WHO WE ARE2019-01-25T14:41:09-04:00

Edge of the Sky Theatre is the brainchild of artistic director Ann Merriam. The result of three decades of leadership in arts education. During which, she saw too many of her talented students attempt a career in the arts only to fall short of sustainable success. There was no structure in place to help young artists successfully transition into the professional world. No companies consistently featuring young performers and writers. As well as, few roles and productions that spoke to the  diversity of students that graduated from the high school performing arts program she had founded in Scarborough. Merriam was tired of seeing the same faces on stage and screen. Tired of seeing young performers fail to reach their potential. So, she decided to build a company that would address these needs and put young people centre stage.

ANN MERRIAM

Ann Merriam’s pioneering career has been dedicated to education, artistry, and community for more than 25 years. She is the founding Artistic Director of the auditioned Performing Arts program at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, which hosts more than 200 students across the core disciplines of music, drama, and dance. Graduates of her program study at Juilliard, the Boston Conservatory, NYU, and U of T, and are working on the stages of Broadway, Soulpepper, Stratford, Shaw, Mirvish, and beyond. Professionally, her work has been seen at Theatre Passe Muraille, Roy Thompson Hall, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Recently, Ann’s team and the award winning Wexford Gleeks were the subject of Global TV’s 16×9: The Real Glee, and TVO’s documentary Unsung: Behind the Glee. Ms. Merriam’s students have performed for former U.S presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and for James Earl Jones, and Goldie Hawn. A recent highlight saw The Wexford Gleeks in an historic collaboration with the Barenaked Ladies on Earth, and Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. The resulting music video has been viewed on YouTube over 1.4 million times . Ann holds a Bachelor of Music Education (Western University) and a Masters of Theatre Education (New York University). The next chapter of her career is dedicated to Edge of the Sky and the pursuit of mentorship opportunities for young artists alongside the production of new Canadian work.

CHARLIE AGATHOCLOUS

Charlie Agathocleous has worked with Ann for over twenty years. Serving as production manager for over 100 student and professional productions, festival tours, large-scale commercial gigs and tv segments. He is an alumni of the Music Theatre program at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. He holds a BA from Windsor University, and has an extensive performance career in Toronto and throughout North America. However, Charlie’s focus has always been the education of young artists. He is passionate about nurturing new Canadian material that resonates with young performers. He is thrilled to be a founding member of Edge of the Sky Theatre.

WRITERS

ANIKA JOHNSON

Anika Johnson is a Toronto composer and performer. Writing credits include – with her sister Britta: Brantwood (Sheridan College; Audience Choice Dora winner), Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (YPT; Dora nominee, best new musical), and Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life (Outside the March/The Musical Stage Company); with Barbara Johnston: Blood Ties (Next Stage/Summerworks/Edinburgh Fringe/featured on Orphan Black), Elly’s Emotions (Solar Stage; Dora nominee, best TYA production), One Small Step (Toronto Fringe); with Barbara Johnston and Suzy Wilde: Summerland (Toronto Fringe). She received a Dora for her performance in Britta’s Life After, which she also dramaturged, and tours internationally with Corpus DanceProjects and Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute Band.

BARBARA JOHNSTON

Barbara Johnston is Toronto based performer and a Dora nominated writer and director. Writing credits include – with Anika Johnson: Blood Ties (SummerWorks/Edinburgh Fringe/featured on BBC America’s Orphan Black), and Elly’s Emotions (2015 Dora nominee, Outstanding TYA Production, Outstanding Direction); with Anika Johnson and Suzy Wilde: Summerland (Toronto Fringe 2015) and The Fence (Toronto Fringe 2016). Performing credits include ‘Vera’ in Doctor Silver (Outside the March), The Fence and Daughters of Feminists (Toronto Fringe, 2015), and principal roles on TV’s Orphan Black and Private Eyes. Barbara has been seen on stages across North America as ‘Ginger Spice’ in Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute Band and recently as ‘Gwen Stefani’ in Spiderwebs: The No Doubt Tribute Band. She has choreographed for Outside the March and musical directed for Expect Theatre’s Beats and Intentions project. Barbara also works regularly with the award winning Wexford Gleeks (Wexford School for the Arts) and runs a private music studio.

SUZY WILDE

Suzy Wilde is a composer, songwriter, performer and arranger and has worked with many groups in Toronto’s music and musical theatre communities. Writing credits include: with Matt Bernard: Crack of Doom (NMTI, 2018), with Barbara Johnston: Maddy’s Karaoke Birthday Party (Toronto Fringe, 2017), with Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnston: Summerland (Toronto Fringe, 2015). Musical Direction highlights include: One Small Step (Toronto Fringe, 2018), Crack of Doom (NMTI, 2018), Daughters of Feminists (Toronto Fringe, 2016), Summerland (Toronto Fringe, 2015). She received her arts’ education through Wexford Musical theatre and Humber College Vocal Jazz and is currently working towards a masters in composition at York University. In her spare time she portrays “Posh Spice” in Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute Band.

MATT BERNARD

Matt Bernard is a Director and Playwright living in Toronto and a founding member of Bain and Bernard comedy troupe. He is a graduate of the Musical theatre program at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. Co-founder of Bain and Bernard comedy whose body of work includes vaudevillian styled sketch comedy, street performance, and drastic comedic overhauls of Shakespearean plays. Recent Writing and Directing credits include Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre (Toronto Fringe Festival) and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of Hamlet (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival Sunday Series, Advice to the Players N.H.).
www.bainandbernard.com

PARTNERSHIPS

THE TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL

Edge of the Sky worked in collaboration with the Toronto Fringe Festival to present the first ever Teen Fringe Festival in 2016. The program has a two-fold objective: to curate Fringe programming that will appeal to a teen audience, and to give young artists a chance to train and perform in the festival. For more information on Teen Fringe, please click HERE.

WEXFORD GLEEKS

The award winning Wexford Gleeks are a nationally recognized ensemble formed from the auditioned Wexford Collegiate Performing Arts program. They have been the subject of the TVO documentary ‘Unsung – Behind the Glee’ and ‘The Real Glee’ by Global television’s 16 by 9. In the last year they have performed for George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Goldie Hawn and perform regularly at events all over the province. Graduates of the program work all over the world with former students working at Shaw, Stratford and on Broadway. They are proud to work in association with Edge of the Sky Productions.

If you’d like to hire the Wexford Gleeks for your event, or to get further information, please contact us HERE.

GLITZ ENTERTAINMENT

Glitz Event Entertainment specializes in providing unique and customizable performances for large scale events across Canada. Edge of the Sky is proud to being included in their A-List roster. For more information on Glitz Event Entertainment, please click HERE.

COACHES

JORDAN PETTLE +

JEREMY LAPALME +

JEFFREY NEWBERRY +

BRUCE DOWE +

SHANNON HAMILTON +

ADVISORY BOARD