with your future endeavours! You shall prevail!

Pavlo Bosyy, Associate Professor, Production

Congratulations class of 2020! The world needs magic and creativity more than ever. So be bold, be brave, do what inspires you, and go change the world!

Louis Laberge-Côté, Assistant Professor, Dance

I have no particularly original wisdom, but will share 2 quotes (and I actually really dislike inspirational quotes!) that have served me well and that seems to prove true over and over again through my life.

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne 

"If you can't laugh at yourself, you might be missing the joke of the century." Dame Edna

Congratulations to you all! 

Samantha Booker, Instructor, Anatomy of Movement

Congratulations to all of you! I have been lucky enough to have had some of you in my class this last semester. I want to extend my deepest thanks for your insights, compassion and ingenuity during this most tumultuous time. I am convinced that all of you will go on to make significant and much-needed contributions to our world as artists, creative thinkers and educators. All the best to you, 

Christine Balt, Instructor, Human Development in the Arts

Dear Class of 2020:

Remember you can't grow without failure. I encourage you to do what's uncomfortable, make yourself vulnerable. You don't have to be fearless.... you just have to keep going! Know this: you will make huge mistakes and some of them will turn out to be the best thing that could happen. Congratulations and virtual hugs 

Marianne McIsaac, Instructor, Acting

Congratulations students!

The future is in your hands, trust yourself and don’t give up. You now have the tools to shape your own destiny and change your reality relying on your determination and perseverance.

Lourdes Hernandez, Instructor, Ballet

Dear Class of 2020:

We have taken this Ryerson journey together. Four years ago we were all entering a classroom at the same time not knowing fully what to expect. I have watched you all grow and develop into the intelligent, compassionate, and talented professionals that you are now. And I have learned so much from each of you. I want to thank you for taking the journey with me. 

And now we are in a situation that is affecting all of us, our industry, the world. We will continue on and adapt, and find our new place in it. It is a time of opportunity for new directions and growth. And you are the generation that will lead that growth. 

Congratulations! I look forward to seeing what wonderful things you create!

Michael F Bergmann, Assistant Professor, Production

My most heartfelt congratulations to all you, cherished class of 2020! I have marvelled at your passion, talent, resilience and capacity for continuous growth over these past 4 years.Chase your dreams courageously, seek knowledge with wonder, triumph with humility and share your heart in abundance. The world needs your imagination – ovations to the next generation of creatives and changemakers!

Vicki St.Denys, Associate Professor, Dance

Congratulations and best wishes, SoP class of 2020. May you soon tread the boards again and for many years to come!

Dr. Ira, Levine, Professor, Theatre and Performance Studies

It has been my privilege to teach health and safety to some of the talented 2020 Production + Design graduates. With your hard work, clever ideas, resilience and optimism, you will be the ones to fuel the reopening of the arts, entertainment and live events. Be healthy, be safe and I look forward to crossing paths with you in the future. Congratulations one and all on your accomplishments!

Janet Sellery, Instructor, Theatre Health & Safety

Congratulations Everyone!! You are resilient, smart, and talented, and it has been a pleasure to work with you!!

Kelly Arnsby, Instructor, Movement and Dance for Actors

To the dancin' fourth year actors, you are each so joyfully radiant in your own unique glow! Wishing you love and luck on your quest to find what lights you up and makes you feel at home (I don't think there's a right way to do it, so just have fun in the puzzle!) 

Alyssa Martin, Instructor, Dance for Actors

Dear Graduates,

As each of you move forward and find your own place in our industry, you have the power to do so much with the art that you take part in creating: you will tell stories, entertain, move your audiences to laugh and cry; you will provoke thought and discussion, you'll inspire change; you will utilize new technology in innovative ways; you will push boundaries, have an impact, and maybe even change somebody's life. How exciting! Through it all, try to remember the most important thing: be kind to yourself. Your hard working self deserves it!

Congratulations, all the best for the future, and stay in touch!

Raha Javanfar, Instructor, Lighting Design

Take a moment:
Allow breath to penetrate on a cellular level.

Release knees.
Release neck.
Release jaw.
Practice roll-downs.

Live the madness, and embrace all of who you are with kindness.
Love the joy, and the pain, and allow voice, and body become one.

Step in.
Risk truth.
Let your body speak.
Always take your body with you.
And, you will be home.

I love each of you. It was an honour to witness your transformations. Congratulations!
Love, and breath, and hope,

Peggy Jane Hope, Instructor, Voice and Speech

To the Class of 2020

This is your moment.

As you move from acting student to graduate, one chapter in your artistic and creative life ends and the next set of challenges and opportunities lies ahead. May you continue to learn and grow so as to help you make your mark in the world. Cherish the powerful memories, experiences, and knowledge you've collected over the past four years. Celebrate and move forward with confidence, humility and joy. As artists, each of you is uniquely positioned to energize and activate your community and the world. The time for real change is now. Even in the midst of all the present pain, eyes are being opened consciences are being stirred, actions are being taken. Use your talents to help the rest of us BE better and DO better.

It was a privilege to work with each of you. It will be my pleasure to watch you take your place.

My best wishes to all of you,

Diana Reis, Instructor, Acting

Dear graduating class of 2020 congratulations! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed working with you on your amazing writing projects last year and seeing them flourish at this year’s cabaret. Here’s wishing you all the best As you embark on your creative journey. These are challenging times and we need you with your talent, energy and intelligence to progress to a better future for all. Xo

Ruth Madoc-Jones, Instructor, Creative Performance Studies

Kate Hilliard, Instructor, Contemporary Dance and Creative Performance Studies

Clara McBride, Instructor, Creative Performance Studies

From School of Performance Alumni

Congratulations and welcome graduates! You’re done and now you’re just beginning. You’ve been taught but now you learn. Breath and hold on tight.  

Josh Doig, Dance 2015

Instagram: @doigjosh

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. - Milton Berle 

Heather Gardiner, Technical Theatre 2004 

Twitter: @hmeegs

Congratulations class of 2020! As an alumna of Ryerson Theatre School's Performance Production Program (RTS) in 2011, I know you only have extraordinary futures ahead of you. In a chaotic time where we find our industry reimagining itself into incredible new possibilities, continue to work hard, play hard, dream big and if you're ever feeling like the going gets tough remember - you can Run This Sh*t. 

Jaclyn Rodrigues, Production 2011

Community Engagement Manager, Toronto Arts Foundation, external link

Instagram: @jequellinalexandra, external link, opens in new window

Congratulations to the Ryerson School of Performance Class of 2020! The world is waiting, and when intermission is over, you’ll shine twice as bright.

Matthew Sirna, Production 2017, external link

Instagram: @thattechniciansirna

Hello Class of 2020!

This is a super scary time in the world, and I can only imagine how strange it must feel to be graduating in the midst of it.

I wish you a big hearty Mazel Tov -- may you all be happy, healthy, and working for years to come!

Hayden Finkelshtain, Acting 2016

Instagram: @haydenfinkelshtain

Congratulations! As you go off into the world bear in mind, every failure is a lesson learned on the path to success and often those failures teach us more than any of our successes.

Caitlyn Clarke, Production 2015


To the class of 2020- You've gone through greater challenges during your time at RSP than most of us have, and you've finally made it! Congratulations, and I can't wait to work alongside you in theatres soon!

Eva Kuo, Production 2011

After working so hard for four years it might feel like a relief to think that the ‘learning’ portion of your life is over. It’s not! You are craftsmen, which means that the process of learning and improving never stops. A continued practice of professional development helped me to secure employment that I would have otherwise not enjoyed. Embrace this reality and get back to class!

Kiri-Lyn Muir, Dance, 1989

Congratulations RSP class of 2020! As you graduate during these unprecedented times, never forget that you are already equipped with the tools and resilience to achieve your dreams in this industry. Don’t be afraid to take risks and continue exploring as an artist. Best of luck! 

Allie Renzetti, Production, 2013

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020. You have just completed one of the most challenging periods of your life at one of the most respected institutions for theatre training in Canada. You now join the ranks of an impressive group of alumni whose network runs far and wide. While this might not be the graduation day you envisioned, this is just one step in what I am sure will be a fruitful and rewarding career. What we have learned during this time of social justice reform and a global health crisis, is the world will always need artists and creators to entertain, inspire and motivate. I wish nothing but the best for you, and hopefully, our paths cross sooner than later. 


Jesse Griffiths, Acting, 2007