Meet our team! 

The team at Neptune Theatre School is made of professional artists and leaders in Halifax's artistic community. From our management staff to summer camp instructors, we are proud to highlight the stellar folks that make Neptune Theatre School a leading instituation for emerging and established performers of all ages. 


Management

LAURA CASWELL

Director of Education

Laura Caswell has been a part of Neptune for over a decade playing various roles on stage (including 5 witches!) as well as a director and choreographer. Laura trained in Musical Theatre in New York City and London, England earning a Masters in Performance through the University of East Anglia. She has also trained extensively in improv, puppetry, voice work, singing, dance, acting, and film and television. Laura has worked as an artist and educator at theatres all over the country. Working as a teacher in all forms of performance of all levels led to Laura taking over the role of Director of Education in 2017. She is excited to spend her eighth summer leading the Neptune Theatre School!

MADDIE MAITZEN

Theatre School Manager

Maddie has been involved with Neptune Theatre School for 5 years, starting as a student and YPCo member before becoming an instructor. She later joined the Theatre School Administration team as a Content Creator, Administrative Assistant, Songs for Seniors Program Coordinator, and Stage Manager. Maddie couldn’t have been more thrilled to take on the role of Theatre School Manager in January 2024! Maddie graduated from the Fountain School of Performing Arts with a Bachelor’s in Music - concentration in vocal performance. She is currently taking courses with Dalhousie University Continuing Education to earn a certificate in Human Resource Management. She loves performing opera, musical theatre, pop music and has a special interest in songwriting and post-production editing. 


Theatre School Administrators 

SARA COURTNEY

Curriculum Coordinator / Assistant Camp Director

Sara Courtney (she/they) is a multidisciplinary performer from Ponamogoatitjg (Dartmouth), where she works primarily in childcare. Sara is a former student of Neptune’s Theatre School and now works as an instructor (and loves it!). Sara has been working in children's theatre for over five years, directing, choreographing and stage managing youth productions around the HRM. In their spare time she loves painting, baking and doing fun crafts!

 

 

LUCAS ARAB

Education Content Creator

Lucas considers himself to be a "Professional Make-Believer" with the goal of creating immersive and visually intriguing storytelling spaces for all. He is a graduate student of the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University, where he studied stage design and technical theatre. Lucas has worked on the design team of several Neptune shows such as Dear Rita (Scenic Designer), Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead (Assistant Set Designer), The SpongeBob Musical and Little Women (Scenic & Projection Designer, Neptune YPCo). When Lucas isn’t designing, he usually taking audiences behind the scenes on social media or coaching his high school competitive improv team. 


Summer Camp Leadership

AMANDA BURNETT - Camp Director

Amanda is a school teacher in Nova Scotia and dedicates a lot of her time outside the classroom to Neptune Theatre and Neptune Theatre School's wide array of programming, such as championing the YPCo volunteer team, and leading summer camps as the Camp Director. Amanda is is a Front of House Manager at Neptune and is always there to greet patrons and students alike with the biggest smile. 

SOPHIE WILCOTT - Teen Camp Director

Sophie Wilcott (they/she) is a Maritime-based, multidisciplinary theatre artist with a dedication to Theatre for Young Audiences. They have collaborated with Neptune Theatre, Theatre Nova Scotia, Prismatic Arts Festival, Atlantic Repertory Company, Theatre New Brunswick, Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre, The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Company, The Voice Factory, Symphony New Brunswick, Connection Dance Works, and InterAction School of Performing Arts. In spring of 2023, they received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Theatre (Acting) and a certificate in Dance & Movement Composition from Dalhousie Fountain School of Performing Arts. Sophie is a recipient of the prestigious Dalhousie Chancellor’s Scholarship (2019-2023), the Fountain School of Performing Arts Undergraduate Scholarship (2019-2023), the Christine Zinck (Theatre) Scholarship (2022), and the Arts New Brunswick Scholarship in (2019 and 2022).


Summer Camp Instructors

ALENA GRANDY

Alena Grandy is currently a third-year student at Mount Allison University, pursuing Psychology and Music Education. With a lifelong involvement in theatre and music, she is passionate about the performing arts and is so excited to return to teach at Neptune Theatre again this summer!

AMELIA PENNEY-CROCKER

Amelia (she/her) is an artist and activist from Kjipuktuk. She loves theatre and is so happy to be able to teach others about it at Neptune's summer camp which she attended as a kid. She's been in numberouse youth theatre productions as part of the Neptune Theatre and Shakespeare by the Sea's young companies and the Dal and King's Theater Societies. Amelia is an amacher filmmaker and volunteers with organizations advocating children's rights and climate action. She is currently a student at the University of King's College.

AVIVA MILLETT

Aviva (she/her) is excited to join the Neptune team this summer having done countless Neptune camps and classes herself. She spent March break working at Neptune as well, making her super excited for what this summer will bring. She has been acting and singing since she was a child, loving musical theatre and Shakespeare plays. With a passion for the arts she loves teaching the next generation how theatre can enrich your life.

DYLAN JACKSON

Dylan (he/him) is an actor & improviser based in the HRM. He was first introduced to improvised theatre & drama at a young age through Neptune Theatre & the Canadian Improv Games (CIG). He later studied drama at Dalhousie University & The University of Kings College before briefly studying in London. He is now ready to help guide and pass the torch to the next generation of young theatre artists and weird teenagers. He loves cats, painting, and board games.

GIBBY THERRIEN

Gabrielle (Gibby) Therrien is a voice actress, performer, playwright, and theatre teacher based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They graduated in 2021 with a degree in Theatre from Acadia University and has worked professionally as a theatre teacher ever since. When she isn’t teaching you can find her writing, doing voice over work, or spending time with her nieces and nephew!

 

HERMIONE DAVIS

Hermione Davis (she/they) is a performing artist focused in theatre and music. Hermione is a songwriter, and in 2023 she released her self-produced folk music project Here Lies Herm to streaming platforms. She also debuted the collaborative comedy piece The Generalist at the Halifax Fringe Festival in 2023, including original music. She is a 2022 graduate of the Fountain School of Performing Arts’ theatre (acting) program with the University of King’s College. She has been a cast member for three shows of the 2023 season at Grafton Street Dinner Theatre, most recently returning for their Spring 2024 production, Taylor Made. When she isn’t performing, Hermione continues writing songs, teaching, and making cute crafts. She would like to thank her community and family for their support in her artistic endeavors.

JAMES ERSIL

James Ersil (they/them) is a Halifax-based, Ottawa born theatre maker who is so incredibly excited to be joining the Neptune Theatre Summer Camps for their second year. They have previous experience teaching in theatre, and recently graduated from the Fountain School of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting with Honours. Recent performing credits include Peer Gynt (Fountain School of Performing Arts (or FSPA)),  7 Stories (FSPA), The Tamer Tamed (FSPA), and All My Sons (King’s Theatrical Society). Neptune Theatre Summer Camps are the reason why they are pursuing teacher’s college in the Fall, and they can’t wait for this amazing summer to unfold!

JARA CHISHOLM

Jara (she/her) is an artist and performer originally from St. John's Newfoundland, where she foud her love for theatre going to camps and classes there. After moving to Halifax, Jara quickly found her community at Neptune, and was a part of last year's YPCo show Little Women! She has previously taught as an assistant instructor during March Break and PD Day Camps at Neptune, and is overjoyed to be back this summer!

KAITLYN THOMPKINS

Kaitlyn Thompkins has just completed her third year and is in the process of completing a Double Major in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Acting at Dalhousie University. She has dedicated herself to theatre for as long as she can remember including working for Neptune Theatre for the past 2 years. With 4 years of experience as a camp counselor through multiple amazing theatre companies she is so excited to return this summer!

KATIE FAWCETT

Katie is currently a student attending Acadia University. She was a part of Neptune Theatre’s YPCo when in highschool, and was a professional dancer with the Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia for five years.

MISHA BAKSHI

Moneesha "Misha" Bakshi (she/they) is an actor and creator with a passion for young audiences! Best known for their work as Penny in HOP (HBOMax/CBC), Misha has been so lucky to be entertaining audiences of all ages in family friendly shows. Misha loves creating diverse art to help today's children grow into tomorrow's empathetic and kind adults, and is overjoyed to share that love with the students of the Neptune Theatre School this summer! Misha is a proud snake and cat parent, plush toy collector, and cartoon and anime expert!

NEVE LOHNES

Neve Lohnes (she/her) was born and Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she has resided all of her life.  She has always enjoyed theater, and is very passionate about all forms of art.  You may recognize her from YPCo’s production of Spongebob the Musical where she played Spongebob, and most recently YPCo’s The Prom, where she played Kaylee.  Outside of theater, Neve also enjoys swimming, writing, and spending time with her family and friends. 

NOAH TRAN

Noah Tran (he/him) is a multidisciplinary performer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has trained in the arts for the over ten years and spends his time creating, performing, and teaching through music and theatre. He is currently attending St Lawrence College for Musical Theatre. Noah has worked with theatres as a student, actor, and instructor, performing as well as teaching summer camps and seasonal classes for youth. Select credits include Elf the Musical (Neptune Theatre), Little Women, Frozen Jr., The Hobbit (Neptune Theatre School).

OLIVIER BLAIS

Olivier Blais (he/him) is an actor and improviser from K’jipuktuk/Halifax. He is a graduate of the Fountain School of Performing Arts and a co-founder of the Théâtre DesAssimilés (TDA), a francophone theatre company that produces bilingual work. He has also improvised in several TDA improv shows and has represented Nova Scotia at Les Jeux de la Francophonie. Upcoming credits include: Till Death Do us Part (Ship’s company) Autobiographical Fiction (Unnatural Disasters Theatre company. Recent credits include: Far From the Heart/Loin du Coeur(Sheathre) Colonial Park (Neptune TourCO); Nice Guy/Gentil; Les Mangeurs D'ail; Les Chaises (Théâtre DesAssimilés); Human Intelligence, Primal (Unnatural Disasters Company); The Crucible; People, Places and Things; The Dog in the Manger, Beyond Windows (FSPA.) He has also worked as a producer and an assistant director with other companies such as Shakespeare By The Sea and Outside The March.

RAE STEEVES

Rae has been involved with the theatre school from a young age taking weekend musical theatre classes.  She instantly fell in love with theatre and has never left. Rae has completed several YPCo training camps and has also performed in two YPCo shows: The Spongebob Musical and Almost Maine.  Additionally, Rae has recently performed in Loves Labours Lost at Shakespeare by the Sea Studio as Don Armando.  In addition to theatre, Rae is a four time award winning filmmaker, whose works have been screened in various theatres across the world.  She is really excited and grateful to be working at Neptune this summer!

ROWAN WHITE

Rowan White (they/he) is an actor, musician, writer, designer, producer, and educator hailing from K'tamqkuk. They hold degrees in Voice and Drama from Mount Allison, and are now based in K'jipuktuk. A proud member of the Mi'kmaw nation, they are at the forefront of Arts creation and education through their various mediums. Recently, they've performed in Sweeney Todd (Motyer Fancy Theatre), helped adapt and stage manage The Juliet Project (Motyer Fancy Theatre), and sang The Opera Show (Mount Allison Music). They are now working as a drama teacher with Neptune Theatre.

SAFFRON HYDE

Saffron Hyde (she/her) is a multidisciplinary musical theatre artist born and raised in Nova Scotia. She is a recent graduate of Sheridan College's Bachelor for Performing Arts Program where she trained for the last four years. Saffron is so excited to be back working with Neptune Theatre School as she loves sharing her passion for theatre with young artists.

SARAH SMITH

Sarah Smith (she/her) is thrilled to return for her 7th summer as an instructor with Neptune Theatre School. Sarah is an actor, musician, and theatre artist based in K'jipuktuk/Halifax. She has a BFA in Theatre from Memorial University, and a Certificate in Musical Theatre from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. Sarah has worked with a variety of theatre companies throughout Atlantic Canada. Performance credits include Deeper (Unnatural Disaster Theatre Co.) Taylor Made and Holly Dolly Christmas (Grafton Street Dinner Theatre), The Firebird: The Musical (Terra Novella), Assassins (Whale Song Theatre), and 9-5: The Musical (Whale Song Theatre). Sarah is also a playwright, composer, and director known for her works VomBoss and Vampire Therapist: The Musical. When not performing, Sarah teaches theatre and music around the city.

SIOBHÁN BEST-ROBERTS

My name is Siobhán Best-Roberts (she/they). I have been working in theatre camps at various schools since I was around 16. I’ve also been involved in theatre since around the same time, and I can’t get enough! I’ve been in musicals, dance classes, plays and have even done some puppeteering. Really any way to tell a story is my cup of tea. I’m originally from Ottawa, Ontario, and this is my second time teaching with Neptune! I am a huge fan of fairytale stories, animals, storytelling and fun. I love theatre and the magic it can create, and I’m so excited to pass this wonderful art onto the next generation!

SOLÈNE GADBOIS

Neptune has been a huge part of my theatre journey. I first joined Neptune’s theatre community as a child at a summer camp, and my early experiences are what eventually brought me to the YPCo bootcamp. I have been a part of four of Neptune's YPCo shows (campers may recognize me as Patchy the Pirate from SpongeBob The Musical). YPCo is such a positive and supportive space and without it I would not have decided to further pursue musical theatre in my post secondary training. Some campers may remember me from the March Break Neptune camp. I absolutely loved watching each child grow through the week and work together on their end of week performance. I am excited to share my love of theatre with every camper, whether they are learning about theatre for the first time, or whether they are a YPCo student in the making. Arrrr you ready?

SOPHIE NADEAU

Sophie is an improviser, content creator and all around human who loves to share her passion for theatre and exploration. She has been a player, volunteer, coach and instructor with the Canadian Improv Games the last 13 years and has performed improv with Saint John’s Improvisation Corporation and HRM’s Make Em’ Ups. Sophie has worked with Neptune Theatre School for 5 years, teaching students from ages 4-adult, she has also coached improv teams and led improv workshops and classes with the HRCE. Sophie has 15 years of dance training in tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and musical theatre. Sophie is a graduate of the Screen Arts film program at NSCC and loves making digital content. She has performed theatre with Kennebecasis Valley High School, KV Players and Saint John Theatre Company and has written and produced five original Fringe Festival shows. Sophie is very excited to be encouraging young performers to be everything they want to be! Her favourite type of dog is a jack russell terrier and her favourite Summer Blizzard®️ Flavour is Cotton Candy.

TAYA MILLER

Taya (she/her) is very excited to be working as an assistant with the teen camps this summer. Taya is a student in the Bachelor of Arts program at Saint Mary's University, with the goal of becoming a teacher. Taya has attended numerous camps and classes at Neptune. She was a member of YPCo and performed in Neptune's production of Frozen. Taya was also involved with musical theatre at Citadel High. Taya is looking forward to spending the summer at Neptune!

 

 

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Neptune Theatre is located on sacred land that has been the site of human activity since time immemorial.
We are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq, and we acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this land.