Heidi Stepanek – Owner/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.
Lauren Jones – Acting Director
Lauren has always felt The Academy to be a place where magic was created.
Lauren is entering her second and final year at Humber College for Theatre Arts – Technical Production. In this program Lauren learns all about the magic behind the scenes of theatre such as wardrobe, scenic paint, props, puppetry and even more. She always believed that she was meant to be a part of a creative team like The Academy. This is her third season as a staff member at The Academy but has been participating in workshops since the age of eight. As Acting Director, Lauren will be working with each individual during the workshops blocking scenes and sharing her knowledge of the stage in order to put on the best shows ever!
“Every day I learn from our students and I always have new ideas and new dreams for our shows. It’s the best feeling ever”
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 music. With Heidi as her teacher, Alyssa has had the opportunity to take vocal lessons throughout high school, eventually working to achieve Level 8 Royal Conservatory and her Advanced Rudiments theory.
Alyssa is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Community Music at Wilfrid Laurier University and is entering her second year 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 second summer 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 for Musical Theatre.
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 fourth 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!
Liam Gossam, Costumes Manager
Liam is a graduate of the Algonquin College Theatre Arts program. Design credits include Mambo Italiano (hair and makeup design, costume assistant), Tough (co-costumer with designer, Amanda Logan). Other crew credits include Into the Woods (Orion Theatre Company) and Frankenstein (Algonquin College). For two years in a row, he has been a counselor for Ottawa Little Theatre March break camps. Also a performer, past roles have included Perchik (Fiddler on The Roof), Herod (Jesus Christ Superstar), Charlie Cowell (The Music Man) for Suzart Productions, and Leaf Coneybear (Spelling Bee) for Suzart After Dark.
Amber Collins – Technical Director
Amber is very excited to return to the Academy for her third summer as a staff member! She is incredibly excited to work with all the students in many new and exciting ways. Amber joined the Academy as a student in the summer of 2013 and has been back every year since, working in various areas of each production. She loves having the chance to return to the Academy each summer and getting to work with so many talented students and staff members! Amber is currently studying English at Carleton University, with a minor in Drama Studies. She is looking forward to being able to connect her studies with the experience of working in the field of dramatic arts. Each show that she has been a part of has been such a unique and fun experience, she can’t wait to see what this summer has in store!
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.
Steven Fenn – Properties Manager
Steven has been involved with the Academy since the summer of 2015. Taking part in various theatrical productions since 2006, Steven has held various roles both on and off stage. In his years of experience, Steven has grown quite fond of working backstage, serving as stage manager at his former high school for three years. Steven has also volunteered with multiple youth organizations, running crafts and activities for children of varying age groups.
Steven is enrolled at Queen’s University, where he is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
This is Steven’s first summer working for the Academy of Musical Theatre, where he hopes to help inspire students with the magic of musical theatre as he was at a young age.