Gita is grateful to all of the wonderful people who make her life complete. Her smart husband/best friend, professional actor and award winning film maker Christopher as well as our three truly amazing children, Eric, Quinn and Kensey. We are so proud of your hard work at school Eric and Quinn and look forward to what grade 12 and beyond will bring. Kensey, your dedication and commitment, as you finish up your degree at the University of Wilfred Laurier and look ahead towards your Masters, is a wonderful example to the younger people in your life who look up to you and come to you for guidance and advice. 

Oh and Asparagus, our sweet little theatre cat - we love you so very much!

SAFE WORLD

A_Gita_Pic_2015.jpgGITA_MASKS_-_Copy_(5)_4332.jpgA_Gus.jpgA_Ashley_schuster_family.jpg

Gita is a Drama Teacher and Expressive Arts Facilitator who has been engaging young people in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area for 30 years. She has her Level One Theraplay Certification and is a recognized member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. She is a graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts in Toronto and has over 30 years of acting, music and dance training. She is a Kiwanis Festival scholarship winner for excellence in Story-Telling and showing the most promise as a youth actor. Gita also holds a 1991 Outstanding Performance award from the Sears Drama Festival of Canada.

 

Gita spent 12 years as the Artistic Director of Playing On The Moon Children's Theatre Arts Centre and Summer Performing Arts Experience where her students won over 200 first place awards from the Kiwanis Drama Festival. Prior to creating Playing On The Moon, Gita was the Artistic Director of the City of Kitchener's Outreach Theatre while owning and operating the Backstage Theatre School in Kitchener. Several of Gita's students can be seen on YTV and in major movies. Some are working stage actors and perform on Broadway as well as members of the company at The Stratford Festival of Canada, Drayton Festival Theatre and theatres all over the world. Many students have gone on to work in related fields such as stage management and in pre-productions roles. In 1998 Gita was contracted by Family and Children Services of the Waterloo Region and the Waterloo Region Community Action Program for Children to write and direct KW's first touring production that addressed bullying in the school yard. The production of 'THINK' consisted of a cast of 12 youth performers and was so successful that it was invited to perform in Florida for the 1999 Orlando International Fringe Festival.

 

Gita spent 5 years as a Child and Youth Worker and arts facilitator for Lutherwood Mental Health Services Open Custody Units, Residential Treatment Program, Adolescent Male Sex Offender Group Home, Pioneer Youth Services Aggressive Male Group Home, Betty Thompson Youth Centre and Kiwanis House. She has successfully provided arts enrichment to clients diagnosed with various disorders such as, Autism, ADHD, Asperger’s, Pica and within the P.D.D. spectrum.

 

Gita is formally trained in Behaviour Management, Crisis Prevention and Intervention as well as Risk Management. has spent the past 9 summers at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts where she has developed over 20 one-of-a-kind Theatre and Expressive Arts programs for highly creative young people. Some of her programs include, My Sister's Keeper Theatre Arts Experience, Funny Girl Theatre Arts Experience, Dr. Seuss Theatre Arts Camp, Princess Protection Program Theatre Arts Experience, The Fabulous Fifties Theatre Arts Program, Harry Potter Expressive Arts Experience, Fairy Training Expressive Arts Program and The House that Gita Built Doll House Making Program, just to name a few!

 

When Gita is not teaching acting classes, making costumes or creating sets, she is dreaming up her next stage production. Gita's shows are created to not only entertain but to educate audiences within our community. These productions play to sold our audiences and receive standing ovations. A few past productions include SCOUT 2017 (written and directed by Gita & Chris Ashley), the fan-fiction stage play The Adventures of Captain Underpants and Friends, SORRY WALT! (written and directed by Gita); THE CAGE BIRDS (Co-directed by Gita and Meghan North); CLUE (stage play written by Gita, co-directed by Gita and Nic Saville); ROAR! (written & directed by Gita); Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children (written & directed by Gita); Ella Enchanted (written & directed by Gita); I AM SUPERGIRL! (written & directed by Gita); 17 Ways to Bomb Your College Interview (directed by Gita) and It Runs In The Family (directed by Gita); Paper Dolls (written & directed by Gita); Wimpy A Re-twisted Tale of Literacy (written & directed by Gita); Bill & Ted's Historical Adventure (written & directed by Gita);Cage Birds, The Bald Soprano, Get A Clue (directed by Gita); SCOUT (written and directed by Gita & Chris Ashley); Oh Boy! (created & directed by Gita); A Not So Little Princess (written & directed by Gita); Girl On Fire (created and directed by Gita); There's Something About Matilda (written and directed by Gita); Vimy (written by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen and directed by Gita and Chris Ashley); The Bully Effect 2012, 2013 & 2015 (written & directed by Gita and Chris Ashley); The Secret Language of Girls (created & directed by Gita); Tales of A Fourth Grade Superfudge-A-Mania (written & directed by Gita and Samantha Polzin); The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (stage play written by Gita); Bubba Begonia You’ll Be Sorry (based on the book written by local author Gerry O’Brian. Stage play created & directed by Gita) and Wimpy-A twisted tale of Literacy (written by Gita and her former student and award winning screenplay writer Grayson Moore).