All of our tutors are qualified or are in the final year of completing qualfications here at HSPA. 

All are experienced in their field, having Directed, Choreographed or Vocal Coached for stage (many with us) and so come with experience in live performance and what is required to succeed in performing arts.  

The exception to this, being our Trainee tutors who are in their first year of teaching.  Our school gives advanced senior students the opportunity to move into a teaching role if they wish, and this is done in a structured environment to support their learning.  We believe this allows students to aim high and allows younger students to gain aspiration from fresh new teachers who have the benefit of good support structures from management.  Our trainees are excellent role models for our younger students!

Our tutors have been asked to teach at Court Theatre and elsewhere, and have performed extensively themselves.  They are all great role models and very capable in their field.

Dale Hartley-Brown   B.A. Canterbury University

L.T.C.L Teaching Speech & Drama Trinity College

School Director

Dale has been involved in theatre since her first role as Annie in 1987.  However, she began her professional career in 1993 shortly after gaining her ATCL in Speech & Drama.  Her first professional job in theatre, was as a cast member of Excalibur’s Theatre Restaurant where she performed for 5 seasons alongside Elizabeth Moody and Robert Gilbert.  In 1995 Dale graduated Canterbury University with a B.A. in Classics, enjoying studying the origins of theatre as part of her degree. Since then she has worked as a performer for Showbiz Christchurch, in touring cabaret shows and in the corporate realm and gained her LTCL degree in Speech & Drama.  Dale is also a trained classical singer and has extensive experience in theatre costuming, having worked professionally in this role also.

Dale’s love of teaching began in 1996 when she first took on students at her own school as well as teaching for St Margaret’s College. That year also heralded her first year as a director.  She has since directed more than 25 shows both at her own school and for various amateur societies and school in the district, but lately prefers to mentor others in this role.

Daniel Mathers BA Perf. Arts NASDA

Adv Senior Drama / Tap / Singing Tutor

Originally from Melbourne, according to his own mother, Daniel has been performing since before he could talk. Whilst Daniel never attended HSPA as a student, he has family connections to the Rangiora Performing Arts Community through his cousin, Caitlin Constable, a HSPA graduate and current teacher.

Daniel has been involved with more than 20 local shows, including Singin’ in the Rain (Kirwee Players), 42nd Street, Urinetown (NASDA), and The Crucible (Court Theatre Youth Company). He holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts after graduating from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) in 2020; where he studied Tap under Kirsty Allpress and Jamie Herrick.

Daniel is also the founder of independent theatre company Living City Theatre, where he recently produced an all-female cabaret titled Disensemble the Patriarchy. Daniel has also done behind the scenes work on several shows including Clue: On Stage (DRAMASoc), and Pinocchio (Hartley School of Performing Arts) 

Carissa Brant NZAMD, ATCL Performance Musical Theatre

Hip Hop & Contemporary Dance Tutor / Senior Choreographer/ HOD Dance

Carissa Brant is a Performing Arts Specialist based in North Canterbury. A graduate of Hartley's School Of Performing Arts, performing in ten annual productions during her time there. Carissa sat all Trinity London Speech and Drama Exams up until Grade 8. She then gained her ATCL with Trinity College London in Musical Theatre passing with Distinction. 

Carissa began Jazz Dancing at a young age, sitting exams annually through the New Zealand Association Of Modern Dance. In 2017 she gained her Advanced Two Diploma in American Jazz.  Carissa has been teaching various dance styles for several years at multiple studios and schools, including Hartley's School Of Performing Arts (HSPA) Ballet with Bex and Jenna McKenzie School Of Dance. She has choreographed three annual stage productions for HSPA over the years and taken multiple dancers through Dance NZ Made Exams and medal tests, some of which scored the top mark in New Zealand. 

Carissa's Theatre credits include Chicago 2022 and The Bacchae 2022 at The National School of Singing and Dramatic Arts. She has performed with North Canterbury Musicals in The Sound of Music 2017, Jekyll and Hyde 2018, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 2019. 

Carissa belongs to Portfolio Modelling Agency where she has been cast in an International Bollywood Movie and worked with companies such as Air New Zealand, Black Cat Cruises, and Swandri. Carissa currently dances with Epic Entertainment and Visionary Dance Studio in Christchurch.  

Kayla Mortimer  Gr 7 Trinity College Speech & Drama

 Drama / Glee / Preschool Tutor

Kayla has been singing since before she began school.  As a primary student Kayla began classes at HSPA and hasn’t looked back since. 

She is currently set to sit her Associate Diploma for Trinity College in 2021.  She currently has her Grade 7 Trinity College Speech & Drama with Distinction.

Kayla has extensive stage experience as a soloist and actor for HSPA for almost a decade now. She worked as a teacher’s assistant for Glee in 2020 and enjoys recording and sharing her music online.

Kayla studied Music and Drama during her time at High School and was head of Arts at Rangiora High School in her final year.  She is currently in her second year studying graphic design and keen to pursue her performing arts career also.

Bryony Jamison  ATCL Trinity College

Singing Tutor /Advanced Senior Drama

Bryony began performing around the age of six in a French production of Snow White

then went on to take singing and acting lessons at the Hartley School of Performing Arts

in her teens.

She gained her ATCL in Speech & Drama through HSPA and her passion for theatre

landed her teaching, vocal coaching and directing roles with the school throughout the years.

Bryony’s performance credits include: Guys and Dolls, Blood Brothers, Oliver, Chicago, Beauty and

the Beast and Retrospective (North Canterbury Musicals); Cabaret and Rent (MUSOC);

Evita, Broadway Hitmen, Les Misérables and We Will Rock You (Showbiz Christchurch)

along with improvised shows and concerts with Black Peach Theatre Company.

Since lockdown in 2020 Bryony has worked as a professional soloist for organisations such as: Blackboard Theatre Collective, Reach for the Stars, Visionary Dance Studio, Christchurch Art Gallery, Playspace Productions, and has performed in multiple Drag shows.  She appeared as The Diva in The Entertainment Company’s production of Nouvelle and is currently working with a team to create a cabaret “Testing the Waters” with the vocal group Echo.

Most recently Bryony wrote and directed Alice!  In 2022 for HSPA.

During the day, Bryony manages Lux Espresso cafe 

Leanne O’Mahony BA Mus., Dip Teaching (Secondary).

Senior Glee Tutor / HOD Singing

Leanne trained as a classical singer but has been focused more on musical theatre and choral singing in recent years. She is a secondary school teacher with experience both in New Zealand and the UK, and her Degree in Music is from the University of Canterbury. Leanne enjoys helping others improve their technique and the teamwork involved in creating group numbers together. 

Leanne’s experience spans more than 20 years of Musical Direction and Vocal Coach work, not to mention extensive experience both in, and running top-end choirs and vocal groups through Burnside High school and other institutions. 

It would be difficult to find someone in North Canterbury with more knowledge and experience in this field, than Leanne O’Mahony.


Hannah ThompsonATCL Performance Speech & Drama. NZAMD & IDTA.

Junior / Intermediate Drama / Musical Theatre Jazz & Dance Technique

Hannah has been taking drama classes since she was five years old and has been sitting Trinity College of London exams for many years. Hannah completed her ATCL Diploma in Speech & Drama in 2021. Hannah has also studied ballet and jazz and has been sitting IDTA and NZAMD exams since she was five years old. Most recently NZAMD Gr 9 Ballet, NZAMD Advanced Stretch Leap & Spin and NZAMD Advanced Jazz Hannah has also been taking singing lessons for a number of years now.

Hannah has taken part in many HSPA productions as well as ballet and jazz performances. With her most recent role being Hermia in a Midsummer Night's Dream for HSPA in 2021.  In 2022 she was assistant director for Pinocchio and will debut as a director in 2023!

Hannah has recently gained her teachers qualification in Jazz through NZAMD. She is looking forward to adding Dance to her list of teaching credits at HSPA

Caitlin Constable  NZAMD & IDTA Pre-Assoc Dist. IDTA Classical Ballet Adv 2

Jazz Tutor/ Choreographer/Musical Theatre tutor

Caitlin began training in classical ballet from the age of 5, and over her 14 years of dancing she has gone on to study jazz, modern, lyrical, tap and contemporary styles of dance. She then discovered her love for singing and acting and to improve those drama skills began performing in new shows and roles such as Aladdin in Aladdin and the Arabian Nights (HSPA) and ensemble roles in Jekyll and Hyde (NCMS) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (NCMS).

After discovering her passion for teaching Caitlin has gone on to complete her Pre-Associate Teaching Qualification with the International Dance Teachers Association and is planning to sit her Associate at the end of 2021. She has also tried her hand in roles such as choreographing, directing and assistant directing and leading singing groups. She has a great love for theatre and the stage and loves to see this shine through in her students!

Rachael McInnes  DNZM Contemporary Level 11 Hip Hop Level 8.

Hip Hop / Contemporary Tutor / Choreographer

Rachael has been dancing since primary school and won the prestigious National Champion Award for DNZM for her level 10 exam in November 2019.

Rachael continues her dance study at JMSD and will take part in teacher training with DNZM this year. 

Rachael has extensive performance experience as a featured dancer in Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop.

Rachael was also Assistant Choreographer for The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, HSPA’s 2020 production and looks forward to choreographing more this coming year.

She is also excited about taking on more challenges in the classroom this year now that she has finished high school.


Michelle O’BrienGr 8 Trinity College Speech & Drama


Junior / Intermediate Drama


Michelle began performing at the age of 10yrs here at HSPA.  She has spent 7yrs training in Drama, Singing and contemporary dance.

She is currently set to sit her Associate Diploma for Trinity College in 2022.  She currently has her Grade 8 Trinity College Speech & Drama with Distinction.

Michelle has extensive stage experience as a lead performer for HSPA in the 7 years she has been training here. Most recently she played the White Queen in Narnia in 2020 and Puck In Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2021. She worked as a drama trainee tutor for all of 2021 and enjoys sharing her passion for performing with other young people.

Michelle has also worked as a vocal coach and will be Assistant Director for HSPA’s 2022 Senior Production.


Madison Tull - Grade 8 Musical Theatre Trinity College

Musical Theatre Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary Dance

Madison has been a student at HSPA since primary school.  Infact it is hard to remember a time when she was not part of HSPA. 

In her time here she has taken classes in Drama, Dance and Singing.  2022 saw her pass her Grade 8 Trinity College Musical Theatre Exam with Merits and also take up contemporary and Commercial Dance at Visionary Dance school in Christchurch.

She has studied Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Commercial dance here at HSPA and has been teaching Hip Hop and Contemporary in our Junior school in 2022.

We look forward to having Madison take on Musical Theatre Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary in 2023.  

Madison is pursuing her other goal, of working with people with disabilities in 2023.  We think her skills and passion in this area make her an exceptional tutor at our school!

Lily WilliamsATCL Performance Speech & Drama

Junior Combined Glee Singing

Lily has been studying singing at the NCAM for several years and has sat up to her Grade Six Trinity College Vocal before turnig her focus to her SPeech & Dramam Grades and Diploma.

ANyoen who has seen Lily onstage as the lead in our 2022 production of Alice!  will agree that she is an excellent performer wiht a lot to share with the younger students.

In 2023 Lily is beginning her study of performing arts at NASDA, with a focus on Drama and Singing.

Lily is looking forward to  sharing her love of music and singing with her students. 

Trainee Tutors 


Oliver BurnsGrade 8 Speech & Drama

Junior Musical Theatre

Oliver is entering his tenth year as a student, and first as a tutor at HSPA in 2023. 

He has taken classes in Drama, Singing, Musical Theatre, Jazz, and Contemporary Dance throughout his time at the school. 

He is currently on track to sit his ATCL Speech and Drama Diploma later in the year, having already completed Trinity Grades 6 & 8 at Distinction level. 

Oliver has also sat multiple DNZM Contemporary Dance Levels.

Oliver has played leading roles in several HSPA productions, of note would be his role as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream 2022 and his role as Caterpillar in Alice 2023!

Oliver has an immense passion for the performing arts, and his time at HSPA has taught him many great skills. He hopes to pass on much of his knowledge to his students in the future! 

Rebecca O'Mahony - Grade 6 NZAMD Tap Distinction

Junior Tap from Mid-year.

Rebecca has been dancing for almost 14 years.  She joined HSPA in 2012 at just 5 years old. 

Over the years, she has trained in many styles such as Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Commercial and more. In 2022, she passed her NZAMD Level 6 Tap with High Honours and won the DNZM nationals with her competition team. 

Rebecca is no stranger to the stage.  She has extensive performance experience both at HSPA as a soloist and specialty dancer,  with NCMS, Burnside High school and with Sarah Mead.

Rebecca was also the 2022 recipient of the senior scholarship at HSPA and has been assistant teaching tap classes for 2 years, and is looking forward to meeting all the little performers coming her way!

Daniel Mathers 


Entering his third year as a tutor at HSPA, Daniel has agreed to pick up the role of Administrator for HSPA.  YAY! 

Daniel teaches classes in all departments of the school now and as such, has great knowledge of how we tick.  

He has experience managing a theatre company of his own and has taken to our online systems like a proverbial duck to water!

He is a postive and friendly face who is popular with all ages of students.  

We expect him to be equally popular with everyone as their new Admin person! 

Doreen Hartley


With qualifications in Accountancy, Doreen has been administrator for HSPA since it's fruition in 1996.  Over this time she has proved invaluable managing accounts, administrating class lists, selling tickets for productions, planning advertising, paying staff and much, much more.  

Doreen enjoys the challenge of new systems and automation with a fervour that belies her age bracket (Sorry Mum!) keeping HSPA up to date and able to grow. 

Always at the end of the phone or email, 

Together with Daniel, Doreen is responsible for the smooth running of HSPA on many fronts.