Amanda Brunk, Producer/Resident Music Director
A proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Amanda Brunk is a cross-over voice teacher with a special interest in vocal health and rehabilitation. Her curiosity for the mechanics of singing and speech has taken her across North America to study with experts in the fields of voice pedagogy, therapy and speech. Amanda is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association and adjudicates regionally and provincially for classical, choral, pop and musical theatre categories. She is a published author for the NATS Journal of Singing.
Amanda is the founder and artistic director ofThe Singer's Theatre, a Broadway World Toronto winner for Best Youth Theatre Production in 2011. She has directed the music for over 40 musicals, including the Canadian premiere of Broadway's A Tale Of Two Cities. She has also served as vocal director for various cruise lines. Amanda is regularly invited to give workshops and presentations, most recently having taken a team to teach musical theatre in Beijing, China.
Since taking on the position of conductor of The Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir, Amanda has led the choir to win competitions nationally and internationally, and to perform with grammy-winning recording artists and rock groups.
Amanda maintains a voice studio in Waterloo, Ontario, where she lives with her husband and two wonderful children and teaches Contemporary Voice to singers at Wilfrid Laurier University. Amanda’s voice students have performed as members of the company at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, on North American tours and in Broadway shows. Others have gone on to complete performance degrees in the top college and university programs for classical voice and musical theatre in Canada.
Gord Davis, Resident Director
Gordon Davis graduated with a degree in Mathematics and English from the University of Western Ontario and later earned his Theatre Arts Specialist at the University of Toronto. He has been a major figure in Drama Education for almost 40 years. For 34 years, he was the theatre Arts teacher at Elmira District Secondary School. Mr. Davis started the drama program at EDSS in 1971 with 2 classes. Under his direction, the program grew to be one of the most high profile and high quality programs in Ontario. The plays that Mr. Davis entered in the Sears Ontario Drama Festival garnered hundreds of awards and frequent trips to the Ontario Showcase, and have provided models of excellence for students and teachers across the province. In addition to the honours that his productions have earned, Mr. Davis was named recipient of the Stewart Award for Teacher Excellence in 1990, and was the winner of the 1998 Waterloo Arts Council Award in the performance category for Directing. In 2008 he received the Michael Spence Award from Theatre Ontario for his contribution to young people’s theatre, through the Sears Ontario Drama Festival. Gordon retired from teaching in 2001 to concentrate on a freelance directing career. He is thrilled to be the resident director of The Singers Theatre, to further nurture young singers, providing them with an intense exposure to live theatre with innovative productions of challenging musical works.
Jake Simons, Screen Acting (Conservatory)
Jake Simons has over 25 years of performing experience has been teaching for 15 years. He has 25 theatre credits, 40 film and TV credits and has shot over 40 TV commercials. Some highlights include: a two year run of Dirty Dancing at The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto where he played the lead character Johnny Castle; Johnny Cash in the Ring of Fire at the Charlottetown Festival; The Fonz in the Canadian premiere of Happy Days the Musical (Stage West); Riff in West Side Story at Stratford; Song and Dance at Theatre Calgary; Hoopz (a Disney produced play about The Harlem Globetrotters in New York); three Pantomimes at the Elgin; recurring roles on the TV series Degrassi and Metropia; a supporting role playing Cuba Gooding Jr.s' cop partner in the feature film Sacrifice and the role of the Dad in American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight.
He is a trained dancer having studied tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop and modern dance. As a dancer and choreographer he toured with several Juno-nominated Canadian pop singers, performed on the NHL Awards and was a member of the Inaugural Toronto Raptors Dance Pack.
When not acting he enjoys singing, playing guitar and saxophone in his band. Raised in Kitchener, Jake studied General Arts at The University of Western Ontario and graduated from the Randolph School of Performing Arts in Toronto.
Gary Kirkham, Acting (Conservatory)
Gary Kirkham is a playwright and actor based in Cambridge, Ontario. In addition to Falling A:Wake, his writing credits include Pearl Gidley (Scirocco Drama, 2012,) Queen Milli of Gault (Winner of the SF Canadian Playwriting Award,) Pocket Rocket (with Lea Daniel) as a collaborator, The Last 15 Seconds, Body 13, Occupy Spring, and Seasons of Immigration with the MT Space, and Radio Leacock with Lost & Found Theatre. He also authored an adaptation of Easter by August Strindberg. GaryÕs plays have been staged in Canada, the United States, and the Middle East. He was the Blyth FestivalÕs Playwright in Residence in 2008
Everett Smith, Dance Instructor (Conservatory)
From performing in the North American National Tour of Tap Dogs: Rebooted as “The Kid”, to playing the role of “Paulie”, member of the Corny Council, in Hairspray: The Movie, Everett Smith has proven himself a versatile entertainer. Being the only tap dancer to ever make the finals on the hit CTV series “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, and being part of the principle “Hero Tappers” cast for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Everett embraces any challenge put in front of him.
Everett has also been part of many award winning productions, most notably being featured on the hit TV show The Next Step alongside some of his Bringing Tap Back students, playing the role of “Tip” in “I Think I Can” at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People: a story about bullying, science, and overcoming obstacles told all through the art of tap dancing. “I Think I Can” was nominated for 5 Dora Awards and won “Outstanding new musical” in 2007. Other credits include stage performances of Grease and Footloose, as well as film work on Disney’s “Ice Princess”, “From Time to Time”, “Life with Derek”, “Slings & Arrows”, and “American Girl Doll: Felicity”. Everett has danced for Katy Perry, Tom Cochrane, Cory Lee, Bobby Blake & Andrea Lewis. His work for Keshia Chante has included performances; opening for Ludacris, “The 30 Hour Famine”, “the Harry Jerome awards”, and the “2005 Juno awards”. As well, Everett danced alongside country superstar Terri Clark, in “Tapville” raising funds for cancer research.
Everett has always loved to teach and adjudicate and has always shown a strong passion to inspire. His classes across Canada have been a hit and have always come with a positive and motivating experience. His passion to perform, to inspire, and to entertain, has always been the driving force behind every step he takes.
M.J. Johnson, Vocal Coach/Accompanist (Conservatory)
M.J. has been working professionally in the theatre since the age of 17. Having spent the beginning of her career as a performer, she now works regularly as a music director, vocal coach, voice teacher, pianist, and vocalist. M.J. is a new resident of Kitchener-Waterloo, where she moved after 23 years of living and working in Toronto. She maintains a small Toronto vocal studio in addition to her new studio in Kitchener-Waterloo.
M.J. has worked as a Vocal Director for Disney Cruise Line teaching the mainstage shows for the Disney Magic Cruise Ship. She has played keyboard for the 'Broadway Across Canada' tour of "Wicked" (TCU Place), Drayton Entertainment's production of Les Misérables, and was a keyboard sub in Dancap's Toronto production of "Jersey Boys".
In addition to her thriving private vocal studio, M.J. is a member of the Vocal Faculty at Sheridan College vocal coaching and teaching private voice lessons in the Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program. She has taught in the College program at Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and has vocal coached and accompanied at a number of arts schools in the GTA and Kitchener including Etobicoke School of the Arts, Eastwood Collegiate, Cawthra Park Secondary School, and Wexford School for the Arts. M.J. was an adjudicator at the 2015 OMFA Provincials for their music theatre classes, and at the 2016 Stratford Kiwanis Festival for their pop classes. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association.
M.J. has music directed both a Kingston, Ontario production and a successful provincial tour of "Anne and Gilbert" for the Thousand Islands Playhouse. She did the vocal arrangements and music direction for the Next Stage Festival production of "Just East of Broadway", starring Ma-Anne Dionisio and directed by Jordy Merkur. Other music direction credits include "Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical" (Laugh Out Loud Productions), "Seussical the Musical" and "Beauty and the Beast" (Silver Mist Productions), "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" (Da Capo), "Victor, Victoria", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Oklahoma", "Beauty and the Beast" (CCP).
In her former life as music theatre performer, M.J. appeared onstage as an actor and accompanist in the touring production of "Piaf: Love Conquers All" (LVR Productions). She worked for Disney Cruise Line, Stage West Mississauga, and Paramount Canada's Wonderland, to name a few. M.J. is a graduate of the Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College.
Robin Warwick, Choreographer
Originally from Kitchener, Robin grew up dancing competitively, participating in every musical she possibly could and studying piano and voice. After graduating from Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, where she played roles such as K.C. Downing in 'My Favourite Year' and Elizabeth Bennett in 'Pride and Prejudice', she started working for Royal Caribbean International as a featured singer. This took her to places all around the world like China, Russia, Brazil, Europe and the Caribbean. After four contracts she is now back in Kitchener-Waterloo y teaching musical theatre, voice and piano to young and old who share her passion for the arts. She is also proud new member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Last year she had the privilege of performing with Drayton Entertainment as part of their 2016/2017 season in their productions of ‘Aladdin: The Panto’ and ’Cinderella: The Panto’.
Janet Kubik, Choreographer
Janet Kubik has worked as a professional in the arts for over 20 years. She has acted as performer, choreographer, director and producer on numerous projects ranging from local community charitable events to long term runs for professional theatre companies such as Mirvish Productions and Drayton Entertainment. She is trained in and has taught various styles of dance throughout her career and was the founder of Putting It Together Productions, a charitable arts organization focused on developing and promoting both amateur and professional performers.