Our instructors are all actors working regularly in the Industry today. This ensures the competitive relevance of all training at our Studio.
WE ARE WORKING ACTORS
Dean Armstrong is a screen test advisor, pre-production, and on-set acting coach for various networks and feature film production companies including HBO, HULU, SHOWTIME, The CW, NETFLIX, AMAZON, UNIVERSAL and DISNEY. His collaboration in this capacity has not only influenced the critical acclaim of many stars, but his direction has also served as the basis for casting and the subsequent development of national and international talent.
Founder of Armstrong Acting Studios, Toronto (1997), Dean maintains an active commitment to the support and development of aspiring and established actors across North America.
An actor himself, Dean's credits include recurring roles on CHAPELWAITE, SUPERNATURAL and Showtime's QUEER AS FOLK as well as a Broadway debut in Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize + Tony Award winning musical RENT.
AAS Toronto Executive Studio Director and Lead Advanced-level Instructor, Salvatore Antonio graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada (where he also taught Acting for Camera). He's been acting professionally for over 25 years, and has been nominated for a 2020 ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance in Film, and a 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. In addition to his acting career, Mr. Antonio is also a published and internationally-produced writer, who was named a Finalist for the Governor General's Award for Literary Drama. Most recently, he was a Story Editor/Writer for the Emmy-nominated 'Schitt's Creek'.
AAS Toronto Artistic Director Susanna Fournier is an award-winning writer, actor, director, producer and graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada. Alongside her acting career in Film and TV, Susanna's writing and theatre making is supported by Canada's leading institutions. Her work has played in London, Berlin, Dublin, and Munich and been translated into several languages. As an educator, she's taught both theatre and on-screen performance since 2014, and developed a large and loyal base of coaching clients she's helped secure leading, supporting, and recurring roles in Film and TV. She's also worked with production companies during the casting and script development processes.
AAS Toronto Head Resident Coach Amos Crawley has been a professional actor since he was 4 years old. He has over 150 film, television, radio and theatre credits. He has been an instructor at Armstrong since 2010, where he has taught several age groups and levels.
LARA JEAN CHOROSTECKI
AAS LA Artistic Director Lara Jean Chorostecki is an award winning actress and coach with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Known for her versatility and craft, her career has explored nearly every genre both in front of the camera and on stage.
Zachary Bennett has been acting for over 30 years and has a wealth of on set and industry experience. With a laundry list of television and film credits including Maudie and Designated Survivor - we're delighted to have Zachary join the AAS team.
Jacob Blair is a graduate of Studio 58's conservatory program, with over 15 years experience in theatre, film, and television. Jacob most recently played the leading role of 'William Pinkerton' on the series The Pinkertons which can be seen on Netflix.
Joanne Boreham has been a casting and voice director for over 20 years. She has cast numerous award nominated/winning series and features including the comedy hit Spun Out and Naturally, Sadie. She looks forward to joining the AAS team.
Ishan Davé was born in North York, Ontario in 1989. A multiple Gemini award nominee and a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, he began acting at the age of 13 as Sandi Bhutella on the Vérité Films gritty coming-of-age series 'Renegade Press .Com.' Since then he has performed lead and supporting roles in projects including Degrassi: The Next Generation (CTV), Charlie Bartlett (MGM, 20th Century Fox), Mouthpiece (TIFF), Slasher (Netflix), Hudson & Rex (CTV), and Kim's Convenience (Netflix, CBC Gem). He is a citizen of Canada and Great Britain, and is of Gujarati, Indian descent.
MIKAELA LILY DAVIES
Mikaela Lily Davies is an actor, director and creator. She has been coaching actors successfully on their film/tv and theatre auditions for the past decade, booking projects for NBC/Global, Hulu, Netflix, Warner Brothers, Oprah Winfrey Network, MGM, CBC, Lifetime and many films. She is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, the Soulpepper Academy and a four season alumni of The Stratford Festival.
After training regularly with Dean Armstrong Sarah quickly landed a lead role in Degrassi. She has been working regularly ever since and is delighted to now have the opportunity to give back to emerging new talent at the studio what it has given her.
Sarah Gnocato is known for her role's in eOne's "The Millenials", YTV's second season of "Undercover High" and Tribeca Film Festival’s official selection “Bunker Burger.” She has been in the TV and film industry for over a decade, when she transitioned from stage, after years of theater training, including five years at Oakville's West End Studio Theater. Sarah has trained at Second City over the past 7 years, performing on the Second City stage and participating in the Big City Improv Fest where she received recognition as a prominent female improviser. Sarah’s enthusiasm and passion for the craft is what drives her current roles, and helps her constantly cultivate a love for the work.
Jesse Griffiths is an Instructor, classically trained actor with a BFA from Ryerson Theatre School and most recently, a Casting Director. In 2018, Jesse opened Jesse Griffiths Casting (JGC) with the goal of combining his passion for the arts, knowledge of local talent and the desire to develop and nurture the next generation of artists.
Anna Hopkins is an actor and writer who splits her time between Los Angeles and Toronto. She studied Communication & Cultural Studies (Concordia University), Cinema & Communications (Dawson College), and Feature Screenwriting (UCLA extension). Anna has worked extensively in film and television as an actor and is starting to make her mark as a screenwriter.
Jessica Huras is a Canadian actor, writer and filmmaker currently based in Toronto.
Sarah Kolasky is an award-winning actor and filmmaker from Toronto. She co-wrote, produced, and starred in the feature film, Great Great Great, which received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and The Globe and Mail chose it as one of the Top 10 Canadian Films of the year.
Melanie Leishman has been acting in television and film since 2003 and lending her voice to animation since 2009. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York. Mel is perhaps best known for her work in The Exchange (directed by Dan Mazer, written by Tim Long), Single All The Way (Netflix), Kristal Clear (PrimeVideo) and as Hannah B. Williams in the horror comedy Todd and The Book of Pure Evil.
Steven McCarthy is an acclaimed actor, theatre director, filmmaker, and musician. He holds two diplomas from Montreal's prestigious National Theatre School of Canada. In 2015 his first short film was named to TIFF's top ten films of the year.
Sharon McFarlane holds Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta and has over 20 years of experience acting in front of the camera and on stage.
Sarah McVie is best known internationally for her role on the CBC TV series Workin’ Moms and has appeared on stages across Canada including five seasons at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. In her teens, Sarah worked with some exceptional coaches who set her on a path towards the professional acting career she enjoys today. Teaching is Sarah’s other passion, and she relishes the opportunity to share her knowledge of the art form with others.
Farah Merani is a Muslim actor, filmmaker, educator, and advocate currently based in LA and Toronto. She is a graduate of the Drama Centre London and has performed in Canada and the US, throughout Europe and in Russia. Some of her TV and film credits include: Shadowhunters, Nikita, Lost Girl, Covert Affairs, Private Eyes and the upcoming feature film, Eat Wheaties!, featuring Tony Hale. In addition to being an actor, she has produced dozens of films with her company, Lifeguard Productions, co-founded a non-profit called Women on Screen, and serves as a diversity and inclusion consultant for film and tv with her former co-chair of the ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee.
Sara Mitich is a Resident Coach and an Instructor at Armstrong Acting Studios where she continually inspires and guides her students and private coaching clients to recognize that to be an effective and magnetic actor, one has to do the work first.
Brendan Murray is a classically trained actor and writer with over twenty years of experience in the industry. He began his career at the Stratford Festival, and has worked extensively on stages across Canada and internationally. His screen work ranges from romantic lead to android to mob killer. Villains are his specialty.
Laura Nordin is an actor, an award-nominated director, and an award-winning producer. Currently based in Toronto, she is originally from Vancouver, BC. Laura holds her BFA from UBC and her MFA from the joint program between Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre Institute and the Moscow Art Theatre School. In 2010, she co-founded Filmcoop Inc. as a means to collaborate with and encourage filmmakers to realize their creative vision.
Ann Pirvu is an actor and producer known for Reign, Learning To Love Again, and Total Frat Movie.
Jenny Pudavick is a Resident Coach and Instructor for film and television at Armstrong Acting Studios. Combing the technical understanding of the script, making bold text choices and aiding the actors to access organic emotional moments.
Jamie Robinson has been a professional artist since 1997. He is an Assistant Professor, Faculty in the department of Theatre at York University. A highlight of his credits include Condor, Odyssey 5, Earth: Final Conflict, and Murdoch Mysteries.
Andrea Runge has been working as a professional actor and teacher for over 15 years, playing leads at theatres including Stratford, Tarragon, Segal Centre, and Canadian Stage. She received an MFA from Pennsylvania State University, and a BFA from the University of Regina.
Tara Samuel graduated from George Brown's Performing Arts' programme in 1997 and continued on to a successful acting career. Appearing in stage productions across Canada and the US, she moved on to work on 5 seasons on the acclaimed 'Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye program'. Tara also works as a writer, co-producer, producer and director.
Béa Santos studied literature and art history at McGill University before moving to Toronto to begin her career in film. Her credits include: the lead of the franchise A Very Country Christmas, a principal role in Season 3 of HBO's True Detective, a series regular role on HULU's the Hardy Boys, five seasons and counting as a recurring character on CBC's Murdoch Mysteries, a supporting role in the Ethan Hawke lead bank drama Stockholm which premiered at Tribeca and the female lead in the Canadian-German Co-production Coconut Hero. She is also a budding producer and director.
Carly Street is a graduate of Nation Theatre School and an award-winning actress, with numerous appearances at the Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre and other stages across Canada, the US, and on Broadway. You can also catch Carly on tv + film screens across Canada.
Taylor Trowbridge has been acting for film, TV and theatre for over 15 years. She holds a MFA in Acting from York University.
Genelle Williams is a Canadian Actress with 18 years of experience. She is a Gemini Award Nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series. Her credits include Radio Free Roscoe (Family Channel), The Latest Buzz (Family Channel), Warehouse 13 (Syfy), Orphan (Warner Brothers), The Incredible Hulk (Universal Pictures), and most recently can be found on Global TV's new series Family Law.