Megan Piercey Monafu
Megan Piercey Monafu believes in radical hospitality as a personal, political, and artistic virtue. There is a reason why a theatre is also called a house; it can be a place where community comes together.
A playwright, director, producer and facilitator, Megan holds a BFA in Theatre and Development from Concordia University and an MFA in Creative Writing (playwriting focus) from the University of Guelph. Trained in Forum Theatre and community development, Megan specializes in drama work for sensitive populations and situations, and has facilitated for communities and organizations in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and the Maritimes.
Recent artistic work has included residencies at ArtEngine, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, and the Ottawa Fringe, and resulted in the Corel Endowment for the Arts Award in 2019 and presentation at the undercurrents festival in 2021. Recent audio work also includes a workshop series for youth at the GCTC and an audio doc series for CBC Halifax. Her current writing uses audio storytelling and play creation with integrated video to explore our personal relationship with the Internet.
Megan and her partner Dan have two young boys — that is, her “assistant directors” — who you may see hanging around the OST office.
Sue moved to Ottawa from England in 2008 where she studied and worked in a finance capacity for 20 years. Having been a parent of an OST student since 2013, Sue also started helping out in a volunteer capacity as our resident “Excel Wizard,” preparing the rehearsal schedules for our All Ages plays in Spring 2016. Sue is very excited to be a part of the OST family and truly believes that theatre offers huge benefits to all, in all aspects of life.
Erin is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist who has been sharing her skills with OST students since 2009. Erin studied Theatre Arts at Algonquin College where she held the role of Theatre Manager. She has worked as a stage manager, performer, administrator, and director. Erin spent 10 years as the Front of House Manager for Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre and her work as a theatre artist earned her Prix Rideau Award Nominations in 2013 and 2018. As a theatre arts educator, Erin taught in the drama program at The Element High School for 4 years and has been a guest instructor at Algonquin College Performing Arts. Currently, Erin is focused on her work at OST where she has created and directed dozens of plays for students of all ages.
Flora has been working in the OST office since 2020. In her earlier years, she has performed on many occasions with various art groups and programs and has experience in different forms of performing arts including; singing, dancing, and theater. She is now studying business management in her post secondary studies. Flora is always very happy to be a part of the OST family as an administrative coordinator.
Olivia is a scriptwriter, choreographer, and storyteller from Alberta, Canada. Her lifelong passion for dance began at three and carried her into her twenties. Olivia began choreographing and teaching dance in 2007. In 2018, she hung up her dance shoes to study American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies at Lakeland College. After graduating in 2020, like most of the world, Olivia took time to figure out her place in this new chaotic world. This ultimately led her to another longtime passion, writing. She recently completed her studies in Scriptwriting at Algonquin College, where she was elected Class Representative for the program, graduated with honours, and was selected to be valedictorian for the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design convocation ceremony. She is thrilled to be a part of the OST-ETO family!
Rebecca is delighted to be a part of the amazing teaching team at OST! Passionate about the transformative power of creating, performing and watching theatre, Rebecca works as an actor, director, instructor and community artist in Ottawa, recently performing with A Company of Fools in The Tempest, Bear and Co’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and Cymbeline, and with Three Sisters Theatre Company in The Revolutionists and The Clean House (Prix Rideau Nomination Best Female Performance). Rebecca has taught acting to all ages through the University of Ottawa’s Theatre Department, Carleton University, Ottawa’s Acting Company, Ottawa Children’s Theatre, The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, Prairie Theatre Exchange Theatre School and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. She currently directs and facilitates the Creative Well Theatre Project with Branch Out Theatre and the Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa (PSO) and is excited to take on the role of Artistic Assistant with OST this year!
Avery has been a student for many years at OST. She loves being a part of the theatre community and loves to be a part of all types of plays! She currently attends an art school where she is studying to become a professional actress. Avery hopes to one day be able to study at National Theatre School of Canada!
Ethan has been a long time member here of OST and an even longer time member of being a theatre nerd. Starting here as a student from the age of 6, he fell in love with the community, the passion shared by his peers, and the opportunity to engulf himself in theatre. When he’s not working with one of our classes, he attends Canterbury High School…for more drama. He’s involved in his school`s improv team and to really put into perspective his love for the art, he asked if we could put this bio in Shakespearean English.
aitlin has been with Ottawa School of Theatre for over 13 years. When she first started, she started off with summer camps in the musical theater camp. Ever since then she has loved it, She has performed many productions such as, all ages plays, musical theater, Shakespeare and many more. While enjoying her classes she met so many friends, she started to work as an administrative assistant. She has worked for OST for over 4 years now and she loves working with the team and students.
Lauren has been a student for many years at OST. She is known for her love of music, theatre, and fun facts. They have helped run many events at their school and can usually be spotted in the wild either reading or studying.
Max Frederick became involved in the OST community in 2016. Since then, he’s dedicated himself to being funny – or at least trying to be, through sketch acting and improv. On top of working in the office, Max is a current student at OST and a class assistant. Max aspires to be studying early childhood education this time next year.
Skyler was a long-time student at OST before becoming an employee. She is a volunteer in many classes, and is learning to direct from some of her mentors here at OST as well. She has been involved in the theatre community since they were a child, and has gained experience in acting, stage management, tech, and directing . In addition to being an employee at OST, Skyler is also involved in her school’s musical productions, by being in the hair and makeup department. Skyler enjoys reading and writing, and has a passion for classics and poetry. They one day hope to go on to become a writer and film director, and are looking forward to what opportunities the future will bring!
Vanessa has spent many years of her youth as an OST student. She has always had a passion for the arts, participating in various theater-related activities. She is currently studying Art at Carleton.
2022-23 TEACHING ARTISTS
Growing up in England, Ben always had his head in the clouds, dreaming of creative pursuits or fiddling with computers. It was, therefore, not a total surprise (to his parents, at least) that he went on to complete a PhD in Drama at the University of Kent, specializing in comedy and technology. After his studies, and a bit of lecturing, Ben travelled to Malawi to work on theatre-based education projects for two years. He moved to Canada in 2017, settled in Ottawa with his family, and took a Masters of Education at uOttawa. Ben currently works as an Associate Researcher and Education Specialist at CHEO Research Institute. Teaching theatre classes is the highlight of his week, because he gets to be silly.
Brooke became a part of the OST family back in 2012, taking courses, participating in multiple all-ages productions, working with the office staff, and is now teaching. She just graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Second Language Teaching. She is very excited to be working another year with the OST staff and cannot wait to share her passion for theatre with her students. She aims to help her students find their voice and fall in love with the art that had such a big impact on her life.
Camille Landry is an artist from the Ottawa region. She is currently studying a minor in Theatre at the University of Ottawa in hopes of deepening her knowledge of the performing arts. She has always been passionate about French and bilingual theatre and improv! Camille loves sharing her passion with others by participating in different projects both virtually and in person. She finds that the best way to be creative is with others!
Chelsey started out in theatre classes at the Sudbury Theatre Centre when she was the same age as her youngest students are now. She continued her studies in drama while attending the Arts Canterbury program here in Ottawa, and went on to complete her BA in drama at the University of Guelph where she studied acting, theatre tech, design, and history.
Chelsey performs as an actor on local stages and is currently working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She is happy to be at OST sharing her love of theatre with her students and creating a safe space to play, explore, and share stories.
Dallis is a singer, actress, director, and dancer. She has been performing in theatre since elementary school. She is an alumni of St. Lawrence College’s musical theatre performance program in Brockville. She is the Coordinator/Administrator for Youth Opportunities in the Arts in Brockville where she has had the opportunity to explore many different roles in theatre including acting, directing, and stage management. Dallis is excited to be joining the OST team for the first time this year!
Elyse Gauthier (she/they)
Elyse became a student of OST in 2006 and has since been part of the OST family, taking countless courses and performing in several all-ages productions, in addition to working in the office, as a camp assistant, and finally as a teacher. They are currently completing a Master’s in Theatre at the University of Ottawa and working at the National Arts Centre’s French Theatre as an education officer. On a rainy day, you’ll find Elyse playing video games, learning Korean, or listening to a podcast. She is thrilled to teach her students the craft of theatre and give back to the school that has played such an important role in her life!
Geoff McBride is a theatre creator who lives and works in the Unceded Anishinaabe Territory of Ottawa. This is his first year of teaching at OST, however he has been working in theatre for over 30 years in various capacities, as an actor, director, producer, technician, and writer. Locally, Geoff has worked with a Company of Fools and GCTC as an actor and director, he has also created original work with THUNK!theatre (bread; Far & Near & Here; the Lost & Find) and the PS Theatre Collective (The Persistent Stain).
Janet Irwin has been working in Canadian theatre since the 1970s, and has worn many hats –director, playwright, dramaturg, producer, and teacher. She has also worked on many stages – large (National Arts Centre,) medium (Great Canadian Theatre Company,) small (her basement with a sheet on the clothesline,) outdoor (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and the amphitheatre at the National Gallery) and many others including churches and a repurposed tooth-brush factory (Upper Canada Playhouse.) She is currently developing a couple of plays and will tell you about them if you ask her. She loves large casts, plays with something to say, plays with music, Shakespeare, and anything that transports the audience to other worlds, times, and places. She looks forward to teaching at OST and meeting fellow theatre enthusiasts.
Kate Smith trained as an actor and singer (Dalhousie University) and has performed on stages across the country for the past 15 years. She is also an award-winning theatre creator, director, and Artistic Director of Skeleton Key Theatre. Her work with Skeleton Key has been presented at local, national, and international festivals. In 2021 the company was specially selected to create a Grand Act of Theatre presented by the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre. In the same year it premiered its latest work Deluge as an audio album, visual album, and live show. In 2018 Skeleton Key’s innovative outdoor multidisciplinary ambulatory piece Swan River was nominated for a Prix Rideau Award for Best New Creation and received two productions that year; in 2021 the show was turned into a podcast for families. Kate is a freelance director and performer, and is a Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Kate previously held the positions of Artistic Manager with Ottawa StoryTellers, Artistic Director of The Acting Company, and Artistic Director of Salamander Theatre for Young Audiences. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Directing at the University of Ottawa. Recent directing credits include: The Sting (2022 GCTC/CCLA Lawyer Play), Me, Vivien Leigh and the Roller Rink by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld (2022 undercurrents festival), and Beowulf in Afghanistan by Laurie Fyffe (Ottawa Storytellers/2021 Ottawa Fringe Festival). Recent acting credits include: Callie in Deluge (Skeleton Key), Ashley in The Virgin Trial by Kate Hennig (GCTC), and Lady Capulet/Paris in Romeo + Juliet (A Company of Fools). www.skeletonkeytheatre.com
Katie has been a part of OST since 2013, starting as a student with a growing passion for theatre. Since then, Katie has spent hundreds of hours volunteering with classes, camps, showcases and all-ages productions, and is now teaching. She also works with a Company of Fools, having run backstage in their 2022 production of The Tempest and is now working on Hamlet. Katie is thrilled to be working with all of the wonderful OST staff again, and cannot wait to help her students find their way in the world of theatre.
Mathieu joined the Ottawa School of Theatre family in 2011 and has spent the past four years teaching at OST. He is currently studying at University of Ottawa where he is enrolled in a bachelor of arts, with multiple courses in theatre and music. Mathieu also plays music professionally, dedicating hundreds of hours every month to studio and creative work collaborating with bands and other musicians. He cannot wait to share his passions with his students.
Micah Jodel DeShazer
Micah Jondel DeShazer (micahjondel.com) is an actor, director, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and educator who hails from NYC. He has performed, taught and directed in NYC, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Madison, and Chicago for the last 11 years of his career. Much of his expertise is in music, where he studied voice specifically, but has also studied cello, saxophone, piano, guitar and baritone throughout his life. That love for music has quickly evolved into passion for storytelling and connection through live arts and is grateful to now be collaborating with this amazing team in Ottawa. Cheers.
Born in France to a family of artists – her mother and grandmother were dance teachers and her aunt a choreographer for musicals – Virginie found herself on the theatre boards at the age of three. At 10, she studied at the Conservatory of Theatre in her hometown, directed by José Lemius. In 1992, she earned her diploma of Fine Arts degree with a specialization in Art and Shows. Three years later she moved to Canada and studied television at the Cité Collégiale, and has subsequently worked on various television shows. Virginie is entering her 9th year of teaching at the OST. It is always a great pleasure to meet all those fantastic and talented students and she cannot wait to start the year with them.
Zachary Joined the OST team in 2017 as a volunteer and after spending the summer of 2022 as a summer camp assistant he is now joining the family of teachers. Zachary is currently studying at University of Ottawa where he is completing a bachelor in Music with several elective courses in theatre. He also works as a professional musician in a studio recording environment as well as freelance work. With experience in theatre and the construction of soundscapes, he cannot wait to inspire and guide his students into creating their own artistic identities.
Performer, comedian and improviser, Zackari Gosselin graduated from the University of Ottawa in theatre. He has performed in Pattes en aiguilles (Théâtre Mauve Sapin), Un conte de l’apocalypse (Théâtre de la Vieille 17) and La petite maison (Le bruit du monde) to name a few. In addition, Zackari has been teaching theatre to various age groups at the Ottawa Theatre School since 2019, as well as providing comedy and improvisation training in schools across Ontario. He is interested in creation, theatrical character, and absurdity.
VOLUNTEER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Barry MacDonald
Vice-President: Igor Plechtchenko
Treasurer: Colleen Sutton
Secretary: Jennifer Rowberry
Volunteer Coordinator: Liz Briggs
Directors at large: Kaissy Yu, Suzanne Allen
Student Rep: vacant