Tree of Life Theatre Company   

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Season 1

PETER VAN WART is a member of the fellowship of actors who made up the  International Shakespeare's Globe Company 2002 in such roles as Richard III and Pandarus.

Peter is a familiar face on TV and film over the past 30 years. Highlights on stage include; Pseuolus in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,Touchstone in As You Like It, Serge in Art, Malvolio inTwelfth Night, the King in Alls Well That Ends Well for S.I.T.S.the Duke in Measure for Measure and Boyet in Loves Labours Lost at the York Shakespeare Festival,Titus in  Titus Andronicus in Halifax, Meneleus inTrojan Women in Los Angeles.

As a director, Peter brought R&J Brampton from development to the stage in 2007 and helmed The Original Practices productions of Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night at the Heritage Theatre in Brampton September 2005. Other directorial accomplishments include Shakespeare on the Thames' inaugural production of Twelfth Night in 2002 and their 2004 production of As You Like It held in Gibbons Park in London, Ontario. He directed The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre in Brampton in the summers of 2008/2009. He recently directed The Clandestine Marriagefor the graduating production at Erindale Theatre Program at UofT.

As a teacher, Peter has been teaching Shakespeare for the Actor at Uof T UC Drama and The Randolph Theatre Academy as well as Equity Showcase Theatre for professionals. He also founded The Classical Theatre Lab at Equity Showcase in 1998.

NICOLE ARENDS graduated from York University's Theatre program after which she started her own theatre company for youth in Ottawa called The Balcony Players. With this company she produced and directed such plays as Mirror Game, Planet of the Creeps and David for Queen. She came to Toronto in 1996 and started directing for such theatre companies as Alumnae Theatre Company, Young People's Theatre, and independently with Upstart Crow Theatre Group and the Fringe Festival.  Some of her most memorable directing credits includeThe Hope Slide, Cloud Tectonics, Hamlet, and Collected Stories. Nicole has worked at Equity Showcase Theatre and at Young People's Theatre where she assistant-directed many enchanting shows including Ghost Train, Merlin, The Secret Garden, The Miracle Worker and Juliet (and Romeo). She has a diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy and has been working in the field of Arts and Health leading the The Royal Conservatory's Living Through the Arts program for the past 11 years. She is currently spearheading the ARTS-REHAB Project, an Ontario-wide research study that is studying the effects of the creative process on rehab patients. Over the last decade, Nicole has been exploring mask work for personal development as well as creating videos for The Wisdom Speakers. She has 23 stage directing credits to her name and has led and produced countless workshops and events for several arts and community organizations. Recently, Nicole directed Foxfinder for the Village Players.

LEZLIE WADE is a Tom Hendry and Dora nominated writer and director. Recent directing credits include: Obeah Opera (Panamania/Nightwood), The Twelve Pound Look (Shaw Festival) Dream A Little Dream (The Grand Theatre); Dog Sees God (Rubinoff Productions); Elegies & A Man of No Importance (Acting Up Stage Company); The Yalta Game (Shaw Festival). She was the associate director on Henry V at the Stratford Festival and assistant director on Fuente Ovejuna, As You Like It, A Word or Two andJesus Christ Superstar. She continued to work on Superstar at the Lajolla Playhouse and on Broadway. She was also associate director/ choreographer on The Toxic Avenger for Dancap, and Love, Loss and What I Wore for Roth/Rubinoff productions. As a writer her musical adaptation of The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen with collaborator, Daniel Green was recently work-shopped at the ASCAP DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop for Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty and Dick Scanlan. It also received workshops at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and AMTP. Last season it was short-listed for the Tom Hendry award for best new Canadian musical and received an NYC workshop this past fall.

ROSANNA SARACINO, is an Italian-Canadian director, dramaturge, costume designer, stylist, acting coach (theatre and film), theatre educator, and workaholic. Over the last 25 years, she has directed upward of 80 shows for the theatre, and forayed into directing a few films, videos and documentaries. Her theatre work includes directing productions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, No Exit, Death A Comedy, Death Delirium and Desire, Killing Game, (there is a motif developing here….). She has also created and directed several devised projects including Suitcases, Twisted (inspired by Oliver Twist), redroom/blueroom (inspired by Schnitlzer’s La Ronde), and The Lost Scenes (inspired by horror fiction). Last year, she was the Director in Residence at The Candian Stage, has worked with companies such as The Canadian Opera Company, The Power Plant, and the Mirvishes, and has been nominated as Best Director (Stage) by Now Magazine for the last three years. As an educator, she has taught at Fanshawe, York University, and she is currently the Head of the Acting Program at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. You can see her work this summer, directing Little Pricks by Denise Norman at the Toronto Fringe, and directing a new adaptation of Midsummer Nights Dream for NonExistent Theatre, opening in August, 2016. Rosanna Saracino is delighted to be part of Tree of Life Theatre Company’s premiere season!!! And she is grateful to be working with such inspiring and dedicated emerging talent!