Music Theatre - Performance Faculty Profiles

Ms. Venn-Jackson has enjoyed a very successful and varied career in the performing arts for the past 40 years.

Her early days as a dancer/performer for CBC Variety, Global TV, ACTRA Awards, Juno Awards and over 50 other professional gigs reflect her success as a dancer. Her career then transitioned into teaching and choreography, again attaining great acclaim. She ran her own successful competitive dance studio for 28 years, developing many national champions and dance professionals, many of whom continue to have impactful, professional careers in the industry today. 

Choreographically, she has worked with major corporations including Mattel Toys, Quaker Oats and choreographed the opening routine for an NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills.

Janet is widely regarded as one of the top dance educators in Canada, acting as the Principal of the ADAPT Teachers Training School, which has turned out hundreds of skilled, certified jazz and tap teachers across Canada.

She has also choreographed many musicals, including 42nd Street, Anything Goes, Les Misérables and Crazy For You for St. Lawrence College.

Ms. Venn-Jackson is a life-long learner and is now training in Latin Dance with a world-renowned coach and is preparing for the International Pro-Am Competitive world in 2022.

Janet Venn-Jackson has been the Program Coordinator of the Musical Theatre Performance Program at SLC for the past seven years. She looks forward to co-coordinating the Program starting in September 2021 with the very talented Musical Theatre faculty member, Chad McNamara.


Patrick is a proud member of CAEA, AFM, and ACTRA, and has enjoyed a successful career as an actor, director, musical director, arranger, producer and writer at theatres from Victoria to Charlottetown in more than 90 productions.

As a director, musical director and arranger, his credits include the Dora nominated original Canadian musical hit Top Gun! The Musical (Factory Theatre), The Jungle

Book, La Cage Aux Folles, Elf: The Musical (Canadian premiere), Legally Blonde (Neptune Theatre), Leader of the Pack, Swing! (Drayton Entertainment), Little Shop of Horrors, (Sudbury Theatre Centre), Emily (TIFT), over twenty shows as resident musical director for Norwegian Cruise Lines (including co-productions with Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber), and seven productions of Forever Plaid.

As an actor, Patrick has played leading roles in 2 Pianos, 4 Hands (Richard), Forever Plaid (Frankie), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Man 1), Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince), Billy Bishop Goes to War (Narrator), Baby (Danny), The Buddy Holly Story (Norman Petty), as well as touring internationally with industrial shows and cruise lines.

Patrick has written and arranged new works for both cabaret (over 25 shows) and at the Toronto Fringe in addition to many industrial shows for corporate clients.

After joining St. Lawrence College as a full-time professor in 2013, his journey of lifelong learning continued with the completion of a Master of Education in 2017 (with a focus on 21st century teaching and learning) and a certificate in Adult Learning in 2019.

Christopher Coyea received his Honours Bachelor of Music Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and did post-graduate work in Opera Performance. Chris has established a well-deserved international artistic reputation as a performer in opera and in concert and was an award winner in the prestigious Lauritz Melchior Heldentenor Competition in New York City.

As a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, he has appeared in numerous productions, including Salome, Tristan und Isolde, Queen of Spades, Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Wozzeck, La Cenerentola, Andrea Chenier, Adriana Lecouvreur, Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Tales of Hoffmann. After leaving the Ensemble, he performed with the Toronto, Winnipeg, Victoria and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestras, as well as Orchestra London and the Hamilton Philharmonic. He has sung in the company of such singers as Dame Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo, Carol Vaness, Dolores Ziegler, Ben Hepner and Richard Margison, to name but a few. His European engagements include Canio in Pagliacci, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Tenor Soloist in Haydn’s The Creation, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel, Beethoven’s Christus am Oelberge, Mozart’s Requiem and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Chris was also featured in a nation-wide German tour of Carmen in 2003.

Chris joined the faculty of the Music Theatre-Performance Program in 2004 and has musically directed over thirty shows at St. Lawrence College including: Beauty and the Beast, Little Women, Anything Goes, Cats, Chicago, Cabaret, Oklahoma, Grease, A Chorus Line, The Rocky Horror Show and his favourite, Les Misérables. Today, Chris teaches Music Theatre History, Music Theory, Vocal Technique, Ensemble Singing and Music Theatre Performance classes where he enjoys instilling in his students his love of Golden Age repertoire.

Chad McNamara Headshot

As a proud member of Canadians Actors Equity and ACTRA, Chad is best known for creating and originating the role of Rooney Doodle on the Juno and Gemini nominated series, The Doodlebops. As a Doodlebop, Chad has recorded 3 albums with Universal music and toured across North America playing sold out shows at Madison Square Garden and LA’s Staple Centre. Chad is trained in ballet, tap, jazz and is a highly sought out adjudicator for dance competitions and masterclass instructor.


Selected Theatre/Performer: Rock n Roll Legends, Canadian Legends, Damn Yankees, Hairspray, Sister Act, Legally Blonde(Drayton Festival) La Cage aux Folles (Neptune Theatre) Ryan Evans in High School Musical (Canadian Premiere/Neptune Theatre) Plaid Tidings (Magnus), Happy Days, the musical (Canadian Premiere/Stage West) Mamma Mia (Mirvish). Selected TV: Doodlbops (3 seasons (Disney/CBC), How to solve a Problem Like Maria (CBC), Bomb Girls (Bravo),Walt Disney Christmas Parade (ABC), The Ron James Show (CBC), The Today show (featured performer/NBC), Queer as Folk (Showcase). Director/Choreographer: Recent: Bitter Girl The Musical, American Idiot (Stephenville Festival) Regionally: In Common, a new musical, The 25th... Spelling Bee, 9 to 5... the Musical, Legally Blonde, Rent, Crazy for you/ Fight choreography, The Canadian premiere of Be More Chill.

Deanna’s dance education started in 1989 when she took her first ballet class. Since then, she has pursued training opportunities to achieve mastery in dance and in 2003 made the decision to share her passion and expertise with others. She is a highly experienced and creative dance educator, adjudicator, and choreographer with years of experience working with dancers of all abilities.

Most recently Deanna choreographed for the movie "Christmas Stray" to be released December 2021 on the Oprah Network. This year, she also choreographed the music video for the song "Broken By You", by Jessica Pearson and the East Wind Band. Deanna was a member of the Ottawa Renegades Dance Team and performed with the Black-Eyed Peas during the Grey Cup. In 2019 Deanna started working with the non-profit organization, MindLeaps – which works in developing countries to improve school performance and create positive livelihoods for at-risk youth. In December 2019, Deanna travelled to Guinea (West Africa) to teach dance to vulnerable youth. She feels it was by far the most inspiring and empowering experience of her life and is privileged to continue the outreach program both here at home and in Africa.

Deanna teaches students of all ages and abilities at local dance studios and academies. She has completed certification through the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT) Teachers Training School in Jazz and Tap and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). She is a mentor for teachers completing the RAD CBTS program and the Acro Dance Teachers Association (ADTA) program. Deanna has also received her ADTA Acro certification, Benesh Movement Notation certification (RAD), Silver Swans certification (RAD), Progressive Ballet Technique certification and Acro Dance Adjudication certification.

Deanna is currently working towards her Master of Education through the University of Prince Edward Island with a focus on 21st Century teaching and learning.

Mary has worked extensively as an actor, director, and educator, and has been an active member of the Ottawa theatre community for more than three decades. With a particular interest in developing and delving into text, her work has encompassed everything from brand new plays to Shakespeare. She has garnered several awards and nominations for both her directing and acting work. As an actor, she has worked at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, the NAC, Undercurrents Festival, A Company of Fools, Plosive Productions, Third Wall Theatre, and New Theatre of Ottawa, among others. Her acting credits include Twelfth Night, Pericles, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, God of Carnage, Circle Mirror Transformation, and Doubt.

She has directed for A Company of Fools (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Theatre Wakefield, Three Sisters (The Clean House), Third Wall Theatre (Blackbird), St Lawrence College (12 Angry Jurors), and most notably, with Parry Riposte Productions, the multi-award winning The Elephant Girls, which has toured to Edinburgh, London, Dublin, and in Canada.

Mary is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity and ACTRA, and is a graduate of the Theatre Program at the University of Ottawa. She currently teaches in Drama Studies at Carleton University, and is Co-Artistic Director of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre Company, which co-produced the Canadian premiere of Daisy at the Great Canadian Theatre Company.

Philip has been an artist-educator for over 15 years. He has taught for the Stratford Festival, Ontario Arts Council, and most recently for the Toronto District School Board.

Philip has worked as a performer with the Stratford Festival, Blyth Festival, and Canadian Opera Company. He most recently travelled to Mozambique, Africa, to work with Shakespeare Link Canada on a production of The Winter’s Tale performed by an international cast in English and Portuguese.

Philip’s many acting credits include My Fair Lady, Gigi, Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford Festival), King Lear, As You Like It (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), Annie, Grease, Oklahoma! (Montana Summer Theatre), The Tempest (Nipissing Stage Company and Tour), Forever Plaid (Canadian Tour), Kilt (New Stages Peterborough), Romeo & Juliet (ShakespeareWorks), and Shakespeare Abridged (US National Tour).

Philip holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a Bachelor of Education from York University. He is a graduate of the Stratford Festival’s Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training and the 2-year Professional Music Theatre Program at Circle in the Square in New York City. In addition to his course load at St Lawrence College, Philip most recently directed and conceived a new project entitled The R & J/West Side Story Project for our students.

Erin Puttee is a music educator, voice teacher, and vocal coach. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a Master of Arts in Musicology from the University of Ottawa. To augment her classical training, Erin has pursued further study of vocal pedagogy for Contemporary Commercial Music styles. Most notably, she has completed training in Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Developed by voice pedagogue Jeanie LoVetri, this functional approach to voice training, rooted in voice science, “conditions the muscles of the vocal mechanism, over time, indirectly, through exercises, to respond automatically.” Erin joined the Faculty of the LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework in the summer of 2020. Click here for more information about Somatic Voicework™.

Erin is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ORMTA), the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association (CFMTA), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Erin is active in the vocal pedagogy community and stays up to date with current advancements in the field of voice. Routinely attending conferences, courses and workshops throughout Canada and the United States, she brings this extensive knowledge into the voice studio in order to meet the changing needs of her students. It is her goal to work with students to make their instrument the most free, healthy, expressive and capable that it can be.

Erin has been teaching in the Music Theatre- Performance Program since 2013 and has musically directed staged readings of ‘Nine’ and ‘Company,’ New Faces 2015, as well as playing keyboard for several SLC productions and TIP’s production of ‘Into the Woods.’

Mr. Simpson has been an adjunct professor and voice teacher at SLC since 2014 and continues to work as a professional musical theatre performer. He is currently the Canadian Regional Representative for Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance.   Ian has been a professional actor and singer for over 35 years and has worked at such prestigious theatres as Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Charlottetown Festival, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the US National Tour of Mamma Mia! He has worked with Tony-nominated directors Frank Galati, Susan H. Schulman, Gary Griffin, Brian Macdonald, and Brian Bedford; Olivier nominated director Phyllida Lloyd; and esteemed Canadian directors Donna Feore, Robert McQueen, Jackie Maxwell, Christopher Newton, and Richard Monette. He has toured to over 144 cities across Canada, the US, and Mexico and has sung with The Orchestra Japan across Japan and Taiwan. Selected shows include Mamma Mia! (US National Tour), Les Misérables, The Producers, La Cage aux Folles, Elf, The Music Man, King Lear, 1776, Anne of Green Gables, Camelot, Falsettos, Into the Woods, Carousel, The Sound of Music, Passion, The Hockey Sweater, Guys and Dolls, Pollyanna (new musical workshop).

He is a graduate of Queen’s University (Bachelor of Music in voice) and Sheridan College (Diploma in Music-Theatre Performance). He has studied vocal pedagogy at Penn State (Mary Saunders-Barton, Bel Canto, Can Belto), Somatic Voicework ™ (Levels I, II, III with Jeanie LoVetri), Boston Conservatory Vocal Pedagogy, Rock the Audition Teacher Training (Sheri Sanders), Soul Ingredients ™ (Dr. Triniece RobinsonMartin, Princeton University) and continues his personal development in staying current with the demands of the contemporary commercial singing voice with such courses on Belting, Training Transgender Voices, What is Mix?, Musical Styles, and vocal pathologies.

At SLC Ian has taught Musical Theatre Scene Study, Vocal Technique, Music Theatre History, Ensemble Singing, Musical Theatre Performance, and script analysis as well as directing staged readings of the musicals Nine and Company. He has been an adjudicator and has also taught privately through his successful voice studio. Ian is a member of the Canadian Actors’Equity Association, ACTRA and Actors’ Equity Association (USA). He is the recipient of two Tyrone Guthrie awards from the Stratford Festival as well as the 2014 Civic Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.