Act Ottawa Instructors

Act Ottawa features some of Ottawa's most experienced actors, directors and teachers.

John Muggleton

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 and Toronto. An Act of Grace, John's second full length play, was performed at the Eastern Ontario Drama League Festival in November of 2018 and was awarded Best Production, Best Ensemble, The People's Choice Award and an adjudicators award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting.


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).

More about Chris Ralph and the Acting Company

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.

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.

Hannah Gibson-Fraser

Hannah is an Ottawa based professional playwright, actor and theatre director. Her most recent project was Safe As Houses, a public workshop presentation by Evolution Theatre in August of 2019. A co-founder and Artistic Director of Pretty Ugly Theatre Productions, her credits include: Rachel and Zoe at the Ottawa Fringe Festival 2014, Underneath It All, Ottawa Fringe 2017, and Rachel and Zoe: Uncorked and Uncensored, Ottawa and Vancouver Fringe 2018. Other performances include: Beneath with NW9 Collective, Duet with Punchbag Playhouse, The Poe Show, with Vanity Project, and Snake Oil, with Blacksheep Theatre 2014.

From 2018 to 2021, Hannah has been the Artistic Director of the Algonquin Scriptwriting Program ’s Hothouse, an annual performance of original works by students in the Scriptwriting Program, School of Media and Design. Prior to 2018, she was an active performer in Hothouse and continues to perform in the current series.

Hannah is a graduate of The Ottawa Theatre School three year Acting Conservatory program, and an Honour roll graduate of the Algonquin College Theatre Arts Program, School of Media and Design. She began her teaching career in 2005 at the Theatre School of Ottawa, and moved on to The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama (O.S.S.D) in 2011. At O.S.S.D., Hannah worked with students and adults in after school programming on a variety of skills including: voice, movement, character development, performance creation, audition preparation, public speaking and more. Her passion for teaching led her to dedicating her summers to Theatre summer camps for students at O.S.S.D. Hannah has been an instructor in the Performing Arts Program at Algonquin College since the fall of 2019.

Mike Kosowan

Mike has worked with a variety Theatre Companies and entertainment companies in Ottawa such as Orbital Talent, Busker Birthdays, Live History, Eddie May Murder Mysteries, Big Time Murder Mysteries and with Ottawa improv troupes GRIMprov and Crystal Basement. He is also teaching various improv courses at the Ottawa Acting Company and GNAG with Act Ottawa. Mike has performed in multiple Fringe Festivals in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Edmonton as well as the Magnetic North Festival, Montreal and Ottawa Improv Festivals.

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.

Laurie Fyffe

Laurie is a playwright, dramaturg, and Artistic Director of Ottawa’s Evolution Theatre. From 2014 to 2017, she was Artistic Manager of Ottawa StoryTellers. Her play Beowulf in Afghanistan was part of Ottawa StoryTellers Signature Series in 2020, and was subsequently produced at the Ottawa Fringe. Exciting Cause received an Ontario Arts Council Grant for a workshop in May of 2020. In March of 2018, Laurie’s play Being Helen received a workshop and public reading courtesy of the Ergo Pink Arts Festival, Toronto. Other plays have enjoyed productions at the Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Theatre Kingston and the Blyth Festival. Laurie is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the Canadian Authors Association. She received her MA in Theatre & Dramaturgy from the University of Ottawa in 2010, and teaches scriptwriting at Algonquin College’s School of Media & Design. Laurie is currently writing a story based on a startling discovery from her own family history!

More Bios to come!