Born in Calabria, Italy, and raised in Toronto, Anna is a proud graduate of the School of Dramatic Art, University of Windsor, earned an MA and PhD with distinction from the University of Toronto, and equally proud to have been mentored as a teacher, director and actor by some wonderful professionals, notably veteran New York Actors’ Studio Members Janine Manatis and the late Gene Lasko.
A longstanding member of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and Canadian Actors’ Equity, Anna has acted, produced, directed, coached, received arts and research grants, awards and Dora nominations. She has created many international theatre conferences, including the landmark interdisciplinary Directing in the Performing Arts Summit at Humber College.
She has worked professionally on stage and in film, television and radio in various capacities over the years. Highlights include: playing Macbeth in Robert Lepage’s Macbeth and a variety of roles in Toronto’s alternative theatre scene and in offbeat films such as Carlo Liconti’s Concrete Angels. Anna has extensive experience working in script development and collective creation. Her dramaturgical work was recognized in the multi-Dora award-winning play, Molly Wood and her performance as a member of the ensemble in Acting Co.’s La Storia Calvino parts I and II was recognized with Dora nominations.
She’s especially honoured to have collaborated as an actor, producer and dramaturge for more than three decades with award-winning actor-writer Tony Nardi on historically significant productions, including A Modo Suo (A Fable) and Two Letters and Counting!, as well as Nardi’s new work, Terminus: things which happen only to the living, a theatrical serial about the internment of Canadians of Italian origin in Canada during WWII.
A respected director and sought-after teacher, Anna has directed Ibsen’s A Doll House, Pirandello’s Six Characters Looking for an Author, Treadwell’s Machinal and other modern classics for the Acadia Theatre Company.
She has trained actors and directors in conservatory, liberal arts, and private studio settings, including the following post-secondary institutions: Acadia, University of Toronto, Ryerson, Guelph, Waterloo and Humber College. Many people she’s coached and mentored are now thriving in professional film/TV and theatre. Many others have applied the principles and practices explored in her classes and workshops to successful careers in law, business, architecture, science, arts administration, and education.
Anna’s publications include essays, reviews and the following books: About Directing, Stanislavsky and Directing, Directing and Authorship in Western Drama, and Renaissance and Baroque Directors.