Helen Zdriluk - Founder

Helen was an award-winning teacher, director, and researcher who had been involved in Drama Education for over a quarter of a century. As Artistic Director at Centre Stage Theatre school she taught Drama, Music Theatre, and Glee, and has assembled the studio’s, outstanding teaching team Helen also taught drama in education and children’s theatre to future teachers in Brock University’s Dramatic Arts Department, and taught professional practice, and voice and music at Sheridan College, and drama and music theatre while serving as arts department head at Burlington Central High School.

Helen’s students work on professional stages in Canada from Charlottetown to Vancouver, in the U.S. from Broadway to L.A., and in film and television in Canada and the U.S. Others work professionally as stage and video directors, lighting and sound designers and technicians, set designers, and stage managers. A number of her former students work as directors of their own theatre/film companies or in community and studio theatre programs with young people. Her students also teach in and through the arts in Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Helen was the founder and artistic director for Centre Stage Theatre Productions, Burlington, Inc., an intergenerational community theatre, which, in addition to 21 years of summer shows in Burlington, has performed in fringe festivals, for the Halton Social Justice Coalition, and as Canadian representatives at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival. 

At Centre Stage Theatre School, she coached students in drama and speech arts, leading to awards from the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Burlington Rotary Festival, and the Ontario Music Teachers’ Association Provincial finals; she has developed curricula for ten drama and performance courses and directed and produced 26 student productions.

Helen was a winner of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Excellence in Teaching award, the Ontario government’s Volunteer Service Award, the Hamilton Spectator Community Service Award, Theatrefest Awards for Best Director and Best Production, the Halton Award for Creativity in Education, the Community Child Abuse Council’s Service Award, Halton District School Board’s Recognition of Excellence, Brock University’s Best Practices Award, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Outstanding Thesis Award, and she was co-winner of Burlington’s first Arts Person of the Year award. Her sincere belief in the value of the arts in education is clearly evident in the number of graduates who have made a significant impression on the arts community, and her belief in the importance of quality teaching is evident in the faculty she has assembled at Centre Stage Theatre School. 



Sara Jeffries

Sara is an award-winning performer who pioneered the music theatre program at M.M. Robinson High School. She currently teaches music theatre at Centre Stage Theatre School, and through the Centre Stage Productions educational outreach program, and drama at Garth Webb Secondary School in Oakville. At Centre Stage, Sara has also been an instructor in the Glee program and our summer camps, and she has taught vocal and instrumental music, and special education in the Halton District School Board.

Sara graduated from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Music, Minor in Theatre and Film, and from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Education (music and drama), a music specialist certificate, and special education qualifications. She has her Grade 9 Royal Conservatory Piano.

For Centre Stage Theatre Productions, Sara has worked as an actor and as Music Director for numerous shows; For the Halton District School Board, she has worked as a
music director, a theatre director, and a conductor of both bands and vocal ensembles.

Amber Ruthart

At Centre Stage, Amber Jane teaches private vocals and is involved with the Glee program. 

She is a professional vocalist, actor and stage host who has studied vocal technique for over 20 years and currently travels annually to NYC and LA to maintain her connections and up to date vocology with instructors in the entertainment industry – specifically #VocalizeU.   Amber has also written and taken Songwriting courses with teachers from Nashville and Berkley College. She is continually recording, has been featured on seven albums and is active in the GTA music scene. With a background as a children’s entertainer, Amber has written preschool music programs for various venues in Burlington to teach young children music fundamentals. Amber is Popstar at Party like a Popstar, and a long standing member of the Baker Street Victorian Carollers under the direction of Richard Crossman
As an actor, Amber is a graduate of the Second City Improv Program and is currently studying writing for sketch. She has studied and also performs Puppetry and Clowning. Amber is a professional host and has been on stages for Canada Day and the OLG stage for the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington. She and her husband, Rob, host ‘Almost Late Night’ monthly at 120 Diner in Toronto, as well as SafariScience LIVE, a bi-monthly show in Oakville.

Nicole Allard

Nicole has been part of the Centre Stage company since 2002. She started her acting career in 2001 under the direction of Helen Zdriluk and has been with her ever since. Before then she was an active member of the Oakville Children’s Choir, toured most of Canada, and has participated in festivals with hundreds of singers from around the world.

Nicole has been involved in multiple productions including Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical the Musical, Once on This Island, and Cabaret. She also worked as Musical Director in Waterdown’s Village Theatre production of Anne.
Nicole graduated from the Broadcasting Television program at Fanshawe College. While in college, she helped run the college tv station and has since worked as camera operator for Rogers, production assistant with Holiday Films, and technical director for the Braz for the Cause event. Currently she’s a Master Control and Ingest Operator for Zoomer television. She has also studied at the Royal Conservatory for voice and theory and continues to actively participate in both the music and theatre community.

Adam Falcone

Adam Falcone is an award winning Actor and Lighting Designer.  Adam is a Graduate of the University of Toronto and Sheridan’s joint program in Theatre and Drama Studies, where he earned a 4 years Specialist Honours BA and a 2 year Acting diploma; and had the opportunity to work with some of Canada’s finest theatrical talents such as; Katharine Kasza, Ralph Small, Greg Peterson, Patrick Young and Ron Cameron-Lewis. 

 Adam is also a graduate and Burlington Central High School’s Central Company and has a B. Ed from Brock University.  Adam is also proud to be one of the founding members of Centre Stage Productions.  Currently, Adam is entering his tenth year teaching Special Ed. at T.A. Blakelock High School in Oakville.

Chantal Forde


Stephen Park (Guest Instructor)

Stephen Park is an actor and acting coach.  He has been a professional actor for 17 years. Stephen is dedicated to a truthful expression in the art form of acting.  A long time student of Michele Lonsdale Smith, Stephen brings the commitment and integrity of that work to his acting coaching.  

With a focus on the truthful, personal and artistic approach to acting, Stephen helps actors find themselves in the role and bring a real, full flesh and blood Human Being, into the audition room, the sound stage, or the theatre.

Selected film credits include The Pink Panther, Grace and everyone.

Television work includes the Gemini winning miniseries, The Englishman’s Boy; The Strain; Dark Matter; Rogue; L.A. Complex; The Listener; Murdoch Mysteries; Supernatural; DaVinci’s Inquest and Stargate SG1.

Stephen has taught at The Vancouver Film School, The Lyric School of Acting, Actor’s Workshops Canada and currently is the director of the Toronto studio for Lonsdale Smith Studios.

Diana Murrell

Diana Murrell is an awarding winning teacher and singer with over 25 years of teaching experience. She is currently working for the Peel District School Board where she has spent 19 years teaching elementary music. She has directed over 100 school productions and choirs from Kindergarten to Grade 6. Diana is very proud to have received two Awards of Distinction and an Award of Excellence during her teaching career.

Diana has been singing, acting and directing since she was young, attending a high school for the arts in Vancouver, singing and playing in a rock band in University and studying classical music as an adult. Diana was awarded the Gold Medal for her ARCT in Vocal Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Currently Diana sings with Keepin’ Time, a local vocal jazz choir.

Diana discovered Centre Stage Theatre School when her daughter enrolled in classes after moving to Burlington. She is thrilled to be the director of the Show Choir where she has had the opportunity to participate in the Toronto Sing workshop at the Etobicoke School for the Arts and the Show Choir Canada competition.