Encores by Encore was started by Merle Garbe and Eddy Isenberg. Both have a vast wealth of knowledge in community theatre in Toronto. Although each has over 30 years experience in community theatre, they just recently met 2 years ago. With some planning over the past year this dynamic duo has formed a partnership and created Encores By Encore with the aim to support aspiring actors in Toronto by creating quality theatre.
Merle Garbe – Director & Producer
Merle is a theatre enthusiast and founder of Encore Entertainment. Most recently, she conceived, wrote, and directed A Rulebook for the Romantically Challenged. Over the past 22 years, she has produced over 60 shows and cabarets. Closest to her heart are Ragtime, Anne of Green Gables, Chess, The Cemetery Club, The Love List, Beau Jest, The Laramie Project, and Enter Laughing. She has also produced many cabaret shows, featuring such performers as Mark Cassius, Jeff Madden, Sharron Matthews, Charlotte Moore, Darrin Baker, and Gabi Epstein, among others. Favourite onstage roles include Rumors, The Odd Couple-Female and Love Letters. She is a proud supporter of the Toronto Fringe Festival, and started the Best of Fringe at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in 2010.
She is thrilled to be embarking on this new project, Encores by Encore, alongside her good friend Eddy Isenberg and she looks forward to the new and exciting challenges it brings.
Eddy Isenberg – Stage Manager & Producer
Eddy started acting at the age of 7 in summer camp shows and at 18 in community theatre. Over the years he has worked on stage and back stage with Scarborough Theatre Guild, Scarborough Music Theatre, North Toronto Players, Steppin Out, Curtain Call Players, Encore Entertainment, and other groups.
Some of his favourite roles have been, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, Mr. Bumble in Oliver, Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof and Eddy Edwards in Forty Carats.
Eddy is thrilled and excited to be starting this new chapter in theatre with Merle. He looks forward to working with many talented friends and meeting new inspiring ones along the way.
Michael Zahorak – Music Director
International award-winning pianist and composer with degrees in piano performance, piano pedagogy, psychology and philosophy from Berklee College of Music, Royal Conservatory of Music [Toronto], Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien [Vienna], Michael has worked alongside world-renowned film composer Hans Zimmer, orchestrator Glenn Caldwell for Stevie Wonder’s
National Wonder Tour, Grammy-winning pianist Angelin Chang, and Canadian music producer T-Minus. His works include The Germericans (2014 Best Sketch Comedy), Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical (2015 New York International Fringe Festival), Come Back to Us (2016 Ozark Short Film Festival ‘Official Selection’), The Stage Manager’s Guide To Dating Assholes (2016 Toronto & 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Footloose: The Musical (2017 Steppin’ Out Theatrical Productions), Apple and Calvin Klein commercials. Michael is a recording session musician, the keyboardist for both Lia Scott and David Backshell and the Nighttime Gals, and maintains a private piano, songwriting, theory, and vocal studio.