Faculty and Guest Artists
Assistant Curriculum Leader
BA(Dance) - Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Grad. Dip. of Teaching – Secondary Ed. (QUT)
Dance Specialist (York University)
Drama (AQ- University of Toronto)
RAD Ballet – Advanced level
Danielle is an educator and artist who has taught Music Theatre, Dance, Drama, and Science in Australia and Canada. Prior to moving to Toronto she taught in both the public and private education sectors in Queensland. Danielle worked with Acting students at University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and dance teacher candidates at Queensland University of Technology and was the Dance Director of The Drama Studio in Queensland. She is passionate about Arts education and has been involved in the development of Arts curriculum with the TDSB and the Queensland Government.
Dance training – Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Folk, Jazz, creative movement/composition.
Selected Choreographic credits – True North Mix Tape and The Fence (Toronto Fringe Festival), WPA productions, Rosedale Dance show, USQ Drama productions, Rock Eisteddfod (Queensland), World Youth Day Liturgy, Toowoomba.
Performance – The Fence (Toronto Fringe), Sherwoodstock, Phantoad of the Opera (Toadshow productions, Brisbane).
Assistant Curriculum Leader
Shelly is a passionate and dedicated drama, dance and music theatre teacher. She has spent over 17 years with the Toronto District School Board, sharing her love of the arts with young people. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University as well as being a graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance program. Over the years, Shelly has directed and choreographed numerous plays and musicals some of which include: Legally Blonde, Footloose, Urinetown, The Laramie Project, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eurydice, Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical, Bittergirl, and Metamorphoses. Shelly’s students have received multiple honors for their participation in the Sears Ontario Drama Festival as well as winning top prize at the Stratford Festival’s Shakespearean Challenge. Outside of school projects include directing and assistant directing for Koogle Theatre Company at both the Burlington Performing Arts Centre as well as at North York Centre for the Arts. Shelly continues to perform and work as a stage manager with the Curtain Club Theatre in Richmond Hill. Various productions she has worked on include: Best Brothers, Butcher, The Last Resort, Drowning Girls (Thea Award for Outstanding Acting Ensemble), Don’t Dress for Dinner, and The Good Doctor. Shelly has been on the steering committee for the Directors Lab North since its inception in 2011. She values this annual opportunity to meet and work with directors from around the globe, which helps her continuously expand her skills as a director and teacher. Shelly is also on the educational advisory committee for Studio 180 and has been a district co-ordinator for the National Theatre School Festival (formerly known as Sears Ontario Drama Festival).
Jeffrey Newberry is an artist and educator with a reputation for his energetic and engaging style. At Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, Jeffrey teaches music and drama, and directs two ensembles: the award-winning Chamber Choir static whose self-titled debut release is now available on Spotify and Apple music, and the Wexford Gleeks who perform regularly at fundraisers, corporate events, and galas for visiting dignitaries across Ontario.
As music director, Jeff has worked on dozens of professional and community theatre productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Stratford Springworks Festival; Summerworks Performance Festival; Toronto Fringe Festival; Next Stage Theatre Festival; Children’s Theatre Project), including the workshop and premiere presentations of several new works by Toronto writers Anika Johnson, Barbara Johnston, and Suzy Wilde (Blood Ties; Summerland; Cowboy of the Western World; This is my Year; the Fence; One Small Step).
He has consulted on the development of school and community arts programs across Ontario, and his expertise as a workshop leader has been sought by the Hospital for Sick Children, teacher education programs at OISE, Queen’s, and York University, and provincial conferences for arts educators.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University [Artist in Community Education], and an Honours Specialist in Vocal Music from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Dance Specialist – Faculty of Education (U.T.) Dance and The Child I & II (YU.) Teacher – Dance / Music Theatre
Honey Frid began her journey at Wexford School for the Arts as a guest choreographer in 1995. In 1997 a position as resident dance teacher became available and Honey became a part of the Wexford Performing Arts Team. Honey’s dance experience is extensive and includes training in Jazz Modern, Ballet, Ballroom dancing N.I.A. and she is certified in the Pilates method. She received her teacher training through the B.A.T.D and York University’s dance program. She obtained her Dance specialist through the faculty of Education at U of T. Honey has choreographed and taught master classes throughout North America, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Israel. Her choreographic credits include: Minerva folk opera. The Really Little Theatre Company, CFTO Sick Kids Telethon, TSN Sports Celebrity Auction, Mel Lastman’s Inaugural Ball at the Metro Conventions Centre, and several benefits at The Ford Centre for the Performing Arts. She continues to choreograph and train in many areas of movement and instill in her students her passion and joy for dance. Recently her choreography has been featured in The Fence and Summerland at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Charlie Agathoclous is an alumni of the Music Theatre program at Wexford and has worked as the Production Manager for the Performing Arts programs for twenty years. His credits include Blood Ties at the Edinborough Fringe, Summerland, The Fence and Daughters of Feminists at the Toronto Fringe Festival and a new production of Blood Ties at the Next Stage Festival this January. He has an extensive performance career in Toronto and throughout North America.
B.A.H. - Drama/Music (Queen's University)
B.Ed. - Artist-in-Community Education (Queen's University)
Rob Kempson is a theatre artist and educator, working primarily as a playwright and director. Selected Writer/Director: Trigonometry (timeshare); Mockingbird (Next Stage Theatre Festival); SHANNON 10:40 (timeshare); explicit (Rhubarb Festival); #legacy (Harbourfront Centre); The HV Project (Community). Director: Maggie and Pierre, Million Dollar Quartet, Daisy Amazed Me, Violet’s the Pilot, Rose’s Clothes (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Songs for a New World (Claude Watson). Writer/Composer: The Way Back To Thursday (Theatre Passe Muraille). He was a member of the 2014 Stratford Festival Playwrights’ Retreat, and the Associate Artistic Director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse from 2014 - 2017. Upcoming: Director for The Canadian (TIP), The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom (Sudbury Theatre Centre), and 9 to 5: The Musical (Randolph College). More info at robkempson.com or on twitter at @rob_kempson.
Ann Merriam’s pioneering career has been dedicated to education, artistry, and community for more than 25 years. She is the founding Artistic Director of the auditioned Performing Arts program at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, which hosts more than 200 students across the core disciplines of music, drama, and dance. Graduates of her program study at Juilliard, the Boston Conservatory, NYU, and U of T, and are working on the stages of Broadway, Soulpepper, Stratford, Shaw, Mirvish, and beyond. Professionally, her work has been seen at Theatre Passe Muraille, Roy Thompson Hall, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Ann’s team and the award winning Wexford Gleeks were the subject of Global TV’s 16×9: The Real Glee, and TVO’s documentary Unsung: Behind the Glee. Ms. Merriam’s students have performed for former U.S presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and for James Earl Jones, and Goldie Hawn. The Wexford Gleeks are regular guests and crowd favourites on CBC’s Sounds of the Season, and have been featured on CTV’s Canada AM. A recent highlight saw The Wexford Gleeks in an historic collaboration with the Barenaked Ladies on Earth, and Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. The resulting music video has been viewed on YouTube over 1.4 million times.Ms. Merriam holds a Bachelor of Music Education (Western University) and a Masters of Theatre Education (New York University).
Barbara Johnston is Toronto based performer and a Dora nominated writer and director. Writing credits include – with Anika Johnson: Blood Ties (SummerWorks/Edinburgh Fringe/featured on BBC America’s Orphan Black), and Elly’s Emotions (2015 Dora nominee, Outstanding TYA Production, Outstanding Direction); with Anika Johnson and Suzy Wilde: Summerland (Toronto Fringe 2015) and The Fence (Toronto Fringe 2016). Performing credits include ‘Vera’ in Doctor Silver (Outside the March), The Fence and Daughters of Feminists (Toronto Fringe, 2015), and principal roles on TV’s Orphan Black and Private Eyes. Barbara has been seen on stages across North America as ‘Ginger Spice’ in Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute Band and recently as ‘Gwen Stefani’ in Spiderwebs: The No Doubt Tribute Band. She has choreographed for Outside the March and musical directed for Expect Theatre’s Beats and Intentions project. Barbara also works regularly with the award winning Wexford Gleeks (Wexford School for the Arts) and runs a private music studio.
Matt Bernard is a Director and Playwright living in Toronto and a founding member of Bain and Bernard comedy troupe. He is a graduate of the Musical theatre program at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. Co-founder of Bain and Bernard comedy whose body of work includes vaudevillian styled sketch comedy, street performance, and drastic comedic overhauls of Shakespearean plays. Recent Writing and Directing credits include Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre (Toronto Fringe Festival) and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of Hamlet (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival Sunday Series, Advice to the Players N.H.)
Shannon Hamilton is a voice, theatre and television actress working in Toronto and Montreal. Shannon appears every morning on Kids CBC in their show The Moblees and has toured across Canada working with their live show. Shannon lends her voice regularly to YTV’s Beyraiderz and the Sprout Network’s Kody Kapow . Shannon went through the performing arts program at Wexford and after completing a Theatre degree for Concordia University, returned to work on their production team. At Wexford Shannon works as production manager, stage manager, costume supervisor and as the production manager for the award winning Wexford Gleeks. She has also worked for Montreal’s Geordie Theatre School, Kells Academy and the City of Toronto. Recent theatre credits include The Ladies Foursome (Hudson Village Theatre), Summerland (Toronto Fringe), Faust (Scapegoat Carnival) and Oroonoko (Persephone Productions).
Miles Gosse is a dance artist based in Toronto, Ontario. A diverse performer, choreographer, and educator, Miles began his training at Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts studying in the Musical Theatre training program, later specializing in performance dance and contemporary techniques. He continued his dance training at York University where he graduated from the BFA Specialized Honours Dance program as well as earning his Concurrent BEd.
Professionally Miles has danced in works by Michael Caldwell, Alison Daley, Jesse Dell, Marie Lambin, Tracey Norman and The Garage Dance Collective. Miles has performed in the 60x60 Dance festival, Nuit Blache (Toronto), Fringe Festivals (Toronto, Montreal, and Hamilton), the New Music Festival through UofT as well as Canadian Music Week. Miles' choreography has been presented in the Body Brake series curated by Brandy Leary (Anandam Dancetheatre), Edge of the Sky Theatre productions, New Blue Dance Festival, Randolph College for the Performing Arts and for acclaimed Toronto Fringe shows 'WILD/WALLED' (2017) and 'in threes' (2018). Miles is Co-Artistic Director and founding member of Toronto Dance Collective Half Second Echo. He teaches at Stagecoach Theatre Arts (Toronto East), Dance Pointe Toronto, Seneca College and is a guest artist at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts.
Nicko is the co-founder and creative director of Glitz Event Entertainment. He is a graduate of Quebec's École Supérieure de Ballet and has been dancing professionally for over 20yrs and has performed with every major theatre company in the country including the Vancouver Opera, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Mirvish Productions . A native Montrealer, Nicko began teaching ballet and jazz at 17 at a studio owned by Miranda Esmond-white, the now celebrated host of Classical stretch on PBS. Although often too busy performing to teach a regular class, he continues to teach dance and music theatre performance at drop-in studios and arts high schools as well as workshops and summer intensives across the country. Nicko is also passionate about choreography, which he gets to express with his new baby: Glitz Entertainment.
Anika Johnson is a Toronto composer and performer. Writing credits include - with her sister Britta: Brantwood (Sheridan College; Audience Choice Dora winner), Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (YPT; Dora nominee, best new musical), and Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life (Outside the March/The Musical Stage Company); with Barbara Johnston: Blood Ties (Next Stage/Summerworks/Edinburgh Fringe/featured on Orphan Black), Elly's Emotions (Solar Stage; Dora nominee, best TYA production), One Small Step (Toronto Fringe); with Barbara Johnston and Suzy Wilde: Summerland (Toronto Fringe). She received a Dora for her performance in Britta’s Life After, which she also dramaturged, and tours internationally with Corpus DanceProjects and Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute Band.
Wilde is co-composer of Fringe hits, Summerland and The Fence (with Johnson and Johnston) and Maddie's Karaoke Birthday Party (with Barbara Johnston). Her new musical, Crack of Doom ( co-written with Matt Bernard) premiered this May as part of Bravo Academy's New Music Theatre Intensives. A graduate of Wexford Performing Arts and Humber College Music, Wilde is currently working towards a masters degree in composition at York University.
Jordan has been teaching at Wexford Collegiate for the Arts and directing the Grade 12 Drama Focus show since 2012. Past credits at Wexford include: The Ash Girl (2012, 2018); A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Metamorphoses; Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Title Bout, a show written by and created with the 2017 Grade 12 Focus class.
Jordan has been working across the country on both classical and contemporary plays, and in television, film and radio for over 20 years. He has spent four seasons with the Stratford Festival and has worked extensively with Soulpepper Theatre. Toronto acting credits include: Soulpepper (A Christmas Carol, Picture This, The Heidi Chronicles, The Dybbuk, Twelve Angry Men (Dora Award for Best Ensemble), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Dora award for Best Ensemble), Speed-the-Plow, The Sunshine Boys, Jitters, Glengarry Glen Ross, Travesties, Antigone, Ring Round the Moon, Waiting for Godot, among others); Tarragon (The Waiting Room, Sextet, Generous, Goodness, The Whirlpool); Canadian Stage (Sunday Father, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Written on Water, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew); Factory Theatre (Zadie’s Shoes, Tiger of Malaya); Theatre Passe Muraille (Yichud, Three Squares, Small Returns); YPT (Danny, King of the Basement). He has performed leading roles in Ottawa (GCTC, NAC); Halifax (Neptune); Winnipeg (PTE; WJT) and Edmonton (Citadel).
Directing /teaching credits include: Zadie’s Shoes, Therac 25 (Factory Theatre) Terminating (Summerworks Festival); Six Degrees of Separation, The Clandestine Marriage, She Stoops To Conquer – Georgian Period Study (George Brown Theatre School) Metamorphoses (Ryerson Theatre School); He has led acting workshops for Soulpepper Theatre and is a regular guest teacher at Randolph College.
T.V and film credits include: American Woman; Suits; Titans; Kim’s Convenience; The Strain; Designated Survivor; Saving Hope; Rookie Blue; Lost Girl; Murdoch Mysteries; Fugitive Pieces; Lost in Wonderland.
Jordan was a regular on the CBC radio drama Afghanada (Actra nomination for voice performance). He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.
Elijah Manalo is a performing artist and choreographer based in Toronto. After receiving his BA from Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Performance Program ’16 he has continued to work actively within the industry and is also a strong supporter for the development of new works by emerging Canadian artists. Recent theatre credits include One Small Step (Toronto Fringe), Liam: The Musical (Check & Hernandez), All Aboard (Suitcase Theatre), The Fence (Toronto Fringe), and Nuit Blanche’s LOOP (Expect Theatre). Being a Wexford alumni of the performing arts program Elijah has also been invited as a guest artist choreographing and assisting the dance department and production team during the school’s annual musical.
Gray is a proud graduate of both Wexford Collegiate and Sheridan College's Performing Arts programs. He has performed on some of North America's most renowned stages, including Atlanta's Fox Theatre, Kansas City's Starlight Theatre, California's Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre. Gray is currently based in Toronto, and has worked with many acclaimed theatre companies in Toronto and the GTA, including Mirvish Productions (Matilda the Musical), Drayton Entertainment (Holiday Inn, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Little Mermaid), The Grand Theatre (Mamma Mia!), the Toronto Fringe Festival (Summerland), and the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company (There's No Business Like Irving Berlin, A Rhapsody in Gershwin). Gray has also performed at The Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island, playing Moody MacPherson and Gilbert Blythe in the Guinness World Record production of Anne of Green Gables, as well as Laertes in Broadway's Kronborg, The Hamlet Rock Musical. Most recently, Gray was involved in the off-Broadway pre-production workshop of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout Theatre Company/Fiasco Theater) in New York City.
Selected Theatre Credits: Fiddler on the Roof, Little Mermaid (Capitol Theatre), Drinking Habits, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot, 80s Solid Gold (Stage West Calgary), Little Shop of Horrors, Charlie Brown, The Vaudevillians, Midsummer Nights Dream, Blood Brothers, A Christmas Carol (Rose Theatre), True North Mixtape (Toronto Fringe Festival), Blood Ties (Next Stage Festival). As an instructor, Jeremy has worked at Randolph Academy and his alma mater, Wexford for the past 3 years. As a student, Jeremy is a graduate of the musical theatre performance program at Sheridan College as well as training at the Stratford school, Tarragon Theatre, Dean Armstrong acting studio among others. Jeremy has also worked extensively with the hit comedy team 'Bain and Bernard Comedy' on shows such as Romeo and Juliet: Chainsaw Massacre, Sherlock Holmes and the case of Hamlet, A Midsummer's Nightmare (or how I learned to stop worrying and love Desdemona anyway), The 'You've Never Seen Anything Like It' Show and countless performances of Abbot and Costello's immortal "Who's on First?" He is a proud graduate of Wexford School of the Arts.
Valerie is an accomplished and award winning entertainer, choreographer, educator, adjudicator and coach who redefines the term “Triple Threat”.
A native of Toronto, Valerie studied Musical Theatre at Sheridan College and has trained extensively in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles studying all disciplines of dance as well as in voice and acting. With over 25 years of professional experience, her career has led her to Broadway and around the world performing on stage, television, radio, music videos, cruise ships, theme parks, casinos and numerous corporate events.
Valerie’s big break came when she was cast as “Oz”, the rocker rebel in the award winning Mirvish production of ‘We Will Rock You’. Other notable credits include: Dance Captain/Swing in the Broadway and Toronto companies of ‘Rock of Ages', Dance Captain/Swing in ‘Dee Snider’s Rock and Roll Christmas Tale’, ‘Hello Dolly’ and ‘Into the Woods’ at the Stratford Festival, Sillibub in ‘Cats’, Brook Wyndham in ‘Legally Blonde’, Rizzo in ‘Grease’, ‘Hair’ and many more. Her talents have also lead her to perform alongside such artists as Queen, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dee Snider of ‘Twisted Sister’, and has recorded a duet with Canadian Idol runner up, Rex Goudie, entitled ‘Won’t Have to Wait’ now available on Itunes.
As a highly sought after guest teacher and choreographer at studios throughout the GTA, Valerie is also a seasoned adjudicator having judged numerous dance and vocal festivals and competitions from coast to coast. A recipient of many awards, her acclaimed choreography credits have been featured on stage, television and corporate events including: TVO’s ‘Un-Sung: Behind the Glee’, Warner Brothers, Canadian Screen Awards, Jay’s Care Curve Ball Gala, The Marilyn Denis Show, Breakfast Television, CITY-TV, Canada Am, Universal Recording artist Suzie McNeil’s live shows, Mandell Entertainment, Canadian International Auto Show, General Motors, and RBC. Other choreography credits include: West Side Story, Grease, Les Miserable, Hairspray, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, Lion King, Hair, Footloose, and The Canadian National Show Choir Champions – The Wexford Gleeks. In 2014 she co-founded, the triple-threat vocal group, SONIC EVE who performed worldwide and headlined onboard many cruiselines. She is currently an educator in the arts with the Toronto, Durham and Peel School Boards and continues to teach for Canada’s most notable theatre companies, secondary and post-secondary arts institutions such as Mirvish Productions, Can-Stage, Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, St. Lawrence College, Sheridan College, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Rosedale School for the Arts, Earl Haig and is a resident choreographer/coach at her alma mater, Wexford School for the Performing Arts.
Valerie’s true passion doesn’t just lie within the craft but also with the students and artists themselves. Being a mentor and performance coach has allowed her to work with such organizations such as: YMCA, Sick Kids, United Way, Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, Children’s Wish Foundation, Performing Arts Lodges, Actor’s Fund, and Youth Day. In 2016 Valerie launched her performance consulting business that offers workshops geared towards building confidence, stage presence and teamwork in performers of all ages.
Valerie is an Associate member in Stage with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (B.A.T.D.) as well as a proud member of ACTRA, CAEA, AEA and the Professional Adjudicators Alliance.
A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Program in Contemporary Dance and the Wexford School for the Arts Musical Theatre program, Sims has danced in works by: Tedd Robinson, Mélanie Demers, Frédérik Gravel, Ann Liv Young, Noam Gagnon, Michael Trent, Darryl Tracy and Allison Cummings. From 2012 - 2014, Sims spent three seasons as a company member of Ottawa Dance Directive (‘ODD’) under Artistic Director Yvonne Coutts.
Sims is the Artistic Director of Social Growl Dance, established in 2012. The company has presented Contemporary Dance creations at festivals and venues including; the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, the SummerWorks Performance Festival, Dance Matters, Gallery 1313 and The Alumnae Theatre. Social Growl Dance has received creation residencies with Centre Q in Quebec and lemonTree Creations in Toronto. Sims has also created commissioned works for Quebec’s Collectif Dans Ta Face and Winnipeg’s Nova Dance Collective. In 2016, Social Growl Dance was the receipient of the Dance Matters commission and residency co-production. This produced Drunk On Fiction (2017), the company’s second full-length creation. Social Growl is currently in creation for Sims’ newest creation Amorous Playlist premiering in Toronto March 27th - 30th, 2019.
Currently Sims' is working as a dancer with Quebec choreographer Mélanie Demers (Mayday Danse) and Ottawa's Tedd Robinson (10 Gates Dancing Inc.). in 2018 Sims toured with Mayday Danse to Italy, Brazil, and the USA performing two works by the company. Animal Triste, and Dance Mutante. In 2019, Riley will tour with Mayday to West Africa, Sweden, France, and the Netherlands. Sims will perform in Robinson’s next creation premiering in February 2020.
Sims was recently the recipient of the Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships Commission (2018) .