Stephanie Herrera has been working professionally in the arts for over ten years. Mediums have included film, TV and theatre. While in the musical theatre world she received rave reviews in such shows as “Chorus Line” and “Fame” (which also toured Italy and won her the THEA for Best Leading Actress in a Musical that year). In the improv world she performed in various shows including “Curtains Up”, “Neil Muscott’s Comedy Debates”, and as a cast member of Second City’s “Tony & Tina’s Wedding”. She graduated from Second City’s Conservatory program after having won their cross-cultural improv scholarship and also went on to become a main-stage cast member of Theatre Sports Toronto.
She founded two successful improv/sketch troupes in Toronto, “On the Count of Three”, which specialized in musical comedy sketches, and the Canadian Comedy Award nominated troupe “The Lamb Chops” (who performed full length improvised musicals!). The Lamb Chops taught and performed at the Labrador Creative Arts festival and at the Orlando Comedy Festival as well as were heard on CBC radio and were featured in Eye and Now magazines as one of the hotest groups in improv.
Stephanie has been teaching since 2002 and has extensive experience in producing, writing, and directing shows, with both children and adults.
In 2004 and 2005 Stephanie was the Director of Improv and Interaction at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (www.parenfaire.com).
Since 2003, Stephanie has produced the “Teen Improv Tournament” which gives teenagers the opportunity to perform improv in a professional theatrical setting which also was the catalyst for her nomination for a Latin American Achievement Award and it took an entire Latin American Film Festival to beat her.
In Fall 2006 Stephanie designed the improv classes at Durham and Fleming Colleges as well as founded “Durham Improv” as Durham Ontario’s first and only improv school.
In 2011 she began writing and producing Durham Improv’s Interactive Dinner Theatre shows, which continue to receive rave reviews. In the same year she was nominated for an Art of Transition award in the category of “Best entertainment” and it took a whole theatre company to beat her.
Also in 2012 she became a nominee for the “Mr. & Mrs. Comedy Auction” and won the “Business of the year” award home from the Durham Home and Small Business Association, the “Business for the Arts” award from the Scugog Arts Council, and the “Best Entertainment” award at the Durham Region Art of Transition awards ceremony.
She co-hosted “Hurry Up Love” with New York Bestselling author Nicholas Boothman, which can be seen on Rogers TV (Oshawa) along with her own show “Stephanie’s Comedy Chat”.
Stephanie’s experience and talents, combined with her desire to share her knowledge, makes her an enthusiastic teacher. She approaches her teaching with dedication and with a strong intent to make each participant comfortable.
Whether her students have been children or adults they have always found her classes, not only challenging, but more importantly, a ton of fun!
Her demo reels and professional acting site is: www.stephanieherrera.com
Sheri Prescott is a high school drama teacher, director, improv coach and community theatre actress with more than fifteen years of experience. Her Canadian Improv Games team placed gold and silver in the Toronto East Zone for 2014 and 2015. Sheri also offers “Improv in the Classroom” and “Building Community” for elementary/secondary teachers. She was last seen on the ACT stage playing the part of Shelby in “Steel Magnolias”. Sheri believes positivity, energy, and authentic reactions deliver engaging performances. Sheri is happiest when watching students gain confidence through the art of improv.
Adam Lloyd Wilkinson is a graduate of Humber College: School of Comedy. Where he was nominated for the Mike Myers Award for excellent achievement in comedic studies. He went on to perform all over Toronto in a number of sketch troupes including Turn Down the Grill with Second City cast member Marty Adams, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedian Andre Arruda. He won the “Toronto 24 hour film challenge” with the comedic troupe Geronimo Deadly and Adam was honoured with best comedic performance for a worldwide “100 hour film race”.
Michael Serres has been involved in the Durham theatre scene for the past 20 years. He has been recognized for his acting as well as several awards for sound design, and most recently, directing. He has taught acting classes in the Animation program at Durham College, and Port Perry Dance Academy. Michael is also very interested in applying the findings of the latest research in the field of Positive Psychology to the art of acting, incorporating the concepts of mindfulness, gratitude and exploring the relationship between acting and cognitive capacity.
Angela Maiorano-Thurston was born into a loud Italian family. Since birth Angela always knew she had a voice that needed to be heard. Ok so her voice was a little on the unusual, but you always know its Angela’s distinctive trademark.
Yes her voice is squeaky at times. And yes while studying Improv at the famous Second City in Toronto during the 90’s she made quite an impact. And it started the beginning of her Comedy career. Angela has become a seasoned Stand up Performer, while touring in North America. She has appeared in countless Television commercials and Movies for film and T.V. Making Angela very recognizable and bringing her great success.
Angela is definitely a rising Comic, to be reckoned with.
Connor Atkins is a long time student of fellow Durham Improv instructor, Sheri Prescott. He is an active competitor in the Canadian Improv Games national tournament with his team at Ajax High School. In the 2014-2015 season, Connor’s team placed gold at the Toronto East Zone Playoffs, and silver at the Toronto East Zone Finals. He also assists Sheri Prescott in teaching the senior improv course at Ajax High School. Connor acknowledges how improv can be applied to benefit you in everyday scenarios. Connor likes to teach the recreational games made popular on Whose Line is it Anyway, as well as the competitive formats and theatresports from the Canadian Improv Games. Connor also takes pride in character work and enjoys helping students create their own creative characters. Connor enjoys watching improvisers grow as they gain confidence on stage and in social environments.
Kendra Johnstone has been involved in dramatic arts programs including both competitive and recreational improv since 2011. She is assistant coach to the competitive improv team, that participated in the Canadian Improv Games (coached by Durham Improv’s own Sheri Prescott), which placed gold in 2014 and silver in 2015, for the Toronto East Zone. Kendra volunteers with the Town of Ajax, and helps organize and teach their Improv and Glee children’s programs. Since 2015 she became a camp counselor for their march break and summer camps, working with children ages 5-13. Kendra ensures that her classes provide fulfilling, engaging, fun, and developmental experiences. She believes that positivity is everything, and that having an optimistic, energetic outlook is essential for making the best of any experience and finds great satisfaction in helping children gain self confidence and self expression in the arts.