(This page has our 2017 staff bios. 2018 staff bios are added in April 2018)
Here you'll find People who love Kids and Theater, and are dedicated to:
--The kids and their camp experience
--Theater as a lively, dynamic art
Our staff are confident, motivated, and theatrically gifted. They are here to help make your child's camp experience more interesting, fun, and where appropriate for that particular child, challenging, so that children can take their next step in theatrical expression.
For staff bios, scroll down the page
- Oregon Staff on top
- Vermont staff nearer to bottom of page
- Autumn 2017 Theater Club staff TBA; usually varies by location
Torsti Rovainen, Camp Founder / Director
Portland & Vermont Camps
Torsti Rovainen is very happy to offer Inspirations Theater Camps as a place for children and adults to come together to create a special theater and community experience. He has written and scored five musicals. As director Torsti organizes and oversees all camp operations; directs and choreographs scenes for the play; schedules rehearsals; leads theater workshops and activities; supports and directs camp staff; and acts as the primary parent liaison before and during camp.
oregon camp staff
Voni Kengla has been passionate about theater since before she can remember and is excited to share her enthusiasm with campers. She has been involved in many theater productions through Staged, Northwest Children’s Theater and The Lakewood Theater. Voni has just finished her second year at University of Hartford pursuing her BFA in Musical Theater. She enjoys being active, playing games and singing as loudly as she can, and is excited to return to Inspirations Camp for a third year!
Aubrey Pledger: I am excited to work a second summer at Inspirations Theater Camp because I love seeing the creativity that kids bring to a theater experience, as well as helping young people step out of their comfort zone in a fun and supportive environment. I'm on the edge of my seat to see what they come up with this year! In the past, I have worked in the theater department of MetroArts Kids' Camp, helped at Inspirations Theater Camps and Afterschool clubs, and acted in both school and independent productions. In my spare time, I enjoy soaking up the summer sun and playing with my dog Bella!
(Unfortunately, Darlene will be out of town this summer and unable to be with us during camp. We hope she can make it to the final shows!)
Darlene Sorensen truly believes that “all the world is a stage.” Playing is one of her greatest passions, whether it is through theater, dance, or in the routine of daily life. Darlene holds a B.F.A in Theatre and an M.A. in counseling psychology—emphasis in drama therapy. She has over 20 years experience performing in a variety of venues. She has facilitated improv workshops and drama therapy for life skills enhancement, personal growth, customer service skills, performance and just plain fun. Darlene loves dance, reading, experimenting with cooking and rarely finds life boring (with the exception of tax receipt organizing). She is blessed with a daughter and partner, who fill her life with joy, depth and laughter.
Bella Gunn, Camp Cheerleader (Oregon camp)
Bella Gunn may not be with us too much this summer, she will come by to visit when she can. Bella, also known as Doodle, enjoys the many dress-up sessions, fashion shows, and nail painting sessions that her human sisters have her participate in. Her acting career includes playing the part of The Bride in several family backyard weddings, although truth be told, she did run from the altar once in her wedding dress and had to be chased down the street. Bella enjoys wiggling excitedly, chasing tennis balls repeatedly, rolling in mud puddles, being in the middle of things, and giving slurpee kisses. She is five years old, and is of lab and border collie heritage.
VERMONT CAMP staff
Izzi Byrne 1st Week
Isabella "Izzi" Byrne loves both theater and working with kids, and is excited for an opportunity to do both at Inspirations Camp for a fourth season. She believes that theater is a great way to encourage kids to come out of their comfort zone and try on different personas they wouldn't otherwise have the chance to. Izzi has performed in many school productions at Wellspring and the Sharon Academy, as well as the Get Thee to the Funnery Shakespeare camp, and Chandler Music Hall Summer Productions. She loves to read and spending time with her family and friends.
Amanda Rosalbo 2nd Week
Amanda Rosalbo has been in love with theater for as long as she can remember and is so excited to have the opportunity to share her passion with kids from all over Vermont. She participated in a program called the Governors Institute of Vermont on the Arts and attended a class for long form improv, and has found a love for interacting with other students in a caring, non-judgmental community through that experience. She is excited to meet new people, help kids find a love of the arts in their own way, and help put on Olympus this summer. Amanda enjoys photography, watching the sunset, and eating out with friends.
Nilla Rinaldi 2nd Week
Hi! I am Nilla Rinaldi. I am graduating Thetford Academy this year and will be attending UVM in the fall. I have always loved theater and did it in middle school as well as high school. I have done everything from Shakespeare to musicals written by Torsti Rovainen to one act plays that have made it to the state championships. I have always found that although theater can be scary, it is a great way to build confidence and a sense of self in young people, and I am excited to be involved in giving the students a chance to grow. In my personal life I love rock climbing, the ocean, and gelato.
Makenzi Edwards 1st Week
Makenzi Edwards is ecstatic to work at Inspirations Theater camp this summer because she believes that she has some genuine knowledge to pass along to these kids. Makenzi has always been in love with theater and music since she was a little girl. She attended a writing and acting comedy class at the Governor's Institute winter weekend and is hoping to enter an arts class there this summer as well. She knows that theater is an amazing fit for kids because it allows them to express themselves and just show how a seemingly small individual can be as big as they want themselves to be. She also loves pandas.
Clara Lent 1st Week
I’m excited to work with Inspirations Theater because I bring lots of energy to a group, and I love working with younger children.
Clara Lent background: I’ve done Shakespeare camp for multiple years in a row, I’ve had experience with doing this Inspirations Theater for the past three years, I’m a part of The Sharon Academy’s annual musical, and I’ve been acting since about 3rd grade.
I think theater is a great outlet for a wide range of kids. Some kids with a lot of energy like to take it out in acting and having a group that’s entirely their own, basically another family that they trust, and who are there for them when they need. For kids who can sometimes be shy, it’s a great way for them to become comfortable in the time that they spend in camp with the other kids building connections and making new friends.
In my spare time I love hanging out with my friends, going swimming and eating strawberry ice cream!
Bailey Rinaldi 1st Week
Bailey Rinaldi: Through the years in Waldorf school I have learned to adore theater because it let me be someone other than myself. Inspirations camp is a way for me to continue that and help younger children grow to love it just as much as I do. In my schools we did a lot of acting and theater games, and sometimes the whole school would partake in the making of an amazing musical. I have acted as the protagonist in several Rovaunen Musicals.
I can bring the feeling of importance to kids doing theater by enthusiasm and character building activities. Theater always seems to follow me home: I love singing in the car (really really loud) and when I watch movies I always seem to pick out older musicals like Hello Dolly or something with a dramatic flair. (These movies are always made better when accompanied by a cat or dog)