Well, folks, this is a first. I am sitting here at the Il Dolce Café, writing my Who’s Who, and my subject is here with me! I have never written one of these articles with the subject present. I am a little nervous, not going to lie, but inspired at the same time and feeling a little pressure to get all the facts right. Leone Stanway just happens to work as a part-time barista with me at the Il Dolce café on Elm Avenue, but that’s not how we met. Last fall, Leone came on board the Fezziwig Society as our musical director and taught us all (except me) how to sound beautiful on stage. I, unfortunately, can’t carry a tune in a knapsack, but Leone worked hard and the audiences loved the show. It was a blast. Despite all of Leone’s efforts, Widow Spanky sounded about as beautiful as she looked… but I made a new friend! Ladies and gents: Leone Stanway!
The adorable Leone Stanway grew up in a teeny-tiny town in the mountains of British Columbia where she spent most of her time running amuck and attending school intermittently. Leone is one of two kids (she has a younger brother) and her family always had an assortment of pets/animals ranging from commonplace to very odd.
Leone recently graduated from Acadia University with a B.A. in Music, and at the moment she is spending A LOT of her time contributing to various productions being performed in the area. She does performance, directing, musical directing, and/or interfering as much as possible with the gentle flow of the rehearsals. She loves getting tangled up in projects, as it offers an incomparable opportunity to become engaged with a community and to continue developing her musical skills.
As a child, Leone had wonderful experiences with theatre and musicals. She says, ”Participating in musicals had an immeasurable effect on the development of my life-skills and personality. You learn cooperation, kindness, self-awareness, confidence, and the list does not end. I can still hardly believe I’m in a position to offer this chance to others: it is one of the reasons I am particularly excited about working on Wolfville Elementary Schools production of The Wizard of Oz! The Wizard of Oz was also the first musical I was in, as it is for many of these kids.”
The Wizard of Oz just wrapped up at Wolfville School to glowing reviews and packed houses (Congrats Leone and cast). I apologize for not getting this profile to you sooner so you could catch it (if you missed it), but you can see Leone’s work in the upcoming production of Stage Prophets’ Les Miserables. She gets to put on her performing suit for this production and I’m very excited to check it out. Les Miserables will be performed at the Festival Theatre in Wolfville May 15, 16, 17, and 18 at 7pm with a matinee performance on May 17at 1:30. Tickets are on sale now at Box of Delights and the Acadia Box Office in Wolfville, The Designer Café and the St. Joseph’s Church Office in Kentville, and M&M Meats in New Minas.
As well, Leone is hard at work (before she heads back home for the summer) as Musical Director with the Women of Wolfville production coming up in a few months. WOW has a theme this year about clothing!
When asked about hobbies and such, Leone answers that her work is her hobby and she loves it! She does like to travel, which counts as a hobby, and she usually works as she travels, which adds fun and experience. Leone’s future goals include continuing to offer what she can to the local arts community, especially any work involving children, as she feels it’s super important to nurture those young talents. She also plans to return to school to complete her Masters, but first she’d like to get herself to another country asap for a bit of R&R and discovery. Her to-do list is lengthy, but with Leone’s determination, I’m sure she’ll get through it all.
I always end my Who’s Who interviews by saying, “Tell me some interesting facts about yourself.” Leone’s answers were quite priceless. She says, “I never learned how to cartwheel, although I understand it in theory. I have a Mexican Kingsnake, which is currently residing in B.C. with one of my past music teachers, and I’ve swum in the Mekong and in the Nile, and as far as I know, did not catch diseases in either.” HA HA!!! Her answers are as sweet and entertaining as her beautiful singing voice!
Best of luck, Leone. Thanks for hitting all the right notes with the Wolfville Theatre Community! And thanks for always getting my Americano just right! Sincerely, Widow Spanky!