Next Generation Showcase Panels 2019

All Next Generation Showcase participants are invited to join us following each Industry Fair / Meet and Greet for a panel discussion. We will be joined by a group of esteemed professionals, all working in theatre, film or television, who will discuss their artistic journeys; the challenges that exist in the industry; and tips for navigating the ever-evolving world of early-career acting. Bring your most burning questions!

The panels are moderated by Andre Newell.


Moderator: Andre Newell

Newell_AndreAndre Newell is a writer, director, and producer at Dream Scenes, Principal Agent at Carrier Talent Toronto, and the Executive Producer of Canada’s largest acting showcase, Monologue Slam Canada. Now in its seventh year, Monologue Slam has become the premiere monthly networking event for Toronto's film, television and theatre industry. The event has attracted the industry’s most influential casting directors, producers, and directors, while showcasing over 500 actors. In 2017, the event launched in Vancouver and continues to expand. Since January 2015, Andre has written, directed, produced, shot and edited over fifty film projects. His innovative and ground-breaking approach to indie film making has made him one of the most sought-after film makers in Toronto. The Aspire Network in the US recently picked up his short film War on Love and The Monologue Slam series is currently playing on Bell Fibe TV.


The Business of Casting

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Jesse Griffiths, Ron Leach, Bryan MisnerAndrea ScottTovah Small and Matthew Willson join us as panelists.


Panelist: Jesse Griffiths

Griffiths_JesseA graduate of Ryerson Theatre School with a BFA in Theatre Performance, Jesse has appeared on stages and screens across the country. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the busiest and most respected Casting Directors in Toronto as a Casting Assistant and Casting Associate. In 2018, Jesse opened Jesse Griffiths Casting (JGC) with the goal of combining his passion for the arts, knowledge of local talent and the desire to develop and nurture the next generation of artists.


Panelist: Ron Leach

Leach_RonRon Leach is a noted Casting Director, Producer, award-winning Director and Acting Coach. He is one of Canada’s leading casting directors, casting independent film, television, theatre and commercials for clients as diverse as Hallmark, CTV, Anchor Bay, CBS, Paramount, Global Television, and many more. Ron served on the jury for the Oaxaca International Film Festival in Mexico 2012, 2013, 2015; has served as a juror for the International Emmy Awards, the Genie and Gemini Awards; the On The Fly Film Festival; and is a regular judge of the Toronto Monologue Slam. Ron served as President of the Board of Directors to The Canadian International Animation Festival (producing two festivals during his five year tenure); was Chairman of the Board of Directors to The Talent Representatives Association of Canada; and President of the Board of Directors to Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore award-winning Acme Theatre Company (producing over 30 plays during his 10-year tenure.) He has taught his acclaimed course of acting skills for the camera at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival; St. Lawrence College, Brockville; Centennial College Film and Video Production Program; The Vancouver Film School; and ACTRA Toronto’s Acting Your Age program. Ron is a member of the Casting Director’s Society of Canada and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.


Panelist: Bryan Misner

Misner_BryanBryan has been an agent at The Characters for more than 15 years. Originally from Winnipeg, he moved to Toronto to be an actor. Quickly, thankfully, he realized he wasn't a good actor and shifted to the business side of show business. He has clients that have performed at Stratford, Shaw, on Broadway, done national tours, and independent theatre ... also, Canadian and U.S. series, in Canadian and U.S. features, animated series and video games.


Panelist: Andrea Scott


Andrea is a London Ontario native with a Masters’ degree in Theatre from the University of Toronto. A professional actor for the last 20 years she made the transition to writing plays in 2010 with the one person play, Damaged, which had a reading at the rock.paper.sistahzfestival at bcurrent theatre. Since then she has written several plays including Eating Pomegranates Naked, Frenemies, Swings & Roundabouts, and Better Angels: A Parable which was in the 2015 SummerWorks Theatre Festival in August. Recent projects include teaching script writing class for the Young Voices Conference at the Toronto Public Library in October and her new TYA play, Princesses Don’t Grow on Trees at Solar Stage in 2016.


Panelist: Tovah Small 

Small_TovahRaised in a household of performers, Tovah was immersed into the world of theatre, film, and television at a very early age. She began her career as a casting associate in 2009 after attending Queens University. Her keen eye for talent was honed working with Toronto's top Casting Directors on such series as Suits (USA Network), Flashpoint (CTV/CBS/ION), and Hannibal (NBC), and feature films including Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg), Bang Bang Baby (dir. Jeffery St. Jules) and Regression (dir. Alejandro Amenábar). After five years in casting, Tovah further established herself at The Characters Talent Agency, nurturing their many award-winning, internationally renowned performers. She is currently a member of the exceptional team at Meridian Artists.


Panelist: Matthew Willson

Willson_MatthewWith over 40 film and TV credits to his name and a thousand stage performances under his belt, Matthew Willson is an award-winning actor, director, producer and financier of both film and theatre. ACTRA member, and Vice President of The Hamilton Theatre Company, Matthew cut his teeth as a kid in numerous TV commercials before moving into film and television - including recognizable roles in: Jack ReacherReignArrivalThe StrainRookie BlueMurdoch MysteriesQueer as FolkThe Ranch and dozens of successful indie films.




The Blueprint of Business

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Brandon Antonio, Paul Beauchamp, Evan Buliung, Rebecca Burton, Kevin Frank, and Amaka Umeh join us as panelists.


Panelist: Brandon Antonio

Antonio_BrandonBrandon is a graduate of Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program. He recently made his professional stage debut in Mamma Mia! at the Globe Theatre in Regina, SK, and is one of two recipients of The Musical Stage Company’s 2018-2019 Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists. This coming spring, you can catch Brandon at the CAA Theatre (formerly the Panasonic) here in Toronto, where he’ll be playing the role of Gabe Goodman in The Musical Stage Company’s Off-Mirvish production of Next to Normal. Instagram: @brandon_antonio


Panelist: Paul Beauchamp

Beauchamp_PaulPaul has been the General Manager & Producer for The Musical Stage Company since 2013. He has also Produced for the Luminato Festival, among other roles, and for six Festivals since 2009. Until 2015, Paul served as the inaugural General Manager for the arts-education initiative, The Artists Mentoring Youth Project, as well as stage managed for various companies including Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper, and Tarragon Theatre. Paul is a graduate of the Performance Production program at Ryerson University.


Panelist: Evan Buliung

Buliung_EvanEvan Buliung is a Canadian actor that has played roles on stage and in musical theatre, including the role of Aragorn in the Toronto production of The Lord of the Rings, Khashoggi in We Will Rock You, William Burke in Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare and Pericles in the Stratford Festival's 2015 production of The Adventures of Pericles. He has also had occasional supporting roles in film and television, most notably as Professor Warren in The Best Years and as Michael Braxton in Bitten. Evan is a Dora Mavor Moore Award recipient for Best Actor in a Musical in 2013 for Bloodless and was a Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Lead Actor in a Television, Film or Miniseries at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017 for CBC Television's film of Pericles.


Panelist: Rebecca Burton

Burton_RebeccaRebecca Burton has a BA in theatre and history from the University of Guelph, an MA in theatre from the University of Victoria, and she is a PhD ABD in theatre (though lapsed) at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Currently, Rebecca is the Membership and Professional Contracts Manager at Playwrights Guild of Canada, where she also instigated and co-founded Equity in Theatre (EIT), a two-year initiative designed to redress the under-representation of women and other marginalized communities in the Canadian theatre industry ( Rebecca also works as an editor, educator, and researcher, and she has a great deal of experience as a practitioner in various capacities, including as an actor, dramaturg, playwright, collective creationist, director, stage manager, and technician.


Panelist: Kevin Frank

Frank_KevinKevin has been an actor/writer/musician for the last 30 years. He began his career studying improv comedy in 1984 with The Second City in Toronto and joined the faculty as a teacher in 1988. For the past ten years he has served as the Artistic Director of The Second City Training Centre. During this time, he has performed in over 60 television commercials and has had countless appearances on popular series television. Kevin hosted the popular children’s game show Kidstreet for five years, co-starred with Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett in The Marriage Fool, and hosted Life Networks' Pet Project, which received four Gemini nominations. He can also be heard as many of the voices in the Thomas the Tank Engine first feature movie.


Panelist: Amaka Umeh

Umeh_AmakaA graduate of the Randolph College Musical Theatre Performance Program, Amaka has received three Dora Award nominations, one My Entertainment World MyTheatreAward nomination, a Toronto Fringe Patron's Pick Award and an Honourable Mention in Best of Fringe. Amaka also completed the Factory Theatre Mechanicals and Toronto Fringe Theatre Entrepreneurs' Network and Training (T.E.N.T.) Programs. Selected credits: A Christmas Carol (Grand Theatre); The Wolves (Crow's Theatre/Howland Company); A Midsummer Night's Dream / Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in High Park/Canadian Stage); James and The Giant Peach (Young People's Theatre); Pets (Shadowland Theatre); Twelfth Night (Classical Theatre Project); Munsch Mash (Solar Stage). Upcoming: Ensemble in Towards Youth - A Play on Radical Hope (Crow's Theatre/Project Humanity), and Bobbi Jakes in Hilda's Yard (Foster Festival).


The Next Generation Showcase panels are sponsored by Meridian Artists.


For More Information

Contact Raeburn Ferguson, Professional Theatre and Education Manager, at or 416.408.4556 x.12


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