Music Theatre Performance Faculty

Katherine Kaszas
Artistic Director, Performing Arts Programmes
Ms. Kaszas has served as the Artistic Director of the Blyth Festival, the Associate Artistic Director of Canadian Stage in Toronto, Dramaturge of the Banff Centre for the Arts with free lance directing credits in professional theatres from coast to coast. Her particular passion is the development of new Canadian plays and musicals, and she has had the fortune to work with some of Canada’s most renowned actors, playwrights, musicians and designers on many a premier. She has taught at both University of Toronto and Sheridan Music Theatre. Since arriving at St. Clair College in 2004, she has launched two programmes including Music Theatre Performance and Entertainment Technology. For the College she has directed a number of productions, including her personal favourite -- A St. Clair Christmas now an annual Windsor tradition. Katherine is a member of the Canadian Actor’s Equity Association and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Film from York University.

John Karr
Voice and Music Faculty
Mr. Karr was the Music Director for 15 seasons at the Huron Country Playhouse. Other credits include conducting, music direction and accompaniment at Persephone Theatre, Muskoka Festival, Smile Company, Solar Stage, Expo 86 Ontario Pavilion, Gilbert and Sullivan Societies of Kitchener/Waterloo and Toronto, Shaw Festival, Leah Posluns Theatre, Theatre Collingwood, Drayton Festival Theatre and Rainbow Theatre. He began teaching in 1981 while continuing his professional engagements, and is formerlyy a faculty member at Sheridan College (Music Theatre Performance), University of Toronto (Theatre and Drama Studies, Erindale) and St. Clair College (Music Theatre Performance).Other teaching credits include the Royal Conservatory of Music, Humber College, York University, Equity Showcase, Leah Posluns Theatre School and the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City.Mr. Karr holds a Bachelor of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Western Ontario with post graduate studies in Paris at Cours de Perfectionnement et Interpretation with Denise Riviere and at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a Masters of Music, Vocal and Instrumental Accompaniment.

Melissa Williams
Dance Faculty
Melissa Williams is one of the most innovative choreographers working in the entertainment industry today -- recently you have seen Melissa’s work on the acclaimed first season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Seasoned in creating and staging dance sequences in many genres, Melissa has worked with some of the most established artists, actors and directors in the industry including Prince, George Michael, Bryan Adams, The Smashing Pumpkins, Michael Caine, Randy Quaid, Carmen Electra, David LaChapelle, McG, Paul Verhoeven and Joseph Kahn. Melissa found her love for live theater after spending months at Paisley Park studios choreographing, rehearsing and helping to develop the New Power Generation Dance Company. Her company DM Creative has choreographed and musically staged live productions around the world including Grease-the musical, HAIR-the musical, STORM, Generations, Bon Voyage, Piano Man and Undercover. Ms. Williams has choreographed and performed in television and feature films including Hairspray, American Pie, Batman & Robin, That Thing You Do, Showgirls, Farmclub.com, and The Tonight Show.

Lorretta Bailey
Acting Faculty
A native Albertan, Lorretta has performed in major theatres across the country and traveled as far as the Middle East entertaining the troops. She is the recipient of several Dora nominations (Toronto Theatre awards) for her stage work including her portrayal of Eponine in Les Miserable at the Royal Alex, Cinderella in Into the Woods at Canadian Stage, and Liza in Outrageous at Canadian Stage. She won a Stirling (Edmonton theatre awards) for Cecilia in Simpatico and garnered a Stirling nomination for Maria in Sound of Music at the Citadel. Favorite credits include: Mary in Saltwater Moon, Barbara in Major Barbara (Neptune Theatre), Zhaboonigan in The Rez sisters and Joni Mitchell: River (Playhouse in Vancouver). She is an honours graduate of the B.F.A programme at the University of Alberta.

Kristyn Wiklanski
Dance Faculty
Kristyn is a dancer, actor and choreographer who has toured the US and Europe with many musical productions (Cats, Grease). While residing in New York she performed as a Radio City Rockette for three seasons at the iconic Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Her original training took her to Los Angeles where she danced on several popular television series including All McBeal. In addition to cruise ship experience Kristyn also danced with the Mark Goodman Tap Company. She is now back in her home town of Windsor Ontario and has been active within the city, most recently directing and choreographing The Nutcracker Ballet for Edmunds Towers School of Dance.

Peggy Dwyer
Vocal Technique, Individual Vocal Coaching
Ms. Dwyer is a much in demand soprano, a frequent guest artist with the Juno award-winning Windsor Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Detroit Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Niagara Symphony, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. She appeared as Marina in Toronto's Opera in Concert Canadian premiere of Marina (Arietta), as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute with Opera Lyra, at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Ontario. Peggy is equally at home with Music Theatre repertoire, most notably as Lily, in The Secret Garden (Simon), and as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (Lerner and Loewe). Her performances include Handel's “Messiah”, various Mozart and Bach oratorio, Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana", and she was featured in the documentary "Cleary Symphony" performing Richard Strauss' "Vier Letze Lieder" with the WSO. Ms. Dwyer is featured on the Windsor Symphony's 1999 CD release performing Mozart's "Vorrei Spiegarvi".

Patricia Fell
Theatre History and Stage Craft, Costume Designer
Patricia has been working as a professional artist since 1980 in various media including Installation and Performance Art as well as Theatre Design. Whether working on a piece which is scripted, collaborative, or collective, she is passionate about all aspects of theatre performance. Her involvement with professional companies has afforded her the opportunity to act, design, and produce a diversity of works. Her theatre design credits range from As You Like It to Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, Carousel to Sweet Charity to The House of Bernarda Alba. She holds a Master’s of Educational Psychology (design & integration, McGill University, Montreal), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (theatre & design, Concordia University, Montreal

Ann Marie Pilon-Gerdun
Originally from Quebec, Mrs. Pilon-Gerdun has studied dance and drama in Montreal, Toronto and Paris. She graduated from Canada's National Ballet School Teacher's Training Program in 1985 and also studied acting at the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto. She holds her Licentiate Teaching Certificate with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (London, England). She taught at various studios in Toronto and then re-located to Windsor in 1991 in order to teach at the Dance Studio of Academie Ste-Cecile and at the University of Windsor where she taught for the Musical Theatre and the Acting Program. She was appointed Supervisor of the Dance Studio of Academie Ste-Cecile in 1992, where she is the principal ballet teacher as well of being in charge of the Ballet Teacher's Training Program. She now teaches part-time for the St. Clair College Music Theatre department . On many occasions, she has collaborated with Susan Haig and other conductors of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra to produce special choreographies to be preformed as part of the Windsor Symphony concerts.

Katie Mecher Williams
Modern Dance
Katie Mecher-Williams is currently the Artistic Associate Director and dancer for HNM Dance Company in Windsor. Katie graduated with a diploma in Theatre Dance from Ryerson University in Toronto. She has also studied at the Minsk Choreographic School in Russia; with Toronto Dance Theatre, with Ottawa’s Le Groupe de la Place Royale, and with Dance Theatre David Earle. Katie has worked extensively with Windsor’s Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises, both touring nationally and participating in educational programming. She has toured Michigan in the state funded performance, “Dance in America” and has performed with both Michigan based dance companies, Dance Nonce and Detroit Dance Collective.She has choreographed a number of works for the Windsor Light Opera Company and HNM Dance Company. Katie brings over 20 years of professional performing experience to the Performing Arts Program.

Roger Shank
Acting Faculty
Roger has been an actor and educator for over twenty years. In addition to being a member of the Stratford Festival acting company for five seasons. Roger is currently part of the Teaching Shakespeare programme. At Stratford selected credits: Menecrates (Antony and Cleapatra0, Jehan (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) Sir Andrew Ffoulkes (The Scarlet Pimpernel) Dumaine (All’s Well That End’s Well). Other selected credits: Brick, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Neptune Theatre), William Roper in A Man For All Seasons (Citadel Theatre directed by Robin Philips) Lee in The Melville Boys (Theatre North West). Co-artistic Director of the Grey-Bruce Arts Collective and MY (Meaford Youth) Film Studio. TV credits: Covert Affairs (USA Network), The Border (CTV), The Bridge (CBC) Zack Files (YTV).

Daniela Marentette
Voice and Music Faculty
Ms. Marentette has appeared as a guest soloist for a number of venues and has had the pleasure of working with Al Martino, Frank Gorshin, Syd Caesar, Time Tim and Jan Rubes. She attended the University of Windsor, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She has been heard on numerous CBC radio and television programmes.

Allen Levack
Vocal Faculty
Allen has an Honours BMUS, minor in Drama from the University of Windsor and a Masters Degree in Voice Performance and Literature (Musical Theatre) from Western University. He continues to work as a vocalist and performer world wide and has performed in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, New York City. He has starred as The Magician in THE CONSUL, Njegus in THE MERRY WIDOW, Dr. Blind in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Henry in SOUTH PACIFIC, as well as RENT, The Drowsy Chaperone, High School Musical, Paradises Lost, The Producers, CATS, Annie, Aida, and many more.
Mr. Levack is excited to have re-located back in Windsor-Essex County where, in addition to his work at St. Clair, he has a successful music studio.

Deborah Cottreau
Improvisation, Movement for Actors
With a background in physical theatre from École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Deborah has taught mask, clown, Commedia delle’Arte and the art of devising new work across Canada. She assistant directed under Christopher Newton during his last season at the Shaw Festival and has directed in both French and English. In Saskatoon, her current home base, she has worked for the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company as an instructor and for La Troupe du Jou r where she has directed, taught and run youth programs. Academically, Deborah holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. She has worked extensively with the manuscripts of Samuel Beckett at the University of Reading, England, having completed her thesis on his later stage plays. Over a period of four years, she was co-editor of Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada . Currently, she has been working as a dramaturg in French. Her favourites new works to date include La Maculée by Madeleine Blais-Dahlem which was recently included in Zones théâtrales at the NAC and La Chambre blanche by Ian Nelson which has just received its Saskatchewan premiere.

Guest Artists:

Miles Potter
Director of Working, Monologue Workshops
Over thirty five years of directing and acting across Canada, working on classics and developing new Canadian plays. Directing: productions at Stratford (this past season’s Three Musketeers), the Grand Theatre, The National Arts Centre, CanStage, Mirvish Productions among many others. He has directed numerous productions for the Blyth Festival. He has also been a guest director and teacher at the National Theatre School, George Brown College, Humber College and Dalhousie University and The University of Missouri at Kansas City.
ET CETERA Miles has received a Dora nomination (Directing, Molly Sweeney, Grand/CanStage); Dora Award (Directing, The Drawer Boy, Theatre Passe Muraille), a Jessie Award directing, The Taming of the Shrew, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver)

Lezlie Wade
Director of Working, Monologue Workshops
Directing credits include The Yalta Game, at the Shaw Festival and the Canadian premieres of Dog Sees God: Confessions of A Teenage Blockhead, Elegies, A Man of No Importance, Acting Up Stage Co., and Lanford Wilson’s Book of Days. She was also resident director on Love Loss and What I Wore for Nora and Delia Ephron in Toronto, and The Toxic Avenger where she worked alongside John Rando for Dancap. At the Stratford Festival she was the assistant director on Fuente Ovejuna, and worked alongside Des McAnuff on As You Like It and A Word or Two. She assisted Des on Jesus Christ Superstar at Stratford, the Lajolla Playhouse and on Broadway. In Des McAnuff’s final season at the Stratford Festival she was an associate director on Henry V. She was an inaugural member of The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction. Lezlie was Associate Artistic Director of Showboat Festival Theatre from 1996 –’98, cofounder and AD of Theatre in Port from 1998 – 2001, and AD of The Georgian Theatre Festival from 2003 – 2005.
Lezlie’s musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol has been performed at Theatre Orangeville, The Globe, STC, Workshop West and Carousel Theatre in Vancouver. Other musicals include: Queen of the Mist, Raging Grannies and Make ‘em Laugh for Smile Theatre. She is currently writing a musical adaptation of The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen with her New York collaborator. It will be workshopped this summer at the Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival’s “The PiTCH”. Lezlie is a two time Pauline McGibbon nominee. She was also nominated for a Dora Award for best director of A Man of No Importance and received a Guthrie Award from the Stratford Festival.
She is a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction and The BMI musical workshop in New York. Her songs have been performed for Andrew Lippa’s Writer’s Bloc, Ars Nova, and The London Platform.

Last updated 2/7/2014