Theatre New Brunswick is delighted to announce Sharisse LeBrun has been named the new Director of the TNB Theatre School.
LeBrun is an educator, director, and performer who has been involved with the local theatre community for several years working many with companies including Theatre St. Thomas, Theatre UNB, Bard in the Barracks, TNB Next Stage, Notable Acts, Hot Garbage Players and Solo Chicken. After years of attending the TNB Theatre School as a student, she developed a passion for theatre education and began teaching for many of the school’s Junior programs as well as the summer theatre school.
“The TNB Theatre school has been my home for 15 years now, starting as an Intermediate Musical Theatre student in a class of seven or so students under the instruction of Leigh Rivenbark, Melanie Murray, and of course, Tania Breen,” said LeBrun.
“Over the years, Tania created a home for so many young people in this city where play, imagination, storytelling, risk taking, empathy and collaboration reign; a place where, without fear of judgement or failure, I watched myself and my friends find our voices, our confidence, and our people. I am so grateful for my time growing up here and am especially grateful to Tania, who planted and fostered my love for theatre and my passion for theatre education and for her continued mentorship and wisdom as I step into this role.”
Tania Breen recently stepped down from the position after directing the Theatre School for ten seasons. Now a member of St. Thomas University’s Fine Arts faculty where she teaches musical theatre, Breen remains involved in the Theatre School as instructor of the Senior Musical Theatre program.
Recent years have seen a number of accomplished instructors bolster the TNB Theatre School’s teaching staff, each bringing new ideas and new energy to share with students new and old.
“The theatre school that myself and the rest of the Theatre School team has inherited is thriving,” said LeBrun. “We have an incredibly gifted team of instructors, our classes are full, students are graduating and going on to study performance and education, and others are taking their skills and passions across the country in all kinds of different fields.
“I don’t have the words to say how grateful I am that I get to be part of the continuation of this company,” she said.
Working alongside instructors Jean-Michel Cliche, Sarah Bell and Courtney Arsenault as well as the entire TNB team, LeBrun is excited to explore new programs and workshops to help broaden the Theatre School’s impact on the youth of the Greater Fredericton Area and share the magic of theatre with a new generation of future performers.
“As the school continues to grow and new classes develop and new projects emerge, the most important thing to me is that the heart of the theatre school stays true to the culture that Tania created and fostered,” said LeBrun. “My hope is that empathy always remains at the heart of what we do, and that the rehearsal hall will always ring with the laughter, song, play, and the mess, of confident, creative, children.”