About Our Creative Directors
Artistic Director, Diana Kaarina
Diana Kaarina began her professional career with two seasons at the Charlottetown Festival, understudying and performing the role of Anne in Anne of Green Gables. She then spent over 3 years with Livent’s Phantom of the Opera as Meg Giry, touring Singapore, Hong Kong, her hometown, Vancouver, and in the resident company in Toronto.
Diana next joined the US National Tour of Les Miserables for 3 years (National Touring Award nom. for Best Actress in a Musical), and moved to the Broadway company for 2 more years in the role of Eponine (where she had the honour of being a part of the historic closing cast in 2003.) Directly after, she created the role of Miss Dorothy Brown for the First National Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie and then joined the Broadway company of Rent for a year. Her daughter was born in June 2006.
She reprised her role of Eponine in Les Miserables for the Outdoor Premiere at the St. Louis Muny (Kevin Kline Award nom. for Best Actress), and took on the role of Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie in San Diego in 2007. She has since played Miss Dorothy in Millie for The Gateway Theatre and Millie in Millie for Theatre Under the Stars (Ovation Award for Best Actress).
She has had the honour and privilege of working with such theatre notables as Harold Prince, Trevor Nunn, John Caird, Claude-Michel Schonberg & Alain Boublil, David Caddick, Rob Ashford, Michael Mayer, Michael Grief, Jason Moore, Jeanine Tesori, Alan Menken, Cameron Mackintosh, Jason Howland and Disney. Diana is also a voice-over actress, and can be heard in radio commercials and as the voice of Barbie in Mattel’s DVD Movies, as well as numerous other animated characters.
Upon returning to Vancouver, Diana worked with TUTS Managing Director James Cronk to create and lead the summer musical theatre program for students with Theatre Under the Stars where she will be offering summer camps again this year. This will be her second year teaching the musical theatre summer class for the Goh Ballet. Her own Vancouver studio, Broadway Edge Studio, provides a range of training and performance opportunities for children and adults of all ages in all styles of dance, voice, acting and musical theatre.
Choreographer, Lisa Ho
Lisa Ho is an established dancer/singer/actor/choreographer based out of Vancouver and New York City. Most recently, Lisa was an original cast member of the Tony Award Winning show Shrek The Musical. Also to her name are notable credits such as A Chorus Line on Broadway, Mamma Mia! in Toronto, and regional productions of Miss Saigon, High School Musical and The King and I. Film/TV credits include Once Upon A Mattress, Deep Rising, The Score, The Annual Tony Awards, Live With Regis and Kelly, and The Early Show. Lisa has worked with influential choreographers and directors such as Kathleen Marshall, Rob Ashford, and Crystal Pite to name a few.
Lisa has a Bachelor of Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and has taught master classes at dance schools and colleges throughout North America. She most recently received her certification in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in New York City. Lisa serves on the boards of MOVE: the company and the Maria Mimie Ho Foundation.
Support Encore Musical Theatre
At Encore, we are proud of every single child who participates in our musical theatre program and we simply cannot exist without the involvement and support of the community.
Please consider a contribution to Encore when planning your donations to support the ongoing operations and high quality show productions we stage each year!