judges and Bios

Sarah Sheps

Casting Director – Mann Casting

Sarah Sheps is Casting Director at Mann Casting. She is a proud member of the Casting Director’s Society of Canada and has been in the business for over 10 years. She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Music Theatre program and spent time touring Canada, the US and Europe with many children’s shows including Strawberry Shortcake Live, Dora the Explorer and Franklin the Turtle. She is extremely passionate about Toronto’s talent and hopes to be casting them forever. Her greatest accomplishment to date is the birth of her sweet little boy Henry!

Rennata López

producer, writer, casting director, director

For the last 12 years, Rennata López has specialized as a producer, writer, casting director and director for television with an emphasis on lifestyle/factual and childrens’ programming.
She has worked on many great children series including the award-winning Giver (TVO Kids), It’s My Party (TVOKids), What’s Inside ? (TVOKids), Scare-Tactics (MTV), and Pick a Puppy (YTV).
Rennata was nominated twice for a Canadian Screen Award in 2015 & 2016 and a Youth Media Alliance Award in 2019. In 2018 won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Education or
Informational Series for her work on Giver. Aside from producing, Rennata has also directed branded content intersitionals for YTV’s The Zone. and interviews/testimonials for the shows Accessibility in Action, and It’s My Party. She has also written for shows Outlaw In-Laws and Property Brothers. In 2017, Rennata co-founded Lopii Productions with her partner/sister Georgina López. Their unscripted kids’ series ‘My Home, My Life will air on TVOKids in Spring 2020. They just completed a film that will be apart of Sesame Street’s 50th season on HBO Kids.

JP Thibodeau

actor, designer, director

An award winning actor, designer and director JP has been both on and off the stage all over the world. He is currently the Artistic Director for StoryBook Theatre which under his leadership has grown to be Canada’s largest volunteer driven Theatre for Young Audiences. He works closely with playwright and composer Joe Slabe to create many world premiere musicals, including Lest We Forget (Lunchbox Theatre), Naughty But Nice (Forte Musical Theatre), Urban Jungle Book (2017 Tom Hendry Award Shortlisted New Musical), Twas the Night Before Christmas (StoryBook Theatre) and the multi-award winning Touch Me: songs for a disconnected age (Theatre Calgary). Most recently JP worked with Queen as the director of the all Canadian North American tour of their musical We Will Rock You (Annerin Productions). Over his career JP has directed musicals of all sizes and has is a driving force in the fostering and development of emerging musical theatre artists in Calgary and across the country. He is the recipient of the Greg Bond Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to Musical Theatre, a two time shortlisted nominee of the Rozsa Award, multiple Critter Awards and several Betty Mitchell Award Nominations. Other credits both on and off the stage include: Crossing Swords (Forté), As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet (The Shakespeare Co.), Reasons to Be Happy (Ground Zero), Annie Davidson, The Magic Flute (Cowtown Opera), Legally Blonde, Young Frankenstein (Stage West), Epiphany, Dads In Bondage, If I Weren’t With You (Lunchbox Theatre), The Last 5 Years, Avenue Q, Mary Poppings, The Little Mermaid (StoryBook Theatre), Sweeney Todd, Filumena, Dead Man Walking (Calgary Opera). JP holds a bachelor degree in Theatre Arts and Drama in Education and although plenty of his life is spent living and breathing theatre he always makes time for his incredible wife Tara and their sons, Evan Xander and Isaac Tanner, they make the endless hours and demands of theatre worthwhile.

Eric Bizzarri


Eric Bizzarri is an award-winning filmmaker residing in Toronto, Ontario. His short film The Shallow End received the Best Fiction Film and Best Editing Awards at York University’s Cinesiege 2016. The film also received Best Film at The 2016 Hamilton Music and Film Festival and was a semi-finalist at The 2016 Los Angeles Cinefest. His latest film, Cold Hands, was an Official Selection of The 2017 Hamilton Film Festival and was nominated for Best Student Short Film. The film was also an Official Selection of the 2018 Canada Independent Film Festival in Montreal, where it took home the Special Jury Prize for Best Canadian Short Film. In addition to festivals, Cold Hands has screened at several high schools and universities in Canada to promote awareness and facilitate conversation in support of victims and survivors of sexual assault. Cold Hands has received distribution and is now streaming on Revry, an online streaming service showcasing LGBTQ Content and Content made by LGBTQ Filmmakers. With a passion to empower fellow young filmmakers, in 2014 Eric Co-Founded and became the Artistic Director of the Future of Film Showcase (fofs.ca), a film festival based in Toronto that screens short films by Canadian filmmakers aged 30 and younger. The festival is sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment and hosted at The ScotiaBank Theatre Toronto in May of each year. Eric Bizzarri is a graduate of York University with a Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts in Film Production with Honours.

Alan Kinsella

Actor, Director, Writer

Alan began his career as an actor and his debut was at the Abbey Theatre (The National Theatre of Ireland). His directorial debut was with Muted Cupid Theatre Company at Andrew’s Lane Theatre, Dublin, where he then directed French Company, 2B’s world premier of the musical Creatures. He went on to direct over one hundred productions in Ireland, notably Gary Duggan’s Dedalus Lounge and TransEuro Express and Spike Productions awarding winning production of Steven Berkoff’s Decadence. In 2009 Alan directed his first off Broadway show Lunch. In 2013 he moved to Canada and his Toronto debut was The Woman in Black at The Lower Ossington Theatre. Toronto credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray, Joseph, The Little Mermaid, Legally Blonde, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Anne of Green Gables, Newsies and Priscilla Queen of the Dessert at Lower Ossington Theatre, Al Green Theatre and The Randolph Theatre. His production of Mary Poppins won the Broadway World award for Best Musical in 2015. He also directed Blithe Spirit for the Watermark Theatre in P.E.I. Alan has written many family shows that have toured China, Jamaica, Qatar, Singapore, Oman and Sharjah. In 2017 he directed productions of Aladdin and Fame at the Madinat Theatre Dubai and he currently has four shows he wrote playing in Turks and Caicos.
He is the resident director with Toronto Youth Theatre where he recently directed the New Canadian musical One Small Step. Alan is artistic director of Markham theatre’s discovery program.

Fannie Fisher

Support Staff

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Martin Hale

Brand Expert

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Fannie Fisher

Support Staff

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