Meet Our Teachers

At New West Theatre, we value building community and character through arts programming. This means that our educators are teaching more than music or acting skills, they are teaching life skills.

Heather Gallipeau 

 

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Bio:

Originally from Prince George, B.C., Heather finds herself in Lethbridge for University where she is studying Drama and Education. You may recognize her from New West Theatre’s recent production of Girls Like That as Scarlet or the University of Lethbridge’s Alice: A devised adaptation of L. Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland where she was one of five Alice’s.

Heather believes that the theatre is a place for creative expression and exploration with the potential to build community and character both on and offstage. She has an array of experience in facilitating children’s programming and teaching drama camps and workshops to youth of all ages. Heather is excited to grow the theatre program at New West Theatre as the new Director of Education.

When did you fall in love with the arts?

There are two moments that stand out for me! I remember being in a grade 6 or 7 drama classroom for the first time. I remember how easy it was to be accepted in that space. I had a really hard time making friends as a kid, and there was something magical about the drama room. It felt so much easier to be the crazy kid that I was without the social pressure that loomed in the hallways.

The second moment where I honestly fell head-over-heels in love with theatre was on a high school exchange to Australia. I went from a pretty grim high school experience in Northern B.C. where I was failing my grade 11 drama class (among other classes) to spending a year at the third ranked country school in Australia. I was exposed to so much possibility in both life and in theatre. I was engulfed in arts and culture in a way that changed the direction of my life forever.

What classes are you teaching this year?

I will be leading the Theatre School this Winter! Once all the snow finally disappears, then I will be running the summer camps for a second year running!

Misha Maseka

 

Bio:

Misha Maseka is an opera singer, musical theatre enthusiast and passionate collaborator. Growing up, she immersed herself in performing. With the culmination of competing in festivals, participating in local theatre and completely her music degree at University of Lethbridge, Misha had the opportunity to perform in Europe for a period, honing her performance skills in opera. Also working as a private vocal coach, finding the fun throughout the process of strengthening musical technique is what Misha is passionate about in building confidence in her students. Collaboration and the exploration of self through creativity is the ultimate goal in helping the next generation of performers fully realize their creative potential!

When did you fall in love with the arts?

My earliest memory of exposure to the arts was watching a high school production of a musical theatre variety show. The number that has stuck in my memory is a medley of Abba hits, in tribute to the musical Mamma Mia. I was around five years old and completely enamoured by the costumes, the lights, the choreography and music on the stage. I knew I had to figure out a way to be on stage.

In elementary school, I had the privilege of going to a private school that made a point to do a school wide variety show for the end of the year. Since the first grade, I have been exposed to the great musical theatre hits of the 20th century. By the age of ten, I was fully immersed in anything theatrical, performing in competitions and participating in school plays. The arts, specifically music and theatre helped me discover myself.

What classes are you teaching this year?

I will be teaching both the Little Stars Music and Movement as well as the Musical Theatre Club – which I am so excited about!