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Kate Twa

Co-Artistic Director

Kate began her professional acting career at the age of 17 playing Estella in The Citadel Theater's production of Great Expectations. Shortly after, she travelled over seas to study in London with the British Theatre Association. Training in the classics by day left her evenings open to explore some of London's newest playwrights and explosive productions. At 18 she was developing a taste for the raw, insightful and provocative work she is known for today. 

Kate was appointed Artistic Director of Gastown Theatre, a 66 seat black box theatre that further fueled her passion for acting and ignited new thirst for directing and writing.

 

Selected stage performances include Birdbath by Leonard Melfi, No Exit by Jean‐Paul Sartre, Miss Julie by August Strindberg and The Sweetest Swing in Baseball by Diana Son. Kate has .also acted extensively in film and television (X‐Files, Outer Limits, Killer App, DaVinci's Inquest, and Dead Zone.

Developing and directing new material has since been a driving passion. Written and directed works include Whatever Happened to What’s Her Name?, Serfing (co-written with Mark Ragan), Joke You! (co-written with Jan Derbyshire) and Torched. 

In 2011 Kate wrote and directed Gods of Youth, a harrowing exploration of kids and crystal meth. Most recently she completed writing and directing The Orchard, a dark comedy about an unexpected transformation.

Kate won critical and audience acclaim for directing Creeps by David Freeman, Waiting For Lefty by Clifford Odets, The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute, Hope Slide by Joan Macleod, The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It by Don Nigro, Wild Abandon by Daniel MacIvor, Tough! by George F. Walker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Comedy of Errors both by William Shakespeare.

Kate has taught for The Canadian College of Performing Arts, The Vancouver Film School, Cineworks, The Company We Keep, and in 2001 she co‐founded The Lyric School of Acting. She moved one to develop Cucumber Satellite Theatre and Film Society and currently she is Co-Artistic Director of the renowned Railtown Actors Studio.

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John Cassini

Co-Artistic Director

Besides having a very formidable and busy award winning Film and TV career for over 25 years, John has never lost his passion for theatre. He was a founding member of the 3rd Street Theater in Los Angeles where he appeared in Edmond, Geography Of A Horse Dreamer, One For The Road, They Shoot Horses Don't They? and Cash Deal (Actors Studio). In Vancouver, God Of Carnage (Vancouver Playhouse) and Rabbit Hole (Arts Club). In 2016 John was one of the founding members of Haberdashery Theatre Company whose inaugural production of Stephen Adley Guirgis’s The Motherf**ker with The Hat was critically acclaimed and the recipient of several Jessie Theatre Award nominations including Best Actor for John. 

For an extended list of Film and TV credits; please refer to IMDB.COM. Most recently, John’s passion and 20 years of teaching experience has led to being an on-set acting coach as well as a producer of several feature films and TV movies. He is a proud lifetime member of the Actors Studio in New York and LA and  is thrilled to call Vancouver his home and the Railtown community his artistic oasis.  You can also learn more about John at his website: johncassini.com

Testimonials:

"Sometimes in the early process of creating a character I feel like I'm circling the castle looking for a way in. There are the initial impulses which are like treasures but in breaking down the entire arc and having an initial sense of flow there are times I just need to talk to someone I trust. For me that person has always been John Cassini. When I get stuck, or am afraid, or am afraid of getting stuck I call John and we talk about the material. His insights never cease to amaze me. He has such a lucid, grounded, powerful gift for analyzing text. He never tries to direct you; instead John asks all the right questions, and unveils clear paths so that you can see and DO more clearly. He is an invaluable friend and colleague." 
--Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, L-Word, Book of Eli)


"John Cassini and I go back a long way, to Da Vinci's Inquest where he made an indelible impression when I first cast him, enough so that I brought him back for a longer arc. I cast him again on a show I did for CBS, as a series lead opposite Joe Pantaliano. The two of them together were riveting. When we made Intelligence, he was cast as Ronnie Delmonico and was again unforgettable. John's acting skills are renowned, and his dedication to the job at hand second to none, as he brings distinct unique characterizations to every thing he does. As an alumni of the famous Actors Studio, John continues his training in that great school of top flight actors. As an actor, teacher and coach, his reputation is gold." 
--Chris Haddock (Davinci's Inquest, Intelligence, 
Boardwalk Empire)


"To me acting at its purest is about giving. John Cassini personifies that for me. I remember a few years back we were working together on this mini series. It was a tough scene and I was having a particularly rough time getting to where I needed to be in it. A few choice words from him and suddenly anything was possible. He saved my ass that day. I will never forget it. I hope one day I can give back a fraction of what he has given me." 
-- Elias Koteas (Thin Red Line, Zodiac, 
Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

 

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Edward Foy

Scene Study and Movement Instructor

Born into a family of actors, in Brisbane Australia, Edward has been around, and on stage for most of his life. Edward has trained, studied and worked internationally. 

A graduate from USQ's actor training program in Australia, with a career that includes Shakespeare to action movies, musical theatre to comedy and Sci-fi, stage, screen, motion capture, and voice. He has appeared on stage in productions including: Beauty & The Beast (The Beast), Jane Eyre (Rochester), Macbeth (Macbeth) and the Helpman nominated Kursk (Australian Tour). 

Recent Film & TV Credits include: Supernatural, Sanctuary, End Game, World on Fire, Once upon a time, Robotropolis and Fringe. He continues to pursue training in a variety of acting related disciplines, most recently with Shakespeare and Co in the United States. He is also a member of the Society of Australian Fight Directors, with extensive experience in physical performance. 

His areas of study and interest include Voice, Movement, Music, Psychology, Philosophy and Martial Arts. Now he's stepping into the world of writing and producing for screen and creating his own new work. 

Edward has taught internationally using an eclectic mix of approaches and methods, believing that continual "cross training" is vital for actors to discover what works best for them, which in turn empowers them as independent creative artists.

 

Anthony Shim

Scene Study Instructor & Artistic Associate

Anthony first began as an actor in 2003 studying with Kate Twa at Lyric School of Acting, and during that time he also began his on-going voice training with Dr. Iris MacGregor-Bannerman.

Anthony began his teaching career in 2010 as an instructor at Railtown Actors Studio under the guidance of his long‐time mentor Kate Twa. In the spring of 2010, Anthony co‐founded Blind Pig Theatre and has since served as the company's artistic director while directing six of the company’s seven productions including "Kitty Kitty Kitty", "Frankenstein" and "SubUrbia".  

After teaching a full-time acting program at SchoolCreative for 18 months with fellow Blind Pig member Adrian Petriw, Anthony returned to Railtown at the end of 2015. Anthony currently serves as the co-curator of Railtown Lab along with Bryan Demore, and directed the Lab's first show "For The Record" written by Raul Inglis Sanchez. 
 

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Frank Cassini

Scene Study Instructor 

Frank has been a working actor for over 30 years in Film, TV and Theatre accumulating an extensive resume spanning New York, Los Angeles and currently Vancouver, and is a member of The Actors Studio for life since 1997. As an active participant in the local and foreign film scene, selected appearances include Watchmen, Little Brother of War, (Leo Award nominee), James Dean, For a Few Lousy Dollars, (Leo Award nominee), and has worked with Martin Scorsese on GOODFELLAS and Norman Jewison on MOONSTRUCK.

Frank is the recipient of the 2012 Leo Award for Best Supporting Actor in the Dramatic Series Blackstone. Some of his other TV appearances include Guest Starring roles in Continuum, The Killing, The Bridge (Series regular), Supernatural and Intelligence.

He has performed in over 20 plays including The JONES BOY (L.A. Drama-logue Award) and the most recent being FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE at the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver

Frank is also a produced screenwriter, having co-written the multi-award winning feature film, BREAK A LEG with his brother John Cassini.  He is currently in development on several projects. 

Teaching for over 20 years at Lyric School of Acting and VFS has given Frank extensive knowledge and experience, and is excited to share his passion in the classroom.


 

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Dr. Iris MacGregor-Bannerman

Head of Voice

Iris studied theatre and drama at the Rose Bruford College for Speech and Drama, in London, England. 

Upon leaving College, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. A veteran performer with numerous roles on stage, film, television and radio, Iris then joined the National Theatre School in Montreal in 1971 as the Head of Voice and Speech. 

She then went on to become the Director of the Acting Program at Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto where she wrote the highly acclaimed curriculum for the four year Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She obtained her Ph. D. from the University of Toronto in 1995. Since moving west, Iris has taught with the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, Cucumber Satellite, Lyric School of Acting and now with Kate Twa, John Cassini at Railtown. 

Iris has been an integral part in developing outstanding professional actors. Look for her book on voice entitled "Think, Breathe, Speak" to come out soon! 

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Lindsay Gibson

Voice Instructor

Lindsay has been studying her craft since the age of 12. Vocally, her training includes Singing, (classical, pop, jazz and musical theatre), Voice and Breathing, and Voice Over for animation.

She has won various scholarships for theatre programs and has performed for David Foster.

Lindsay graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, where she was awarded the 'Spirit of the Industry' and earned the nickname ‘Rokett’ Gibson for her magnanimous personality, unwavering dedication and rocket fueled talent.

She has been studying under the mentorship of Iris Macgregor - Bannerman since 2008 and swears by the transformative techniques included in ‘Think, Breath, Speak’ – a workbook of exercises and theories developed by Iris. 

Iris MacGregor-Bannerman has enthusiastically endorsed Lindsay Gibson to teach from her acclaimed ‘Think, Breathe, Speak’ series. Lindsay is a professional actor who continues her studies at Railtown Actors Studio and beyond.

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Bryan Demore

Studio Manager & Artistic Associate

Bryan is a graduate of York University’s Acting Conservatory. He has worked in the industry for over fourteen years as an actor in Vancouver and Toronto. Acting credits include: The Orchard, Sir John A, The L Word, The Life, Just Living, Microwave as well as over twenty stage productions across Canada. He has studied with Kate Twa, Nancy Sivak, John Cassini, David Smukler and Melee Hutton.

He has also produced film and theatre projects under his company A Lasting Dose Productions. His last two short films have premiered at VIFF, Cannes, CIFF, Bronx Int’l Film Festival and Cincinnati Film Festival. Bryan is the Studio Manager of Railtown Actors Studio and Co-Curator of Railtown Lab with Anthony Shim.

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Raul Inglis

Writer in Residence

Raul began his directorial and writing career in theatre. His critically acclaimed play In The Eyes of God was published by Talon books in 2007. Other plays include: FOR WHAT WE REAP, COP PLAY, WALTER, and SURVEILLANCE. 

His produced screenplays include Convergence, The Final Cut, The Falling, Icarus, SUDDENLY and Vice. 

The Falling was Raul's feature film directorial debut. He was nominated for the Claude Jutra Award for Best First Time Director, The City TV Award for Best First Director at the Toronto Film Festival, and the Best First and Second Film Award at the Chicago Film Festival. His second feature film, Vice, premiered at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles and opened theatrically in the US and Canada. Dennis Hopper called the film “One of the best cop films I have seen”. 

To promote the 2010 Winter Olympics, Raul was commissioned to produce and direct the short film, DUET which has also been screened in Berlin and across the U.K. 

His third film, TRANSPARENCY, starred Lou Diamond Phillips, Estella Warren and Deborah Kara Unger. It won best director at the 2011 Leo awards. 

Recently, Raul completed being story editor and writer on season two of the TV show CONTINUUM. His script for the film, AMERICAN HEIST, staring Adrien Brody and Hayden Christensen, was shot this summer while his script for, Five Minutes To Live, will be directed by Jan De Bont and stars John Cusack, which shoots next year. 

Currently, Raul is attached to direct the feature films: THE APOLOGIST and DIVORCE PARTY.