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MENTORSHIP

Find a list of mentors to work with one-on-one

MENTORS

Eclipse Theatre Company is committed to providing online arts education in the form of group classes and one on one coaching and mentorship, in the spirit of preserving and enriching the tradition of theatre we have aligned ourselves with some of North America’s finest professional artists in an effort to connect them to future generations. Private coaching sessions will be available at one hour and half hour rates, fees to be determined by teaching artist.

TESS BENGER

Tess Benger was nominated for a DORA Award for her portrayal of Dot in ETC's Sunday in The Park With George. Other credits: Sally Bowles in Cabaret (Grand Theatre), Miss Bennets Christmas at Pemberley (MTC), Pal Joey (TIFT), The Penelopiad (Grand Theatre), The Last Five Years (YRG Productions), Girls Like That (Tarragon), Mamma Mia! (Citadel)  Grease (Elgin/Winter Garden), Chasse Galarie (Soulpepper/ Storefront) Sunday in the Park with George (TIFT), Philadelphia Story, Cabaret, Top Girls, Sweeney Todd, The Next Whiskey Bar (Shaw Festival),Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables (Charlottetown). Film/TV: Top ten contestant on CBC's Triple Sensation season two. Upcoming: The Curious Voyage (TIFT).

Tess is a proud graduate of Sheridan College's Music Theatre Performance Program.

FIONA BYRNE

Fiona has been an actor for twenty five years. She has performed on stages across the country including the Stratford Festival, Soulpepper, Crow’s Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage, the NAC, Royal MTC, Theatre Aquarius, and the Shaw Festival, where she has been a member of the acting ensemble for the past 18 seasons. She won a Dora Award for Doll’s House (DVxT/Canadian Stage). Selected tv credits include Anne with an E (recurring), Good Witch, and Oliver Bump’s Birthday (CFC). Fiona is an instructor at the National Theatre School, and is a coach and mentor, both privately and at the Shaw Festival. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School.

JENN COLELLA

Jenn Colella recently starred in the Tony Award-winning smash hit musical Come From Away as 'Beverley/Annette and others,' in a performance that garnered her 2017 Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards and a 2017 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as Craig Noel, Helen Hayes and Dora Awards for pre-Broadway productions of Come From Away. She has been previously seen on Broadway in If/Then, Chaplin, High Fidelity and Urban Cowboy (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Off-Broadway in Beebo Brinker Chronicles, Lucky Guy, Slut and Closer Than Ever. Jenn's select regional credits include Come From Away (La Jolla Playhouse, Ford's Theatre, Toronto), Peter Pan (Sacramento Music Circus & PCLO) and Side Show (Kennedy Center). TV credits include "Feed the Beast," "Elementary," "All My Children," "Rescue Me," "The Good Wife," “The Code,”  “Madam Secretary,” and “Evil.”  She has been seen on film in Uncertainty with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Jenn Colella is an MFA Acting graduate of UC Irvine.

BEAU DIXON

Beau won the Toronto Theatre Critics' award for Best Ensemble for Ghost Quartet (Eclipse Theatre Company, Crow's Theatre). Beau has taken on the lead role in many of his performances and  lead a critically acclaimed one man show entitled, Beneath Springhill. As a DORA award recipient, Beau combines his powerful acting with great musicality creating an energy in his performance that is hard to match. Beau is a multi-award winning playwright, actor, composer and sound designer. As a playwright, Beau wrote From Here To Africville, Once A Flame and the critically acclaimed, DORA winning musical, Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story. Despite this success he stays driven and is currently working on Airbonrne, a musical play about Bessie Coleman (1892 - 1926) , the first African American aviator and female to receive her Int'l pilot’s license from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in 1921.

GABI EPSTEIN

Gabi has made a name for herself as one of the country's top vocalists and owes it all to her singing training and technique. A DORA Award Winner Gabi is best known for playing Audrey in Little Shop… (Stratford) and Fanny Brice Funny Girl (Segal). A member of the award-winning Mirvish Production of Once (Best Ensemble/Best Production), Gabi has worked all over Canada in shows with Stratford, Drayton, HGJT, Stage West, TIFT, the Capitol among others. Her "Gabarets" have been performed all over North America (“Best Cabaret of the Year" by the Times Square Chronicles in NYC) and her CD "Show Off" is available on Spotify/iTunes.

Gabi has been teaching private singing lessons for 15+ years using her classical training and musical theatre experience to foster healthy vocal technique in your own repertoire. She teaches all styles specializing in musical theatre/belt techniques. @gabifayepstein

DENISE FERGUSSON

Veteran Canadian Actress. RECENT: A Simple Gift, The York Theatre, NYC SEASONS; Leading Roles with Actors Theatre of Louisville—founding Company member, (4 seasons); Shaw Festival—initial Season; Arena Stage (DC); Long Wharf Theatre,New Haven (2 seasons); Stratford Festival of Canada (7 seasons); Charlottetown Festival (10 seasons), Canadian Stage, Toronto (2), Trinity Square Rep, (Rhode Island); Bristol Old Vic (UK); National Arts Centre (3-1/2 seasons). Neptune Theatre, Halifax (4 seasons). ALSO: Centre Stage, International Festival in Parma, Italy, Vancouver Playhouse, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre New Brunswick, and other theatres across Canada, USA, UK NATIONAL TOURS: Gertrude in Hamlet (Canada), Marilla in Anne of Green Gables. (Japan); 1st Voice in Murder in the Cathedral, (Italy) DIRECTING credits include: South Pacific, Guys and Dolls (2x) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Hay Fever, The Glass Menagerie, Sisters, Camino Real, Twelfth Night, Les Belle Souers, Midsummer Nights Dream (2x), The Torchbearers. Numerous TV & Film credits: Most recent TV: Guest Star in Ghost Writer for Apple Channel; Recent FILM: Crisis Point CURRENT: 2 writing projects in progress: an adaptation of a Tremblay play, & a memoir on the early days of the Regional Theatre Movement; FAVOURITE ROLES include Momma Rose in Gypsy; Masha in Three Sisters; Aldonza in Man of La Mancha; Auntie Mame in Mame; Sarah Bernhardt in Memoir; Adelaide In Guys and Dolls (3x); Arkadina in Seagull (2x); Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream (2x); Frl Schneider in Cabaret; Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables; Gertrude in Hamlet; and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie (2x) TEACHING: & Directing in numerous University Drama Depts in the USA and Canada as Assoc. Prof (SWGC, Memorial U); Distinguished Guest Artist (Univ. of Alberta), visiting Artist (Carnegie Mellon), Masterclass Teacher, Banff School of Fine Arts, Guest Artist: George Brown Theatre School, University of Saskatchewan, York University, University of Regina as well as private audition coaching and workshops. AWARDS: Various acting awards and Dora Nominations over the years. TRAINING: Carnegie Mellon BFA in Drama, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Basya Hunter. 

ALEXIS GORDON

Alexis hails from London, Ontario. Selected theatre credits include: Ma in North American premiere of Emma Donoghue’s Room (Grand Theatre/Mirvish); Brigadoon, Rope (Shaw Festival); Hook Up (Theatre Passe Muraille/Tapestry); Coriolanus, The Tempest, Guys & Dolls, A Little Night Music, Carousel, The Sound of Music (Stratford Festival); Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol (Grand Theatre), Sunday in the Park With George (TIFT), The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble (Factory/Obsidian); Obeah Opera (Nightwood); Starbright Christmas, Canada Sings, Godspell (Petrolia Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood). Awards: Banks Prize for Emerging Artists (Musical Stage Co). Education: BFA Acting, University of Windsor.

JACOB JAMES

Jacob is an actor, director, and teaching artist/drama professor. As an actor: Seven seasons with The Stratford Festival, Five seasons with The Thousand Islands Playhouse, Five seasons with Videocabaret, Five seasons with Drayton Entertainment, as well as Globe Regina, Soulpepper, Theatre Aquarius, Neptune Theatre, Theatre Kingston, and more. As an Arts Educator: over 10 years with The Stratford Festival Education department, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, St. Lawrence College, Mosaic Arts Institute, long-time adjudicator for The Sears Ontario Drama Festival, and more. Graduate of The National Theatre School, Birmingham Conservatory (Stratford Festival), York University’s Teaching Artist program, and The Second City Conservatory (Toronto). Jacob is a professor of drama at Queen’s university. 

CHILINA KENNEDY

Chilina is known for playing Carole King in the musical Beautiful on Broadway for over 1,200 performances. She also recently originated the Tony-award winning role of Dina on the First Broadway National Tour of The Band’s Visit. Chilina’s first appearance on Broadway was in 2012 when she played Mary Magdalene in Des McAnuff’s Jesus Christ Superstar, which also had successful runs at the Stratford Festival of Canada and the La Jolla Playhouse. Other US credits include the world premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, in which she originated the role of Phoebe at Hartford Stage and The Old Globe in San Diego (San Diego and Connecticut Outer Critics nominations), the world premiere of A Sign Of The Times as Cindy (Delaware Theatre Company), Binky in the Off-Broadway world premiere of This Ain’t No Disco (Dir. Darko Tresnjak/Chor. Camille A. Brown) and Sophie in the 1st US National Tour of Mamma Mia!. Selected Canadian credits include the title role in Ted Dykstra's Evangeline (Charlottetown Festival and original recording), the title role in Ross Petty’s Pantomime The Little Mermaid (Toronto Critic’s Award), three seasons at the Stratford Festival (three Broadways World Awards) including Maria in Gary Griffin’s West Side Story, Eva Peròn in Evita, Lois Lane in Kiss Me Kate, three seasons at the Shaw Festival, the World Premiere of The Lord of the Rings (Mirvish), Philia in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Stratford/Toronto), Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest (Neptune) and the title role in Mary Poppins (Theatre Aquarius).​ Chilina is also a singer/songwriter with a debut album “What You Find In A Bottle”, released in 2015. Chilina has written a new musical Call It Love with Eric Holmes, who is known for being a writer for The Good Fight on CBS. Featuring music and lyrics by Chilina, book co-written by Eric and Chilina, and musical arrangements by Rick Fox, Call It Love has been developed in the New York City area by Eclipse Theatre Company. Chilina has worked with Burt Bacharach, guest starred in concert with the TSO, Colm Wilkinson and Jason Robert Brown. You can hear Chilina’s voice on CBC’s Celebrate The Seasons and Carols For A Cure. Chilina is a graduate of Sheridan College and the Birmingham Conservatory for classical theatre in Stratford.

MARC KIMELMAN

Marc is currently the associate choreographer for Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill. He was the associate choreographer for Broadway’s A Bronx Tale and National Tour, and assistant choreographer for Broadway’s revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. He choreographed Saturday Night Fever (National Tour), Man of La Mancha (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Play It Cool and The Apple Boys (Off-Broadway), Once on this Island (Dora Award for Outstanding Choreography). As an instructor, Marc is on faculty at NYC’s Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway, and in Toronto at Metro Movement.

TRACY MICHAILIDIS

ETC: Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman (DORA Nom), Sunday In The Park With George. Tracy has just finished a run of Piaf/Dietrich for Mirvish, and will be returning to the CAA theatre this Spring with Studio 180's production of Indecent (Off-Mirvish). Other Theatre: Life After (Musical Stage Company, CanStage, Yonge Street Theatrcals: Dora Award), The Light in the Piazza (Musical Stage & Theatre Calgary), Mary's Wedding (Magnus Theatre), Anything that Moves (Belfry Theatre), Emily (Charlottetown Festival), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Outside the March), Three Sisters (Atlantic Theatre Festival), The Other Place (Weston Playhouse), seasons at both Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals (debut as Anne Shirley). She currently divides her time between New York City and Toronto. Tracy is also a teaching artist and runs her own private studio as well as being on the faculty of MTCA in New York City and The Performing Arts Project in North Carolina.  www.tracymichailidis.com

VANESSA SEARS

Vanessa Sears is an educator and award winning actor living in Toronto. Having recently won both a Dora Award and a Toronto Theatre Critics' Award for her role as Emmie in Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre’s co-production of “Caroline, or Change”, Vanessa is thrilled to be joining Eclipse Theatre Companyas an Associate Artist. Now performing in Musical Stage Company’s“Porchside Songs” and working with Shakespeare in Action as a Community Programs Facilitator, Vanessa has discovered her passion for educating children and youth. Working as a coach and panellist for In the Wings online musical theatre training, and developing her own course called “Acting for Musicals” with CBY Music, Vanessa is excited to continue merging her love of performance and education.

ANDREW SEOK

Andrew is a composer, director, performer, playwright, and producer. Andrew is a composer, director, performer, playwright, and producer. He studied at: Berklee College of Music, York University, and The Royal Conservatory of Music. After the success of his first musical, ECHOES, Andrew went on to produce and direct a musical feature film version of it which premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2018. Other musical films: What Am I Without You?, a musical short film starring Ma-Anne Dionisio and Jeff Madden, as well as a dance short film. Most recently, Andrew wrote the Toronto Fringe Festival hit, UNRAVELLED as his third musical project. Throughout his music career, Andrew has written, sung, & produced music for: Nike, Coke, Samsung, Visa, as well as numerous TV series: Playmakers (ESPN), Discovery Channel, and shows for all major Canadian Broadcast Companies. He has worked with / for Feist, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Jully Black, Jeff Healey, Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens, and produced God Made Me Funky's Juno nominated album.

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mto@eclipsetheatre.ca

66 Lesmill Road
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