Carousel Theatre Staff
Carole Higgins, Artistic & Managing Director
Carole has the best job in the whole world! Her many directing credits include The Cat in the Hat, The Wizard of Oz Birdbrain, A Year with Frog and Toad, Love You Forever and More Munsch Seussical, Silverwing, The Big League, Peter Pan and many other plays for Carousel Theatre, and ‘Nucklehead Fever for Western Canada Theatre and TheatreOne. She has received six Jessie Nominations and two Jessie Award for Directing. As an actor she has played in regional theatres across British Columbia,including Western Canada Theatre, the Caravan Farm Theatre and TheatreOne. Carole has a BFA in Acting from Simon Fraser University. She loves creating and producing theatre for young audiences and clearly remembers the magic of seeing her first play at age three.
As a child growing up in Vancouver, Aliyah fondly remembers watching Carousel Theatre productions and seeing stories come to life on stage. She is excited to now be a part of this incredible organization that continues to create imaginative, inspiring and enlightening experiences that expose young and old alike to the magic of theatre. Aliyah is an MBA graduate from the Sauder School of Business at UBC and combines this business knowledge with a passion for the performing arts. She looks forward to being part of the next steps in Carousel Theatre’s journey and aspires to contribute to a world where all young people can experience the joy of creative expression.
Monique Pearson, Administrative Coordinator
Since graduating from high school in Squamish, Monique has received her Technical Theatre Diploma from Vancouver Island University and her Arts and Entertainment Management Certificate from Capilano University. It is thanks to this program that Monique landed a job with the fabulous Carousel Theatre. She is thrilled be a part of the Carousel team and to continue expanding her knowledge in the wonderful world of theatre administration!
Gaelan Beatty, Theatre School Assistant Instructor
Gaelan is a small town boy who moved to the big city with big dreams a decade ago. A few years later he followed his dreams by going to Langara College’s acting training program, Studio 58. Upon graduation he headed off into the world to ply his trade and lucked out with some great opportunities. He’s performed on stages across the city and the country with many companies including Carousel Theatre, for whom he played in The Big League as well as in their Jessie Award winning production of Birdbrain. He also lucked out with his amazing and talented girlfriend Melissa.
Jackie Blackmore, Theatre School Instructor
Jackie Blackmore is a professional film, TV & theatre actor, improv performer, physical comedian, award-wining playwright and director. Jackie began acting at age 6 as a little pink mouse in her elementary school’s production of The Pied Piper but her most recent performing highlights include: V, Stargate Universe, Proof, The Skinny Presents: Adventures in X-Ray Theatre!, and improvising weekly onstage with the Vancouver Theatresports Rookie League. She is passionate about of acting and loves teaching theatre to kids & teens at Carousel Theatre!
Lisa Bunting, Theatre School Instructor
Lisa is a stage, screen and voice performer and an audiobook narrator. She is currently on staff at Carousel Theatre, Richmond Academy of Dance, Surrey Arts Centre and Arts Umbrella and has also taught at the Arts Club’s Musical Theatre Intensive (SAC), Theatre Terrific, the Sears Provincial High School Drama Festival and as a private coach. Lisa attended the National Theatre School.
Kayla Dunbar, Theatre School Assistant Instructor
Kayla Dunbar is a fresh graduate of Studio 58 where she was the choreographer of the acclaimed new musical The Park. She has been seen in productions with companies such as: Studio 58, Carousel Theatre, Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver Playhouse, The Virtual Stage, Gateway Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars, and Royal City Musical Theatre. Kayla has been teaching dance and theatre to all ages since she was fourteen. She is the choreographer for the Arts Club Musical Theatre Intensive in Surrey. Kayla thinks Carousel is a magical place and she’s so excited to be assisting at the theatre school.
Laura Jaszcz, Theatre School Instructor
Laura is a Vancouver based actress and instructor, last seen in Carousel Theatre’s Munscha Mia. She brings over 15 years of arts education experience from centres such as Carousel, Arts Umbrella, Strathcona and many others. Laura has performed with Carousel Theatre (Munscha Mia, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and Munsch Alley), Gateway Theatre (Brigadoon), Chemainus Theatre Festival (The Wizard of Oz), and Mad Duck (The Tempest and Titus Andronicus). In film and television, she can be seen in Alcatraz, Supernatural, Reaper, Secrets of Comfort House, the Chris Isaak Show, and various commercials. She is currently learning to play the ukulele.
Victor Mariano, Theatre School Instructor
Victor is a Vancouver-based actor whose recent professional credits include The Objecthood of Chairs (SFU), House of Kosa (TigerMilk Collective), Banana Boys (Firehall Theatre), Quasimodo Or The Bell Ringer of Paree (Boca del Lupo), Silverwing (Carousel Theatre), The Soldier’s Tale (Turning Point Ensemble), and Skin (Henry Daniel). Besides teaching at Carousel Theatre, Vic is also an acting instructor at Simon Fraser University where he received his BFA in Theatre.
Marcie Nestman, Theatre School Instructor
Marcie is an actor, voice-over actor, and theatre instuctor. Marcie has been seen in Carousel Theatre’s The Secret World of Og and played the role of Bobby in the BC tour of The Big League. She can also be heard as the narrator for children’s books and many other various voice-over projects. Marcie finds that her passion for acting and voice-over is ignited by teaching children the fundamentals of theatre. She is a graduate of the Mount Royal Theatre Diploma Program in Calgary, AB. For more information please visit her website at www.marcienestman.com
Melissa Oei, Theatre School Assistant Instructor
Melissa was born and raised in Vancouver where she studied theatre at Studio 58 and has worked as an actor and teacher with Carousel Theatre for several years. Melissa has appeared onstage with Carousel in Seussical, Love you Forever and more Munsch, and most recently Aesop’s Fables for which she and her castmates were nominated for a Jessie Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. This summer, Melissa will assist director Carole Higgins with Teen Shakespeare Program’s Hamlet. Melissa resides in her lovely one bedroom apartment in beautiful North Vancouver with her boyfriend Gaelan.
Christine Quintana, Theatre School Assistant Instructor
Christine is so excited to be joining the fun at Carousel’s Theatre School as an Assistant Instructor. Christine recently completed her BFA in Acting at the University of British Columbia, where she trained in voice, movement, dance, singing, text analysis, dialects, and film acting. Christine has appeared on stage at Carousel in Seussical and The Wizard of Oz, and works as a playwright, producer and actor for her own company, Delinquent Theatre.