Jarrod Brown – Director

Jarrod is a freelance music and dance teacher here in Auckland. He is the co-director of Bravi Theatre and directs / Choreographs their musicals. After high school he taught as a youth performing arts tutor in dance and musical theatre alongside performing in shows himself. Under the tuition of Duncan Allan, June Renwick and Kim Santarelli his passion for the arts and education grew stronger and it became part of his everyday life and career. Recently, he has played leading roles in a few shows across Auckland such as Parade, Next to Normal, Miss Saigon, The Drowsy Chaperone and Crazy for you. He is excited to work with the APAA team and a cast of young talent.  Jarrod is a strong believer in bringing people together, to feel included and to work hard towards a great end product. 

Jack Barnard – Musical Director

Jack is a freelance musician and teacher in Auckland. Having grown up studying classical trumpet, he is a multi-instrumentalist who loves playing and performing many styles of music. His musical work ranges from Auckland Youth Orchestra,  touring rock bands and tribute bands, professional and school musicals, vocal coaching, private teaching, musical direction, recording and composition work. He loves everything about music and the way it brings people together. He is also the co-director of Bravi Theatre, a locally-operated musical theatre company, and takes part in numerous shows and performances across Auckland. In 2021 he was part of That Bloody Woman at AMT, Little Shop Of Horrors at ACG Parnell, Spamalot at AGS, Chicago at Selwyn College, Parade at Bravi Theatre, and The Best Role’s I’ll Probably Never Play at Q Theatre. Cats is Jack’s first show with APAA and he is very excited to join such a wonderful company and group of creatives, and to work with a fantastic cast of young performers.

Ella-Rose Cutfield – Choreographer

Ella-Rose has been involved in the performing arts industry since a young age. She has performed in many well-known shows and performances such as Billy Elliot the Musical (ATC), Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, and the UK production of Annie the musical. She has a diploma in Commercial Dance and is a qualified teacher with AJDA. She has taught RAD ballet, jazz, musical theatre and lyrical at Apollo Theatre School. As well as her current involvement at APAA, she teaches and choreographs at We Dance and Kristin School. She has choreographed for a variety of successful performances in the community. Ella-Rose is passionate about the arts and enjoys working with all students and inspiring them in this industry.


John Callen

John has worked for more than 45-years as a professional actor, director and writer in theatre, radio, film and television. He has been awarded best actor and best supporting actor. He has performed in or directed more than 100 stage productions and two dozen television series and has appeared in a number of films including all three of The Hobbit movies. Last year he starred as Leonato in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at Auckland’s Pop-Up Globe. Recently he wrapped shooting on a New Zealand/Denmark co-production for TV playing an Italian-bar owner in an exciting crime drama. After that he ran a Winter School at the University of Auckland taking international academic film and television students and putting their theoretical learning into a practical framework.  

John has narrated more than 150 documentaries internationally as well as audio books and many commercials. His directing credits include Shortland Street, The Tribe, Taonga and the story of World War II hero Sir Keith Park, The Kiwi Who Saved Britain.

John is also a founding board member of The Actors’ Program and an Equity member. John teaches at The Actors’ Program and has also taught at Toi Whakaari and Unitec between his acting jobs. He is very enthusiastic about working with young people and has a special place in his heart for musical theatre and the inclusion of young people at all levels and in all areas of theatre.

Jodie Dorday

to hear what Jodie will be bringing to APAA!

Jodie debuted her theatre career with Auckland Theatre Company’s Dancing At Lughnasa in 1995 and the stage is still very much her happy place!   In fact it was the lure to play Mrs Wilkinson in ATC’s Billy Elliott 2016 that brought her back to NZ and she’s loved every minute of being home and continuing her acting journey.   She recently fulfilled a bucket list goal by performing Roger Hall’s one woman play The Bookclub in  May 2018, and after a successful season is now producing a tour of the work around NZ.

Jodie worked alongside her mum Debbie Dorday at Burgundys as a dancer for many years, played Goneril in Sydney Theatre Company’s King Lear, and picked up a Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Lynn in Anthony McCarten’s Film Via Satellite in the late 90’s.  

She has a number of TV roles under her belt and has recently loved playing Trish (Cheryl West’s Mum) in Westside, and Annabelle in the upcoming new drama The Gulf.  In August 2018 she also played the comedic role for ATC of Carol in Filthy Business.   She has recently lived in Bali with her son JJ and husband Troy and enjoyed scooting around with the odd stray dog on her scooter and drinking fresh coconut juice!

Jodie loves working with and passing on her knowledge and experience to the next generation and never underestimates how clever they are!

Jonathan James

Jonathan is an experienced drama teacher, having tutored students in the arts across Auckland for the past 5+ years. Jonathan is trained in multiple disciplines, and finds great fulfilment in nurturing young actors to their full potential.

In 2016, Jonathan was cast in the lead role of Ben Smart in the TVNZ1 Sunday Night Theatre film – Doubt: The Scott Watson Case. He starred in Fencepost Production’s post-apocalyptic short This is DAY Z, and played a supporting role in the re-imagining of cult kiwi classic Pork Pie and the tele-movie, Catching the Black Widow. In 2017, he was cast as core character Caleb Saunders in TV2’s Wilde Ride, and starred in a nationwide Vodafone commercial. In mid-2018, after graduating from The Actors’ Program, Jonathan guest starred as Connor Stuart in Shortland Street.

He played the role of Sky in Mamma Mia, and went on to appear as Jasperino in The Changeling (dir. by Michael Hurst), which toured venues around Auckland. Later that year, Jonathan starred as Danny Zuko in Grease: The Arena Spectacular.


Alan Brash – Co-Founder / Producer

Alan’s love of theatre started when he was cast in the lead of Oliver! when he was at Campbells Bay Primary School, and continued through high school productions (both performing and playing drums), and into amateur dramatics where he was drummer for a number of shows with the North Shore Operatic Society, including Sweet Charity and Evita. Since graduating university (BA/BCom in marketing and politics; Master of Creative Writing), Alan has worked in the New Zealand film, television and theatre industry, where he’s accumulated over 100 hours of TV credits as: screenwriter (Shortland Street), story producer for a series he created (The Strip), script editor (comedy series Pio!, feature film The Irrefutable Truth About Demons) and story-liner (Shortland Street, The Strip).

He has worked as a development executive (The Gibson Group, Screentime Communicado), tertiary screenwriting lecturer (Unitec, South Seas School of Film and Television), producer (The Strip, TV pilot Oswald Gold, and short films Cogito and Be Careful…) and director (Be Careful…).

Alan has worked as an actor, stand-up comic, script assessor and budget analyst. As a film & TV production accountant – on films like Andrew Adamson’s Mr. Pip, the Evil Dead remake, and the upcoming Netflix interactive romantic comedy, Choose Love,  he has been responsible for managing numerous multi-million dollar budgets. He is attached to a number of film and graphic novel projects at various stages of development, as a writer and/or producer.

Lesley Fifield – Co-Founder / Producer

Lesley has a wealth of experience in production and operations management in performing arts, particularly with children and young adults. She is currently Performing Arts Administrator at Kristin School in Albany, where she is also Production Manager of their four major annual productions and manager of the itinerant music programme.

For many years, Lesley has worked as a volunteer for a number of performing arts organisations in NZ, where she has assisted and gained extensive experience working behind the scenes in a variety of areas. She was the Managing Director of the Broadway Dreams Foundation NZ, where she was instrumental in ensuring the success of their inaugural Summer Intensive programme in 2018 and the expansion of the programme for 2019 and beyond. Prior to that she was on the Board of CCMT (Centre City MusicTheatre) and ACTA (Auckland City Theatre Academy). Lesley continues to work closely with the Farmers Santa Parade, where she has arranged for various groups of students to participate in the parade for a number of years.

For a number of years Lesley has worked alongside Anton Luitingh and Duane Alexander, as Operations and Production Manager, to bring their International Musical Theatre workshops to Auckland and Wellington.

Lesley worked with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions (UK) for the international touring productions of The Sound of Music and Annie. She also assisted with the national audition process to cast the children for Ben McDonald Productions’ national tour of The Sound of Music.