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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Festival welcomes new talent into the Birmingham Conservatory


September 11, 2013… Classes for the 15th session of the Birmingham Conservatory for classical Theatre are now underway with ten actors embarking on six months of intensive training under the guidance of Conservatory Director Martha Henry.

Three participants are returning for their second year in the program: Josue Laboucane, Andrew Robinson and Antoine Yared. Company member Sara Farb, who made her Stratford debut this season, joins the program for her first year, along with Festival newcomers Jamie Mac, Jennifer Mogbock, Derek Moran, Karack Osborn, Sarena Parmar and Laura Schutt.

“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s remarkably talented and dynamic group of actors,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “The training they will receive here is unparalleled given the opportunity to work under the leadership of Martha Henry, one of Canada’s most respected actors and directors, and alongside top voice, movement and text coaches. This program has helped to launch the careers of many of our leading actors. This year we are proud to have 29 Conservatory graduates in our 2013 acting company and I have no doubt that this year’s group will become an integral part of our future seasons. I look forward to not only their highly anticipated theatrical presentations, but to working with them in our upcoming season.”

The end-of-term presentations will be directed by Stratford Festival company member Stephen Ouimette and Conservatory Director Martha Henry.

The 2013/2014 Birmingham Conservatory will receive classes from some of the finest instructors from across the world.

Instructors (in alphabetical order)

Annette av Paul, ballet dancer and director – ballet instructor
Frank Bach – instructor of conscious movement
Janet Madelle Feindel, Voice and Alexander Technique instructor at Carnegie Mellon University – voice instructor
Kate Hennig, actor and playwright – voice and Original Practices instructor
Thomas Morgan Jones, Associate Artistic Director and Dramaturg at Theatre District – movement instructor
David Latham, Theatre Training Consultant, Stratford Festival – mask instructor
Claire Lautier, actor – gyrokinesis instructor
David Ley, Drama Professor at University of Alberta – voice instructor
Kristin Linklater, Professor at Columbia University, Chair of Theatre Arts Division – voice and text instructor
Melinda Little, actor, movement coach and playwright – movement instructor
Keira Loughran, Creative Associate for Special Projects, Stratford Festival – aikido instructor
Kate Lynch, director, actor, playwright and acting teacher at University of Toronto – voice instructor
Jack MacDonald – yoga instructor
Kennedy C. MacKinnon – voice, text and dialect instructor
Kelly McEvenue – Alexander Technique and Movement Coach
Seana McKenna, actor – text instructor
Valerie Moore, choreographer – dance instructor
Hugh O’Gorman, Associate Professor and Head of Acting, California State University – Michael Chekov instructor
Janine Pearson, Head of Voice and Coaching, Stratford Festival – voice instructor
Chick Reid, actor – text instructor
David Smukler, Professor at York University – voice instructor
Richard Stewart – voice instructor
Terry Tweed, actor – text and grammar instructor
Nicolas Van Burek, actor – T’ai Chi instructor

The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival is made possible by the support of the Birmingham family, the Stratford Festival Endowment Foundation and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Additional in-season support is provided by The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.

Participants’ Biographies
Sara Farb
Stratford: Doña Estefania in The Three Musketeers, Jessica in The Merchant of Venice and appears in Romeo and Juliet. Elsewhere: Natalie in Next to Normal (Citadel Theatre/Theatre Calgary co-production; also Clearwater Productions, Tarragon Theatre); Adele in The Passion of Adele Hugo (Eastern Front Theatre); Songs for a New World, Scrooge (Rose Theatre); The Sisters Rosensweig (Harold Green Jewish Theatre); Lavender Blue (Smile Theatre); Edges, The Long and Winding Road, Tapestries (Acting Up Stage); The Wizard of Oz (YPT); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Canadian Stage); Jane Eyre, Oliver! (Mirvish). Film/TV: The Firm, The Listener, Covert Affairs, Celine. Awards: Robert Merritt Award nominee for Adele Hugo. Online: @sarafarb. Et cetera: Sara is from Toronto. She would like to thank NLM, and her loving and supportive family and friends.

Josue Laboucane
Stratford: Justice in Measure for Measure, Page in Mary Stuart and appears in Othello. Elsewhere: Henry VI in Henry VI: Wars of the Roses, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens (Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival); Revenge (Felix Culpa); Zachary in The Exquisite Hour (Relephant Theatre); Carnage (Pi Theatre); Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad, Horton in Seussical, Robin Hood, Bird Brain, Pharaoh Serket, Silverwing (Carousel Theatre); The Emperor’s New Threads (Axis Theatre). Training: The Birmingham Conservatory, Studio 58, the Canadian National Voice Intensive. Awards: Six Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominations and one win, and the Sydney J. Risk Award. Online: Twitter @josuelaboucane. Et cetera: Josue is also a teacher, emerging director (BC Buds, Alley Theatre, Walking Fish) and mask maker (Carousel Theatre, Vancouver Opera). He is from Vancouver, BC.

Jamie Mac
Theatre: Jacob Mercer in Salt-Water Moon (Canada’s National Arts Centre), Laurie in Vimy (Great Canadian Theatre Company), Clown in The 39 Steps (Stage West), David Jung in Rockbound (Two Planks and a Passion), Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ryerson Theatre), Michael in The Elephant Song (Beothuk Street Players), Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare by the Sea) and Jerry in The Zoo Story (Reid Theatre). Film/TV: Republic of Doyle, Covert Affairs, Life With Derek. Training: Ryerson University, BFA Acting. Awards: For The Elephant Song: Walter C. Chambers Memorial Scholarship, D.A. Matthews Memorial Scholarship, Honorary Chairman’s Award for Best Actor. Et Cetera: Jamie grew up in St. John’s, NL, but trained in Toronto and Ottawa for the past seven years.

Jennifer Mogbock
Theatre: Phebe in As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Bernarda in The House of Bernarda Alba (Theater of War); Icarus in Damages Tangled (Theater for the New City, N.Y.C.). Film: Quincy Vidal (Yellowhouse Pictures). Training: BFA, State University of New York (SUNY), Purchase College. Online: Et Cetera: Jennifer was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and raised in Argentina, Houston, TX, and Ottawa.

Derek Moran
Theatre: Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Mario in The Game of Love and Chance (Neptune Theatre); Trout Stanley in Trout Stanley (Heart in Hand Theatre); Owen in The Melville Boys (Red Barn Theatre); Cléante in The Miser, The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Mug in New Canadian Kid (Sudbury Theatre Centre). Film/TV: Mayday, Lost Girl, Bomb Girls, Being Erica, Murdoch Mysteries, Life With Derek, October 1970. Training: George Brown Theatre School. Et Cetera: Derek grew up in Paris, ON.

Karack Osborn
Theatre: Karack has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (workshop – The March), Shattered Globe Theatre (Happy Now?), Hartford Stage Company (The Crucible), Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (House of Gold), Highlands Playhouse (The Buddy Holly Story), Wisconsin Theatreworks (The Buddy Holly Story) and the Adler Studio (La Ronde, Pow’rful Rhyme). Training: The School at Steppenwolf and The Stella Adler Studio. Online: Twitter @KarackOsborn. Et cetera: Karack proudly hails from Brisbane, Australia, but calls Chicago home. Love to family and the WP2010. Proudly represented by Maryann Ziesch and Actors Talent Group. Utmost respect, love and thanks to Brian.

Sarena Parmar
Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Hamlet (Forward Theatre); Beneath the Banyan Tree (Theatre Direct); Lost Voices (Topological Theatre); Iphigenia at Aulis (SummerWorks). Film/TV: Series regular on the Gemini-nominated show How to Be Indie. Co-star in the Disney Original Movie Radio Rebel. Guest star on Flashpoint, The Border and Degrassi. Training: National Theatre School of Canada. Online:, @sarenaparmar. Et cetera: Sarena grew up in Kelowna, B.C. “Thank you to my loving family, mentors and friends.”

Laura Schutt
Theatre: Mrs. Perks in The Railway Children (Marquis/Mirvish), Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (The Grand Theatre), Kellyanne in Pobby and Dingan (YPT), Anne Catherick in The Woman in White (Theatre Aquarius), Eloise in The Eyes of Heaven (Blyth Festival). Film/TV: Copper (BBC America), The Kennedys (Muse Entertainment), Murdoch Mysteries (Citytv), Rookie Blue (ABC/Global). Training: George Brown Theatre School, Meadows School of the Arts (Southern Methodist University). Et cetera: Laura was born in Mississauga and raised in Bartlesville, OK. She currently resides in Kingston, ON. She would like to thank her father for his neverending love and support, and dedicates this time in Stratford to the memory of her mother.

Andrew Robinson
Stratford: Grimaud in The Three Musketeers and appears in Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Birmingham Conservatory: Giles (Tons of Money), Dr. Chasuble (The Importance of Being Earnest), director Christopher Newton; Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Twelfth Night), director Robin Phillips. Elsewhere: Menelaos (Ajax in Afghanistan), Dancer (The Intuition of Iphigenia) (Women & War Project – Greece tour: Athens, Hydra, Delphi, Elefsina); Groom (Machina Nuptialis) (Corpus Dance Projects/Regency Theatre – Ontario tour); Dionysus (The Bacchae) (Hydrama Centre – Hydra, Greece); Echo/Narcisszeus (Divorce Play or Russian Dolls) (Rhubarb/Buddies); Chorus (Tightrope) (; Duckett/Merrisson/John/Major/Gleason (Serious Money) (Nightwood/Ryerson); Wolf/Soldier (Bent) (Theatre Engine). Training: Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, Ryerson Theatre School. Et cetera: Born in Scarborough, Andrew has dreamed of acting at the Stratford Festival all his life. He dedicates this season to his mother, Anita, whose constant support makes every dream a possibility.

Antoine Yared
Stratford: Paris in Romeo and Juliet, Planchet in The Three Musketeers and Prince of Aragon in The Merchant of Venice. Elsewhere: The Fox in Pinocchio, Trent Dolin in Smokescreen and various characters in Alice Through the Looking Glass (Geordie Productions); Justin in Jesus Jello (Sheep in Fog); Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Touchstone in As You Like It and Stefano in The Tempest (Repercussion Theatre); Galoshin in Provincial Anecdotes (Concordia University). Film/TV: Boucherie Halal (Babek Aliassa), Open (Tom Abray). Recordings: Kojiro Sasaki, Samurai Warriors 2 (KOEI). Training: Dawson College, Concordia University, Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre. Awards: 2010 Elsa Bolam Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Emerging Artist. Et cetera: Antoine was born in Lebanon and raised in Montreal. He would like to thank his family and friends for always believing in him.


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