OUR CREATIVE TEAM for Disney’s High School Musical
Amy Robertson – Director
Amy has just completed her fourth year at the University of Auckland, studying a Law and Arts degree. For many years Amy has dedicated her time to singing and performance, performing in award-winning choirs, barbershop quartets and musicals. She has played the role of Widow Corney in Oliver, Grizabella in Cats, and Morticia in The Addams Family. She has loved working with the incredible staff and talented kids at APAA, in her role as Directing Intern and is honoured to have been mentored throughout 2020 by John Callen. She is looking forward to continuing working with APAA in 2021 in her role as Director for Disney’s High School Musical.
Mark Bradley – Musical Director
Mark has an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the New Zealand Music Education Board and a Bachelor of Arts/Commerce from Auckland University. He currently plays for various musical theatre productions in Auckland, as an in-demand pianist for cabaret artists, as a piano teacher from his own studio, and at Kristin School and St. Kentigern College.
Mark played in the band for City Of 100 Lovers and for Disney’s Aladdin in 2019. His other keyboard and Musical Director credits include: Wicked (Australian Tour, 2013), West Side Story (International Tour, 2017), The Phantom of The Opera (Amici, 2017), Sister Act (Amici, 2018), Mamma Mia! (Amici/AMT, 2019), Evita (Amici/AMT, 2016), The Producers, The Addams Family, 13: The Musical, Les Miserables, Spring Awakening, Next To Normal, The Little Mermaid, Spam-a-lot, Beauty and The Beast, Hair, and Aida.
As a music theatre educator, Mark regularly tutors for school holiday programmes, including the inaugural Broadway Dreams Summer Intensive run by the Broadway Dreams Foundation NZ, and NYTC’s AllStars programme. He also provides audition/performance coaching for musical theatre performers.
Ella-Rose Cutfield – Choreographer
Ella-Rose has been involved in the performing arts industry since the age of 4, with her first debut in the Sound of Music at The Civic and has now completed her 2-year Diploma in Commercial Dance. 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. Ella-Rose is also a qualified teacher with AJDA and has taught at Apollo Theatre School, teaching RAD Ballet from Pre-Primary to Advanced 1, Jazz and Lyrical, with her exam students achieving excellent results. She currently teaches and choreographs at We Dance. She has choreographed for a variety of successful performances. Ella-Rose is passionate about the arts and enjoys working with her students.
Jane Horder – Audition Support
Jane is a consummate performer, singing coach and musical director. She has taught for over 30 years within the Performing Arts with extensive experience in secondary and post-tertiary environments including Head of Performing Arts at Saint Kentigern College, Vocal Director and Head of Drama at Takapuna Grammar School, Itinerant Singing teacher/ Vocal Coach, and Musical Director.
Jane has performed in stage musicals, sung in jazz and cover bands, and has sung with Auckland band Prima Swing Riot for 18 years. She has also sung jingles and is an accomplished pianist and accompanist.
She has an extensive background in Musical Theatre as a performer and musical director. In the mid 1990s, she toured NZ and Australia in Harry Miller’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar and the NZ tour of Stetson Productions’ Chess – The Musical. In 2008, she won the NAPTA Award for Best Female Lead in a musical playing Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense. Performances include Putting It Together for Auckland Music Theatre, Mrs Robinson in Court Jester’s production of The Graduate, the Witch in Into the Woods, Mother in Ragtime, Roxy in Chicago, Dolly in Hello Dolly, Sheila in HAIR, Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Bird Lady in Disney’s Mary Poppins.
Jane was the Director of Vocal Studies at Takapuna Grammar School for five years, successfully growing and directing four choirs, teaching singing and a curriculum-based Musical Theatre course for senior students. She has worked for two years as Head of Performing Arts at St Kentigern College and is now moving back into working as a vocal coach, choir director and performer – her passions.
OUR REGULAR TUTORS
John Callen – Acting Coach
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 – Acting Coach
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!
Wendy Doyle – Vocal Coach
Wendy’s career has seen her performing globally from London’s West End to the United Nations in New York. Wendy studied at Wellington’s Massey University Conservatorium of Music and the Royal College of Music, London. Wendy is a current Resident Artist, Freemasons Opera Scholar for NZ Opera and member of the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus.
NZ Opera mainstage roles include Mamma Lucia; Cavalleria Rusticana, Anina; La Traviata, Giovanna; Rigoletto, Filipievna Eugene Onegin, covers include Mother/Witch; Hansel and Gretel, Grandmother/Mayor’s Wife; Jenufa; Marcellina; The Marriage of Figaro, Amastre; Xerxes. Wendy also performed the role of Rossweisse in a concert performance of Wagner’s Die Walkure with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Other career highlights have been performing on London’s West End at the Savoy Theatre with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, and The Mikado, as well as a UK tour of HMS Pinafore. Wendy also performed in the company of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in the UK; performed the role of Hermia; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Anglia Opera, UK), Haydn Mass in D Minor (King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, UK); Grainger – Tribute to Foster (Cambridge, Uk); Five Negro Spirituals (Barbican Centre, London); Mozart’s Requiem Mass, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Hanover Band, Brighton); The Last Night of the Proms (CSO); SkyCity Symphony (APO).
Wendy is now inspired to help others achieve their own dreams no matter how big or small, dedicating her time to the development of coaching company NOWW Retreats. Wendy is empowering people, both young and old, to find their confidence and their true voice. Wendy is also currently on the board at Broadways Dreams NZ.
Jonathan James – Acting Coach
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.
Clare Martin – Vocal Coach
Clare worked professionally in opera and classical music performance after training at the Royal Northern College of Music and The Opera Studio in London. Returning to Aotearoa in 2008, Clare opened a busy music studio teaching singing for all levels and coaching for professional performance. She retrained in jazz and contemporary performance, and sings in jazz duos and with acclaimed band Imperfect Offering. She is an itinerant vocal tutor at Massey High School and Baradene College of the Sacred Heart, also coaching their award-winning choirs and leading their barbershop ensembles. She was a vocal mentor for the TVNZ reality show The Naked Choir in 2017 and this year will be conducting a Womens Choir on the North Shore. Clare is also a music reviewer and radio broadcaster.
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, and the recent Evil Dead remake – he has been responsible for managing numerous multi-million dollar budgets. Alan is the treasurer of the Broadway Dreams Foundation New Zealand, and the New Zealand Writers’ Guild. Alan is also writing and producing a jukebox musical, using the songs of legendary Australian singer/song-writer, Paul Kelly, which is due to open in Australia in 2020. He is attached to several film, TV, 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.