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“The camp director and counsellors are all top of the line quality! Activities are very useful learning moments for kids in a fun way, which is even better. Best customer care in town! Thank you.”
-Summer Programs Parent
Our staff and instructors each specialize in their respective fields. We are proud to maintain a counsellor-camper ratio of at least 1-8 for campers aged 6-18, and a ratio of at least 1-6 for campers aged 4-5.
Our staff all believe in the benefit of supporting young people through the arts, and the learning, confidence and fun that can come out of this. Some are senior students and recent graduates of Ryerson School of Performance, and other post-secondary Theatre Schools, who are finding success and acclaim in the Theatre World, as performers on stage and screen, writers, and directors. They are now wanting to pass on their passion. We also bring in students and graduates of Ryerson’s Early Childhood Studies Program, to work especially with our youngest students. These staff bring with them heaps of hands-on field placement experience. We ensure that our instructors are passionate about the specific field they teach and have the appropriate knowledge and experience to pass on to the students. All staff participate in training prior to the beginning of the session, including First Aid/CPR training.
Director of Youth and Community Programs
Madeline Smith graduated from Ryerson University Theatre School in 2015, with her BFA Hon. in Performance: Acting. In her new role as RTS Summer Programs Director, Madeline is bringing forward many initiatives to improve the day camp which has been in operation since 2011. She is leading the charge in working toward Ontario Camps Association Accreditation, creating programs tailored to specific groups of children, and ensuring the training at the Teen Acting Academy reflects the high quality of the school's full time BFA programs. Madeline also works as a support to the administrative staff. Madeline comes from the Ottawa region and is no stranger to the world of summer day camps, having worked at the Stratford Shakespeare School and many summers at The Academy of Musical Theatre, where she worked as the Workshop Director and assisted in opening their Ottawa branch. She has also taken courses in Expressive Arts, a field that helps people work towards growth and healing through artistic experiences.
Madeline spends occasional weekends at Camp Winston in the Muskokas. There she provides respite care to kids and teens living with complex neurological disorders (eg. Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Turrets, Oppositional Defiance Disorder etc.). She spent summer 2015 at this same camp, running their drama activities and directing the children in a musical to develop their social skills and confidence. Madeline wrote, produced and acted in Robin&Olivia at the New Voices Festival 2015 and continues to direct productions in Toronto.
Director of Adult Summer Acting Intensive
Kelly Arnsby has been faculty in the acting program at Ryerson Theatre School for the past fourteen years, and has created numerous dances for productions in the program. She has worked for many years as a choreographer, movement coach and instructor in theatre, including five seasons at the Stratford Festival where she coached actors, led classes and worked on a number of productions. She also worked for five seasons at the Banff Centre as a movement coach in the Contemporary Opera Program, where she led classes and was a resource stage director and scene study director.
Ms. Arnsby has taught in a number of university and conservatory training programs, including the University of Victoria as full-time movement instructor in theatre; at The National Theatre School of Canada; the University of Windsor as visiting artist in movement and acting where she directed three Works in Progress acting projects; the Theatre School of Humber College; the Contemporary Opera Lab at the University of Manitoba, as movement coach and as stage director for Fire by James Rolfe, and Love Stories by Claude Vivier; and in the undergraduate program as well as in the Opera Division of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.
Other choreographic credits include movement for the instrumentalists in Kafka’s Chimp and dance choreography for The St. Nicholas Hotel and Sticks and Stones (Banff Centre); movement for the operas Game Misconduct and Curlew River (Festival Vancouver); dance choreography for A Masked Ball (Pacific Opera Victoria), Romeo and Juliet (University of Victoria), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (University of Victoria), and The Quince Garden (Humber College). She holds an MA in Dance from York University, a BFA in Theatre Performance (Acting) with Distinction from Concordia University, is a graduate of the modern dance school LADMMI and trained in contemporary opera in the Dramatic Integration Program at the Banff Centre.
Adult Programs Staff
Professional Scene Study Instructor
Adam is an award-winning performer, director, writer and producer.
In 2008 he created BAD NEW DAYS (originally called TheatreRUN) to produce his own projects. Since it's inception Bad New Days has created, developed and co-produced over 10 original productions exploring Adam's vision of a poetic theatre of gesture.
Adam has been nominated for four Dora Mavor Moore awards, winning one for performance. He is an RBC Emerging Artist Award nominee and a K.M. Hunter Award nominee. He is a former Urjo Kareda resident artist and a former member of the Playwrights' Unit at Tarragon Theatre.
As a performer he has collaborated with Theatre Smith-Gilmour (Katherine Mansfield, Grimm Too, Chekhov's Heartache, Lu Xun Blossoms), Fixt Point Theatre (Tale Of A Town: Queen West, The Four Corners, Tale Of A Town: Huntsville), Why Not Theatre (Komagata Maru Project), Tarragon Theatre (The Amourous Adventures of Anatol), Vertical City (Youtopia) and Zou Theatre (Business As Usual).
He has directed for Soulpepper (The Sound Plays, Luminato festival with Ravi Jain) and for the Children’s Peace Theatre (HERO: Under Construction and In Shadows). He has assistant directed Leah Cherniak (Dirt, Soulpepper), Morris Panych (The Amourous Adventures of Anatol, Tarragon) and Richard Rose (No Great Mischief, Tarragon).
Adam is a dedicated teacher: he's a sessional instructor at the Soulpepper Academy and gives acting workshops in Scotland, France, India and China as well as all over Canada, using his own unique interpretation of the Lecoq pedagogy. Adam's goal as instructor is to help students develop a spontaneous mind and body through a coupling of formal technique and improvisation.
He is a graduate of École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Ryerson Theatre Schooland has studied Corporeal Mime with the Decroux company Intrepido in Paris. He also studied Commedia Dell’Arte with Marcello Magni of Théâtre de Complicité
Improv Comedy Instructor
Allison is a Canadian Comedy Award winning actress and improviser. She is an alumnus of the The Second City, where she wrote and performed in four critically acclaimed revues, including the Dora nominated Sixteen Scandals. Most recently, she performed alongside Sean Cullen and Patrick McKenna in Twist Your Dickens and with Colin Mochrie in the North American tour of The Second City Symphony Guide to the Symphony which premiered at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She improvises regularly at The Comedy Bar and The Bad Dog Theatre, most recently as a regular cast member of Historical Inaccuracies and Theatresports. As half of the award-winning sketch duo Haircut, Allison has performed in Chicago, Toronto and as a part of Just For Laughs. Other theatre credits include Dance Animal (Robin Henderson Productions), People Suck (Nutmeg Productions) and pool (no water) (Cue6 Productions) - all of which were selected as Best of Fringe; Pieces (Cue6 Productions) and The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine (Beacon Theatre). Television and film includes appearances on Odd Squad, Max & Shred, A Puppy For Christmas, The Beaverton, Everything’s Fine with Sandra and Jeremy and the screen adaptation of Miranda July’s short story "Roy Spivey" in The New Yorker Presents for Amazon Studios. She holds a BFA in Acting from the Ryerson School of Performance.
Foundation in Acting Instructor
Nick has worked in Toronto, Canada and London, UK as a director, writer and actor in independent film and theatre. He has been teaching for twelve years, including the Youth and Summer Theatre Programs of the Ryerson School of Performance (then called the Theatre School) where he served as Program Director from 2013 to 2015. He also taught with the Act One School of Drama in Pickering from 2005 until 2011. In 2015, Nick directed New Order and The Grand Hysteric, both as part of a double bill by Sheldon Rosen in Ryerson’s Abrams Studio Theatre. His directed works also include: Tattoo (2013), Pushing (2013), bagged (2014), as well as Metallica Is The Last Straw (2014) – all for the InspiraTO Festival at the historic Alumnae Theatre in Toronto. Nick wrote and performed his solo show, The Nature of a Bullet, for the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2013. He directed French Wine in 2011 and Prize Horse in 2012, for the New Voices Festival. Nick worked and trained with the Actors Centre UK and City Academy in London, UK and he holds a BFA in Theatre Performance: Acting from Ryerson University.