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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.

Woman with light tone skin, brown hair and blue eyes looks up at camera at an angle.

Alexandra Ewert
Alexa (she/her) is a multi-disciplinary artist currently living and creating in the city we know as Vancouver, situated on unceded Coast Salish territory. She grew up in Nova Scotia on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Since her early teens, she has found solace and spirit in expressive movement and performance. She is a performer, creator, painter, mover, shaker and part-time mermaid. She is a graduate of the Musical Theatre program at Capilano University and has recently completed the Bachelor of Performing Arts program, also with Capilano University. Alexa believes that the power of creativity and expression has potential to move mountains.


Caitlin Fysh
Caitlin (she/her) is an educator, performer, producer and theatremaker in many forms. She has experience teaching speech, performance, dance, and set and costume design and believes in the power of arts education to create confidence, emotional intelligence, and awareness of the world around us. Caitlin was first involved with Gateway Theatre as the Artistic Associate last season, and looks forward to continuing to connect with the Gateway community through youth education. She would like to acknowledge that she currently resides on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

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.

Erin Michell

Erin Michell
Erin Michell (she/her/hers) is a performing artist specializing in choreography, storytelling, acting, and musical theatre. She is also a new playwright with her first play currently in production with The Story Theatre Company. Erin has been teaching dance and theatre for over ten years and is passionate about sharing the creative process of performing for all ages. Directorial/Choreography credits for stage include The Jungle Book, Seussical The Musical, and Honk Jr (Director/ Choreography - StageNewWest). Select film credits include #ThisisAna - Ep 109 (Choreographer - webseries), Lift A Finger (Choreographer - music video), and Fallingwater (Choreographer - Dance Film). Erin is a graduate of The Canadian College of Performing Arts.

Amanda Testini
Amanda (she/her) is a performer, choreographer, director and educator based on the unceded territories of the Musquium, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. For the Gateway, she played ‘Belle’ in A Christmas Carol in 2017, and is glad to be back and part of the Academy. Most recently Amanda choreographed Panto Come Home! (Theatre Replacement/the Cultch), do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata (the Cultch), was part of the Arts Club ECOS program, and was the Stage Director in Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M Faris Young Artist Program. She is a Jessie award nominee and a graduate of Studio 58. 

Nitasha Rajoo
Nitasha has over 20 years of experience in performing arts as an educator and theatre-maker. She currently works as the Education Manager for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company, completing a very successful school integration program on The Mountaintop. She also runs the Creative Teens program at The Arts Club where this winter, 10 youth devised a Zoom performance entitled, Out of the Darkness into the Light. Before this, she worked as the Interim Director of Education at the Stratford Festival in Ontario heightening her love for Shakespeare and performance. She has been fortunate to have taught a series of drama workshops to new immigrants and refugees, consulted on drama pedagogy in schools in the Northwest Territories, and has been an adjudicator for Speech Arts Festivals across Canada.

Julia Ullrich
Julia is very excited to be joining the Gateway Academy Faculty this year. You may have seen her in Gateway Theatre’s hit Christmas musical Crazy For You in 2014 as a colourful Follies dancer, perhaps as Elle Woods in Align Entertainment’s Legally Blonde, or last year at Theatre Under the Stars as Katherine Plumber in Disney’s Newsies! She has also worked on three seasons at the Chemainus Theatre Festival on Vancouver Island. Additional to her performing life, Julia is a B.C. and Ontario certified teacher and loves working with enthusiastic theatre nerds, like herself.

Veronique West
Veronique (she/they) is a settler of Polish descent, living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her practice spans performance creation, dramaturgy, and education, as well as mental health peer support and advocacy. They have worked as a youth educator and mentor for the Arts Club Theatre Company, the Cultch, Green Room Theatre, and Gateway Theatre. Veronique is the recipient of a Playwrights Theatre Centre Associates residency and a National Theatre School Art Apart award, as well as a winner of Tarragon Theatre's 20/20 Playwriting Competition. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from UBC.

Raugi Yu
Raugi Yu is no stranger to Gateway Academy, having been an instructor with us at various times since the early 2000’s. You may also recognize him from such Gateway shows as, Thoroughly Modern MillieI Lost My Husband and The King Of The Yees. Most recently, Carried Away On The Crest Of A Wave for The Arts Club, and now in a new position for the Arts Club, Livestream Director. Raugi is thrilled to be back teaching this year and is looking forward to exploring new forms of theatre creation and artistry with all the amazing students and faculty.

Natasha Zacher
Natasha [she/her] is an actor, producer, and facilitator living in 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 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). 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 is also a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.


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