These alumni have gone on to professional studies and careers in the arts. Please feel free to google them while you wait for our updates…
- Kurtis Whittle started with No Strings Theatre performing in our 2007 Summer Intensive show, Seussical. Inspired by a love of singing and stage, he went on to study vocal performance in the Music Department at the University of Western Ontario. Now back in Toronto, Kurtis says:
“My last show with No Strings was Les Miserables (2010), where I had the privilege to portray none other than 24601 himself. I had come a long way since my monkey debut four years prior in Seussical! I miss the program dearly, and No Strings Theatre helps remind me every day of why I went to Western to pursue my degree in Music, and why I’m back in Toronto pursuing theatre. This past July, I performed an opera in Italy, and I owe so much of my success to the first teachings I received at No Strings Theatre.”
No Strings Theatre wishes Kurtis great success in his career!
- Shaina Silver-Baird
This month, our alumni spotlight takes us all the way back to the beginning. Shaina Silver-Baird appeared in the No Strings Theatre production of Cinderella – our very first show – in 2005. Shaina graduated from York University’s performance program with a BFA, and since then, she has built an impressive theatre resume, playing lead roles on stages across the country, both as a vocalist and as an actor. Favourite roles include Ruth in the premiere of The Ghost Ship (Sundown Theatre), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Citadel Theatre), as well as a role in the new musical Fitz Happens
(Musical Works Festival, Theatre 20).
In addition to her theatre work, Shaina recently played a lead role in the feature film Go Fish(director Brett Heard). She’s also excited by her work as a singer/songwriter/violinist for the folk/pop band Crooked House Road, whose new album was produced by Juno-winner Ken Whiteley. Check out Crooked House Road. Shaina can be seen next at The Storefront Theatre in The Chasse-Galerie (Red One Theatre), “a tale of adventure, the devil and old Quebec!” No Strings Theatre wishes Shaina great success in her exciting career!
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- Lauren Voorpostel first came to No Strings Theatre in 2010, taking on the challenging role of Eponine in the Summer Intensive production of Les Miserables. The following summer, she played Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and then, in 2012, Georgia in the Kander and Ebb musical Curtains. Lauren’s studies have led her to the University of Guelph, where she is working towards a degree in Biological Sciences, but she has not lost her passion for musical theatre. At Guelph she appeared in a production of The Drowsy Chaperone, and she will be in the university’s production of Legally Blonde this spring.
“There are so many things that I have learned during my time at No Strings Theatre that made me not only a better performer, but helped me with my studies and who I am as an individual. I gained confidence, adaptability, leadership skills, and the knowledge that with hard work and focus, it is possible to get things done in a short amount of time. I will be forever grateful to No Strings Theatre for giving me the opportunity to take part in such an amazing program.”
An avid supporter of No Strings Theatre, Lauren was one of the people instrumental in creating our Emerging Artists Program. She will also be back to sing in our Holiday Festival on December 20, in the shepherd chorus of Amahl and the Night Visitors.
- Mary Askwith performed in five shows as a student in the Summer Intensive program with No Strings Theatre, starting in 2008 with Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood) and ending with Curtains (Carmen Bernstein) in 2012. After beginning her studies in the Dramatic Arts Department at Brock University, Mary returned to work for No Strings Theatre in the summers, creating the Song and Script workshop program and serving as Assistant Stage Manager for both Anne of Green Gables (2013) and Little Women (2014). As a founding member of the No Strings Theatre Emerging Artists Program, Mary was also intern director – with mentor Susan Cuthbert – of the first EAP production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, in 2015. “Performing in shows with No Strings Theatre was always the highlight of my year. I’ve met so many amazing people, and I’ve learned so much from the eight years I’ve been associated with the company. It can be tough to find a place where you’re taken seriously at a young age, but the team at No Strings Theatre has always believed that young people can achieve amazing things. This company has given me so many opportunities to do what I love most, and I don’t know where I’d be without the support of the people I’ve met there.” Mary will be graduating from Brock University this spring, and will be looking for opportunities to work and continue to learn in Toronto’s theatre community. No Strings Theatre wishes Mary the best of luck in her career!
HERE IS A LIST
Shaina Silver-Baird 2005
Chris Tsujiuchi 2006, graduate of Sheridan College Music Theatre
Thomas Goetz 2009, currently completing Music Theatre Performance at Sheridan College
Stephanie Smith 2009 -Randolph, St. Clair College
Conor Ling 2012 -currently studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC
Kurtis Whittle 2010 -currently studying Singing Performance at Western University, BMus
Jonathon LeRose 2011 -currently completing a BFA at York University
Mary Askwith 2012, currently completing a degree in Theatre Praxis, Dramatic Arts, Brock University
Hayley Pace 2012 -currently completing a BFA at York University
Lauren Voorpostel (see below)
If you have been part of the NST family – including performers, intern directors, stage crew – and would like to be featured in this section, please send us information about what you are currently up to, along with a photo. We look forward to hearing from you!