Suitcase Theatre is managed financially by Young Associates.
Dr. Bernard Lawless, Chair
Trained in general surgery, trauma surgery, and critical care medicine, Dr. Bernard Lawless also holds a Master’s degree in Health Science (Health Management, Policy and Evaluation) from the University of Toronto. Dr. Lawless currently practices general surgery, traumatology and critical care medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital.
As the Provincial Lead at Critical Care Services Ontario he oversees initiatives under the provincial Critical Care Strategy and related programs such as Neurosurgery, Trauma, Burns, and Pediatric Critical Care. Along with his clinical work at St. Michael’s, Dr. Lawless’ other appointments include Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto and Assistant Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.
Tiffany Jay, Secretary
From an early age and growing up in the Maritimes, Tiffany’s interests have centred on the arts and a commitment to service in her community. With degrees in the fields of music, public relations and health administration, Tiffany’s career followed a unique path to senior management positions in a large health care organization and within the government sector including positions in disaster preparedness and response.
Most recently, she has been an active volunteer with a number of not-for-profit arts and educational organizations in Toronto. In 2015, Tiffany joined the Board of Suitcase Theatre. She is dedicated to supporting the organization’s work in providing accessible, quality programs for kids to foster creativity, confidence and experience with the performing arts.
Julian de Zotti
Julian De Zotti is an accomplished, award-winning actor, writer, producer, and director of theatre, film, television, and the web.
He has a special affection for Theatre For Young Audiences, having toured two children’s classics as an actor: E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and David S. Craig’sDanny King Of The Basement. His theatre company The Original Norwegian which he founded in 2006, produced the TYA show Guns & Roses (which he wrote and directed) for high school audiences as part of the ’09-’10 season at the Toronto Centre For The Arts and Alumnae Theatre. He partnered with community organization Breakaway Addiction Services and renowned TYA theatre company Mixed Company.
Julian is a Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated stage performer and continues to tour with Theatre Smith-Gilmour in their award winning, critically acclaimed stage adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. As an actor for film and television, you can find Julian playing recurring roles on Suits, Orphan Black, and the upcoming 11/22/63. He is also the star of the feature film The Market which will debut early in 2016.
As a filmmaker, Julian is the co-writer, co-producer and lead actor of the Canadian indie feature film New Year. He is also the co-creator, showrunner, and co-writer of the multi-award winning digital series Whatever, Linda which has just been optioned for television. He is also a sought-after panelist for such film festivals as SXSW in Austin, Texas and the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Stu Gilchrist, Founder (Retired)
A graduate of Queen’s University in the 1950s, Stu Gilchrist spent the early years of his career teaching children. In 1962, recognized for his work with youth, he was asked by Dr. Fred Rainsbury, who was then head of Children’s Programming at the CBC, to work on children’s programs with him. Stuart’s first jobs were in radio as television was still an emerging technology. He produced many series at CBC radio including Voices of the Wild and Canadian Poets.
Shortly after his start in radio, Stuart moved to television and created and produced a variety of programs such as The Depths Beneath and Concepts in History. It was at this time that children’s television programming was evolving and Stuart was invited to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Fred Rogers to produce some of the earliest episodes of the famed Mr. Rogers television show. Stu also led the team that brought Sesame Street to Canada in the 1960s.
While working with Fred Rogers, Stuart came to meet a young puppeteer by the name of Ernie Coombs, who Canada would grow to adore as Mr. Dressup. Upon Stu’s return, he served as creator and Executive Producer of many popular CBC children’s television programs such as Barney Boomer, Upside Town andButternut Square – the precursor to Mr. Dressup. Stuart was the creator and producer of Mr. Dressup, the program for which he is most well-known for. Mr. Dressup is Canada’s longest running children’s television program that has influenced generations of Canadian children.
In 2008, Stuart created Suitcase Theatre which carried the same values and magic that Mr. Dressup brought to Canadian children for over 40 years. Married for over 50 years, Stuart is the father of two grown children and is also a proud grandfather.
Brian Jamieson is Senior Communications Officer at Ontario College of Teachers. A career communications professional with more than 30 years’ experience in media and public relations, Jamieson has been providing strategic communications advice and support to the College since 2002. After studying journalism at Humber College in Etobicoke, he worked as a reporter, news editor and advertising sales representative for three papers over five years in Brampton, North York and Scarborough. Prior to joining the College, he served as Communications Director and Public Affairs Officer with district school boards in North York and York Region for 15 years. He has also worked with a national professional services firm as head of media relations and a national PR agency.