Summer Theatre School 2014 Photos

Itty Bitty

NOVA’s exciting half-day programs are designed for Kindergarten thru 3rd grade students who want to explore the amazing world of the theatre and their own imagination.

Instructors: Bridget Mayer and Delaney Hardy

Itty Bitty Program: NOVA’s School of Wizardry!

Grab your wand and your robe and jump on your broom stick! Get ready for a spellbinding experience as you’ll use potions, spells and charms to learn how to access your inner wizard and become a master in the world of magic. 

Itty Bitty Program: Into the World of Dr. Seuss! 

Find the nearest plate of green eggs and ham and jump onto the pages of literature’s most eccentric children’s author. Use the colorful language and vivid characters of Dr. Seuss to explore imagination and creativity in a world of endless possibilities.

Itty Bitty Program: Mad Science!

Based on the STEM project, students will experiment with all things theatre-technical, make up, lights while creating a script of their own to perform at the end of the week.

Itty Bitty Program: Out to Sea: Pirates and Mermaids!

Swab the deck or you’ll walk the plank! Are you brave enough to join us on the seven seas? Students can use basic acting skills and build their knowledge of the stage as they become beautiful mermaids or swashbuckling pirates!


Delaney Hardy is a recent graduate from Rocky Mountain College. She graduated with degrees in theater performance and communication. DeLaney has taught two semesters of beginning acting, a semester of creative dramatics, and spent one summer at Venture as a VISTA volunteer.  Her other experiences include two years as box office assistant at Billings Studio Theater, one year as costume shop organizer at Billings Studio Theater, and a summer working at the Virginia City Opera House as a Virginia City Player.


Bridget Mayer is a native of Billings, MT, and was involved with Venture Theatre for five years. During this time, she was actively involved in camps and classes. Her time on Venture’s stage most recently includes four years of Funky Bunch, The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Toby in Sweeney Todd and as Natalie in Next to Normal. During the summer prior to her senior year of High School, Bridget attended a five week summer program at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where she discovered her passion for songwriting. A graduate of Billings West High School, she is currently living in the UK while attending The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts where she is studies Popular Music and Sound Technology through their foundation program.

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We call these programs ‘core’ because they lie at the very heart of what we strive for at NOVA: empowering youth to become theatre artists. The skills that make a good theatre artist are the ones that help develop great human beings. Learning to express using your voice and body helps an actor succeed – and develops empathy as you see the world from someone else’s perspective. Learning ensemble skills for the stage is important to a good play – and helps you learn to get along in the world. Youth involved in theatre make a great community!

NEW FACES Core Program 1!

This is an intense, exciting two week theatre program for incoming 3rd -7th grade students. Focusing on character and relationships, students explore acting, movement, voice, stage craft, and more. The program ends with a showcase which is based on the strengths of the director and actors.

Instructors: Richard Leeds, MaryAnn Connors, Amber Sommerfeld, Jamie Rivard, Bridget Mayer, Jane Lind

ALL STARS Core Program 2!

Go deeper into the world of the theatre in NOVA’s All Stars program. This two week program for incoming 5th grade – High School students who are experienced in theatre. Flex your actor muscles while having a ton of fun. Whether singing, dancing, acting, or creating – the All Stars explore the world of theatre through script work, improv and more. One year of Summer Theatre School experience or equivalent required. The Showcase and is based on the strengths of the director and actors.

Instructors: Derek Petropolis, Jamie Rivard, Jane Lind

summer camp intensive
Intensive Program

For incoming 7th grade-high school students looking to take their theatrical skills to the next level. We provide an intensive curriculum with professional artists to motivate students to hone their performance skills. By audition only. Actors are to bring in a theatrical resume and a two minute modern monologue or song from a modern Broadway musical to perform. Showcases will be compiled of scenes and stage combat from a specific contemporary play and musical numbers from a variety of Broadway shows.

Instructors: Derek Petropolis, Amber Sommerfeld

Advanced Acting Intensive

Students learn to equip their actor’s toolbox with skills to take to any audition or show.  Learn from local and national professionals about what it takes to become a well-rounded actor.

Instructors: Derek Petropolis, Emma Zeiler

Musical Theatre Intensive

Work with local and national professionals to learn what it means to truly be a triple threat.  This week long course focuses on the collaboration of music, acting and movement to tell a story.

Instructors: Amber Sommerfeld, Kathy Honaker



Mary Ann Connors fell in love with theatre over 50 years ago.  Since then she has explored both comedies and dramas, classics through modern as an actress, director, and costumer. In “real life” she taught hisch school English and Drama for over 40 years,  In the world of theatre she most enjoys working with young people, designing costumes, and playing evil, emotional characters.


Jamie Perros-Rivard grew up performing at Grandstreet Theatre in Helena, Montana. She teaches acting, musical theatre, hip hop, and hula at performing arts camps across the state. She also instructs English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), where she integrates theatre and creative writing into the classroom. Jamie completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing-Nonfiction from Emerson College in May 2013.


Jane Lind is a nationally and internationally known professional actor, director and choreographer, trained in classic, traditional and contemporary film and theater, has lived and worked in New York and has traveled the world for her work in the performing arts.  She now lives in Billings, working with children in theater while still involved in her professional career.


Derek Petropolis is an actor, voice-over artist, and theatre collaborator currently based in Los Angeles.  Derek graduated Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington with a BFA in theatre with an emphasis in acting.  Derek was an active member in the Seattle theatre community, and worked with several theatres including the Seattle Shakespeare Company.  Derek has done commercial work for the Washington State Lottery, Microsoft, Samsung, and Mini Cooper. Recently, he has performed in a Shakespeare influenced touring mask and movement show.


Amber Sommerfeld is currently living in the Bay Area, California. In April she finished a six month tour of Julius Caesar with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare in the Schools Tour.  Her most recent work has been in Antigonick with Scatterstate Theater and 1776 with Tabard Theater Company. She has her degree in Theatre Arts with a Minor in Musical Theatre from Santa Clara University. She has been seen in productions with Woman’s Will, Pacific Repertory Theatre, Half Moon Bay Shakespeare, SJREAL at San Jose Rep, and other work with SF Shakes. She looks forward to being back in Billings for the summer to work with NOVA on BIG, the Musical. 


Emma Lou Zeiler is an actress, poet, and drama teacher. She is an alumna from the University of Montana where she achieved a BFA in Theatre. During her time in the beautiful city of Missoula, she performed in various productions such as Hair, The Cherry Orchard, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and Medea. Emma has also competed in multiple spoken word poetry slams with The Venture Theatre. She now resides in her home town of Red Lodge, MT where she is an acting coach with Seattle Talent, The Boys and Girls Club, and her independently founded group The Young Actors Theatre Camp of Red Lodge. Emma has always held a passion for the performing arts and is elated to be working with the creative youth at NOVA.