Liberty Junction Theatre
Performing Arts Programs in Mississauga
Our history & values.
Liberty Junction Theatre Inc. was founded by Melanie Miles in 2008 and has been growing steadily for almost 9 years!
We are a registered non-profit theatre organization in Mississauga offering a variety of performing arts programs for both children and teenagers, including summer theatre camps, musicals and plays, improv courses, acting for TV and film workshops, vocal training, and a Kinder Drama program for young children.
- “Liberty Junction has given my child the opportunity to develop even more confidence while performing and singing on stage, confidence that she can take into other aspects of her life.”
- “My son has continue to learn and grow with Liberty Junction theatre. He has made some wonderful friends and loves to perform.”
- “There is no doubt the confidence my daughter received by being part of this great production. She has made so many friends and can’t wait to be part of another Liberty Junction performance.”
The Liberty Junction Team.
Melanie Miles Money //
Creative Director, Choreographer, Dialect Coach, Make up Artist
At the age of eight, Melanie formed her own acting, singing and dancing group with her friends in the neighbourhood. Together they created scenes and musical theatre numbers and showcased them in Seniors homes in Brampton, Ontario (under the supervision of her parents). With her passion for self-expression and creation further developed, Melanie auditioned and was accepted into Mayfield Dramatic Arts Major. She found her way from acting to directing. It was at Mayfield where she participated in the Sears Festival, receiving an award for Excellence in Stage Managing. The following year, she was selected to direct a professionally written play. Melanie’s passion for leading and creating brought her to audition for the internationally acclaimed Vancouver Film School- Foundation Film program. She furthered her experience directing and working with actors, as well as producing short films. Melanie is also trained in Laban Movement and carries an array of creative talents from make-up artistry, set & costume design and sound editing.
Wanting to give back to the community and to create opportunities for youth to gain training in the performing arts, Melanie started Liberty Junction Theatre in 2008. Within 2 months of starting her tiny venture, she was running summer camps and acting classes in a local church basement. Many of students for the first summer of camp have volunteered over the years and are still a part of the LJT community some way.
In 2009 & 2010 & 2012,, the LJT was nominated for best emerging Performing Arts Group under Melanie’s leadership. She lead LJT to perform at the Bread & Honey Festival for multiple years as well as performing Annie at the unveiling of Celebrating Square in summer 2011. Since then Melanie and her team of performing arts instructors have worked together to create instructional musical theatre courses. Each course giving children the opportunity to grow their life skills, while enhancing their performance skills~ all while working towards and end goal of performing in a real theatre with professional standard costumes and sets.
In 2012, Melanie incorporated Liberty Junction to a Not-for-profit community based organization. Apart from running the company, she also directed 2 musicals a year, ran summer camp and hired other staff (on contract basis) to direct plays, run dance and film & tv workshops. Seeing her students grow, as well as her courses reaching capacity, Melanie risked and stretched her geographical reach from Streetsville/Meadowvale (North Mississauga) to Lorne Park Area (South Mississauga).
Seeing her number of students grow to almost overflow in both North and South Mississauga locations, in 2015, Melanie lead LJT to lease a 2500 square-foot free standing building. She pioneered and fundraised to see the renovations suit her vision for small, med and large size studios to accommodate the rehearsal sessions and multiple programs happening simultaneously.
Having a permanent venue meant that more programs and events could take place with out additional rental fees. In 2015, Melanie started ‘Girls Nights’ to connect with her students and the community on a deeper level. These Friday nights were designed to be another safe place for teens to go to share to be heard and to see that they’re not alone. Melanie struggled with suicide and self harm as a teenager and saw the value in providing a place for young women regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation or ability, to be encouraged and celebrated!
Melanie decided to host an annual Fundraiser / Coffee House to encourage young people to express themselves through poetry, spoken word, monologue, short story, musical theatre, and scenework. Although these have been entertaining evenings, the coaching Melanie foresaw to develop such vulnerabilty and skills was not able to be offered, as this is all done on a volunteer basis. 2017, was the first year the Coffee House had to be omitted due to lack of funding.
In 2016, Melanie was commissioned by documentary filmmaker and renound artist Fahim Hamid Ali to choreograph a dance/drama for the premiere at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Premier Kathleen Wynne was in attendance to watch the Melanie’s creative piece on joining Canada & Pakistan entitled “Together we are home”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdgHTCnzZvA
In 2017, Melanie expanded the Teen Girls Nights to Tween Nights-seeing the need to connect with 11 and 12 year old students.
One of Melanie’s greatest joys is mentoring and sharing with the community. Her passion for youth realizing their passions and maximizing their potential is something that brings her great joy and reward. She has mentored over 18 co-op students since 2010 and countless volunteers. This funding opportunity is the very heart and ethos of Liberty Junction values are to train, to express and to share with others.
Producer, Administrative Co-ordinator
For over 20 years Marnie has been a Child and Youth Worker involved in developing and delivering programs to young people. Her passion for the arts and integrating it with life skills learning brought her to open her own cre- ative learning centre in 2002 and successfully ran it for 10 years. It was at that time Marnie fell in love with business development, administration,event planning and all things organizational! After taking a brief break to spend time with her 3 wonderful children, Marnie returned to the workforce in event planning and Office Administration. Marnie first came to learn of Liberty Junction years ago as a parent and joined the staffing team last summer. She is thrilled to be part of LJT and expanding it to new areas.
Graziella Mastrangelo //
Musical Theatre Director/ Vocal Coach / Glee Instructor
At an early age Graziella had her sights set on an elite high school which focused not only on academics but set a very high standard for performing arts. It was there Graziella had the opportunity to wet her feet in many aspects of the performing world. A love affair with Musical Theatre flourished and quickly she moved on to study all the different facets of Music, Theatre & Dance.
She is a Graduate of The Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts; from which she holds a diploma in Performing Arts (Voice, Drama & Dance). She is a classically trained actor in Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Contemporary works, has extensive training in Improv at The Second City Theatre in Toronto and many years of training both in front and behind the camera. She is a classically trained vocalist who attended The Glenn Gould Professional School of Music, McMaster University, Le Royal Conservatoire de Musique de Luxembourg, The University of Toronto, McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario where she respectively obtained her Music Theory, History, Harmony, Voice Performance Diploma, Degrees in Music and Education, primarily focussing her attention on Pre-school to grade 6.
She is currently working toward completing The Royal Conservatory of Music Pedagogy Diploma Program 2017/2018 in both Music and Speech Arts. Performing styles such as Pop, Jazz, Swing, Chamber, Folk, Musical Theatre, Classical & Opera has given Graziella the privilege of performing across Canada, The United States, Mexico & Europe. Graziella is an avid Vocal and Speech Arts Competitor where she has gone on to win countless awards in categories such as Poetry, Shakespearean, Musical Theatre, Italian, French, Spanish & German Interpretations in both Voice & Speech. Favourite Musical Theatre Roles: “Tina” (Second City’s Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding), “Maria” (West Side Story) “Belle” (Disney’s Beauty & The Beast).
As a teacher, Graziella has over 15 years of experience. Her passion for inspiring young minds and developing the confidence in young performers is evident in any of her classes. She is thrilled to be doing what she loves to do on a daily basis and feels blessed to have the opportunity to teach and touch the lives of the old and young. She is delighted to be a part of Liberty Junction Theatre and can not wait to get started!!! She promises to do her best to make the year fun- filled learning experience for all!
John Zachar //
Director/ Acting Instructor
John has an Honours Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Windsor and is currently working at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts in Toronto as a Visual Arts teacher.
He has been involved with theatre for over 24 years. Some shows he has performed in are: Adolfo in Drowsy Chaperone, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Capitan Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, just to name a few. He has also directed shows such as Urinetown and Into the Woods.
John is very excited to be a part of this year’s Grease with Liberty Junction, and is looking forward to directing young talent on stage.
Whitney Boerger //
Dance Choreographer/ Tap Instructor
Originally from Evansville, Indiana, Whitney fell in love with dance at the young age of 2. After taking her first year of ballet at age 6, there was no doubt that this love would continue. Whitney has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, hip-hop, lyrical, musical theater and contemporary. During high school, Whitney competed and performed with the North High School Dance Team and Color Guard and was the lead dancer in stage productions including: Aida, Singing In The Rain, and Man of La Mancha. During this time, Whitney also had the great opportunity to travel to New York City and take classes from the Broadway Dance Center.
In college, Whitney joined the University of Evansville Dance Team where she served as captain for two seasons. During this time, a light was shed on her passion for teaching and choreographing. For 7 years, Whitney taught and choreographed for various groups including high school dance teams, high school color guards, musical theater productions, gymnastics classes for ages 2-15, and studio classes for ages 2-18. In 2012, Whitney had the great opportunity to join the SasSquad out of Shannon’s School of Dance in Evansville, Indiana where she performed at concerts, fashion shows, and other local events.
After moving to Florida, Whitney had the opportunity to serve as the instructor and lead choreographer for the Junior Competitive Team at Bourne2Dance as well as teach various classes including creative movement, lyrical, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and musical theatre.
Upon moving to Toronto, Whitney decided to take time off from teaching and become the student again. After spending two years taking classes from local companies and professionals, she is thrilled to get back into the teacher and choreographer role.
Whitney fosters a welcoming, positive, and professional atmosphere where all students feel they can thrive to be the best possible version of themselves. She has a true passion for teaching and is honored to be able to share that passion with the Liberty Junction Theatre family.
Nicole Toogood //
Nicole is absolutely thrilled to be choreographing for Liberty Junction Theatre. She has an extensive background directing and choreographing for a variety of theatre groups for quite some time. She has directed and choreographed “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Young Frankenstein”, and “Its Christmas Carol!’ being some of her favourites.
She has truly been honoured to work alongside such a professional welcoming creative team. Nicole is thankful for this amazing opportunity and looks forward to maintaining such a great relationship with the LJT theatre folks. As always, love and thanks goes to my ever supporting and encouraging “FRAMILY.”