Merlene was the owner and director of The Newmarket School of Dance and Theatre Arts from 1985 to 2000. In July of 2000, she began Spotlight Theatre School and the non-profit group: The Voice Impact Project (V.I.P.).
Merlene had the opportunity to study with some of Canada's leading choreographers, directors and playwrights including Mavor Moore, Greg Peterson, Michael Montennaro in the areas of Musical Theatre, Modern Dance, Jazz, Ballet, Fine Arts/Cultural Studies and Script writing. Merlene choreographed for pageants, fund-raisers, musical theatre, children, teens and adults. Merlene wrote original plays for both the Toronto and London Fringe Theatre Festivals. She also wrote plays about the life of Abolitionist Sojourner Truth and the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, which is currently performed by York Region Schools.
Merlene's students have competed in Ontario, New York, California, Ohio, Boston, Myrtle Beach and Pennsylvania in the categories of Speech Arts, Stage, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical and Musical Theatre.
(Musical Director / Vocal Teacher)
Kathy has been the Vocal Coach/ Musical Director for Spotlight Theatre School since September 2000 and is Spotlight’s VIP Performing Arts Festival and Volunteer Coordinator. She has musically directed over 100 musical productions, some of which have included Sweeney Todd, Urinetown The Musical, Aida, Les Miserables (three different times), Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors, High School Musical, West Side Story, Footloose, Seussical and Godspell. Kathy has overseen many Spotlight musical performances at various events and festivals across Ontario and in the United States. Her students have performed in vocal and musical theatre events including New York, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Since 1989, her private students have successfully competed in various music festivals and have completed their Royal Conservatory of Music vocal examinations. Kathy was the Director and Co-founder of both The Rhythmics Youth Choir and Harmony Express. Her choirs performed across the GTA and took part in two CD recordings including a recording of a New Millennium Anthem. Kathy was the Director of Creative Minds & Music, a preschool music arts and crafts program at Griffin Gymnastics. She teaches vocal/musical theatre at various schools throughout the GTA.
Katherine discovered her love for theatre as a child while performing in Pantomimes with the Pineland Presbyterian Players, where she had the joy of sharing the stage with her father. Katherine spent her teen years developing her playwriting, directing and acting skills with the Lord Elgin Theatre Society. Katherine graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and Seneca College with a diploma in Broadcast Journalism. After a 10 year hiatus from theatre, during which Katherine travelled and lived in such places as England and Italy she returns to Spotlight with a renewed passion for theatre.
Lindsay is beyond thrilled to become part of Spotlight! Lindsay has been a performer for as long as she can remember. She participated in children's shows throughout middle school and high school until she chose to pursue performing as a professional career. She moved from Campbell River, Vancouver Island to Toronto where she attended The Randolph Academy of Performing Arts. After finishing her diploma Lindsay dabbled in all aspects of the performing arts ranging from dancing, singing, acting, writing, and behind the scenes work. She loves every aspect that goes into live performance. Some of her past credits include Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical, Carmen in Curtains the Musical, Hecuba in The Trojan Women; Dance credits include Army of Sass, Love to Perform, and Love with Leila! to name a few. Lindsay is currently training with multiple teachers in many different genres of dance, which she hopes she can bring to the spotlight students.