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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.
Alex is excited to be joining the Ryerson PYC team this summer. He will be entering his third year of the Performance Production program at Ryerson in September. With a background in both production and acting, he is very passionate about theatre and hopes to one day find himself working in New York. Alex would like to thank the Ryerson School of Performance faculty, all of his teachers, his family and his friend Jazmine for all of their support throughout the last few years.
Head Counsellor of Playful Player’s Create an Ensemble
Alyssa is currently halfway through her BFA in the Performance Acting program at Ryerson’s School of Performance. She has been a youth worker in a variety of settings, from babysitting to classrooms to summer camp. She worked last year with the Playful Players and is thrilled to be joining the team again this summer!
Head Counsellor of Musical LIT’s and Broadway Bound
A graduate from the Canadian Dance Company, West End Studio Theatre and Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, becoming a performing artist/choreographer/teacher has been a life long journey. Seven years into the business, Emma has choreographed eight full length musicals and three physical theatre pieces. She has taught dance, drama and music with several different Toronto based companies including York University and Ryerson School of Performance Summer Intensives. She has performed in Newfoundland, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Yukon Territory and has toured across the United States. In 2016 she was the only Canadian on tour with the European production of HAIR as Dance Captain and Understudy to Sheila/Jeanie. Earlier this year, she was working with Norwegian Cruise Lines as a Singer/Dancer sailing Central and South America. While on the road (or at sea) performing and traveling, Emma created #travelingdancer; a platform where she choreographs and occasionally writes music for her dance videos around the world. With lots of experience in dance and a great foundation in music and story telling, she believes that this is her formula for creation.
Head Counsellor of Teen Acting Academy
Kate is a Toronto-based theatre artist raised in rural Saskatchewan. She has completed three years of conservatory-style theatre training from Ryerson School of Performance. Kate first forayed into theatre education when she developed Shakespeare workshops for ages 6-12, which she originally taught at Free My Muse Studio and then brought to Ryerson PYC. She is excited to come back for her third year of working with Ryerson's theatre camps.
Early and After Care Coordinator
Originally from St. John's Newfoundland, Kierstyn moved to Toronto to study in the Ryerson School of Performance Acting program. After four long and rewarding years she received her BFA in the Spring of 2017 and is very happy to be a Ryerson University Alumni! She worked with Ryerson Performance Youth & Community Programs last summer and had so much fun she couldn't wait to come back this year!
This year, Olivia will be entering her third year of Performance Acting at Ryerson School of Performance. Olivia loves singing and improv games and hopes to one day delve deeper into playwriting. She is looking forward to her first super-fun summer as a counsellor at Ryerson PYC!
Stephanie ("Steph") is a second year student in the Image Arts: Film Studies program at Ryerson University. She is very excited to be back at Ryerson's School of Performance Summer Camps for a second year, this time as the Media Counselor! Stephanie has worked in both film and theatre. Her work in film includes being in two professional commercials (RBC; Nordstrom), working on independent short films (both for school and professionally), and creating content for her YouTube channel. Her experiences with theatre includes work both on and off stage. She made her directorial debut with her high school's production of High School Musical, which she also produced. Other work with her high school include being the Co-President of the Drama Club for three years and acting in several productions (her favourite being "The Detective" in Clue). She's also worked on productions outside of high school, including Camp Rock: The Musical and of course last summer's production of Alice in Wonderland, as well as the Teen Academy Showcase. Outside of film and theatre, Stephanie has also guest starred on the new podcast, Unmotivated, (which has just wrapped its first season) and published both a poem and a short story for publications in her home town of Vaughan. When she isn't working on a project, Steph enjoys reading, writing, binge watching TV shows on Netflix, singing, and volunteering. She hopes to one day be a top notch producer and writer for film, television, and theatre. Say hi to her at: Twitter at @StephdeBem, Instagram at @stephdebem, and on YouTube.
Youness is a comedian from Brampton, Ontario. He graduated from theatre school in New York City at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Afterwards, he performed in professional plays, touring to schools all across Ontario. He then studied comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC), The Second City Training Centre, and Bad Dog Comedy Theatre. He is currently rehearsing for a live comedic improv show based off the TV series "Pretty Little Liars". He is also in the process of obtaining his Child & Youth Issues Training Centre Certificate (CYITCC). As a child himself, he dreamt that, one day, he'd be important enough to write a bio about himself in the third person. Dreams DO come true. NEVER give up.
Aidan has been acting since he was six months old! His experience lies mainly in film and television including a role in the YTV/Nickelodeon show "Life With Boys" and a leading role in the film "I Declare War" which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. He is very excited to be going into his second year in the Performance Acting program here at Ryerson University!
Aidan is a multifaceted musician, performer, entertainer, teacher, composer, and truth seeker. Aidan graduated her BMus degree with Honours from Humber College this spring; she will be pursuing a Masters in Composition at York University this coming fall. Aidan is trained in vocal technique and performance, as well as composition and production. Specializing in R&B, soul, jazz, and musical theatre, she loves and appreciates all genres of music. Aidan is absolutely thrilled to be acting as musical director with Ryerson Performance Youth & Community programs this summer!
Head Counsellor Playful Players Puppetry
Despina “Des” has recently finished her second year of Ryerson’s Early Childhood Studies program and will be returning for her third year in the fall. She is thrilled to be returning as a member of this year’s Ryerson’s PYC Summer Camp alongside the Playful Players for a second year in a row. She is extremely excited that this year’s musical will be Lion King, as it was her favourite film growing up, the first production she saw live and ultimately, the musical that ignited her passion for theatre. To date, her involvement in the musical theatre/acting communities includes performing in productions of Hairspray, Into the Woods, two renditions of High School Musical, Clue and a small collection of student-written plays and films, as well as assuming the role of Co-President of the drama club for two years in high school. When she isn’t involved in a production, Des enjoys immersing herself in other hobbies such as painting, cooking and baking, exercising and reading.
Head Counsellor of Playful Players Musical
Erica is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Studies program here at Ryerson. On her spare time, she enjoys dancing, going on adventures and anything antique! A graduate of Humber College’s Creative Photography program, Erica specializes in lifestyle and wedding photography. You can check out some of her work on her website or her Instagram: @egrecophoto. After an amazing experience last summer, she is excited to be returning to the Player Players Musical and Create an Ensemble this year!
Head Counsellor of Centre Stage Teens
Rebecca is a current student at Humber College’s Theatre Performance Program, which has an emphasis on physical and devised theatre. Rebecca has been teaching dance and acting for eight years now, and is excited to return to Ryerson this summer to work with the Teen Academy and be Head Counsellor/Director of Centre Stage camp’s upcoming play. Her Assistant-Director credits included PEACE Project (Transitus) and Out of the Shadows (Paprika Festival 2017). She has appeared on stage acting and dancing in PEACE Project (Transitus), Humanifesto (Humber Theatre), Four Hours(Alumnae Theatre) and nine seasons of The Nutcracker (Symphony Nova Scotia). Catcher on Netflix in CBC’s hit comedy Mr. D.