Heidi Stepanek – Artistic Director
Heidi began her career pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at Queen’s University with piano as her major instrument and ethnomusicology as her subject major. While at Queen’s, she also completed a year abroad at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland, where she continued her studies in both music and theatre. She then went on to post-graduate study at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Folklore and Folk Music. Heidi spent two years in a PhD program in Ethnomusicology and Musicology at York University in Toronto, before deciding to pursue her career in business full-time.
Heidi has worked in various capacities both in amateur and professional theatre. Her most prominent position was as stage manager with the Canadian Opera Company at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She has also worked with numerous theatre companies and musical groups across Canada and in Scotland, including Newfoundland Musical Theatre, the Royal Scottish Academy Opera Company, Queen’s Wind and Choral Ensembles, The Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Vanier College Players at York University, and the Perth Community Choir. Her capacities in these groups have ranged between artistic and management, including roles as an actor, director, conductor, musician, technician, stage manager, and producer. She is intimately familiar with virtually all aspects of musical and theatrical production, which she has put to use in the companies that she has founded: the “Fountain of Youth Troupe,” a traveling theatre performance group for school-age children, the “Perth Academy of Musical Theatre,” a training centre for youths, and “Orion Theatre Company” (co-founded with her husband, Peter Dixon), an amateur adult performance company.
Heidi is also a registered music teacher with ORMTA, and offers lessons in piano, voice, theory, and music history.
Lauren Jones – Assistant Director
Lauren has always felt The Academy to be a place where magic was created.
Lauren first joined The Academy at the age of eight. As her very first show was Mulan, she is very excited to be a part of this summer’s production – nearly nine years later! Since then Lauren has participated in various workshops with The Academy. She began volunteering with Heidi in 2014 and has never looked back. Last summer she worked with us in the costume department, and she is very excited to be challenging herself in her new role, and is extremely excited to work with so many talented people!
Next year Lauren will be studying at Humber College in Toronto focusing on the production of theatre. She is very thankful to Heidi for helping develop her passion over the years, and she hopes that she can spark the same light of interest with everyone she works with this summer.
“I’m so excited to work with new faces and returning actors! It’s going to be a truly amazing season, filled with even better shows!!”
Alyssa Fluit – Musical Director
Alyssa has been attending the Academy since grade 3, with her first production being High School Musical. Ever since then, she has had the pleasure of being in many different shows including Glee, Academy Idol, and The Who’s Tommy. While she enjoys everything the theatre has to offer, Alyssa’s main focus has always been singing. Through the Academy for Musical Theatre, Alyssa had the opportunity to take vocal lessons throughout the last four years of high school, eventually working to achieve a Grade 8 Royal Conservatory Level, and her Advanced Rudiments theory in Grade 11.
Following graduation from high school this June, Alyssa has decided to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Community Music at Wilfrid Laurier University this fall. She is so excited to be studying a topic that has become a big part of her life over the years, and hopes to one day be a high school music teacher.
Most of all, Alyssa is excited to have the opportunity to spend her first summer with the Academy as a staff member, and can’t wait to spend an amazing two months teaching people who have also fallen in love with The Academy.
Wren Puckett has been dancing since she was three years old, training in a variety of styles and disciplines. Wren has been teaching dance classes and choreographing pieces at Arts in Motion Perth School of Dance since she was thirteen and enjoys watching students learn and grow. Wren attends McMaster University where she studies Honours Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour with a minor in Anthropology. She continues to pursue her passion for dance and enjoys sharing this passion with others. This is her third year with the Academy of Musical Theatre. She immensely enjoyed working with all of the students and staff and is very excited to be returning for another summer taking on new challenges and making more memories!
Hannah Delion, Costumes Manager
Hannah has been in love with theatre since she first performed with the Academy in The Sound of Music at age eight. She has since been involved with The Academy in several productions, and as with A.L.I.T. program in the summer of 2016. Her appreciation for music fostered at The Academy has also driven her to complete her Royal Conservatory of Music Intermediate Rudiments Musical Theory and Level 6 Voice exams. This year, she had an executive role in the Ottawa Carleton Educational Space Simulation leading planetariums and science demonstrations for children. She looks forward to working with children this summer and sharing her enthusiasm for all aspects of theatre. Hannah is enrolled in Honours Biology Program in Extended French at the University of Ottawa, where she will be attending this fall. She hopes to find new opportunities for artistic growth in amateur music and theatre in this new stage of her life.
Amber Collins – Technical Director
Amber has been participating in shows at the Academy for four wonderful years. She is very excited to be working as the technical director at the Academy for another great summer! Amber recently graduated high school where she participated in her schools Special High Skills Major program for the dramatic arts. She was also a part of Gluten Free Productions, which was the grade 12 theatre company, and worked both backstage and onstage with their three performances throughout the school year. Next year Amber will be attending Carleton University for their English program with a minor in Drama Studies.
Madison Miernik – Crafts & Properties Manager
Madison Miernik first took to the stage at age three. She is very excited to start her first year employed at the Academy. Madi has appeared in more than a dozen Academy of Musical Theatre productions, including The Mikado, Lord of the Rings and Glee. She has also enjoyed key roles in the Orion Theatre Company’s Les Miserables and Perth Community Choir’s Oliver and Secret Garden productions. Madison’s first professional acting experience was the role of Gloria in Frederick Knott’s Wait Until Dark at the Classic Theatre Festival. She has taken vocal, piano and dance lessons in Ontario and on the Gold Coast in Australia. Madi is originally from Perth, and she has loved spending her summers with the Academy and hopes there are many more Academy summers to come!
Donna is an Enthusiastic, Energetic, Engaging, and Excited Entertainer, Educator, Manager, Leader, and Artist. She runs a company called Sunny Shenanigans which entertains and educates children and adults through variety shows and different styles of workshops using puppets and masks. She has worked with a variety of theatre companies doing costumes, props, stage management and acting. She loves to teach and create new things and enjoys opportunities to enhance and improve her skills and share her knowledge with others.