Previous Guests

Richard Sheridan Willis – Actor

Richard Sheridan Willis - ActorTrained: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Richard has worked extensively at theatres in the UK, USA and throughout the world. He has appeared in London’s West End, to New York’s off-Broadway to Toronto’s Royal Alex Theatre. Companies include Leicester Haymarket, Norway’s National Theatre, Peter Hall Company, London, Denver Centre Theatre Co, The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia. In 2014 he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Washington Theatre’s Helen Hayes Awards.

Recent theatre includes Richard lll, Twelfth Night, Henry V (Folger Shakespeare Theatre) The Clockmaker(STC)Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady,(STONC) Father in The Railway Children(Roundhouse Theatre, Toronto),Vigil (STC) Catch 22 (Lucille Lortelle, NYC)

TV: Dr Who, Law & Order, Flashpoint, Nikita, Lost Girl Film: Dreadful Sorry, The Big Bad Swim.

Richard performed his critically acclaimed one-man show Strolling Player at 2013 The Toronto Fringe Festival, and more recently at The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in Washington DC. More info at www.richardwillis.org.

Susan Cuthbert – Singer/Actor/Dancer/Teacher/Director/Choreographer

Susan CuthbertSUSAN CUTHBERT is thrilled to be working with THATZ SHOWBIZ! Most recently Susan was Assistant Director for the Mirvish’s “Musical of Musicals’ at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto and Vocal Coach for Kerry Stratton’s TORONTO CONCERT ORCHESTRA’S production of Brundibar. Susan has recently been nominated for A DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD for her roles in CATS (also at the Panasonic Theatre), re-creating the roles she played in the original Canadian Production of CATS.

Susan began her career as a dancer, but is best known as Anne in the Charlottetown Festival production of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, (including across Canada tour and the Canadian Cast Recording) and playing the starring role, Christine Daae, (original Canadian PHANTOM OF THE OPERA). Susan is also a STRATFORD FESTIVAL stalwart, a previous DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD nominee for DAMES AT SEA, principle actor on TV’S DEGRASSI: Next Generation and a CONCERT DIVA singing with such artists as Mandy Patinkin and Michael Burgess. She enjoys teaching , directing and choreographing privately and for such schools as, Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, Sheridan College, No Strings Theatre, Etobicoke School for the Arts, Long and McQuade, Bravo Academy and Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus. Susan is excited to share her passion and experience of music theatre with the wonderfully dedicated youth at THATZ SHOWBIZ!

Alison Smyth – Actor, Singer & Director

Alison SmythWinner of “Best Featured Female” in the 2010 Broadwayworld.com Awards for her performance in JERSEY BOYS (Dancap Productions), Alison Smyth’s career has included theatre, music tours & film. In April & May 2013 Alison was performing in the Theatre for Young Audiences Tour for Magnus Theatre (Thunder Bay). Performance credits include HAIRSPRAY! (Mirvish Productions), EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL (Latimer Entertainment), ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (Charlottetown Festival), & an appearance in HAIRSPRAY: The Movie (New Line Cinema). She is a proud member of the Canadian Actors’ Unions CAEA & ACTRA.

Alison is grateful to be establishing herself as an emerging director. In summer 2013 she is directing ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for No Strings Theatre to be presented at The Toronto Centre for the Arts. She also enjoys coaching musical theatre performers of all ages & stages at her private studio.

Danielle MacMillan – Singer

Danielle MacMillanToronto native Danielle MacMillan, a first year COC Ensemble Studio member, made her COC debut as the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes. She holds a bachelor of fine arts, with honours, in classical vocal performance from York University, with additional training at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto in Italy and The Glenn Gould School (GGS). Her credits include Rose in Lakmé (Opera by Request); Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Véronique in Bizet’s Le docteur Miracle and the Cabaret Singer in Weil’s Mahagonny-Songspiel (GGS). This season at the COC Ms MacMillan also appears as Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte (Ensemble performance) and will be covering the role of Garcias in Massenet’s Don Quichotte. ​

Minerva Mohabir – Toronto- based Actress & Dancer

Minerva MohabirIn film & television, Minerva has a variety of credits including lead roles in feature films in “Killer Gods” that won best picture at the L.A. Film Festival 2012 and “Split”(2013) . She also appeared in the Bollywood film, “Thank You” and the short films “Silent Retreat”, “Splitting Bethany” and “Third Law”. She also appeared in the reality special “Making the Pak” on Raptors TV and commercials for Budweiser,Listerine, Big Brother Canada, Sony Walkman, Esquire, HBO’s ‘Boxing after Dark’ and corporate videos for Tim Hortons. Minerva has been featured as the leading lady for music videos ‘So Far Been A Pleasure’ and ‘Chaddi Wale Yaar’ (the promo music video for Russel Peter’s movie “Breakaway”) as well as playing the leading lady role for numerous Bollywood music videos. Among her growing acting credits, she has been featured on TSN, Raptors TV, City TV, CBC News at 6 and SUN TV. Her impressive acting skills is accredited to her on-going and dedicated training to Armstrong Acting Studios, Pro Actors Lab, Sears & Switizer as well as multiple workshops and private training with esteemed coaches in Toronto and LA Casting Director, Amy Jo Berman.In conjunction to her acting skills, Minerva compliments her acting abilities with her passion for dance. She holds five consecutive seasons as a professional dancer and choreographer for the NBA Toronto Raptors dance pak. Choosen by 700,000 fans, she was elected as All Star dancer for Toronto for the 2007 All Star game in Las Vegas. In addition, her impressive dance credits include choreographing and dancing for music videos which appeared on the top charts on Music Music, and dancing for artists Massari, Carly Rae Jepson, Glass Tiger, Eva Avila, opening for Karl Wolf and more. In addition, Minerva has choreographed for the CFL Argo Cheerleaders & T.I.F.F. 2011 launch party & events for the Russel Peter’s movie “Breakaway”.

Teresa Schettini – BFA Honours, MMT, MTA Candidate

Teresa SchettiniTeresa holds a Masters degree in music therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University and an undergraduate degree in music performance; classical voice and classical piano from York University. Teresa has been teaching piano and vocal lessons for over 12 years and has over 6 years of experience teaching children with special needs; diagnosis include Autism, Down syndrome, Acquired Brain Injury and Dyslexia. She has developed a unique teaching style that enhances the learning environment for all children, is success oriented and strives to motivate students through music. Teresa has worked as a music therapist for 3 years where she has had the opportunity to work with children and adults with developmental delays and mental health disorders. Her experience includes her internship towards music therapy accreditation at a Toronto hospital and current work experience at a children’s treatment centre. Teresa believes music enables growth; emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually. ​

Athena Babayan – Soprano

Athena BabayanAthena will charm her way into the hearts of many as she performs the role of Rosina in the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.This past December, she received The Sustaining Members Scholarship from the ARIAS Foundation, and coached with Sandra Horst in preparation for the ARIAS concert in Walter Hall. She most recently performed the role of Blondchen in Opera By Request’s production of Mozart’s Die Entführung auf dem Serail in February of 2012 as well as The Queen of the Night in The Glenn Gould School’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in December 2011.Athena participated in The Vianden International Music Festival, which took place in Luxembourg. There she coached with Semyon Rozin, Simon Pettite and Nicolas Muni among other distinguished performers and teachers. She won the Concerto Competition at York University in the third year of her degree, where she performed Rossini’s “Una voce poco fa” from The Barber of Seville, under the baton of internationally renowned violinist and former concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Jacques Israelievitch.

For the past four years Athena has been singing with the acclaimed Ottawa Bach Choir, as a choir member and soloist. In December of 2008 she went to Mexico City, and in June 2009 she went on a European tour including J.S. Bach’s own Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany, Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, England, and most notably Notre Dame in Paris, France, among other distinguished venues. In May of 2011, she went to New York City to perform at various venues, including Carnegie Hall.

Athena is currently in her second year of the Artists Diploma Program at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory where she received the Ruby Mercer Por Scholarship in 2011. She graduated from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts Secondary School with Honors. She has completed both Grade Ten level in voice and the Grade Eight level in piano at The Royal Conservatory of Music with First Class Honors. She has graduated from York University Faculty with a BFA in Music Performance. She received an Entrance Scholarship and The York University Talent Award.

Jessica Scarlato – Soprano B.A. M.Mus

Jessica ScarlatoHaving been introduced to the stage at the age of three, through dance, soprano Jessica Scarlato has competed throughout Canada and the United States for six years in ballet, tap, jazz, acro and hip-hop. She started singing at the age of twelve and has not looked back ever since. In her hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at York University, and just completed her Master’s degree in Opera Performance at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where she is studying with world-renowned tenor, Stefano Algieri. In the summer of 2009, Jessica was a participant in the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program, which took place in Greve, in Chianti, Italy, where she had the opportunity to work with many great coaches and teachers such as, Daniel Ferro, Robert Kopelson, Bruno Rigacci & Rolando Russo. In November of 2009, Miss Scarlato won 1st place at the NATS Ontario Chapter Auditions and won the award of Most Promising Singer. Last summer, Jessica received a scholarship to study for two months in Spoleto, Italy, with the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di A.Belli di Spoleto, where she participated in movement classes, coachings, master classes and concerts and had the opportunity to work with soprano, Elizabeth Norberg- Schulz and Baritone, Renato Bruson.In the 2011-2012 season of Opera McGill, Jessica performed the title role of The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and the role of Donna Elvira in the main stage production of Don Giovanni.This year, Miss Scarlato has been nominated as a Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques 2012 by the International Committee of the XIXe Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques National Audition. It is with this organization that Jessica had the opportunity to travel compete in her first international singing competition in Riva del Garda, Italy, (June 2012) where she placed as a finalist.

Carey – Puppet Creator

CareyCarey is a long time puppet enthusiast and crafter who has spent the last 10 years innovating new ways to bring life to art. Her creations were featured in our productions of Shrek The Musical and Adams Family. This year she will be returning to our theatre to produce the puppets for Little Shop of Horrors, and we’ll be having a little workshop of horrors of our own! Carey will be working along side the performers to teach conceptual design and puppet fabrication. Any unruly students shall be fed to the carnivorous plant. ​

Xander Westwood – Makeup Artist/Actor

Xander WestwoodA Graduate from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy Xander has worked in NYC for 6 years. He is a transplant from the Metro Detroit area. He has split his time in the Lime light and behind the Scenes. Some of his credits include (theatre): Beethoven in Dog Sees God : Confessions of a Teenage Block head – Off Off Broadway. Swing in Happy Hour – Off Off Broadway, and various TV extra work. On hiatus from the stage, Xander found a new passion; makeup. Xander is now a New York City based makeup artist. He has worked with companies such as Dior, YSL, Armani, Temptu, Nars, Smashbox and more. He has worked backstage at Fashion Week, on various sets and with private clients. His work has appeared in Inked Magazine and Urban Ink in collaboration with Stila for Roxy’s NYC Fashion Night Out and Danijo’s Fashion Week Presentation. His beauty expertise and skill have contributed to his success in the industry.​