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March Break Boot Camp

Huron Country Playhouse

2024 Season Sponsor

March Break Broadway Blockbusters Boot Camp in fancy font

Ages: 9 – 18
Location: Huron Country Playhouse (70689 B Line. Grand Bend)
Date: Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 15
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Cost: $395 plus tax

Learn FOUR production numbers from mega-hit Broadway shows. Performers will receive practical insight into how big musical numbers are rehearsed and performed while they work with professional artists to produce a showcase of hit Broadway songs and scenes. Building on the fundamentals of singing, acting, and movement, students will develop an understanding of reading sheet music, vocal production, choreography and creating dynamic characters within the ensemble. The Final Showcase will be presented on Friday, March 15 at 3:00 p.m. In addition, students will attend Master Classes with Industry Professionals in Stage Combat, Audition Technique and On Camera Acting.

Melissa Morris

Melissa Morris

Melissa Morris is a composer, director, actor, singer, musician, musical director, playwright, and educator. She is a double graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, with a Bachelor’s in Music and Drama, and a Master’s in Cultural Studies where she researched verbatim musical theatre. Melissa’s career as a performer has taken her across North America and the Caribbean, where she has had the pleasure of working at Chemainus Theatre, Drayton Festival, Theatre Orangeville, Port Hope Festival, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Stirling Theatre, Upper Canada Playhouse, Orillia Opera House, Gravenhurst Opera House, Theatre Collingwood, Theatre Kingston, and on a cruise ship. She was Resident Musical Director/Composer at St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival for 10 seasons and has musical directed at different companies in Canada. Directing opera is one of her passions, and has directed Don Giovanni and Susannah for Toronto City Opera. She played Annie Kenney in the Watershed Music Theatre Festival’s world premiere of Leslie Arden’s new musical, Lancashire Lass, and has performed the one-woman musical Sweetheart by Dean Burry. Melissa composed music for the Off-Broadway hit Evil Dead the Musical, which has had productions all over the globe. She is a proud faculty member at both Queen’s University and Sheridan College where she teaches voice, acting, musical theatre courses and music theory. Melissa runs her own private vocal studio in Toronto, where she teaches and coaches singers and actors of all ages.

Jesse Weafer

Jesse began his dance career at the early age of 6 at Jaymor School of Dancing in Aurora Ont. At age 12, he made his first professional debut in the Mirvish production of Jolson. By the time he was 14, he had performed alongside Michael Buble in the hit show Forever Swing. Theatre credits include; “Priscilla Queen of The Desert” (Stage West Calgay) “Kinky Boots” (Norwegian Cruise Lines) “Priscilla Queen of The Desert” (Drayton Entertainment) “Newsies” (Drayton Entertainment) “Jersey Boys”(Stage West Calgary) “ West Side Story” as Baby John (Drayton Entertainment) “Kinky Boots” (Original Canadian Company) Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz” (Original Canadian Company and Original North American Tour Company), lead dancer in Cirque du Soleil’s – Criss Angel “BELIEVE” choreographed by Wade Robson in Las Vegas, the role of “IQ” in “Hairspray” (Original Canadian Company and 1st U.S Broadway National Tour), Hello Dolly and The Tempest (Stratford Festival of Canada). His film credits include; Carrie, Confessions of a Teenage Drama QueenThe Music Man,  Hairspray playing the role of “IQ” starring John Travolta, Queen Latifah and Michelle Pfeiffer. Jesse also appeared in the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance  in Wade Robsonʼs piece “Homage to the Rabbits”. He also performed along side Shawn Desmond at the 2011 Juno Awards on CTV, Far East Movement and DEV at the 2011 MMVA’S. Jesse made his reality television debut in Canada’s hit show So You Think you Can Dance Canada season 3 as a top 16 finalist.  He is thrilled to be living his dream everyday, and looks forward to spreading his passion and knowledge of dance for many years to come.

Megan Alfano

Megan Alfano

Megan has been teaching for over 20 years.  She holds her Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association Full Membership – Ontario Branch (Stage Division); she is an accredited Acrobatics Arts teacher; has completed the Progressing Ballet Technique certification and is a well-respected dance festival and competition adjudicator as a member of the Professional Adjudicators Alliance.  Megan spent over 12 years as the Choreographer and Assistant to the Artistic Director of the Professional Touring Performance Company, Saskatchewan Express as well as being the choreographer at The Grand Theatre (Legally Blonde, Ring of Fire, Addams Family, Colours in the Storm), Drayton Entertainment (Assistant Choreographer for Annie) as well as choreograph several productions for Original Kids Theatre Company. In the summer of 2016 she was excited to help create the inaugural season for programming at the Drayton Theatre’s Youth Musical Theatre Program and continues to be both an instructor and choreographer for their pre-professional company.

Special Workshop Faculty

Siobhan and Matt Richardson

Stage Combat Workshop

Matt and Siobhan are professional actors and fight directors. They have over 50 years of professional stage combat experience between them, including performance, teaching (high schools, universities and professional development) and directing fights for hundreds of productions. Their company, Burning Mountain, is committed to continuous professional development for the growth of the art form and the artist.  They are known world-wide for their approach to stage combat: centering on the actor’s process and time-tested safety principles, with biomechanical specificity of technique from foundation principles of numerous martial arts.

This STAGE COMBAT workshop is an introduction to the foundations of stage combat, specifically safety practices, and an introduction to scene work with fight choreography. Students will learn the foundation safety concepts with accompanying techniques, how to connect to the actors’ process within a fight scene, and may even try out a very short piece of choreography.

david connolly

David Connolly

Audition Skills Master Class

David is the Associate Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, Director of Education for their Youth Academy and Co-Chair of their EDI Committee. He is also an active Disability and Inclusion Advocate who is deeply committed to changing the statistic of being the only male amputee to have performed on Broadway.

For Drayton Entertainment, he has helmed over thirty-five productions including The Prom, Kinky Boots, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mamma Mia! Newsies, Singing In The Rain and their beloved Pantos. David is a recipient of The Ontario Premier’s Award of Excellence and speaker for the DEI Committee of the International Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance. For the past four years, David has curated and moderated a disability inclusion panel at BroadwayCon in New York City to help develop actionable steps to improve disabled representation onstage, and has proudly served as a peer assessor for The Canada Council for the Arts.

David will lead an AUDITION SKILLS workshop focused on both the artistic and business aspects of auditioning. Students will explore all the jobs related to putting on a musical, including casting, plus discuss how to pick appropriate material, how to find out about auditions, representation, unions and overall tips and techniques to gain an edge and feel confident about the process.

Stacy Smith

On-Camera Acting Workshop

Stacy Smith(she/her) is a Genie nominated performer, educator and coach. She has been a professional actor for over 25 years, working in theatres throughout the country and has worked extensively in television and film, with recurring roles on TV in “Rookie Blue” as Zoe Shaw and Sex & Violence starring Olympia Dukakis. Other select film/tv credits include: Law & Order Criminal Intent(Toronto), Monica’s News, Accused, Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Handmaids Tale, Designated Survivor, Murdoch Mysteries, The Detail, Sebastian, Flight of The Butterflies, Blackbird, Jessie Stone, Robson Arms, Relative Chaos, Blessed Stranger, Single Mom, Marion Bridge, Secrets Of Autumn, Wake, Running Into Edna, October 1970, Call Me Fitz, A Town Without Christmas, Heart of A Stranger and The Daily Blade. Theatre experience includes shows with Drayton Entertainment, Theatre Aquarius,
Neptune Theatre, Here For Now, Ships Company, Theatre New Brunswick, Atlantic Theatre Festival, Luna Sea, Off The Leash and Mermaid Theatre. Presently faculty includes Fanshaw College, Acting For Screen and Stage and Theatre Aquarius Theatre School. Other teaching experience includes St. Claire College, The Stratford Festival, Neptune Theatre School, Mohawk College, The Ivey Business School, Dalhousie University, The Foundation for Education, Huron Waves Festival as well as Stacy Smith Coaching which offers online on camera classes and personalized coaching. Stacy is a member of the association of acting coaches and educators.

This ON-CAMERA ACTING workshop is designed to help young performers bring their own life and imagination to actual, age-appropriate TV, voice over and commercial scenes. All students will have time on camera and will work in an encouraging and respectful atmosphere with an experienced film/television/commercial/voice over actor instructor to learn specific and practical skills for auditioning for roles. Learning to use their instincts, adapt to different styles, and take direction are key components of this class.

DJ Carroll

Wizarding Workshop

DJ Carroll is a director, performer, and magician with over 30 years experience in stage combat, improvisation, magic, juggling, special effects makeup and interactive comedy. For 24 of those years, DJ was a high school drama teacher and special education specialist with degrees in both Theatre and Education. He owns and operates the magic and entertainment company, Theatricks, and has led The Battle of Ontario Magicians, The Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival, as well as the Blythe and St Jacobs Harry Potter Festivals. He was the Shakespearean Teacher of the Year at the National Shakespeare Festival for 2010 and 2011, and is the proud recipient of a Waterloo Region Arts Award for Performing Arts.

This WONDROUS WIZARDRY: WHIMSICAL WORKSHOP OF WONDERS will be introduce Wizard Dueling where students will learn the spells, actions and rules of a duel. The workshop is full of magic students engaged in a battle with dramatic ending of course. Then students will participate in a Charms class- where they will learn how to do a magic trick – break it down into the trick versus the “Patter” or acting.

Virtual Guest

Erich Bergen

Virtual Mentor

Erich Bergen is a television, film, and stage actor who starred as Blake Moran on the CBS drama, Madam Secretary, and as Bob Gaudio in the Clint Eastwood-directed feature film, Jersey Boys. Bergen made his Broadway debut starring as Dr Pomatter in Waitress and also appeared in Roundabout Theatre Company National Touring production of Anything Goes as Billy Crocker. Other television credits includeplaying Robert Jones on the final season of Bull, Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, Franklin and Bash, Person of Interest, The Tonight Show, and America’s Got Talent. Erich is a cancer survivor and continues to work on behalf of men’s health awareness worldwide. He also dedicates his time fighting for funding for music education in public schools on behalf of the VH1 Save The Music organization.His self-titled debut album and Never Give Up are available on iTunes. @erichbergen

More 2024 March Break Bootcamp Guest Faculty Announcement Coming Soon!

Supervised drop off available at 8:30 a.m. and pick-up until 4:30 p.m. 
Please plan to bring water and a packed lunch.