HeARTbeat Theatre


New for 2017/18 – Free Talkback Session by matching up with a nearby school on the same day! See Pricing Section below for more details.

Meet HeARTbeat Theatre

Founded by three veteran Calgary actors and drama instructors (60 years of combined professional experience), this brand new children’s theatre company inspires kids to explore, uncover and foster the unique talent within each one of them.

Mark Holmes’ 30 year career highlights include a tv role in “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and working with children’s theatre groups Quest Theatre and Evergreen Theatre.

Rebecca Schnell worked as a children’s pastor in the Midwest USA for 10 years and has taught drama to children for 20 years, including Quest Theatre in Calgary.

Melissa Dorsey’s list of notable projects includes launching three new theatre companies, performing six shows with Jubilations Dinner Theatre, touring with professional acappella group HOJA, and writing/directing over 20 productions around Calgary.

Please contact us if you wish to see an extensive resume of the performers’ experience as actors and children’s drama instructors.

HeARTbeat Theatre Quick Facts

  • A combined 60 years of professional experience as actors and kids’ drama instructors
  • Storytelling, comedy, music, and puppetry, all encouraging fun audience participation
  • Students are encouraged to see others in a positive way and make a difference for others
  • Faith-Based presentation for Christian schools
  • Themes: Identity, Acceptance, Co-operation, Creativity


Download a PDF summary to take to your committee or admin



• The Secret of Castle Alphabet

When Mea happens upon a mysterious old castle, she unearths the age-old legend that one day, a true heir of the lost kingdom will return. A personal sense of responsibility leads Mea to follow the instructions of the friendly caretaker, while she waits for a ride home. When another castle occupant throws down the gauntlet, Mea’s sense of self- awareness, ability to show respect, and patience are all put to the test in an ultimate face off. This fantastical, imaginative, and interactive story will challenge students to believe that each of them has the ability to change someone’s world, by just being the best version of themselves.

Grade Suitability: K–8
Duration: 55 mins.

• Backwards Kingdom  (Faith-Based)

Follow Mea on an unexpected journey in the Othrenee Castle, where her undiscovered, but true identity as redeemed royalty is put to the test in a series of challenges only the castle’s janitor seems to understand. Can Mea win the final gauntlet while demonstrating the virtuous character of royalty? Based on Matthew 5:14-16 and Colossians 3:12- 14, this imaginative, fun, and interactive story will challenge students to embrace who God has made them to be, to shine brightly, and to inspire change for all the world to see.

Grade Suitability: K–8
Duration: 55 mins.

• Drama Workshops (Public or Faith Based)

In addition to your presentation, HeARTbeat Theatre can also provide drama workshops for small groups of students. All three performers have extensive experience instructing students of all ages through a variety of organizations including Quest Theatre and Evergreen Theatre.

Our standard workshop is designed to reinforce the themes of our show while giving students a chance to explore their creative side.  From movement and self-awareness exercises to storytelling and team building games, this interactive hour will get your kids thinking about their own uniqueness, exploring strength through diversity, considering the importance of good choices and participating in the power of creative collaboration.

Our faith based workshop includes many of the same activities, but we connect the lessons learned to their scriptural context and explore ideas through the lens of a Biblical worldview.

HeARTbeat workshops are designed to be facilitated with a teacher supervisor present and are best for groups of no more than 30 students/workshop leader.

Please call to discuss options (including number/length of sessions, age/size of groups, etc) and a workshop package can be tailored for you at an additional price.

Grade Suitability: K–8

• Residencies (3-day or 5-day)

Using one of our shows as a springboard we’ll explore the themes of self-awareness, kindness, compassion and generosity with your students. We’ll get your kids thinking about their own uniqueness, exploring strength through diversity, considering the importance of good choices and participating in the power of creative collaboration.  Using games, group and individual challenges, storytelling, shadow puppetry and movement activities, we’ll focus on imagining simple ways each student can make a difference in their world: at home, at school and in the community.  Our residence will challenge students to come up with sustainable ideas and initiatives, to carry beyond our time in residency, that will have students excited about practical ways they can make a difference in the world around them.

In a faith based context, we’ll use many of the activities listed above, but we’ll also reinforce timeless truths from scripture that teach us how to approach life with a Biblical worldview.

Please call to discuss options (including number/length of sessions, age/size of groups, etc) and a residency package can be tailored for you

Grade Suitability: K–8

• TalkBacks

After a presentation, HeARTbeat Theatre can provide a post-show talkback with an extended question and answer time. All three performers have extensive experience through a variety of artistic mediums including film, music, directing, producing, set design, props creation, technical aspects, live theatre and cartoon recording.

For faith-based schools, we can talk about how God has used our art throughout our careers.

Please call to discuss options (including length of sessions, age/size of groups, talkback goals etc) and a talkback package can be tailored for you at an additional price (starting at only $200).

Grade Suitability: 4–8


HeARTbeat Theatre offers a free 45 minute Talkback Session if you are willing to help find a nearby school to book them on the same day as your presentation. If you have not already done so, click below to rank the top three artists you’d like to see tour to your area. There‘s no obligation to book, doing so will simply register your school for the discount and help us co-ordinate artists’ tours where there is the most interest for them.

Fees are listed as a range because the exact fee is determined by your area and number of shows in a tour. Once you’ve cast your vote, we can let you know the exact fee and possible dates for your preferred artists.

If your school is facing severe budget challenges please inquire about qualifying for our assistance program.

The Secret of Castle Alphabet

$650–$900 + GST

Backwards Kingdom (Faith-Based)

$650–$900 + GST

Drama Workshops

$650–$900 + GST for a half-day

Artist in Residence

Please contact us to discuss your needs and tailor a package for your school (starting at $5000 for 3-days).




How interactive the performers were with the students! The story plot was easy to understand for younger students, which allowed them to stay engaged. Very enthusiastic crew with a great message to share with the students, parents and staff. We really enjoyed the performance. Thank you for coming to our school to share your message and talents.

Cynthia Grykin, St. Dominic Catholic School, Cold Lake

Everyone at the school had favorable comments about your show. The students especially loved the costumes and masks.

Dave Murphy, Our Lady of Fatima, Calgary

HeARTbeat Theatre was really good, and the show went over very well. The teachers could see how the story lines in the play were headed towards being based in the bible, and your explanation at the end helped our students understand this revelation as well. We were completely pleased and have no suggestions for improvement.

Will Baker, Holy Cross Elementary, Cold Lake

One of the most engaging theatre performances we’ve ever had! The beautiful message of love, faith and courage was outstanding. Even kindergarten sat for 55 minutes completely and totally engaged! Thanks so much!

Kim Welte, St. Thomas Aquinas School, Calgary

 The presentation was quirky, humorous, upbeat, and engaging to our students. The themes were something that all our students could relate to in their own individual way. The presentation worked into language arts, math, health extremely well. Great connections to our work in class, and provided a fun filled theater experience for the students.

Elle McCLary, Coronation School, Edmonton

The many and varied characters kept the show entertaining and engaging for students.  The theme was easy for kids to relate to.  The story was funny and easy to follow for students, yet got them thinking about how they can make the world a better place for themselves and others.

Victoria Daniel, Brander Gardens School, Edmonton