Meet the actOUT! Team!
Todd Vercoe, B.A., M.A.
Director Les Misérables School Edition
Director 12 Angry Jurors
Director The Tragedy of MacBeth
A lifelong student and teacher of games, play, and theatre, Todd has instructed or lectured in games, play and drama for the Toronto Board of Education, South Korea's Inje University and the University of Waterloo. A graduate of the York University Department of Theatre where he studied directing and playwriting, he earned his Masters Degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is the founding Artistic Director of Toronto's Open Mind Productions and was faculty advisor to the R.E.D. Theatre Company of Gimhae, South Korea over ten seasons. Todd's directing credits include: Dark Ages Romance, The Takeover Clause, The Gray Zone and Theatre of the Film Noir. Some of the student productions he has supervised include: Othello, West Side Story, The Crucible and The Importance of Being Ernest. Most recently with actOUT! he directed Don't Mention My Name and A Midsummer Night's Dream. As playwright he has penned The Scheme of Things, Wake Me Gently and most recently The Petition Against Coffee.
Amy Neufeld, B.A.
Dramatic Elements Instructor
Dramaturge The Tragedy of MacBeth
Originally from Ontario, Amy Neufeld spent ten years in Edmonton Alberta working as an actor, teacher and administrator. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in English and Grant MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts program focusing on musical theatre, Amy has acted with multiple companies in Alberta, and taught at the Citadel Theatre, for Freewill Players, and for Theatre Prospero. She believes strongly in a learning through play approach to teaching, and absolutely loves to play theatre games! In addition to teaching many classes, she has also written several scripts for her students to perform. She is happy to once again call Kitchener-Waterloo home and looks forward to an exciting new season teaching new and returning faces in the Dramatic Elements program!
Olga Denisova, B. Econ., B.A.
Director of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Music Director of Les Misérables School Edition
Summer Camp Coordinator
A music director, independent music instructor and vocalist, Olga holds an Advanced Diploma from School of Arts (Russia), majoring in piano, choir and conducting, as well as a B.A. with Intense Music Specialization from the University of Waterloo.
Olga has been music director of actOUT!'s performances of Beauty and the Beast Jr., Fiddler on the Roof Jr., and Disney's The Lion King Jr.
Music education has always been Olga’s passion and she has taught music since 2013. She has taught at the Ontario Conservatory of Music, the Guelph Academy of Music and the KSM School of Music, to name but a few.
In addition to volunteering as Vocal Ensemble Director at Community Music School of Waterloo Region she has spent a few terms as a Choir Director Assistant in Chapel Choir and the University of Waterloo Community Choir.
Olga’s Motto:100% of Success = 10% Talent + 90% Practice
Anita V. Smith, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.
Director of AristoCats KIDS
Drama Basics Instructor
Dramatic Elements Instructor
Anita is thrilled to be joining actOUT! this year and excited about her new adventure. She has directed school musicals during her long teaching career and even during her recent retirement continues to work with several school choirs. Anita loves to sing all kinds of music, from barbershop with the Sweet Adelines to folk and classical while preparing students for the annual Kodaly Festival at the Centre in the Square. With Blues and Jazz as her favourite genres Anita can’t wait to work with the cast of AristoCats!
Jennifer Mogbock, B.F.A.
Summer Camp Coordinator
Choreographer of Willy Wonka KIDS
For two year Jennifer has served as actOUT!'s choreographer. In 2017 she choreographed Elf Jr.,Beauty and the Beast Jr. and Fiddler on the Roof Jr. In 2018 she made her directorial debut with actOUT!'s staging of Disney's Lion King Jr. A few of Jennifer's past credits include King John (Stratford Festival), Damages Dangle (Theatre For The New City NYC), As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), and Conviction (ABC). Jennifer is on hiatus to pursue her M.F.A. at New York University but hopes to return again next summer for our drama camps.
Stage Manager Les Misérables School Edition
Stage Manager The Tragedy of MacBeth
Aidan comes from a theater background and is excited to join the actOUT! family. An active member of the community, Aidan is involved in the Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival in Elmira as a member of their educational show team educating youth on life in the middle ages.
Samantha van der Bent
Stage Manager of 12 Angry Jurors
Stage Manager of AristoCats KIDS
Samantha has previously volunteered and acted with actOUT! over five years and has returned to Stage Manager 12 Angry Jurors and Aristocats KIDS for us this season. Currently a student studying film and television at Sheridan College. She aspires to make a difference in the industry and in the lives of audiences everywhere.
Stage Manager of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sydney is excited to be return to the actOUT! team after stage managing last year’s Don’t Mention My Name. A graduate of Sheridan College’s Technical Production for Theatre and Live program, she volunteers with Rogers TV in multiple aspects of television production. Some of her Stage Management credits include: Amadeus, Come From Away, and RENT! (Theatre Sheridan); Betrayal (NorteSur Artistic Productions); and adaptations of The Sound of Music, The Music Man, The Pirates of Penzance and Into the Woods (Burlington Student Theatre).
Samantha Braun, B.A.
Summer Camp Coordinator
Samantha was thrilled to stage manage Fiddler on the Roof Jr., Seussical Kids, and Disney's Lion King Jr. Samantha has studied and worked in film and theatre for studios and productions in Toronto, New York City and Los Angeles. She is so excited to be back in her home town of Kitchener-Waterloo and to be a part of actOUT!'s wonderful team!
Keith Hagerman, B.A., B.Mus., M.Div., M.S.M.
Keith Hagerman was thrilled to be the Music Director of Seussical KIDS he was also actOUT!'s musical director for Elf Jr. His previous theatre performance credits include Bastien und Bastienne (Opera Nova Scotia); Solidarity: The Musical (Berwick Camp); The Telephone (Festival Antigonish); Die Fledermaus (Theatre Antigonish); Vienna Waltzes (Opera NS); Chez Maxim 1905 (Opera NS); Music of the Night (#1,2,3,4 – Musical Theatre, Antigonish); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Chalmers UC, Kintore). Locally, Keith has performed with Da Capo Chamber Choir, Grand Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Spiritus Ensemble, Waterloo County Carollers, Wellington Winds, and CAMMAC.
To the cast – "I love watching you grow into your characters and find your voice!"
March Break and Summer Camp Instructor
A recent graduate of Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Shaneiza loves working with children and has served as a March Break and summer drama camp counsellor and leader at actOUT! for five seasons. In addition, she was vocal director for actOUT!'s production of Sleeping Beauty KIDS. A talented dancer, Shaneiza also dances at the Contemporary School of Dance doing monthly performances and assisting with grade one ballet classes. Shaneiza looks forward to the next fun actOUT! camp to continue to spread the theatre love before going on to study at the University of Waterloo.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2017-2018
Lori Reiser – Chair (email Chair)
Mandy Jo McMurray – Vice Chair/Volunteer Coordinator (email Volunteer Coordinator)
Ashley Penney– Secretary
Jon Cardinall – Treasurer (email Treasurer)
Breanna MacLeod – Grants, Asst. Treasurer
Courtney Zinn – Ticketing (email Ticketing)
Shannon Sullivan – Volunteer Coordinator/Marketing (email Volunteer Coordinator)
Elvia Perez – Member-at-Large
Todd Vercoe – Artistic Director (email Artistic Director)
Christine Schindler – Immediate Past Chair
ActOUT! would never be able to function without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. We can never thank them enough.
ActOUT! The Kitchener-Waterloo Children's Drama Workshop is a proud member of: