Meet Our Educators

Eliza Anthony

Eliza is a performing artist and movement specialist with 15 years of experience teaching dance and drama to students of all ages. While acquiring her BA in Drama Arts at Brock University, Eliza spent her spring semesters volunteering, delivering arts workshops to elementary schools in her hometown of London. Eliza has recently moved back from Ottawa, where she spent the last five years performing in and choreographing shows, and mounting her own creative project,
combining dance technique and physical theatre, at the University of Ottawa. Eliza is thrilled to once again be based out of St. Catharines, and loving being part of the Carousel Players Artist Educator team. When not performing or teaching Eliza can usually be found reading, or belting Disney songs at the tops of her lungs.

Lindsay Detta

Lindsay is very excited to be an Artist Educator with Carousel Players. She is currently in the Teacher Education program at Brock University, after studying Drama in Education through their Concurrent Education program. Previously, Lindsay studied performance at Fanshawe College and worked as an actor in Children’s Theatre and Historical Theatre in Ontario and British Columbia. Lindsay has been educating with Carousel Players for 4 years. She has also worked as a drama instructor for Ridley College’s summer programs and is currently working as a teacher and researcher at a local Forest School. She is very passionate about play-based models of education as a means for children to explore their curiosities in fun creative ways.


Nicola Franco

Nicola graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Dramatic Arts: Concentration in Performance from Brock University. She is an actor, singer, and educator currently working towards her teaching degree. She has had the pleasure of working with Carousel Players as both a performer and an Artist Educator for over 3 years, and is looking forward to continuing her involvement in the local theatre community.


Alexa Fraser

Alexa Fraser is multi disciplinary artist from St.Catharines, Ontario. With a B.Des in Fashion Design from Ryerson University (2006), Alexa has worked as a Technical Designer for Abercrombie and Fitch Co. in Columbus, Ohio (2006-2008), in the Tailoring Department at the Shaw Festival (2014 and 2015 seasons), as the Head of Wardrobe for Carousel Players since 2015. Alexa has displayed textile and installation art in many solo and group exhibits, teaches textile art, puppet and mask making workshops, makes and performs puppets and designs and sews costumes for theatre. Some recent puppetry credits include puppet design and creation for Carousel Player’s Pop Pop (2022), puppet design and creation for Cosmic Fishing Theatre Co’s SHADED and DiSCoVeR (2021/2022), design and performance for Concrete Cabaret’s Exquisite Collaboration (2021) and #7 A VERY SPECIAL Holiday SPECIAL (2020), Essential Collective Theatre’s Quarantine Cabaret and Va-Va-Vaudeville (2020 and 2019), In the Soil Arts Festival (2020 and 2019), the Niagara Falls Night of Art (2019), St.Catharines Culture Days (2018 and 2019), the NOTL Sesquicentennial Committee Canada 225 Play (2017), and Vaux-De-Ville at the St.Catharines Performing Arts Centre (2016, co-puppet creation and performance with Clelia Scala).  Alexa has studied puppetry construction and performance with David Lane at the New England Puppetry Intensive, the Puppetmongers and CLUNK Puppet Lab at the Humber College Puppetry Intensive, with Frank Meschkuleit and Mike Petersen at the Toronto School of Puppetry and online with Mark Down of Blind Summit Theatre (England) and Bernd Ogrodnik of World of Puppets (Iceland).


Lena Maripuu

Lena is a Dora Award winning actor / theatre creator / educator. She has taught drama and musical theatre to students from Kindergarten to high school ages, at after school programs, lunch time programs, and summer camps throughout Ontario. She has worked as a director and choreographer at The Drama Playground in Toronto for over six years, and also runs her own online singing and acting coaching business.  

Lena was a Musical Theatre Instructor and Junior Troupe Director at Bravo Academy, where she directed High School Musical 2 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Her other favourite teaching experiences include being the Theatre Arts Camp Director at Upper Canada College. Recently, Lena worked with the grade 5/6’s of Ridley College to create, rehearse, and perform their own original musical, and also taught at Soulpepper Theatre’s Curtain Up program. 

As an actor, Lena loves performing in children’s theatre. Her favourite roles include B in The Velveteen Rabbit (Carousel Players) and Wendy in Peter Pan (Bad Hats & Soulpepper Theatre.) Lena is a graduate of the classical acting conservatory at George Brown Theatre School.

Christina Nicolaou

Christina Nicolaou is an actor, singer and educator. Most recently, Christina created two pandemic musical comedy shows Mother of the Year and Nobody Asked For This for the Calgary Fringe and Toronto Fringe Festivals. She has taught acting, voice, speech and improv at Opus Academy, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, the University of Washington and various others. She is a graduate of the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting. She also holds a Master of Arts degree from McMaster University in International Relations and Comparative politics. She is thrilled to be involved with Carousel Players.

Teresa Vanderbent

Teresa is an elementary school teacher with the District School Board of Niagara. She graduated Brock University with an Honours of Bachelor of Arts in Drama in Education, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature. She is the recipient of the Norah Morgan Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts and the Arts Educator Award for the DSBN. Teresa has been working with Carousel Players since 2005, starting as the theatre camp coordinator to directing her own camps. She has been writing and directing plays for young audiences based on children’s literature in and out of the school board for the last 13 years. She is passionate about helping children expand their creativity and imagination through dramatic play! 


Parent Feedback

My son has had more interest in trying new things that he wasn’t willing to try previously. He has definitely become more social and has gained friends through this program.

When he was feeling sad he said he felt “heavy” and acted out the emotion.

My son loved the program and was very excited every day that he had it.

Get to understand teacher’s talk, and start to communicate with others in English.

Both my daughters used to wait eagerly for the program day which showed they found it interesting. It helped them to learn time management as the program was just after school and I had to drive them. Both were always excited and energetic to join the session. I found them more confident and more proactive at home.

He is not shy anymore and is now outgoing.

She looked forward to it each and every week!