JONATHAN BRUCE APPEL December 18, 1974 - July 29, 2010 Passed away - too young - in Santa Monica, California. So loved by his family, friends and colleagues, his kindness, compassion, warmth, wit and brilliant array of talents will be sorely missed. Jonathan was born and raised in Toronto, but educated, worked and excelled in both Canada and in the United States. He loved all the arts and mastered many, from sculpture, painting and drawing to comedic improvisational theatre, from documentary to narrative film. He graduated from Upper Canada College in 1992 and entered the University of Michigan's School of Art & Design to study sculpture. There he won the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery Prize and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1997. In 2002, he earned a Masters of Fine Arts from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study for his work in improvisational theatre and film. He served as musical assistant to Paul Shaffer on the movie Blues Brothers 2000, wrote two novels and then polished his timing and quirky, lovable wit at Toronto's legendary Second City. In New York, he worked with Gotham City Improv and The Upright Citizens' Brigade, while he also pursued his dream of making improvisational narrative films. He wrote, produced, shot and edited his films himself, yet he warmly welcomed others' contributions, always seeking to create community through art making. His works, accepted and shown at various film festivals, include: Falling Together; Snowdown; Play the Muse; Once Brothers. His last film, Souled Out Comedy, was shown in 2009 at New York's Friars Club Comedy Film Festival where it won the Audience Choice Award. In 2005, Jonathan married Allene Quincy and moved with her to Santa Monica where he continued his film work. Jonathan is survived in sorrow by his parents Mark and Gail Appel, his sister Liz Appel, her partner Cobb Mixter, his Uncle David and Aunt Carol Appel, his cousins Jacqueline, Alex and James Appel, his aunts and uncles on the Levchenko side of the family, his former wife Allene and a wide circle of friends. Jonathan will be laid to rest at Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery following a ceremony on August 19 at 1 p.m. at the Visitation Centre, 416-485-5572 (375 Mount Pleasant Road, east gate entrance), presided over by the Reverend Carol Luther, Episcopalian, of Marin County, California. The Appel family suggests that those who wish to celebrate Jonathan's life by making contributions may direct them to charities in support of theatre and the arts. Online condolences may be made at www.etouch.ca
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Published in the Toronto Star on Aug. 14, 2010