Meet the judges for Smackdown 2016! Five theatre professionals with the unenviable task of judging the five new musicals presented at the Orpheum Annex on Sunday March 27th. At least they will have had a full night’s sleep!


Andy TothKatrina is a Vancouver-based Director, Artistic Director, Dramaturg, and Producer. Now in her 19th Season at Touchstone, she has been the Artistic Director since 1997, overseeing the company’s all-Canadian mandate. In 2003 she co-founded, with Norman Armour, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival; an annual city-wide performance festival which has quickly become one of the city’s most important cultural events. In 2011 she co-created In Tune with the Arts Club’s Rachel Ditor; a biennial event that develops and showcases new Canadian musicals.  Her many freelance directing credits include work for the Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, and Studio 58. She has been nominated seven times for Jessie Awards in Outstanding Direction, and won twice: once for her work on Michael Healey’s Kicked, and once for her co-direction of Judith Thompson’s Palace of the End.  In 2010 she was awarded the Bra D’Or (Golden Bra) Award by the Women’s Caucus of the Playwrights Guild of Canada for her efforts to promote the work of Canadian women playwrights.



Sarah holds a BA in Art History/Theatre from Oberlin College, Ohio, an MA in Language and Literacy Education (with a focus on Arts Education), and a BEd from UBC. She has worked as a Visiting Artist on multiple SSHRC grants to bring theatre education into the classroom; offered several workshops/lectures at UBC in Image Theatre (a form of Theatre of the Oppressed); presented at numerous education conferences on the benefits of theatre for social justice and in the classroom; and performs (when she can) in favourite roles such as The Witch in Into the Woods (Fighting Chance Productions; CTC award winner), Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Fighting Chance Productions; CTC nomination), Peter in Peter Pan, and Sara Jane Moore in Assassins, among others.

Sarah has happily worked at Arts Umbrella (co-producer of Awkward Stage Productions’ Smackdown 2016) since 2009, instructing in the Theatre and Music Department, serving as Volunteer Coordinator, and currently Manager, Program Operations since 2011. When not involved with arts education in varying capacities, she can be found playing with dinosaurs and trains with her son.



Anton is a composer and lyricist whose credits include the recent Ovation Award Winner for Outstanding Professional Production The Best Laid Plans: a musical (Touchstone Theatre/Patrick Street Productions), indie musical cool beans (solo Collective) and the Fringe-hit solo show FLOP! (Delinquent Theatre). His electro-pop score for the sci-fi musical Broken Sex Doll (The Virtual Stage) won the 2013 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Composition. Anton is also an actor — catch him this summer at Bard on the Beach as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. Anton is a graduate of Studio 58.


Daniel is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and educator, recently returned to Vancouver after ten years in New York City. He is the recipient of the Edward Kleban Prize for Lyrics, a Jonathan Larson Grant, and the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for Excellence in Music and Lyrics. Daniel was recently named Touchstone Theatre’s Composer/Lyricist-in-Residence for the coming year, thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Musicals include The Longing and the Short of It, a contemporary song cycle, and The Trouble With Doug, a Kafka-inspired comedy. Current and upcoming projects include Adam Claims His Baggage, an original ‘autobiomagical’ musical, and Middle School Mysteries, a show for young people commissioned by Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ. He has led songwriting workshops for kids and adults in inner-city schools and recovery homes from Brooklyn to South Central LA. Daniel has also narrated audiobook versions of three best-selling books by his father Dr. Gabor Maté, with whom he will be co-leading a Hollyhock workshop this May in Vancouver called “Hello Again: A Fresh Start for Parents and their Adult Children”. He lives in East Vancouver with his wife Tanya, a naturopathic doctor.



EA491406-4FA5-4B23-B59A-811FCCDA1A61E13224FD-CDC9-4368-BEBF-9ACE056AE5CBKevin is an instructor in the Musical Theatre and Acting for Stage and Screen programs at Capilano University. He recently completed his Masters in the Practice of Voice and Singing at The University of Surrey, Guildford School of Acting (GSA) in Guildford, UK. Outside of teaching, Kevin is an active music director, vocal coach, accompanist and actor. Recent music direction credits include: Peter and the Starcatcher (Arts Club), The Rocky Horror Show (Exit 22, Capilano University) and Titanic (Theatre Under the Stars). Recent acting credits include: Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Align Entertainment) and The Bishop/Ens in Les Miserables (Arts Club). Up Coming projects include: Cowboy Bob/Ens in Footloose (Chemainus) and music director for Align Entertainment’s production of Joseph. Kevin also contributed music and arrangements to The Bakewell Bakeoff, a New Musical which ran in London, both at The Waterloo East theatre, and The Landor Theatre. The Bakewell Bakeoff, A New Musical was one of the first musicals to be published by the new Rodgers and Hammerstein European Union office in 2014.