Board of Directors


Annie Clarke

Annie Clarke (Toronto) is an actor, producer, and theatre creator originally from Vancouver. She works in communications and marketing at Studio 180 Theatre, the Dirt Underneath Actors' Space, and the creator-based conversation series Dark Nights. As an actor, recent Toronto credits include: The Rape of Lucrece (Paprika Festival), Marisol (Seven Siblings Theatre – Staged Reading), Brave New Theatre: Unholy (BNT – Collective Creation), The Crucible (Kindling Collective), and Much Ado About Nothing (Unit 102/Leroy Street). Annie served as co-chair of the 2016 Theatre Ontario Youth Advisory Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University.


Tim Dawdy

Tim Dawdy (St. Thomas) has been active in Community Theatre for the past 18 years. He started in St. Thomas doing sound and lights and then progressed into props, sets, stage managing and directing. In 2006, Tim got his first taste of the WODL Festival and has since worked with about twenty member groups at Festival. There has also been many times that Tim has assisted with groups at Theatre Ontario Festival.


Ron Dodson
Interim Vice-President / Executive Committee

Ron Dodson (Stratford): After 26 years of teaching secondary drama, Ron spent the final six years as the Curriculum Coordinator for the Avon Maitland DSB. After retirement, he taught at Brock University and adjudicated a number of Sears Drama Festivals. His board experience includes the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (President), Gallery Stratford (Chair), and Theatre/Théâtre Canada (President). His international experience includes the International Amateur Theatre Association (AITA/IATA asbl) where he is the Interim Chair of the Standing Committee for Children and Youth. He was the Artistic Director of the 14th World Festival of Children’s Theatre (Stratford, ON; 2016) Currently, he is the Outreach Manager on the Board of Directors of Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance and co-chair of the Stratford Arts and Culture Collective, a coalition of over 30 local arts and culture groups.


Farzeen Foda
Executive Committee

Farzeen Foda (Mississauga) is a corporate strategy and human resources professional with experience in the healthcare and financial services sectors. She has a particular interest in helping organizations enable employees in achieving their mission and strategy. She enjoys exploring Ontario’s arts and culture landscape through various local productions and festivals. Farzeen also supports various non-profit organizations through pro-bono consulting. Farzeen has earned her BSc in Life Sciences from McMaster University and her MBA from the University of Toronto and is interested in opportunities to support Ontario’s thriving arts and culture sector.


Vera N. Held
Interim President / Executive Committee

Vera N. Held, M.Ed. (Toronto) runs VNH Communications. She enhances individual/team productivity and develops engaged, communicative staff. In 1998, the Canadian Booksellers Association voted her best-seller How Not to Take it Personally one of 15 leading business books in Canada. Published in five languages, it’s sold 30,000+ copies worldwide. Vera’s business column "Make It Work" runs monthly in Careers, e Toronto Sun. In 2017, Vera joined the Board of Directors of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada. She completed a three-year BOD term at Toronto’s Variety Village in 2016, and became the Co-founder and President of the Centre for Jewish Culture and Education in January 2015. In 2013, Vera was the Top Individual Fundraiser for Women Build, Habitat for Humanity GTA. A lover of theatre, language and culture, Vera has traveled extensively. In 1983/84, she taught EFL in Tokyo, Japan. In 2002, she was inducted to the Humber College Alumnus Wall of Distinction; she’s been listed in the Canadian Who’s Who for many years. Vera’s new Theatre Ontario course is called, "Propel Your Professional Career Forward."


Carri Johnson
Executive Committee

Carri Johnson (North Bay) has been involved with Gateway Theatre Guild since 2003 and is currently serving her third term as president. Her passion is stage management, but she has dabbled in acting and producing. She has also been involved with Canadore College’s Rep 21 (Stage Manager) and Nipissing Stage Company (actor, stage manager and board member). Carri has a long history of board and committee membership, serving multiple terms as president on four boards (AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area, Canadian Academy of Audiology, Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing and Gateway Theatre Guild). As Festival Stage Manager for the Theatre Ontario Festival (2007 and 2016) and was last year’s Festival Co-Chair she has had the opportunity to be a part of Ontario’s thriving community theatre scene.


Eyal Katz

Eyal Katz (Toronto) is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Giant Step Inc., an award-winning digital marketing agency. Eyal has over 15 years experience creating digital marketing campaigns and online applications for many brands including Disney, Dell, CARP, Gogo’s Crazy Bones and more. A full-stack developer, technical lead and software architect for over 100 interactive productions Eyal built software for every screen, from web and mobile to theatres, kiosks, POS and ATMs. Eyal received a B.Sc. in Software Engineering from the University of Toronto and serves on the board of directors of the Off Centre Music Salon.


Gil Katz

Gil Katz (Toronto) is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Giant Step Inc., an award-winning digital marketing agency. Gil has over 12 years experience creating digital marketing campaigns and online applications for over 100 clients ranging from startups to global brands. A member of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts and other associations, Gil speaks at events, judges marketing awards and serves on the board of directors of the Off Centre Music Salon. Gil received a Hon.B.Sc. in Mathematics and Interactive Media Design from the University of Toronto and a Certificate from Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich Business School.


Andre Newell

Andre Newell (Toronto) is a Writer, Director, 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 7th year, Monologue Slam has become the premiere monthly networking event for Toronto's Film, Television and Theatre Industry. The event has attracted the industries 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 50 film projects. His innovative and ground-breaking approach to indie film making has made him 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. 


Matthew Willson

Matthew Willson (Paris): With over 40 film and TV credits to his name and 1000 stage performances under his belt, Matthew 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 Reacher, Reign, Arrival, The Strain, Rookie Blue, Murdoch Mysteries, Queer as Folk, The Ranch and dozens of successful indie films.


Brenda Worsnop

Brenda Worsnop (Cobourg) discovered the stage at 7 in Cornwall, and rediscovered it as an adult with the Brockville Theatre Guild in 1975. Now, after more than forty-five active years in community and professional theatre she is well known as a director, actor, stage manager, set designer and teacher/mentor across southern Ontario. She was co-creator/owner of a murder mystery company, Games Up; has worked professionally in Ontario Summer Theatre as an actress and stage manager; has served on regional community theatre boards in all positions for over forty years, and she even managed to combine her administrative and theatre skills at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga in her job as Executive Administrator. She has taken many Theatre Ontario summer courses and is currently Past President of the Eastern Ontario Drama League.


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