Matt Nethersole (Canada) – Host
Matt Nethersole is a Juno Award nominated multi-disciplinary artist, community arts organizer, television host, writer and producer. Matt believes there is great power in showing up as your authentic self and proudly brings their unique queer POC perspective to the work they do. Matt is committed to decentering euro-centric and heteronormative narratives on stage, on screen and in the rehearsal room. Matt has appeared on stage at the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival and in regional theatres across Canada. Matt has also appeared on screen in Schmigadoon (Apple TV), The Moblees (CBC) and as the host of That Tvo Kids Show (TVO).
2022 Judging Panel
Anthony Bastianon (Canada) – Judge
A musical director, pianist, composer and educator, Anthony’s 25-year career has brought him coast to coast in Canada and into the U.S.A.
With nearly 200 theatre productions to his credit, his work as a musical director includes 13 years as resident Musical Director at Stage West in Toronto. Other credits include Mamma Mia and Shrek (Rainbow Stage, Winnipeg); Mary Poppins (Globe Theatre, Regina); Spelling Bee (Grand Theatre, London); Songs For A New World and Title Of Show (Angelwalk Theatre, Toronto); Grease and Joseph (Drayton Entertainment). As an accompanist, Anthony has toured with singing group sensation The Priests, baritone trio Bravura and is often sought after by vocalists and instrumentalists.
As a composer, Anthony has written several musicals including The Rob Ford Musical (Toronto); Not In My Backyard (Port Stanley) and several award-winning Fringe shows in Toronto including the 2015 production I‘m Right Here (best musical by Broadwayworld.com). His versatility as a musician has brought him opportunities to work with pop celebrities such as Jim Cuddy, Steven Page, Chantel Kreviazuk, Dan Hill and Josh Groban as well as theatre icons Andrea Martin and Michael Burgess. His world-class arrangements have been recorded and performed extensively. He is currently the artistic director of Voices Rock Canada, an organization of 6 rock choirs for kids, adults, seniors, and women physicians.
Mark Cassius (Canada) – Judge
Mark Cassius has been featured on Broadway, in the Original Cast of “Ragtime” and revivals of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Shenandoah”. Critically acclaimed performances in Canada, have included, Drayton Entertainment’s “Damn Yankees”, “The Little Mermaid” and “Sweet Charity”. He was also featured in the World Premiere of “Souzatska”, the Toronto Premiere of the Off- Broadway Musical, “The Musical of Musicals, (the Musical)”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (with Donny Osmond), “Miss Saigon”, “Showboat”, “Cats” and seasons at bot h the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. For eight years, he toured internationally with the world-renowned Pop/A cappella group, “The Nylons”. He has been a Music Festival adjudicator for the Kiwanis Festival, up to Provincial level in the Music Theatre category, and is a highly sought-after vocal performance coach. Since 2001, he has been a recurring performance instructor, at The Randolph College for the Performing Arts, in Toronto and has been a guest coach in many theatre and music training programs, vocal studios and recording studios in Canada and the United States.
Abbey O’Brien (USA) – Judge
Abbey O’Brien’s career in the entertainment industry spans over 20 years. She kicked off her career as a Rockette on one of the world’s most renowned stages, Radio City Music Hall. Her professional experience is diverse, from Tony Award-winning cast member, to collaborating on an Emmy nominated TV show, to being on the creative teams of Tony winning Broadway shows, to choreographing music videos, directing original works, and working with major corporations.
Abbey has worked with famed actors Uma Thurman, Hugh Jackman, Hank Azaria, Sara Bareilles, Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Martha Plimpton, David Hyde Pierce, plus acclaimed directors Mike Nichols, Diane Paulus, Casey Nicholaw, Des McAnuff, Rob Ashford, Jerry Mitchell, Josh Bergasse, Anne Reinking, Joe Mantello, Lear DeBessonet, Bebe Neuwirth, Sidi Larbi, Daniel Sullivan, Stafford Arima, Joe Calarco, Graciela Daniele, Lorin Latarro and many more.
Ms. O’Brien is currently the Associate Choreographer of not only Sara Bareilles’ Waitress the Musical, but Alanis Morissette’s 15 time Tony award nominated Jagged Little Pill. Abbey is also Resident Director of Jeffrey Finn’s Hot on Broadway, which creates evening length industrial shows for corporations across America.
Abbey O’Brien is also in demand as a National Adjudicator, Master Teacher, Guest Artist, and Creative Consultant.
Ann Cooper Gay