2019 Conference Homepage - Workshops - Getting To Stratford and Accommodations


Scroll down to see all Workshop Descriptions and Artist Biographies.

Track A:  Elementary Drama

Track B:  Secondary Drama

Track C:  Dynamic Movement (all divisions)

Welcoming Address by Dan Chameroy - All Workshop Tracks

Dan Chameroy

Following global recognition for his role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Dan Chameroy opens the day with a keynote that celebrates his own passion for drama and dance and the importance of these subject areas in education.



Track A: Elementary Drama - REGISTER HERE

A1: Creating Character - Ijeoma Emesowum

Ijeoma EmesowumDesigned for Primary-Junior teachers, this workshop will guide participants through a series of acting exercises and practical tools they can share with students back in their classrooms. It will explore the elements and processes of character creation. Drawing from her experience in a repertory context, the teaching artist will focus particularly on the practice of creating multiple characters within a single narrative or across multiple stories/plays.

Ijeoma Emesowum is in her fifth season at the Stratford Festival: Maya in The Neverending Story, Tituba in The Crucible and understudy in Private Lives. Previous credits include: Diaphanta in The Changeling, Cupid in Timon of Athens, Phebe in As You Like It, Maria in Love's Labour's Lost, Jackie Coryton in Hay Fever, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Hypochondriac, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Antony and Cleopatra. Elsewhere: A Christmas Carol (Theatre New Brunswick); five seasons with Shaw Festival including Major Barbara, Serious Money, Ragtime, The Admirable Crichton, The Women, The Devil's Disciple, Born Yesterday; Binti's Journey (Theatre Direct); The Aftermath (Nightwood Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare in High Park, Canadian Stage). Film/Television: Antony and Cleopatra, Love's Labour's Lost, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Timon of Athens (Stratford Festival HD). Training: Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre; BFA, University of Windsor. Online: Twitter: @UsoIje.4

A2: Plant Play, Grow Meaning-Makers: An introduction to process drama in elementary - Tessa Lofthouse

Tessa LofthouseDesigned for Primary-Junior teachers, this workshop invites new teachers or teachers new to drama to consider what meaningful dramatic arts experiences look like for young learners and the ways that structured dramatic play can help learners grow into meaning-makers. Teachers will be guided through a range of practical structures that can be used in primary and junior grades and adapted for different provocations. Through a “doing and reflecting” approach, participants will consider possibilities for integrating curriculum and inquiry-based learning, building dramatic skills, introducing students to the creative process, and teaching oral language in French immersion. This workshop aims to equip attendees with a deep understanding of several key structures, as well as a broad understanding of what is possible in the drama classroom.

Tessa Lofthouse is an Ontario elementary teacher. In her teaching practice, she focuses on social justice-infused, anti-racist pedagogy, integrating subject areas and using the arts to promote social change. She received her BA in French Studies and her BEd in 2014 from Brock University, where she is pursuing her MA in Education in Social and Cultural Contexts of Education. She has facilitated workshops for the Hamilton-Wentworth DSB and co-facilitated a 2018 ETFO Summer Institute. She was the 2019 laureate of the Concours des Professionels créatifs for the Association Canadienne des professeurs d’Immersion (ACPI). She currently teaches elementary French Immersion in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

A3: Star-cursed: Exploring “Otherness” and Interacial love in Shakespeare’s Othello - Rochelle Matthews

Rochelle MatthewsThis drama workshop will explore how the love between Othello and Desdemona never stood a chance against prevalent racial bias and prejudice in their society. The featured drama conventions of this workshop will focus on improving your students’ ability to make inferences and connections using Shakespearean verse and prose and will showcase how to unpack unconscious bias and stereotypes in the classroom.  

Rochelle Matthews is an elementary teacher with the Toronto Catholic DSB and the current Secretary on the board for the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE). Her experience includes participating in writing projects to develop drama teacher resources, co-chair of 2016 CODE Conference,  conducting workshops for York U, TCDSB preservice programs, presenting at provincial conferences and most recently, co-presenter of an OTF Summer Institute on how to imbed process drama into integrated inquiry. She focuses on themes of social justice and equity in her programming, with the intent to foster a sense of responsible global citizenship for learners of all ages.

Track B: Secondary Drama - REGISTER HERE

Luisa AppolloniB1: Teaching Shakespeare: PerformancePlus - Luisa Appolloni

Designed for Intermediate-Senior teachers, this hands-on workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to explore PerformancePlus, a digital tool designed to support teachers and students in engaging with Shakespeare from a blended learning, performance-based perspective. Participants will explore the tool’s key elements and will be guided through a few key exercises they can use within their classrooms.

Luisa Appolloni is a director, instructor, writer, administrator, and dramaturge. She is currently at the Stratford Festival as Education Associate - Enrichment Focus. Luisa is also the founder of Theatre Counterpoise and conceived, co-produced and directed Things Base & Weill...Love Can Transpose! Elsewhere she has worked at the Shaw Festival, Blyth Festival, Huron Country Playhouse, Magnus Theatre, Stirling Festival Theatre, Stephenville Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Tidemark Theatre, the National Film Board of Canada, Sheridan College's Music Theatre - Performing Arts Preparation Program and the Canadian Opera Company. Most recently, Luisa directed Beauty and the Beast at Sudbury Theatre Centre and Letters from the Front, a Stratford Festival Forum event in conjunction with CBC Radio Ideas.

B2: Introduction to Directing - Andrew Kushnir

Andrew KushnirThis workshop is designed for Intermediate-Senior teachers interested in exploring an introduction to directorial practices. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with a series of directorial prompts, questions and exercises which they can employ in their respective contexts as directors themselves or share with students to help them to develop their own particular practices as emerging directors.

Andrew Kushnir is the assistant director of The Merry Wives of Windsor in his second season at the Stratford Festival where he was also the assistant director of Napoli Milionaria! in 2018 and part of the playwright residency in 2010. Elsewhere: As director: Towards Youth (Project: Humanity/Crow's Theatre with Chris Abraham); Shirley Valentine (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Freedom Singer (Project: Humanity, national tour); If/Then (Sheridan); The Watershed (Porte Parole/Crow's, associate director). As playwright: Towards Youth, Small Axe (Project: Humanity); The Gay Heritage Project (with Paul Dunn/Damien Atkins, Buddies in Bad Times); Wormwood (Tarragon Theatre); The Middle Place (Project: Humanity/Theatre Passe Muraille/Canadian Stage). Training: University of Alberta BFA (Acting), Loran Scholar. Awards: Four Dora Award nominations (two for Outstanding New Play) and one award (Passion Play, Ensemble), Toronto Theatre Critics Award Outstanding Production (The Middle Place), University of Alberta Alumni Horizon Award. Et cetera: Andrew is artistic director of Project: Humanity (projecthumanity.ca) and former associate artistic director in residence at Crow's Theatre.

B3: Introduction to Voice & Dialect - Jane Gooderham

Jane GooderhamTaught by a member of the Stratford Festival’s coaching team, this workshop will provide Intermediate-Senior teachers with an introduction to exploring voice and dialect. With a particular focus on dialect, participants will be guided through a series of prompts and exercises in order to discover the practice and application of voice work within the context of theatre.

Jane Gooderham is a voice, text and dialect coach in her 17th season at the Stratford Festival. Elsewhere (selected credits): Voice, text and/or dialects for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, War Horse (Royal National Theatre of Great Britain/Mirvish); Invisible Hand (Theatre Aquarius); Christmas Carol, Chariots of Fire, The Wars (Grand Theatre); Mary Poppins (YPT); Shaw Festival 2017 season; Matilda (Royal Shakespeare Company/Mirvish); London Road, The Syringa Tree, Rock 'n' Roll (Canadian Stage); Romeo and Juliet (NAC); Oroonoko, Chair (Theatre for a New Audience, New York); Cloud Nine, The Lord of the Rings, The Producers (Mirvish); Happy Days (Soulpepper/DVxT). Television: Republic of Doyle. Training: MA Voice - Central School of Speech and Drama; Acting BA - Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Et cetera: Head of Voice, National Theatre School of Canada (2009-16); Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, Centre for Indigenous Theatre.

Track C: Dynamic Movement (All Divisions) - REGISTER HERE

This series of workshops is designed to meet the needs of all teachers looking for ways to incorporate dynamic movement into their classrooms. Whether you teach young children or adolescents, you will be sure to come away with inspiration and practical movement tools!

C1: Exploring Dance: Genre & Style - Jason Sermonia

Jason SermoniaDesigned for Intermediate-Senior teachers, this workshop invites participants to explore a range of dance genres. By actively enacting particular choreography that is emblematic of each, participants will have the chance to embody a variety of dance elements and practices. It will provide a practical introduction to some of the key styles of dance, allowing participants to analyze and make connections across genre.

Jason Sermonia is in his seventh season at the Stratford Festival: Sailor, Puppeteer in Little Shop of Horrors and Ensemble in Billy Elliot the Musical. Previous credits include: The Rocky Horror Show, The Music Man, A Chorus Line, As You Like It, Hypochondriac, The Sound of Music, Carousel, Crazy for You, Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, Camelot, Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes. Elsewhere: Revivals of Miss Saigon and Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway); The Lion King (Mirvish, Las Vegas); Dirty Dancing (Mirvish); We Will Rock You (Mirvish, U.S. national tour); Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (La Jolla Playhouse); Mary Poppins (Drayton). Television: 71st & 66th annual Tony Awards; 37th annual Daytime Emmy Awards; Dancing with the Stars; The Marilyn Denis Show. Film: Honey; Oscar, Best Picture: Chicago. Awards: Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director's Award (2016); Brian Macdonald Choreographer Award (2018). Online: Facebook/Instagram: @JasonSermonia.

C2: Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost: Growing our souls, classroom communities and joy through movement - Meghan Park

Meghan ParkCome dive into the elements of dance and the creative process while building your repertoire of dance and movement strategies. From silly to serious, participants will learn how dance and movement can build community, create joy and collective effervescence. Attendees will be introduced to a variety of movement activities, games, mentor texts, props and manipulatives to build their movement toolbox and inspire dance at any grade level.

Meghan Park is a graduate of the Drama in Education program at the University of Windsor and holds a graduate degree from OISE/UT. Meghan has taught at Young People’s Theatre, The Drama Workshop, The Linden School and is an Ontario Arts Council Artist in Education grant.


C3: Movement & Original Choreography - Stephen Cota

Stephen CotaDesigned for Primary-Junior teachers, this workshop invites participants to discover a variety of techniques to lead students in the exploration of movement and the development of original choreography. Teachers will be guided through a series of exercises designed to engage their students as both dancers and choreographers with the aim of having them develop original, basic choreography.

Stephen Cota is the associate choreographer of Billy Elliot the Musical and associate choreographer and assistant director of Little Shop of Horrors in his 14th season at the Stratford Festival. Previous credits include: choreographer of Romeo and Juliet, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Hypochondriac, Cynthia Dale in Concert: Outside Looking In; assistant director of The Rocky Horror Show; associate choreographer of The Music Man, The Rocky Horror Show, Guys and Dolls; assistant choreographer of A Chorus Line, The Sound of Music. Crazy for You, Man of La Mancha, Tommy, Fiddler on the Roof (2013, 2000), 42nd Street, The Pirates of Penzance, Kiss Me, Kate, Evita, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, West Side Story, The Music Man, Moby Dick, Oklahoma!, My One and Only, Oliver!, South Pacific. Elsewhere: assistant choreographer of West Side Story (Vancouver Opera); White Christmas, Annie (Drayton Entertainment); Mel Brooks's The Producers (Canon Theatre).