“It’s been an amazing experience and tremendous learning curve inspired by two incredible teachers. I can’t believe how far they brought all of us/their students or how quickly.” – Greg, Surrey
“A big thank you to the teachers and classmates from The Drama Class who have made this year such a great time of learning, growth and fun! – Deborah, Surrey
“Thanks to The Drama Class and my instructors Michele and Julianne for helping me to achieve and be able to do a performance like this. I am so proud of myself!” – Tanya, Surrey
The Drama Class Founder/Owner
Youth and Adult Programs
Michele has worked in B.C.’s local film industry for over 25 years working in front of the camera (acting professionally for 10 years) and later behind the camera (casting and producing). Her film making career as a film producer took her to several international film festivals and speaking engagements around the world. The critically acclaimed Canadian feature film she produced, “Horsey” was distributed in Roger’s Video stores across Canada and later on pay per view on Movie Central. Michele has also owned several businesses including 2 successful acting studios in the lower mainland, The Studio on the Drive (co-founded) and Kids Only Acting Classes. Wanting to try a different industry, Michele worked at Electronic Arts producing video games for a few years before moving to White Rock and starting a family. Michele has also been a board member on several boards including Women In Film and Video Vancouver, the Ocean Park Business Association and Peninsula Productions. Michele has been a judge for several performing arts programs including Diamond In the Rock Singing Competition, Leo Awards, The Joey Awards and The Vancouver WebFest 2017. Michele has taught hundreds of actors of all ages for over 20 years. She loves the craft of acting and continues to be inspired by her students.
Youth and Adult Programs
Julianne recently moved back here from Los Angeles. She is a Canadian born actress who has worked extensively in theatre, television and film for over 20 years. Its possible it could be more, but she would rather suspend your belief in her acting age range rather than the truth. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts from way back when, and residing in Los Angeles for 18 years, Julianne has credits from guest star to lead in over 40 TV shows, numerous roles on MOW’s and leads in many feature and independent films alike. Though she has worked in Vancouver as an actor from Los Angeles, namely the villain “Dr. Fine” on Smallville and “Susie”, the stoned neighbour on Dead Like Me, Julianne is new to actually and finally calling Vancouver home. A recent transplant from Seattle, Julianne has just begun her work here in “Hollywood North”. Julianne has just completed a principal role on Jerry Bruckheimer’s new prime time show, Lucifer and is nominated for ‘Best Actress’ at a 2016 Vancouver Webfest coming up in March for her portrayal of “Ma Jones” in the award winning, sic fi horror film, Phoenix Run. Excited to get back to teaching the craft of acting as well, Julianne has taught in the community colleges of Seattle for the five years prior to leaving, and has privately coached youth and adults independently for stage and screen. She has directed many productions at the college level and in play festivals as well.
Chelsey fell in love with the theatre at an early age and spent her high school years performing in community theatre productions, taking classes at such places as VanArts Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, and writing scripts, including a one-act play which won the Youth Arts Council of Surrey’s Write On! Competition. After entering post-secondary studies at the University of British Columbia, she got involved in the campus theatre club, the UBC Players Club, and created and performed a show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival through the Fringe Onsite development program. She also declared a theatre major and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and English Literature in April 2016. As much as she loves the performing arts, Chelsey’s other passion is teaching. Beginning with assisting at summer camps run through a local community theatre company while still in high school and going on to volunteer at such places as the Boys and Girls Club, she worked as a Specialty Arts Instructor at the City of Surrey for the past five years. She led after-school classes and summer camps in the areas of performing arts, visual arts, and nature. Chelsey has also taught a previous session of the Tween Drama Class and Summer Character Drama Camps at The Drama Class. Currently, Chelsey is studying Elementary Education at the University of British Columbia, and will be graduating with her Education degree in August 2017. She has enjoyed immersing herself into her practicum placement in a Grade 6/7 combined class, where she has learned how to infuse theatrical experiences into the curriculum, in order to build relationships with, and foster success for, her diverse community of students. Chelsey loves nurturing the creative voice inside each child and empowering each of her students to recognize their own unique potential.
Adult Programs and Workshops
Kelly-Ruth is an active actor, director, producer, writer, and teacher in theatre, film and television. She is a passionate learner and teacher of 29 years, and holds an M.F.A. (Directing) from UBC and a B.A. (Acting) from Dalhousie University. K-R’s breadth of experience has had her invited to teach in a number of specialties including movement, voice, classical texts, scene study, and text analysis. She has instructed in the Acting Program at UBC and has taught Script Analysis privately and through schools, colleges, and university programmes. At The Art Institute, Kelly-Ruth designed a class in film producing & production planning; at Vancouver Film School she developed a class in Pitching through the Writing Dept, and she has guest lectured at UBC Creative Writing, Women in Film, Langara College, and in numerous workshops and private classes. Colin Thomas of the Georgia Straight has remarked that “under K elly-Ruth Mercier’s direction, the acting in this production [of LOBBY HERO] is tremendous”, and “for 20 bucks, you can go see Lobby Hero at the Havana Theatre and have an experience that’s more satisfying than that of anything currently playing on this town’s bigger, more expensive stages”. An award-winning film director, writer, and producer, she won the prestigious MPPIA Film Award and MOVE OUT CLEAN had its World Premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in Dec 2010. As a DGC “Kickstart” recipient, she won the Leo Award for Best Screenwriting in a Short Drama with her film NO ONE KNOWS YOU LIKE YOUR MOTHER. She is a graduate of Women in the Director’s Chair and has received support through CTV & Creative Women Workshops Association, BC Arts Council, National Film Board, Women in Film, and the NS Arts Council. K-R has guest-starred on television on AMC’s The Killing, The Hub Network’s The Haunting Hour, Showtime’s The L Word, CTV’s Robson Arms and Cold Squad, and CBC’s Black Harbour, as well as ABC’s Once Upon A Time, the CW’s series Smallville and Supernatural, Hallmark’s Signed Sealed and Delivered, and has appeared in a number of features (including Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep”) and tv movies (most recently: “Happy Face” [Hallmark] and “In My Dreams” [ABC]). She has graced stages in 9 of Canada’s 10 provinces. Kelly-Ruth has juried for the Gemini Awards, Leo Awards, WIDC, and Hot Shots Film Contest.
Sam Mitchell started improvising in high school and hasn’t stopped since then! After graduating, he auditioned for Second Storey Theatre’s mainstage improv cast and performed weekly for three years. At the same time, he started coaching youth improv teams throughout the lower mainland. Together with other improv teachers at Second Storey Theatre, he created a youth improv league called the Improv Warehouse. As Program Director of Second Storey Theatre’s Improv Warehouse, he coordinated high school improv teams to come together for massive, sold-out improv shows. Sam currently performs with Off Key Improv, a group that performs entirely made-up, full-length musicals with a fully improvised band. Off Key Improv has been featured in the Vancouver International Improv Festival, the New York Musical Improv festival, and currently performs a monthly show at the Havana Theatre.
Lynda MacNeil, is an Actor, Makeup Artist, Acting Coach and “Stage Mother”. Lynda started out in the industry as a Makeup Artist. She mostly worked in fashion doing makeup for runway shows and print work. Lynda also taught makeup and makeup artistry to models, actors and makeup artists at Ramona Beauchamp Modelling Agency for 14 years. Eventually Lynda started moving away from fashion and began doing makeup for commercials and film. Thus began Lynda’s love affair with film. When an opportunity came for Lynda to train as an actor with the great Antony Holland and Catherine Caines she jumped at the chance. Lynda attended three years of theatre school passing with Distinction. Taking time out from acting to raise a family Lynda would volunteer at her children’s school by coaching Speech Arts and helping direct the school plays. It wasn’t long before her children expressed a desire to follow in her footsteps and become professional actors. For the past ten years Lynda has devoted herself to shepherding their careers. Both children have been extremely successful working constantly in film and TV. Now that her children are adults Lynda has resumed her own acting career. After taking several of the Adult classes and performing in the showcases at The Drama Class, Lynda is busy getting back to auditioning for commercials and film. Lynda is looking forward to teaching the Youth Programs at the Drama Class. Helping children develop their skills and realize their potential is one of Lynda’s favorite things to do.
Musical Theatre Choreographer
Alexy is a professional dancer and actor and second year Criminology major at Kwantlen University. She attended White Rock Fine Arts Elementary and graduated with honors as a Dance Major from Langley Fine Arts School. She has a breadth of dance training from contemporary, modern, ballet and hip hop to Ukrainian folk and Brazilian samba. She volunteers for schools in Surrey School District choreographing dances for musicals. Alexy performs professionally with Aché Brasil.
Comedian & Actor
Learning The ABC’s of Comedy Workshop
Jacques Lalonde has been a professional Actor/Writer/Director/Comedian for over 30 years. He has appeared on Sesame Street, 21 Jump Street, The X-Files, The X-Men 2, The New Addams Family (to name a few) and he has hosted two TV shows. (pilot 1 & Reel TV) He has also been featured at The Vancouver Comedy and Prince Rupert Comedy Festivals Just for Laughs at the Banff Film and Television Festival and was a live host at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. He has performed at every major Festival in Vancouver and is the only recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Vancouver fringe Festival where he has performed 29 years in a row. Check out Jacques streaming talk show, ‘Jacques Talk’ on www.pocketlive.tv
Voiceover Instructor & Actress
Introduction to Voiceover Work in Commercials & Cartoons
Marÿke Hendrikse has been acting professionally for over 25 years. She has lent her voice to hundreds of animated series, radio plays, and TV and radio commercials. Marÿke can currently be heard as Kate and Boomer in ‘Kate and Mim Mim’, Ava in ‘Lego Nexo Knights’, Principal Wormeramer, Amy and Secretary Hedies in ‘Supernoobs’, Susan Test in ‘Johnny Test’, Gilda the Griffon in ‘My Little Pony Friendship is Magic’, Sonata Dusk in ‘Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks’, Mrs Dunwall in ‘Exchange Student Zero’, and Loretta Bun (along with several others) in ‘Sausage Party’.