Our people

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Megan Piercey Monafu

Megan Piercey Monafu believes in radical hospitality as a personal, political, and artistic virtue. There is a reason why a theatre is also called a house; it can be a place where community comes together.

A playwright, director, producer and facilitator, Megan holds a BFA in Theatre and Development from Concordia University and an MFA in Creative Writing (playwriting focus) from the University of Guelph. Trained in Forum Theatre and community development, Megan specializes in drama work for sensitive populations and situations, and has facilitated for communities and organizations in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and the Maritimes.

Recent artistic work has included residencies at ArtEngine, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, and the Ottawa Fringe, and resulted in the Corel Endowment for the Arts Award in 2019 and presentation at the undercurrents festival in 2021. Recent audio work also includes a workshop series for youth at the GCTC and an audio doc series for CBC Halifax. Her current writing uses audio storytelling and play creation with integrated video to explore our personal relationship with the Internet.

Megan and her partner Dan have two young boys — that is, her “assistant directors” — who you may see hanging around the OST office.

MANAGING DIRECTOR
Sue Webb

Sue moved to Ottawa from England in 2008 where she studied and worked in a finance capacity for 20 years. Having been a parent of an OST student since 2013, Sue also started helping out in a volunteer capacity as our resident “Excel Wizard,” preparing the rehearsal schedules for our All Ages plays in Spring 2016. Sue is very excited to be a part of the OST family and truly believes that theatre offers huge benefits to all, in all aspects of life.

SENIOR TEACHER
Erin MacDonald

Erin is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist who has been sharing her skills with OST students since 2009. Erin studied Theatre Arts at Algonquin College where she held the role of Theatre Manager. She has worked as a stage manager, performer, administrator, and director. Erin spent 10 years as the Front of House Manager for Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre and her work as a theatre artist earned her Prix Rideau Award Nominations in 2013 and 2018. As a theatre arts educator, Erin taught in the drama program at The Element High School for 4 years and has been a guest instructor at Algonquin College Performing Arts. Currently, Erin is focused on her work at OST where she has created and directed dozens of plays for students of all ages. 

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR
Flora Diabaté

Flora has been working in the OST office since 2020. In her earlier years, she has performed on many occasions with various art groups and programs and has experience in different forms of performing arts including; singing, dancing, and theater. She is now studying business management  in her post secondary studies. Flora is always very happy to be a part of the OST family as an administrative coordinator.

SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR
Cassandre Mentor

Cassandre Mentor is an Ottawa based actor, educator and illustrator. Passionate about the arts and education, she has a BFA in Theatre Performance from Concordia University and a B.Ed from the University of Ottawa. Locally, she has worked with the GCTC; Three Sisters Theatre Company; Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre; Theatre La Catapulte; as well as on various film projects. She is very happy to be working with OST this year and grateful that she keeps getting to do what she loves the most.

MARKETING OFFICER
Olivia Kiryk-Clutterbuck

Olivia is a scriptwriter, choreographer, and storyteller from Alberta, Canada. Her lifelong passion for dance began at three and carried her into her twenties. Olivia began choreographing and teaching dance in 2007. In 2018, she hung up her dance shoes to study American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies at Lakeland College. After graduating in 2020, like most of the world, Olivia took time to figure out her place in this new chaotic world. This ultimately led her to another longtime passion, writing. She recently completed her studies in Scriptwriting at Algonquin College, where she was elected Class Representative for the program, graduated with honours, and was selected to be valedictorian for the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design convocation ceremony. She is thrilled to be a part of the OST-ETO family!

2023-24 TEACHING ARTISTS

Alain Richer

Alain Richer (he/him) is a bilingual stage and screen artist whose professional work has ranged from producing to directing and design. His early career was spent in Toronto with two educationally focused arts organizations: Groupe Média TFO and Mainstage Theatre Company, a youth focused organization, where he spent 7 seasons as Artistic Director. In this time, Alain also worked as a freelance designer and director for various theatre companies, most notably Théâtre Français de Toronto. He has recently relocated to Ottawa to serve as Executive Director for the Ottawa Fringe Festival and has enjoyed connecting with the local arts community. 

As an experienced arts leader, Alain is committed to engaging future generations of artists by facilitating opportunities that offer practical experience in theatre and fostering a safe space to develop their craft.

Angelina Wehbe

Angelina Wehbe is an actor, singer, dancer and theatre creator who is currently based in Ottawa. She began her artistic journey as a singer at the age of 4 years old and has continued to work towards a career in the arts ever since. She is a graduate from the University of Ottawa’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting Conservatory. Her most recent works include a 2022 Fringe production that she co-created called Hi, How Are You? where she played Gwen, the role of Chandra in a Bear and Co. Production of Mixed Doubles by Kate Jaimet (2022) and a Tactics Production of Exciting Cause by Laurie Fyffe where she played Nurse Emily as well as a member of the ensemble (2023). Apart from performing, she has worked administrative positions for local non-profit theatre companies such as Odyssey Theatre (2021 & 2022) and a Company of Fools (present). She is very excited to witness her students’ artistic discoveries and to be working alongside the wonderful staff at OST!

Ben Hudson

Growing up in England, Ben always had his head in the clouds, dreaming of creative pursuits or fiddling with computers. It was, therefore, not a total surprise (to his parents, at least) that he went on to complete a PhD in Drama at the University of Kent, specializing in comedy and technology. After his studies, and a bit of lecturing, Ben travelled to Malawi to work on theatre-based education projects for two years. He moved to Canada in 2017, settled in Ottawa with his family, and took a Masters of Education at uOttawa. Ben currently works as an Associate Researcher and Education Specialist at CHEO Research Institute. Teaching theatre classes is the highlight of his week, because he gets to be silly.

Chelsey Prince

Chelsey started out in theatre classes at the Sudbury Theatre Centre when she was the same age as her youngest students are now. She continued her studies in drama while attending the Arts Canterbury program here in Ottawa, and went on to complete her BA in drama at the University of Guelph where she studied acting, theatre tech, design, and history. 

Chelsey performs as an actor on local stages and is currently working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She is happy to be at OST sharing her love of theatre with her students and creating a safe space to play, explore, and share stories.

Christine Hecker

Christine is a classical musician and arts educator with a background in theatre production. As a farm girl from Saskatchewan she grew up taking piano, singing, and speech arts lessons and participating in community musical theatre and highschool drama productions. She moved to Ottawa to pursue her post-secondary education and has earned a diploma in Theatre Arts from Algonquin College, a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Music, both in vocal performance, from the University of Ottawa.

A camp director at heart, she loves teaching artists of all ages and engaging kids in high-energy, creative activities. She teaches drama, singing, piano, and speech arts as well as leading music and drama workshops and camps. One of her favourite gigs is working with OrKidstra-Sistema Ottawa, doing classroom music in their Kiddlywinks program, and as a choir director for the KidSingers program. She spends her summers as Production Manager for a Company of Fools doing Shakespeare in the Park, and works behind the scenes with many other local theatre companies throughout the year.

Courtney Castelino

Courtney is thrilled to be joining the OST team this year! When she was thirteen, a school excursion to see a touring production of The Phantom of the Opera opened her eyes to the world of musical theatre. As soon as the chandelier lit up and rose to the ceiling, she was completely spellbound. That moment sparked a lifelong appreciation for the arts, further enhanced through fine arts and drama training in high school and CEGEP. More recently, Courtney is a Contributing Editor for BroadwayWorld in Ottawa and is looking forward to sharing her insight into theatre appreciation and criticism with her students.

Dallis Campbell

Dallis is excited to be returning to OST this year. Dallis is a singer, actress, director, dancer, and songwriter. She has worked as a stage manager, stagehand, lighting designer and lighting technician. She has been teaching private music lessons for six years. She is an alumni of St. Lawrence College’s musical theatre performance program in Brockville. She is the Administrator / Coordinator for Youth Opportunities in the Arts in Brockville. Dallis has a true passion for theatre and the performing arts.

Deena Alsaweer

Deena Alsaweer is a Fulbright Scholar with an M.A. in Film/TV from the Savannah College of Art & Design. Deena started her artistic journey in videography for local artists, chefs and small businesses whereby she was the editor, writer, director, cinematographer, and producer. Deena quickly became a passionate champion for underrepresented voices. Since leaving her career in International Logistics, Deena has gone on to win a screenplay contest for her short film Agent Hala, and an award for her latest short film, Dead & Alive, at Ottawa’s Digi60 Filmmaker’s Festival. Deena has worked with a range of production companies on several TV and digital projects for broadcasters such as TVOKids, Unis TV, and Bell Fibe TV1.

Elyse Gauthier (she/they)

Elyse became a student of OST in 2006 and has since been part of the OST family, taking countless courses and performing in several all-ages productions, in addition to working in the office, as a camp assistant, and finally as a teacher. They are currently completing a Master’s in Theatre at the University of Ottawa and working at the National Arts Centre’s French Theatre as an education officer. On a rainy day, you’ll find Elyse playing video games, learning Korean, or listening to a podcast. She is thrilled to teach her students the craft of theatre and give back to the school that has played such an important role in her life!

Emma Taylor-Isherwood

Emma started acting professionally at the age of nine and has since brought to life a succession of sorceresses, creatures and characters. 

Most notably, Emma played science rebel Josie Trent in the live-action, Emmy nominated Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, Young Agnes in Lasse Hallström’s The Shipping News, Mona, in the animated series Mona The Vampire, and Angel in the animated series Kuu Kuu Harajuku, co-created by Gwen Steffani. 

Emma is eager to work with Ottawa School of Theatre students to develop characters and tell stories.

Janet Irwin

Janet Irwin has been working in Canadian theatre since the 1970s, and has worn many hats –director, playwright, dramaturg, producer, and teacher. She has also worked on many stages – large (National Arts Centre,) medium (Great Canadian Theatre Company,) small (her basement with a sheet on the clothesline,) outdoor (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and the amphitheatre at the National Gallery) and many others including churches and a repurposed tooth-brush factory (Upper Canada Playhouse.) She is currently developing a couple of plays and will tell you about them if you ask her. She loves large casts, plays with something to say, plays with music, Shakespeare, and anything that transports the audience to other worlds, times, and places. She looks forward to teaching at OST and meeting fellow theatre enthusiasts.

Mathieu Corrigan

Mathieu joined the Ottawa School of Theatre family in 2011 and has spent the past four years teaching at OST. He is currently studying at University of Ottawa where he is enrolled in a bachelor of arts, with multiple courses in theatre and music. Mathieu also plays music professionally, dedicating hundreds of hours every month to studio and creative work collaborating with bands and other musicians. He cannot wait to share his passions with his students.

Maya Skabar

Maya Skabar is an artist from the Ottawa region. She is most known for her work as an actor in the franco-ontarien television series, Gang de hockey. While having a love for performance, Maya also has a passion for filmmaking. In this last year, she has made many short films, with one of them, Je m’appelle Laurence, winning the jury’s choice and the public’s choice award at the Canadian Youth Festival. Maya is very excited to join OST, all while sharing her love for cinema.

Michael Kosowan

Born and raised in Ottawa, Mike Kosowan is a highly accomplished and versatile performer. Mike has a long history of improv in Ottawa. He has been performing both weekly and monthly since 2007, was a co-founder of the University of Ottawa Improv Club (2007), and a co-founding member of the first Ottawa Improv Festival (2009). He currently works as professional actor, entertainer, magician, clown and performs regularly with both GRIMprov and Crystal Basement improv troupes.

He has performed in multiple Fringe Festivals in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Edmonton as well as the Magnetic North Festival, Montreal and Ottawa Improv Festivals.

Michelle Gendron

Michelle is an award-winning vocalist and performer based in Ottawa, Canada. After performing for the first time in her grade 2 talent show, she knew singing and music were her passions. Since then, she has trained in many vocal styles, including pop, musical theatre, and classical, and performed in multiple productions, including Heathers: The Musical, The Last Five Years, and Spring Awakening.

With over 2 decades of performing experience, Michelle understands that every voice and performer is unique and has something special to offer, and there is nothing she loves more than helping a new or experienced artist along in their musical and theatrical journey. When she is not teaching, she is busy running her other business Breakfast In Bed, an acoustic duo specializing in weddings and private events with her husband Massil, and performing at the award winning dinner musical Oh Canada Eh?!

Rebecca Russell

Rebecca Russell (she/her) is a Dora award-winning multidisciplinary performing artist and director based in Ottawa. Originally from Newfoundland, Rebecca holds a BA Combined Honours in Music and Theatre from Dalhousie University. 

As a young person, Rebecca was a member of Neptune Theatre School’s Youth Performance Company (YPCo). This formative experience inspired her love of ensemble-based work and her belief in providing opportunities for youth to deeply engage with the arts.

Select theatre directing and assistant directing credits include “Around the World in 80 Days” (Ottawa Little Theatre), “Newsies” (Orpheus Musical Theatre), “Godspell” (9th Hour Theatre Company), and “West Side Story” and “High School Musical” (Timber Lake). Select performance credits include the White Witch in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (9th Hour Theatre Company), “AtG’s Messiah” (Against the Grain Theatre), “Fear of Flight” (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland), “The Cripple of Inishmann” (Theatre Newfoundland Labrador), workshops of “Marian” (Theatre 4.669) and “Maupin” (TACTICS), and puppetry on three international tours of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar & other Eric Carle Favorites” (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia).

Rebecca also helps to empower kids and build community as the Director of Development & Communications with local charity OrKidstra. Learn more at orkidstra.ca 

Virginie Thouroude

Born in France to a family of artists – her mother and grandmother were dance teachers and her aunt a choreographer for musicals – Virginie found herself on the theatre boards at the age of three. At 10, she studied at the Conservatory of Theatre in her hometown, directed by José Lemius. In 1992, she earned her diploma of Fine Arts degree with a specialization in Art and Shows. Three years later she moved to Canada and studied television at the Cité Collégiale, and has subsequently worked on various television shows. Virginie is entering her 9th year of teaching at the OST. It is always a great pleasure to meet all those fantastic and talented students and she cannot wait to start the year with them.

Zachary Martin

Zachary Joined the OST team in 2017 as a volunteer and after spending the summer of 2022 as a summer camp assistant he is now joining the family of teachers. Zachary is currently studying at University of Ottawa where he is completing a bachelor in Music with several elective courses in theatre. He also works as a professional musician in a studio recording environment as well as freelance work. With experience in theatre and the construction of soundscapes, he cannot wait to inspire and guide his students into creating their own artistic identities. 

Zackari Gosselin

Performer, comedian and improviser, Zackari Gosselin graduated from the University of Ottawa in theatre. He has performed in Pattes en aiguilles (Théâtre Mauve Sapin), Un conte de l’apocalypse (Théâtre de la Vieille 17) and La petite maison (Le bruit du monde) to name a few. In addition, Zackari has been teaching theatre to various age groups at the Ottawa Theatre School since 2019, as well as providing comedy and improvisation training in schools across Ontario. He is interested in creation, theatrical character, and absurdity.

CLASS ASSISTANTS

Ethan Oriwol

Ethan has been a long time member here of OST and an even longer time member of being a theatre nerd. Starting here as a student from the age of 6, he fell in love with the community, the passion shared by his peers, and the opportunity to engulf himself in theatre. When he’s not working with one of our classes, he attends Canterbury High School…for more drama. He’s involved in his school`s improv team and to really put into perspective his love for the art, he asked if we could put this bio in Shakespearean English. 

Jordan Roussel

Jordan has always had a passion for theatre and acting. She started taking classes at OST when she was around 7 years old. She first took a musical class with OST at age 9 and has had a great love and appreciation for musicals ever since. Jordan has also done lots of volunteer work with OST prior to working here. 

OFFICE ASSISTANTS

Lauren Nixon

This is Lauren’s first year working at OST. She was introduced to OST last year as her daughter joined the junior classics class. Lauren has a creative side and enjoys all forms of art, music, theatre, literature and design. She lives at home with her husband and 3 daughters. Lauren is excited to get to know everyone and become a part of the community at OST. 

Lauren Unger

Lauren has had a love for all things theatre, especially musicals, for as longs as she can remember. She often spends her free time reading and listening to music. 

Lauren is currently studying psychology at the University of Ottawa.

Max Frederick

Max Frederick became involved in the OST community in 2016. Since then, he’s dedicated himself to being funny – or at least trying to be, through sketch acting and improv. On top of working in the office, Max is a current student at OST and a class assistant. Max aspires to be studying early childhood education this time next year.

Skyler Begin

Skyler was a long-time student at OST before becoming an employee. She is a volunteer in many classes,  and is learning to direct from some of her mentors here at OST as well. She has been involved in the theatre community since they were a child, and has gained experience in acting, stage management, tech, and directing . In addition to being an employee at OST, Skyler is also involved in her school’s musical productions, by being in the hair and makeup department. Skyler enjoys reading and writing, and has a passion for classics and poetry. They one day hope to go on to become a writer and film director, and are looking forward to what opportunities the future will bring!

Vanessa D.

Vanessa/Ness (she/they) is a bilingual multi-disciplinary artist based in Ottawa. They have a passion for Theatre and the arts. Ever since she was little, she has enjoyed storytelling and continues to write in her free time.

She has worked on various projects as a Production Stage Manager in the local theatre scene. Previous shows include; À Demain (2023) the Youth Infringement Festival and Clue (2023) with Sock ‘n’ Buskin Theatre Company. 

In the Summer 2023, she had the opportunity to attend Columbia University, INCITE research program in Oral History and Social Change. 

They are currently studying History and Theory of Architecture at Carleton.

VOLUNTEER BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President: Jennifer Rowberry

Vice President: Claire Masson

Treasurer: Colleen Sutton

Secretary: Amanda Putz

Volunteer Coordinator: Aileen Martella

Directors at large: Darren Brown, Bruce Deachman (Past President), Chantal Gregoire, Samantha Leclair, Barry MacDonald (Past-President), Jason Morris-Jung, Maryanne Van Meter

Student Reps: Dani Morris-Jung, Julia Zuppa