2020 Presenters


** NEW**  DANCE INTENSIVE with Simone                                                             – City Dance

Simone Goerner was classically trained in ballet for 12 years and also has an extensive background in Street Dance. She has been teaching for over 15 years and has had great success at competitions across BC with her competitive Hip Hop team including the title of top choreographer.


Acting Intensive: Mike Stack

Using text from various sources, the participants of the Theatre Intensive will create a brief, unique piece of theatre – a Shakespearean collage. The script itself will be decided on in collaboration with the participants, and will involve elements of text, movement, music and any other talents which our young thespians have to offer. Participants will be required to be in touch with the Workshop Leader prior to the festival, to share their ideas and to help determine the text to be used in the script. Some memorization will be expected by the time you arrive at the festival. Participation is limited to 20 students who must be recommended by their Drama Teacher. Recommendations can be submitted to Mike Stack: mikegstack@gmail.com

Mike is thrilled to be involved with the GoodWill Fest once again! He is an actor, teacher and director who makes his home in East Vancouver. Mike’s most recent performances include The Wizard of Oz and The Cat in the Hat for Carousel Theatre, Sylvia at the Gateway Theatre, and Henry VI and Richard III at Bard on the Beach. Mike also works extensively with young people, leading Shakespeare workshops in schools, as Guest Director at Templeton Secondary in Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland Homelearning community. Mike is a graduate of Studio 58.

Choral Intensive: Brian Tate

Brian Tate is the co-founder and former director of Vancouver’s 100-voice City Soul Choir and sings with the world music a cappella vocal trio ‘TriVo’. An award-winning composer and popular choral clinician, Brian’s compositions and arrangements reflect his love of world, roots, and gospel music. Brian recently retired from teaching singing and choir for 22 years at Studio 58, Langara College’s professional theatre school, and now lives in Victoria, BC. 



Photography Intensive:  Renee Billingslea

Renee is an artist who responds to a call for action through research and creating objects that address deep issues of race, racial violence, white privilege and aspects of American history that are not often taught.  Renee earned her B.A. in Art at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon and her MFA in Art at San Jose State University. She has had solo exhibitions at the Triton Museum in California, and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery Alabama, among others. She is an Affiliate Artist with the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Last June, Renee was named the 2019 Silicon Valley Artist Laureate.  She is a Senior Lecturer of Photography in the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University.

Writing Intensive:  Katey Hoffman

Katey is an actor and writer currently living in London, UK. As a playwright, she co-wrote The Surrealists, Karaoke: The Musical (Studio 58), The After Party, The New Years Party (Pull Fest), The Bush Party, The Tie Breaker (Theatre SKAM), and the critically-acclaimed The After After Party which won Vancouver’s Pick-of-the-Fringe, The Georgia Straight Critic’s Pick, the CULTCH-ivating the Fringe Award, and was nominated for a Jessie Richarsdon Award. Katey’s coming-of-age comedy, Green Lake, was produced by Solo Collective and nominated for 6 Jessie Richardson Awards including Outstanding Production. Last season, her play for young audiences, What If, toured Western Canada with Green Thumb Theatre and is slated for a national tour in 2020. Katey is also co-creator of Lady Parts, a popular feminist sketch comedy show in Vancouver showcasing the city’s funniest female-identified performers. And last September, Saint Joans Seven, an original screenplay co-written by Katey, was selected as one of six scripts across the country to compete in the Toronto International Film Festival’s PITCH THIS competition. Katey is a Betty Mitchell nominee, Calgary Critic’s Award winner, recipient of the Touchstone Theatre and Jennifer Wade Scholarships, and a graduate of Studio 58. 
About the workshop: This playwriting workshop at GWSF will be fun, hands on, messy, and exploratory. We’ll learn about characters, relationships, conflict, structure, dialogue, and formatting… And then we’ll put it all to use when we work together to create an original play! 


Art Intensive:  Kayleigh Mace & Jax Dolman

The ART INTENSIVE will push students head-first into the world of collaborative art practice. In the visual arts, we tend to explore works on canvas and paper as individuals. We rarely, if ever, allow another hand to take part in our creative process. The “vision” of the single artist is achieved through a process that does not accommodate more than one point of view. The art intensive will break all the rules; we will encourage students to work on multiple canvases at one time. Paintings will be created by multiple artists, all bringing their unique ideas, perspective, and instincts to each work. The goal will be to relax the individual ownership felt by The Artist, and by doing so, allow for a shared experience that will produce thoughtful and cohesive work. This 3 day intensive will have the students producing a large body of collaborative work, which we will then display in a gallery-like setting at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on the final day of festival. Painting and drawing experience is suggested but not required.

Jax Dolman and Kayleigh Mace (BFA, BEd) have been painting collaboratively together for 3 years. They have also designed costumes for several shows together, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (27th Street Theatre), “A Christmas Carol” (Powerhouse Theatre), and “Spamalot” (Big Apple Productions). Jax has performed onstage with multiple production companies in Vernon, including shows like “Seussical”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Chicago.” He is currently attending UBC Vancouver and is pursuing a degree in Theatre Design and Production. Kayleigh received her visual arts training from UBCO, and has been working in the Vernon school district, most recently at W.L. Seaton Secondary, in the theatre department. When not costuming a show together, the pair produce and exhibit their collaborative paintings throughout the Okanagan Valley. Their body of work can also be viewed online at duoartwork.com

Makeup Intensive: Nicole Dreyer

Nicole Dreyer is a Makeup Artist and Special Makeup Effects Technician working in the Vancouver Film Industry. Nicole was born in Point Edward, Ontario and moved to Vancouver in 2010. This was the first time Nicole was exposed to the potential reality of working in the film industry. After many years of passionately pursuing the arts outside of her dayjob as well as raising twins with her husband, she decided she had to get involved in film. In 2017, She found her way in and attended Vancouver Film School’s 12 month intensive program- Make up Design for Film and Television lead by Stan Edmonds. After successfully graduating with honours, she begun working in the industry full time. Now, you can find Nicole working on union and independent projects doing any job she can get (including make up, special Make up effects, special fx, production design, props, and producing). Nicole thrives when she can make a real film effect without the use of CGI. “I have an eye for detail and a passion for the industry.” – Nicole Dreyer


Tech Theatre Intensive:  Rylee Block


Drama Strand: 

Aldo Billingslea

Aldo is honored to be back for another year of the Goodwill Shakespeare Festival, having participated in the first year. Aldo earned his B.A. and his M.A. at Austin College, and his M.F.A. in Acting at Southern Methodist University. He has worked extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area and at Shakespearean Festivals of California, Dallas, Marin, Oregon, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Utah and Arabia. Aldo teaches acting at Santa Clara University.

Holly Adams

Holly believes art is how we connect to, process and understand our world, each other, our communities, our living, our dying; art makes us think and invest emotionally. Her work as an artist in residence for schools and universities links academic and arts curricula, as well as addressing social and cultural challenges. Holly’s dedication to arts as healing fuels her work as a clown therapist and consultant/trainer for Clown Therapy programs around the world.  As a performer, she divides time between original pieces, circus projects, audiobook narration for Audible and typical acting gigs for stage and screen–including lots of Shakespeare! Holly is a graduate of the Dell ‘Arte School, and holds a Masters in Theatre, Education, and Social Change. She is a recipient of the Association of Teaching Artist’s Service to the Field Award, the Tom Niederkorn Award for “extraordinary contributions to artistic and educational programming at The Hangar Theatre “, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York State Theatre Education Association.


Alan Marriot  

Alongside his voice over career Alan is very active as a visual and stage actor, particularly when it comes to improv comedy where he has appeared in and created many shows including , Theatresports, Hamlet Improvised, the Impro Musical, Impro lab – Alliances, Impropera, Suspect – the improvised murder mystery, South of the River – with Jeremy Hardy, Christmas Queen, Science!, Men in Suits – improv Mamet, Improv Twilight Zone, Showstopper – the 2010 Hong Kong tour, and a six year run of Friday Night Live. Alan currently teaches at School Creative in Vancouver where he has been department head for the Comedy Conservatory program for the past three years.

Alan has also written a book on improvisation and creative thinking, ‘Genius Now’ and is currently writing a new four handed musical with Sandra-Mae Luykx that will premiere next spring. After training at Studio 58 and Theatresports in Vancouver, Alan relocated to London, England to complete his training at LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). After completing LAMDA in 1986, Alan stayed in London and successfully pursued a career in voice overs and has been heard on countless animation series (Bob the Builder, My Little Pony, Dinosaur Train, Lego Ninjago, Lego Star Wars, and Lego Knights, Voltron, The Secret Show, and many more), commercials (MBNA, Smuckers, Denver Water, Honda, BC government, London Drugs, current voice of White Spot restaurants), movie trailers (Warner Bros – Scooby Doo, Nickelodeon), movies (X – sequel to Akira, Planet 51 – Glar, Back to Gaya, Globi, Asterix and the Mansions of the Gods – Cacofanix, to name a few). Alan spent a year and half at the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End with The Reduced Shakespeare Company and recently performed in Mrs. Claus Kitchen, which he co-wrote with Bill Allman and Kevin O’Brien, and starred as ‘Crumpet’ in David Sedaris’ ‘Santaland Diaries’ – with Sandra-Mae Luykx. TV credits include, The New Bundolo show, Wake up in the wild Room, Alexie Sayle, Jo Brand, The Happening, Now What – for Lennie Henry, The Bootleg Broadway Show, and more.

Heather & Jens – City Dance

(Social Dance workshop)  Jens Goerner has been teaching Ballroom, Latin, Swing and Tango dance for over 20 years and has owned and operated dance studios in Germany and most currently City Dance in Vernon and Salmon Arm. His extensive knowledge of all dance styles and his fun teaching style is unparalleled in the Okanagan/Shuswap! Heather Stranks has been a figure skating coach and choreographer for over 25 years and a dance instructor for nearly 10. As co-owner of City Dance she teaches all styles of dance and loves every minute of it!

Tanya Laing Gahr & Rusty Gahr @ Powerhouse 

Tanya and Rusty are the director and tech director of the Powerhouse Theatre’s upcoming BEN HUR Production.  This dynamic duo will lead a workshop on the creation of this farcical production in an entertaining, hands-on way. 

Tanya has acted in or directed numerous professional and community productions for Cranbrook Community Theatre, Fort Steele Follies & Living History, M3 Productions, Kimberley Summer Theatre and Powerhouse Theatre. She is also a founding member of Stab in the Dark Productions and Drama Queen Productions. Her most recent theatrical roles include Zelda Fenwick in “Waiting in the Wings“, Karen Brown in Unnecessary Farce and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Tanya has directed more than 20 theatrical productions including Calendar Girls in 2018, which won Best Production recognitions at Ozone and Mainstage Festivals, and for which she awarded Best Director. Tanya is currently directing Ben Hur for Powerhouse Theatre, which opens April 29 in Vernon. Her favourite collaborator is husband and lighting genius, Rusty Gahr.

A seasoned stagehand once told Rusty, “Technical theatre is like a blood disease; once you catch it you’re stuck with it for life!” Rusty is no exception to the rule. He started working on the technical side of theatre back in 1993 on everything from Broadway theatre productions to full-blown rock concerts. 20+ years later, as a professional photon-herder, he is still climbing around focussing lights, schlepping tons of equipment around venues and staying up WAY past his bedtime on show nights—often because he was “voluntold” by his lovely wife Tanya Laing Gahr.

Vancouver Film School

We are so pleased that VFS will again be sharing
two of their incredible instructors with the Good Will
Shakespeare Festival.