SSP Executive Committee

Current Executive Committee

Jon Allen


Jon was born in Norwich, England in 1941. He was educated at Langley School in Norfolk, where he graduated in 1959. In 1968, he immigrated to Canada and worked for five years with the Malabar Costume Co. in Toronto. In 1973, he and a friend decided to see the world and spent the next 18 months exploring Asia, Australia and Africa. Soon after his return to Toronto he met his future wife, Ina, a registered nurse whom he married in 1976.

In 1981, in a converted school bus, Jon, Ina and their two young children moved to Mahone Bay, a small town in Nova Scotia. He became a licensed real estate agent in 1984 and continued in the business until 2001 when he retired and decided to devote all his energies to music and writing (and golf!).

Jon’s love of theatre was re-ignited in 1993 with the founding of the South Shore Players. As a founding member, Jon played Bob Cratchit in their first production A Christmas Carol. Since then he has been involved in most of their shows as either an actor or director.

In 2002, he decided to try his hand at writing a musical. Since his arrival in Nova Scotia, music has become an important part of his life, and in fact, in 1990 he formed a band called Midlife Crisis, which is still going strong! Through that involvement he started writing songs for the band and now with theatre being very much a part of his life, writing a musical seemed to be a natural progression.

Treasure Island seemed a wonderful vehicle to adapt into a musical and on March 31, 2006 at the Pearl Theatre in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Gentlemen of Fortune opened. In 2011, Jon directed his original English farce called Nothing like a Quiet Weekend, which was also featured at the Pearl Theatre.

John "Birdie" Bird


John, aka “”Birdie”,” has been involved with music all of his life, and attended the University of Portland, Oregon, where he studied clarinet and composition.  A clarinetist, saxophonist, pianist, and arranger, all primarily in the jazz idiom, and a music teacher of several instruments, Birdie’’s accolades include Best Song from the Nova Scotia Theatre Festival and the Lescarbot Award for contributions to the artistic life of the Liverpool area. He has worked at Neptune Theatre and with the Winds of Change Theatre Group as a pit musician, and done some CBC Radio Drama composition, plus being past and present member of several bands and groups in Nova Scotia. His most recent contributions to South Shore Players have been orchestral arrangements for our production of Anne of Green Gables. He shares a love of the arts with his wife Ruth, who is our Treasurer.

Ruth Buchanan Bird


Ruth is a New Brunswick-born air force brat who came back to the East Coast after a 20-year stint in the Northern Ontario mining industry and loves the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Some of her past volunteer work includes Treasurer of the Bridgewater and Area Performing Arts Society, Show Secretary of South Shore Horsemen’s Club, and a Red Cross Therapy Dog handler with her much loved companion, Kelly, and she is proud to join the ranks of South Shore Players as their Treasurer. Currently employed at South Shore Regional Hospital, with a working background in the areas of bookkeeping and Workers’ Compensation investigations, she is an enthusiastic fan of the the Arts, most especially of her husband, local talented musician and teacher, John Bird. She is a proud Mom and Nana, with daughter Katie and son Richard, plus an extended family, and five amazing grandchildren!

Teresa Patterson


Teresa joined the South Shore Players two years ago following a move from Wolfville.  As an adult student at Acadia University, Teresa graduated in 2000 with a BA in Theatre Studies.  During the last number of years, she was a member of CentreStage Theatre in Kentville, working in every capacity including two stints as a board member.  Since joining the South Shore Players, Teresa has been on stage as Mrs. Boyle in The Mousetrap and Mrs. Blewitt in Anne of Green Gables.  She also worked backstage during The Wizard of Oz and acted as prompter during rehearsals.  Teresa is pleased to continue as member of the South Shore Players and looks forward to being a contributing member of the Executive Committee.

Colleen Hagen

Artistic Director

Colleen has been involved in community theatre since the early 90’s. She has worked on productions with the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, BC; CentreStage Theatre in Kentville, NS; Valley Ghost Walks in Wolfville and Kentville, NS; Stage Prophets in Wolfville, NS and the South Shore Players in Lunenburg County, NS. Her posts have included: actor, director, stage manager, writer, workshop leader and youth theatre camp instructor.

Sheilagh Woods

Communications Director

Sheilagh spent 30+ years as an Administrative Assistant at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.  After retiring in 2013, she and her husband, Darvill, relocated to “Martins Riviera.  She made her theatrical debut in 2015 as a Lady of Avonlee in the South Shore Players’ production of Anne of Green Gables.  Upon discovering there were openings in the South Shore Players Executive Committee, she volunteered her services and was welcomed with open arms.  Although sitting as a member on any committee is new to her, Sheilagh hopes her many years of clerical experience will allow her to adequately fill the role as their Communication Director.

Dayle Crouse

Costumes Director

Dayle studied Costume Design at Dalhousie University and went on to work in the museum world for a decade. After a cross-Canada move and a need to come back home to the ocean, Dayle was introduced to the South Shore Players through a friend. This will be her third production with the South Shore Players where she will continue to lurk behind the shadows with needle and thread.

Helen Steenburgh

Props Director

Helen moved to Mahone Bay a year and a half ago from Ontario where she had been a long-time member of Theatre Night in Merrickville (TNIM).  At TNIM, she was a member of the Executive for many years, as well as being involved with many of the productions, on stage a few times, but mainly as the properties mistress and helping back stage. On arriving in this area, she was immediately put to work as the Stage Manager for The Mousetrap and then in the fall as Props Manager for Anne of Green Gables. In the spring of 2016, she was Stage Manager again for Jake’s Women. She looks forward to working on many more productions with the South Shore Players.

John Solman

Technical Director

John is a recent arrival on the South Shore where he and his wife have retired to an ocean-front property in Rose Bay. Prior to that, John spent his time in Ontario, mostly Ottawa, where he worked in IT for many years and then ran a home renovation business for a few more years.

John has been active in community and small professional theatre for over 40 years in numerous backstage roles including, carpenter, stage manager, technical director, production manager, board member and lighting designer/technician. Now he is primarily a Lighting Designer.  Over the years he has designed lighting for close to 200 shows in the Ottawa area ranging from large Broadway musicals in large theatres to small shows in intimate venues.

Jeannie Millar

Honorary Archivist

Jeannie has been with the South Shore Players almost right from the start. She has produced, stage-managed, organized concessions and patiently kept 20 years of archives. She has made a good number of great friends and has never regretted a moment…well, almost never!