Academy Teachers


Chris Barillaro is a Montreal-based musical director, pianist, orchestrator, actor, singer, magician, and graduate of McGill University (B.A. in music and theatre). Over the past twelve years, Chris has had the honour of helping to develop many new musicals—in both of Canada’s official languages—as an MD/orchestrator, including: In Real Life; Sisters: The Belles Soeurs Musical; Demain matin, Montréal m’attend; Last Night at the Gayety; Schwartz's: The Musical; Senza Luce; Belles-Soeurs: Théâtre Musical; and You Are Here. He’s also had the pleasure of performing at many beautiful theatres across the country, including: Place des Arts, NAC, Confederation Centre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Globe Theatre, Segal Centre, and Centaur Theatre. In 2018, Chris received a Félix at the Gala ADISQ in the category of “Spectacle: Interprète” for Demain matin, Montréal m’attend and in 2019, Chris received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding music direction for his work on Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Trevor Barrette
Trevor Barrette (he / him) is a Montreal-based actor, director, writer / composer, stage manager and teacher. Upon graduating from John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre Program in 2011, he founded the award-winning KaleidoscopeMTL, for which he directed ten productions, including four original musicals. As an actor, he has had the pleasure of performing with the National Arts Centre, Centaur Theatre, Repercussion Theatre, Geordie Productions, Scapegoat Carnivale, MainLine Theatre, Persephone Productions and Talking Dog Productions. Trevor has worked with the Academy for years and is very excited to be back to lead the teens in a variety of courses and workshops.

Dr. Edward Enman
Edward holds degrees in solo piano performance from the University of Montreal (DMus), University of Ottawa (MMus), and Acadia University (BM). He has toured, competed, and performed across the country and has worked with many of Canada’s leading pianists and musicians. He has collaborated as a pianist and music director at the National Arts Centre (ON), Fountain School of Performing Arts (NS), Acadia University School of Music (NS), in addition to numerous choirs, ensembles, and chamber groups.

Edward is currently based in Montreal as a pianist, collaborative musician, composer, teacher, and adjudicator and is excited to be returning for his 4th year with the Segal Academy.

Debora Friedmann
Debora is thrilled to be a part of the Segal Academy team. Debora is a director and choreographer with a passion for theatre and education. She recently completed a Masters in Education and Society and co-founded the independent musical theatre company Contact Theatre. She most recently directed and choreographed Contact Theatre’s first production Bonnie and Clyde which garnered critical acclaim. Previously, she directed and choreographed Chicago (AUTS), and The Addams Family (WISTA) for which she won the Broadway World award for best director. Born in Mexico and raised in Vancouver, she fell in love with Montreal and Montreal theatre after moving to the city in 2014. She is so grateful to be part of the Segal family!

Félix Dupont-Foisy
Félix is a versatile Montreal based pianist, singer, conductor and composer/arranger. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Masters in Conducting from McGill University. As a singer, he was part of Opera McGill and the University of Montreal’s Musical Theater Company. He now works as a professional chorister and freelance soloist. From 2013 to 2017, he was the Musical and Artistic director of the musical theater company Phoenix Musical. His credits as musical director/pianist include Wicked, Once Upon a Mattress, Beauty and the Beast, The Wedding Singer, Next to Normal, the Quebec Musical Theater Festival as well as several children’s musicals that he wrote for the McGill Conservatory Day Camp. Felix is also an active piano and voice teacher. He currently conducts the Cine-Jazz choir and is assistant for the McGill Conservatory Choirs and the South Shore Children’s Choir. This is Felix’s second year with the Academy.

Michelle Heisler
Michelle’s performance career has taken her across Canada, the United States, and Europe. A graduate of McGill University and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, she has worked on the stage and on the big and small screens in English, French and Yiddish. She played opposite Fyvush Finkel in Fineman’s Dictionary (Place des Arts, Montreal), and appeared in Nikila Cole’s award-winning NFB short, My Father Joe. She has lent her voice to such cartoons as Caillou, Mona the Vampire, Arthur, and Miss Mallard Mysteries (Cinar). In 2009, Michelle expanded her career into the realm of directing at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts where she worked along side former artistic director, Bryna Wasserman. Their production of No More Raisins, No More Almonds, was the recipient of the 2010 Virginia Beach CAB Award (Communities Against Bigotry). In 2017, she directed her first DWYT production of, A Bintel Brief. She has also toured as lead singer of the klezmer-funk band, Magillah. Michelle continues her work at the Segal Centre as a teacher and director for the YAYA program. Most recently, she earned a Master’s degree in teaching and learning and is currently a Drama and English teacher at Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School. .

Maria Herrera
Maria is a graduate of Vancouver Film School and an accomplished actress on stage and on screen. A career that has spanned over three decades has included work with Miramax, Paramount, FOX, CBS, CBC, NBC, ABC, SHOWTIME, LIFETIME and much more. Maria has been teaching drama for over 20 years in Vancouver and Montreal including Vancouver Tap Dance Society, Sheila Parkins school of Dance in the West Island, ECS in Westmount and all throughout Montreal in association with the Segal Academy. Maria began her career in theatre in Edmonton performing at the Jubilee Auditorium and she has continued to perform for stage, film, and TV for many decades with Feature film and Television appearances coming in 2018 and 2019. After a very successful year teaching a Segal Academy class in the west island, Maria is excited to teach Broadway Stars in Montreal.

Daniel Hickie
Daniel is a Montréal based theatre creator, animator, teacher, learner and aspiring puppeteer. In Sydney, Australia, where he grew up, he studied theatre creation and acting and was most interested by devised works and physical theatre. Since arriving in North America, he has collaborated with or learned from artists at The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, The Interact Centre for Visual and Performing Arts (Minneapolis), The Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Geordie Theatre Productions (Montréal) and The Kells Academy (Montréal). Daniel has been teaching at the Segal Centre since 2018 and is overjoyed to be working with the Broadway Stars again this year.

Jonathan Patterson
Based in Montréal, Jonathan is a multidisciplinary artist whose work spans from theatre to opera to musicals. Recent credits include: Cinderella (Opera McGill, dir); In Memoriam: The Wake of Cheddar Fandango (Sermo Scomber Theatre/Centaur Theatre Portico Project, Carlyle); Godspell, Dr. Dolittle Jr. (Segal Centre Academy, dir); The Last Wife (Centaur, coach to M. Gabrielli), Schwartz’s the musical (Centaur Theatre, director); First Date (St George’s, dir). Jonathan also directed and/or choreographed the Segal Centre’s annual fundraiser for five seasons and is the choreographer for the award-winning Lyric Theatre Singers. A performing-arts educator, Jonathan has been on the faculty of Opera McGill at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University since 2010. Jonathan also teaches musical theatre classes at St. George’s High School and has a very busy private voice studio. This will be Jonathan’s 10th year working with the Academy!

Jennifer Rizzo
Originally from New York City, Jenny is a multifaceted performer and theatre educator.  She has a B.F.A. in Music Theater from The Hartt School (University of Hartford), studied Classical Voice and Musical Theatre Development at the Manhattan School of Music, and has been teaching the performing arts since 2008. When not teaching she works as a performer, freelance music director, and harpist in Montreal and along the U.S. East Coast.  Jenny is also the music director of the Montreal Children’s Theatre, instructor for CAMMAC's Musical Theatre week, elementary music teacher at Kells Academy, choreographer for the Royal West Academy productions, and teaches drama, music, and dance classes for the R.E.C. Room Cote St. Luc Programs, as well as having a private home studio. This will be Jenny’s 4th year working with the Academy!

Kyla Smith
Kyla is a music educator, voice instructor, and lover of all things Disney and Broadway. A graduate from McGill University’s music education program, she is now a music specialist at Verdun Elementary School. Trained in both classical singing (Vanier College and Concordia University) and jazz voice (McGill), she taught at Broadway Academy Westmount for six years as a private vocal instructor and currently runs the St. George’s Elementary School Glee club. Kyla has musical directed several other shows including WISTA (West Island Theatre Association)’s production of Bye Bye Birdie, and St. George’s High School production of Lucky Stiff. Also experienced at writing music of her own, Kyla received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in composition from Concordia in 2015, where she won the Orchestre symphonique de l’Isle (OSI) composition competition. She is looking forward to her 4th year working with the YAYAs!