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Chris O’Neill, RCCA Executive Director

Chris O’Neill is a professional actor and playwright who co-founded the organisation and was the driving push to build the Centre, acting as the fundraising and programming locus for the past ten years. She has taught writing and acting, served on both provincial and national boards of arts organisations and  served on community boards. She continues to work as a theatre artist, with four plays co-written with husband Ken Schwartz to her credit, including the published Westray: The Long Way Home. She is most known in theatre as an actor.  She was most recently seen with Two Planks in The Iliad by Fire playing Athena (as she did in 2007′s The Odyssey), as Audrey and Madame LeBeau in As You Like It, and in LysistrataBeowulf,  Jerome: the Historical Spectacle, The CrucibleOur Town and and other shows. She is a co-creator of 937, a play without words touring schools and communities, and she has toured with productions from BC to CapeBreton.  She was awarded a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for contribution to her community and Canada in 2002, the Valley Arts Award for her working Arts Education in 2010, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Ken Schwartz, Artistic Director of Two Planks

Ken Schwartz is a co-founding artistic director of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre since 1992. A two-time graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Ken is an award-winning director, educator and dramaturge. He has directed over 30 productions for the company, including The Odyssey and Beowulf by Rick Chafe, Our Town, Rockbound by Allen Cole and Jerome: the Historical Spectacle by Ami McKay. In 2009 he collected Merritt Awards for outstanding achievement in Nova Scotian theatre as both director and producer of Our Town. In 2008 he was awarded the Established Artist Recognition award by the NS Arts & Culture Partnership Council and collected the Merritt Award as producer of The Odyssey. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the art form, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.   He has been at the Stratford Festival as an Assistant Director to Tim Carroll twice as part of the Michael Langham  Program in Classical Direction, in 2010 and 2013.  His most recent productions include As You Like It,  and his own adaptations of The Iliad (by fire) and Lysistrata, with music and lyrics by Allen Cole.

Roxy Peterson, Camp and Education Director

Roxy Peterson was born and raised in London, Great Britain, and comes to us with honours in design and semiology studies from the London Metropolitan University. He has been involved with Summer Camping, youth and community work for 15 years in London GB, Franklin PA, and Okeechobee FL. He has lived in Canada since 2008 and has worked for Ross Creek since then  as the Education and Camp Director, managing March Break, SummerArts Camp, Youth Art Enrichment programs, the Positive Action Project for Anti-Bullying and the Ross Creek Youth Council among other things.

Mariya Tsethik, Gardening and Programming Volunteer

Mariya Tsethik is an emerging textile artist with a passion for craft and agriculture. Prior her arrival to Nova Scotia, Mariya lived in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Israel and Alberta. A soon-to-be (NSCAD) graduate with a textiles and fashion major, Mariya is a recipient of many awards and scholarships for her studio work and community involvement. Since the Spring of 2013, Mariya has been volunteering for the NSCAD Natural Dye Garden, growing dye plants on the university deck and Common Roots Farm, and was a volunteer for a number of galleries and community-based projects, including Eye Level Gallery for the Go North Tour. She has also assisted with  Family Sundays at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. At Ross Creek she is helping with the gardens, garden-based education,  community and school programs.

Jona Xhepa, Operational and Programming Volunteer

Originally from Albania, and grown up in Vancouver, BC, Jona spent bits of my adulthood traveling in Europe and Central America in search of music, poetry, comedy and cheese. With an interest in the link between mythology, storytelling and identity, I have written about my experiences, and used them in amateur comedy shows, including brief stints in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I am working towards a first poetry collection and pursuing my interest in folklore.

Ashlee Campbell, Office Assistant Volunteer

Ashlee Campbell is currently a high school student at Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning. She volunteers here at Ross Creek for her co-op. Ashlee plans on going on to a secondary education at NSCC. She is interested in going on to be an office administrator and this experience, here at Ross Creek, will help her gain some knowledge on what it will be like. Even though at times she can be shy, Ashlee loves to socialize and work with people.

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