Mark Keller has been working with Children’s Arts Theatre School for over fourteen years. A graduate with honours with a BFA from York University, studying within the Acting program, Mark has worked in a variety of facets within the performing arts. From stage managing fringe shows, to being artistic director of an Australian Regional dance competition, and being featured in a number of commercials, short films, and theatre productions. He took a year off from CATS to work and live in Australia, where he worked for a prominent theatre, wrote articles for a large website, even booking an ad campaign for an Australian bug spray! Mark truly loves helping children work towards their artistic goals.
Keely is a graduate of Queen’s University with a Major in Drama, specializing in Stage Management, Production Management and Administration, and is so thrilled to be back in Toronto working with CATS Again! While at Queen’s she was the Technical Director of the Vogt Studio Series, Production Managed The Mystery of Edwin Drood and City of Angels and sat on the Board of Directors for Queen’s Musical Theatre. She has been with CATSfor 7 years and took classes as a child through CATS as well.
Emily Harrison Smith has been with CATS for many years. She started out as a student, and became a member of staff eight years ago. Emily hopes to obtain her B.Ed after completing her undergraduate studies in Leadership in Early Childhood Education at George Brown College. She has volunteered her time in various classrooms, and gained valuable experience. Emily is looking forward to being a part of the drama department again. Emily enjoys working with each and every child at CATS!
A Toronto native, Marianna Rosato received her BFA and graduated with honours from Ryerson Theatre School’s Technical Production Program in 2006. Marianna spent three years as the Assistant Stage Manager for Toronto Dance Theatre as the Metcalf Foundation Intern. Since then she has stage managed works for Dancemakers, The National Ballet School of Canada, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, ColemanLemiuex&Compagnie, Shannon Litzenberger Contemporary Dance, BoucharDanse, Raagini Dance, ProArteDanza, Dreamwalk
Jamie Nicholson – Drama Educator
Jamie Nicholson is delighted to be working at CATS this year. He has attended CATS since he was 5 years old and is thrilled to embark upon his first year as a teacher. He is currently attending Etobicoke School of the Arts where he majors in musical theatre. He is member of SPLASH, Canada’s top show choir, competing in Show Choir Canada, Can-Am and FAME USA National Championships. He has participated in Mainstage shows such as Fiddler on the Roof,Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and most recently played Kyle the UPS delivery man in Legally Blonde. He looks forward to using his many years of experience as a student to benefit all the current students and to make sure they have a great term.
Naomi Peltz – Senior Drama EDUCATOR
Naomi is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts’ College Program. She has gone on to work in many facets of the arts, including performing, directing, and of course, teaching. Naomi has been teaching for a number of years, and has taught with various companies in Ottawa and Toronto, including the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama, The Ottawa Music Academy, Arts Express, Artsarama, and Musica Music School. Naomi is thrilled to be a part of the CATS family; it really is her privilege to pass on her passion for the arts to the next generation. Naomi is currently working towards launching a theatre company, and can be found performing on various stages around the city. Stay up to date on her various projects at naomipeltz.workbooklive.com.
Sarah McGowan is a honours graduate in Performing Arts from Brock University(’11), and also a graduate in Musical Theatre from Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts (’13). She has been involved in the arts her entire life, whether through dancing for 18 years, or in theatre productions through all of her school years, such as Legally Blonde the Musical, If We Were Birds, Urinetown the Musical, Footloose, and The Wiz, to name a few. She has had the privilege to partake in many productions throughout Toronto including her latest performance in Elvis and Dick the Musical in the Toronto Fringe Festival. She taught beginner jazz and ballet dance when she was a senior through her dance studio in London ON. She has also had many summer vacations working as a Drama Camp Counsellor with weekly productions. This is her first year with CATS, at the Danforth Saturdaylocation, and is most excited to be involved in her first terms production that her students, teaching partner Jamie, and herself have been working so very hard for so far!
Sara Dow – Summer Camp Coordinator
Sara has been a part of CATS for several years, beginning by participating in many CATS Mainstage productions. This year will be her sixth year as a counsellor at CATS camp, and she is looking forward to taking on the role of Camp Coordinator. Sara has just completed her BaH at Queen’s University in history and film. She hopes to soon continue in film studies and begin hands-on experience. She is looking forward to seeing returning CATS campers and meeting all the new ones as well! Sara can’t wait for another great summer at CATS camp!
Zoe Edwards – Drama AssistantZoe has trained extensively in various styles of dance such as Ballet,Contemporary, Modern, and Hip Hop. She currently attends Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts where she also is a dance major. Zoe first attended CATS as a camper at the age of six and has participated in many productions such as The Sound of Music, Oz, Robin Hood, Mary Poppins as well as the Mainstage production of Les Miserables. As CATS student and camper, Zoe enjoyed coming to CATS every year and so she cannot wait to extend the same experience to new CATS members!
Tory Johnston -VISUAL ARTS DIRECTOR (SUMMER CAMP SESSIONS)
Tory is very excited to be joining the staff and campers at CATS for the first time in the 2016 summer program. She attended Acadia University for Theatre and has worked in theatre and film in various capacities over the past five years including at TIFF and Hotdocs. She currently works as a Front of House Manager at the Milton Centre for the Arts and especially enjoys working on the various youth programming and kid’s shows at the theatre. She has spent the last two summers working at The Stabback Musical Theatre Camp in Ottawa as the Stage Manager and Props, Costume and Set Designer/Instructor. She loves working with kids and giving them on opportunity to explore their creativity and imagination. Having grown up attending theatre camps every summer she can’t wait to be able to create similar memories for campers that she was lucky enough experience. She can’t wait for this summer and is looking forward to getting to know her fellow staff and all the campers!
Andrew Kurnew -Dance Director
Andrew has a passion for teaching such talented children! He has been so proud of all the C.A.T.S. Students. Andrew has traveled the world touring different shows. He was dance captain for Carnival Cruise Lines for 8 proud years, cruising to such places as Europe, Caribbean and Australia. Andrew is also a dancer for the Much Music Video awards. Last year he was also a dancer for the Pan Am ceremonies. Andrew has choreographed for many productions such as “Cats”, “Chicago” and “Joseph”. He has also danced and choreographed for a circus company called Creativiva, touring “The Jungle Book” and “Pinocchio” to Dubai and China. Andrew is excited for this amazing summer camp and can’t wait to create magic with the children!
Arianne Bilas – Head of Kitchen and Special Events
Arianne has just completed her first year at the University of Toronto in sciences and plans on specializing in cell and molecular biology. She is thrilled to be back as part of the CATS Camp staff this summer! Arianne has been an assistant teacher at CATS, a camper and student herself in the CATS program since she was 3 years old. She has also been an actor in seven of the past CATS Mainstage Theatre Company productions. She can’t wait to get to know the campers and help them put on yet another fantastic show!
LIORA KLEIN – DRAMA ASSISTANT
Liora Klein is so excited to be working at CATS this year. Liora started classes at CATS at the age of three and some of her favourite shows included Peter Pan, Annie, Superspoof, and The Sound Of Music. She’s also been in many Mainstage productions including Les Miserable, The Drowsy Chaperone, Singin’ in the Rain, and Legally Blonde. Liora is a grade 10 student in the musical theater department at Etobicoke School Of The Arts. Liora enjoyed every year she attended CATS and is extremely excited to be working in the program she loves so much!
Nick Manzur – Drama Assistant
Nick Manzer is jubilant to be working as a councillor at CATS, as this is his first year undertaking such an ambitious task. Unlike his cohorts, Nick has only been going to CATS for five years, the last two being spent as a CIT. He attends Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, wherein he studies drama.
Mateo Lewis – Drama Assistant
Mateo is going into his final year in the Music Theatre program at Etobicoke School of the Arts, where he is a Section Leader for Splash, the award-winning show choir, and sings Tenor in Jamme, the A Cappella jazz choir. He also co-directs EsKapade, a student-run 5-person Techno-Pop A Cappella group. In his spare time, he is an avid composer, and at the age of 14, he wrote, directed, and starred in an online concept album, Rob Ford: the Musical, which was featured in NOW magazine and on Indie 88. He has been coming to CATS camp since he was 9, and he’s ready to have a great time during his first summer as a camp counsellor!