David Rayfield

Contract Faculty

Drawing for the Theatre / 1st Year Stagecraft

Gwenyth Dobie

Honours BA – University of Windsor, School of Dramatic Arts
Graduate Diploma – Centro Italiano Tecnica Alexander

Gwen Dobie
Associate Professor

Movement for Actors and Devised Theatre, The Alexander Technique, Acting Pedagogy

Professor Gwenyth Dobie, a certified Alexander Technique teacher and Yoga practitioner, teaches movement for actors and devised theatre in the Department of Theatre at York University. Gwenyth is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Out of the Box Productions, a performance fusion company that creates original works integrating spoken text, dance, music and interactive technology. Her producing and directing credits include Opera Erotique, which toured in BC and was remounted in Toronto; The Third Taboo, which toured western Canada; Prior Engagement at Belfry Studio Theatre in Victoria, BC; Sound in Silence premiered at the Belfry in Victoria and the Theatre Centre in Toronto; and Bugzzz ~ A Cautionary Tale at Toronto’s Theatre Direct. Rallentando is her latest creation, presented at Hub14 in Toronto.

Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston

BA Philosophy/Theatre (Manitoba)
MFA Interdisciplinary Studies (Simon Fraser)
PhD Anthropology/Theatre (Simon Fraser)

Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston
Associate Professor

Performance Studies

Professor Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston is an anthropologist, performance theorist and theatre director. Her research interests include experimental, imaginative and performance ethnography; ethnographic storytelling; political/activist performance; political anthropology; environmental anthropology; gender and ethnicity; international relations; violence and terrorism; migration; ageing; socialism/postsocialism; and the Roma people. She is a co-founder of York University’s Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE), a project committed to advancing critical and politically conscious research.

Dr. Kazubowski-Houston’s research has explored performance as an ethnographic research methodology and representation. She worked on performance ethnography projects with Romani minorities in Poland, Nazi-Holocaust survivors in Canada and Poland, and low-income residents in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Her research has also bridged bioethics, policy and gerontology. She collaborated on a study that investigated theatre as a method of public engagement in health policy development regarding the use of reproductive technologies. Her current research examines dramatic storytelling as an affective and reflexive ethnographic research methodology in the study of ageing and migration.

Her book Staging Strife (McGill-Queens University Press 2010) was awarded both the 2011 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Outstanding Qualitative Book Award and the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Ann Saddlemyer Book Prize. Staging Strife explores the challenges of collaboration and activism in performance ethnography by analyzing a politically charged theatre production undertaken with a group of Romani women in Poland.

Dr. Kazubowski-Houston’s other publications include journal articles in Social Science & MedicineText and Performance QuarterlyAnthropologicaCanadian Theatre Review and West Coast Line. She is currently writing her second monograph on imaginative ethnography, dramatic storytelling and fiction, which is under book contract with McGill-Queens University Press.

Professor Kazubowski-Houston trained as a theatre director with prominent Polish theatre/visual artist Józef Szajna and has worked as a professional theatre director, performer and playwright in Canada and Poland.

In recognition of her contribution to excellence in teaching in the Department of Theatre, she was the 2014 recipient of the Junior Faculty Teaching Award of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.

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.