Stephenville Theatre Festival The Longest running professional theatre festival in Newfoundland and Labrador

Stephenville Theatre Festival

Meet the Company

Brad AuCoin

Brad AuCoin is a drummer, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Stephenville, Newfoundland. At the young age of eight Brad began lessons with well-known local drummer Roy Berti. In 2012 he began studies at St. Francis Xavier University, where in 2014 he graduated with his Diploma in Jazz Studies. The following semester he attended the College of the North Atlantic to study Sound Recording and Production where he graduated in 2016. This will be his sixth season with the Festival and he is excited to be working with such a talented and hardworking team.

Fran Barker

Fran is excited to join STF this season. Her passion for theatre began at the age of 5 after watching a live performance of Beauty and The Beast. A graduate from the University of Waterloo, Fran has worked with adult and youth companies on a variety of productions. Past Stage Management Credits Include (Selected): Chariots of Fire, Once (Grand Theatre); Cinderella The Panto, All Shook Up (Drayton Entertainment); Canada 300 (Watermark Theatre); Opera Luminata (OL); Spamalot (SMT).

Ann Paula Bautista

Ann Paula elated to be making her STF debut this summer! She is a Toronto based Filipinx-Canadian multidisciplinary artist. A graduate of Randolph Academy’s College program, she has performed on stages all around Canada and the US. She’s also sung the national anthems twice for the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. When she is not performing, she can be found creating with her Tita Collective. Past credits include: In the Heights (We Are Here), Disenchanted 1st national tour (Starvox), Grease, Company (CMTP), Hair (Randolph), Next to Normal (UofT), RENT, and Shrek (LOT). Big hugs and squishes to her friends and family for their unconditional love and support.

Heather Braaten

Heather is honored to return for her second season as the Artistic Director of STF!  An award-winning professional theatre director and playwright, Heather has specific interests and expertise in the fields of new play development, devised theatre, large ensemble physical theatre as well as musical theatre. She has directed over 40 professional productions across North America. Heather also has theatre administration training and experience in the areas of artistic direction, company management, tour management and producing. She would love to thank you for joining us at the festival for our 40th season this summer! Enjoy the show!

Devin Cecchetto

Devin is in her third year of a Honours Bachelor of Music Theater Performance program at Sheridan College Ontario. She has performed in several productions in the Toronto theatre community (Annie in Annie, Mary Lenox in Secret Garden and Diana Morals in A Chorus Line). Devin is excited to join the STF family A new home, away from home, all the way from Toronto. She is thrilled to have an opportunity to perform in Stephenville with this talented team of people.

Christopher Cennon

Originally hailing from the Saskatchewan prairies, Christopher has spent the last decade as an accompanist and repertoire coach for the students of the Music Theatre Performance Program at St. Lawrence College, in Brockville, ON. This is his second year at the Stephenville Theatre Festival after serving in 2017’s productions of The Marvellous Wonderettes (music director), Cinderella: A RATical Retelling (music director, composer/vocal arranger), and the 39th STF Gala (music director / arranger / bandleader). Along with his college duties, Christopher most recently had a blast programming and playing keys for a local production of The Wedding Singer. Future projects include serving as music director for St. Lawrence College’s 2019 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, a collection of atheist gospel songs, and continuing to reassure his husband that marrying a musician was in fact a good idea.

Brittany Clough

Originally from the other coast (B.C.), Brittany is so thrilled to be spending her summer in Newfoundland! Most recently, she has been fortunate to be cast in roles such as Rainbow Kate (Shopkins Live North American Tour), Rosalind (As You Like It), Cinderella (Cinderella UAE Tour), and Snow Queen (A Forever Frozen Story Canadian Tour). Much love to her family for their never ending support and to nachos for constantly keeping her happy.

David DiFrancesco

David is thrilled to be apart of the Stephenville Theatre Festival company making his Atlantic Canada debut. Past Theatre work include The Welland Canal Play (ECT), Three Men in a Boat (Pea Green Theatre), Cannibal! The Musical! (Starvox Entertainment), Shrek in Shrek The Musical (Linus Hand Productions), Heart of Steel (Next Stage Theatre Festival). TV and Film work includes Coming In (CBC Punchline), Murder U, Web of Lies, and American Lawman. A past participant of Theatre 20’s Emerging Artist Ensemble and a graduate of The University of Windsor’s BFA Acting Program. Special thanks to the whole team at Stephenville, Matt, and my family for all their support.

Ben Dunphy

Ben has been playing guitar since the age of 5 and last got a haircut at about the same time. He is pleased to be returning for his 5th season with STF. When not with the STF band you might see him with the Stephenville based band Smugglers Cove or perhaps on stage with one of ABCD Productions dinner theatre shows. Ben is also an accomplished sound technician and audio engineer.

Thomas Goetz

Thomas is thrilled to be making his debut at the Stephenville Theatre Festival! Thomas is going into his final year of Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre Performance program. Selected credits include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Theatre Sheridan), We are Canadian (Charlottetown Festival Young Company), RentSpamalot, and The Little Mermaid (Lower Ossington Theatre). Enjoy the show!

Justine Grimes

Justine attended Ryerson University’s dance program and is a graduate of Randolph College for the Performing Arts.  Justine has performed on stages such as The Madinat Theatre in Dubai, Canada’s Wonderland, The Randolph Theatre and The Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto. Select credits include: Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde, Miss Stacy in Anne of Green Gables, Iris Kelly in Fame, Tammy in Hairspray, and Lucinda in Into the Woods.

Peyton Hanlon

Peyton is extremely excited to be returning to the Stephenville theatre festival for a second year of amazing shows. Peyton has been on and off stage for many of the St.John’s Regional Drama festivals, also acting in and preforming as an ambassador for the Newfoundland provincial portion of the event. After stage managing for the first time in Grease (Prince of Wales Collegiate), Peyton has since found a love for stage management and hopes to pursue it further into the future.

Amelia Hironaka

Amelia is thrilled to be returning for her 3rd season with STF. Originally from Calgary, AB she moved to Toronto to pursue musical theatre at the Randolph Academy. Since graduating she has had the opportunity to teach, perform and choreograph internationally. Select credits include Blue Champagne & Urinetown (STF), Disenchanted & Evil Dead (Starvox), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat & Anything Goes (The LOT). Special thanks to the entire STF team and her family for their never-ending love and support. Come rock with us and enjoy the season!

Sierra Holder

Sierra is honoured to be making her Stephenville Theatre Festival debut in it’s 40th season. Originally from Ottawa, ON she is now based in Toronto after having recently graduated from Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Music Theatre Program. She is so excited to have the opportunity to spend a summer in gorgeous Newfoundland, and share her love of Theatre with the lovely people of Stephenville. In addition to performing on stage Sierra is dedicated to finding ways that theatre can change the world. She is involved with an initiative called Diva Day, which was started by a very close friend, that seeks to empower young women from Kenya through education, storytelling, art, and menstrual cups. Last year Diva Day raised over $5000 and was able to bring these cups to young women in schools, so that they would never have to miss a day of school again. Diva Day is hoping to be able to go back to Kenya and hopefully other parts of Africa to continue the work we have started. To learn more, and to find out how you can help please visit

Nicholas Howlett

Nicholas will be starting his first year at the MUN school of music this fall with double bass as his principal instrument. He is very active within the St. John’s theatrical and musical community. Recent credits include Grease (Bass), Little Shop of Horrors (ensemble/sax), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), and Red Rock (Stage Manager). This will be his first season at the Stephenville Theatre Festival.

Sarah Kennedy

Sarah J. is thrilled to be joining the Stephenville Theatre Festival family. Originally from Thunder Bay, she is a graduate of the Randolph Academy in Toronto. Sarah then completed her Masters in Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She proceeded to live in the UK for 6 years performing in the Edinurgh Fringe and for the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. While in London, Sarah played Sydney in the UK premiere of ‘Its a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman!’ at the Rose and Crown theatre, which was then transferred to the West End’s Leicester Square Theatre. Sarah is thrilled to be back in Canada and even more thrilled to be spending the summer in lovely Newfoundland.

Seanna Kennedy

A performer, director and puppeteer, Seanna holds an Hon. BMUS in voice from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a graduate of RCPA. Performance highlights include: The Dora nominated Old Man and the River (Theatre Direct), Thank You for Being a Friend (JP Presents), Blood Brothers (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Curious George, The Rocky Horror Show, Hair, Beauty and the Beast (Lower Ossington Theatre).  As a director she has worked for various companies including The LOT, where she has helmed over 30 productions, including the Canadian premiere of Avenue Q.

Cameron Kirk

Based out of Toronto, Cameron specializes in scenic carpentry. Most recently he’s worked on Big Brother Canada and Top Chef. He spent the last two summers in Ontario’s farm country working as a carpenter at the Blyth Festival. Cameron is thrilled to be a part of Stephenville Theatre Festivals 40th season and is excited to take on the role of Technical Director.

Peyton LeBarr

Peyton is thrilled to be joining the incredible team here at the STF.  Peyton has worked throughout Ontario as well as various theatres in the UK, including Shakespeare’s Globe.  For five years she was the co-creator of Spiel Players, a collective company that focused on new European play translations.  Most recently Peyton was selected for a grant by the Ontario Trillium Foundation as an emerging female leader in the arts, a program which has helped strengthen Peyton’s skills in artistic direction as well as production management.  Upcoming, Peyton is in the process of developing an arts studio in her new hometown of Havelock, Ontario where she hopes to continue developing new work with her husband as well as offer a creative space to fellow artists. Selected credits:  Elizabeth Bennet Elizabeth/Darcy (Dir. Tom Arthur Davis), Viola Twelfth Night (AlehouseTheatre) Hamlet Hamlet: An Adaptation (Shakespeare’s Globe), B Le Shaga (Dir. Joanne Williams), Yerma Yerma (Dir. Monique Wilson), Isabella/Joyce/Shona Top Girls (Dir. Rosamunde Hutt), Mary Swanson Middletown (UK Premiere, Dir. Chris Meades), Man with Stick Pockets full of Bread (UK Premiere, Arcola Theatre)

Laird MacDonald

Laird is a lighting, projection and set designer, technical director and production manager with more than 20 years of experience in the profession. His work spans design for theatre, dance, fine and performance art, installations, film and video, music, events and opera. Laird began his career in sculpture and photography, and then trained in film and video at the Emily Carr College of Art & Design, in Vancouver. He has been nominated several times for The Dora Mavor Moore award in Toronto for his lighting design and has been a designer, or technical director on many Dora winning and nominated productions. In conjunction with his design and management career in the arts, Laird has been mentoring, designing and teaching in the theatre program at Humber College in Toronto for the past 9 years. Laird has taught lighting courses, and has designed shows, mentored student designers, technicians and technical directors. Over the last 7 years, Laird has developed and continues to teach a devised theatre course in conjunction with 2 other professors. Laird continues to enjoy working on productions in both French and English.

Leah McKenney

Leah is a 20 year old student currently studying Musical Theatre at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Growing up in St Johns, she was always surrounded by music and took piano and voice lessons from a very young age. Leah started working with Peter Macdonald Productions in 2012 when she was a part of Scrooge, and continued to work with them over the next couple of years. She attended Holy Heart High school and was a part of the Performing Arts Certificate, taking part in Beauty and The Beast(Ensemble), Cinderella(Fairy Godmother), and 42nd Street(Peggy Sawyer), among other performances along the way! Leah is thrilled to be studying what she loves to do at Sheridan College, and is so excited to be home in Newfoundland for an amazing season at Stephenville Theatre Festival.

Amanda Nuttall

Choreographer and performer, Amanda’s work originates from extensive training in dance and gymnastics growing up in the Prairies, and as a scholarship student at the Edge Performing Arts Centre in Los Angeles. Since graduating from the Randolph College in Toronto, Amanda has choreographed for theatre companies, colleges and high schools across Ontario, as well as for film and charity events. Amanda is also a film producer with her wonderful husband, Mark.

Shane O’Regan

Shane O’Regan is a Pianist/Instructor/Musical Director based in Toronto. Originally from Halifax, NS, Shane studied piano with Paul Simons and Oksana Zotova at the Martime Conservatory of Performing Arts. He is a graduate of both the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts’ College Program in Toronto and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s MA Musical Theatre Performance program in Glasgow. Recent work on the piano includes Assistant Musical Director for Urinetown, Rocketman (Stephenville Theatre Festival), Pianist for Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters (Art Gallery of Ontario), Musical Director for for December Songs (Theatre Passe Muraille), Arranger/Pianist for Andrée Bernard’s House on Fire (Union Theatre, London, UK), Resident Pianist at Joe Allen Restaurant (London, UK), Vocal Arranger for COLLABRO (Winners of Britain’s Got Talent 2014). Shane works as an Instructor and Musical Director at the Bravo Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto and spent a year as Manager of the Bella Rose Arts Centre in Halifax.

El Patey

El was born and raised 10 minutes from 3 downtown theatres in St John’s, is a recent graduate from Holy Heart Of Mary and it’s Performing Arts Certificate. They’re excited to join this year’s festival with such a talented team! They have worked on Chicago: High School Edition (HHM Performing Arts), Blithe Spirit (DW productions), The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (HHM Performing Arts) Miracle on 34th St (HHM Performing Arts), Isle Of Demons (Persistence Theatre), and Wizard of Oz (HHM Performing Arts).They’re very grateful to the STF for this opportunity to fill their summer with theatre on the island, before heading off to Toronto, starting their freshman year at Ryerson University, to study performance production.  Thanks also to their family, their friends and director from HHM Performing Arts.​

Travis Paul

Travis is a Toronto based performer, originally born in Grand Falls, NL. His Mother is from Bell Island and Father from Point Leamington, which makes him ecstatic to share this season with family from across Newfoundland. Travis received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He has performed in Canada, USA, Singapore, Qatar and most recently returned home from a month long contract in Dubai. Favourite credits include Bobby in A Chorus Line, Action in West Side Story, Chad in All Shook Up and Claude in HAIR. Thank you to all the friends and family who have come out to support me this season and to the absolutely incredible team at the Stephenville Theatre Festival for your talents, work, passion, drive and for keeping the arts alive here on the Rock.

Andrew Perry

It’s Andrews second season here at the Stephenville Festival! He is thrilled to be back for the 40th season! Andrew graduated The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with his Masters in Musical Theatre. Notable credits: Cogsworth-Beauty and the beast, Cowardly Lion-Wizard of Oz, Fipp/Robbie-Urinetown,Jo Jo-The Life, Chino-WSS, Judas-JCSS, St.Jimmy-American Idiot, Collins-Rent, Mary Sunshine-Chicago, Otto-Spring Awakening, Male Swing-Sister Act. All the thanks to mom and dad for always having my back!

Jeremy Pynn

Jeremy Pynn is a post-production audio engineer and live sound technician. He graduated CNA’s Sound Recording and Production program in Stephenville, NL. Immediately upon graduation, he begin working with STF. Shortly after, he moved to St. John’s and joined Canadian AV Inc. where he worked countless gigs, including corporate venues, conferences, and rock and roll shows. Some notable talents he worked with during that time include – the Trailer Park Boys, Hey Rosetta, The Wiggles, and Celtic Connection. Jeremy now joins his second season of STF as head of sound, and couldn’t be happier to be back.

Sam Rotchford

Sam, mom of Raylin and Sarah, is a native of Stephenville. No stranger to theatre, she has been involved with Bay Theatre and Stephenville Theatre Festival onstage and backstage since her youth. She also worked with the Stephenville Middle School drama group and did a costume workshop at their 2016 drama festival. Sam is happy to be back as Head of Costumes for the Festival’s 39th season. She’s looking forward to a fun and exciting summer.

Bryden Rutherford

This is Bryden Rutherford’s second season with the Stephenville Theatre Festival. He is very excited to be a part of the Festival’s 40th Season productions. Bryden is a graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance program at Sheridan Institute and has performed in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, New York, Toronto, and Dubai. Some of his favourite credits include Hot Blades Harry in Urinetown, Bert in Mary Poppins, Laurie in Little Women, and Smee in Peter and the Starcatcher. Bryden would like to thank the amazing creative team for this opportunity and the cast for an amazing theatrical experience and he hopes everyone enjoys the shows!

Sarah Samborsky

Sarah is happy to be joining Stephenville Theatre Festival this summer. Born and raised in Toronto, ON, with a B.F.A from York University, Sarah has spent the last 5 years living and working away from home, exploring all that the world and industry has to offer! Sarah was most recently the Stage and Tour Manager for Shopkins Live! Shop It Up, which has been touring North America since September 2017. Other credits include; Cannibal! The Musical (ASM), Potted Potter (TM), and The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause UK Tour (SM). A lover of pizza, Sarah has spent her time traveling in search of the best pizza and plans to continue until she has tried every last one. Sarah would like to thank her family and friends who continue to support her on all of her adventures, and her boyfriend David, who encourages her to follow her dreams even if it means leaving him for months on end.

Andrew Soutter

This native of Kingston Ontario is a graduate of Sheridan College and the University of Toronto Mississauga’s joint Theatre and Drama Studies acting conservatory. Past Toronto credits include Mushnik – Little Shop of Horrors, Moritz – Spring Awakening, Lord Farquaad – SHREK, Angel – RENT, Patsy – Spamalot (LOT); Nick Piazza – Fame, Professor Bhaer – Little Women (Firstact) as well as Bobby Strong – Urinetown (Stageworks). Regional credits include Enjolras – Les Miserables, Kurt Von Trapp – Sound of Music, Baby John – West Side Story (The Grand Theatre); Cladwell – Urinetown, Narrator – For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again (Stephenville Theatre Festival) and Oliver – Oliver! (Thousand Islands Playhouse).  Andrew wishes to thank his friends and family for their continued love and support. Paciencia y fe.

STF Office Students
Stephenville Theatre Festival is fortunate to have three students working with us at the Festival’s head office this summer: In addition to the office, they can also be found at the Arts and Culture Centre and various local events promoting the Festival.

Stephanie Venerus

Stephanie is excited to be working this season with Stephenville Theatre Festival, and exploring some of this country’s beautiful east coast. She loves getting her hands messy and making whatever fun creation gets thrown her way. Selected Prop Credits: Titus Andronicus (Hart House Theatre), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Hart House Theatre), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Hart House Theatre), The Crucible (Hart House Theatre), Mother (Independent Film), The Love Game (Red Sandcastle Theatre)

Nelson White

Nelson is excited to once again be handling the guitar duties with the Stephenville Festival. He first worked with the festival during the 1980’s, providing guitar for Man of La Mancha, Evita, Godspell and Ain’t Misbehavin. He was the musical director for Hank Williams: His Life and Times and also was part of Swing and Jive and various Country shows throughout the years. He was the guitarist for the 2017 production of Rocketman and was so inspired by the talented ensemble that he decided to take on a full time role for this season. Nelson was born and raised in Stephenville and taught music at the Primary school for 31 years. Now that he is retired he teaches privately and when not performing with The West Coast Jazz Sextet or Three of a Kind can be found on the ice or the Golf course.

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