Paula Thomson

BEd (Toronto), MA (York)

Professor Emerita

Paula Thomson has choreographed for a variety of dance companies as well as some of Canada’s premier theatre companies, including the Stratford Festival and the Canadian Stage Company. She has served as artistic director and choreographer for Northern Lights Dance Theatre. She has also been guest teacher/choreographer at numerous professional training institutions, notably the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Juilliard School of Music, and has served as movement coach for the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. She also works in private practice as a psychotherapist.

Anthony Stephenson

MA (Cambridge), PhD (Toronto)

Professor Emeritus

Anthony Stephenson is a member of Actors’ Equity and ACTRA, and a founding member of the Guild of Canadian Musical Theatre Writers. In addition to many articles on theatre, he has also written several well-received mystery novels under the name of Anthony Quogan.

David Smukler

BFA (Carnegie Institute), MA (Columbia)

Professor Emeritus

Professor Smukler has been voice coach with major theatres and drama schools in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands.  His coaching experience includes classical theatre (Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival, Royal Court Theatre London, Canadian Stage Company), opera (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the English Opera Group), alternative theatre (the Open Theatre, Mump and Smoot, Pochsy).  He has served as dialogue coach on over one hundred and fifty works for film and television.  Recent coaching has included working on Norman Jewison’s Hurricane, Boondock Saints, Cover Me (a CBC series), and Remember Me, Resident Evil #2 and The Road to 9-11.  Recent coaching for the theatre includes Theatre and Company (Kitchener) and 4th Line Theatre Company (Peterborough County) and the Birmingham Conservatory at the Stratford Festival.  For the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Professor Smukler was the Canadian representative. Recent acting work includes film:  One Good Reason.  Recent stage work includes:  Sorin in The Seagull and Grandfather in Theatre Rusticle’s Peter and the Wolf.

Professor Smukler regularly conducts professional classes at Equity Showcase Theatre and leads workshops across the country.  He supervises the Voice Teacher Training Program in the Graduate Program.  He is the founder and director of Canada’s National Voice Intensive, which is held in Vancouver each year attracting actors, teachers and directors from around the world.

Ron Singer

BA (Sir George Williams), BEd (McGill)

Professor Emeritus

Professor Singer is a professional actor who has appeared in many feature films, television series and commercials. He has also worked extensively as a director and producer for theatre, film and television.

As a director, Professor Singer has over 30 professional theatre productions to his credit. He has served as director of Actors Workshops at the Stratford Festival, artistic director of Young Companies at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, and associate director of Toronto Arts Productions at the St. Lawrence Centre.

Ron Singer’s credits as producer include his work as assistant head of theatre for Expo ’67 in Montreal, executive director of Television Cable Network, Group W in Los Angeles, producer of City Pulse News at Citytv, Toronto, and executive producer of the television series Jake and the Kid for Global. He is currently producing two television series for the CBC, Life and Fox networks: the reality-based Class Act, and Life’s Little Miracles, chronicling the experiences of families and staff at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Professor Singer taught acting in York University’s Theatre Department from 1972 to 2003.

David Rotenberg

BA (Toronto), MFA (Yale)

Professor Emeritus

David Rotenberg has founded two theatre companies and directed extensively throughout Canada and the United States. His directing credits include two Broadway shows — The News and 1940’s Radio Hours — and half a dozen Canadian premieres. As visiting artist at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1994, he directed the first Canadian play ever to be produced in translation in China with a Chinese cast and creative team: George Ryga’s drama The Ecstasy of Rita Joe.

David Rotenberg’s visit to China set the stage for his critically-acclaimed first novel, the thriller The Shanghai Murders: A Mystery of Love and Ivory (1998), followed by four more in his mystery series:The Lake Ching Murders (2002), The Hua Shan Hospital Murders (shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel of 2003), The Hamlet Murders�(2004) and The Golden Mountain Murders (2005). His most recent book is Shanghai, a critically-acclaimed historical novel about the Chinese metropolis.

David Rotenberg’s work in film and television includes serving as acting coach for My Secret Identityand Friday the 13th and private acting coach for The New Kung Fu on CBS. He edited and directedMissing Treasures for Global Television and has written the ‘bible for the tv shows … and Smell the Coffee for Sunrise Productions and Gateway for Don Kurt Productions. Five of his film scripts have been optioned by film companies. He serves as artistic director of Professional Actors Lab in Toronto.

Personal website

Robert Fothergill

BA (Cambridge), MA (McMaster), PhilM, PhD (Toronto)

Robert Fothergill
Professor Emeritus

Playwriting, Theatre History, Theatre Criticism

Professor Fothergill is a playwright, critic and theatre historian. His drama,Detaining Mr. Trotsky, about the internment of Leon Trotsky in a prison camp in Nova Scotia in April 1917(Canadian Stage Company, Toronto, 1987), won a Chalmers Award and several Dora nominations.

Public Lies (Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, 1993), also nominated for a Chalmers Award, addresses issues of truth, propaganda and media manipulation by dramatizing episodes in the Canadian career of John Grierson, documentary film pioneer and founder of the NFB.

Borderline, set in a refugee camp on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania, won second prize in the 1999 Herman Voaden Canadian Playwriting contest and was professionally workshopped under the direction of Bill Glassco. It was mounted at Toronto’s SummerWorks theatre festival in 2004.

Rob Fothergill’s most recent play is The Dershowitz Protocol, an examination of the ethics of torture in the context of the current ‘war against terror’. The Dershowitz Protocol was presented at the SummerWorks festival in 2003 and received its U.S. premiere at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre in Rochester, New York, in June 2006.

Other writings include Private Chronicles (Oxford 1974), a critical study of English diaries, and a chapter on Radio and TV Drama in Volume 4 of the Literary History of Canada (University of Toronto Press, 1990).

Teaching dramatic literature and criticism, Professor Fothergill was a long-time member of the English Department at York University’s Atkinson College before joining the Department of Theatre in the Faculty of Fine Arts 1994. He served as Chair of the Theatre Department from 1994 to 1999.

Jill Courtney

BA (Butler)

Professor Emeritus

Jill Courtney began her professional career as a classical dancer with companies in Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. and in Montreal with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. She then made the transition to movement, mime and non-verbal communications in theatre as a teacher and coach for actors.

A graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland’s postgraduate program, Professor Courtney is a certified practitioner of Zero Balancing – the aligning of body energy with body structure. Her research focuses on the therapeutic benefits of energy flow and energy balancing in the body, the uses of the universal mask, Gestalt Therapy, and their applications in the arts and how the performer can connect and utilize these processes in character development for performance.

Douglas Buck

BFA (Carnegie Institute)

Professor Emeritus

Professor Buck has worked extensively in arts administration and development in both the public and private sectors. He served as development coordinator for the Shaw Festival and managed several performing arts facilities and theatre companies. At York, he was for many years manager of the University’s Performing Arts Series. He also managed a professional wind quintet and served as theatre design consultant for the Leah Posluns Theatre in Toronto and the Oakville Centre.

Keith Bradley

BFA (York)

Professor Emeritus

Professor Bradley taught extensively in the areas of theatre production and stage management at York.