WHO WE ARE:
Melissa-Jane Shaw: Producer and Founder
MJ is an Actor, Choreographer and Producer based out of Toronto.
MJ has dozens of professional theatre credits, both as an actor and choreographer. On screen, you can currently hear MJ as the voice of Sajuica on YTV’s hit animation series Erky Perky, see her as the segment host of W Network’s What’s Cooking and watch her improvising on Howie Mandel’s Howie Do It (NBC/Global). Lead film roles in film & TV include: GravyTrain (Alliance Films), The Triumph of Dingus McGraw (Indican Pictures), Lost & Found (Bravo!FACT), Grocery Mishap (Bravo!FACT). Other TV credits include Flashpoint (CTV/CBS), Kojak (USA), Black Hole High (NBC) and The Robert Hanson Story (CBS). She has also made numerous dance and choreography appearances on MTV, Much Music, Slice, Cosmo TV and most recently on Dr OZ! This Spring you can see her leading the ladies on the new Flirty Girl Fitness Booty Beat dance DVDs, a program she helped develop and choreograph.
MJ is the Artistic Producer and founder of Seventh Stage Theatre Productions which produced critically acclaimed productions The Red Queen Effect (Next Stage Festival) starring Nicholas Campbell and the Canadian Premiere of Anthony Minghella’s Whale Music directed by Rosemary Dunsmore (Tarragon). This Spring Seventh Stage Theatre will present the Canadian premiere of Heather Raffo’s 9 Parts of Desire (Theatre Centre). Seventh Stage has also produced two Bravo!FACT shorts, Grocery Mishap directed by Michael Kennedy and Bruce Hunter and Lost & Found co-produced with macideas and directed by Michael Kennedy (www.seventhstageproductions.com). Previous to this she freelance produced several theatre projects and worked as an entertainment publicist at rock-it promotions under Debra Goldblatt. She also founded a LaRouge Entertainment, which she runs in partnership with Jamie Holmes.
MJ holds an Honours BA with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, holds an acting diploma from Sheridan College, studied dance at The American Theatre Dance Workshop and did her graduate work at The University of Toronto Drama Centre. For more information visit www.melissajaneshaw.com.
Bruce Hunter: Co-Producer, writer and director
Bruce Hunter hails from Calgary originally where he studied improvisation and theatre at the University of Calgary under the guidance of Theatre Sports guru Keith Johnstone. As well as playing theatre sports at it’s inception during the early years of the Loose Moose Theatre he worked in the Dramatic theatre with One Yellow Rabbit and Ikarus Players, performing in the first years of the Edmonton fringe.
Moving to Toronto in 1980 to study Mime with Ron East at the Toronto Mime School unlimited he then toured around Canada and the United States Performing in San Francisco, Los Angeles, North Carolina and Florida. Returning to Toronto he became involved in Second City in the touring and London Companies and started teaching Improvisation to what has now been thousands of students over his 20 years at Second City. Two years of teaching at Humber College in the music and theatre department, as well as the University of Toronto and Ryerson as a guest lecturer. Bruce also teaches in the industrial world. Focusing on listening skills, communication and stress management in the work place.
Bruce remains a professional (working) actor and has performed in dozens of television shows and film projects “Hanson” “The Day Reagan was shot” “Good Will Hunting” “Murder at 1600” “Monk” and “Mean Girls” to name a few. He has won awards for his commercial work in Canada and the U.S. And was a Gemini nominee for his work as a puppeteer. Was seen on computers around the globe in “Truth in Advertising” a parody of the advertising business. He recently won the “Pretty funny male improviser” at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Bruce played the lead in the 2003 Cannes award winning film “The Truth About Head”
Bruce is also one of the founding members of the veteran comedy improv group “Illustrated Men” who have performed all over the world. He can be seen as Agent Jones in the Canadian independent film “Phil the Alien” due out in 2005. Bruce can also be seen as a writer and performer in “After Hours with Kenny Robinson” and as Rocko in “Puppets Who Kill”. And Host and executive producer of “AndGo” an improv television show for City TV.
Kelsey Matheson: Co-Producer
Kelsey Matheson was born in Calgary and began dancing and acting at the age of six. Years later her career allowed her to travel the world working professionally as a model, an actor, a dancer & choreographer, and a magician’s assistant.
In 1998, Kelsey moved to Toronto to focus more seriously on film and television acting. In 2002 she was accepted at Circle In The Square Theatre School in New York City where she worked with, and was inspired by some of the toughest instructors in the business. Kelsey has performed in numerous projects and continues to work and study her craft in Toronto.
In the midst of acting, Kelsey decided to start creating her own work and became a film and theatre Producer. Some of these productions include the feature film MOST LIKEY TO written and directed by Matt Austin, the BravoFact short film GROCERY MISHAP co-produced with MJ Shaw and written by Bruce Hunter, and the “Best of Fringe” production of Alison McWood`s IT WAS KIT.
Kelsey has devoted her career to strengthening the Canadian film industry and is the Director of Operations for the First Weekend Club. www.firstweekendclub.ca FWC is a cross-Canada, grassroots organization that promotes great Canadian film through its membership and events. Kelsey helps to build audiences for strong Canadian cinema and works collaboratively with distributors, producers, exhibitors, filmmakers and publicists. The mandate is to keep films in theatres longer by building awareness and strong box office for great Canadian films on opening weekends. FWC a free film club and grassroots initiative dedicated to promote a film’s critical first weekend theatrical release.
Kelsey’s business background also includes working in Marketing, Advertising & Sales, Business Consulting & Development, and Personal Training in fitness & individual life coaching. Her experience has currently landed her as one of the Owners and the VP of Marketing of the Anamaya Resort, a boutique hotel in Costa Rica. www.anamayaresort.com
As you can see Kelsey has a few irons in the fire as she is also in the process of writing her first book, finishing her degree in Psychology, and continues to keep her inner artist alive by painting and sculpting with her family. www.kelseymatheson.com