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Academy Faculty


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Gateway Academy Faculty

The Academy Instructors are professional artists. We bring you working artist educators who are passionate about sharing their expertise with a new generation of performers.

Ruth McIntosh

Ruth McIntosh
Education Manager
A professional actor for 20+ years, Ruth has worked in theatres across Canada and has taught across the Lower Mainland, including at Gateway Academy and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. A Dramaturg and Writer for dance theatre, Ruth is a graduate of the Vancouver Playhouse School of Acting.

Manami Hara

Manami Hara
Manami Hara immigrated from Tokyo, Japan to pursue her dream of becoming a theatre artist in North America. She has been successfully building her career as an actor, playwright, instructor, interpreter/translator, dramaturge and director for the past three decades. Most recently she was seen in Marjorie Chan’s China Doll at Gateway Theatre and vAct’s production of Tetsuro Shigematsu’s new play Kuroko at the Cultch. Manami has worked with companies across Canada including Arts Club Theatre Company, Boca del Lupo, Carousel Theatre, The Cultch, Factory Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Frank Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Globe Theatre, Grand Theatre, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre, La Luna Productions, National Arts Centre and many more.  She is a Jessie Richardson Award winner and nominee for her acting and collaborative creations. She feels extremely privileged to be part of the awesome Instructors and Education team at the Gateway Academy where she can continue to be passionate about teaching youth the magic of theatre making, acting, storytelling, and ensemble spirit.

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Nathan Kay (he, him, his)
Nathan is a Vancouver based actor and instructor, and is very excited to be teaching at Gateway Academy for the first time. Nathan is a graduate of Studio 58's acting program in 2016 and has appeared in shows across Canada and in 2019 travelled to Hong Kong with Neworld Theatre's King Arthur's Night. Nathan's work as an instructor has centred around making sure everyone's ideas are honoured and respected as well as challenging students to find what they love and go after it!

Rebecca Paulding (she, her, hers)
Rebecca is an elementary school music teacher, classical singer, pianist, and musical theatre enthusiast! She has taught musical theatre and speech arts classes at Gateway Academy for the past three years. Rebecca holds a Bachelors and Masters of Music in opera performance, an ARCT in piano performance, and a Bachelors of Education. She has performed all over the Lower Mainland and Vancouver with various companies, orchestras and choirs. Her favourite musical is West Side Story, and her favourite role is Marian the Librarian from The Music Man. Rebecca loves creating, encouraging and exploring with students of all ages!

Amanda Testini (she, her, hers)
Amanda is a performer, choreographer, director and educator, and this is her first year teaching at the Gateway Academy! She is a graduate of both the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and Studio 58. Amanda has worked on shows at the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera, the Belfry, Carousel Theatre for Young People, the Firehall, shameless hussy productions, the Cultch, Opera Kelowna, Theatre Under the Stars, Theatre Replacement, Electric Company and, of course, the Gateway where she played 'Belle' in A Christmas Carol. Amanda believes theatre is the perfect place to practice compassion, empathy, play, imagination, and teamwork.

Natasha Zacher (she, her, hers)
Natasha is an actor, producer, and facilitator living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Natasha has been teaching, facilitating and creating youth and adult theatre arts programs that centre neurodivergence for over ten years, both in Canada and the UK. Previous work has included projects with ArtStarts in Schools (Vancouver), DreamArts (London, UK) and Chickenshed Theatre (London, UK). This work has included providing one-to-one support for participants, crafting programming around a spectrum of learning styles, and engaging in consultation around supporting neurodivergence in creative spaces. Natasha has a significant history with Gateway Theatre: she held the role of Education Coordinator from 2014-2016, and has since joined the Academy Faculty! Natasha values creative spaces that are inclusive, playful and trusting. She is also a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BCACC.


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