Announcing our monthly donation program! Find out More
Find out more about our theatre teachers below.
Improv for Children and Adults
Blue Chu aka Lilbluebeluga, creates and plays on the stolen and unceded ancestral territories of the Coast Salish People of the Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Qayqayt (qiqéyt), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) First Nations.
Blue is a performer, composer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, writer, improviser, musical comedian and clown. Their life’s work is to spread joy and make music!
Blue released a self-produced home-recorded solo debut album, The Whale Tale Between Two Fins, under Lilbluebeluga, created the format, Queerside Stories: The Improvised Musical, performed occasionally by Queerprov, with Blue as the musical accompanist. They are in an improvised musical comedy duo, Peaceful Blips (2023 Vancouver Fringe). Their clown persona, Mei Xing was the Ambassador of Wonder, at Places des Arts, Coquitlam (2023-2024). Mei Xing has also performed in the 2023 Play the Fool Festival and will be at the 2024 Edmonton Fringe.
Crystal Koskinen (HBFA) has been an Arts Educator for over 20 years and is passionate about all things creative. Her mission is to renew the gift of imagination through her unique and creative classes. Creating an encouraging and fun environment allows students to grow in confidence, creativity, imagination, thinking outside the box and teamwork.
Crystal is a writer, director and designer. She has created costumes, props and set designs for many shows over the years – most notably assuming the role of Associate Set Designer for Grease in Toronto at the Elgin Theatre for two seasons. Crystal has worked in hundreds of schools, developed arts curriculums for various organizations and even hosted several Canadian awards shows annually. She has acted in film, television, commercials and is no stranger to the stage. As a graduate of the Second City Conservatory Program in Toronto, improv is a big part of all she does.
As a voiceover artist, Crystal has enjoyed recording for radio, television, Audible, Netflix, web, animation and more. Her visual art has been showcased across the globe in various galleries and juried exhibitions. Most recently, her work was on display in New York Times Square and Art Basel Miami. She continues to exhibit her work digitally in the web3 space using VR and AR in the metaverse, while showcasing prints and mixed media work in real life. Keep your eyes open for a new fabric and home collection featuring her designs in the very near future!
A friendly smile and welcoming space are a guarantee when working with Hailey! Hailey (she/her) is a multi-faceted artist engaging with companies across the Lower Mainland located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations and Vancouver Island of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.
From a young age, the stage called to Hailey. Raised in Richmond, BC, she took programs at local community centres that sparked her interest in theatre and dance. Hailey is a proud alumnus of the pre-professional musical theatre program at Arts Umbrella and has her BFA in theatre from the University of Victoria. In Victoria, she shaped herself to have plenty of versatility from exploring various mediums, both onstage and off: devised and site-specific theatre; Shakespeare, text and voice; audience services; sets, lighting and costumes; and more. Her driven mindset has led her abroad to train on London’s West End (UK) in addition to the Globe Theatre (UK), as well as locally with Bard Studios, Vancouver Acting School and Arts Club.
Hailey approaches each lesson with purpose. She believes it is important in lessons to have connecting activities and clear intentions for the students to better their understanding. She comes with a plan but allows space for flexibility depending on the classroom’s energy and needs. Hailey is a firm believer of building a safe space that invites exploration and collaboration.
Children’s Intro to Ballet and Song & Dance | Children’s Acting and Musical Theatre
A Musical Theatre performer for over 25 years, singing, dancing, and acting have been Joanna’s life passions. She started dancing at a very young age, completing all the examinations in Ballet, Tap and Modern dance with the British Association of Teachers of Dance in the UK. Joanna successfully completed a teaching diploma in Ballet, Tap and Modern dance before setting off on a professional career on the stage that enabled her to travel the world.
Performing in dance reviews and musicals in England, Germany, Spain, Japan and Canada, Joanna’s knowledge of the performing arts is extensive. Now a proud member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association in the Classical Ballet, Tap and Jazz divisions, Joanna is thrilled to become a part of the Place des Arts community, sharing her passion for dance and theatre with her students!
Film Making 101
Morgan Emsley (she/her) is an enthusiastic educator with a passion for learning and creativity. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Art and Technology with a concentration in Media Arts from Simon Fraser University, and a degree in 3D Animation and Visual Effects from Vancouver Film School. She brings a diverse skill set and a deep understanding of the intersection between art and technology. Throughout her studies, she has directed and produced two student films and hopes to teach the skills she gained from her experiences as well as her studies.
With a commitment to bridging theory and practice, she infuses her teaching with real-world experiences. Her goal is to create an inclusive and collaborative learning environment that empowers students to explore their artistic potential and develop practical skills. She believes in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and adaptability to prepare students for success in the rapidly evolving landscape of filmmaking.
Coquitlam Youth Theatre
Seamus Fera is an emerging Vancouver-based theatre artist and Literary Manager for Western Gold Theatre. Seamus is a recent University of British Columbia BFA graduate and hopes to focus on creating new Canadian works that are engaging and reflective of modern society. Since 2011, Seamus has been a youth theatre instructor for various organizations throughout the Lower Mainland.
Selected acting credits include Cassandra (Agamemnon– Stone’s Throw Productions) The Figure (The Ocean– Pull Festival 8), Robert/De Stogumber (Saint Joan– Promethean Theatre), Jay (Generation Hot: Waterborne– The Only Animal) and roles in Lone Star, Love and Information Edward II and The Safe Word (Theatre@UBC).
Directing credits include Bare (Eternal Theatre Collective), Anon(ymous), The Secret in the Wings (Killarney Theatre), The Chrysalids and Our Town (Coquitlam Youth Theatre) and MilkMilkLemonade (Awkward Stage Productions). Upcoming directing projects include Salome for Promethean Theatre.
Assistant/Co-Directing credits include Peter Pan (Arts Umbrella), Dear Edwina Jr. (Coquitlam Youth Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Temp), Charles III (Arts Club Theatre), Taken at Midnight and The Imaginary Invalid (The United Players of Vancouver).
When not acting, directing or teaching, Seamus can be found writing. His play Gale: The Yellow Bricks of Oz was produced by Coquitlam Youth Theatre and previously at Vancouver Technical Secondary School. He has also written Alice: A Wonderland and Genesis: Genesis. Other recent produced scripts include Curiouser and The Greek Cycle: Persy’s Phone. He is currently developing an original play, The Wives, which received public readings at UBC and Sup: A Reading Series. Seamus has abridged various classical plays that have been produced by Arts Umbrella’s Pre-Professional Training Program and Carousel Theatre for Young People’s Teen Shakespeare Program.
Simran Toor graduated from the University of Winnipeg Asper Centre for Theatre and Film with a major in Theatre Studies and a specialization in Devised Theatre. She shares a passion for learning, education and personal growth. Simran has worked with children and youth in a professional setting as a direct support worker and as an instructor. She tries to find creative ways to convey and communicate information and strives to ensure her students have the tools and recourses necessary to succeed. Simran believes it’s important to take into consideration the fact that every student learns differently and expects different outcomes out of the classroom. Her goal is to create a positive, judgement-free, approachable and creative space for students to convey their thoughts and emotions, comfortably be themselves, discover new skills while strengthening pre-existing ones, collaborate and ask questions. An environment of exploration and freedom allows for an open mind which is the fuel to the fire we call creativity.