Instructors

Meet Our Board Of Directors

The HCTA Team

Robin Boxwell

Robin Boxwell

Robin has been working in the industry since 1993. His career covers a diversity of roles as Designer, Technical Director and Production Manager for companies in and around British Columbia for over 25 years. He has been a special effects supervisor for film and live theatre performances as well as Sound Designer for large scale touring musicals. His independent production company, Rhino Productions, has employed countless technicians over the years and is well known in the industry. Robin also provides training workshops for industry professionals in a variety of areas.

Charlotte DeRook

Charolotte Derook
Charlotte’s life’s occupations have provided her with skills in communications, supervision, training, confidentiality, labour relations, planning, management responsibilities, and purchasing and receiving. Her duties and responsibilities related to a Confidential Secretary included technical and non-technical correspondence, scheduling, filing and library systems, budgeting, dispatching, and processing and coding accounts for payment and payroll. Charlotte has over thirty years experience dealing with Municipal Government, business and other officials, and the general public. Her experience also extends to development of Operational Guidelines and maintaining Emergency and Media Plans. Charlotte is associated with fundraising for many organizations, both large and small. Her biggest accomplishment was achieved while chairing the Nanaimo BC Children’s Hospital Committee for five years by raising over $250,000.

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Jennifer Kelly

Jennifer Kelly, Instructor.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Jennifer is delighted to have found roots on Vancouver Island. After graduating with a degree in Drama and Vocal Performance from Queen’s University, she enjoyed working as a theatre manager, actress and feature singer for several cruise lines. Jennifer also had the privilege of directing the theatre program for three years at Southridge School in Vancouver. She is currently a performing arts teacher for District 69, and Qualicum Beach School of Dance where she instructs Choral Music, Speech Arts, Acting and Musical Theatre. Jennifer has had the pleasure of performing with local theatre companies, Bard to Broadway, Schmooze Productions, and ECHO Players. She has earned the North Island Theatre Zone best actress and best ensemble awards. Jennifer also received best director for at the Vancouver Island One Act Play Festival. She feels extremely fortunate to teach, perform and direct in this vibrant arts community.

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Sandra Larocque

Sandra Larocque

Born and raised here in Nanaimo, Sandra has served on many boards and volunteer societies. She’s been a hairdresser and esthetician for 24 years and currently works at Nordia. Currently the president of the Friend’s of Morden Mine Society, Sandra and the group are in the process of saving a 100-year-old head frame and tipple 

from collapse. Sandra has a strong desire to preserve our heritage and also promote the arts. She says, “This is our legacy for the rest of time.”

 

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Blake McGuffie

Blake McGuffie

Blake McGuffie was born and raised in Nanaimo, and has enjoyed a lovely west coast life with his wife, Lois. Blake’s many years of contributions to the community span across the political, educational, financial, and real estate sectors. He joined the HCTAS board in 2015.

As a Nanaimo City Councillor and Regional Director from 1990-1993 and 1996-1999, Blake has also served on and chaired various City committees since 1998. Blake is the founder of two tax services, Esplanade Tax and Budget Tax Service, and has been the owner of Esplanade Properties Inc. since 1980,  which owns a mixed Commercial/Residential building in 

downtown Nanaimo. He also instructed tax courses for Vancouver Island University and was a Founding Director and Treasurer of the E-File Association of Canada.

Blake’s ongoing community service includes serving as a Director for the Nanaimo Child Development Centre (1976 to Date), the Vancouver Island Symphony Society (2014 to Date), as a Director for the South End Community Association (2000 to Date), and the Nanaimo Foodshare Society (1996 to Date).

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Lauren Semple

Lauren Semple
Lauren, a passionate performing and visual artist with 24 years of experience, joined the board of HCTAS in 2017. As one half of the Humanity In Art duo, Lauren can be found painting murals and creating public art around town with their partner, Lys. Lauren is also the Festival Producer for the Hub City Walls Mural Festival. As a facilitator, communications professional and project manager, Lauren has worked within the not-for-profit, public service, and tourism sectors. As an LGBTQ2 + advocate, Lauren has served as the President of the Nanaimo Pride Society, facilitates various community events, and  provides Inclusivity and LGBTQ2+ Customer Service training to businesses and organizations in the community.

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Erik Tully

Erik Tully
Erik Tully, lighting designer,actor, brings almost 50 years in the entertainment business experience to the board of the Harbour City Theatre Alliance.These days he concentrates on smaller productions and the space at the HCT suits his desire perfectly. He welcomes all sizes of groups to our theatre. His vision is to make HCT the best little theatre in the mid-island area.

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Dean Chadwick

Dean Chadwick

When Dean co-founded Schmooze Productions with his wife Diane in 1999, he dreamed of producing theatrical opportunities for local artists. Now, 20 years later, he finds himself surrounded with incredible directors, designers, crew, musicians and performers. Schmooze Productions has a great home at the Harbour City Theatre in Nanaimo, where they are able to create two incredible shows each season that rely on the talents of hundreds of people.  Creating local live theatre really is a dream come true.

Providing an affordable space for others to create theatre, became a battle cry for Dean, when the City of Nanaimo was almost forced to close the doors of a local theatre space in 2014.  Upon the news, Dean with the support of other local theatre and business professionals created the Harbour City Theatre Alliance Society and procured the city contract to keep the financially struggling building open as a performing arts centre.  In the first few years, the HCTAS team managed to more than double their number of attendees per year, and bring their days of usage up from 58% in 2014 to 87% in 2018, establishing the Harbour City Theatre as the premiere small venue stage in Nanaimo.

As the General Manager and Artistic Director for both, Schmooze Productions and the Harbour City Theatre Alliance Society, Dean enjoys the creative process. Excitement and exhilaration abound when he starts the directorial process. Guiding actors, creating pictures, and developing scenes keeps him energized during the rehearsal process. Making choices that will engage, engross and affect the audience is the ultimate goal for success. Challenging actors to step, or leap, outside of their comfort zones is the foundation for interesting theatre.

Dean’s directorial credits include: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Pirates of Penzance, All Grown Up, Oliver, Agnes Of God, Leading Ladies, Prok, All The Great Books Abridged, The Full Monty, The Rocky Horror Show (2002, 2011, 2016), Sweeney Todd, Spring Awakening, Spamalot, La Cage Aux Folles, Square, Fiddler on the Roof, RENT, Footloose, Next to Normal, Little Dog Laughed, Urinetown, The Little Mermaid, HAIR, Hand to God, Chicago, and A Christmas Carol (X2). He loves directing all types of shows including dramas, comedies, musicals, and farces.

From a very early age, Dean was an actor, a word that encompasses so many different styles. He remembers the smiles of his relatives as he sang and danced across the hearth of the fireplace.  It was never about the applause for Dean; conversely, it was about how he could make other people feel. He loves all of it: acting, singing and dancing. There is nothing more

 rewarding as an actor to make choices that affect your fellow performers, your directors and ultimately your audience. His absolute favourite roles include: Sweeney Todd, Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Max & Tito in Lend Me A Tenor, Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Billy Flynn in Chicago, and Archie Craven in A Secret Garden. He has developed many others but these ones have a strong hold on his heart.

Dean is a teacher, both philosophically and practically. During his training at Vancouver Island University, he participated in a plethora of Drama, Theatre, and Creative Writing courses, including script writing and analysis. Today, he is proud to be a retired elementary school teacher, where he spent 22 years honing his skills to connect to a wide variety of individuals, then applying those skills to instructing actors in his other passion, theatre. Dean loves to guide performers to challenge their artistic choices, build believable and flawed characters, and create performances that embody the entire actor.  All of Dean’s teaching, theatre, and communication skills afforded him the position of an Adjudicator in the 2019 Echo Players One-Act Play Festival in Qualicum, BC.

There is an entirely different side to theatre that Dean also adores: production.  In his career, he has been lucky enough to learn from incredible directors, designers, and technicians on every production.  From each opportunity, he finds numerous skills to add to his toolkit.  Production also describes the business side of theatre.  Balancing budgets and making a profit are as important in theatre as in any business.

After years of helping to create a thriving theatre scene in Nanaimo, Dean is the proud recipient of the City of Nanaimo’s Honour in Culture Award for 2019 in recognition of his work as an actor, director, producer, technician and culture leader.  This year also brought recognition from Theatre BC, as the recipient of the Best Supporting Actor Award during their Mainstage Festival for his role as Otto Frank in the Diary of Anne Frank for Nanaimo Theatre Group.

This year, 2020, brought the opportunity to simultaneously portray Archibald Craven in A Secret Garden for Echo Players in Qualicum, while also directing a 50th Anniversary (Schmooze Productions 20th anniversary) performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice’s Rock Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. Harbour City Theatre Alliance Society is also celebrating a new 10 year lease with the City of Nanaimo, ensuring another decade of great theatre in Nanaimo!

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