Instructors

Sarah Magni – Artistic Director

sarah

Sarah is an actor, writer, facilitator, educator and researcher looking at theatre in lives of people with intellectual disabilities.  She is currently conducting research in this area through York University.

Sarah has spent the majority of her life on the stage and has an extensive background in all types of performing arts. Sarah studied classical music with top vocal coaches and competed and flourished in vocal competitions from a young age. She has performed with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra. She later shifted gears and went on to study Musical Theatre in New York City at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and The New School University (BFA Musical Theatre). Additionally, She studied and performed improv at the acclaimed Upright Citizen’s Brigade in NYC.

In New York City she performed in an Off-Off Broadway sketch comedy show and a tour with the Theatre Rehabilitation for Youth. She was a main puppeteer and performer in a number of NYC’s Shadow Box Theatre’s productions.

Sarah’s exploration of the arts led her to pen her one woman show, Stamped: A Story About Daniel, who Happens to have Autism that premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 2012 and received rave reviews. From there, Sarah’s solo show was later performed for nursing students at Ryerson University and for the Autism Ontario National Conference. Sarah’s show had a run at the legendary Kraine Theatre in New York City.  Sarah was a resident performer, singer and puppeteer with the world renowned Famous PEOPLE Players.

As an educator Sarah has been working with youth performers and performers with disabilities for over 10 years.  As a facilitator she has run numerous workshops and been on panels at Universities and theatre institutions such as McGill University, York University, Young People’s Theatre, Temple University in Philadelphia and City College New York, focusing theatre and disability.

Sarah has trained under Julian Boal and has a strong foundation in Theatre of the Oppressed and a belief in theatre as a vehicle towards social change.

Hayden Finkelshtain – Assistant Director

Hayden

Hayden is a Toronto-based actor, voice artist, and singer. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Performance Acting program, past theatre credits include: Taking Liberties (Campbell House; Dave Carley); Jay vs. The World and The Secret Life of Riley K. (Education Arts Canada), Sweeney Todd: In Concert (First Act Productions), Flooded (North America), Blue Remembered Hills (Good Old Neon Theatre), and Counting Sheep: A Guerrilla Folk Opera (Summerworks/Hot Feat Productions).

Aside from theatre, Hayden can be heard as Nikola Tesla and Z3 in Super Science Friends (an animation by Tinman Creative Studios), as Gorthion in Bakugan: Battle Planet (Spin Master), and as Captain Seasalt in Captain Seasalt and the ABC Pirates (Skyship Entertainment).

Hayden has also appeared in several films, television shows, and commercials.

Michelle Fox – Choreographer and Program Coordinator

MichelleMichelle Fox holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ryerson University with a major in performance dance. Upon graduation, Michelle danced as a company member with Cadence Progressive Contemporary Ballet for several seasons and went on to found her own company, Intrinsic Dance Project in 2012. With Intrinsic, she has presented works for many dance festivals and venues across Canada. Michelle has also choreographed and performed in many music videos and dance photography projects.

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.

Kat Langdon – Music Specialist

Kat LangdonKat Langdon is one of Toronto’s in-demand vocalists and the leader of jazz and RnB trio, Lady Be Good. As a “singer-for-hire” she is frequently found performing in a variety of genres; from soul and RnB to Top 40 and jazz with some of the top bands in the city. Kat is a graduate of Humber College’s esteemed BMus Jazz Performance program and in the past few years, has taken a keen interest in theatre with Steppin’ Out Productions in Richmond Hill. Most recently Kat was named the top Jazz Singer in North America by Gigmasters and was selected by Serena Ryder to sing at her Toronto concert.In addition to performing, Kat is a sought-after educator in some of the city’s finest private studios teaching vocal performance and piano.Please feel free to visit: www.katlangdon.com www.katlangdon.com for more information.

Michael Daneluzzi – Technical Director

MichealFrom a young age Michael has been interested in the Dramatic Arts. Michael successfully auditioned for the Regional Arts Program (R.A.P) at St. Elizabeth C.H.S where he studied dramatic arts. His passion for theatre does not stop at performing. Michael is currently a lighting and sound technician at the York Catholic District School Board Centre for the Arts and a part time technician at Flato Markham Theatre. Most recently he was asked to work on the short film “Sundae”, that will be in film festivals all over the world this year. Other film credits include “Onion Skin” and “Memories” currently on the festival circuit. Michael is Currently attending Sheridan College in the very Competitive Technical Production for Theatre and Live Events program. Michael is ecstatic to be the technical director for Thatz Showbiz.

Laura Pugliese – Wardrobe Supervisor

LauraLaura has recently completed her undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in the competitive Performance Production program earning herself a Bachelor of Fine Arts. With a focus in Public Relations and Costume, Laura’s previous credits include: Front of House Supervisor, Ryerson Dances (2010); Head Dresser, Period Study (2011); Wardrobe Supervisor, The Bundle, Directed by Alan Dilworth (2011); Marketing and Publicity Manager, Ryerson Theatre School (Fall 2012); Public Relations Coordinator, Staging a Rebellion: A Double Bill, Docket Theatre. Laura has also interned in the wardrobe department for Canada’s National Ballet School and this past June was the Associate Publicist in Toronto for the Emmy-Nominated dance company Shaping Sound, created by Travis Wall from So You Think You Can Dance. Laura is excited to be back creating magic with Thatz Showbiz!