MFA Faculty

MFA Faculty Profiles

theatre_EricArmstrong2Eric Armstrong  | earmstro@yorku.ca

BFA Concordia
MFA York
Associate Professor: Voice

Professor Armstrong teaches voice, speech, dialects and classical text to students in the BFA and MFA acting programs at York. He has also taught at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Brandeis University in Boston, the University of Windsor, and at Canada’s National Voice Intensive. Eric holds an MFA from York, and trained with David Smukler in York’s Voice Teacher training program. His BFA is from Concordia, and he also studied at The Drama Studio (London).

Professional dialect coaching for theatre highlights include “12 Angry Men” and “The Gigli Concert” for SoulPepper Theatre, “Chimerica,” for Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Canadian Stage, “YukonStyle,” and “The Cosmonaut's Last Message...” at Canadian Stage, “Eternal Hydra” at Crow's Theatre, “Arigato Tokyo” and “Blasted” at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre; coaching for film and television includes coaching Seasons 1 & 2 of “The Expanse” of SyFy/Space Channel (he invented the Belter accent for the show), Eric Bana for Ricky Gervais’ “Special Correspondents,” Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman for Sarah Polley's film “Take This Waltz”, and Tom Wilkinson for his Emmy and Golden Globe nominated performance in "Normal".

He is a former director and board member of the Voice And Speech Trainers Association, and presents each summer at the VASTA conference. He has published articles in the Voice and Speech Review and has worked as an actor in theatre and film across Canada. His research/teaching/creative interests lie in the intersection of teaching and technology, and he has a special interest in teaching and researching accents for actors from pluralistic backgrounds.


Erika Batdorf  | ebatdorf@yorku.ca

BSc Lesley College
Associate Professor: Movement, Solo Performance Creation & Production

Professor Batdorf is listed in the Who’s Who of American Teachers, received the York Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Senior Teaching Award for 2009/10, and in 1996 was voted Most Outstanding Faculty at The Boston Conservatory where she taught for 12 years. Batdorf has also taught at Brandeis University, Emerson College, and the University of Alaska Anchorage. She founded the Batdorf School for Movement Theatre in 1998 and has been a guest artist in universities and theatres internationally.

Batdorf has been performing, directing, choreographing and creating award winning and unique performance work since 1983. Her work has appeared in Canada, France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, Korea, Indonesia, Georgia, and 14 US states in such places as the Smithsonian Institute, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Harvard University, Movement Theatre Festivals in NY, Philadelphia and New Hampshire, the Boston Center for the Arts, and many New York City and Toronto venues including Luminato. She has had 4 Dora nominations and two shows she created/directed made the top 10 theatrical productions of the year in NOW Magazine in Toronto (2006 and 2010). This past year she performed her latest piece The Smell of the Soul, with musical duo Arwinda in Tblisi, Munich and Jakarta, co-directed Sook-Yin Lee and Benjamin Kamino in How Can I Forget in Toronto, and performed a site specific work in Finland. She just completed recording an album of original music in Germany with Lisa Schamberger and is developing a new solo installation piece for the Venice Bienalle (May) 2015. She just returned to York University theatre department after a two year sabbatical where she was living in Indonesia and Germany.


Ines BuchliInes Buchli | ibuchli@yorku.ca
BFA Simon Fraser
MFA York
Associate Professor: Acting and Directing
Department Chair

Professor Buchli teaches acting and directing at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  She is a filmmaker, theatre director, dramaturg and writer.  Ines is the former associate artistic director of Necessary Angel Theatre and associate artist for Theatre Direct.  She has over 25 years of theatre experience in directing, dramaturgy and collective creations.  her films Exposure, Ministry and Keeper aired nationally and screened in numerous international film festivals.  She is a graduate of the directing lab at the Canadian Film Centre.  Her award winning short, Foxy Lady, Wild Cherry, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and has screened around the world.  Film critic and Artistic Director of TIFF, Cameron Bailey, named Foxy Lady, Wild Cherry one of his top ten films and presented it in Sao Paulo as part of his favourite Canadian short films perspective. Ines adapted and directed the Canadian premiere of Big Love and the North American premiere of Comedy of Vanity at York University.  She is actively involved in using theatre as a tool for community outreach work, working in Kenya with young girls rescued from the sex trade.  Ines recently directed a sold out production of Macbeth for Shakespeare in Action.  She was a member of the Tarragon Playwright's Unit and is actively developing her new script.  Ines recently directed the world premiere of the multimedia production of The Secret Doctrine at the new Wong Theatre in Vancouver.  Her current research is in the Neuroscience of Emotion and its application to acting.


Gwenyth Dobie  | gdobie@yorku.ca  - Graduate Program Director

BA Windsor
Graduate Diploma – Centro Italiano Tecnica Alexander
Associate Professor: Movement for actors; Devised Theatre; The F.M Alexander Technique; Acting pedagogy

Professor Gwenyth Dobie teaches movement for actors and devised theatre in the Department of Theatre at York University.  Gwenyth is a certified Alexander Technique teacher, Yoga practitioner, and Director.  She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Out of the Box Productions, a performance fusion company that creates original works integrating drama, dance, and opera. Her producing and directing credits include Opera Erotique, which toured in BC and was remounted in Toronto; In the Wings for the Sidney Summer Theatre Festival; The Third Taboo, which toured western Canada; Prior Engagement at Belfry Studio Theatre in Victoria, BC: Sound in Silence, which premiered at Belfry in Victoria and the Theatre Centre in Toronto; and Bugzzz ~ A Cautionary Tale at Toronto's Theatre Direct.  Other directing credits include the Canadian premiere of the Danish opera On this Planet by Anders Nordendoft, the world premiere of the opera Eyes on the Mountain, composed by Christopher Donison and Handel's Oratorio Solomon for Toronto's Pax Christi Chorale.  For York University, she has directed two pan faculty productions: Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. Most recently she has been investigating interactive creation with live and digital performance.


Ian Garrett

Ian Garrett | igarrett@yorku.ca
BA Rice University
MFA California Institute of the Arts
Associate Professor: Sustainability and Design; Theatre Production and Administration.

Ian Garrett is designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture. Ian is Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University in Toronto, is the co-founder and director of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), and resident designer at the Indy Convergence. He is a member of Associated Designer of Canada, where he serves on the Board of Directors, and sits on the Board of Trustees for DanceUSA, the national service organization for dance in the United States, where he serves on the Executive, Technology, and chairs the Programming committees. He is a member of the US Institute of Theatre Technology, where he currently serves as the Curator for the United States’ entry for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial, and chairs the Education Committee for the Broadway Green Alliance.

Ian maintains a performance practice focused on the integration of sustainability, design, and technology. Recently he designed Theatre Panik's durational performance, Peep, at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2015; Erika Batdorf's Micro-theatre for Burnish at the Theatre Centre and Venice Biennale, and  the set and energy capture systems for Zata Omm Dance Projects'Vox:Lumen at the Harbourfront Centre. He has worked on installations such as DTAH Architects’ installation Ravine Portal for the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Toronto Site in 2014 and on the lighting team for the Crimson Collective’s Ascension, a 150’ wide, origami-style crane sculpture at the 2010 Coachella Music Festival. He has been involved with hundreds of theatre productions as a lighting and media designer, having received the 2006 LA Weekly Theater Award for best lighting for Permanent Collection at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and having been the lighting designer for Song of Extinction with Moving Arts, which won the 2008 LA Weekly Theater Award for Production of the Year. This work includes work as a producer having worked on the premier of Richard Foreman and Michael Gordon’s What to Wear at REDCAT, the Prague tour for Torry Bend’s puppet adaptation of Aimee Bender’s Loser, two dozen shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe including At Sundown—a physical theater piece on aging and memory that he initiated, and was an associate producer on The Medea Project, a cross-cultural production of Medea in Athens and Los Angeles.

He has spoken and consulted on the arts and the environment around the world. His writing on the topic includes the monograph Arts, the Environment, and Sustainability for the Americans for the Arts's New Community Visions InitiativeThe Carbon Footprint of Theatrical Production, published in Readings in Performance and Ecology, from Palgrave McMilian, and the paper Theatre is No Place for a Plant in Landing Stages from the Ashden Directory. Garrett chaired the conferences Sustainability in Theatre and Staging Sustainability, 2014, and served as sustainability programme coordinator for World Stage Design in Cardiff, Wales. At WSD 2013 he led the selection committee for the temporary sustainable theatre project built for that event, the Willow Theatre. .

Ian previously served as the Executive Director of the Fresh Arts Coalition, an arts service organization focused on awareness and marketing in Houston, TX, and as consultant and staff for the LA Stage Alliance. He has also served as group sales associate for Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, spent the 2007 Fall/Winter season with DiverseWorks, and was patron services manager for the Will Geer Theatricum Botancium in Topanga, CA.

Ian received dual MFAs in Lighting Design and Producing from CalArts, and has a BA in Architectural Studies and Art History from Rice University.

Currently, his primary project is the development of the multi-site specific Transmission, a story about meeting our celestially neighbours, which will premiere in Edinburgh in 2017 combining live performance, and immersive video "hauntings".


theatre_MichaelGreyeyes2Michael Greyeyes | greyeyes@yorku.ca
Director of the Graduate Program in Theatre (MFA)
MFA Kent State
Associate Professor: Movement for actors; ensemble creation

Since 1993, Professor Greyeyes has been choreographing and directing for stages and festivals across Canada and Europe. Selected credits include A Soldier’s Tale for Signal Theatre, co-produced by the National Arts Centre and the Canada Dance Festival (2014), Pimooteewin (The Journey) — the first opera written in the Cree language — for Soundstreams Canada, Almighty Voice and His Wife for Native Earth Performing Arts, The River for Nakai Theatre, from thine eyes (Harbourfront Centre) and Nôhkom (Banff Centre) for Signal Theatre, and Seven Seconds (Super 16mm), which premiered at Toronto’s imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in 2010.

Professor Greyeyes has an extensive and varied performance career extending over 25 years. Selected credits include Passchendaele (Alliance/ Rhombus), that opened the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, The New World (New Line Cinema), directed by Terence Malick, Smoke Signals (Miramax), and Tecumseh’s Vision, part of the PBS series, We Shall Remain, for American Experience. Professor Greyeyes’ performance work includes Gone Indian, a performance action with visual artist Rebecca Belmore for Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (2009), Kent Monkman’s Dance to the Berdashe and Winter Home, a multimedia installation and performance action created for Signal and presented by TRIBE in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

In 2010, Professor Greyeyes founded Signal Theatre, whose transdisciplinary and intercultural performance research guides his entire pedagogy at York. He is published in the Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Research in Canada, most recently in Praeger’s American Indians and Popular Culture: Literature, Arts and Resistance. He has written a number of performative keynote addresses for conferences and theatre festivals, most notably for In The Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (London, UK) and the PuSH Festival (Vancouver, British Columbia).


theatre_shawn_kerwinShawn Kerwin  | shawn@yorku.ca

Associate Professor: Stage Design

Shawn Kerwin studied theatre design at the Sadlers Wells School under Motley in London, England; drawing and painting in New York at the New Brooklyn School, Arts Students' League and New York Academy of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture; and assisted/apprenticed at various theatres in England and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

In a professional career spanning more than 30 years, Professor Kerwin has designed sets and costumes for leading companies across Canada, in the US and England. Her credits include Mirvish Productions, the National Arts Centre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Soulpepper, Citadel Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick, Neptune Theatre, Factory Theatre, Canadian Stage, Young Vic Theatre, Pacific Opera and the Blyth Festival (where she is an associate artist), among others. She also designed more than 250 windows for Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store in Toronto.

Professor Kerwin is the recipient of two Dora Awards for outstanding design and a seven-time nominee. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Siminovitch Award. Other honours include the Harold Award (Toronto), Tom Patterson Award (Stratford) and four Canada Council awards. She is a member of Associated Designers of Canada, and currently serves on the board of directors at Toronto's Factory Theatre.


theatre_PaulLampert2Paul Lampert | plampert@yorku.ca
National Theatre School of Canada,
MFA York
Associate Professor: Acting and Directing

Professor Lampert has worked extensively as a director, actor, and teacher. His European experience includes acting with Poland's Theatre BLIK and the International Theatre in Vienna, Austria, as well as directing the national premiere of Oleanna for Stary Theatre in Kraków, Poland; Raised In Captivity in Berlin, Germany; I Claudia in Barcelona, Shanghai and Munich; and Machinal at the East 15 Acting School in London, UK. His many Canadian directing credits include work for Actors Repertory Company, Globe Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Persephone Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Tattoo, The Great Canadian Theatre Company, Buddies In Bad Times and the National Theatre School of Canada as well as six seasons with the Shaw Festival and three seasons with the Blyth Festival.  He has conducted theatre workshops in Austria, Cuba, England, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Professor Lampert has served as associate director of Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon (1984-87) and artistic director of the George Brown Theatre School (1997-2000) and is currently co-artistic director of Theatre PANIK.


theatre_william-mackwoodWilliam J Mackwood | mackwood@yorku.ca
BFA, MFA Victoria
Assistant Professor: Design and Production

Professor Mackwood is co-founder and co-artistic director of the multi-disciplinary drama, dance, and opera company Out of the Box Productions. Over the last five years he has lead the design team for productions of The Third Taboo, Prior Engagement, Sound in Silence and most recently Opera Erotique. As a professional lighting designer he has designed for, among others, Ballet Victoria (Court of Miracles, Peter Pan, Alice a Wonderland of Dance), Kaleidoscope Theatre (Little Women, Disney’s Aladdin Jr.) and Chemainus Theatre (Lost in Yonkers, South Pacific, Saint Joan). In summer 2010 he designed lighting for dance works choreographed by Holly Small, Susan Cash, and Keiko Kitano at the World Dance Alliance Global Assembly in New York City. He is a professional member of Associated Designers of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology and IATSE Local 168.

The heart of Professor Mackwood's research lies in developing meaningful stories told through a performance fusion supported by sustainable ‘design on demand.’ He is a member of the faculty in York's Department of Dance, where he teaches teaches production for dance, as well as lighting design for dance, dance video, and intermedial performance at the graduate and senior undergraduate level.


theatre_JohnMayberry2John Mayberry | mayberry@yorku.ca
BA Toronto
Associate Professor: Production
Master, Winters College

Professor Mayberry has been a working theatre professional for 35 years and teaching for 30. He has worked as a carpenter, properties builder, performer, choreographer, and writer. Passionately interested in everything humans can do or make, his current particular research interests include 19th century theatrical effects, ritual drama, street theatre, and health and safety issues in the entertainment industry.

Professor Mayberry is an active member of the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology (CITT) and the Health and Safety Commission of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), and acts as a liaison with the Education Commission of USITT.  He also serves as vice-chair of the Technical Commission of the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) and on the board and education committee of Theatre Ontario.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJames McKernan | mckernan@yorku.ca
BFA York
BEd Technological Studies, OISE/Toronto
Associate Professor: Technical Theatre

Professor James McKernan teaches stage technology. His research is tied to sustainability with a focus on seeking and implementing new, more ecologically responsible, theatrical scenographic technologies.

Working in collaboration with industry partners and professional practitioners, his contributions in the field include the production of a series of symposia and professional development workshops on sustainable stage technology. Topics of these presentations include the use of theatrical fog devices and lighting atmospheric effects, LED lighting as a sustainable alternative to conventional lighting fixtures, and the use of multimedia projection techniques and design in theatre.

Professor McKernan is an active member of both the Canadian and American Institutes of Theatre Technology. He shares his research on the Theatre Artisan Green Skills website.


theatre_teresa_przybylskiTeresa Przybylski | teresap@yorku.ca
MSc Technical University, Kraków,
MFA Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków
Professor: Production and Design

Teresa Przybylski is an architect and a theatre designer.  She is known for her designs in theatre, opera, dance, and film.  Her credits include designs for the National Arts Centre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Calgary Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Pacific Opera, Young People's Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Necessary Angel, Factory Theatre, Nightwood Theatre, Canadian Stage, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Blyth Festival, Panik Theatre, Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Video-Cabaret, Theatre Columbus, Pleiades Theatre, SoundStrams, Toronto Dance Theatre, and others.

In the last 25 years she has designed more than 160 productions. Many of them were original Canadian productions, and forty were world premieres. Her work in theatre has been awarded with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards and seventeen Nominations.  She is a recipient of two Gemini Awards for Film and Television Production Design.  She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and Associated Designers of Canada.


Judith Rudakoff  | rudakoff@yorku.ca
BA McGill
MA Alberta
PhD Toronto
Professor: Theatre Studies

Developmental dramaturg Judith Rudakoff has worked with emerging and established playwrights and artists throughout Canada from the Yukon to Nunavut and points between, and in Cuba, Denmark, South Africa, England, and the USA. She is the creator of The Four Elements and Lomograms, trans-cultural methodologies for initiating live performance and visual art.  A recent project is Common Plants: Cross Pollinations in Hybrid Reality , a SSHRC-funded, multidisciplinary, cross-cultural project involving artists and students from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds including Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Cape Town, South Africa. She is a member of Playwrights Guild of Canada, and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Recent plays are Beautiful Little Lies, a stage play set in Cuba and The River (with David Skelton and Joseph Tisiga), which premiered at Nakai Theatre in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2011.

Professor Rudakoff's books include Dramaturging Personal Narratives: Who am I and Where is Here? (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2014); TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2012); Between the Lines: The Process of Dramaturgy (Playwrights Canada Press, 2002, co-editor Lynn M. Thomson); Fair Play: Conversations with Canadian Women Playwrights (Simon & Pierre, 1989, co-editor Rita Much); and Questionable Activities: Canadian Theatre Artists in Conversation with Canadian Theatre Students (Playwrights Canada Press, 2000). Her articles have appeared in The Drama Review, TheatreForum, Theatre Topics, and Canadian Theatre Review.

Dr. Rudakoff's teaching awards include the inaugural Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Prize for Teaching Excellence, and York's University-Wide Teaching Award, as well as three consecutive NOW Magazine "Best of Toronto" awards. She was the first Canadian honoured with the Elliott Hayes Prize in Dramaturgy, for her work on South Asian choreographer Lata Pada’s multidisciplinary work, Revealed by Fire.



rossstuart-150x150Ross Stuart | rstuart@yorku.ca
BFA University of Alberta
MFA Carnegie-Mellon UniversityPhD University of Toronto
Associate Professor: Theatre Studies, Theatre Research

Professor Stuart, founding Associate Editor of the Canadian Theatre Review, has published extensively on Canadian Theatre, most recently in "Establishing Our Boundaries: English-Canadian Theatre Criticism", and has special expertise in summer theatre in general and the Stratford Festival in particular.  He has served as Associate Dean, Fine Arts and as the Chair of the Theatre Department.  An experienced adjudicator, workshop leader and director, his current research interests involve using improvisation to explore non-dramatic material and revitalize classic texts, and in developing material suitable for performance in schools.


Mark Wilson | pitwil@yorku.ca
Playhouse Acting School
MFA York
Associate Professor: Acting and Directing
Acting Area Coordinator

Professor Wilson began his professional theatre career as an actor in 1983, and has extensive performance credits in theatres across Canada, including productions with the National Arts Centre, Canadian Stage Theatre, Workshop West (Edmonton), Theatre New Brunswick, The Globe Theatre (Regina), and the Vancouver Playhouse.  In 2013 he received a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in The Dumb Waiter (The Wordsmyth Theatre).  He appeared in little tongues (the blood projects) at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival, which NOW Magazine selected for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Ensemble.  His recent directing credits include Road (Theatre@York) and This is It (the blood projects).  Other directing credits include Disciples (SummerWorks), Cabaret (Toronto Youth Theatre), Mister Invisible (Resource Centre for the Arts, St John's), Caribou Song (Red Sky Performance, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall), Romeo & Juliet (Theatre by the Bay), The Threepenny Opera (George Brown Theatre School), Road (George Brown Theatre School/Equity Showcase Theatre), and The Snow Queen (Canadian Children's Opera Chorus and on its European tour.)

Professor Wilson received a Canadian Comedy Award nomination for best direction for That Dorothy Parker at the Berkeley Street Theatre.  He has also taught at the American Community Schools of Athens Summer  Institute (Greece), George Brown Theatre School, Equity Showcase, and the Randolph Academy for the Performing arts.  He has served as a juror for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards (General Theatre) in Toronto, and has been an adjudicator with the Sears Ontario Drama Festival for five years.  Professor Wilson was Associate Dean, Academic, for the Faculty of Fine Arts, from 2009 - 2012.

Department of Theatre Faculty