Angela Knowles

Angela has been an MYP Theatre Arts teacher at CISB since 2014. She teaches all Theatre classes for grade 6 to 9 students and is one of the directors of CISB StageCats. Performing, directing and teaching theatre has been Angela’s life-long passion. In her university days, she taught at TNB Theatre School and Calithumpians in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She also started a summer theatre school called Broadway’s Best in her hometown of Bathurst, New Brunswick along with her husband and co-director Patrick Connolly. Angela also had many opportunities to take the stage as a performer with Theatre St. Thomas (Godspell, Translations, The Threepenny Opera) and Valley Young Company (Hair, The Crucible, Company, Songs for a New World, Godspell). After moving across the country from New Brunswick to British Columbia in 2010, Angela completed her Masters of Education in Arts Education and taught for two years as a Drama, English and French teacher at Diamond Elementary in Surrey, BC. Both MYP Theatre and after-school drama were in its early stages when Angela arrived in 2014, and after five years both programs have grown – the MYP is now a cohesive program extending into grade 10 and the after-school drama club, now CISB StageCats, has produced 7 plays, 6 musicals and many other scenes, monologues, songs and dances! Angela helps direct CISB StageCats along with a team of superstars (showcased on this page). Being a part of this amazing group of teachers has allowed her to tap into her creativity and share her love of acting, singing, dancing and scheduling, as well as try her hand at new skills like advertising/ promotion. Angela feels very lucky to be doing a job that aligns with her passions, and that allows her to cultivate a love of theatre in others.


Angela 2

Patrick Connolly

Patrick Connolly is proudly Canadian, having grown up in the small town of Bathurst, New Brunswick. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy at St. Thomas University, he went on to achieve his Master of Arts in English Literature – with a focus on Theatre and Performance Studies – from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC.  To share his passion for literature and theatre with young people, Patrick pursued a Bachelor of Education degree (also from SFU) before joining the incredible team of educators here at CISB in 2014. Since then, he has taught several IB subjects at this school: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Theatre Arts, and Theory of Knowledge. As a life-long theatre artist, Patrick also co-directs the CISB StageCats after-school drama program. He feels that drama across the curriculum and outside of class equips students with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in all areas of life. 


Patrick Blog

Jessica Mackenzie

Jessica Mackenzie is a science teacher at the Canadian International School of Beijing.  She has been with the school for seven years, and has been thoroughly enjoying her time so far.  Jessica is not just a teacher, but also a music-nerd, a wife, and an acroyoga and yoga enthusiast. She recently completed her yoga teacher training in Ho Chi Minh city!

Jessica has been with the CISB drama team since it started in 2012.  The drama club at the time put on an original play called “A Fairytale Adventure”, and Jessica and the drama teacher at the time either paid for sets and costumes out of pocket, or made everything out of paper and glue.  We have certainly come a long way since then- with six musicals and seven more plays under our belt!  Jessica combines her talents of music and logistics by helping out with the technical work during the year and also directing the music for the annual Spring Musical. Being a part of StageCats is truly one of the most rewarding parts of her year, and she is so happy to get to work with the amazing students and her team of directors here at CISB.


jessica blog

Melissa Dickinson

My name is Melissa Dickinson and I am from a small town in Eastern Canada called Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick. I have been living and working in Beijing now for 7 years. I teach English Language & Literature to students in Grade 7, 11 & 12. My performance background is a little bit different than the other drama directors as I grew up performing on the ice as a figure skater. As a StageCat director, I take the lead on costume & makeup design and assist in making our visions a reality in set and prop design. I love working backstage and am beyond excited to see what this year has in store for the #CISBStageCats! 


melissa blog