Meet the Bard Education Team
Our Teaching Artist team includes some of the best-loved professional theatre artists in Vancouver—they are actors, directors, choreographers, innovators, and are all passionate about inspiring our community through Shakespeare.
Anousha AlamianTeaching Artist
Anousha Alamian is an Actor and a Teaching Artist in Vancouver. He has acted on many of the major Canadian/US television shows and has performed with various theatre companies across Canada. Alongside his Acting, he has been teaching young kids of various ages at Bard on The Beach, which he is very passionate about. Born in Iran, he moved with his family to Montreal at the age of 11. Following his passion for acting and the arts, he enrolled in a professional theatre program at Dawson College and received the “Excellence in Acting” Award in his last year. Subsequently, Anousha pursued BFA at Ryerson University in Toronto, where he had a chance to work with acclaimed directors and was the recipient of the “Excellence in Speech Award”. Anousha then advanced to professional theatre companies including CanStage, The Arts Club and Vancouver's Shakespeare festival Bard On The Beach playing a variety of Shakespearean characters. Most recently he played the leading part of Rasheed in A Thousand Splendid Suns at The Grand Theatre.
Tara Cheyenne FriedenbergTeaching Artist
Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg
Tara is an award winning creator, performer, educator and Artistic Director of Tara Cheyenne Performance. As an educator Tara is fueled by the desire to help performers embody text, character, and creative inspiration and bring integration, joy and freedom to our voices and dynamic bodies. Tara is known for her unique and dynamic hybrid of dance, comedy and theatre. She has choreographed for 7 seasons of Bard on the Beach, The Arts Club, Studio 58, The Firehall Arts Centre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, and Decidedly Jazz Dance Works among other. When she isn’t teaching and creating innovative movement for theatre she is performing her critically and audience acclaimed full length solos and ensemble works around the world (highlights: DanceBase/Edinburgh, South Bank Centre/London, On the Boards/Seattle USA, High Performance Rodeo/Calgary etc.). Tara lives on the unceded and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səlil̓wətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation)/East Vancouver with her partner composer Marc Stewart and their son Jasper.
Alex EatonTeaching Artist
Alexandra is an artist, educator, and aspiring arts administrator. Her first introduction to Bard Education was as a Young Shakespearean and she was a member of the Riotous Youth post-secondary internship programme for three years which sparked her passion for teaching. She graduated from the University of King’s College in Halifax, NS with a combined honours degree in English and History and during her time at university, she was an active member of the King’s Theatrical Society. Some of her favourite roles include Mary Shelley in Bloody Poetry, Athena in The Furies, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. Alexandra has spent four seasons as a Teaching Artist with the Young Shakespeareans program, working with participants ages 8-18. Her favourite part of teaching Shakespeare is seeing young people form their own connections to the text though play and exploration.
Austin EckertTeaching Artist
Austin Eckert has been teaching with Bard on the Beach for three years now, whether it be working with teens to create abridged performances of Shakespeare’s most famous works in the Young Shakespeareans summer camp program, or introducing children to performing Shakespeare through the Bard in your neighborhood or Bard in the classroom outreach programs. Austin has been a member of the mainstage company at Bard on the Beach since 2016. A graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, Austin’s work has been seen on stages throughout Western Canada, as well as on television.
Guy FauchonTeaching Artist
Guy approaches theatre as an opportunity for collaborative storytelling that illuminates the soul. Based in Vancouver, Guy is the Artistic Director of Theatre Obscura. He has taught Shakespeare at Bard’s summer program and in high school workshops and festivals, and at Thompson Rivers University. The Canada Council awarded Guy the JBC Watkins Award to attend grad school, where he directed Reckless, Transit of Venus, his adaptation of The Winter’s Tale, and Hair, for which he was nominated Best Director for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Other notable directing credits include: How I Learned to Drive, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, The Nether, Frozen, Sylvia, Trust and Oleanna. He was the apprentice director of Anita Rochon’s Cymbeline at Bard on the Beach in 2014. (BFA Acting ’91, MFA Directing ’10).
Jeff GladstoneTeaching Artist
Jeff has been performing and teaching theatre for over 20 years. His acting career has taken him from Victoria to Saint Johns, and New YorkCity. Some favourite projects include Keith Johnstone’s The Life Game for CBC Radio, Onalea Gilbertson’s Requiem For A Lost Girl with Vancouver Opera/Kettle Society, Bruce Sweeney’s feature Kingsway (TIFF, VIFF 2018) and four seasons with Bard on the Beach, appearing in the hit shows As You Like It & Macbeth, teaching the Riotous Youth mentorship program and Bard For Life Shakespeare for seniors. He is a Regional Representative for the International Theatre Sports Institute which licenses and trains groups around the world in Keith Johnstone’s Improvisation formats, and just returned from a teaching tour of Amsterdam, Prague & Oslo. Jeff leads theatre workshops in the downtown eastside, and is passionate about building community in the Coast Salish territories we are so fortunate to call home.
Erik GowTeaching Artist
For the past 10 years Erik Gow has worked extensively around Canada as an actor, educator, composer, music director, and playwright. He is an instructor with Bard on the Beach, Arts Club Theatre, Gateway Theatre, UBC, Shadbolt Centre, the city of Burnaby, and numerous studios. His training has spanned conservatory style acting training at Studio 58, to decades of musical training through private voice studios, Jazz studies at VIU, and workshops with award winning composers such as Daniel Mate, Pasek and Paul, and Marvin Hamlisch. His background with music and theatre lends him to having a deep love and appreciation for the musical qualities of Shakespeare’s language, and offers various approaches into the work. Erik is equally at home leading young artists through exploration style learning with an emphasis on fun, and imagination to adults and professionals delving into the deepest parts of their craft. He always brings a sense of excitement, respect for the work, and joy of theatre.
Isabella HalladayTeaching Artist
Isabella Halladay is a Vancouver based actress, musician, and Shakespeare enthusiast — she’s been reading the work of, performing in, and yelling about our favourite Bard since she’s been but a small child. She has been teaching with Bard Education since 2015, and is always thrilled to be creating and exploring Shakespeare's works. Isabella also teaches with Vancouver Opera's educational programming, Choral Stage, and throughout the community, working with students ages 4 to 18 across BC. Isabella graduated with her Bachelors of Music from the University of British Columbia studying Opera Performance. Since then, she has performed across Canada in musicals, dance, opera and theatre. She also performs improv with Instant Theatre’s “Shakespeare After Dark” (Shakespeare-inspired improv) and “Off Key” (fully improvised musicals). Isabella has sung with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and with choral groups such as Cor Flammae and the University Singers across Canada and Europe.
Alana Hawley PurvisTeaching Artist
Alana Hawley Purvis
Alana is an actor, vocal coach and arts educator who has worked throughout North and Central America. She is a graduate of the Academy for Classical Acting (MFA), the University of Alberta BFA Acting Program, York University Teacher’s Certificate Program for Artists, and The Stratford Festival’s Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. She has performed with various theatre companies across the country including: Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Vertigo Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Western Canada Theatre, and Theatre North West. Alana has served as a teaching artist and instructor at the University of Alberta, The Stratford Festival, Michigan State University, Douglas College, Theatre Alberta’s Artstrek, The Banff/Citadel Acting Program, various high schools throughout North America, and Edmonton’s The Speech Studio. She has collaborated with international organization CUSO in the development and operation of El Salvador’s youth at risk theatre program, ES ARTES.
Ming HudsonTeaching Artist
Ming Hudson is a physical theatre practitioner, freelance performer, devised theatre creator, and teacher. She is a graduate of LISPA, holds a MA in Ensemble Theatre from Rose Bruford College, and has a BFA in Acting from the University of Victoria. Ming is also the founder of new Vancouver collective At Last Productions. Select performing credits include:Timon of Athens and Lysistrata (Bard on the Beach), East Van Panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Theatre Replacement), Blisskrieg (Atomic Vaudeville), Post Secret: The Show (Firehall Arts Centre), Big Bad and Fall Away Home (Boca del Lupo), and The Penelopiad (ArtsClub Theatre). Up next, she will be performing on the Main Stage for the 2019 season at Bard on the Beach. Select teaching credits include: the Gateway Academy, Stage Coach, Langara College (Continuing Studies), Cleveland Elementary School, Parkgate Community Centre, and the South Surrey Youth Theatre Company. Currently, she is the acting coach at Circus West and a teaching artist for Bard Education.
Luisa JojicTeaching Artist
A multiple-time Jessie nominated performer, Luisa has had the opportunity to work with many celebrated companies including Bard on the Beach (eight seasons), The Arts Club, The Vancouver Playhouse, The Vancouver Opera, Pi Theatre, Touchstone Theatre, Mitch and Murray Productions, Blackbird Theatre, Theatre Conspiracy, The Richmond Gateway Theatre, and Theatre Northwest. She is a senior teaching artist at Bard, wheres he was a founding instructor in both The Riotous Youth Program and Bard in Your Neighbourhood, and was the Co-coordinator of The Young Shakespeareans program from 2014-2015. She is also the program director of True Voice Theatre Project, a community theatre program in the DTES which explores issues of community and inclusion, and for which she was nominated for a 2016 YWCA Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Award in Arts, Culture and Design.
Anton LipovetskyTeaching Artist
Anton Lipovetsky is an actor, composer, and teacher based in Vancouver, BC. He has performed on stages all over Canada, including the National Arts Centre, Luminato Festival, Arts Club, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Belfry Theatre, and four seasons at Bard on the Beach (returning this summer for his fifth.) Also an experienced musician, Anton is the composer of several musicals, including Elbow Room Cafe, Best Laid Plans, cool beans and four upcoming commissions. He has received two Jessie Awards and the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist. Through Bard’s education programs, Anton has been sharing his passion for theatre to all ages for six years. He has also been an instructor at Carousel’s drama classes and Theatre Replacement’s Panto Land Academy. Anton is a graduate of Studio 58’s acting program and the Stratford Festival Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre.
Alison MatthewsTeaching Artist
Bard’s Head of Coaching, Alison Matthews is also an instructor at the Arts Club Actor’s Intensive and the Citadel Banff Professional Theatre Program. She has taught at Capilano University, Vancouver Island University and Leadership Vancouver Island. For the past eighteen years she has provided individual instruction and group workshops to actors, teachers, and business professionals, and is a regular adjudicator for competitive speech festivals across Western Canada. With over two decades of professional acting experience, Alison has numerous film and television credits, including roles on such acclaimed series as The X-Files, Da Vinci’s Inquest, and Battlestar Galactica, as well as featured roles in films such as Disney's Snowdogs, and Final Destination 2. She has stage credits with the Belfry Theatre and The Firehall Arts Centre’s BC Buds: Spring Arts Festival, and has been in demand as a professional voice over artist for twenty-five years.
Moya OConnellTeaching Artist
Moya O’Connell is originally from Vancouver where she received her BFA in theatre from UBC. For the past 20 years Moya has worked as an actor all over the country but primarily at Bard on the Beach (7 seasons) and The Shaw Festival (10 seasons). Some of her favorite parts include; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Hedda Gabler, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tracey Lord in The Philadelphia Story, Ophelia in Hamlet, Imogen in Cymbeline, Vivie Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Mary Swanson in Middletown and The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. As an educator Moya has been working throughout her career with youth and adults: coaching, directing, leading workshops and teaching. She especially enjoys working on Shakespeare
Mike StackTeaching Artist
Mike is a professional theatre artist and educator with over 30 years of experience. He leads theatre workshops and serves as an adjudicator of Speech Arts at various venues throughout British Columbia. Currently the Lead Instructor for Carousel Theatre’s Teen Shakespeare Program, his wide range of work with young people also includes fifteen years as coordinator of the Young Shakespeareans program with Bard on the Beach, resident director for Theatre Temp at Templeton Secondary, guest director with Smithers Secondary, as well as numerous ongoing workshops throughout Lower Mainland schools and Home learning communities. As a performer, he has worked with many of the city’s theatre companies and has been fortunate enough to tour extensively throughout North America and overseas. Mike is a multiple Jessie Award nominee and recipient, and a graduate of the Studio 58 Professional Theatre training program.
Todd ThomsonTeaching Artists
Since 2001 Todd has performed in ten seasons with Bard on the Beach; during this time,Todd has been a Young Shakespearean teaching artist and has had the opportunity of providing guidance to over 200 young performers about the craft of acting through the exploration of Shakespeare’s plays. Todd has led workshops in Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Hamlet and As You Like It.Todd has worked in theatres across Canada; favorite roles include, Edin The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Caliban in The Tempest, Orsino in Twelfth Night, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Bernard in Don’t Dress for Dinner and Orlando in As You Like It.As a teaching artist, Todd endeavours to create a fun, safe and respectful environment where participants can thrive, learn and grow.