Board of Directors
Sheila Alonzo was born in the Philippines and raised in Israel / Palestine. She holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science from Florida and a scholarship recipient of a UNESCO Master program in Peace, Conflict and International Development from Spain. She co-founded a non-profit organization in Austria and co-organized a youth workshop in New York on non-violent movements in the U.S. Central to Sheila's research, examining methodologies for social transformation, was a book called "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by educator Paulo Freire. Her case studies included the Landless Farmers Movement in Brazil, and a small but ambitious co-op radio in the Grand Canaries empowering marginalized Muslim men and women through literacy programs in western Sahara. After her final semester in Spain, Sheila and her children, moved to Victoria. She stumbled upon Puente Theatre through the Symposium, “Sharing the Legacy: Embracing Diversity and the Practice of Inclusive Theatre in a Changing Society”. Sheila has always been passionate about art and curious about science. Most of her academic career had been dedicated to the social sciences and now, she wants to bring more art into her life. It is interesting how her last academic presentation took an accidental turn to performance art using classroom as stage with props from home, to explore the topic of gender, power and conflict. Currently, Sheila volunteers as an art editor for a community newspaper.
Kathleen is dedicated to collective creation, the development of new work and community involvement. Her interests and experience are in site-specific outdoor performance, puppetry, folk stories and women, alternative education practices, and community activism. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a Directing Specialization from the University of Victoria and is currently Project/Events Coordinator at Discovery Coffee and Collective Member of the Wayward School. She has directed the premiere productions of many new works including Little Orange Man (SNAFU), Kitt and Jane (SNAFU-Belfry Spark Festival), The Shoes (Humble Wonder Theatre-Belfry Incubator Project) and Bullfrog Lullaby (head through painting). She has also participated as performer, creator, artist liaison and organizer of Bike Ride 2010, Haunted 2009, Bike Ride 2009, Schoolhouse Rocks 2009, and Schoolhouse Rocks 2008 with Theatre SKAM as member of the Homegrown Initiative.
Diana Bridget Nielsen
Diana Nielsen is currently Head Makeup Artist and Scenic Artist at Pacific Opera Victoria. Employed for 8 years with the Opera's art department, Diana also freelance paints and illustrates, freestyle writes raps, freedom dances funk, and sings the blues or shakin' grooves. Diana is teacher trained in an improv vocal and music style developped by her mentor of 8 years, Bisia Belina. Together, they encourage singers to move in their bodies and voice to come from movement. Diana holds a BFA dance degree from Simon Fraser University and has many dance and theatrical performing experiences behind her in companies and as an independant performer/creator. Closest to her heart, a one woman touring show "From the Horse's mouth" that Diana wrote and performed many times in Northern BC. A production which celebrates and connects the Wets'uwet'en First Nations culture and pioneering immigrant women. Diana is now a Hip Mama of 2 Hip Hop sons and can be found stand up paddle boarding when her sons are out skateboarding. She is currently writing a play in rhyme about love and the sea with the help of her sweet ukelele.
Jodi holds a degree in Fashion Design and has spent most of her career working in the arts as a seamstress, cutter or pattern maker. She has worked with The Vancouver Opera, The Playhouse, The Arts Club, Cirque Du Soleil, and many other smaller theatre and dance companies, spent eight years building costumes in the film industry, and owned her own business designing and making a line of organic clothing for children. Jodi has also worked in child and youth care through the Ministry of Family Services for children of drug addicted parents. She has studied Yoga, is a practitioner of Shiatsu and Jin Shin Do Acupressure, is extremely passionate about the great outdoors and healthy living. Currently, Jodi is working for the Department of National Defence as a Sailmaker.
Dolores W. Stanley
Dolores was born in Sweden and grew up in Argentina and the Canary Islands. She holds a PhD in Education and studied Ethnology and Mediation in Germany. Throughout her student years she was a member of an experimental children's theatre group and conducted her research in Nahua villages in Mexico. For many years she was an instructor at the University of Victoria and a liaison between the Faculty of Education and the local Tribal School. Dolores is a storyteller and interested in the history of Indigenous Peoples, human rights, and colonialism.
Treena Stubel is a dance theatre artist and choreographer. She has been creating original work for over twenty years and has presented at numerous festivals. Her choreography for theatre includes productions with Bard On The Beach, Blue Bridge Repertory, Atomic Vaudeville and Theatre SKAM. In 2009 she founded the Bounce Dance Cabaret to support new work by dance and physical theatre artists. She studied many different movement disciplines throughout Canada, the US and Europe, and holds a BFA in Theatre from The University of Victoria and an MFA in Lecoq Physical Theatre from The London International School of Performing Arts in London, UK.
Leah Weeks has been a gardener and landscape designer for 20 years. Her experience has taught her that success in business requires a myriad of skills, the most important of which is the ability to help people realize their own vision, at once encouraging freedom for the creative impulse through which moments of incidental beauty are realized while laying the groundwork for stability overall. When her fingernails are not caked in mud, she is devising food combinations and inviting innocent guests over to test these unusual flavors.