Theatrix Youtheatre Society – Faculty

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Lauren Hillman – Artistic Director
Instructor for: Productions, Lunchbox Theatre, Spotlight Theatre, Summer Camps

Lauren Hillman is an actor, writer, director, and all-round creative artist from Vancouver, B.C. She received her BFA in Acting from the University of Windsor in 2007 and favorite on stage roles include Puck (Midsummer Night’s Dream), Charlotte/Nurse (7 Stories), Amalia Balash (Parfumerie), and Maria (The Government Inspector).

Lauren has been working as a theatre instructor and director of youth productions for 18 years. She is a co-founder of Stage One Theatre in her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a graduate of the Stratford Academy summer intensive program, and has written and published her first novel, a middle-grade fantasy called Outcast.

Lauren has been a regular instructor with Theatrix’s Lunchbox Theatre, Spotlight Theatre, and spring and summer camps for ten years and now also directs the Production program. Lauren has great faith in her students’ abilities, and her greatest joy comes from seeing them improve beyond what they’d thought possible.

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Deborah Solberg – Operations Manager

Deborah is founding Artistic Director of Theatrix Youtheatre Society, which incorporated as a non-profit, charitable performing arts organization in 1991.

  • Over the last three decades, she collaborated with thousands of kids to create shows as a vehicle to learn confidence and self-expression.
  • Deborah produced and directed over 100 productions, from short school touring shows to full scale musical theatre productions.
  • She is playwright for over 30 original plays, with a passion for adapting classical children’s literature.
  • Theatrix is a 17-time Theatre BC festival award winner.
  • Young people in Theatrix programs have become professional actors, dancers and singers around the world.

Heading into the 30th anniversary in 2021, it is time to pass the Artistic Director hat to Lauren Hillman and assume the new role of Operations Manager.

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Stef Delisimunovic – Theatre Instructor
Instructor for: Lunchbox Theatre, Spotlight Theatre, Classes, Summer Camps

Stef is thrilled to share her love for musical theatre with everyone at Theatrix. She discovered her love of performing at a young age which led to her pursuing her passion at Lindbjerg Academy, Gotta Sing Gotta Dance and various community theatre groups. In 2019, she graduated from Randolph College for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Recent credits include: Astrid in Once Upon a Fairytale (Capricorn Productions) Oolie/Donna Understudy in City of Angels (RCPA), Pure Mind in More Light (RCPA), and Emma in Confessions of a Grocery Clerk (Capricorn Productions).

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Ashley Binette – Theatre Instructor
Instructor for: Lunchbox Theatre, Summer Camps, Production and Special Event Choreography

Ashley found her love for dance and performing at a very young age. With over 20 years in the performing arts industry, she has earned titles such as National Gold Champion for two consecutive years in dance competitions in Las Vegas and Orlando, as well as National Silver Champion in Portland, Oregon.

Ashley is trained in tap, hip hop, jazz, musical theatre and ballet and has trained with many masters, including Jeni Le Gon, Jason Samuels Smith and Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo (NappyTabs).

She was a backup dancer for Tazneem Tarmohamed, has been featured in television commercials such as Alley Cats, and performed in local productions, including For The Luv Of It, West Side Story and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Ceremony.  Ashley is always eager to share her knowledge and continue to learn in every aspect in the performing arts industry.

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Haley Klein – Theatre Instructor
Instructor for: Partnership programs with the ACT

Haley Klein is currently studying at Kwantlyn Polytechnic University to become an Education Assistant. Haley has five years of teaching experience at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre as well as self-employed lessons. Theatre, dance and vocal training involved four years in the Performing Arts Academy at Garibaldi Secondary and Bergthorson Academy of Music Performing Arts Academy. Lead roles include Ariel in Footloose and Sandy in Grease. Haley specializes in working with parent and tots.

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Makayla Leonard – Theatre Instructor
Instructor for: Lunchbox Theatre, Spotlight Theatre, Classes

Makayla Leonard has been creative since she was young. Starting as a dancer at the age of 5, she trained in several dance styles including: Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, and Song and Dance. She eventually joined Abbotsford Children’s Theatre (ACT) and made her debut with them in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever which 5 years later also ended up being her last play with them.

Makayla has had the opportunity to play many amazing roles but some of her favourites include: Iago in Aladdin (CDG), Gerda in The Snow Queen (ACT), Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music (ASIA), Emily in Finding a Chord (ASIA), and Susan in The Late Christopher Bean (Surrey Little Theatre).

Makayla has a passion for teaching children and enjoys allowing them to express themselves through the art of Musical Theatre. Makayla truly believes if you can talk you can sing, if you can move you can dance, and if you can smile, you can make someone’s day.

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Yurgen Ilaender – Composer / Entertainer

A German native, Mr. I started teaching at the Maillardville facility in 1982 after the person he was substituting for took another job. With a diploma from Vancouver Community College (with additional training from UBC, University of Calgary and University of Washington), he created his Musical Rainbow based on the Kodaly and Montessori concepts.

Under those streams, children set their own course while the instructor acts as an advisor on such techniques as sequence, rhythm and movement. Yurgen is a composer for decades of Theatrix original musicals. He teaches throughout the lower mainland and is a popular festival
performer.

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