Chandra Pepper has been a theatre professional for over 25 years. Her career on stage/screen, the director's chair, and classrooms has included musical theatre, improv, children's theatre, Shakespeare, drama and comedy.  Presently she is the Theatre Director for The Gibson School of the Arts in Alliston and an Academy Director for Theatre Orangeville in their TOEP program and other academy programs. 

Mani Eustis is a Ryerson Theatre Graduate and Toronto based Theatre Artist and Educator. She is the artistic director and founder of Fancy Bits Theatre, a company that is committed to producing all women comedic shows in interesting and immersive spaces. Recently she wrote and directed the absurd comedy: Sorry I Can’t Come To Your Show which was performed in the kitchen of her apartment. When she is not directing, writing, producing or (on the rare occasion acting) Mani can be found teaching theatre and art to children around the GTA or sitting on her couch writing silly songs. She is incredibly excited to be a part of the Shadowpath team and looks forward to learning and contributing as much as possible.

Laura Katherine Hayes is a performer, producer, and writer in Toronto. Growing up she trained as an actor and dancer. She is a recent graduate from the Ryerson Theatre School's Acting Program. During her time at theatre school, Laura learned what she was most passionate about was creating work for herself and others, as opposed to only being an actor. With this, she co-founded Something About KAZ, a company for indie musicians to collaborate with theatre performers. Their debut performance, Bound to the Rocks premiered at the Ryerson New Voices Festival in 2016. Later the piece went to the Dark Crop Festival in 2017 and won the festival’s Audience Choice Award. This November, Laura will be taking her team to Baltimore to perform the piece at the Charm City Festival.  Laura has also worked as a producer for emerGENce Theatre and Pencil Kit Productions. With Pencil Kit she also co-produced a ten day workshop for women learning how to work together and create their own performances. Currently, she is at school part time at Humber College for Arts Administration and Cultural Management. She is so excited to be a part of Shadowpath’s Femme5 and is thrilled to be a part of a company that encourages women to work together!

Coco LaRain is a multi-award winning Tedx Speaker, Certified Corporate Trainer, Life Skills Coach and Performing Artist who utilizes, drama, song and spoken word poetry to inspired audiences of all ages.  She has performed on many theatrical stages, in Jazz Bistro’s and Poetry Cafés alike with numerous groups and as a solo artist. Coco has sung Motown, Jazz, R&B and Neo Soul music throughout her career. Her sultry vocal style coupled with her comedic delivery brings a unique touch to her motivational presentations. Coco has been inspiring audiences for over 20 years with her story, The Journey from Abused Teenage Mother to Motivational Speaker. In 2001 Coco founded Inspired by Coco and has worked with over 500 schools and community organizations. As a professional Vocal Artist, Dramatist and Spoken Word Poet, Coco utilizes the arts to engage and educate audiences of all ages through the many organizations she works with including the Future Aces Foundation, Spoken' Heard, and numerous Public and Catholic school boards across the GTA. Coco is also focused on her passion project "B.E.L.L.A.S. Broken Heals" through which she trains young women to follow in her footsteps and transform pain into power.

Rosanna Saracino is an Italian-Canadian director, dramaturge, devised theatre creator and educator, with twenty years in the industry. Rosanna has produced and directed upward of 60 productions for the stage, which included classical to contemporary works, new plays, and devised theatre creations. In 2015 she was the Director in Residence at the Canadian Stage, where she developed a new devised work, Suitcases, which went on to a full production. Recent works include: Nasty (Toronto Fringe, 2017, which won Patron’s Pick), Stage Door by Edna Ferber and George Kaufman, Little Pricks by Denise Norman, No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, Killing Game by Eugene Ionesco, and a slew of Shakespearean productions. She has specialized in large cast productions, and all female adaptations, including The Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Rosanna has been a freelance wardrobe stylist and costume designer over the last 8 years, and has done wardrobe design and styling for the Doras for the last 5 years.  As an educator, Rosanna is the Head of the Acting Division at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, where she also teaches, and has held the interim post of Artistic Director. She has taught at York University, Fanshawe, and also teaches at George Brown. Rosanna is thrilled and grateful to be working with Shadowpath and looks forward to contributing to this unique and dynamic new venture.

  Chandra Pepper             Mani Eustis         Laura Katherine Hayes         Coco LaRain             Rosanna Saracino

       Peyton LeBarr                  Joanna Grace              Deanna Galati              Karina Melich              Heather Braaten             Becky Tanton

Testimonial: If I had to describe my experience as a Shadowpath Apprentice in one word, I would have to say it would be “community”.  One of the most important things that I have learned from being a part of this inaugural group of supported female creative leaders, is that we are all better when we work together.  So often I have felt very alone when approaching my artistic pursuits, with nobody to discuss my ideas and aspirations with.  Being allowed to connect with this vibrant group has provided me with confidence, friendship, and a network of people that I will call upon in the years to come.  During my apprenticeship, I had a new sense of confidence to apply for a position that I may have assumed was out of reach for me, but due to the nurturing fearless atmosphere and encouragement for us to pursue our goals, I was inspired to apply, and ultimately be successful in being hired as the artistic director of a long-standing theatre company in Canada. I would recommend this apprenticeship to any woman who has a goal of being an administrative or artistic leader in the Canadian theatre community.  There is much to be learned by working as a group, and I thank Alex and Shadowpath for the opportunity to rethink my place in this community.  Heather Braaten

Testimonial: I'm grateful this Apprenticeship has provided learning and growing opportunities for me in developing creative projects, project planning, building partnerships and requesting funding (grants and donations).  At the first meeting we were evaluating the Trillium Foundation grant that was accepted to provide funding for our Apprenticeships.  I became aware that I, as an individual artist qualify, for requesting certain arts funding...and started that process right away!  Within 2 months I had written my first grant and it was accepted for my Clearly Musical Home Concert Series (Town of Richmond Hill Cultural Grant).  In November, I received the "Emerging Creative Talent" award from the Town of Richmond Hill for "leadership in originality and innovation in the Creative Industries", and now serve on the Cultural Leadership Council! With my Apprenticeship I have appreciated the opportunity to select areas of focus and to be assigned projects that stretched me to take initiative in ways I wouldn't have otherwise.  Brainstorming in team meetings with our Artistic Director, Alex, has been extremely beneficial in really getting ideas flowing into new possibilities and realities with creative connections.   I highly recommend this Apprenticeship for independent, innovative thinkers who like to be part of a Team to take risks, try new things and make creative projects happen successfully. I had an amazing experience! WOW and Thank you!  -Joanna Grace

Testimonial: My time with Shadowpath has been such a rewarding and indescribable experience.Being right out of university, with the desire to delve into the arts admin and producing realm, Shadowpath was the perfect place for me to be to get to discover a lot about myself and how I work. When I started with Shadowpath, I had no idea what I was getting into. I pushed myself to say yes to every opportunity that Alex and Shadowpath offered, which was the smartest thing I could have done. I definitely hit barriers, learned about aspects of the job that I find frustrating and discovered all the things that I am not yet good at. But, I also made new connections, learned a lot more about the arts scene in York Region, learned how to write grants and how to always push for the best! Alex has been such an encouraging mentor. She somehow always knew how to solve a problem or advise me on a barrier I was facing. Alex has inspired me to want to pursue my personal aspirations more and more and I often see myself in her as well. Shadowpath’s apprentice program has definitely given me a platform in which I feel confident to take what I’ve learned and put it towards whatever direction my career may take me. Finally - the experience would not be complete without sharing it with a group of talented women beside me. I have made lasting connections and friendships though this apprenticeship that I will forever be grateful for. Thanks Alex for an amazing 10 months!!  -Deanna Galati

Testimonial - The Shadowpath apprenticeship has given me a practical hands-on experience learning about grant writing, arts administration, sponsorship, budgeting, as well as production.  This job has given me the tools and the confidence to continue my pursuit in my own aspirations in theatre production.  I was grateful for the opportunity to have such a flexible and accommodating work schedule.  Having the ability to cater the job tasks to my own personal needs and areas of interest really has allowed me to get a personalized work experience. The greatest challenge I overcame was my personal fear of grant writing.  As a creative artist, my ability to write grants is an invaluable skill, but it is a practice that I, like many creative team artists, avoid out of fear and/or frustration. This job gave me practical knowledge on grants and gave me confidence in my writing skills. This job is ideal for theatre practitioners who are interested in pursuing self-produced work or want to expose themselves to new job opportunities in production.  - Peyton LeBarr

Testimonial - Being an apprentice for Shadowpath is an opportunity I feel so fortunate to have gained this past year! Not only did I meet a team of artists from different walks of life, with a variety of skillsets, but it was invaluable for me to watch the way Alex treats her artistic endeavours like a business- a challenge for my creative self, as well as one for many other artists. Throughout the year, I learnt about marketing, grant writing, networking, donation & sponsorship requests, and how to have a good time through it all! Shadowpath’s mantra is “If you say you want to do something, just do it, it’s already done”- I shall take this with me wherever I go! I recommend this apprenticeship to any artist who maintains a flexible work schedule, and who wants to learn the business side of art. In a word- FANFREAKINTASTIC!  -Karina Milech

Testimonial - Even though I was only a Shadowpath Apprentice for three months, I was able to have such a valuable experience. I learned about grant applications, sponsorships, and other funding opportunities that are crucial to being an artist. I was able to expand on previous skills, and better hone myself in areas I was familiar with, while also learning new and exciting things about making theatre events happen. Most importantly, I was able to meet some incredible people – Alex, and my fellow Apprentices, are all contacts that I’m so grateful to have been able to make. Everyone involved in the FemmeFive team was so supportive to me, and really made the entire experience incredibly positive.  -Becky Tanton


Thanks to a Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Shadowpath is expanding our creative team with fifteen female apprentices from 2016 - 2019. These apprentices will develop skills in creation, producing, arts admin and artistic direction and help to increase Shadowpath's community programming. Applications are received in the summer and apprentices begin in September.