Ottawa Acting Studio Instructors

The Ottawa Acting Studio features some of Ottawa's most experienced actors, directors and teachers.

John Muggleton

Artistic Director

John is an award winning actor, director and playwright with over 30 years experience. A member of ACTRA, The Canadian Actors Equity Association and the Playwrights Guild of Canada, John is also a recipient of the Audrey Ashley Award for longstanding dedication to the Ottawa theatre community. As a playwright, his first full length play, Burn, was nominated as Best New Play of 2017 by the Ottawa Capital Critics Circle and has since been produced in Ottawa, Vancouver, Halifax, Houston TX, The UK and Toronto. 

Dana Truelove


Dana grew up in a theatre-loving household with a drama teacher father and has always valued theatre as an important aspect of her work/life balance. Having performed in several plays in Vancouver and Ottawa, Dana was accepted  into an intensive acting course at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, U.K. Dana has a Master of Education in Counselling and is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP). 

Eleanor Crowder

Eleanor Crowder is a theatre innovator. Delighted to find new ways to connect with audiences, she brings the joys of theatrical exploration to your computer screen. Playwright, performer and director, she introduces students to core theatre skills virtually or in person. She has worked with young artists and adults across cultures in Ghana and the Sudan; in The Yukon, and indigenous communities of Northern Ontario; in rural eastern Ontario and the urban centres of Ottawa and Toronto.

Robert Bockstael

During his 38 years in the entertainment industry Robert has worked as a theatre actor and director across Canada garnering many accolades and awards, among them the Ottawa Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and as a series television and feature film actor has taken him around the world, earning him more recognition, including two Gemini Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in the hit series North of 60. Robert has providing the voices for dozens of animated series from X-men to Sailor Moon, Rupert the Bear to Robocop.

Mary Tsai

VMary is the former Executive Director of GNAG (Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group) and has worked at the Glebe Community Centre for over 30 years. As well as having been a  summer camp instructor for all those years, she also founded GNAG Theatre in 2002 and since then has produced and choreographed several musicals including Oliver, The Sound of Music, Fiddler On The Roof, A Christmas Carol, Chitty Chitty Bang! Bang!, and Anne of Green Gables, to name a few. 

Joey Walsh

Upon graduating in 2008 from Bishop’s University with a degree in theatre, Joey moved to Vancouver, joining the High Horse Theatre Company, an indie company known for producing new Canadian works. Since moving to Ottawa, Joey has worked steadily in the Ottawa theatre scene. Recent acting credits include the role of Eve in Burn  at the Academy Theatre for the EODL Theatre Festival where she was awarded Best Actor. Other acting credits include Benita in Love and Human Remains (The Gladstone), Laurel in Torch Song Trilogy (TotoToo) Sylvie in Move Over Mrs. Markham (Ottawa Little Theatre) and Mary Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (Ottawa Little Theatre). Joey is also an English teacher and stand up comedian.

Chris Ralph

Chris is the co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Acting Company and has taught acting and voice at York University, University of Ottawa, private studios, and currently teaches acting and voice at Algonquin College. Chris is a graduate the National Theatre School of Canada and has an MFA in Acting from York University. Recent acting credits include The Virgin Trial (GCTC - 2019 Ottawa Rideau Award for Best Actor); Up to Low (NAC); Half Life (Theatre Northwest); A Christmas Carol (NAC); Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Plosive Productions); The Amorous Servant (Odyssey); Glengarry Glen Ross (Avalon Productions – Capital Critics Award for Best Production); Billy Bishop Goes to War (Plosive Productions – Capital Critics Best Actor nomination); The Game of Love and Death (Odyssey); and Death and the Maiden (Plosive Productions).

Natascha Sekerinski

Natascha's love of theatre started during her undergrad with her involvement in Carleton's Sock 'n' Buskin Theatre Company in 2017, where she had the pleasure to serve as Co-Artistic Director from 2019-2022. During this time, she stage managed shows including Almost, Maine (2019), King Lear (2020) and the virtual (pandemic) play Bad Auditons... On Camera! She has been involved with almost every aspect of theatre production, from starring as Diana in Sock 'n' Buskin's production of Anne of Green Gables to helping design and run sound and lighting for The Company of Adventurer's production of The Comedy of Errors, from running GNAG's Drama Club and coordinating their Broadway and musical theatre summer camps to working as a freelance theatre photographer. 

Vanessa Bloomfield

After taking the in-person intensive acting at the prestigious Bernard Hiller studio in LA, Vanessa has appeared in productions such as The Birthday Card(Short), Unholy NightDuty (Short), A Bittersweet Taste (Short), The Perfect Soulmate (TV Movie), Monster Pool: Chapter Two, among others. Vanessa was a regular cast member of the Avalon Studio’s Showcase Evenings and has helped instruct self tape audition workshops for Act Ottawa and The Acting Company.

Shaun Toohey

Shaun is an Actor, Director and Educator with 30 plus years of experience in the professional and community theatre. He is the co-founder of the highly successful Orpheus Summer Theatre Camps and has taught acting and musical theatre at The Ottawa Childrens Theatre, The Acting Company, The Ottawa Little Theatre and The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. As an actor he has appeared in numerous productions for various companies including his award winning role as Max in The Producers, Alan Turing in Breaking The Code and Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart. He also directed productions of Mamma Mia, Grease and Pricilla Queen of the Desert. He is an educator with the Western Quebec School Board.

Venetia Lawless

Venetia is an award winning director and actor who has been involved in theatre for over 35 years. Venetia has worked either as a director or actor (or both!) with Ottawa Little Theatre, Kanata Theatre, The Gladstone, and more across Ontario. She recently acted in 2018s "Dead Accounts" which was the OLT entry into the 2018 EODL Full-Length Spring Festival (travelling adjudication) which won awards for Best Production, Best Actress in a Major Role (Venetia Lawless), Best Ensemble, and Best Set Design (Tom Pidgeon), Best Director (Geoff Gruson), Best Actor (Phillip Merriman), Adjudicator's Acting Award (Venetia Lawless), Best Supporting Actress (Jane Morris), Best Supporting Actor (Josh Sparks). Venetia directed An Act of Grace in Kingston where it won multiple top awards.

More to come!