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Academy Faculty

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Gateway Academy Faculty

The Academy Instructors are professional artists. We bring you working artist educators who are passionate about sharing their expertise with a new generation of performers. 

Ruth McIntosh

Ruth McIntosh
Education Manager
A professional actor for 20+ years, Ruth has worked in theatres across Canada and has taught across the Lower Mainland, including at Gateway Academy and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. A Dramaturg and Writer for dance theatre, Ruth is a graduate of the Vancouver Playhouse School of Acting.

Abbey Dutton

Abbey Dutton
Instructor
Originally from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Abbey moved out west to pursue performing arts and has gone on to work independently and commercially on stage and screen as a dancer, actor, and singer. She has appeared in commercials for BC Dairy, Acuvue, Pfizer, Del Taco and more, as well as episodes of iZombie, The Detour, Disney’s remake of Freaky Friday and the Hallmark Channel’s The Wedding Dance. She continues to work and create with other incredible artists, companies, and friends on their independent projects for stage and screen, but spends most of her time as a movement instructor. She has been teaching all ages and abilities for over a decade in the disciplines of dance, acting, and fitness, and continues to grow as a coach through her own education and certifications as a dancer, actor, barre instructor, life coach and soon to be a yoga teacher. Her strengths as an instructor lie in her ability to break down technique while creating a safe, humorous and inspiring environment for students to show up and explore who they are as artists, creators, and humans.

Erik Gow
Instructor
Erik is thrilled to be back with his third year at the Gateway Theatre. He is an educator with Bard on the Beach, Arts Club Theatre, UBC, Shadbolt Centre and several studios in town. He also works as an actor, playwright, and composer. Erik is a Jessie Award-nominated actor and graduate of Studio 58. He’s performed with the Arts Club Theatre, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Axis Theatre, Raincity Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars and many other companies around the country, as well as in Film and Television.

Manami Hara

Manami Hara
Instructor
Manami Hara immigrated from Tokyo, Japan to pursue her dream of becoming a theatre artist in North America. She has been successfully building her career as an actor, playwright, instructor, interpreter/translator, dramaturge and director for the past three decades. Most recently she was seen in Marjorie Chan’s China Doll at Gateway Theatre and vAct’s production of Tetsuro Shigematsu’s new play Kuroko at the Cultch. Manami has worked with companies across Canada including Arts Club Theatre Company, Boca del Lupo, Carousel Theatre, The Cultch, Factory Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Frank Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Globe Theatre, Grand Theatre, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre, La Luna Productions, National Arts Centre and many more.  She is a Jessie Richardson Award winner and nominee for her acting and collaborative creations. She feels extremely privileged to be part of the awesome Instructors and Education team at the Gateway Academy where she can continue to be passionate about teaching youth the magic of theatre making, acting, storytelling, and ensemble spirit.

Elliot James
Instructor
Originally from Quadra Island, BC, Elliott has been an actor and writer for the past 15 years. Elliott received his Masters of Creative Writing in Playwriting from the University of Victoria as well as a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta. While attending the U of A he trained with his mentors Michael Kennard, of the clown duo ‘Mump and Smoot’, and Kevin Kerr of the Electric Company Theatre. Elliott was an Artistic Associate and founding member of Punctuate! Theatre in Edmonton, AB where he guided the company through five seasons of original programming. He is currently working as a writer, actor, and teacher in Vancouver, BC.

Erin Michell

Erin Michell
Instructor
Erin is a performing artist specializing in choreography, storytelling, acting, and musical theatre. She is also a new playwright with her first play being produced and performed in Spring 2020. Erin has been teaching dance and theatre for over ten years and is passionate about sharing the creative process of performing for all ages. Directorial/Choreography credits for stage include The Jungle Book, Seussical The Musical, and Honk Jr (StageNewWest). Film credits include #ThisisAna - Ep 109 (web series), Lift A Finger (music video), and We Could Be In Love (music video). Erin is a graduate of The Canadian College of Performing Arts.

Shannon Pidlubny

Shannon Pidlubny
Instructor
Shannon Pidlubny is a storyteller, director, and writer. She got her start as a performer telling stories and performing poetry on stage. Shannon brings to her workshops an immense enthusiasm for self-expression, and 10+ years teaching oral storytelling, creative writing, public speaking, and speech arts. She’s helped hundreds of students, release their stories and voices out to the world, and develop confidence speaking. This year she led Voice, Speech Arts, or Oral Storytelling classes at Vive Voce Speech Arts Studio, Place des Arts and at Gateway Theatre.

Nicol Spinola
Instructor
Nicol is a Vancouver based dance educator and professional choreographer. Nicol has been teaching theatre and dance for over 15 years and has taught in studios all over British Columbia, Canada, and Tokyo, Japan. As a choreographer, Nicol’s most recent choreography credits include productions of Mary Poppins and Cinderella with Theatre Under the Stars of which she won two Ovation Awards for Outstanding Choreography, Mamma Mia with the Chemainus Theatre Festival, 9 to 5 at Capilano University and Company with Raincity Theatre. Nicol also produced and choreographed the sold-out production of Sweeney Todd in 2018 with The Snapshots Collective which went on to win four Jessie Richardson Awards including Outstanding Production, was nominated for Outstanding Innovation in Theatre and won an Ovation Award for Most Creative Use of Space. Nicol is also a performer herself and has been seen on many stages across the lower mainland as well as on-screen. Nicol is thrilled to be teaching with Gateway Theatre and can't wait to share her passion for musical theatre with her students.

Tessa Trach

Barbara Tomasic
Instructor
Barbara has worked in theatres across Canada performing, acting and directing musicals, plays and new works. She has worked with Soulpepper, Gateway Theatre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Chemainus Theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre. Barbara has been on faculty at Capilano University, UBC, Studio 58 as well as Gateway Academy (since 2005) teaching voice, musical theatre, and acting. A graduate of UBC with a MFA in Directing and JIPA with a diploma in voice and theatre performance, her most recent credits include directing Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Music Man (Gateway Theatre); Mamma Mia, Grease (Chemainus Theatre); and Hannah Moscovitch’s Little One (UBC).

Tessa Trach

Tessa Trach
Instructor
Tessa has been studying, training and performing for more than 20 years and has worked professionally as an actor, singer, choreographer, and sound designer. Recent credits include: Marty in Grease at Chemainus Theatre Festival and performing with Circle Bright in From Broadway with Love. Tessa has a Diploma in Music from Capilano University, a Bachelor of Performing Arts and is a graduate of Studio 58.

Natasha Zacher
Instructor
Natasha is an actor, facilitator, and producer with over a decade of experience working creatively with young people. She has worked as a performer and theatre-maker internationally, including in the UK and Denmark. She is a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting Programs at UBC. Natasha was a previous member of the Education team at Gateway Theatre, and after a brief jump across the pond, is delighted to be returning as an instructor.

Ruth McIntosh
Education Manager
604-247-4975
academy@gatewaytheatre.com 

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