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executive director.

Providing the vision for artists to share their artistry and storytelling to the world Sophie Ann Rooney brings comprehensive oversight and final decision-making on all artistic matters as the executive director, ensuring alignment with TKBB's goal and artistic integrity.

"Pour ce qui est de l'avenir, il ne s'agit pas de le prévoir, mais de le rendre possible." 
"For the future, it is not a matter of predicting it, but of making it possible."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Sophie brings a wealth of experience as an arts leader to her role at The King Black Box having excelled in various creative roles, including directing in videogame, TV animation & commercial, writing, as well as teaching & guiding countless artists through RAW Actor Studio, with a successful tenure in Toronto as artistic director for Sterling Theatre Cru 2011-2015, and a devoted mother to her sons JJ & Maxwell.

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artistic director.

Commitment to bringing untold stories to the forefront, coupled with her diverse experiences and innovative approach, positions Ziggy Schulting as a valuable addition to the Toronto acting community.

 

Toronto actors can anticipate a dynamic leader who not only brings a wealth of experience, from off-Broadway, but also a passionate dedication to fostering inclusivity and artistic excellence.

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Ziggy Schulting, Artistic Director

OUR THEATRE

Sophie Ann Rooney, Executive Director

Step into a transformative theatre tucked away in one of Toronto's most historically artsy neighbourhoods.
 

Let THE KING BLACK BOX become your personal 40 seat cinematic-hideout where stories dive into gritty reality, the bizarre universe, and everything-in-between -- a haven to explore the questions that make life extraordinary.

[she/her] story

Ziggy Schulting, an American actor with a prolific career spanning both stage and film, has made an indelible mark on the New York theatre scene over the past 9 years. Her notable performances in productions like "Teenagers in Love" [Young Becca], "The High Priestess" [Deidre], Bram Stoker’s “Dracula" [Lucy] and "Good Friday" [Video Ensemble] have showcased her versatility and depth as an actor. Collaborating with prestigious theatre companies, Ziggy has had the privilege of working under the guidance of accomplished directors such as Anne Bogart, Sam Schacht, Sherri Eden Barber, Chad Rabinovitz, and a variety of other skilled directors who have made significant contributions in their field.

 

Ziggy's distinction lies not only in her on-stage prowess but also in her extensive training in classic acting techniques. Specialising in Commedia dell’Arte, Shakespeare, Suzuki, Viewpoints, Alexander, Stanislavski, and Strasberg, Ziggy's educational journey includes enriching experiences at Accademia Dell’Arte in Italy, SITI, The Stella Adler Studio, Wesleyan University, Skidmore College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Theatre, and attended the highly competitive, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, where she was a Musical Theatre major.   

 

Ziggy’s Skidmore credits include Julius Caesar [Marc Anthony], Let the Right One In [Mum], Macbeth [First Witch], The Penelopiad [Oracle/Suitor] and Rachel B. Karp’s world premiere of Of White Walls and Worlds [Charlie].

 

In 2019, Ziggy co-founded the production company 3DAYSPRIOR, assuming the pivotal role of Artistic Director. Under her leadership, the company successfully premiered "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" at the Upstairs Theatre in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, followed by a Shakespeare Festival at The Brick. Ziggy's productions have not only graced renowned off-Broadway venues such as The Tank, Dixon Place, and The Brick but have also garnered attention for their innovation and artistic merit.


Beyond her achievements on the production board, Ziggy has emerged as a fervent advocate for underrepresented stories and voices. In 2019, she pioneered the site-specific reading series, "3DProcess: Plays on Draft," a platform that showcased works by emerging playwrights; including Stefani Kuo’s, "Final Boarding Call," and Grace Parker’s award-winning play, "Why We Have Book Club."

[elle/she/her] story

writer-director-filmmaker: Sophie Ann Rooney commenced her tenure as Executive Director of The King Black Box in 2024.  Sophie brings a wealth of experience as an arts leader to her role at The King Black Box having excelled in various creative roles, including writing, directing, and filmmaking, and as a devoted mother to her sons JJ & Maxwell.

  • Known for Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed Odyssey," earning numerous awards and nominations: Sophie's contributions to the gaming industry were recognized when she worked on Ubisoft's critically acclaimed "Assassin's Creed Odyssey," including earning a BAFTA nomination & Game of the Year. Working also exclusively on "Assassin's Creed Odyssey: The First Blade," and "Assassin's Creed Odyssey: The Fate of Atlantis." directing actors in Greece, Canada, USA, Singapore and England.

  • Involved in Netflix's animated series: Voice-directed season one of "Daniel Spellbound" Sophie's experience extends to the realm of animation, where she played a crucial role as well in casting the first two seasons of Netflix's animated series "Daniel Spellbound."

  • Received the Kodak Award: Sophie's collaborative spirit led her to work with acclaimed fight choreographer Alain Figlarz [Bourne Identity] on  her film 'Fallen Fighter' that she wrote, produced and directed starring Philippe Bas, which earned recognition on the festival circuit including CICFF, becoming part of the film studies for the Chicago Board of Education, and received the Kodak Award.

  • Selected as a mentor by the Ontario Arts Council:  Mentor at RAW Actor Studio for over 22 years Sophie's dedication to nurturing emerging talent was acknowledged by the Ontario Arts Council, where she was selected as as a mentor to a rising Indigenous writer-director, Bradley Paul, from Bear Island. She has continued to mentor established artists at RAW Actor Studio for over two decades, guiding them on their journey to success. Alongside her partner director/actor Grisha Pasternak, they have empowered countless artists, including actors, writers, and directors, facilitating their journey to remarkable success through personalized coaching and guidance.

  • Directed For Vancouver's Beaumont Stage: John Patrick Shanley's "Beggars in the House of Plenty" which began a lifelong friendship with the playwright. Sophie subsequently produced his plays such as "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea", "Where's My Money?", "Sailor's Song" ,and "A Lonely Impulse of Delight" among others, in Toronto with Sterling Studio Theatre, a theatre she built on Sterling Road.

  • Produced numerous plays at Sterling Studio Theatre, including works by Local Playwrights: Sophie's entrepreneurial spirit led her to produce a diverse range of theatrical achievements [often directing and doing production design], and providing countless opportunities to artistic directors, directors, writers, actors plus curated and supported slam poetry, spoken word, clown acts, playwright competitions, rap battles, open mic's, and singer-songwriter nights, and also joined forces with The Theatre Machine & Unit 102.

  • Earned scholarships for excellence: Recognized in her youth, earning her prestigious scholarships to attend renowned institutions such as The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Oxford School of Speech & Drama.​​

  • Became Werba's apprentice at the American University of Paris: In her early twenties her commitment to her craft led her to become an apprentice to Amy Werba at the American University of Paris. She was later named honorary professor, entrusted with running the program solo for a year during Werba's sabbatical.

  • Featured in Amy Werba's book 'Be Your Own Coach' [Drama Book Shop NY | Amazon.com]: Sophie's talent and achievements are documented by Amy Werba, who featured her in the book 'Be Your Own Coach,' recognizing Sophie's journey, skill and their successful years collaborating.

  • Further dedicated training; Attended full-time Stanislavski school L'Atelier de Blanche Salant in Paris, congruently honed her skills by studying under notable figures such as Valerie Landsburg and Larry McGowan {Steppenwolf] .

  • Attended the International Film School of Paris EICAR: Sophie pursued her passion for filmmaking by attending the International Film School of Paris EICAR, further expanding her expertise in the realm of cinema. Her BFA was cut short when she was offered a substantial TV role in Paolo Barzman's [Wynonna Earp] "Grand Star", based on the graphic novel "La Compagnie des Glaces" by Georges-Jean Arnaud. This role brought her to Vancouver, Canada where she continued teaching and working as a projectionist at Fifth Avenue Cinema until receiving residency.

  • Starred in the Paris premiere at Les Voûtes Theatre Paris13e as the titular character in Rebecca Gilman's  "The Glory of Living" : Sophie showcased her acting talents in various theatrical productions, performing at esteemed venues such as Le Théâtre Alexandre Dumas de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Théâtre du Vésinet. [Agent: Isabelle Poyatos]

  • First directing role as Performance Director for the premiere dancers at The Moulin Rouge: Sophie's transition into directing began with her role as Performance Director for the premiere dancers at the iconic Moulin Rouge, where she demonstrated her ability to lead and manage artistic storytelling performances.​​​​​​​​

  • Served as Jury President: Sophie's expertise in filmmaking led her to serve as Jury President for the New Wave Film Festival, where she played a key role in recognizing and celebrating emerging talent in the film industry, and as a judge on panels for Hot-Shot Shorts Contest, Celluloid Social Club in Vancouver, and Monologue Slam in Toronto.

  • Performance director for several bands; Directed numerous music videos & short films: Sophie's creative vision and leadership were evident in her roles as a performance director for bands and director of music videos and short films, where she brought her unique artistic perspective to each project.

  • Session-singer for Rap-Rock group Enhancer on the Limp Bizkit European Tour: Sophie's versatility as an artist was showcased when she served as a session-singer working directly with Ross Robinson [Korn].

  • ORIGIN STORY :Initiated the creation of 'Inseine Cru,' a student-driven drama club at her school: In response to the redirection of arts funds to sports, Sophie took the initiative to establish 'Inseine Cru,' a drama club driven by students at her senior school (youth). Starting with just 5 peers, Sophie led the club's growth for 4 years, culminating in 50 students aged 5-18 by her graduating year. They staged "A Midsummer Night's Dream", with Sophie raising funds to rent a prestigious 500-seat Théâtre Jean Vilar de Vitry-Sur-Seine. The performances were sold-out successes, leading to the full embrace of the club by her school, which continues to support its thriving existence to this day.

  • International Award: Sophie's exceptional contributions to the arts, and philanthropy were recognized with the Gold Award with distinction from His Royal Highness Prince Philip for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, personally handed to her by His Royal Highness.

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